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June 9, 2016
Marketing  |  4 min read

How to Automate Your Email so it Stops Consuming Your Day

by John Rampton

With so many people and businesses relying on email as their primary form of communication, your email box can quickly reach capacity. When you begin a dialogue with someone through email, the number of emails then incrementally increases to the point where you feel that your whole day has become consumed with email correspondence. However, you still feel compelled to answer each one so the response is original and personalized, especially if it is a prospect or customer who deserves that individual attention.

Yet, you have a business to run so it is difficult to see the solution that maximizes your time, reduces your efforts spent on email, and still keeps everyone engaged. Automation software for email is available that helps you win back your day while keeping the lines of communication open via this channel.

Automated emails for contact forms

For example, rather than making your customers wait for a response to their inquiry, you can have an email response go out as soon as a customer completes a contact form. The response can also correspond to a category your customer selects that defines what their reason is for contacting you, such as question, pricing, or complaint.

A pricing email response would provide information about your product while a response to a complaint might start with an apology email followed by personal contact to learn more and resolve the issue.

Automated emails for repetitive requests

Automation software also handles those emails that you find yourself sending out a lot because you choose to type a new one every time or use the cut and paste method from previous email correspondence. Instead, you could create a sequence of email correspondence that could automatically go out that covers specific information that may be important for the customer to receive about your product or service.

This approach serves as a chain of communication that is automatically linked together to provide the information before the customer comes asking. This can save significant time over a day, a week, and more.

Automated emails that relay and record in real time

Lastly, automated emails can do multiple tasks like giving a real-time response based on the email you are receiving and include a note that records any responses by that customer into a database for future review.

Automated emails don’t have to feel that way

To provide a personalized approach so customers don’t feel like they are getting an automated response, you can opt for merge fields that allow you to insert a name so the customer really thinks you wrote the email. They feel a personal connection and visualize you typing an individual email to them while you save yourself a considerable amount of time.

This level of personalization is also important in terms of engaging with the customer or prospect and making them believe the company is concerned with how they feel and what they need. While you may want to do this yourself, the fact is that when your customers grow to hundreds and thousands, there is no way you would be able to manually personalize each email.

It also doesn't hurt to have an automated message that "owns it." Meaning, "Please forgive this automated response, I am away from my phone and don't want you to think I'm ignoring you. I'll contact you as soon as possible."

Positive results

Once you automate your emails, you will definitely have more time. Even better is the fact that your customers will not have to wait a long time to “hear back” from you with an answer or acknowledgment. The longer they wait, the more likely those customers or prospects will go elsewhere. Automating keeps them with you and gives you the time to provide a personal experience when they need that level of attention. The more you can automate, the more effectively you use your time so you don't end up with a bad behavior that blocks your success.

John Rampton is an entrepreneur, investor, online marketing guru and startup enthusiast. He is the founder of the payments company Due.

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