Anyone Else Find Automated Email Replies Useless?

By Daniel Scocco

If I am not wrong the number of people using automated email replies is increasing lately. I am talking about these email messages that are sent back to you right after you email someone, stating the other person got your email and will reply as soon as possible. The content is usually something like this:

Thanks for contacting me. I got your email, but I am a super busy person, so it might be a while before I manage to answer to your email. There is also a chance I won’t reply at all.

In the mean while, check out my blog at http://www.myblog.com.

In my opinion such messages are useless. You either reply or you don’t to my email message. If you do, I’ll know you’ve read it and considered it important enough to reply. If you don’t, I’ll know you either didn’t read it or read it and didn’t consider it important. In other words, there is no need to send me that automated message, because I’ll be able to figure your stance out anyway.

On top of that such messages clutter people’s inbox, and that is why I wish people would stop using them.

Now don’t get me wrong. Some automated replies are useful. If you are out of the office and won’t be checking your email at all, for instance, you could create an automated reply stating that, including an emergency phone or alternative person I could reach to.

But auto-replying merely to say you got my message and will reply to it as soon as possible is completely useless in my opinion.

Do you agree/disagree?

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40 Responses to “Anyone Else Find Automated Email Replies Useless?”

  • Nabeel | Create Your First Website

    Hi Daniel,

    I completely agree with you on this. I have never used it, and will never do. If someone does not reply immediately, I know they are busy, and I am ok with that.

    If they do not reply after some time, I may send them another email.

    Kindest,
    Nabeel

    • Kamal Hasa

      I hate it and will hate it forever!

  • Vishnuprasad.R

    If an email is not delivered , your email provider will notify it (at least gamil) . So such an automated reply is just a waste of time and resources.

  • Dinesh

    Yes, agree. Instead of this, either we can give alternate person’s email or phone number as you said or better say ‘ I will reply after specific date’.

    Asking them to visit my blog when I’m ‘super busy’, not the way to treat readers.

    • Gary David | Build Your List Fast

      I agree with you. “Asking them to visit my blog when I’m ’super busy’, not the way to treat readers”, this is true. It’s either you send a reply or not, but saying that you are busy is not the way to treat your subscribers/readers.

      I’m ok with you not replying immediately, and I will understand that. But telling me that you’re busy and want me to check your site/blog for the mean time, it’s really a turn off.

  • nadia

    I completely agree with this. I think it is pointless to send automated messages just to let someone know that their box received your mail. I’d prefer a read report instead. These automated messages just clutter your mailbox unncecessarily.

  • Scott Fuller

    Agree! What’s more (and has been discussed here before) I believe it’s vitally important that every blogger respond to most every email. That kind of interpersonal contact with your viewers can really help separate yourself.

  • Amy Andrews

    Completely agree. If they feel the need to alert me, I’d much rather a note on their contact page and not in my inbox.

  • Art

    I do NOT use these, but they don’t usually offend me. At least not when used properly. I am finding less and less “real” (non-spam) email is making it through. If you are not in someones address book, it seems like there is about a 50/50 chance they won’t get your email.

    An automated responder lets the sender know they were successful getting through.

    I strongly dislike auto-responders when I’ve been invited to contact the recipient in their material, and then they use a responder to explain to me that they don’t have time to answer every email they get because they are too busy (pick one)
    a)making others (like me) rich,
    b) being zen-like or
    c) social-networking.

  • Antone Roundy

    I couldn’t agree more. What I hate the worst is when people subscribe to my mailing list using an address that sends these things. Every time I mail my list, I get inane autoreponses from several people.

  • Onibalusi Bamidele

    Really great post Daniel,

    In my own case, I participated in a contest and I used that opportunity to tell people to help me with the contest article.

    What do you think about this?

    Thanks a lot,
    -Onibalusi

    • Daniel Scocco

      I am not a fan of that either.

      • Onibalusi Bamidele

        Great Daniel,

        I will go and stop that in my email immediately.

        Thanks a lot for the reply,
        -Onibalusi

  • Dev – Technshare.com

    Hey Daniel,

    Nice Post. I’m totally agree with you.
    It’s really useless. I never like these types of mails.

    Thanks for sharing.

    ~Dev

  • Josh Garcia

    Hey Daniel,

    I think that is cheesy! Now, there is a time when to use it. Like you mentioned, when you’re out on vacation or gone for a while.

    Chat with you later…
    Josh

  • Amy

    I am off my computer so unable to comment on your blog at this time. When I come back to my computer I will try to leave a comment. Please know that I look forward to reading your blog in the future. In the meantime, please visit my blog theParmFarm-dot-com and encourage all your friends to do the same.

    Thx. Amy Parmenter

    KIDDING!!!!!!!! Forgive me. Sometimes I just can’t help myself! You are, of course, right in your thinking — some auto responders provide important, timely information but most are just rejection disguised as a courtesy.

  • Damian Smith

    I have to say that I don’t necessarily agree. I think there are a lot of people that like to receive an email telling them that the form has worked correctly and get some kind of response to their email.

    Every website I build for clients, their email form has an auto response confirming what they have sent and that the business has received their email. Most people tell me that they like that function.

    I can see your point about it filling up your inbox or some people might see it as pointless, but it is not hard to click on delete when receive an email.

