An autoresponder is a computer program that automatically returns a prewritten message to anyone who submits e-mail to a particular Internet address, whether an individual or a Web site. Autoresponders are widely used by Web sites for the purpose of responding to visitor comments and suggestions in a preliminary way and, in cases where traffic is heavy, as the sole way to communicate with user inquiries.
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Publishers of ezine and other online e-mail newsletters typically use an autoresponder to respond to people who subscribe or cancel their subscriptions.