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Acknowledge User Submissions ("Thank You" Response Messages)

Document Type: Standard


HHS should acknowledge with an automated response whenever a user submits either a completed form or an email.  The thank you message should be tailored to the specific submission (e.g., if users submit feedback, the message should thank them for their feedback).  When possible, next steps or expectations should be addressed as well.  Visitors should be given the option of closing the message and returning to the page they were on prior to submitting the feedback or email.

When a form submitter’s email address is collected, an automated email response is also acceptable.


Replying with thank you messages provides a user-friendly experience while confirming that the user's transaction or submission was completed.


Tailor the thank you note to match the event, such as an email, form submission, or feedback.  The “Thank you” response should include a way for visitors to return the page they were on, i.e., with a “Return to Web site” button that will close the response and return visitors to the last page they were on.


Because the generic “Site Feedback” or similar email form in the template is a frequent spam target, it is not necessary (and may not even be desirable) to reply to submissions sent there.

Related Web Standards and Usability Guidelines: