Set An Out Of Office Vacation Message Autoresponder
by Jo Shaer, on December 15, 2012
Why would you want to set an out of office vacation message autoresponder?
Well, you're going to be away from the office for two weeks annual leave in the summer. Or for an extended period over Christmas and the New Year.
And you're determined not to check your emails... but how to tell potential customers that you're not just ignoring them... or that your email has not gone down...?
Well, it really depends what type of email client you are using as to how you do it, but you can set an out of office reply message.
Out of Office Reply On Outlook
I found this great instructional piece on how to set an out of office message in Outlook. You will need to create a template for your message first but, after that, it is easy enough to add in the dates that you want the message to be sent to enquirers.
Vacation Responder On Gmail
It seems fairly simple to set up an out of the office on vacation responder if you use gmail.
Domain Based Webmail Autoresponder Message
For those of you who still use a domain based webmail account for your emails like Horde or Squirrel or Roundcube, it is still possible to set up a vacation message. But you will need to have access to the cpanel of your domain.
Log in using the dashboard which appears when you type YourDoman/cpanel into the search bar
Click on the Autoresponder tab and then click the button marked Add Auto Responder.
Choose the Interval between which you want messages to be sent - I chose 24 hours. This is when someone from the same email address contacts you a second time.
Complete the name that will go in the From field of that email.
The subject will be 'Out of Office Message' or something similar.
Then you need to type the body of your message into the next text box.
Finally, you need to select when this message should go out. Do you want it to start immediately or customise it so that you can set it to start a few days in advance at a specific time. A calendar with a timer will pop up when you check the Custom box.
And when do you want it to stop? It can be permanent as in Never or you can check the Custom box to see a calendar and timer for your finishing date.
Press Create/Modify and you're done.
Make sure you press the create/modify button to save any changes that you have made.
Don't forget to consider your telephone calls as well though. There is nothing worse than an unreturned call when you want information. Or a potential customer who goes elsewhere because they didn't want to speak to an answerphone.
There are many businesses that offer a telephone answering service and/or call handling on your behalf. You may want to take your lunch break or hold a meeting without interruption. Or just to keep the office 'manned' whilst you are on annual leave. Temporary or every day options are available.