In a world where time management is top priority, I’m sure you are familiar with how effective automated out of office messages can be. Whether you are trying to set one up for the first time or are hoping to make yours more specific, viewing visual examples is sure to inspire you and give you an easy guide to create your own out of office message that will support your business goals.
Communicating by email is pivotal to building and maintaining business relationships in an internet based generation. But there are times when you need to take a break from checking your email without leaving your contacts neglected.
As with most projects, it’s important to blend originality and productivity into your out of office message. My mission is to offer you a combination of tips and examples that will help you encourage your contacts to be proactive.
Organizing Your Message Criteria
Ready to leave your emails in good hands? Before I show you the unique and concise examples I’ve acquired, I’m going to lay out a few guidelines you should consider before you begin to write your out of office message.
Reason for message: Whether you are going on vacation in the Bahamas, or simply want a message for outside of your work hours, the attitude of your message is going to be determined by that reason. Establishing this will make the writing process go much smoother.
Who are your contacts: The types of clients and co-workers you communicate with will set the mood for your message. Should you provide friendly details, or is a formal tone more appropriate?
Message direction: The most important factor to your message is what purpose it holds. Do you want to encourage business meetings? Are you hoping to direct clients to your products while you are out? Make sure you include information for your contacts to go forward.
Content and sources: In some cases, a straightforward explanation is all that is required for an out of office message. But in many scenarios, there is plenty of opportunity to share social media, graphics or business announcements.
Effective Message Examples
Now that you’ve lined up the basics of your out of office message, it’s time to check out some examples you can use to increase appointments and new connections. Get psyched for some awesome ideas!
1. Standard Acknowledgement
This simple format for a consistent out of office message provides just enough information and encouragement for your contacts to feel confident in your attention to them. You can use this layout as a guide to put your value for your contacts in your own words. This message is straight to the point so your clients will know when to check back or contact your assistant for an appointment.
2. Off The Grid Proactivity
If you know you’ll be off the internet or disconnected from your work email on specified dates, then this example holds the keys you need to continue your business flow while you’re out of reach. Sending your contacts to your other sources assures that they won’t have to wait for your return to start learning about your company. A helpful line to add to this email would be something like, “contact my associate to make an appointment for when I return.”
3. Share Your Adventure
Let your contacts in on why you’ll be unavailable and provide them with options to proceed while you’re gone. This example is easily flexible to include your version of sharing with your audience. If you aren’t planning on making your adventures public, you could instead conclude with a sentence such as, “I can’t wait to share some of my stories with you when I return,” to make your interest in engagement clear. This will encourage your contacts to remember you and to follow up.
4. GIF or Photo Message
Using a photo or gif is a great way to connect with your contacts on a human level. Who wouldn’t have a positive association with a cute kitten photo or dancing gif? I know I would. This method is especially appropriate when your out of office message is also a holiday greeting. Lively visuals will leave a good impression on your message recipients, and are a creative way to relate your reason for being out. Your clients will be enthusiastic to work with you when they have friendly thoughts toward your company.
5. Break Through With Humor
Looking to “break the ice” before the conversation starts or just make your colleagues laugh? Conveying your unavailability with a clever line is an awesome way to make your out of office message unique, as long as your business isn’t super formal. A sample of your good humor will focus your contacts on their anticipation to speak with you, rather than the fact that you’re unavailable.
6. Take a Sick Day
No matter how many vitamins we take or green smoothies we drink, we all get sick once in awhile. If you spend a lot of energy on your business and stay up late thinking over new plans, you are bound to wear out and need some rest time. In order to get back to work quickly, your out of office message should convey your need to shut down for the day. Leave your contacts with a note that expresses your eagerness to get back to them, along with alternative contacts so that you will have meetings waiting for you once you’re back on your feet.
7. Promote New Projects
Last, but certainly not least on my list is the promotional template. When it comes to productivity, there’s no doubt this example achieves a lot for an automatic response. When launching a new project, every resource is vital and using your out of office message productively is a strong time saver. Make sure you include relevant information about your project/product without coming across too much like an advertisement. This way you will pique the interest of your contacts and they will be eager to set up a time to find out more about your work.
Don’t see an example you like?
If you don’t find any of the messages above to be a fit for your purpose, perhaps a merging of ideas will work. Want to give holiday greetings but also promote? Try including a fun image that advertises a new product. Can’t think of anything clever to spice up your out of office message? Check out these witty lines people have come up with.
Time to start sending
Now that you’ve artfully crafted an effective out of message, you an get ready to paste it into your message box. Depending on your email host, the process of setting up your out of office assistant may vary. You can find a helpful guide on how to access your out of office settings here.
If you’re looking for examples of other types of email templates, our article on awesome cold email templates features some great ideas.
Out of office tips
Even with a fantastic out of office message, you may still have some worries about leaving your business without your attention. If you stick with these tips and tools, you’ll be able to ensure that your work runs smoothly while you’re out.
Pre-set your auto reply: As soon as you know what dates you’ll be out, or when you change your regular work hours, make sure to set your automatic response and check if there are any details you need to add.
Set email filters: The biggest struggle I’ve encountered when I’ve left my email unattended is the disorganization of all the emails I have when I return. To make sure you don’t lose track of important emails, it’s important to set your junk filters and label folders for emails from important contacts.This also allows you to set filters to forward certain emails. Here is a handy guide on how to set email filters in Gmail, Yahoo, or Outlook.
Use an automated email manager: With tools like Get Response you can easily organize your automated emails and arrange a calendar of the days they need to be sent. This tool will help you organize newsletters and campaigns as well.
Track your responses: A vital part of your out of office return is how you handle your contacts when you get back. In order to assess the efficiency of your email communications, an email tracker will work great to keep you in the loop. To learn about some of the best email trackers you can use, check out this article.
I know from experience that leaving your inbox unattended can provoke the fear that you will miss opportunities, but with the right tools you can return to your desk with as many gained appointments as if you never left. Now that digital communication has become the center of professional connection, email and social media strategies are a constant in business development. And with the endless sources across the web, it can be confusing to question which ideas are worth implementing. After analyzing these examples and tips myself, I trust they will offer you quality improvements to your automated emails and campaigns.
Of course, you don’t need to follow strictly by my suggestions. Your business and situation is unique, and you know best what your contacts want to hear. You’ll see the most success with your out of office emails when you use these tips and tools to advance your own ideas. So step away from your desk, knowing you’ll return to a calendar full of new clients!
Have a question about something I wrote?
If you have something to add that may improve the helpfulness of this information, I’d love to hear from you.
Whatever the case, leave your thoughts in the comment box below and I will get back to you.