The Art of the Perfect Out-of-Office Response: A Guide

Sales strategy
21 May 2024


Creating the perfect out-of-office (OOO) response might seem like a minor detail in the grand scheme of your work life. Why bother putting too much thought into such a small thing?

Think about it—how many days a year are you on vacation? How many days is your email inbox essentially out of commission? During these days, your contacts receive a random, generic email…


This email could also help you gain clients and work for you while you're sipping a cocktail on the beach. 🍹

And there's more! Crafting a well-thought-out OOO message can:

  • Enhance your professional image 🌟
  • Maintain your relationships 💬
  • And even give your marketing efforts a subtle boost 🚀

This small effort for what seems like a trivial email can actually become a significant asset.

Here’s a little guide to the art of creating an OOO response that’s both informative and memorable.

1/ 8 reasons Why a Great OOO Response Matters

I once received an OOO response that simply said: "out of office, please contact...”

No hello.

No information.

No goodbye.

👉🏼Where are the basic good manners??!

And what does that evoke? A feeling of dissatisfaction, of being undervalued. Irritation. Almost anger. It says a lot about the person who hastily writes such a message: a disregard for the person reading it. It’s a message focused on oneself, not on others.

An out-of-office message does more than just inform people that you’re not available—it represents you while you’re not there to answer emails yourself. It’s an opportunity to communicate effectively and leave a positive impression.

For businesses, it also serves as a touchpoint that can enhance brand awareness and customer engagement.

Here’s 8 points why you should take care of your out-of-office emails :

1. Maintains Professionalism

A well-crafted OOO response shows that you value professionalism and respect the sender's time. It sets a tone of responsibility, indicating that you are organized and attentive to details, even in your absence.

2. Reduces Email Overload

By directing the sender to another contact who can assist, or providing additional resources, your OOO response can reduce the number of emails waiting for you. This helps you manage your workload better and focus on high-priority tasks upon returning.

3. Strengthens Business Relationships

A thoughtful OOO response can enhance relationships by showing colleagues and clients that you’re considerate and proactive about communication. It reassures them that their messages are important to you, fostering goodwill and trust.

4. Reflects Your Personal Brand

Your OOO email is an opportunity to reinforce your personal brand. A clever, professional, or even humorous message can leave a memorable impression, contributing to how you're perceived in your professional circle.

5. Prevents Project Delays

For those working in collaborative environments, an informative OOO message can keep projects moving forward by redirecting queries or tasks to capable team members.

6. Offers Peace of Mind

For you, a well-planned OOO response means you can truly disconnect, knowing you’ve set the stage for smooth communication in your absence. This peace of mind is crucial for fully enjoying your time off.

7. Boosts Productivity

By managing expectations and directing urgent matters appropriately, you can minimize the disruption to your productivity caused by a backlog of unresolved issues when you return.

8. Creates an Opportunity for Humor

If appropriate, a humorous OOO message can showcase your personality and make the interaction with your email memorable. This little touch of humor can brighten someone's day and strengthen your connections.

😉😎 Humor is one of the greatest strengths in communication! Never forget it!

2/ Key Elements of an Effective Out-of-Office Message

Here are some specific elements to remember when crafting your absence message, tailored to your situation:

Clear Time Frame 📅

Specify the exact dates you will be away. This helps manage expectations regarding your availability.

Point of Contact 👥

Always include an alternative contact person who can assist in your absence. Provide their name, position, and contact details.

Reason for Absence (optional) 🏖️

You might want to mention the reason for your absence if it’s professional and appropriate, like "attending a conference" or "on a company retreat."

Alternatively, you can opt for storytelling (whether true or not). For example, you could share a light story: "I had a lot of vacation days piled up, and my boss literally kicked me out and forced me to take a 10-day break. Sorry, I’ll be back even more energized!"

Or something more personal: "My sister decided to get married on the other side of the world, and I must go to the beach. When I return, I’ll bring you all a flower necklace 🌸🌸."

