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Why I set up an autoresponder

Together with removing email notifications from my phone, some weeks ago I set up an auto-responder to the contact and work email of this website.

The auto-responder:

  1. Explains why I won't reply to most emails (which sets expectations)
  2. Explains where to find answers for the most common issues (which still delivers value)
  3. Functions as a sort of "customer care/inbox saver" against possible-wide issues

For the last point, the auto-responder now links to the forum "announcement" section to check for potential site-wide issues, and invites people to follow the relevant topic for any updates.
In the unlikely event that the website should be completely offline, it simply says "working on it to be back ASAP", which in itself is a reply.

Among the advantages of an auto-responder:

  1. It replies to every single email: an auto-responder is not as good as a personal email, but it's still an answer, and that counts for at least something
  2. It maintains rapport for non-replies: some people might feel spurned without a reply, but if you explain your philosophy and approach, they are far more likely to understand. Plus, you give a glimpse into your personal life philosophy, which might even increase rapport
  3. It increases the value of potential replies: it's a form of "credit inflating" your replies. BUT, it's "fair marketing" in this case, since I highly value my time and consider most email communication low-efficiency. So I was actually handicapping myself before, without an auto-reply

The autoresponder is not yet working with replies to the newsletter emails, so I might craft something specific for those going forward.

Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?