Autoresponders are a type of automatic email campaign available for any paid plan. Unlike other MailChimp campaigns, autoresponders don't send to an entire list or segment at once and only send when a subscriber meets the specific trigger conditions set for that autoresponder campaign. Use autoresponders to create tailored follow-up or welcome emails, send automatic birthday emails, and foster subscriber engagement in your MailChimp lists.

In this article, we show you how to create an autoresponder, discuss what trigger events can be used, and also show you where to find your autoresponder reports.

Create an autoresponder

  1. Navigate to the Autoresponders page.
  2. Click the Create Autoresponder button on the top-right side of the page.

    Create Autoresponder button

  3. On the Recipients step, select a list to send your autoresponder to.

    To send to a segment of your list, click the Send to a segment option and add your segmenting conditions. Once you've selected your list or created your desired segment, advance to the next step.

  4. On the Autoresponder step, you'll set the configurations for your autoresponder.

    Under What event will trigger this autoresponder?, select an event option from the drop down menu. The event you choose acts as the autoresponder's sending "trigger."

    Under When should the autoresponder be sent?, choose when you'd like the autoresponder to send to subscribers once they meet the trigger criteria.

    You can also specify a time and days of the week for the autoresponder to send.

    When you're finished, click the Next button to go to the Setup step.
  5. On the Setup step, add your Campaign Info and select tracking options before heading to the Template step.
  6. On the Template step, choose the layout for your campaign then proceed to the Design step.
  7. On the Design step, create the design for your email campaign.

    If you want to use a layout from a sent campaign for your autoresponder, you can select that layout from the Recently Sent tab on the Template step. From the Saved Templates tab, you can also choose a reusable template that you created. Additionally, from the Code Your Own tab, you can paste in your own code or import from a zip or URL.

    More tips on HTML coding for email.

  8. After you add your content in the Design step, head to the Confirm step. On this final step, look over your Pre-delivery Checklist. Click Resolve to go back to a step that contains errors. Click the Edit button to return to a step and make any final changes or additions to your autoresponder.
  9. When you're ready to activate your autoresponder, click the Start Autoresponder button at the bottom of the Confirm step.

    Start autoresponder

Once your autoresponder starts sending, you can edit the Autoresponder configuration settings, your content, and any segmenting conditions you've set up. However, you won't be able to change the list your autoresponder sends to. Autoresponder reports are tied to a specific list to provide accurate reporting stats over the lifetime of your autoresponder. If you'd like to send the same content to a different list, replicate the autoresponder and choose a new list on the Recipients step.

Autoresponder trigger events

  • Subscribe date
    Triggers your autoresponder to send based on the date a subscriber signed up for your list. If you've imported any subscribers manually, added them via our API or through a 3rd-party integration, check the Also trigger on list import option to trigger your autoresponder.

    Also trigger on import

  • Campaign events
    Triggers based on campaign activity like opens and clicks for any scheduled or draft campaigns. For example, your autoresponder can trigger when a subscriber opens a particular campaign, clicks any link in a particular campaign, or clicks a specific link in a campaign.
  • Ecomm360 events
    Triggers your autoresponder based on purchase data that was uploaded to the list or captured in a campaign with Ecommerce360 tracking turned on. Use this trigger event in conjunction with segmenting to specify a particular product that was purchased.
  • List data
    Triggers your autoresponder based on specific list information about your subscribers. This trigger can be used to send an autoresponder on a specific day and time in relation to a birthday or date field in your list.
    Date trigger
    You can also choose the Merge field value changed option to trigger your autoresponder when subscriber info is updated in your list. For example, if you have a field in your list called "Payment Status," you can set your autoresponder to trigger when the value for "Payment Status" changes to "Paid."
  • Mandrill events
    Triggers your autoresponder to send to your MailChimp subscribers based on Mandrill activity. These autresponders can trigger based on Mandrill email opens, clicks, and sends.

    Mandrill events

    You can further tailor who receives the autoresponder by selecting an email tag you have set up in Mandrill. Selecting a Mandrill tag makes the autoresponder send only to MailChimp subscribers who both received a Mandrill email with the selected tag and meet the Mandrill event requirement.

    Mandrill tags

    You must choose a Mandrill email tag before proceeding. An error message appears if you try to proceed without choosing a Mandrill email tag.
  • Goal events
    Triggers your autoresponder to send to subscribers when they visit URLs and JavaScript events on your website that are tracked with our Goal integration.

Autoresponder reports

Viewing your autoresponder report is very similar to a regular campaign report.

  1. Navigate to the Reports page in your account
  2. Click the Autoresponders heading below the overview graph to display all autoresponders that have been sent to lists in your account.

    Autoresponder reports

  3. Click the View Report button to pull up the autoresponder's report.

Unlike a typical campaign report, autoresponder reports continue to update as subscribers meet the trigger settings and are sent the autoresponder campaign. If you're unfamiliar with what information is found on a campaign report, be sure to check out this article for more information on what sort of information is available on a campaign report.

Filter autoresponders

The Filter menu on the Autoresponders page lets you sort autoresponders by list and status.

Autoresponder filter menu

After making your selections, click the Apply button to display only autoresponders matching your filter settings.

This feature is available to users with Author level or higher permissions. Take a look at this article to learn more about the different access levels for a MailChimp account.


Autoresponders are only available on our Monthly and Pay As You Go plans.

Autoresponders only send to subscribers as they meet the autoresponder's sending conditions. Autoresponders will not send to subscribers who met the sending conditions prior to when the autoresponder was started.

A date merge tag cannot be used to populate the current date in an autoresponder campaign each time it sends. Due to the way our system treats the date merge tag, using one in an autoresponder campaign results in that tag only populating the date of the first send for the autoresponder. This is a merge tag that is recommended for non-autoresponder campaigns only.

Plain-text only autoresponders are not currently an option in MailChimp. Autoresponders are set up the same way as a Regular Ol' Campaign. They contain both an HTML and a plain-text portion. Having both of these versions available ensures the best possible delivery of your emails, as well as makes sure that your subscribers can view your content as expected, regardless of the email client or program they're using. If you'd like to create an autoresponder with the look of a plain-text email, the best thing to do would be to select a basic drag and drop template and choose not to include any images in the campaign layout.

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