These personal touches can make your OOO message memorable and reflect your personal brand.

Link to Your Website or Blog: 🔗

Don’t forget the links! Like a CTA, this can drive traffic and increase engagement, particularly if the link leads to helpful resources or recent blog posts.

3/ Examples of Memorable Out-of-Office Messages

Here are several examples tailored to different scenarios:

🔵The Marketing Professional Savvy

Subject: Out of Office: At the Forefront of Marketing Innovation!

Thanks for reaching out!

I’m away from my desk until [date] attending a fantastic marketing conference where I’m learning new ways to serve you better. I’ll reply to your email as soon as I return.

Can’t wait? Feel free to contact [Name] at [Email/Phone Number].

Also, check out our latest blog post [link] on the top marketing strategies for this year!

🟢The Adventurer

Subject: Out of Reach but Exploring Deep! 🌍

Hello and thanks for your email! 🌍

I'm currently off the grid, trekking through the Amazon rainforest until [Return Date]. Hope I will return safe 😉

For urgent matters, please contact [Contact Name] at [Contact Email]. If it's not urgent, then picture me swinging from a vine when I get back to your message! 🐒🌿

PS: I might bring back a parrot who can reply to emails for me.

🟠The Conference Attendee

Subject: Greetings from [Conference Location]! 🌟

I'm currently attending the [Conference Name], absorbing all the latest on [Conference Topic] until [Return Date].

I'll be eager to share new insights and ideas upon my return. In the meantime, for immediate assistance, please reach out to [Contact Name] at [Contact Email].

Catch you on the flip side, where I’ll be filled with more knowledge and probably more coffee! ☕

🔴The Humorous Break

Subject: I’m currently out of the office, but my WiFi isn’t! 🚀

Hi! If you’re reading this, then I managed to escape from my desk and am currently recharging somewhere where the sun sets beautifully [Return Date].

I’ll have limited access to email, so I’ll reply to your message as soon as I return – unless I decide to extend my break into a sabbatical. Just kidding (or am I?).

For anything urgent, please contact [Contact Name] at [Contact Email].

They’re awesome and less likely to be on a beach.

🟣The Baby Family Time Out

Subject: On Baby Duty – Back Soon! 🍼


Thank you for your email.

I'm currently on family leave, enjoying the chaos of parenting until [Return Date]. 🍼

I’m mastering the art of changing diapers and surviving on minimal sleep, but I’ll be sure to respond once I’m back and possibly more coherent.

For immediate assistance, please reach out to [Contact Name] at [Contact Email].

They’re less likely to have baby food in their hair.

🟡The Creative Sabbatical

Subject: On a Creative Journey – Will Return Inspired! 🎨

Hello, you've reached my inbox while I'm on a creative sabbatical until [Return Date], seeking inspiration from the world around me! 🎨

I won't be checking emails regularly as I'm currently deep in thought (or possibly just deep in coffee cups at quaint little cafes).

For all urgent matters, please contact [Contact Name] at [Contact Email]. Expect me to return with new ideas and a refreshed spirit!

Each of these messages incorporates a unique touch, reflecting the sender's current activities or circumstances, and ensures that the recipient knows how to proceed in the sender's absence.

Final Thoughts

Your out-of-office message might be a small cog in the machine that is your professional correspondence, but it has the potential to leave a big impact. It’s a marketing tool that keeps working even when you’re not, reinforcing your brand and maintaining connections. So next time you’re drafting that OOO, remember: a little creativity can go a long way!

Whether you’re looking to spruce up your professional communication or get the most out of every email you send, consider integrating Mailtracker’s features into your workflow. Our tools can help you track email opens and optimize your engagement, ensuring you never miss a beat, even when you're out of the office! 🚀

Email tracking for Gmail

Track every emails and documents that you’ll be send. Know exactly who and when your PDF are opened and never miss an opportunity to follow up again.

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