The Not So Simple Task of Creating Out of Office Messages

The Not So Simple Task of Creating Out of Office Messages

In this instant messaging world we live in, delayed responses to emails and phone calls can leave a bad impression with the sender or caller. To avoid this, make use of your voicemail and the Vacation Message capabilities of your email service provider.


Because so much of our digital world is automated, it’s important to know what sort of chain reaction your Out of Office Message might trigger. For example, if spammers receive an automated response to their emails, it can result in more spam because it inadvertently verifies that they’ve reached a valid email address. A bit further on, you’ll find a simple way to avoid that with careful selection of the options offered by your email service provide.

With your own service provide, plus Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines available for quick answer, be sure to do your research before setting the auto-respond wheels in motion. Then use this brief checklist to set up your email vacation response. The first two items apply equally to voicemail and to email responses. After that, it’s all about email.

When to Use Out of Office Messages – Any time that you will not be responding in your normal time frame and want to ensure that senders do not think you are ignoring them.

What Information to Provide

  • Alternative contact information for while you are not available
  • When you will next review and respond to your messages
  • Emergency contact information should it be urgent to reach you

Options to Consider

  • Use settings that only send your message once in any given period to any one email address so that your automated responses do not become irritants. For example, you may want to set a schedule for one reminder per week to those who communicate with you more frequently.
  • Set your response to respond to non-spammers after filtering all email through your spam catcher.
  • Your default settings should exclude responding to subscribed email lists. A response to a no-reply sender may cause a problematic email loop for the sender resulting in a cancellation of your subscription.
  • Check all default settings to be sure you haven’t missed anything.

Now go and enjoy your vacation. The weather out there is just grand!

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