Getting ready for a holiday?  Don’t forget your out-of-office note

If you are getting ready for some time away from the office, your ‘to do’ list is probably pretty long. But it will be all worth it when you can down tools and get that well-earned break. And, while you never truly leave the emails behind, (which will continue to flow on our mobile devices) it’s important to be able to take a break from them and the demands of your business.

So before you walk out the door, make sure you set up your out-of-office or email forwarding so that your contacts know that you may not respond as quickly as usual. You can make this as simple as a short sentence that says you are away and will respond on your return but if you can add some humour, it can be a powerful thing for your brand. You could use the opportunity to show your personality, make someone smile, share some news or simply encourage them to join your mailing list by adding a button with a link to a landing page.

We found some examples of a few humorous options…like these out-of-office emails by Canadian actor and owner of Aviation Gin, Ryan Reynolds. Reynolds has become known for his funny auto-response emails. He’s even given his email out on The Tonight Show and then received 20,000 emails. That’s a pretty clever way to build an email database!

Here are some of them from Bill Murray’s column on

February – Thank you for your email and interest in Aviation American Gin! I’m away from my desk at the moment but will respond the moment they give me a desk. … I don’t know whose idea it was to allow me into the gin business, but I can assure you, there are smarter, more reasonable people in charge.

July – I will be out of the office celebrating Canada Day (July 1), World UFO Day (July 2nd), Tom Cruise’s Birthday (July 3rd) and July 4th (July 4th.) It’s also National Picnic Month so let’s just reconnect in August, shall we?

August – Thanks for your email but unfortunately, I am out of the office on official business. I really can’t say more than that. It’s official. It’s business. And that’s that.

Whether you decide to opt for humour or to stick with the details in a professional message, it is still worthwhile including something extra, that builds your connection with your emailer. It could be a handy and topical guide or useful article on your website. 

Most of us expect a boring note in the out-of-office email auto-response so this is your opportunity to stand out from the crowd, offer something more and be more engaging.

Oh, and don’t forget to tell them how long you are away, when you will be back and who to contact if they need a response before that.

Happy Holidays.



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