Writing a good auto-responder
It’s a fact; more wedding enquiries are sent between 8-10pm on a Sunday evening than any other time of the week and more between Boxing Day and 2nd January than any other week of the year. Couples are more likely to book the first suitable business to respond, so you either need to be online 24/7 or have a great auto-responder. Now’s the time to fine-tune your reply…
Make your first 6 words count
If it is obvious that it is an automated response it may not even be opened. Aim to open the conversation with your sales prospect, not close it.
“Closed door” auto-responses:
- Thank you for contacting us.
- Our offices are currently closed.
- This is an automated response.
- Due to coronavirus…..
Conversation starters to encourage recipients to open the email and find out more:
- It’s good to hear from you.
- We’re here to help.
- A little known fact about us;
- While it’s a little quieter than usual…
Intriguing subject lines
Most people will open an email with an intriguing or catchy subject line that really grasps their attention. Remember, just as those first 6 words, you’ll want to keep the conversation open. Here are some ideas to help you form a subject line that will encourage potential clients to open your auto-response email:
- While you wait, allow me to introduce myself…
- Thanks for your email, I’ll be in touch very soon
- I’m so looking forward to chatting with you!
- Away from my desk, but while I have you…
Ditch the ‘one size fits all’ wording
Most auto-responders are intentionally neutral as you don’t know who will receive it; new sales prospects, existing clients, suppliers, colleagues. But think a little deeper…
Existing clients, suppliers and colleagues are unlikely to read beyond the first line of an auto-responder; they know you’ll be in touch and that there is nothing in that auto-responder that can help them in the meantime.
Those most likely to actually read the auto-responder are the new sales prospects who want to find out more about you and your ethos.
Keep it brief, friendly and always reiterate your USP within the wording. If the enquiry originated from a wedding planning platform the sender may have forgotten who they’d contacted and why, so remind them that you are that award-winning florist or unique riverside hotel.
Signpost to resources
Think about what most sales prospects ask you for and signpost accordingly. Links to your price list, PDF brochure or an indication of availability can be a great help in keeping the sales process moving forward while you’re unable to reply immediately in person.
Remember, your couple were likely to be in “buying” mode when they sent the enquiry so time is of the essence in getting the information to them that will confirm you are the right choice for them.
Include links to your social media and your website or blog to keep the customer engaged in your brand until you can reply in person.