As your vacation winds down, the reality of being away for a week or two begins to sneak up on you. Knowing that you have a full inbox of back messages may put a damper on your relaxed mood. If you planned ahead, then you would have used an auto responder to automatically notify everyone that you were away.
Using an e-mail auto responder is a best practice that will automatically send a pre-written message as a reply to a new e-mail. The most common use of the auto responder is to let people know that you are out of the office. This way they won’t hit you up with a dozen e-mails asking, “Did you get my e-mail?” An auto responder can also be used for several other business e-mail tasks, like sending a sales inquiry an instant reply promising that you will contact them. You can even include in your auto response answers to F.A.Q.’s so that when you do get a hold of the customer, your conversation will be more productive.
Most e-mail services include auto responder. Gmail calls it Vacation Responder, this can be found in the settings. Using Gmail’s Vacation Responder is as easy as writing a message and then setting the dates and times that you would like for the feature to be enabled. Microsoft Outlook will allow you to do more with its auto responder, but setting this up in Outlook involves a few more steps that are different with each version of Outlook. You can consult the Office help box to find a tutorial on how to set up auto responder for whatever version of Outlook that you use.
If you utilize a Customer Relationship Manager (CMR, then you can use an auto responder as part of your company’s e-mail marketing strategy. Auto responder will keep in contact with customers by strategically sending specific marketing messages as part of a cycle. A typical auto responder marketing campaign works like this:
- A customer will send you an e-mail saying that they are interested in a product or service.
- They will receive an automatic e-mail asking them to opt-in to your company’s marketing e-mails (this is to prevent spam).
- The user will then receive a welcome e-mail.
- Over the next couple of days, the user will receive e-mails specifically relating to the product they were originally interested in.
- During the next few months, the user will receive a dozen or two marketing e-mails. The e-mails will automatically be spaced out more and more with each subsequent message so as to not overwhelm the user.
- If at any time the user replies, then auto responder will kick off the campaign all over again.
Enabling an auto responder with your personal e-mail account is not difficult. Setting up auto responder for an entire office, or using auto responder to run a company-wide e-mail marketing campaign, takes a little more expertise and special software. If you would like to know more about e-mail tools and solutions that can help your business, like auto-responder and spam protection, then call Michell Consulting Group at 305-592-5433.