Archive for September 3rd, 2007

The Problem With Autoresponders

I’m not talking about autoresponder services like the Aweber. Autoresponders are a fantastic tool in your business; if you haven’t yet, I encourage you to explore the myriad possibilities they present for your business and marketing right away!

What I’m referring to are those simple autoresponders that most hosting packages provide for where you can set up a generic message that will automatically be sent to anyone who happens to email the address you set it up on.

Used appropriately, they can be a useful—albeit limited—tool to facilitate communication.

But having recently been on the receiving end of someone’s autoresponders when they went on vacation, I can tell you for sure that they can be annoying as all get-out when used without foresight.

I also spent the last week trying to communicate with someone whose autoresponder was doing a great job of telling me she’d get back to me within 24 hours. Not only did I get the same impersonal, generic message every time I emailed her, she also never got back to me, even after an entire week!

I surely don’t appreciate having my IN-box cluttered up with unnecessary messages that create more work for me and my assistants to delete. And if we find it annoying, just think what your clients and prospects trying to communicate with you will think!

Before adding an autoresponder to your business email, think it through carefully.

Will it be more annoying than helpful to those who email you? What do your clients and prospects really think about them? If you begin an email exchange beyond initial contact, are they getting your generic autoresponder every single time they email you? How annoying or offputting might they find that?!

If you are intent on using an autoresponder, here’s what you might do:  Create a special email address, one that’s connected and used ONLY in very specific situations, such as your online client contact form, for example. That way, anyone using that form would get the autoresponder only once. If you then begin an email dialogue, you could switch to your regular business email address, the one with no autoresponder attached.