An auto response is an email that is sent back to the person who just filled in your form. It is sent back automatically and is also referred to as “autoresponder”.
The autoresponder email message can contain a custom note, acknowledging you have received the form entry, a copy of the data that was submitted, other information & links to related topics and so on.
an article by “BookingCOUNTS” (“Email Auto-Responders for Hotel and Tour Customer Service”) is directed at traveling services, however I feel it applies to everyone. It simplifies it all by stating that the most important purpose of the auto responder is “to instantly email back to confirm receipt of a message and communicate response times.” In this article they also include a few guidelines such as “You want to avoid spam filters and have your booking inquiry response make it to the inbox successfully. So the first rule is to avoid those keywords that suggest that your message is salesy, not expected, or not welcome. That means avoiding terms like “free” and “act now” or using ALL CAPITAL LETTERS and including too many hyperlinks. There is no foolproof solution so search Google for ways to avoid the spam folder using proven guidelines”.
Ayoade Oyedotun gives examples of when & how to use the auto reply email. In his post “ Automatic Reply Email Examples for Business” he describes a situation Where You Have Too Many Messages.
“Sometimes, you would need to create professional automatic reply email because you have received loads of emails and need time to attend to them.” He then continues to provide the following real example:
“Dear esteemed customer,
Thank you for choosing to do business with us. We have received your email but we have loads of enquiries to attend to. It will take us about three days to get across to you on enquiries concerning our sales promotions.
However, if your enquiry needs urgent attention, you can contact our 24-hour customer care on 444-560-622 or 081-Hilton-Bolton.
Hilton Bolton Limited"
Karen Lachtanski, Global PR Director, Y Soft, talks about how you can use the auto responder to your advantage. In her post “Unleash the Full Power of the Email Auto-Reply” she says :”Auto-reply emails can take many forms: The out-of-office message is one that people use to let friends and colleagues know they are not checking email while on vacation or extended business travel. Companies use auto-replies to confirm online orders or acknowledge customer-support inquiries.”
She also adds that:“Not only is your message short and memorable, it also provides a little about you to recipients to remind them of your value and why they do business or share a friendly connection with you. And with a little adjustment, you can add personal notations like these to order confirmations and support acknowledgements. For example, try this:
“Thank you for your order. We’ve summarized it below and are now rushing to get it to you. Our support team is known for excellent customer care so your order is in good hands. It was recently featured in our local newspaper. “
Brian Saemann, Director of Products & Marketing from inbound also talks about the autoresponder benefits. In his post“3 awesome benefits of an email auto-responder” he says that “ An obvious benefit to setting up an email auto-responder is that it will work for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365.25 days a year. All of the hard work happens when you set the series up but once that is finished you have something that is marketing for your business all the time”.
He continues his claim by giving an example: “Let’s say you dare to take an actual, honest-to-god vacation. Your voicemail may fill up, your inbox may overflow, you mail will pile high but your auto-responder will continue to introduce you to new prospects, establish relationships with them and provide them with some good, old-fashioned value while you are gone.”
In the Design Theory post ”Using Email Auto Response For Good” the content of your auto response email is discussed and it is recommended to “Use a Different Response for Different Forms & Emails”. The author of the post then explain this by saying: “One of the lazier things I’ve noticed is having one email address and auto response across your whole website. I know it sounds a little harsh, but think of it this way, why mix up all those responses into one funnel. If you have multiple landing pages for different products and services, I suggest use a separate auto response with custom messages for each product or service form and email. The clients and visitors of your website will think much more highly of you if they contact you either on accident or on purpose and notice a completely different message each time for each separate product. And while we’re at it, update those messages monthly. It doesn’t take but a few minutes each one.”
Angie Meeker, in her post "18 Ways for Increasing Your Sales Funnel Conversion Rate" talks about using the auto responder email for improving your conversion: “You can begin to educate prospects about your business using a simple email. Send an automated email to subscribers with answers to the ten most frequently asked questions about your service. If you’re not doing any email marketing yet, this is an effective way to get started”.
Stacie Jensen (“Email auto-responders Does yours work for your business?”) tells all about a special auto response email she got, that surprised her and greatly influenced her. It was not the standard generic message you usually get - It was professional, informative, and had a personal tone to it. She ends her post with some recommendations for auto responder emails, as follows:
"1. Show your personality. Don’t talk to the reader like you are a computer robot. Be friendly, personable, and keep it upbeat.
2. If you will have a delay in your response, tell them. Write a couple of sentences about what you’ve been up to.”
Jacob Firuta also discusses the personal touch in his post “How to Write a Customer Service Email”. He calls the personal touch “the secret ingredient” and gives tips on how to make the email reply more personal.
His first tip focuses on the greeting: “Opening with a hearty hello and not going straight to business is the first step you can take to make your emails more personal.” he says.
Jacob ‘s Second tip is calling the customer by their name. : “There’s nothing that screams “we are robots” like referring to a customer using just the case number. You might as well write the email in binary.”
He then adds thanking the customer for contacting you, summarizing the situation if needed, and says that only then can you get to business and answer the customer’s question.
When you are done, Jacob says “Adding a bit of personal touch at the end is like a cherry on top for customer service emails. Cracking a joke or simply wishing the customer a good day can change an unpleasant customer service case into a pleasant story customer’s share with their friends.”
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