Last month I went on an epic vacation (yay me!) and I got to do one of my favorite things (don’t laugh): write my out-of-office message. I know people think that automation is bland, boring, and impersonal. They are totally right.
It doesn’t have to be that way. Automation can be silly, ironic, funny, and filled with personality. It just depends on the human who sets up the automation. And while you’ll have to email me next time I am traveling to get the full Tracey out-of-office gold, I’m going to tell you my personal tips and tricks to make automation suck less (now, that’s a low bar!)
Find Your Voice
Chances are your brand has a personality. It may be fun, or educational. It may be “trusted advisor.” Whatever the personality of your brand, own it in your automation. Do not write it like a robot. Write it like a person wrote it. Bring warmth and tone to the message. For example, you can say:
“We got your resume. Thanks.” Or you can say, “Wow! Thanks for sharing your unique skills with our team.” They are saying the same thing, but one feels cold and bland, the other feels like someone may have actually written it.
Add Personalization Where Possible
The biggest cheat (and it should be part of your TA suite) is to use your tokens. A token is the ability to pull in a datapoint from the database and add it to the message. Saying “Hi Tracey” is waaaaayyyy better than saying “Hi candidate.”
If you can, add a token for what day it is (that feels very personal). For example, if you tell someone Happy Tuesday in a mail, they are pretty sure a person wrote that and it feels less lame and more real.
Give ‘em a Little More
Whenever you’re automating something in your candidate experience, spend a few sentences branding yourself. Tell someone why they should stick with you. Tell someone what makes your company unique. Share some news. Share some insights. Whatever the case may be, this is your chance to not be lame!
Focus on the “From”
No one ever takes a mail that is from “do not reply” seriously. If you want people to know for a fact that you don’t care about them, send a message from a do-not-reply email address. If you want someone to think it was sent from a person, use an actual email address. This is a pet peeve of mine in email marketing across all disciplines. My theory is that mail open rates are low compared to text is because we trained people not to respond via this tactic.
Or … Admit It Is Automation
This may sound bizarre, but I’ve written very successful automation emails from the voice of the robot. It depends on your brand personality, but if your brand is fun, try something like “Recruiting robot here, and I wanted you to know that I have pulled your information successfully into the mothership. You know it’s all machines back here anyway. We’ve alerted the humans to your information. Stay alert.” That is at least memorable, right?
Automation is more gift than curse. But it does require humans. Humans are creative and funny and interesting. Robots make it all flow. You got this.