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My New Email Autoresponse: Inspired by Tim Ferriss & Gary Vee

email_overwhelm2Whether you’ve read Timothy Ferriss’ Four Hour Workweek or not, I’m sure you’re familiar with “vacation responders.” Essentially, whenever someone emails you, your email program automatically triggers a canned response to that person.

In his book, one of the many lifehacks Tim Ferriss describes is dramatically decreasing the amount of time you spend reading/responding to email. Tim suggests limiting email checking to two times per day and setting up an autoresponse message such as the following:

“In an effort to be more effective and productive, I’m now only checking email two times per day at 10:00am PT and 4:00pm PT. If you need a response outside of these times, please call my assistant at xxx-xxx-xxxx.”

I went through a period of time attempting to implement Tim’s email system. But it just didn’t work for me. It was too structured and I found I couldn’t just check twice a day.

timferriss However, meantime, my email inbox continued to bulge with incoming messages and I frequently found myself challenged to keep up with the volume.

Not to mention there is now Facebook email (and the more friends you have the more email you’ll receive!), emails on other sites like LinkedIn, Plaxo, YouTube, etc. Plus Twitter @ messages and DM’s (direct messages). Whew, time to declare email bankruptcy? Not so fast.

Though I certainly subscribe to Tim’s “low information diet” philosophy (I never read newspapers online or offline, nor on TV) – I also happen to be a raving fan of Gary Vaynerchuk‘s “respond to every single email for the rest of your freakin’ life” philosophy!!! 😉

So, here’s what I came up with as my new and improved autoresonder. You’re more than welcome to emulate the style (please don’t copy it verbatim though!)


Thank you so much for your message.

If I could clone myself or give up sleep, I’d personally answer every single legit email. Ha!

Given neither is a viable option, just know that I’ve received and read your email and will be doing my level best to respond as quickly as I can.

If your matter is urgent and important (and especially if you’d like to chat with me about an interview, joint venture, or being a guest on your radio show, teleseminar or workshop), you’re welcome to reach me any of these alternative ways:

  1. Skype: marismith_sandiego
  2. Cell: 858-xxx-xxxx (leave a voicemail)
  3. Twitter DM: http://twitter.com/marismith (if I’m not yet following you back, send me an @ message asking me to follow you!) 😉
  4. Contact my assistant, Christina: xxx@xxxx.com

If your matter is non-urgent, non-important, and non-private – how about writing on my Facebook wall instead? I read all my wall posts.

Go to: https://marismith.com/facebook – I’m almost at the 5,000 friend limit though. So, if we’re not yet friends, please go to my Facebook Page and become a fan, then write on my wall there. Thanks! https://marismith.com/fanpage

Also, follow me on Twitter and send me an @ message: http://twitter.com/marismith. I do my best to respond to all @ messages.

Please also check out my Facebook blog for how-to tips & strategies: https://www.marismith.com.

Thanks heaps for understanding!!


Mari Smith
Relationship Specialist | Internet Marketing Consultant
Facebook Business Coach
https://www.marismith.com | mari [at] marismith.com
858-xxx-xxxx (home/office) | 858-xxx-xxxx (cell)
Skype: marismith_sandiego
Facebook: https://marismith.com/facebook
Twitter: http://twitter.com/marismith

* Facebook for Professionals:

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I have this set up as a rule in Outlook – with a ton of exceptions as I don’t need this AR going out to every single person who emails me. (Note all contact numbers and email address are formatted properly in the AR; I tweaked for this blog post.)

Here’s a fun response I just received from one of my buds:


What do you think? Do you use an autoresponder system to manage your email relationships? Are you more of a Tim Ferriss low-information type, or are you a Gary Vaynerchuk nose-to-the-grindstone answer all type? 😉

Mari Smith

Often referred to as “the Queen of Facebook,” Mari Smith is widely known as the Premier Facebook Marketing Expert and a top Social Media Thought Leader. Forbes describes Mari as, “… the preeminent Facebook expert. Even Facebook asks for her help.” IBM named Mari as one of seven women that are shaping digital marketing. Mari is an in-demand keynote speaker, corporate social media strategist, dynamic live webcast host, and popular brand ambassador. She is coauthor of Facebook Marketing: An Hour A Day, and author of The New Relationship Marketing.

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  1. Amy on November 9, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    This is a really great autoresponder, I like how personal it is, thanks for sharing! I do have one question, wouldn’t EVERY email that you receive be hit with this autoresponder (not counting the exceptions of course) including your CURRENT conversations? If I am having a back and forth emailing session with a client it would get pretty annoying if he receives this autoresponder everytime he replies to me? Or is there a way to turn that off somehow by creating a special filter? Do let me know! Thanks-A

  2. ManiBodhi on April 18, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    Hi Mari, you may wanna try http://unifiedinbox.com to combine the email, twitter and facebook messages in one inbox. If you’re working with assistants you can even set it up in such a way that they assign the most relevant messages to you and you use “my messages” only filter and email overload is solved without an autoresponder 🙂

  3. Branding Firm on December 5, 2009 at 2:42 am

    Fantastic auto-responder and post … something like this will save me YEARS of needlessly answering emails! Thanks so much 🙂

  4. John Fredereich on June 5, 2009 at 1:31 am

    I’ve been looking for this very subject for awhile now – no one has content just like this. Really glad I found this site. Are you willing to be a guest blogger on my site? I’ll email you with some details if you want.

  5. auto responders on May 25, 2009 at 7:59 pm

    I think autoresponders are definately necessary to making sales. I do however think they are better used on a type of adsense blog rather than an ebook site. Had one on one of the ebook sites I have and people were opting in instead of buying took it off and put it on a related blog. People are still opting in but also buying my ebook as well. Thanks!

  6. Carrie Kerpen on December 22, 2008 at 4:23 pm

    I respond to every email. No matter what. A two or three sentence thing is fine, just be personal. Also, I like to include all of the alternative ways to contact me in my signature.

    Of course, I do work around the clock, and often respond at 3am, so who knows what’s right.


    Carrie Kerpens last blog post..All theKbuzz Wants For Christmas…An Open Letter To Our Friends At Facebook

  7. Velma Gallant on December 13, 2008 at 11:17 pm

    I love this! I’ve been in email overload for a bit now, and this is the PERMISSION I needed to give myself! Perfect! And Thank you!

    Dream BIG!

    Velma Gallant
    The Queen of JOY!
    Lazer Clarity Coach
    Host of Welcome Changes Radio

    Velma Gallants last blog post..Kathleen Gage ~ Download

  8. Good Vibe Coach on November 25, 2008 at 6:04 pm

    I’m with Gary V on answering every freakin email for the rest of my life, and checking it twice a day isn’t a system I was able to implement either.

    However, I’m happy to still be at the point where I still CAN answer every email with a customized response, although I am starting to get creative about alternatives that don’t involve automation.

    What I’ve been doing lately is including in a short thank you response a referral to another resource (usually another coach) who I know would be THRILLED to spend more time with their inquiry. It feels like a win win win all around – the sender gets a personal response from me, a tip to a valuable and AVAILABLE resource, the coach gets a much appreciated referral, and I get the satisfaction of responding to every freakin email AND still feel I was of service.

    Great post, Mari!


    Good Vibe Coachs last blog post..Gotta Love It to Lose It

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