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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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About the author 


Daniel Scocco is a programmer and entrepreneur located in São Paulo, Brazil. His first company, Online Profits, builds and manages websites in different niches. His second company, Kubic, specializes in developing mobile apps for the iOS and Android platforms.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.


  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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”.

  10. 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.

  11. 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 🙂

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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…

  16. 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,

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

    1. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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.


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