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autoresponder
Last modified: Thursday, July 10, 2003 

An e-mail utility that automatically replies to an e-mail message with a prewritten response when that e-mail comes into a specific e-mail or Internet address.

Autoresponders are used by individuals and also by Web sites that need to respond to user comments automatically. For example, an individual may use an autoresponder feature of e-mail to inform the sender that he has gone on vacation and will not be replying personally to e-mails until he returns to the office; an enterprise may use an autoresponder in response to a newsletter subscription request to verify the opt-in or subscription cancellation or to indicate to the sender that a user comment was received. Autorepsonders are also used by enterprises to indicate that an online purchase was processed and will typically include an order confirmation number in the e-mail that is automatically generated and sent to the purchaser.

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