Holiday season is upon us, which means winter vacation plans are in full swing – and so are the number of out of office (OOO) messages that are probably flying back into your inbox. There’s probably a good chance that you need to write one in the near future, especially if you have just started a new business or if you are learning how to become an entrepreneur. What makes a ‘good’ OOO message, though?
Ranging from the strictly professional to the humorous to even brilliantly-designed traffic drivers to your newly created website, crafting one can become a difficult process. It’s knowing how to narrow the text down to the essentials. Plus, thinking through what will give you the reassurance you need that your business email inbox is under control so that you can truly enjoy your vacation - it's one of our top productivity boosting hacks for that reason. To help you master this specialized art, we’ve compiled seven of the best out of office message examples that you can use the next time the occasion arises.
7 of the best out of office messages
01. “The Classic” out of office reply
If you prefer to keep things short and sweet, this one has your name written all over it. Perhaps you work in an industry where your customers value directness, or where veering into playful humor is a bit off-brand. This message works well because it checks the three most essential pieces of information every OOO message needs: how long you will be gone, if or when they can expect a response during that time, and who to contact in the case of an urgent matter. And then it stops right there. So easy.
02. “The Savvy Professional” response
Who says that just because you’re on vacation that your business also has to take a break? OOO messages can serve as powerful lead generators, publicizing all the exciting ways your mail inquirers can still get involved in your business’ community even before your plane home has landed. For example, let’s say you’re a fitness instructor. Encourage people to secure their own fitness consultation through an online bookings mechanism on your website, or to subscribe to your mailing list to stay updated on the new course offerings you’ll be announcing in the new year.
03. “The Gifter” of out of office messages
The term auto-response can be misleading. It conveys cold impersonalism, yet there are so many ways you can make sure your OOO message in anything but that! One method is using the body of your email to build a relationship with your potential customers, winning over their trust in your brand by showing off the products and knowledge you have to offer. You can include a copy of your latest report, available to download, or a link to a recent rocking blog post in your message. Not only does this move help establish your credibility, it also mitigates the feelings of frustration customers might feel at not being able to reach you at exactly that moment.
04. “The PR Agent” reply
If your destination is less a beach and more a conference center for a business-related trip, don’t be shy about mentioning that in your out of office message. Showing that you’re active in industry circles, and are serious about your own professional development and continuous learning, will win major authority points in the eyes of potential customers.
05. “The Brand Cheerleader” message
Especially if you work for a smaller brand, or run your own business, it’s legitimate to worry about who’s going to talk up your pride and joy while you’re away. Don’t let that concern take away from your ability to take a real vacation, though. An out of office message is a perfect opportunity to redirect traffic from your business email address straight to your website and your business’s social media channels. Let your email text do the talking, so you can put the phone down and enjoy a good sunset.
06. “The Jokester” out of office message
If you’re known in the office for your witty humor, you don’t have to stop making everyone laugh just because you’re not physically at your desk. Humorous out of office messages are becoming more and more popular. Of course, whether this is the right move depends a lot on your workplace and industry culture. If you have the green light for this model though, the sky’s the limit! From funny GIFs to sarcasm, there are so many ways you can go with this. Have fun!
07. “The MC” response
Contrary again to the name ‘auto-response,’ an OOO message can actually be a moment for important engaging with your customers. By inserting a poll or asking intriguing questions, you can start building the foundation for a strong client relationship, all from your comfortable beach chair that you can’t seem to get up from.