What are the top email autoresponders

Autoresponders: What's the Best Tool for Automated Emails?

Nowadays it is almost impossible to run successful email marketing campaigns without the help of autoresponders.


Because autoresponders are perhaps the cheapest, easiest, and most effective way to convert your subscribers into customers.

Just imagine the following: You run a management consultancy. A visitor comes to your website and registers to download a free e-book. You provide them with a link to download the eBook - but are you really going to leave it at that?

Of course not!

Because it is a unique opportunity to nurture and develop the relationship with someone who has expressed a potential interest in your services. Why should you miss this?

You probably won't pick up the phone and call him now. Not only would that be a little weird - after all, you don't have time for it.

And now the autoresponder comes into play.

Autoresponders are one Sequence of automated emailsbased on a Trigger event sent to a subscriber. This event can be a download or registration (as in the example above), a specific date (e.g. birthday or anniversary), or some other action by the subscriber (e.g. email click, web visit, product purchase, or even a canceled purchase in the online shop).

Autoresponders work well because they are used in a targeted manner - after all, emails are only sent because of a relevant action or event. And after you've set up an autoresponder, it should theoretically run virtually maintenance-free.

And what would be the real icing on the cake? If done well - that is, if you send out interesting and useful content - they can also help you turn subscribers into customers.

The great thing is that autoresponders don't have to be expensive. Some newsletter tools even offer them for free, and that's exactly what we're going to tell you in this article - the best newsletter tools to use for the autoresponders.

But first, here are a few brief examples of different autoresponders that you could use.

How do I use an autoresponder for my email marketing?

An autoresponder welcome email from Wix.com

The eBook is just one example of how you can use an autoresponder. There are many other ways you can incorporate it into your email communications:

  • If someone subscribes to your newsletter, you could have a single one Welcome mail in which you introduce yourself and tell how often e-mails should be sent and what kind of content it will be about.
  • When a subscriber signs up for a free trial of your product or service, you could include an autoresponder "welcome" with them Tips to get you started and send information about the various functions available.
  • If you have the Birthdays If you have your subscribers in the database, you could send out an autoresponder for their birthday with a special offer or discount.
  • If someone in any of your previous newsletters hit a specific link clicks, you could send him an autoresponder series with content on that particular topic.
  • If you have an online store, you could have users who own theirs Canceled purchaseto send a promotional code to encourage them to buy.
  • When a customer buys a product online, you could use an autoresponder with additional ones Information on how to care for the product to ship.
  • If that A customer's subscription expires, you could send him an autoresponder email a few weeks in advance to remind him to renew.

And there are many other application examples ...

Hopefully this has given you some ideas!

Are you ready to set up your autoresponder - maybe for free? Then check out our list of the best tools below.

The best autoresponder tools

Here is our rundown of the best autoresponder newsletter software. More detailed test reports are available below the table.

It's worth noting that most of these tools offer autoresponders as part of a larger marketing automation solution. In order to access the most modern automation (e.g. complex workflows, moving subscribers from one campaign to another), you usually have to upgrade to a paid plan.


CleverReachPaid tariff necessary (from 15 € per month for 500 contacts)YesSolid system: in addition to classic autoresponders, it also allows follow-up emails and tag-based campaigns. (Review)
RapidmailPaid tariff from € 9 per month for 500 contactsYesSimple but effective autoresponder system in German. (Review)
GetResponsePaid tariff from € 13 per month for 1000 contactsYesAutomation system for professionals that not only masters tag-based and follow-up emails, but can also track web events. (Review)
Sendin blue9,000 free emails per month (daily limit 300). You can have a maximum of 2000 subscribers in your automated campaigns at any one time.YesThis plan has a good selection of modern autoresponders, including greeting, anniversary, page views, and e-commerce (such as product purchase or abandonment). (Review)
BenchmarkPaid tariff from $ 13.99 per month for up to 600 contacts. Free tariff for up to 250 emails per month available.YesSimple autoresponders - welcome, birthday, anniversary and date-based reminder emails. More complex automations are available in the paid tariffs. (Review)
MailerLiteUnlimited emails for up to 1000 subscribers.NoSimple autoresponders, such as subscription-related emails (e.g. welcome emails or date-based emails. As a bonus, you can also send trigger-based autoresponders.
MailChimp12,000 emails per month (daily limit of 2000) for up to 2000 subscribers.NoMailChimps autoresponders contain basic autoresponders (greeting, date-based, RSS, etc.) as well as advanced options (e.g. e-commerce, tag-based). Unfortunately, the editor is not very user-friendly. (Review)

We'll start with five email marketing tools that have a German interface. Then we will show you a few international providers that you can use in English. The advantage of the international providers are the partly free tariffs!


With over 200,000 customers worldwide, the German provider CleverReach enjoys great trust from many users. And of course there are also autoresponders available here.

This can be done in two different places. Either via the classic “Autoresponder” menu or via “Automation THEA”. It makes more sense to use THEA, as there are many more options available.

What we like: Not only can you create a simple workflow with CleverReach, in which, for example, e-mails are automatically sent every few days. There are also follow-up and tag-based campaigns. You can even run A / B tests within the campaigns!

What could be improved: CleverReach is unfortunately not the cheapest solution: 1000 recipients, for example, add € 20 per month (including unlimited emails). Also, no web events can currently be taken into account in the automations.

