By Kathy Roy Gaughran
Senior Marketing Strategist
What I like about this clever, little no-cost idea is that anyone can use it to communicate a marketing or branding message…although you’re actually away from the office.
Frequently, Healthcare Success business takes me on the road and away from my desk. We consult with hospitals, medical practices and healthcare providers throughout the US, and although I may be traveling, I like to keep connected with clients.
Anyone who is away from the usual email connectivity like I am—even for a day—can setup an automatic email reply message. The bonus idea is that it’s easy to put engaging value into the auto-reply message with something they will find useful or interesting. To illustrate, here’s a sample message that I might use:
I’m sorry, but I missed your email message just now.
This week I’m presenting at our Advanced Marketing Seminar in Scottsdale, and I have limited access to email until I return on Thursday, March 19th. I’ll respond to you as soon as time allows, but Stanley Goodspeed is available in the office at [Stan’s email address] or at [phone number and extension].
While I’m away, I’d like you to have an advance copy of our latest Special Report: Critical Skills of Highly Effective Healthcare Marketing Professionals. … [URL/link to special report]
[your e-signature block with logo]
The email auto-responder is a useful tool. But, more than the usual “I’m away…” message create a brief and engaging bit of text that includes:
- An expected return date
- An alternative contact person with email and phone number
- A promise of follow-up or later response
And here’s the value-added kicker:
- Give the reader something extra; such as a special report, white paper or the like.
It’s an email equivalent of providing guests with reading material in a waiting area. “While I’m away, check out [this interesting bit, with URL/link].” The unexpected link to something interesting makes your response more engaging, friendly and memorable. Plus the auto-response tool is an opportunity to deliver a brief promotional, branding or marketing message.
We also like marketing ideas that are easy to do, have little or no cost, and consistently communicate your message at every opportunity. Here are two more ways to leverage what you have to say and make your efforts more effective:
- Branding in Unlikely Places: Using Patient-Friendly Billing Statement in Hospital and Medical Marketing
- What Does Your eSignature Block Say About You? Probably Far Less Than It Could