Outlook Express: An autoresponder & spam filter

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An auto-responder is literally an automated e-mail response. It's an incredibly useful tool if you're out of the office or want to automate electronic product deliveries. The first section of this tutorial will explain how to send out the same response to everyone and the second part will look at how to tailor your responses to different circumstances. Finally, the last part will look at how to filter your incoming messages for spam!

*** Sending out the same response to everyone ***

  1. Create your message:
    • In notepad or similar, type the message you want people to receive.
    • Save this file to a location on your hard-drive; give it a relevant name!
  2. Goto Tools > Message Rules > Mail
    • Choose 'new'
    • In section 1 (conditions) tick the 'for all messages' box.
    • In section 2 (actions) tick the 'reply with message' box.
    • In section 3 (description), click on the blue underline 'message'
      • Navigate to where you saved the file from (1)
      • Select this file
    • In section 4, choose a name for your rule.
  3. That's it!!!
*** Sending out different responses ***

If you look at the different components in creating a new rule, you will see that there are many different ways of customising your response e.g. if you have different e-mail addresses, you can create corresponding subfolders in your inbox and automatically direct the e-mails to it's subfolder.

To automate delivery of your electronic ebay products, the easiest way is to use take payment with PayPal and then use Outlook Express message rules to send an e-mail to the winning bidder with the download link:
  • For each product:
    • Create a message (See step 1 above) containing the download link
      • ***Tip*** Why not suggest the recipient check out your other products?
    • Create a message rule:
      • Where the Subject line contains 'Notification of an Instant Payment'
      • and the message body contains 'Put in your auction title here'
      • and Reply with your link-containing message
  • You're done!!!
*** Spam filtering ***

A different use of Outlook Express is as a spam filter. Create a new rule:
  • Conditions:
    • Where the Subject line contains 'security alert' or 'Credit Union' or 'Update your CU account' or '$aving$' - carry on adding words that you frequently receive in spam e-mail titles
    • Click on the word 'and' and select 'messages match any one of the criteria'
    • Where the message body contains 'Opt-in Email Special Offer' or 'credit union' - carry on adding words that you frequently receive in spam e-mail messages
  • Actions:
    • Delete it
    • and Highlight it with Red
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