When and how should a freelance writer use an e-mail auto-response to potential clients? What are the possible payoffs and potential pitfalls?
Freelance E-Mail Auto-Response: A Real-Life Example
A few months ago I exchanged a couple of e-mails with another freelance writer. Immediately after I sent her the initial e-mail, I got an auto-response back that said essentially this:
I’m busy working on writing projects now, but I will respond to you within the next 12-24 hours.
Susan (not her real name)
I quickly fired off another e-mail and asked if she always had that auto-response on. Of course, I immediately got that same reply.
But she did get back to me within 12-24 hours and told me that she always used that auto-response. She stated that the response delay would make potential clients think that she was very busy and thus in high demand, and that would allow her to charge higher rates.
Freelance Writer Email Auto-Response: Pros and Cons…
I think her strategy could work with some clients. And from a time management perspective, she doesn’t have to check e-mail very often, so her productivity is likely higher.
On the downside, if clients are in a hurry to find a writer, they’ll quickly start contacting others once they get that auto-response. And they may also think they may not be able to afford this writer because she apparently is so busy, when in fact they actually might be able to.
I would only consider this if I had a large backlog of high-paying projects. What about you? In what instances would you use an auto-response?