Autoresponder is an optional feature in CodeTwo Email Signatures 365 that you can use for free if you have an active subscription (learn more). It allows you to create smart auto-reply messages for selected users or groups of users in your organization. Auto replies can include any type of content: text, graphics, personalized email signatures, and more.
- How does it work?
- Examples of use
- How to enable Autoresponder in CodeTwo Email Signatures 365
- Autoresponder FAQ
Autoresponder works only in cloud (server-side) or combo mode. Once enabled, the Autoresponder application is deployed in your Microsoft 365 tenant. When an email reaches your organization, Autoresponder checks if the recipient's email address matches those defined in your autoresponder rule (created in the signature management app). If yes, Autoresponder generates an auto-reply message (designed by you) and sends it according to your settings.
An autoresponder rule allows you to define:
- which users / email addresses will send auto-reply messages and when (e.g. only during specific days and hours),
- who you want auto replies to be sent to (e.g. all users or only specific email addresses),
- how many auto-reply messages should be sent to the same user per a specified time period (e.g. 1 auto reply per day),
- the contents of your auto-reply message (e.g. message body with a personalized email signature, custom From, To and Subject fields; you can also decide whether to include the original email or not),
- and more.
Auto replies can be used to inform your customers or any people who send emails to your organization that:
- You received their message and that their enquiry/request/question will be answered within a specified time. See the setup guide
- You created a support ticket for them.
- The person they tried to reach no longer works in your organization. You can also provide contact details of another person in the auto-reply message.
- The email address / your organization’s domain will soon change (e.g. due to a merger or acquisition).
- The person they tried to reach is out of office until a specified date.
- And so on.
Supported signature modes
Autoresponder works only in the cloud (server-side) or combo signature mode. If you use CodeTwo Email Signatures 365 in Outlook (client-side) mode but want to use Autoresponder, we recommend changing the signature mode to combo. That way, your users will continue to get CodeTwo signatures in Outlook – there’s no need to change anything in your existing Outlook (client-side) signature rules. You just need to create autoresponder rules for those users for whom you want to set up auto replies. Learn more about signature modes
By default, Autoresponder is disabled. Follow the steps below to turn it on:
- Sign in to CodeTwo Admin Panel.
- On the Tenants page, select the Microsoft 365 tenant for which you want to enable Autoresponder.
- Go to Autoresponder in the left menu and use the toggle shown in Fig. 1. to turn Autoresponder on.
- Sign in using your Microsoft 365 tenant’s global admin credentials and accept the permissions required by Autoresponder (so that it can send auto-reply messages from your users’ mailboxes).
Your credentials are completely safe as they are passed directly and only to Microsoft servers, which is ensured by the OAuth 2.0 authorization protocol. CodeTwo does not store, copy or have access to your credentials.
- Autoresponder is now turned on. You can now sign in to app.codetwo.com and create your first autoresponder rule as described in this article.
It may take a few minutes until auto replies are generated and sent for the users specified in your autoresponder rules.
- How does licensing work for Autoresponder?
- What types of mailboxes are supported by Autoresponder?
- Can I use Autoresponder with a mailbox for which email forwarding is configured?
- Why users defined as senders or recipients of auto-reply messages sometimes get Non-Delivery Report (NDR) messages?
- Do I need to configure Exchange Online connectors to use Autoresponder?
- Do I need to update my SPF record to use Autoresponder?
- Sometimes, auto replies sent by Autoresponder end up in spam folders. Why?
- Can I limit Autoresponder to specific users/mailboxes?
- Does Autoresponder have a mail loop prevention mechanism? Can I limit the number of automatic replies?
- Does Autoresponder work with all email signature types? Does it work with cloud signatures (added after emails are sent)?
- Can I attach files to auto replies sent by Autoresponder?
- Does CodeTwo Email Signatures 365 override automatic replies sent by Outlook?
- Why don’t I see auto replies in my Sent Items folder?
- Are all incoming emails routed through CodeTwo if Autoresponder is enabled?
Autoresponder licenses are counted separately from signature licenses. If you buy a subscription for CodeTwo Email Signatures 365 that includes 150 licenses, you get 150 signature licenses and 150 autoresponder licenses.
An autoresponder rule is triggered when an email arrives in a user mailbox, shared mailbox or resource (room or equipment) mailbox defined in the Reply from step of the rule, and when other rule’s conditions are met. Support for other types of mailboxes will be added in the future.
