How to Set Up an After-Hours Auto-Responder

This guide will take you through the process of setting up an auto-response for when you receive messages outside of office hours.

Part 1: Creating Your Email Template

If you don't already have an auto-response template geared towards incoming customer messages received after you leave the office, you'll need to first set that up.

Step 1: Go to Templates

From the Replyco home screen, click the Tools panel on the left-hand side, and from the sub menu, select Templates.

From here, click the + Create new button, located in the right-hand corner of the screen.

This will bring up the template editor.

Step 2: Create an After-Hours Template

  • Template Name: In this field, enter the subject line of your email. For this template we will use "Received! [Thank You for Your Message]"

  • Channels: Here, you will choose which marketplaces this auto-response template will be used with. You’re free to assign it to as many channels as you want, or make a template specific to each channel, such as Amazon, eBay and Shopify (just remember not to include any contact information or links in your eBay messaging).

  • Tags: When you click on any of the tags above the text editor, Replyco will automatically insert the relevant information such as Customer Name, Order ID and more, allowing you to further personalize your auto-response messages.

Once you’re done writing your auto-responder text in the message composition box, click Save in the bottom-right corner.

Part Two: Set Up Auto-Response Rules

Halfway there! Now it’s time to set up some rules for when to activate your after-hours auto-response.

Step 1: Create a New Auto-Response Rule

Head back to the Templates page you were just on. Scroll down and you’ll see a subsection titled “Auto-response Rules.” Click the “+ Create new” button to the right.

Step 2: Fill in the Auto-Response Information

  • Rule Name: Give your rule a name that represents its function — in this case, we’ll go with “Weekday After-Hours.”

  • Template to Send: Click the dropdown menu and select the template we created earlier (this is also the subject line).

  • Affected Channels: Similar to when we were creating the template, here we’re specifying which marketplaces our auto-response rule will affect. You’ll probably want to go ahead and select the same channels you assigned when creating the template above.

  • Date Range: When will the auto-response become active? In this instance, we'll set it for the foreseeable future.

  • Delay Range: Sending your auto-responder message out with a slight delay is an important tactic to increase the likelihood of your reply message counting towards your response metrics. In the example above, the message will go out at a random interval between 0 and 20 minutes.

  • Frequency: This option gives you the choice of sending out the auto-response every time a message is received from a given customer, or replying only the first time.

  • Days: Choose the days of the week that you want the message to be active. Since a different auto-responder message will go out on the weekend, we will schedule this one for after / before work, Monday through Friday.

  • Active Between: Choose which hours of the day you want the auto-responder message to be active. This auto-response will be active from 6pm to just before opening at 9am.

Step 3: Configure the Conditions to Trigger an Auto-Response

Setting conditions will create variables that further specify which incoming messages will be responded to using your after-hours auto-response template.

In this example, we'll set a condition that specifies that the client email does not contain the keyword refund. An incoming email containing the word “refund" might necessitate direct human interaction, or a separate auto-response for messages about refund policy.

Once done, click Save.

All Done!

Your after-hours auto-response is now set up and will be triggered on work days outside of business hours.