The out of office reply is widely heralded at Front Door Comms as one of the best inventions ever. It allows you to walk away from your PC and go on holiday knowing that whatever arrives in your inbox, it will be answered immediately.
The recipient has a range of options they can use to contact your company, while you relax and continue to sup on your Aperol Spritz knowing that you’re not leaving anything urgent unattended….bliss!
Whilst its very existence is something of a genius idea – there are ways to make the out of office even better. And, if you actually think about it, it’s a bit of an undervalued marketing channel. Here are a few ways to make your out of office work that little bit harder for your business.
Depending on your email platform, you may be able to create different out of office replies for internal recipients and those externally. So, for your internal replies, you could think about adding a bit of additional information about yourself.
As well as letting people know who they can contact in your absence and when you will return, why not say where you’ve gone or what you’re up to? Depending on the size of your organisation, it could be an opportunity to let colleagues see some of your personality. For example, if you’ve booked the week off to go and see Eurovision, why not include this? It’s bound to be a great conversation starter with your colleagues when you get back.
You could also use it as an opportunity to mention some of the projects that your department has been working on – if appropriate. But aside from this, why not just think of it as a way to give your colleagues a smile?
While you’re off somewhere not working, spare a thought for those who might be stuck at a desk with just the gentle hum of a cooling fan for company.
According to this article, the average office worker receives 121 emails every day, and whilst all of these emails won’t be relevant, there may be 2-3 in there that are from potential customers, journalists, or even just someone who doesn’t know very much about your company. So, including links to content on your website or LinkedIn / Twitter / Instagram profiles in your out of office could also accumulate some new followers for your social media channels too.
Equally, if you include a link to your latest news article or blog post, that person might just read it and share it - even if two people per day read that article, that’s 10 new people who wouldn’t have read that article before.
Or, if you work in a company’s press office, could you link to your latest press releases so that if a journalist gets in touch, they may actually find what they’re looking for from your out of office?
The out of office could also help you get more out of your attendance at events or conferences. For example, if you need an out of office because you’re at a business event, could you say:
“Thanks for your email! I’m not in the office at the moment because I’m attending ShedCon, the annual conference for those who love sheds.
If you’d like to meet me there, I’ll be at stand S76 where you can come and see our latest range of outdoor spaces and our brand new GinShed, providing a safe place for those who just need a place to enjoy their gin. Our latest model now comes as standard with optics and a mixer fridge.”
This could be a great way to network or catch up with contacts if you’re based out of town for a few days. One of your business contacts could be at the same conference and if they know you’re at the same place, they might get in touch to meet up for a coffee – saving you all the usual “send me some dates when you’re free” shenanigans.
Depending on your organisation, not all funny out of office templates will be appropriate –and we trust that as a professional, you can probably determine that for yourself. It’s always worth remembering, however, that in a lot of cases adding some humour or additional information about your company could be a way to generate new sales, recruit new followers or even just add a bit of personality to your brand.All News