One of the most annoying consequences of sending email, is receiving automated "out of office" auto-responses. While I realize that they have their place, customers, clients and prospects do not send email in hopes of receiving such generic replies.

Often, an "out of office reply" is the best one can do in order to let senders know what to expect in terms of a genuine reply.

However, there are many times when you can do better, actually providing the requested information, and still while out of the office.

Using a few simple tools within Eudora (http://www.eudora.com) you may be surprised at just how much service you can provide, even when you're not at your computer.

The Tools

First of all, realize that you can create "pre-written" form letters within Eudora, which are called Stationary and are accessible from the "Tools" menu.

Such pre-written emails could include property details, pricing information, action lists, standard forms and contracts, or any other information that consumers frequently request from you.

These Stationary may also include attachments, enabling you to send files, in addition to simple text responses.

Next, like many other programs, Eudora has the ability to "filter" email based on common characteristics. Also accessed from the "Tools" menu, Eudora has a unique option not found in most email clients: "Reply With."

When selecting the "Reply With" option, a list of your pre-written Stationary will appear, and this is the key to building effective auto-responses.

When you can anticipate and recognize a consumer's request, you can now automate a reply that actually contains the desired information!

The Tactics

Of course, you often cannot easily recognize many email requests without actually reading the email itself. But, if can guide the consumer regarding the best way to inquire for specific information, you can then use filtered auto-responses quite effectively.

For example: If your advertisements (both on the Web and off) contain specific and unique instructions for requesting more information (such as "for details, email: details@yourwebsite.com") then you can create a very reliable filter for Eudora that replies with the pre-written Stationary only when an incoming email was sent to such a specific address.

While there are many ways to guide the consumer and to recognize the request, the final result is the same: email inquiries can be serviced, automatically and instantly, as long as you have at least one computer running Eudora that is constantly connected to the Internet, (or even capable of automatically connecting on a regular frequency).

Nothing to Lose

While most business people immediately recognize the value of such a powerful concept, some fear the effort required in order to change from their existing email client to Eudora.

Fortunately, there is no reason that Eudora cannot exist on your system working side by side with your current email software. You can easily configure Eudora to check only the specific addresses that you wish to respond to automatically.

While this may not replace the desire to use simple "out of office" auto-responses for general incoming email, it will at least allow you to provide better, and more appropriate, responses for much of your customer, client and prospect communications.

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Copyrighted with all rights reserved by Stephen M. Canale