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5 Tips for Crafting Good Automated Mails

By Josh Ledgard

When someone registers for your product on KickoffLabs.com, they’ll get a thank you mail for doing so. But what makes that mail good and how could you customize that message to make it better?

I asked the people of Twitter today what a good automated thank you mail means. This is a summary of replies with some additions of my own.

  1. Instant – Since it’s automated, there is no reason it shouldn’t be delivered right after the person has signed up. This helps people make a connection so they are less likely to ignore what you are saying.

  2. Straight to the point – Skip the temptation to cram a ton or marketing crap down people’s throats. If you have a username, password, download, or next steps to deliver, make sure those are first. Users shouldn’t have to dig for that stuff.

  3. Educational – Once you’ve gotten past that point, people seem to enjoy some education. This is your chance to make people better users of your product. Useful tips, links to important FAQ, and links to getting started information is welcome here. Keep in mind that the things that seem obvious to you aren’t.

  4. Humanizing – Yeah, everyone will know this isn’t from a real person, but that doesn’t mean it has to read like it was generated by a robot. Add your real name(s) and some humor if you have the ability to be lighten the mood.

  5. Free prize inside – If someone has rewarded you with their attention, they should get something in return. A free download, access to a beta, or a discount would be easy for you to manage. And, please, don’t make them whore out their friends to get it. Save the pyramid schemes for Tupperware parties. If people like what you are doing, they will sign their friends up anyway.

Note that I said “good” and not “great” because great would be personal and individualized. You miss great off the bat because it’s automated.

What do you think? What makes for a good automated mail?