Apart from what triggers your autoresponder rule, you can define the sender and recipient of your automatic replies separately:
- You can choose any email address as the sender of your auto-reply message (some limitations apply, see this article to learn more),
- You can send automatic replies to any existing email address (including mail-enabled groups). Keep in mind that sending automatic replies to Microsoft 365 groups within your organization might require additional configuration, as described in this article.
Yes. However, when setting up email forwarding in Exchange Online, you need to make sure to select the option to keep a copy of each forwarded email in the original recipient’s mailbox, as shown in Fig. 2. Otherwise, no automatic replies will be sent. This is because an automatic reply is only generated when an email is received by a mailbox defined in the Reply from step of the autoresponder rule.
4. Why users defined as senders or recipients of auto-reply messages sometimes get Non-Delivery Report (NDR) messages?
In certain scenarios, end users in your organization might get NDRs. Examples:
- Someone sent an email to your organization from a no-reply address, and the email triggered an auto-reply message. If you configured this automatic reply to be delivered to the original sender, it will trigger an NDR. Learn how to limit the number of NDRs generated in this scenario
- Auto replies generated and sent by Autoresponder can be treated as external emails by your organization. So if you configured an autoresponder rule that sends/forwards auto replies to other users/groups in your organization, you need to make sure these users/groups can receive external emails. Otherwise, these auto replies will not be delivered and will trigger NDRs.
Users (such as your customers) who receive auto replies from you might get NDRs if:
- they try to reply to an auto-reply message sent from an email address of a non-existent / non-mail-enabled mailbox (you configured such an email address in the From field of your auto-reply message when setting up an autoresponder rule, as described here).
Yes. The Exchange Online connectors configuration is required because automatic replies generated by Autoresponder need to be rerouted through the CodeTwo cloud service. Our service is used to send these auto replies to intended recipients, specified in your autoresponder rules.
Note that the scope of users you define when configuring Exchange Online connectors applies only to CodeTwo cloud (server-side) signatures. You can limit the number of users/mailboxes for which you want to generate automatic replies directly when configuring an autoresponder rule. Learn more
Yes. You need to update the Sender Policy Framework (SPF) TXT record of your domain as described in this article so that the automatic replies generated by Autoresponder are not treated as spam, junk, spoofing, or phishing by Exchange Online Protection (EOP). See also point 7 below.
The most common reason for this is when you configure an autoresponder rule to send auto replies from a non-existent email address. It is also possible that your Sender Policy Framework (SPF) TXT record is not configured correctly and that is why Exchange Online Protection (EOP) treats your emails as spam or junk. Learn more about problems related to SPF
Yes. You can select users / email addresses who will send automatic replies in the Reply from step when configuring an autoresponder rule. Learn more
9. Does Autoresponder have a mail loop prevention mechanism? Can I limit the number of automatic replies?
Yes. You can configure Limiter to send only a specific number of auto-reply messages to the same recipient (email address) over a specific period of time (e.g. once per day). Limiter works per autoresponder rule.
If you forget to set up Limiter, we have also implemented an internal security mechanism that identifies and prevents most common email loop scenarios.
10. Does Autoresponder work with all email signature types? Does it work with cloud signatures (added after emails are sent)?
If you set up an auto reply for a user who also gets a cloud (server-side) signature from CodeTwo, this signature will not be added to the auto-reply message. If you want your auto replies to have an email signature, you should include the signature when designing a template for the auto-reply message.
If you set up an auto reply for a user who also gets a CodeTwo Outlook (client-side) signature, this signature will not be added to the auto-reply message. Auto-reply messages are generated in the cloud, and Outlook signatures are added directly to emails as users compose them.
Since automatic replies are generated and sent in the cloud (without end user interaction), you cannot use attachments with them – similar to Exchange Online out of office messages.
However, you can upload any files to your OneDrive for Business storage and add links to them to your auto-reply template, as described here.
No. CodeTwo Email Signatures 365 works independently of Outlook’s automatic replies. If you configure an autoresponder rule for a specific user and this user sets up an auto reply in Outlook as well, this person will send two auto-reply messages – one by Autoresponder and one by Outlook.
The same applies if auto replies are configured in:
- Outlook on the web (OWA),
- the Microsoft 365 admin center,
- Exchange Online mail flow rules.
The Sent Items folder stores emails that are sent from your mailbox. Auto replies are generated by Autoresponder, not your mailbox.
No, incoming emails are not routed through the CodeTwo cloud service in Azure. They arrive directly at your Microsoft 365 tenant, where Autoresponder is deployed. Autoresponder is responsible for generating automatic replies according to the rules you define. The generated auto replies are then routed through our service, from where they are sent to intended recipients.