Strategic Marketing Blog

A New Approach to Out of Office Emails

We’ve all seen them – the traditional (and boring) out of office email:

“I will be out of the office until Friday, Nov. 7 with limited access to my email. If you have immediate needs, please contact Joe Black at 555-555-5555.”

Sure, this gets across what you need it do:

  1. You’re out of the office.
  2. You might not be able to respond right away.
  3. Who to contact in your absence.

But, it sure does feel cold.

What if you’re at a conference this week, learning about all kinds of new things that could affect the businesses of your customers/clients? They have no idea that’s what you’re doing by that email.

A New Approach to Consider
One thing we hear a lot at Skoda Minotti is that we should constantly be seeking ways to add value to our clients and contacts.

So, what if you took that out of office and turned it into a helpful message to someone who has already shown some interest in you and has kept you top of mind?

smiling student girl with laptop at schoolIt could go something like this:

“I’m so sorry I missed your email . I am at a conference this week learning about the most recent industry regulations and updates that will affect the businesses of my clients and contacts like you.

I will be back in the office on Monday, Nov. 10 and would be happy to respond to your message at that time. if you need some assistance in my absence, please contact Joe Black at 555-555-5555.

In the meantime, please check out this recent blog post that one of my colleagues wrote about a new industry regulation: IRS Issues Employer Reporting Guidelines for the Affordable Care Act.

And if you’d like to chat with me when I return about what I’ve learned and what’s coming that could affect your business, I’d be happy to take you to lunch to discuss. Leave me a message with some available dates/times for the next couple weeks and I’ll respond with my availability as soon as I can.

Thanks so much. I’ll be back in touch with you next week.”

One additional tip: if you cannot link the words (as I have above), and must paste the full link to the article within the email, use a service called Bit.ly to create a shortened link. If you sign up for a free account, you can also track how many people have clicked on that link. Click here to read a product feature on Bit.ly.

Other Scenarios
The first example seems like a great scenario to use this new approach to out of of office emails, at a conference, learning about ways to improve their business.

How else can this new approach work? If you are:

  1. At a client/prospect meeting – share how you’re currently helping a client, and provide some supplemental information on that topic
  2. Volunteering with a nonprofit – share some information about the cause, why it’s meaningful to you, and provide a link to a feel-good story that illustrates the mission
  3. Vacation or holidays – share where you’re vacationing or a brief statement about how you’ll be spending your time, and include any sort of helpful information that you think they would find interesting (it doesn’t have to be pertinent to what you’re doing at the time, just keep their best interest in mind)

This is a tip I picked up at the HubSpot Inbound Conference in Boston, MA in September.

If’ you’d like more information on getting the most out of your emails, Skoda Minotti’s Strategic Marketing advisors are happy to help. Feel free to send us a message or give us a call at 440-449-6800.

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