The out-of-office template I use every time I’m OOO and don’t want to deal with a thousand emails
What’s your email engagement strategy?
I’m not talking about whether or not you have a nurture sequence, how often you email your list, what your open rate is, or any of that stuff.
I’m talking about how YOU personally handle your email situation. Or, you know, don’t.
Are you very Type A about your inbox? With very organized folders, tags and filters on lock, and that coveted inbox zero? The type of person who only touches an email once and considers it bad juju to open an email, see what it says, then mark it as unread so you can come back to it later?
Or are you the type who’s got 5,893 unread emails in your inbox? You know, where your inbox *is* your folder, there’s no system, you constantly check your email, and you miss important messages because your inbox is a freakin’ mess?
Look, I don’t care. You do you.
(I’m half and half, if you must know. I have folders and labels, but I read emails, leave them to be dealt with later, and don’t mark them as unread, nor do I have a real system. And, yes, even though I pretend like I only check my email a few times a day, you’re damn right that tab is open as long as I’m working.)
But I bet, whatever your strategy is, you’d probably like to save a little time dealing with your email. Whether that means less time organizing it, less time reading it, less time thinking about, less time agonizing over how many messages are currently sitting in your inbox.
Or...less time writing emails.
Yeah. I can help with that one. 👆🏻
I might not be an email organization wizard or witch or sorceress or demigod, but I definitely have a few tools up my sleeve to help you spend less time actually writing emails.
And to make them even better emails.
So, today, I’m going to walk you through one of the templates I use all the time in my business. You, of course, are free to take it and bastardize it, once you understand what goes in to it. Or, you know, copy and paste if that’s more your style. But – whatever you do – make sure you change out the names, yes? Not for privacy sake, but so you look like you know what you’re doing and you’re NOT copying and pasting.
Okay, let’s dive in to...
The email you need to have in your back pocket
You know what’s going to help you set boundaries LIKE. A. BOSS., manage expectations, and resist the urge to check your email 1,389 times a day?
*Actually* setting an out-of-office autoresponder.
Yep, totally an extra step you have to take before you step out – whether it’s for a vacation, an appointment, a mental health day – but one that’s going to save you some serious sanity and time.
See above where you’re not checking your email 1,389 times.
Also…you won’t have to craft replies to every email once you’re back in the office, explaining where you were or what you were doing or why your response is delayed.
And, let’s be honest: Once most people see an out-of-office, they find someone else to help them. (Plus…you probably gave your clients and the people you deal with on the reg a heads up you’d be gone, right?)
Now, of course, you’re not just going to pop one of those “I’m out of the office from now until forever, returning never” messages in there.
You’re going to intentionally write an autoresponder that sets those boundaries and makes you feel like you’ve got your ass covered.
Let’s check out how we’re going to do that before we jump right into the template. Cool?
The elements and structure (so you can personalize it till the patio furniture comes home)
Inside joke. Sorry. (There’s a lot of those around here, eh? Shaking my head…)
The first thing you want your OOO message to do is thank people for their email. Right away, that’s going to make them feel seen and heard…even if it’s just an autoreply.
Then, you want to set your boundaries. Be very clear if you’re checking emails and responding or if you won’t even open your email until you get back. And, you know, people are nosy (…in a good way?) so feel free to throw ‘em a detail or two about what you’re up to.
You’ll want to make damn sure (any Taking Back Sunday fans? Bueller?) you say when you’ll be back so no one’s expecting a response tomorrow and wondering WTF is wrong with you when you don’t reply posthaste.
After that, I like to throw a bit of humor in there because…hi, have we met? My favorite way is to advise them who to *actually* call in an emergency. Because most emails you and I are getting are NOT emergencies.
Sure, the internet goes down, images don’t load, sites get hacked, but that’s kind of the exception.
The final element of our email is to let them know you’re not a total stanky ass shoebox who won’t help them out if there really is something urgent that can’t wait.
Okay, let’s get to what you’ve been waiting for. (That is, if you’ve been reading and didn’t immediately scroll down…)
The out-of-office template I use every time I’m OOO and don’t want to deal with emails
Hey-o and thanks ever so much for your email!
I’m on vacation and totally disconnected from email. I’m headed to what they call the Big Apple (for the first time EVER! 😆) and can’t wait! I’ll be back in action on Monday, October 8.
If you have an emergency, call 911. Seriously. Or your dentist.
If you really really need some help and it just can't wait, slap a big ol' URGENT in the subject line. Otherwise, I'll ignore your pleas accordingly.
Yes, I totally used this email when I went to what they call the Big Apple last year. And, yes, it totally helped me set boundaries and save time. I even got responses that it made people LOL. #winning
Love this template? Find it helpful? There’s more where it came from! Download Templates with Personality for 9 more templates to help you write better emails that will save you time and just maybe make you some money. Grab your very own copy right here.