  • Stephanie – Home with the Kids

    Automated emails have their place, but I prefer them for when it’s going to take an unusual amount of time to get a response, not for everyday use. If I contact someone at a business and get an autoreply that they’re on vacation, that’s useful. I know I need to contact someone else if it’s urgent, or wait for them to get back. If I get an autoreply saying they’re swamped all of the time, too busy to reply at any time, it’s not so useful.

  • Sally

    Hey Daniel,

    I do have an automated email for my support email address but not for my personal email that I use for signing up to lists etc.

    Personally I don’t mind them, and find it a little reassuring when I get a response, even if it’s automated,I at least know my email has been received and is being dealt with.

    Sally 🙂

  • jason

    Automated email replies are meant to provide kindness, but more than likely spur the opposite, and are also a great way of someone telling you that they are not reading their emails at the current time. There are a few odd instances where they work, but not many.

  • godlark

    I’m agree with you.
    When I write an email to someone, I’m totally convince that he won’t write a response fast, but he will write a response when he check postbox.
    But I think better idea is warning in contact info for example: “I checked postbox once per day”.

  • Bamboo Forest – Tick Tock Timer

    You make a good argument. Essentially it’s useless for all the reasons you’ve stated.

    I guess the person using it assumes it will make the person receiving it feel better. It may, but for completely artificial reasons.

  • George

    For the most part I don’t like them and they bother me.

    On the other hand, there are many times when I have sent someone an email and after not getting response a back for a few days I will email them again to see if they got the first email and they say “No”. So I like getting the automated responses because then I know that at least they received my email instead of having to hope that it was delivered properly. If email deliverability wasn’t an issue at all then yes I would agree with you totally.

  • Alan @ Work From Home

    Completely agree with you, Daniel.

    I’ve gotten similar auto replies before, but none as blatant as this one. I wonder how many actual do go visit their blog. I can’t imagine many, if any at all. Whoever wrote that email seems a little egotistical if you ask me.

    I certainly wouldn’t use an auto reply, unless of course I am away on vacation and want people to know and that I won’t be able to reply right away. That’s the only reason it should be used for, though.

  • Mani Viswanathan

    Daniel I would agree with you too..automation is bad..something interesting could be a better option.

  • Julius

    I agree that automated emails telling that you’re currently not available or on vacation are helpful. Other than that, I often have this “Oh look! He’s replied so qui—ah, no” sort of feeling about automated replies.

  • Joshua Dorkin

    Daniel – Thanks for writing this post so I didn’t have to. You nailed it! Automated messages in my inbox or on twitter serve only to annoy, except in a few instances, which you already illustrated.

  • kevinxiao

    Please know that I look forward to reading your blog in the future.

  • Tinh

    I do, I hate auto response very much.

  • Farouk

    hmmm, i believe it reassures some people that someone is going to give some extra care to your mail, though i agree sometimes i find them annoying

  • Eran

    Daniel

    My other email peeve is the huge signature that also includes a page of legal mumbo jumbo that in all reality is bogus.

    Just my thoughts.

    Eran

  • Vince

    Completely agree. Sometimes, it is really annoying. I hate those kinds of replies. LOL.

  • Jennifer Brown Banks

    Would have to disagree this time, Daniel.:-)
    I rather dig it! I appreciate it as a simple courtesy, and it really helps when a person sends somethng of great importance. The Email confirmation assures that your material or message has not been lost somewhere out in Cybersapce–which can sometimes happen.

  • Susan @ New Niche Finder

    I couldn’t agree more. All they do is clutter up my inbox which makes them annoying. Not the response they’re hoping for.

  • Eddie Gear

    Hi Daniel,

    I can understand how you must feel. However, if you have been in the customer service division, you will clearly know that it is imperative that your customers know that you care. It is important to let your customers or leads to know that you have received an email and will or will not respond. At times this might get annoying. However, taking the whole process at hand or should I say, looking at the larger picture from the company’s point of view, they are just managing their customers.

    – Edde

  • Trent – Make Money Online

    Yeah Daniel, I completely agree that they are a waste of time. Of course you got my email. No need to tell me that. Unless it happened to not make it to you and if that happened I still wouldn’t know because the auto-email wouldn’t come to me either. So it’s still useless. The only instances where it might be necessary is if you are on vacation or something and don’t want people to think you are ignoring them. I’ve never used them and probably never will.

  • Yvette

    Hey Daniel,

    I’m with you. Automated responses are really annoying. I didn’t realize this until I got a few myself. I get so much from your blog.
    Thanks! – yvette

  • “k”

    I hate these stupid emails. They def are totally useless and certainly clutter my already cluttered inbox. We have to remember there is a fine line between marketing and downright annoying which is likely to cause an adverse effect on your intent of marketing. (if they use the visit my blog, blah blah tag in there)

  • harly

    yes i agree with you. i dont like this type of emails.if anyone don’t reply my email then i understand he is busy.Thanks for share it with us.

  • Aki Wood

    I agree, I think that crap response is pretty annoying. I am however considering trying to set up an automatic response to people that comment. I’ve gotten a couple of those after commenting and it has inclined me to go back to the page where I may not have otherwise… although I am still trying to figure out how to do it….. 🙂 Nice Post.

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