We faked a ton of "automated" email notifications and nobody ever caught on. The CEO did most of the fakery and it was really beneficial for him. He got to try out a lot of things and see what worked. Once he had something stable, we actually baked it into the product.
It was especially use with matching algorithms. After doing things manually, he could say, "Well, the key factors for a good match are X". And he had actual experience to back it up, not the sort of handwavey notions these things often get built on.