What Is An Autoresponder? The Major Sub-Systems in AWeber

Please Comment

 “What is an Autoresponder?”  You often hear this question from new Internet Marketers.

I was helping a client today and the question of “What is an Autoresponder? came up.  As we discussed Autoresponders (and AWeber in particular) I realized that I was having to work hard to describe to him something that was very clear to me.  BTW I DO understand that “If you can’t describe something simply, you don’t really understand it!” After thinking about it a while I organized my thoughts and thought I’d share them with you.   So “What is an Autoresponder?”  or more appropriately “What is an Autoresponder System?”  Let’s dive in…

What is an Autoresponder - the Four Major Systems.

Why We Care About Autoresponders?

Before I answer the question about “What is an Autoresponder?”, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention why we are going through all this effort.  Why do we care what an Autoresponder is? Internet Marketers often report that “The Fortune is in the List!”  (Note that the List needs to be a responsive List and you must build a good relationship with the Subscribers on your List.)  Most of the sales occur during emails sent to the list (the number used is often around 70%).   The last number reported over and over is that you can average about $1 / Subscriber / Month if you have a good relationship with your list and if you market to them.  It really takes a good Autoresponder system to collect Leads and send emails reliably.

The Four Major Moving Parts of an Autoresponder System


When I talk to beginners I see that Autoresponders are hard for them to understand.  This often puzzles people who use autoresponder regularly.  Power users see systems like AWeber as clear and easy to understand.  They often wonder why people have to ask “What is an Autoresponder?”  (As an educator at heart, I don’t feel this way, but I’ve run into the “It’s simple! Why don’t they understand what an Autoresponder is?” sentiment more than once.)

Here is my observation and maybe it will help others answer the question of “What is an Autoresponder?”  better.

The Four Major Sub-Systems That Make Up an Autoresponder System


Autoresponders sub-systems center around one list of subscribers.  You can think of it as the same set of sub-systems duplicated over and over again.  There is one set of sub-systems for each List you create.

There are two major sub-systems, two smaller sub-systems and several small system-wide sub-systems.

Major Sub-system Number #1 – Emailing to Subscribers


This is the bread and butter of Autoresponders.  The whole reason Autoresponders exist is to deliver emails to a group of subscribers.  This sub-system has two different components.

Broadcast Emails

Broadcast emails are one-off scheduled emails that everyone we target gets at pretty much the same time.  These are usually time sensitive and are not evergreen (e.g. There is a Webinar this Wednesday!).

Broadcast emails can be sent to several lists at one time.  In this respect they are the exception in that they cross over the boundaries between different lists.  Even here we often think about sending a broadcast email to one list.  We may decide to include other lists, but we usually start with one group of subscribers, i.e. one list in mind.

Follow Up or Drip Sequence Emails

A Follow Up sequence is a planned set of emails.   Each subscriber receives the same sequence based on when they subscribe to a list.   Since subscribers join a list at different times they will receive (for example) the “day 5 sequence email” five days after the particular date that they were added to a List.

Major Sub-system Number #2 – Adding Leads to a List


This Sub-system has two major pieces that get merged together:

  • Sign Up forms created in the Autoresponder software
  • A Website that Leads can navigate to on the web.  These sites are created by software developers (Blogs, Company websites, Facebook and others).

The Adding-Leads-To-A-List sub-system involves entering Leads into a Lead Database – which what a LIST really is.  The usual method is for a Lead to fill their email address into a Sign Up form.  These forms can be in many places, such as Squeeze Pages, Facebook Tabs, Pop-ups, and Websites.

These forms follow a three-step process.

  1. A Sign Up Form is created for a particular List in an Autoresponder system (website or software).
  2. Code (usually HTML or JavaScript) is copied to a website – i.e. a place where Leads can see it and fill it out on the web.
  3. The Lead’s email address is sent back to the Autoresponder system and entered into the List associated with the Sign Up form.

As a crude analogy you can think of this as a tire and a motorcycle.  A tire is created by one company.  A motorcycle is created by another company.  Tires are completely useless without motorcycles to go on and motorcycles are useless without a set of tires.    A sign up form needs a website and the website needs the sign up form.  They are created in different places and merged together when you want to collect email addresses for a particular List.

Major Sub-system Number #3 – Subscriber Maintenance


This system is much smaller than the first two.  You can remove selected subscribers. You can purge subscribers who unsubscribed or whose emails are bouncing.  You can look at how many Leads responded to certain campaigns and much more.

