Craft Perfect Out-of-Office Replies
You might be soaking up the sun on the beach or tearing up the slopes, but your coworkers, customers, and other business associates are still in the office and may not know that you're unavailable.
Failing to tell people that you're out of the office could come back to haunt you, especially if they're expecting a prompt response. Before heading out for that much needed time off, it's imperative that you set up an out of office reply. In case you feel stumped, we've crafted 7 out of office messages to inspire you.
How to write basic out of office message
Sending a vacation message can be tricky. Here's a great vacation message.
Thank you for your email. I will be out of the office from mm/dd to mm/dd and will have limited access to email / will not have access to email. If this is urgent, please contact [NAME] at [EMAIL] or [PHONE]. I will do my best to respond promptly to your email when I return on mm/dd.
We don't always have time to be clever or creative, and that's okay! At its core, a vacation responder email simply needs to inform the sender that you are out of the office and when to expect a response.
The elements of a great out of office reply are
- How long you will be gone
- When you will return, and
- Whom to contact (and their phone number) if it's urgent. Include these, and your vacation message will be perfect.
Have you ever thought of an out of office message as a lead generation tool? Well, now, you should! It's quite easy to create an opportunity to collect a lead in your vacation responder. Just add a little flair to the end of the message and start raking in the leads!
Hello and thanks for your email. I'm currently out of the office until mm/dd with limited / no access to email. If your request is urgent, please contact [NAME] at [EMAIL or PHONE].
In the meantime, did you know we have a weekly / monthly newsletter? Yep, you heard that right! A weekly dose of all your favorite [COMPANY] content sent right to your inbox. To ensure you don't miss out on all the good stuff, sign up for our newsletter here.
I'll be sure to get back to you when I return on mm/dd.
Aside from a newsletter sign-up, you can use this opportunity to encourage webinar attendance, signing up for an online course, whitepaper downloads, or any other lead generation tactic your sales and marketing team implements.
A professional email sign-off is an incredibly effective branding tool. but, did you also know a professional HTML email signature could also be a great lead generation tool? It's true! Add a clickable banner or a CTA to your out-of-office email sign-off and make people visit your online store, sign up for a webinar, or download an ebook. Online generators like Newoldstamp or MySignature can help you to automate the signature adoption process across the whole company.
If generating leads is not a key strategy of your sales or marketing efforts, you can use your out of office message to get more eyeballs on your content. Add a little value to your email by linking to an interesting online resource your company has developed. You can also use auto-reply messages to improve your promotion strategy.
Thanks for your email. I am out of the office right now and will not return until mm/dd. Fortunately for you, our resources never take time off, and we've got this awesome ebook / whitepaper / infographic on [TITLE], which I think you would enjoy.
I'll get back to you as soon as I get back into the office.
Traffic-Driving Out Of Office Message Template
Thanks for reaching out. Unfortunately, I'm out of the office from mm/dd to mm/dd with limited / no access to email. If your question can wait, I'll be responding to the emails I missed when I return on [DAY]. If not, contact [NAME] at [EMAIL] or [PHONE] and he/she will take care of you.
Did you email me about [SERVICE YOU PROVIDE]? Great! Read what our customers are saying about how awesome their experience has been. (Link to customer testimonials or case studies)
I'll get back to you as soon as I can.
Maybe you don't have any content to promote, or you simply want to drive traffic to your website using an out-of-office reply. Great! A vacation responder is an awesome way to do that. Depending on the page you link to, your away message might be different, but here's an example.
Networking or New Business
As much as we'd prefer it, not every away message is for a vacation. Sometimes, you need an out of office reply for a business trip or conference. Instead of simply telling people you're out, why not use that opportunity to encourage networking or new business connections?
Thanks for your email. I'm out of the office at this super awesome conference [MONTH] [DAY]-[DAY]. Will you be there too? I'd love to connect! Our company will be exhibiting at booth ###. Feel free to stop by! / [NAME], our [TITLE], will be dropping knowledge during his/her speech on [DAY] at [TIME] in [LOCATION]. You won't want to miss it!
Follow and tweet me @Twitter_Handle for thoughts and conversation on the conference. Looking forward to hearing from you!
Social Media Engagement
The percent of people who follow brands on social media ranges from 44% to 53% (depending on the platform), and 53% of those who follow brands on social media are more loyal to those brands. So, it makes sense that companies want to build their audiences on social media, especially to create loyal customers.
However, most people don't seek out a brand's social media accounts. They're more likely to follow you if asked or presented with the opportunity, which can be done in your vacation responder.
Sorry you missed me. I'm out of the office from mm/dd to mm/dd and will be responding to my emails when I return on [DAY].
To keep up with all the latest happenings at [COMPANY], follow us on Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn / Instagram / Pinterest / Etc. (We're really funny on Twitter, trust me.)
I'll get back to you as soon as I can.
" of office messages are the funny, clever ones. There are tons of examples, from giving your "auto-responder robot" a personality to using GIFs and memes to joking about what you're actually doing on vacation. Messages like that can add a personal touch to auto-reply messages. Here are a few clever out of office message samples:
I heard winter was coming, so I decided to go to [WARM PLACE]. I'll be sipping cocktails on the beach until mm/dd and will not be checking email. Stay warm!
Hate to break it to you, but I'm on vacation until mm/dd and will not be checking emails. I'm sure you probably don't want to hear this since you're working, yourself, so here's a cat video to cheer you up. I'll be back from my trip on [DAY]. Enjoy your week!
BAD NEWS: I'm out of the office on vacation until mm/dd. I will be responding to all emails when I return.
GOOD NEWS: My colleague [NAME] has graciously offered to stay behind and cover my work. He/she is a superhero. If your request is urgent, you can contact him/her at [EMAIL].
Have a great week!
Bonus: Maternity Leave Out Of Office Message
On some occasions, you may be gone for reasons other than your vacation. Make sure to set up an out of office response for either long-term sick leave and maternity leave as well.
To spice up the auto-reply messages, you can send out an image instead of a regular reply mail, as seen in the example below.
Would you like to add the image but edit it for your own use? Please visit Venngage to edit the template. You will find a number of other templates to choose from.
Like many people, you may not realize that your away message is a unique opportunity to be memorable and make someone's day, beyond simply telling them you're out. It doesn't have to be a long or complex one - just thoughtful and interesting. So, next time you're setting up your vacation responder, use it to inform, assist, or delight the email sender. It will be a fun exercise for you and a pleasant surprise for them!
What's the best out of office message you've received or written? Let us know by sharing in the comments!
Frequently Asked Question
What is a good out of office message?
An out of office message is the autoresponder that you have carefully designed to send to those who try to reach you while you are away from the office.
How do I set up an out of office message?
The process is simple. In your email settings, select the File option. Now, select Automatic Replies from the given list. At this point, type your autoresponder message. Then, select OK to save it.
Why is an out of office message important?
An out of office message is important because it let's you keep people informed and tells them how to proceed in your absence. You can also select options for urgent matters within your out of office message
What do you say on out of office?
Your out of office message should include the time period during which you will be out of your office, preferably including the exact dates.. You should also include whom the messenger should contact in case of an emergency. You can also include promotions and social links.