Try CleverReach for free


rapidmail is another German provider that comes from Freiburg. According to their own statement, 80,000 customers are currently using the service. Among them are probably some who automate their e-mail campaigns with the help of the autoresponder system.

The rapidmail autoresponders are divided into three options: welcome mailing, annual event mailing and one-off event mailing.

What we like: the autoresponders are quite simple, but quite effective, because you can put your autoresponder on quickly. You have to be aware of course that you do not get the complete e-mail automation keyboard here. Rapidmail's consistently good results in terms of email deliverability can also be positively mentioned.

What should be improved: the user interface. While the rapidmail website looks great in terms of design, the interface is tidy, but could use a new coat of paint.

In terms of price, you start at rapidmail relatively cheaply. If you book the e-mail flat rate, you pay € 12.80 per month for 1000 recipients for unlimited e-mails.

Try rapidmail for free


This international provider from Poland is a real heavyweight internationally. 350,000 customers use the tool, which is available in over 20 different languages, including German of course.

As with CleverReach, GetResponse also has the old autoresponder menu and a new automation area. And here, too, it is the better choice to use the workflow editor directly. Because with it you can do much, much more than just autoresponders.

What we like: You can send reaction-related e-mails that are sent, for example, when you open or click in another mailing. What makes GetResponse special is the possibility of including events that are taking place on your website in the automation (from tariff level PRO). There is also a CRM.

What should be improved: We found the deliverability to be in need of improvement, as it had room for improvement in our tests.

In terms of price, the email tariff starts at € 13 per month for 1000 contacts.

Try GetResponse for free

Sendin blue

This email provider includes some modern autoresponders in the free plan, including those triggered by web events, purchases, and abandoned purchases. When you buy SMS credit, you can even send text messages as part of your autoresponder campaigns.

What we like: Sendinblue's autoresponder options (and automations in general) are top notch - which is amazing as they are extremely inexpensive. They are edited in an intuitive visual editor and you can even test your campaigns before starting.

What should be improved: There is a daily limit of 300 emails in the free plan, which could be problematic for people with large lists. Sendinblue has a limit of 2000 contacts in each automated / autoresponder campaign and at any time. We also had some deliverability issues with Sendinblue.

Try Sendinblue for free


The clean user interface of Benchmark is easy on the eyes and is also an extremely easy-to-use tool. The free plan lets you use simple autoresponders (they call this "Automation Lite"), forms, surveys, and reports. However, advanced automations are only available when you upgrade.

What we like: For this provider, the most important thing is design. The email templates are amazing and working with emails is totally simple and straightforward.

What should be improved: Unfortunately, this ease of use does not apply to the autoresponder editor. You cannot view autoresponders that are in a workflow, and they are not very flexible (for example, you cannot send autoresponders after more than an hour, and you cannot set send periods). In the past, Benchmark did not do as well in our deliverability tests either. In addition, the free tariff is limited to 250 emails per month.

Test benchmark for free

Now let's take a look at a few international providers who do not offer German language support, but English.


MailerLite is from Lithuania and claims to have over half a million customers. That will have a lot to do with the very attractive free plan.

And for good reason, because this simple newsletter tool is very easy to use and contains a lot of practical functions such as landing pages, forms and of course autoresponders. The free plan includes access to most features (and unlimited emails too!).

What we like: MailerLite's ease of use makes it an ideal tool to get started with working with autoresponders. Even beginners can get down to setting up emails and campaigns pretty quickly. And it's great that you can use most of the functions completely free of charge (as long as you have fewer than 1000 subscribers). If you need an upgrade, it is one of the cheapest providers on the market. So a great way to set up inexpensive autoresponders!

What should be improved: The full range of templates is only available in the paid plans. Mailerlite does not currently offer spam or design tests. And it's a shame that there is no German-language user interface.

Try MailerLite for free


MailChimp also makes it into our list of the top tools that offer a free autoresponder, even if you don't find a German interface here either. The autoresponders are neat too, with options for setting up automated e-commerce, RSS, and tag-based campaigns.

What we like: 12,000 emails per month for up to 2000 contacts is not bad. In addition, the autoresponders go beyond the basic welcome and anniversary emails and include advanced campaigns such as abandoned purchases and retargeting emails. This is great news for you if you have an online store.

What should be improved: For a tool this size, it's surprising that MailChimp doesn't have a visual workflow editor for autoresponders, which can get a little messy to manage. We also noticed that their emails often end up in the Gmail promotional folder rather than the main entrance. If you need a paid plan, it gets pretty expensive with MailChimp.

Try MailChimp for free

Tools for setting up an autoresponder: conclusion

That was it! You now have an overview of some solid email marketing tools for running autoresponder campaigns.

Which is now best for you? This really depends on the type of autoresponders that your customers (and your business / website) would benefit from.

If you just want to send very simple autoresponders for little money and prefer a German user interface, then you should take a closer look at Rapidmail.

Free providers have two very good options: Mailerlite and Mailchimp, but you would need to be able to speak English there.

If you are interested in sophisticated automation with workflow displays and tag-based campaigns, CleverReach and GetResponse would be very interesting providers.

So pick one that you think will work for you and give it a try. Then feel free to share your experiences with us in the comments below!

We are of course happy to answer your questions in the comments below.


Latest updates:
04/22/2020 - Updated prices for Benchmark (reduced free tariff)

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Would you like to create a newsletter but don't know how to get started? This free eBook will give you all the basics you need to get started.


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