Apparently, you and I are the only ones working this week because my inbox has been flooded with out-of-office email responses.
The auto replies are from people I’ve emailed and know. They are good, hard-working, dedicated, personable people. None are selling anything that requires a level of decorum like how you might expect a brain surgeon, rocket scientist or funeral director to reply.
Yet, their OOO emails are, well you tell me!
First, please consider why even use an OOO? What’s its purpose?
#1. You want to reframe expectations (because typically you respond immediately and your response may/will be delayed).
#2. But more – much more – you want to be helpful and keep the other person engaged with your product or service.
Here are just three examples (to keep this post relatively concise):
Thank you for your email, I’m currently out of the office. Should you need immediate assistance please call 555-555-5555.
I am on business travel and with limited access to my emails. I will return to the office on <Date>.
If your need is urgent before that date, please email <email address>.
I am currently out of the office with limited access to email through <Date>. If you require immediate assistance, please contact <email address>.
Are you feeling great about the writer? Do you feel like they give a blip about your business? Do you even have the info you need (like when can you expect a response?) and what to do if the need isn’t urgent, but you’d still like an answer, now, please?
Ready for some good examples?
Thank you so much for contacting me.
I am out of the office attending the X conference. The great news is that our team of experts is standing by to assist you. Please contact Name/Email and you will be in excellent hands. I’ll follow up with you as soon as I return from the conference, <Date>.
Thanks again for thinking of <Company>.
Or, what about this – one of my all time favorites, used earlier this year, by my friend, Yolanda Gonzalez, National Sales Director @Discover Puerto Rico:
My friends and colleagues!
My home office is currently closed in order to spend time with my dear family.
Be back on the <Date> to continue breathing Life into our meeting Industry at X event!
Name, at <email> is happy to answer any questions. She’s got my back – and yours too!
What a difference!
If you’re going to bother to use an auto responder, make it helpful.
Add interest with fun, or a nuanced pitch for your services (Thanks for considering the friendliest destination in the US!)!
At the very least, be human.
Being human creates likability. Likeability builds trust. Trust builds relationships. Relationships build sales. What an easy way to set yourself apart!
Please post or email (Sue@SpeakerSue.com) your updated and friendlier OOO!
Before you go—
The whirlwind is behind us and the future is bright! With two-thirds of buyers preferring remote interactions – digital and virtual – polishing your email selling skills is key to dramatically improving sales.
It’s time to stop sending email after email only to be ignored! You can write quick, strategic, smart messages that get results and drive sales!