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OOTO (Out Of The Office) autoresponder emails. We’ve all set them up before. Sometimes we aim for a clever message, and other times we make a couple mistakes (oops, it’s 2016, not 2014!). While we don’t recommend advisors use these, we thought they may serve as fun inspiration for your next autoresponder — or at least give you a chuckle.

Before we start, we want to note that these examples do not come from any advisors we’ve emailed with here at FMG Suite. These are taken straight from the Internet.

Clever Yet Somewhat Professional Autoresponders

Who doesn’t like to have a little fun with their OOTO message?

“Thank you for your email. I’m currently on holidays with my family for the first time in (what seems like) forever. For urgent matters, Gladys will help you. She doesn’t have a cape, but she is basically superwoman.”

“Unfortunately I’m out of the office on vacation through Friday and I’ve promised my wife I wouldn’t check emails. I’m counting down the minutes until my family releases me so I can return to the office and assist you with your request.”

I’m currently on a beach with no laptop or iPhone. I’ll be back in the office on [date].”

“I am currently out of the office on vacation. I know I’m supposed to say that I’ll have limited access to email and won’t be able to respond until I return — but that’s not true. My blackberry will be with me and I can respond if I need to. And I recognize that I’ll probably need to interrupt my vacation from time to time to deal with something urgent.

That said, I promised my wife that I am going to try to disconnect, get away and enjoy our vacation as much as possible. So, I’m going to experiment with something new. I’m going to leave the decision in your hands:

  • If your email truly is urgent and you need a response while I’m on vacation, please resend it and I’ll try to respond to it promptly.
  • If you think someone else at First Round Capital might be able to help you, feel free to email my assistant, Fiona (fiona@firstround.com) and she’ll try to point you in the right direction.

Otherwise, I’ll respond when I return.”

Clever (But Not So Professional) Autoresponders

All of these examples are clever options, but not professional choices for most people. We tip our hats to anyone who uses these messages.

“I will be out of the office from 6/11 thru 6/17 – returning to my desk on 6/21.
If you have questions about life, ask Siri.
If you have an emergency, dial 911.
If you wish to speak to an operator, press or say ‘zero’.
If you want to save a lot of money on your car insurance, contact GEICO.
If you have information which may lead to an arrest in the murder case of Jon Benet Ramsey, contact the Colorado Springs Sheriff’s Department.
If you know the whereabouts of known terrorists, contact the United States Department of Defense.
If you know who shot J.R., contact the Dallas Police Department.
If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, call …. The A-Team.
If the A-Team is unavailable, call Ghostbusters.”

“I’ve run away to join the circus. A different one.”

“If you’re reading this, Doc Brown was unable to make lightning strike the clock tower, and I’m stuck in 1985. I won’t be able to respond to emails or voicemail until 9ish on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012, or until email is invented — whatever comes first.”

“I’m going to be out of Kansas from June 11th to June 17th. If you require urgent assistance, just double click on your ruby red mouse and tell yourself there’s no place like home.”

“I am on vacation from mm/dd to mm/dd. I will allow each sender one email. If you send me multiple emails, I will randomly delete your emails until it is pared down to one. Choose wisely. Please note that you already sent me one email.”

“I am currently out of the office. I have a cell phone, but I will not be giving the number out. If you can guess the number, however, I will take your call.”

Downright Funny Autoresponders (That You Should Never, Ever Use)

The goldmine of autoresponders fits in this category. We question whether someone has actually used any of these. Regardless, they make for a great chuckle on a Monday morning.

“I am currently out at a job interview and will reply to you if I fail to get the position.”

“Sorry to have missed you, but I am at the doctor’s having my brain and heart removed so I can be promoted to our management team.”

“I am away from the office right now. Unfortunately, I will be back tomorrow.”

“I’m out of the office purchasing lottery tickets. Hoping to win and never return.”

“I cannot handle your emails until I return on [date]. Please be patient and your mail will be deleted in the order it was received.”

“I am currently out of the office. I have a cell phone, but I will not be giving the number out. If you can guess the number, however, I will take your call.”

Actual Autoresponder Message Tips

We hope you’ve had a good chuckle. As fun as this was, we didn’t want to leave without giving you a few actual tips you can use when crafting your next autoresponder message.

  • Make it helpful. Rather than state you’re out of the office, include the specific dates you’re gone and when they can expect to receive a response.
  • Offer a back up. If possible, list someone your contact can reach out to if needed. This could be an assistant or co-worker.
  • Consider offering an emergency line. Depending on the size of your clientele, you may consider offering your cell phone number and noting that it should be used for emergencies only.
  • Don’t be afraid to get personal. Headed on your honeymoon? Attending your daughter’s college graduation? Let your contacts know. It helps your message seem less robotic.
  • Double check the dates. Creating your autoresponder message is usually an afterthought, so it’s easy to make a mistake. Confirm that the dates are correct and that your autoresponder will deploy on the right dates.

Here are a few example templates you can use for your next autoresponder message:

“Thanks for reaching out. I am currently out of the office (list your activity here) from (starting date) through (end date). I will not have access to emails. If you need immediate assistance, please contact (contact person) at (contact number/email).”

“Unfortunately you’ve caught me when I’m out of the office. I have limited access to email so please expect a delay in my response until I will return on (end date). For emergencies, you can reach me on my cell phone at (number).”

“I am currently out of the office until (end date). I do not have email access but will respond to your message when I return.”

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