We'll be going on vacation in September and have been thinking of setting up e-mail autoresponders. However, I just had an interesting question put to me:
What if we set up an autoresponder, and one of our contacts has an autoresponder, and a message from either us or them gets sent to the other? Will the autoresponders autorespond to one another until - well, until we turn them off?
If so, that puts an entirely different spin on the advisability of setting up autoresponders. Has anyone seen this kind of situation before?
I was thinking of a server-level autoresponder, but I guess Outlook would do. Actually I'm a little reluctant to leave our machines running while we're away, but a guy's got to do what he's got to do . . .
Most email servers have the ability to detect and squash infinite auto-responder loops. You'll need to check your own server's documentation to see if it does and to make sure that it is enabled to do so. My guess is that it would be configured to do so by default - but find it in the docs to make sure.
I tried it this past long weekend with outlook express, although you need to use rules to get this to work under outlook express. Make sure that you exclude any messages generated by your mail host, or you will create an infinity loop situation with your mail host, when you autorespond to a 'message cannot be delivered' message from your mail host.