Knowhow-Now Article

How to Effectively Use Email Autoresponders

By Andrew Wilson

Andrew Wilson

There is this big debate about automation particularly in making emails and responding to emails. Who likes getting automatic replies to their email or inquiries? Despite the fact that we live in great intimacy with the Internet and its vast array of automation tools, there is still that small hope that somehow emails can be at least written or responded to without automation. It is indeed frustrating, but there are certain realities that can’t be avoided. It is only by being realistic and practical that one can see how to use email autoresponders effectively.


How do you handle the frustration of the receivers who get automated responses from email autoresponders? Here are some pointers to remember when you are trying to send a message across:

  • Avoid clichés. This is the first sign that the email they are getting has been spun from a machine or autoresponder; that is annoying. This makes your clients feel “just one of them.” Learn about the clichés used frequently in writing automated responses to be able to avoid them. Be unique and personal. Despite being automated, try harder to customize your responses to give it a personal touch.
  • Be honest. There is nothing better than being honest to your clients. You can share with them the tightness of your schedule and that it may take you longer than usual to answer all their concerns. Letting people know your situation can make them see your predicament and understand the delay. Making the message more casual or adding humor can make it lighter, but such kind of message requires more adeptness in writing. There are, however, people whom you can ask help from to create a more personal message that is both honest and meaningful.
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  • Don’t beat around the bush. When writing emails, you need to be straightforward and parsimonious of words. Always assume that your target clients and audiences are also busy people like you. Be concise. This will not only save the recipient time, it is an indication of your respect for your audience’s time. Be economical with words, but make sure that your message reads complete.
  • Remember the three elements of an automatic email: you are automating a response, why you are sending the message, and what expectations are you setting for the recipient of the email. If you are brief and can integrate all these elements in the email, and you can appeal to the good nature of the recipient through your honesty, half the battle is won already. Your audience can also sense when you are sincere with your messages even when it is automated. Do not set deadlines that you cannot meet yourself.
  • Setup a Delayed Auto-response. This means that when your email has been flooded by too many missed messages, you can send out an automated response that says, “Your email (below) is now two weeks old and has not been opened. To lessen email buildup, your email is now being placed in the archive. If you are still in need of a response, please respond back so that you will be automatically added to the priority queue. Thank you.”

This kind of message can be a bit infuriating on the end of the receiver, but it is still better compared to not getting a response at all. Imagine waiting interminably without any response. If your reader is genuinely interested to receive a response, he or she may try to email you again.

Autoresponders are bliss as they allow a very busy webmaster answer every email. Customizing the responses a bit rather than just having one canned response for all types of emails can go a long way. Knowledge of how to use the email autoresponders properly can make so much difference.


Learn about the clichés used frequently in writing automated responses to be able to avoid them. Be unique and personal.

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