Do's and don'ts of auto-reply emails
It might take a few drafts before you come up with the perfect out-of-office message. However, there are some do's and don’ts you can follow to make it as effective and helpful as possible.
Follow these golden rules to take your OOO messages to the next level.
Do's of email auto-replies
- Be polite and professional: The tone of your out-of-office messages should always be polite and professional. If it’s going out to your clients and customers, make it a point to show that you are apologetic.
- Be clear and succinct: Don’t be afraid to be clear and succinct in your out-of-office messages. For example, the person reaching out to you doesn’t necessarily need to know where you’re going on vacation. Focus on the exact dates you are off of work and your points of contact. Bold or highlight this information if needed.
- Go the extra mile: Show that you want to provide help even in your absence. For your coworkers, include a list of important internal links. For your clients and customers, give them special promotions and deals they can take advantage of.
Don’ts of email auto-replies
- Make empty commitments: Don’t promise to check your emails or other messages on vacation if you have no intention of doing so. Don’t commit to responding as soon as you are back in the office either in case you have a lot to catch up on. Setting expectations can potentially lead to more issues down the road.
- Include a colleague who hasn’t agreed to help: Don’t list a colleague as an emergency contact if they haven’t agreed to help. This can blind side both the colleague and the person emailing you, making you seem negligent and unprofessional.
- Promise an immediate response from your colleagues: In the same vein, even if your colleague agrees to help, don’t commit them to an immediate response. They are taking on your work in addition to their own.
Auto-reply email examples
If you’re wondering what a good out-of-office email looks like, take a look at the following examples. Feel free to use them as email templates for your own automatic replies. In general, always consider who your OOO message is going out to and tailor your response.
Thank you for your email. I will be out of the office for a family vacation from [start date] to [end date]. During this time, I will have limited access to email and will not be able to respond to your message until my return.
If you need assistance right away, please contact [name and contact information of a colleague who can help].
Thanks for your understanding, and I look forward to getting back to you upon my return.
[Your choice of sign off],
I will be out of the office today and have no email access, [date], due to an emergency situation that needs my immediate attention. I will be back in the office tomorrow, and I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
If you have any urgent matters, please reach out to [name and contact information of a colleague who can help] for assistance.
Thank you for your understanding.
Maintain good customer service with professional auto-replies
If you're looking to set up your business email, stand out from the competition with top-notch customer service using a vacation auto-reply message. By providing clear communication and alternative contacts, you showcase your professionalism and fulfill your customer’s expectations even when you are away from work.
In addition to out-of-office messages, other types of email automation can help your business grow as well. Eliminate the busy work from your schedule and get help with transactional emails, welcome emails, no-reply emails, and more using Mailchimp’s email marketing software.
Need help with email design? Check out our resources on email design templates and the best fonts for emails.