Make Your Responses Your Own
Episode #6 of the course Hacking your inbox for maximum productivity by Wil Schroter
In this chapter: Create an auto-responder to deploy for specific filters
The key to crafting these responses is to make them your own. Your style may be super carefree and whimsical, or it may be strictly business. What’s important is that they very much reflect the natural conversation that people would have with you specifically, so it doesn’t come across like someone’s “I’m out of the office from this day to this day” autoresponder.
ACTION: Set Up an Autoresponder
If you really want to take your automation to the next level, or if (gasp!) you don’t have a VA, you can also try building some custom auto responses.
You can take two approaches here—the Basic and the Advanced way.
The Basic Way
You’ve seen this before—you email someone or some company and you automatically get a “we got your response” generic email. The problem is that it looks like it was written by a computer. Imagine if someone had taken the time to write it like a human.
Try substituting “I will process your email when I am back at my desk.” (I see you, robot!)
… with something a bit more human…
“I just got this, but it’ll take me a while to respond because I’m pretty buried today.”
This invariably buys you time and sets the tone that you’ve already responded at least once. You can change up the copy a bit from time to time so your colleagues don’t catch wind that you’re really on Necker Island sipping margaritas alongside Richard Branson.
The Advanced Way
If you really want to get crazy with the Cheez Wiz, try setting up auto responders that are based on rules. Depending on your email client (Outlook, Gmail, Prodigy), you can send different autoresponders for different situations.
For example, you may have an auto response that goes out to anyone with your company’s @domain in the email address. Or anyone in your contact list. Or anyone who sends an email with the word “synergy” in it.
Feel free to get creative with how you set these auto responders up to account for different situations. Over time, you might also notice patterns in how you process emails that your VA can start to take from stock templates into auto responses, thus saving you even more time.
We admit—the above isn’t quite as exciting as having your very own *real* clone. But we know you’ll concede that it’s pretty rad that your email is chugging along without you. All while you and Sting catch up over that cup of coffee. Or maybe it’ll hit you later that afternoon when you’re focusing on that one project you haven’t had the time for.
Set up an autoresponder to give you some time to prioritize and see whether or not the issue can be addressed without your input.
“Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time” by Brian Tracy
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