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Is Your Auto-Response Email Missing an Opportunity?

“Thank you for filling out an interest form. We will get back with you shortly.”

If this is your automated email response to someone who just asked for information about your company, then you are missing a huge opportunity to create a connection with this new lead. People get all kinds of junk sent to them – why be another annoyance? Use auto-response emails as a way to sell products and services, build a relationship and win over potentials.

An auto-response email is sent when a customer takes an action on your website, versus direct marketing emails that are sent in mass to your entire email list. Customers open auto-response emails at a rate of 52% while direct marketing emails are only opened at a rate of 20% (Marketing Land, 2013). In other words, if you send out a mass message to 100 customers, only 20 will read it. But if you send the same marketing message to 100 people who filled out your online form, 50 will read it. That’s why you need to turn the auto-response email into a marketing tool, not just another “thank you” note.

When designing your auto-response email, don’t be afraid to get personal. The more formal you sound, the more automated it feels. Refer to yourself in the first person, not in the third person (i.e.: “The owner will get back to you soon.”). Sign the email as yourself, not the business. For example: “So glad you are interested in my services. I look forward to taking care of your power washing needs! – Jack Smith” is much more friendly and inviting than “Thank you for filling out our online form. Someone will get back to you shortly. – Powerwashers, Inc.”

Keep this part short and sweet and be sure to give contact information. Referring to an email is much easier than going back to the website to find a phone number or email address for follow up. “If you need anything, please call Melissa at 555-5555 or email her at Melissa@Powerwashersinc.com.”

Next, don’t be afraid to include your marketing language. “Voted Best in Kansas City!” “We clean anything, anywhere!” Maybe they noticed it on your website already but adding it again is a reinforcement for why they contacted you in the first place. Solidify with them that you are the best at what you do with every opportunity. You can make a short, bullet-point list of reasons why you are better than the competition – anything that sets you apart. (Note the key term: short.)

Lastly, add any current sales incentives you have going. Do you give 10% off to new customers? Are you running a seasonal special? Discounting certain services? Let potential customers know! Not only will it make them more likely to hire you, it will also make them more likely to open future direct marketing emails because they know that you offer specials that they might want.

Now you have an auto-response email that gives them a friendly vibe, information they can use and incentives to purchase your services. This is how you take advantage of a new lead.

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