The Best Automatic Out-of-Office Email Responses


Emails are an essential form of communication when it comes to working and so responding to them is crucial. The best part is that it is not difficult to do so even when you are away. I remember messaging Cox’s helpline to find details about Cox bill pay and receiving an automated response as well. I liked what I read and set an automatic reply for my emails as well. Though, I keep changing them from time to time. Here is how you can set one as well:

How to Set Automatic Responses

It is not difficult to do. However, it requires patience, as you have to follow a couple of steps.

Look for the File Tab

When you log in to your Outlook account, look for the ‘File’ tab at the top left. Click on it and you will come across the ‘Automatic Replies’ option. Select that option and choose ‘Send Automatic Replies’.

Select a Time Range

If you wish to customize it (I recommend that you should), then select a time for which you want the automated replies to play. For this, you will have to select the required option. If you fail to select this option, your automatic replies will start the day you feed on Outlook but won’t stop unless you manually do so. For that, you will have to follow the steps given above and select the ‘Do not send automatic replies’ option once you are back.

The chances that you might forget to do so even when you return are high. Therefore, you should always select a starting and ending date.

Once done, you should move to the next step. The following step asks for your creativity.

The Message

The automated email won’t be a blank one. You will have to type in a message that the people receive in your absence. There are two ways to go about it. Either you copy-paste a template from the Internet or you create your message. I like the latter as it has a personal touch to it. You can choose to do otherwise.

For this, you will have to go to the ‘Inside Organization’ tab and choose to auto send the message that you add in the message field only once to each sender. Add your message in the field and you are good to go.

For people from outside your organization, select the ‘Outside My Organization’ tab. Follow the same steps that you did for people inside the organization. However, there is a little extra step here as well. You will have to choose whether you wish to reply to people in your contact list alone or to everyone sending you an email. Remember that this step is to be set separately from the inside organization template. Once done, hit ‘OK’.

Addition of Rules

You can choose to add rules for people who are outside your organization. The addition of rules enables you to have a different reply/action with regard to the sender. For example, warning to receive your emails from a specific person in a particular folder. A template for a specific person can also be customized. Follow the steps given below:

  • Choose the ‘Rules’ tab that appears in the left corner in your automatic replies head. Select the ‘Add Rule’ option from here.
  • After you do so, you will have to select the option of adding a template to any message you receive following the condition you specified. Here specify all the conditions you need.
  • In case you wish to add more conditions than you can in this option, you will have to select the ‘Advance’ option. Hit ‘OK’ to add more rules.
  • You can even select the option that allows you to apply a certain rule in the end. 
  • The ‘Perform these actions’ option gives you the liberty to select all the actions that you want to apply to certain emails. Choose one or more actions and then hit the ‘OK’ toggle thrice to apply a rule.

It isn’t that tough to set an automated reply. However, if you are struggling with writing a good message, here are some points to remember.

Tricks to Write a Good Automatic Response

The most crucial thing for you to remember is to well draft your text. Remember that it is a professional message that will go out to your colleagues and clients. You do not want to lose or disappoint anyone of them. Keep in mind the following:

  • Greet the sender with a ‘thanks’ message for getting in touch with you. DO NOT include a good morning in the template. As you are not sure at what time the response gets sent out. A simple ‘Hello’ would do.
  • Clarify your absence so that they know why they are receiving this automated message. Also, mention the dates for which you won’t be available.
  • Apologize for your unavailability.
  • Redirect them by mentioning the email address or contact number of another person from your company.

Once done, get ready to relish your vacation. I would suggest o have a reliable Internet package with you as well. For me, Cox Gigablast works well. But I do not use the Internet package to answer emails. It is solely for leisure purposes. You should do the same.