Major Sub-system Number #4 – Reports


While we can see some information in the Subscriber Maintenance screen, the reports screen are designed to convert the masses of data available from List subscribers into useful information.

Minor  Sub-systems – Not Associated With One List


There are other sub-systems that are even smaller.  Most of them are NOT associated with one List.  They cover system wide issues like Billing, Support and Training. Some of the areas are Account Maintenance, Support Systems, Help Systems, Training Systems, Blogs and Resources.

Sub-System Activity Analysis


My rough guess is that we spend about 90% of our time in the two major subsystems.  Maybe 8% in the Subscriber Maintenance and Reports sub-systems and 2% in all the other systems combined.



In this short report, I’ve tried to walk you through the sub-systems that make up an Autoresponder system.  Beginners often can’t see how the pieces are grouped together and that makes all the moving parts hard to understand.

Here is a Sales Funnel Sequence:

  1. We create a List.  We’ll call it List XX.
  2. We create a Squeeze Page (on our Website) and a Sign Up Form for List XX (in the Autoresponder).  Then we merge these two together.
  3. We drive traffic to the squeeze page
  4. Leads fill in the List XX Sign Up form and their email addresses are sent to the Autoresponder system.
  5. The Autoresponder system places the email addresses in the List XX database.
  6. The List Owner (YOU!) creates emails (Broadcast and Follow Up Sequence) and the Autoresponder System sends the emails out to the subscribers in List XX.
    SUB-SYSTEMS #3 and #4
  7. The List Owner manages his Subscribers in List XX and makes decisions based upon Reports on the Subscribers in List XX.  These reports are generated by the Autoresponder system
  8. The List Owner also learns more about the Autoresponder system, asks Support for help and keeps his billing information current.

I hope this brief overview helps to give you a basic understanding of what an Autoresponder System like AWeber is and helps you answer the question “What is an Autoresponder?”.

Until next time, you have a Great Day!  Oh Hale Yes!  🙂

Dr Hale

↓ ↓ If this post gave you some ideas – Go ahead & comment below.  ↓ ↓

Hale Pringle

Hale Pringle Ed. D.


Hale Pringle – Hale Yes!

Skype hale.pringle

Email: Hale@HalePringle.com


 Connect with me of Google+, Facebook or Twitter

P.S. If you are working to move your business online and it all seems overwhelming, I can help!  Take a look around http://HalePringle.com.  You will see that I specialize in list building and and am an award winning blogger.  I’ve also written three books on AWeber  (AWeber: Quick Start) You can email me or give me a Skype call. I’ll give you the benefit of my years of experience and many thousands of dollars in training and searching the rabbit hole called Internet Marketing and Network Marketing.  Add that to the finest mentoring on the Internet (Ann Sieg’s Daily Marketing Coach) and you have a Winner!

About Hale Pringle

Dr. Hale is an Internet Entrepreneur and Network
Marketing expert. His greatest pleasure is
helping people and he does just that, drawing
upon the immense resources that he has gathered
over the years in his unquenchable thirst for

Dr. Hale lives in beautiful, sunny Florida with
his wife, two dogs and a cat. His four children
are grown and are scattered around the state.

An eternal optimist you will hear him say
regularly: “Is this a Great Day?” The answer is
always, “Hale Yes!”

If you need help with your online marketing or a
network marketing opportunity Dr. Hale is the go
to man. “Hale Yes!”


  1. I think that it’s important for any business that communicates with their clients via email (name one that doesn’t, right?), to use an autoresponder, regardless if they are an “internet marketer”, etc.

    For example, if you are a roofer, , or real estate agent, like some of my clients are, they can use an A/R sequence that is “evergreen”, meaning that the information will never get old.

    Once the prospect performs a certain task (hoop they jump thru), you can tag them, thus further segmenting your lists into more responsive action-takers.

    • Autoresponders are a tool that can be used for any business or group. The power of being able to teach and reach people through email, while allowing them to opt-out can greatly enhance communications. It can be marketing pieces or newletters or community bulletins – all of these are ways we reach out and touch the memebers of a group.

      Dr. Hale


  1. […] post What Is An Autoresponder? The Major Sub-Systems in AWeber appeared first on Hale Pringle | Blogging and List Building – The Fortune IS in the LIST! […]

Speak Your Mind


CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Hide me
Sign up below to Learn more about an awesome Passive Income Program
  Name: Email: We respect your email privacy Powered by AWeber Email Marketing
Show me

               Privacy Policy    Earning Disclaimer    Terms and Conditions    Contact Us

%d bloggers like this: