Communication skills

How to get a smile out of your automated emails

- August 28, 2015 2 MIN READ

You know those automated emails that get sent out when someone buys from you or subscribes to your blog? Chances are they represent opportunities you’re not taking advantage of.

Automated emails are the emails that automatically get sent out by businesses to their customers and/or subscribers. You will have encountered them yourself: everything from receipts and confirmations to password resets and renewals. They are necessary and functional, and also present an incredibly important opportunity to communicate better with your customers, drive action and enhance your brand.

In order to illustrate my point, first let me give you some examples of a business NOT making the most out of these (typically) system generated emails.

I subscribed to the mailing list of a business I’d heard about recently and received these two emails:

To verify you have joined this website, please click or copy and paste this link into your web browser to confirm your email address registration with the website. 

and then….

Your application to join our website has been approved. You can now access the member areas using your login details. Please contact us if you have any difficulties accessing our website. 

Wow. Inspiring eh? I feel so welcome and appreciated. Not.

The language used is officious and bland and instead of saying ‘thanks’ it informs me I’ve been ‘approved’ (which barely makes sense, but I digress). Think about it – I’ve taken time out of my day to subscribe to receive emails from a business whose product/service I’m interested in. Do either of those emails me encourage me to take any action? Do they make me feel welcome and important? Are they consistent with the brand of the business which sent them (I hope not!).

Here’s how I would make some simple improvements to those automated emails (without even going down the road of making them look beautiful):

Hi, thanks for subscribing to our database. We appreciate your interest and look forward to sending you the latest news and offers from [Business X]. To finalise your subscription, please click on the link below.

[Manager name] [Business X] 

and then….

That’s it! You’re now subscribed and you will get the latest from [Business X] in your inbox soon. In the meantime, did you know we have a special on this week? Click here to find out more or give us a call on [phone number] if you’d like some more information.

We look forward to seeing you at [Business X] soon!

The [Business X] team

PS: Why not join our Facebook page as well? 

Spot the difference? With only the simplest change in wording, these automated emails now:

  • make the customer feel appreciated;
  • encourage the customer to purchase; and
  • direct the customer to social media for more engagement.

None of this is difficult and you don’t need to be an accomplished copywriter to do it. Simply think about what would make you feel welcomed and appreciated … and replace the generic, system generated words with those ones. Easy!

Seen any examples of some great transactional emails lately? What about your automated emails? Could they do with some tweaking?