I am searching around for email auto-responders. Unfortunately the only thing I keep finding are all the online subscription only versions of these programs. I am sure these are great tools if you don't mind paying a monthly fee and want all the bells and whistles like tracking.
However I just want a tool that I can integrate onto my site that will send a pre-set number of pre-written messages to someone that fills out a form on a certain schedule. I don't really care about tracking and I don't want to pay a monthly fee forever.
Does anyone know of any PHP based email auto-responders that will do this and you can simply integrate into a site?
My advice would be to not use an email auto-responder for two reasons:
1) Auto responders in general don't know the difference between genuine and spam emails and they therefore will also respond to spam. This can easily get the IP address of your mail server in one of the spam blacklists. At many ISPs with shared mail facilities it is even forbidden to use auto-responders for this specific reason. More information at the spamcop website [spamcop.net].
2) I normally stop doing business with companies who have set-up auto-responders because it is the perfect sign of "I am a one-man operation and don't care to read my emails regularly".
Not sure I'm getting the same kind of search results: php autoresponder in Google brings up a ton of answers to your first question, including tutorials and directly usable scripts...
To send out a scheduled message, I would put the recipients details in a database, and include the date and id of the message that was last sent. Run a cron job nightly to send messages to the correct recipients and update your table.
Auto responders in general don't know the difference between genuine and spam emails and they therefore will also respond to spam.
This is a very good point that I had not considered before. I might be able to work around it by using a validation like adding two numbers together or something like that to allow the submit to work and hence trigger the auto-responder.
php autoresponder in Google brings up a ton of answers to your first question
Actually I did not do a search that way. The PHP thought didn't occur to me until I was writing the post and I meant to do a search, but got side tracked. I did my search just on the words email auto-responder and therefore did not get results to my own question. I will do that now. Thanks!