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Out of office

MAILBIRD BLOG

Posted by Christin on January 4, 2019

Christin
Marketing Manager

PR & Media Relations Supporting the team by communicating Mailbird and its great features to existing and potential users and media.

Published on January 4, 2019

Let’s be honest, the last thing on your mind before vacation is putting up an auto-responder email. Half the time, your out of office message is probably an “Oh crap!” moment after you’ve already left the office.

Even though you might be soaking up the sun on the beach or tearing up the slopes, 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 bite you, especially if they’re expecting a prompt response.

Before heading out on that much needed time off, it’s imperative that you set an out of office reply to let senders know you’re gone. If you’re feeling stumped, we’ve crafted 7 out of office message samples to inspire you. Check them out below!

1. Out Of Office Message – Basic Example Template

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 1) how long you will be gone, 2) when you will return, and 3) who to contact if it’s urgent.

2. Lead Generation

Have you ever thought of an out of office message as a lead generation tool? Well, you should now! It’s easy enough to highlight an opportunity to collect leads 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 mean time, 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 newsletter sign ups, you could use this opportunity to encourage webinar attendance, sign ups for an online course, whitepaper downloads, or any other lead generation tactic your sales and marketing team implements.

3. Content Promotion

If generating leads is not a key strategy of your sales or marketing efforts, you could also 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.

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] that I think you would enjoy.

I’ll get back to you as soon as I get back into the office.

Stay on top of your Inbox even after your vacation.

4. 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 message might be different, but here’s an example.

5. Networking or New Business

As much as we’d like it to be, not every away message is for a vacation. Sometimes, you need an out of office reply for a business trip or conference. But 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!

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Follow and tweet me @Twitter_Handle for thoughts and conversation on the conference. Looking forward to hearing from you!

6. 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 would make sense that companies want to build their audiences on social media, especially to create loyal customers.

But 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.

7. Funny/Clever

Of course, the best out of office messages are the funny and clever ones. There are tons of examples out there from giving your “auto-responder robot” a personality to using GIFs and memes to joking about what you’re actually doing on vacation. 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 actually 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 basically a superhero. If your request is urgent, you can contact him/her at [EMAIL].

8. *Bonus* Maternity Leave Out Of Office Message

In some occasions you may be gone for different reasons other than your vacation. Make sure to set up an out of office response for either longterm sick leaves or maternity leaves as well.

To spice up the automated reply 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 simply visit Venngage to edit the template. You will find a number of other templates to choose from.

Maternity Out Of Office Message Template by Venngage

Conclusion

People often don’t realize is 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 long or complex—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!

Stay on top of your emails before and after your vacation with Mailbird.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in December 2016 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Christin
Marketing Manager

PR & Media Relations Supporting the team by communicating Mailbird and its great features to existing and potential users and media.

Published on January 4, 2019

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11 professional out of office text examples

Have you ever wondered what to write in your out of office messages? You have come to the right place! Sometimes it is just difficult to think of a perfect text for your out of office, right off the bat. That is why we thought it would be nice to share some good out of office examples and inspirations. Below you will find sample messages for any occasion. But first, let’s look at the basic information you should always (conditions apply!) have in your out of office message and which you should avoid.

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What to include in an out of office message

There is some information which just needs to be in any out of office message. You may think this list is obvious, but it is easy to forget something when you are in a hurry to get out of office:

  • Leave date and return date – you should always include both. Why not write only when you are coming back? Because it makes a difference. Think about how many emails you have to read after a three-day absence. Now think about how many emails will be waiting for you if you go away for two months. In most cases, it might take more than a day before you are even able to read and reply to all important emails sitting in your inbox. Your recipients would like to know when they might get the actual response from you.
  • Contact details – sometimes people may want to contact someone in a different department. If you include your job title and some other personal info, you might save the day. If you do not add your basic personal information, you might leave people waiting for your return when they could have contacted the right person earlier. Moreover, you should include alternative contact information. It will be helpful if someone has a very urgent matter, and they simply cannot wait for your return. You should always include an email address of someone who covers for you in your absence. Alternatively, if you are never really away from work – write how to reach you.
  • Will you monitor your mailbox? – sometimes, when you are out of office, you may be checking your incoming emails from time to time. If you can and do – include this in your out of office message. This information will give your out of office message a professional vibe. But if you are not going to look at emails when you are gone – do not give false hope.
  • The reason for absence – now this one is tricky. You should include the reason for your absence (vacation/ business travel), but you should avoid being specific. While informing that you are attending an international conference is a good idea, giving details on your vacation is not professional.
  • I’m sorry – well probably it is not your fault that you are not there; however, it does not cost you to be polite. Saying “sorry I missed you!” is a great way to show that you care.

What to delete from out of office messages

Some out of office messages are just irritating. Not just because they mean you might have to wait for an answer – this goes without saying. Sometimes, those automatic responses upset people because of what is exactly written in them. Below you will find a list of what you should delete from your out of office messages.

