Making Autoresponders More Human, Less Bot

Autoresponders need to be less robotic.

Are you seeing decreased open rates from your autoresponders and can’t figure out why? You’ve made sure to program the message to go out when recipients would find it most convenient: To help, to confirm, to inform. Yet, no matter when you send the message, no one seems to want to open it and your open rate is getting hit hard. Perhaps your autoresponder isn’t personable enough?  By this point, people are practically trained not to open an email that looks like it was sent by a “bot.” Your audience can smell the cold, hard steel of a robot before they even open the email. Here are a few tips to make your autoresponders more like they were sent by a living, breathing human and not from a pre-programmed can of artificial intelligence:

Use your voice.
How the message of your autoresponse is phrased can have a huge effect on the tone and overall intention of your email. By making an autoresponse appear as if a human being typed out that email moments before it was sent will greatly improve your open rates and reception of the email. Keep the voice of the sender in tune with your other messages and company brand. Make the messages personable to your audience. If you were going to shoot them an email right now would it be professional in manner or slightly humorous? Most people rarely type their emails in the style of third-person (they vs. we), so carry that style through to your auto-responder.

Make your point.
By utilizing an autoresponder for a commonly triggered message, it is understood that you will be sending information that the recipient needs to know. As opposed to beating around the bush, trying to be clever, and wasting their time, make the reason why they are receiving this message known right off the bat. Are all customer service representatives busy but will be with them shortly? Do they need confirmation that they will be receiving their product via mail? Are you just letting them know that you have information that may be of interest to them? Let it be known immediately why you are reaching out to them, showing the recipient that you respect their busy schedule by not drawing out what could have been a brief message. This will prevent future messages from you getting immediately kicked to the trash folder.

Follow up.
Autoresponders can be used for a variety of situations, including from a customer service standpoint. If you opt to use an automatic message for help-related issues or customer inquiries, make sure you actually follow up in a timely manner. If you only rely on an email with frequently asked questions to resolve issues and don’t contact them personally to follow up, you will wind up with a frustrated customer who may be unsubscribing or switching brands very soon.

Try to limit your autoresponders to be used only to send useful, pertinent information and keep it sounding like you (after all, that’s really who it’s from). Take a stab at looking over past emails that you have sent and incorporate some of those elements in future autoresponse messages.

Sarah Zibanejadrad
Inbound Marketing Coordinator, WhatCounts

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