We’ve all sent and received auto-reply messages, usually along the lines of, “Hi, I am out of the office right now and will respond to your email as soon as I return.” The out-of-office message is just one of those pesky administrative things we rush to do before shutting the computer down ahead of a vacation, or if you’re like me, one of those things we forget to do before shutting the computer down. But did you ever think that an auto-response might actually be a really valuable - and effortless - promotion opportunity?
Clearly, former Tin Shingle member Daria Artem of Lady Fortunes thought exactly that when she scheduled the following auto-reply:
Subject: In Office - But with Food Network Crews August 22 and 23
Thank you for your email- I am in the office, but assisting with production on 2 Food Network Specials which are featuring Lady Fortunes!
While i will be checking on emails via my iPhone regularly, please email CustomerService@LadyFortunes.com for immediate attention.
You may also contact our offices during normal business hours at 818-993-1277 dial 0 for assistance.
Sorry for any inconvenience, and thank you for your understanding!
WOW. This email tells us not only the usual “I’m busy and here is how to reach someone who can help you immediately” info, but also that Daria is working with the Food Network on not one, but two specials featuring her products. That was big news for Lady Fortunes, and Daria shared it in real time with everyone who emailed her, all while she was busy making it happen.
Daria didn’t wait until the Food Network segments were finished and on air to share her success; instead, she brought everyone who emailed her during the production phase in on an exciting development and drummed up some buzz ahead of time. Remember, people who email you are most likely interested in you and your business, so they are a worthwhile audience to consider when you have news in the works.
Auto-replies are already an important means of communicating likely delays in responding to emails, but they can also be free, targeted promotion space. As small-business owners and DIY marketers, we need to leverage every channel at hand to get our messages out to the right people!
The next time you do any of following things, use your auto-reply as a news bulletin:
- Attend a conference or educational event, especially if you are presenting at one
- Host or attend an industry event - who knows, maybe some of the folks emailing you will also be there
- Prepare for a new product launch or showcase
- Hold a photo shoot
These are just a few ideas to get you thinking about how to use what you’re already doing to reach out to people when you’re at your busiest. Even if you’re just taking some time off, why not include a link to your latest media success in your out-of-office reply? No one ever said, “I can’t believe the nerve of that person who included too much information in her vacation message.” But maybe one day your well-crafted auto-reply will make someone sit back in their chair and say, “Wow, I can’t wait to share that!” And that, as we all know, is the key to successful buzz-building.