You can set up your own Gmail autoresponder that replies with a custom message to anybody emailing a specific Gmail alias.

First, Take a Small Pointy Stick

and cut open the vanilla flower. Carefully collect pollen and place it under a flap to pollinate the vanilla.

Without the melipona bee (native to Mexico but not to, say, Madagascar), this is the only way to get vanilla pods, and it has to be done within 12 hours of the bloom opening. Then, of course, the vanilla beans have to be treated by hand to become the delicious spice that makes just about everything taste better.

While there is nothing automatic about vanilla, there is little vanilla about Gmail autoresponders; they are automatic, and you can have them send just what you like:

How to Set Up a Gmail Autoresponder and Automate Your Email

To make Gmail send particular information whenever somebody emails a particular address:

  1. Create a plus Gmail alias address for the Gmail autoresponder.
    • You do this simply by using the address.
    • If your Gmail address is “example@gmail.com”, you could set up an autoresponder for people sending an email to “example+sell@gmail.com”.
  2. Post the plus alias on your website, for example, hand it out at networking events or include in your Gmail email signature with the note: “Learn to Write Headlines That Sell: Email example+sell@gmail.com”.
  3. Create a canned response in Gmail with the autoresponder text.
  4. Also in Gmail, click the Show search options triangle () at the end of the search field.
  5. Type the email address you use for the Gmail autoresponder under To while replacing the “+” sign with “\+”.
    • Example: For your headline-writing auto-responder, you want Gmail to reply automatically to all emails sent to “example+sell@gmail.com”; type “example\+sell@gmail.com” under To.
    • Optionally, you can add further criteria, such as a specific Subject line, for instance.
  6. Click Create filter with this search ».
  7. Make sure Send canned response: is checked under When a message arrives that matches this search:.
  8. Select the canned response you set up before from the Choose canned response… drop-down menu.
  9. Click Create filter.
    • Optionally, check Also apply filter to __ matching conversations to immediately send the canned response to senders of emails you already received at the Gmail autoresponder address; I would advise agains doing this unless specifically know this is what the senders wanted.

(How to Set Up a Gmail Autoresponder tested with Gmail in a desktop browser; updated October 2017; title image: StockUnlimited)