Autoresponders based on behavior

Autoresponders are not only for welcome or onboarding series, in fact, you probably receive autoresponders in your inbox almost every day for different reasons.

There was an autoresponder being triggered every time a person purchases a product, hit a specific page on your site or clicks on a link in a specific email campaign.

Yes, this means that you can automate your entire marketing based on how your subscribers and customers behave.

When are autoresponders used?

Let’s list some scenarios where autoresponders are used…


  • Joins a list
  • Birthday
  • Anniversary


This is done in combination with your ecommerce platform integrated with your ESP

  • Purchase
  • # of purchases
  • Amount spent
  • Abandoned shopping cart

Website activity

Done through a piece of code installed on your site. Mailchimp has a feature called “Goal” for this.

  • Specific URL
  • Javascript events

Campaign activity

Behavior inside your email campaigns.

  • Opened a specific email
  • Click on a specific link


Let’s look at some examples of automated messages hitting your inbox:


Twitter uses the date you joined to celebrate your “Twitterversary.”


Related product

Crate & Barrel takes the opportunity of the “Thank you” email to put some related products in front of you.

Related product


SumAll wishes you happy new year.



Canva recently ran a series of email to build momentum for their upcoming business accounts.

Canva momentum

Cart abandonment

Top Shop sends a reminder because you left some products in the shopping cart and didn’t complete the transaction. They offer support and show you the product you “almost” purchased.

I’m guessing that the next email will offer a discount for you to come back and complete the purchase.

Cart abandonment


We talked about re-engagement before, it can also be automated by a period of time since your last purchase (or engagement).


Campaign activity

I showed you this email before, it’s from Programming for Marketers and it’s triggered by the completion of a sequence.

sequence activity

Sign up

Signups can trigger a wide variety of campaigns, here is one from Slack after you activate your account letting you know that you should invite your team members.

Slack activation

Free trial

Here are a series of emails from Coschedule being triggered by a signup for a free trial:

1) Activation

First, they’re letting me know that I need to connect my blog.

Coschedule 1

2) Free trial is about to expire

Coschedule 2

3) It’s expired

Coschedule 3

4) It expired last week. They also ask for feedback to learn more about the reasons a person doesn’t convert.

Coschedule 4

Once the free trial sequence ends, they don’t insist but continue to provide value.

Email course

Buffer sends out a 7-day email course.

1) Lessons

A lesson is trigger on a daily basis for 7 days.

Buffer lessons

2) Survey

They send a quick survey in the middle of the sequence.

Buffer survey

3) Thank you

The thank you invites you to answer a question by simply replying.

Buffer thank you


Look at your business (not your email strategy) and try to identify all the opportunities where you would have an automated email go out to your subscriber.

  1. What type of email
  2. How is it going to be triggered? Is it based on a signup, a transaction
  3. Decide the tools you need (If it’s based on signup you only need your ESP, but if it’s e-commerce you need the integration in place)

One more thing, if you’ve seen some great autoresponder sequences out there and you want to share them with the rest of us, just shoot me an email. Thank you!