  • Details – you might be surprised, but most people are not that interested in where you are going to spend your vacation, with who and what you are going to do. The same goes for detailed information about your sick leave. There are different reactions to such details in your out of office messages, but the most frequent one is irritation or indifference. Happy feelings are highly unlikely.
  • Self-pity – some people do not even realize that they include self-pity in their out of office messages. One of the most popular phrases that gets people going is “After months of hard work I have finally managed to go on my annual leave.” Or “I am so happy I am not in the office!” You would be better off if you keep those thoughts to yourself.
  • Typos – I mean I know you are in a hurry, but please, read your text after you finish it. Those messages are short by design and if there are typos or grammar issues – you might not be taken seriously.
  • I’m not there – if your message has those four words and no more, it’s better not to write anything. The reason is simple – it does not help your recipients at all.
  • Limited access to email – it is a popular phrase which, if you think about it, does not tell you anything. While most people do not mind it, it is not helpful either. If you use it as a polite way of saying “I will not read any emails,” you might be better off writing just that, rather than giving false hope.

There are exceptions to some of the rules above – you probably can be much more informal in your internal messages. In fact, some of your colleagues might be interested why exactly you are not there.

Out of office examples

Below, I present some sample out of office templates for different occasions. You might find them useful if you can’t find the right words or don’t have the time to write your perfect out of office message.

All-purpose out of office messages

The examples below should work for every situation – they do not go into details but tell everything they should say.

Hello,
I am truly sorry, but you have just missed me – I’ll be back soon, by . During my absence, feel free to contact at . He/She will be able to assist you with any issue or question you might have.
Best,

-Out of Office alert-
Dear recipient, I am out of office from to due to . Sorry about that. I will be sure to reply to you as soon as I come back. In the meantime you can contact:
sales@example.com for sales inquiries,
support@example.com if you need technical assistance.

Out of office for vacation or annual leave

Probably the most common one – you might be healthy as a horse for years, but from time to time everyone goes on a vacation:

Thank you for contacting me, but unfortunately, I am on vacation. I will return on and will be happy to assist you with any issue you might have. If you require immediate assistance, please contact the Customer Service at support@example.com.

Hello,
As much as I would like to give you a quick reply, I cannot. I am on annual leave from to and I will not be able to check my mailbox regularly until I return. That is why I strongly recommend you contact at for a more timely response.
Kind regards,

Out of Office for parental leave

How is this one special? I mean, besides the fact that there is the miracle of birth involved. You must be sure to get everything just right – those messages usually stay for a long time.

Hi,
I have gone on maternity/paternity leave. I will not have access to my mailbox between and . During my absence covers for me. You can contact her/him by sending an email to
Best regards,

Out of office for a public holiday

When you are away for a public holiday, it’s probably not only you who is gone. That is why it is especially good to have a similar OOF for all employees:

Dear reader,
Thank you for your email, but our company is out of office, celebrating .
Unfortunately, it means we will not be able to send you any reply until .
We apologize for the delay but wish you a wonderful holiday season.
Best regards,

Out of office for business travel and training

If you leave your office for a conference, you should be able to receive emails and respond to them, but you should make others aware that your responses might be delayed:

Hi,
I am at the from to . I will be sure to check my inbox between sessions, but it might take a bit longer for me to get back to you. If you cannot wait, call me at .

Dear recipient,
I am currently attending a training session. As a result, my reply might take a bit longer than usual. I apologize for that. I will be able to respond in a more timely manner starting from .

Funny out of office messages

It’s unlikely that you will use them for your external contacts, but you might give your colleagues a laugh, as long as you keep it in good taste – not everyone shares the same sense of humor, after all.

Hello there, it’s ’s autoresponder. is not there until
As much as I’d like to help you – I can’t. I’m too busy deleting all the important emails and contacts from ’s mailbox. I’m sure he/she will get back to you as soon as possible. That is if I spare this email. If your matter is urgent, I would try contacting at .
Have a very nice day,
Autoresponder

Hi,
I am truly sorry, but I will be out of office on . You still can call me at 1-900-call-me-now or (rates may apply).
Parental advisory – explicit content.

Hello there,
I appreciate you trying to reach me, unfortunately – I am out of office sunbathing. I will be back at . It will probably take me two additional days to get used to my office and dig through hundreds of new urgent emails, before I get back to you.
Or you could contact for immediate assistance. Just saying.

But have you ever thought what can happen if someone forgets to turn on their auto-responder and does not forward emails to anyone? It may cause serious problems if someone is in a hurry and does not even realize that their email just sits there in somebody’s mailbox, sad and unread. Fortunately, there is an easy way to set up out of office messages for other users, or even for a whole company at once.

Manage out of office messages on Exchange Server

CodeTwo Exchange Rules Pro is a feature-packed email signature and mail flow management tool. One of its many capabilities is configuration of automatic replies, so you can make sure that every absent user is sending an out of office message and that it maintains a professional tone. You can automatically personalize OOF messages for all employees without touching their devices. Apart from that, you get much greater control over out of office emails. While traditional out of office messages are text-only, automatic responses from a mail server added by CodeTwo Exchange Rules can include hyperlinks, images and more. Thanks to that, you can maintain a high level of professional communication and comply with your visual identity even with automatic responses. Try it – it might save your day!

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