As engagement season ramps up and couples start the first stage of wedding planning, your business is likely about to see an increase in wedding inquiries. For many wedding professionals, an email auto-reply is the simplest (and quickest) way to respond.
However, nothing shouts “auto-reply email” more than the typical “Your email has been received” response. Email is not a new channel, so it’s assumed that when a person sends an email that the recipient receives it. It’s nice to let him or her know that the email was received, but it’s important that that’s not the only message you include in the email. You need to add value right at that first touch.
Below are five Pro tips for auto-reply email best practices that will help you immediately add value so you can convert more of those initial wedding inquiries into paying clients!
Set expectations up front
If you know that you spend most of your days out of the office or performing tasks that take you away from the computer, use an email auto-reply to set expectations for the potential client to hear back from you. Be specific; don’t simply state that you’ll reply “soon.” It’s implied that if you want their business, you’ll reply “soon.” Give a specific time period where they can reasonably expect to hear back from you – and be sure to respond within that time period!
Provide everything they need
If you want to suggest that they call for faster service or for more pressing requests, provide your business’ phone number right there in the email. They’ve already gone through your business’ Storefront and website to find your email or submit a contact request, so don’t make them do it again! You can also add your business’ address and hours of operation to make it easy for them to know how and when to reach you if something should happen with their email.
Don’t regurgitate your website
While you want to provide everything they need, don’t regurgitate your website. You don’t need to fully describe your services or go through your business’ mission statement in your auto-reply email. You want to find the sweet spot where you’re providing helpful, valuable information but without repeating everything they’ve already read on your website. A good way to decide how much information to include would be to put yourself in the potential client’s shoes and go through the contact process from finding your business to email. That should inform you about what information they’ve already seen and what information they still might not know!
Keep it conversational
Although an email auto-reply is by nature automatic and mechanical, that doesn’t mean your message has to be! It’s ok to be more conversational in your reply – this person is already interested in your business in some capacity. Be friendly and warm and thank them for their interest in your business. Even if they can easily tell it’s an auto-reply, a friendly tone sets the perception that you’ll be a nice wedding professional to work with.
Remember to update your message
It’s easy to forget that you have an auto-reply email running, but remember to update your response as necessary. This is especially important if any of your business details change (like address or phone number), or if you received a new award or a new glowing review you’d like to feature in your signature. Outdated information can be very confusing, so just remember to check to make sure your auto-reply is still accurate and up-to-date.