By Joanna Martin

Many business owners use an out of office auto responder message when they are away from the office for any length of time. In fact, it’s good practice, because it lets senders know they may not receive a response for a while, and directs them to any of your team members who can help in your absence.

In TrayBut have you ever stopped to consider how valuable this little bit of space is for your business?

In fact, it’s prime real estate… if you use if effectively that is!

You see, most people only ever state the minimum of information in their out of office messages… you know, how long they’re away for and email addresses and phone numbers of their absence cover.

99% of out of office emails are, well, bland!

And if yours is too, you’re missing a big trick!

So why not spend an extra few minutes crafting a great message that stands out and makes you and your business memorable?

Instead of the bland, standard message, can you be more creative? It is important that any message you write is authentic though… so if you have a straight personality, don’t try out your comedy skills for the first time in your message.

But how would you feel if you received a message like this…?

“I’m sitting on the beach right now drinking cocktails and will be back in the office on [insert date], While I’m relaxing, why not download my free [insert your free incentive to join your community… ebook, report, video series etc], grab a coffee and put your feet up for 10 minutes? You can download it here [insert link]

I’ll reply when I get back to the office but if you’ve finished reading or would prefer a quicker response, please contact [insert name and contact details for your absence cover]”

Or something like this…

“I’m away from the office until [insert date] but by the time I return, our [insert event name] will be only a few days away. I wouldn’t want you to miss out because I’m on holiday, so I invite you to go book your place here [insert link] and we can catch up on the day.

If you have questions or would prefer a response while I’m away, please do contact [insert name and contact details for your absence cover] and they’ll be only too pleased to help”

These are only suggestions and may not be entirely appropriate for your business or audience, but you get the idea? Can you create a message along these lines that is in synergy with what you do and the people who will receive the message?

Being creative with your out of office messages serves two benefits;

Benefit #1:

Man in DeckchairYour message stands out from the crowd. You can bet that your recipients have received a ton of out of office messages that make their eyes glaze over, but by being a bit quirky and original, they are more likely to sit up and take notice of what you’ve said.

Benefit #2:

By mentioning your free incentive to join your community or your upcoming event, online program etc, you may just get a few new sign ups while you’re away with no extra marketing effort.

Sound good?

So my invitation to you today is to review what you currently say in your out of office message, and think about how you can make it more original so it stands out from the crowd. It may only be a small space but it could be extremely beneficial to your results.

What is the best out of office message you’ve seen? Are there any that stick in your mind?

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