We send out several different newsletters each month: Firefox & You, Beta, Aurora, About Mozilla, Student Reps, etc. Across all of these newsletters, we send well over 4 million emails a month – and our Firefox & You newsletter is growing by 20-30,000 subscribers a day. With all those emails from the Mozilla team going out, what happens when a subscriber hits reply? Does the email go somewhere? Does someone read it?
Answers: Their reply goes to an awesome email address (awesomeness [at] mozilla [dot] com). It is a real email address. And we try our best to read them all.
As part of the User Engagement team, our mission is to build friendships with every user. We could opt to have a “noreply[at]Mozilla[dot]com” for our newsletter reply-to address – but that’s not friendly – and Mozilla is all about friendliness and community. We want our users to know that we’re here for them and we like to hear from them!
Over the past few months, we’ve averaged about 3,000 reply emails a month to awesomeness [at] Mozilla [dot] com.
Many of those emails are auto-responders, some are social networking invitations, but several are real notes from people with real usability problems, and sometimes the emails are heartfelt thank you’s that just can’t go unnoticed. We love our users – we love hearing from them – and we want to help them if we can!
Despite our best efforts, as we grow our number of email relationships – and expand our locales – it’s not sustainable for us to monitor and respond to every message that comes into this inbox. I wish there were simply more hours in the day!
We want to ensure that we provide good, timely, responses to our users who ask questions or have feedback.
In thinking through how to best respond to our users, we made the decision to implement an auto-responder that helps answer a good portion of the types of email questions we receive (after going through a few thousand emails, there were many recurring questions).
The auto-responder was implemented on Feb 10th. Now people know that we are not only real, but that we love to hear from them — and they have quick answers to their most pressing questions. Our newsletter localization teams are also localizing the auto-responder so we can point non-EN users to a wiki that hosts the email content in their language!
I still go through our inbox, but with the help of our auto-responder, our users are instantly receiving the quick resources they need to answer the majority of their questions.
Next up is making sure that we have a separate reply-to email address for each of our various newsletters beyond Firefox & You, so each team can find and respond to their email subscribers in the manner that makes sense.
I’m on it.
(In case you’re interested, you can check out the auto-responder content by emailing: awesomeness [at] mozilla [dot] com)