Responding to the emails of your prospects will help you to build your business more quickly. I can remember when people first began to ask me questions by responding to my broadcast and autoresponder emails. Sometimes they thought I had written to them personally, and I took that as a great compliment. Over time I began to build relationships with the people on my list, and it all started with me answering their emails with answers to their questions.
Make sure the email address you use in your autoresponder sequence is a current one. You will not want to miss anything that is sent to you. This is done when you first set up your autoresponder, and can be changed if you need to later on.
You may want to initiate the contact with your list. Ask them what they think about something you have written to them about. Because the overwhelming majority of marketers do not respond to emails, you will set yourself apart very quickly.
You may already be thinking that this business model will not be scalable as you become more successful in your online business, but I have been answering all of my own emails for four years now and still do not find it to be too difficult. People are amazed when I answer their questions so quickly, and when I am busy I will write back to tell them I will answer their question the following day. I have found this to be a wonderful way to find out exactly what my prospects and clients want from me, as well as a way to get to know them much better.