Did A Robot Write That?

Large tan Great Dane sleeps on couch next to someone wearing plaid pyjama pants and holding a laptop on their lap

This article was written by Michelle Weger.

Can automated emails sound personable?

This is an email I recently received from the online store I purchase my Great Dane’s food from.

“Hi Michelle,

Thanks for your purchase of our ******** dog food. We hope Max is really enjoying it!

As a senior Great Dane, great nutrition is even more important for Max.

If you’re following our feeding calculator, Max should be running out of food around ******. (But don’t worry, we’ll remind you when it’s time to re-order!)

Give Max a belly rub from us!

The ****** team

Okay, so I didn’t really receive that email.

But I COULD have. And I would have loved it.

With the type of automation we do at VCC, an email just like that is entirely possible, without anyone actually writing it.

Does that email feel like an automated email?

It doesn’t, does it? That’s because it is both personalized and helpful.

Many business owners mistakenly believe that using automation means that their communications will somehow become generic and… well, robot-y.

Good automation, however, is exactly the opposite.

Even when customers know – or suspect – that it is an automated email, it still feels warm and personable, because it contains information directly relevant to them. (Besides, who could resist an email with their dog’s name in it?!)

Automation should be personalized

Whether it is a post-purchase email, a follow-up, a delivery notice, or an online booking confirmation, good automation includes specific details about your customer.

In the example above, that includes things like my name (and my dog’s!) and what I bought.

How else can automation be personalized?

  • Sending a customer an automated happy birthday email with a small gift
  • Following up on feedback they provide via a form
  • Sending an email only to customers in a specific geographic area about a local promotion
  • Providing more information on something they indicated interest in

If you were Max’s pet food company, for example, you might send an email with a voucher for a treat on Max’s birthday or send a guide on “best toys for senior dogs” (with links to purchase them, of course!)

Automation should be helpful

Great automation is like your best sales associate. It can give customers helpful information that makes their entire experience with your company that much better.

Automation can tell your customer:

  • When they should re-order so they don’t run out of your product
  • How to give feedback on their experience
  • What other products they might like based on their purchase history
  • What they need to know before an appointment (like parking information, or a Zoom link)

Max’s pet food company would be wise to send me a reminder email when I am due to run out of his food with a link to re-purchase it. Considering my purchase history, they might also send me suggestions on supplements for senior large breed dogs.

Automation like this is not sales-y.

When it is truly personalized and helpful, automation improves and deepens your relationship with your customers.

Using automated systems mean your customers don’t fall through the cracks. It means you get to know them better and can provide them more of what they love and less of what they don’t.

All of that translates into more sales with less work on your part.

Reach out to see how personalized and helpful automation can work for YOUR business.

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Michelle Weger - RBC Women of Influence Nominee