I’m not a huge fan of auto-replies, but they can be a necessary evil and a godsend at times when used well. It’s probably the last thing you do before you head out of the office to enjoy your holiday, but here’s why you should take some time to create your out-of-office message. But to ensure that you can relax more and work less over the holiday break without upsetting too many, be sure to take a minute to formulate a plan.
There are a few essentials your out-of-office message needs to contain if you want it to work for you and your business. Before you try anything fun with yours, make sure you have the essentials covered. Check that your auto-response has:
- A title that lets your recipient know this is an out-of-office message (some email services will do this automatically)
- The dates you’re out of the office, and the date you’ll be back in action or even a specific time you know you can stick too.
- Whether you can be contacted, and the correct contact details… if you must. Be really clear about when you’d expect to be contacted and reasons. You’re on holiday, so it’s fine to reserve this option for emergency use only and be clear to those who sometimes try to break this out.
- Who they can speak to in your absence, what they’re responsible for, and how they can get in touch if required.
Now that you’ve got your bases covered, it’s time to get creative. The rest of your email is a great space to create a memorable experience for the person who’s trying to get in contact.
So, here are a few ideas:
- Share your favourite post from the company blog.
- Add a sign up for your newsletter into the text.
- Add a link to your Instagram account so that they can follow along with your holiday adventures.
- Spice up your message with a gif or some well-chosen emojis.
- If your company supports a charity, use this space to share some information about the work they do at this time of year.
Or, if you’re ready to really take things to the next level, try a humorous message. Done properly, this is a great way to brighten the day of the person getting your bounce-back. Of course, you’ll need to consider all of the people who could be emailing you during this time, and how they might respond. If in doubt, play it straight.
Here’s some clever out-of-office message inspiration from Grammarly:
Heading out of the office? Don’t let your business affairs slide. Book an appointment with us to make sure you are covered for the holiday period.
Most of all your out of office autoresponder is a tool that can be used to your advantage to ensure you have a great holiday and break.