November 26, 2015

Effective Out of the Office Email Responses


We've all been on the receiving end of two types of bad emails over the holiday season; boring out of office auto email responses, and those massive large-scale newsletters trying to sell you something. Neither one is exactly inspiring when it comes to responding or remembering to continue the conversation after the holidays. If anything, you're running far, far away from your inbox for those very reasons.

Here's the thing though, the holidays are exactly the time that you should be reaching out to your network and staying in touch (despite those disconcerting OOO email responses.)

While it may seem counterintuitive to be upping your communication efforts with your network over the holiday season, we can assure you that some well-placed, genuine communication over the holidays can be enough to keep you top of mind when the New Year rolls around. Read on for our reasoning and some of our favorite and very effective OOO auto-email responses.

How to Create Effective Out of the Office Email Responses...

It's a Great Excuse...

No really! What better excuse to reach out to some of your weaker connections than over the holiday season? Rather than sending a bulk newsletter just like everyone else out there -- that will most likely go straight to spam anyway -- this is the time to send something just a little more personalized. Stand out from the crowd of spammers and reach out to those contacts or clients who may have fallen to your back burner and need a little extra TLC.

Make staying in contact with them your 'New Year's resolution' or perhaps reach out to let them know how grateful you are for their business or friendship. This could be an email or even a quick shout on LinkedIn, but taking that little bit of extra time to personalize it rather than sending one big bulk holiday letter is sure to make a difference when the New Year is here and people are reevaluating their own network or business decisions.

Make the Connections

Emails, appointments and information often get lost in the chaos of the holiday season. Everyone is distracted, and if they're not distracted, they're on vacation (or in vacation mode) and it may not the best time to reach out to customers and clients. So, what do you need to get out from your network? First off, you need to connect with them. Whether you actually speak with them or not, it's still key to make that crucial connection. Yes, we said it, even if you don't speak with your contact, you can still connect with them!

How? Well, start out with those personalized emails acknowledging your customer/client/weak connection and do your best to stand out from the crowd of flashy newsletters. Next, when you're ready to head out of the office for your vacation, don't become another boring auto response email. Have fun with it and make sure that everyone who emails you during that time will really remember you and then reach back out again after vacations are all over.

Then Commit to Action

That leads us to the next step; commit. After you've connected, you want to make sure you commit to a date, a meeting, or a phone call with your client. Before you get lost in the shuffle of holiday parties and family get-togethers, set that date for after all the hubbub and start in the New Year with a fresh slate. If you're making a resolution, then chances are that your clients are too. Make sure you're on the top of their resolution list, and yes that means all those prospective customers too!

You want to head into 2016 refreshed; with a full calendar of meetings with clients, customers and prospectives and the best way to do that is by memorably connecting with them and holding them to a commitment in the New Year.

Download Some Examples:

Before you head out on vacation and set up your out of office email response, take a look below for one of our favorite (and funny) auto-responses. For a couple more ideas, download our handy templates!

The Funny Guy Response:

Perfect for the irreverent joker in the office.

Hi there,

This is an auto-response due to the fact that I am away on vacation. As you read this, I'm probably sunning myself on a tropical beach and I can promise you, I will not be checking my emails at all.

No really, see below for my current view:

If you're desperate, please reach out to my colleague [contact] who is still stuck at the office. Otherwise, I'll get back to you once I'm in the office on [date].


[your name here]