How to Create a Perfectly-Timed Email Autoresponder


To create a perfectly-timed email autoresponder, look to nature. That’s right — look to nature. Because nature tends to get things right (it’s people that mess things up!).

What is an autoresponder?

An autoresponder (sometimes called an autoresponse) is an email message that is sent to someone who requests information. Typically the autoresponder is the first in a sequence of messages that are sent to someone (the later messages may also be called autoresponders, or sometimes are known as “follow ups”). Useful in email marketing, autoresponders must be timed in such a way as to provide the requested information immediately, then move the recipient along a predetermined sales funnel. It’s imperative that the autoresponder do this while not permitting the emails to rise to the level of annoyance. The timing of an autoresponder is critical to the success of an email marketing campaign.

How to schedule an autoresponder

Fortunately, the secret to creating a perfectly-timed autoresponder exists in nature. It’s called the Fibonacci sequence, named after Leonardo Fibonacci who introduced the concept to Western mathematics.

The Fibonacci sequence are the integers in the following series:

0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144…

By definition, the first two numbers in the sequence are 0 and 1, and each number that follows is the sum of the previous two.

The Fibonacci sequence can be seen in many places in nature: in the branching of trees, the arrangement of leaves on a stem, the fruit sprouts of a pineapple, the flowering of an artichoke, an uncurling fern, and the arrangement of a pine cone.

You can use the concept of a Fibonacci sequence to deliver an effective email autoresponder. One common approach is to send the first email in the series on “Day 0” (meaning as soon as your prospect signs-up for your mailing list), then the next email 1 day after that, then the next email 1 day after that, then the next email 2 days after that, then the next email 3 days after that, then the next email 5 days after that… and so on through the sequence.

As the sequence continues, obviously the length of time between emails increases. Therefore, successful email marketing campaigns include additional offers (or “calls-to-action”) within the body of the email messages which encourage the recipient to respond to a further offer. This response, of course, initiates yet another Fibonacci sequence.

The Fibonacci sequence is a proven methodology for the timing of an email autoresponder. Contact me if you would like help constructing an email autoresponder.

Andrew Lehrfeld

Andrew Lehrfeld

Managing Member at Internet Presence LLC
Andrew (Andy) Lehrfeld is a classically-trained Direct Marketer. His background in Communications, Marketing, Sales, Applied Writing, and Public Speaking helps organizations nurture strong relationships with their clients and others. He has 40 years' experience working with business owners worldwide. He is the founder of Internet Presence LLC, a digital marketing agency that builds websites, social media, and other online platforms that help companies engage with customers and prospects.