Going on holidays soon? Don’t forget your out of office message!
I recently went away for two days and it was lovely. Hardly a holiday to some, but I have two small children, so trust me, it was a big deal. Anyway, it meant that I got to switch on my out of office message for the first time in YONKS. I’d almost forgotten how to do it!
So, instead of finishing up some client work I maybe needed to focus on, I spent almost an hour crafting the perfect out of office message. And why not? I’m a copywriter, after all. It’s another chance to show the world I can write good! 😉
But it was worth it!
To my delight, I had several clients email me while I was gone… and then reply to my out of office message saying how much they loved it! So it was definitely worth the extra time/procrastination I spent on writing it… right?
But you don’t have to be a copywriter to have a cool/smart/fun out of office message or autoresponder! And you don’t have to spend hours coming up with something, either. You could just as easily use a template… maybe even one of mine?
I’ve included my cheeky little message below so you can copy and adapt it for your next holiday. Plus I whipped up 5 other examples, just in case you’re a little more/less quirky than me.
1. Fun, friendly, maybe slight overshare
|Subject: Automated reply – but I’ll get back to you with a real one soon!|
Thank you for your email. I do love emails – truly!
If today is 21/08 – I’m probably still around but busy packing and wrangling my small tribe.
If it’s 22/08 – I’m enjoying a blissful day (and night) at the mountains with my husband, Stew. It’s only our second night away without kids in 3 years. BLISS. I may post photos on Insta.
If it’s 23/08 – I’m pretending we don’t have to go home and dragging out every moment before we have to go back to reality.
I’ll be back in the office Friday 24/08 and will tend to my inbox then.
If something super urgent comes up, you’re most welcome to call me on +61457 300 565. Otherwise, I’ll catch you in the next few days.
2. Help yourself to my content
|Subject: Auto reply – I’m not here, but I might still be able to help you|
Thanks so much for reaching out! I’m away for the week (until October 7th). I won’t tell you what I’m doing because I don’t want to make anyone jealous.
In the meantime, maybe I can still help you. If you need help setting up and marketing your business, I’ve created a course for that:
Launch: get your business out into the world
As part of the course, you’ll also get access to my free Facebook group where you can ask questions and get help. Plus, I’m running a holiday special, so you can save 30% right now.
Or, get started with a free copy of my ebook, Launch: starter manual for businesses.
If you need to contact me or my team urgently, please contact my assistant, Charlotte – email@example.com.
Thanks again for your email!
3. I’m more important than you
|Subject: Talk to the machine (autoreply)|
I’m away on holidays right now, so I’m not checking emails. I’ll be back on 13/08/2018, but if you need anything urgently, you can tweet me @twitterhandle and I’ll see what I can do.
Once I get back, I’ll clear my inbox and start from scratch, so if your email needs a response, please resend it then.
4. Write them a poem
|Subject: Not the reply you were expecting|
Why hello there,
Thank you for your kind email
But I can’t reply to you right now
You see, I’m basking by the sea
I’m all logged off and feeling free
I could probably bang out a few more lines, but I’ve got a plane to catch… cya!
P.S. I’ll be back September 4, probably with a sunburn. If you really need to talk to me before then, please call me on my usual number and leave a detailed voicemail. Otherwise, I’ll reply once I’m back.
5. Not a holiday
|Subject: Automated reply: I’m probably giving birth or something|
Thanks for getting in touch.
Right now, I’m on maternity leave, which means, I’m either:
While I’m on leave, I’ll pop in to check emails every few days (maybe?) but in the meantime, my trusted friend (and talented colleague), Steph, is here to help. Please email her for help: firstname.lastname@example.org
Wish me luck?!
P.S. I’ll probably post up an announcement and baby pic so please feel free to follow me on Facebook!
Bonus: Ryan Reynolds
I saw this pop up somewhere a week or so ago, and it may or may not have inspired me. If you want to have a laugh check out Ryan Reynold’s very professional out of office messages. (Yes, there’s more than one.)
It’s a great example of how you can use humour and marketing in your copy… and use it to disrupt people and make them pay attention… and maybe even get some good press out of it.
Essentials for writing your own out of office message
So, you want to write your own? Go for it! Just don’t be boring… it’s such a wasted opportunity! Here are some essential-ish things you might want to include in your out of office message:
- Use the subject to acknowledge that it’s an automated reply
- Thank them for their email and let them know you value them
- Tell them when you’re going away and when you’ll be back to respond
- Share a personal detail or two (if you want)
- If you want, include a picture of your holiday destination
- Provide a backup option for emergencies (your mobile or an alternate contact at your company)
- Give them something to do while they want, like check out your social media or free resource
- Just be honest – going on holidays, giving birth, or taking time for yourself is WONDERFUL and you shouldn’t try to hide it
That’s it! But before you go, please leave me a comment and tell me where you’re headed so I can be jealous and start planning my next getaway! 😉
Enjoy your holiday!