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I’m amazed at how many people are out-of-office today. It’s like a highly synchronized experiment in what and what not to say in an out-of-office message. If only I had planned it…

Which do you think is most appealing and helpful:

Example A:
Thank you for your email!
Please note that I will be out of the office on business for the rest of the week, but will be checking email periodically each day.
My emails and leads will be monitored by my assistant Name. If you need to reach Name directly, her phone number is X and her email address is X.
If this is urgent, please call my cellphone at X.
Best Regards,

Example B:
Thank you for your email. I am currently out of the office without access to email. Should you need immediate assistance please contact Name@address.

Example C:
Thank you for your message. It’s my favorite time of the year, when we share X experience with our colleagues around the world. Thursday and Friday I am in City. You can count on a reply by Monday.
Warm regards,

Example D:
Hello! Rest assured your email is sitting safely in my inbox.
I am away from the office until Tuesday 27th August at 8am.

On Thursday 22nd I am at delivering my popular “X” training programme.
Friday 23rd sees us off to Legoland to celebrate my son turning 2 years old!
Monday 26th is a Bank Holiday in the UK.

This means I won’t be as speedy as usual answering emails, but will come back to you as quickly as possible, Tuesday 27th at the latest.

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Example E:
Thank you for your message. I am currently away from the office with limited access to email until my return on Monday, August 26th. Please pardon delay in my response.

SpeakerSue’s rules for smart Out-of-Office messages:
Tell them when they can depend on hearing from you.
Never, never say you have limited or periodic access because that means you’re checking and prioritizing. If I don’t get an email back, I know where I stand.
It’s not just if they “need immediate assistance” should they call Name! It sounds like you give them permission to call only if it’s urgent – like they can’t hold it in a second longer. If they’d like answers before reconnecting with you, here is a great resource.
Be warm and friendly. You know, like you are in real life. You are not a robot. Do not sound like one.
Have some fun! It’s likely you aren’t selling brain parts to brain surgeons. And even if you are, they’re people too! Infuse your brand values into your OOO.
Don’t refer to a prospect as a “lead” even if you’re responding to colleagues. Full stop.

Example C and D have my votes. Yes, D is a bit over the top but this amazing woman sells to the wedding market. She has every right to be particularly enthusiastic.
Example C is specific, concise and helps us to like the writer (as long as people care when her favorite time of the year is!).

Your OOO should sound like you.
It must tell recipients when they can depend on hearing back from you.
What their options are.
And it should help them remember why they want to do business with you in the first place.

Do you even use an out-of-office anymore? If you’re going to get back to me quickly anyway, do you need to do so?

Want to post your OOO or email it to me for further comment?

Before you go…

Are you looking for fresh, modern ideas to boost success at your next sales meeting or conference? SpeakerSue will energize your meeting, keep everyone engaged and provide the “kick” your team needs to create a cultural change in the way they communicate.

To use email more strategically and successfully, send an email to or call (+1-480-575-9711) to check availability. You can count on fresh, practical content to convert more leads and drive revenue and profitability.

PS. Please forward this blog to others who can also benefit! Thank you!


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