Out-of-office messages for your vacation

It’s time for some hard-earned time off! Whether you’re headed for the beach or visiting family you haven’t seen for a while, wouldn’t it be nice to disconnect from the digital world for a while? But before you disappear, you can set up automatic replies for your emails so the senders know when they can expect a reply.
Family of four runs through field of grain at sunset
Why worry about replying to emails when you’re out having fun?
We’ll show you how it works– and share some examples of effective – and funny – out-of-office (OOO) messages.
  1. Why set up an out-of-office email?
  2. What should a professional out-of-office reply say?
  3. Funny OOO message examples
  4. How do you create automatic replies in your mail.com account?
  5. Setting up an automatic reply in Outlook

Why set up an out-of-office email?

There are a lot of reasons you might not be able to reply to personal or work emails – the obvious examples being vacation or sick leave. But there might also just be days when you know you won’t get around to reading your emails – like if you need to concentrate on a big freelance project and want to let your customers know you’ll only be checking email once a day. Letting people know when they can expect an answer shows that you’re reliable.

What should a professional out-of-office reply say?

Not sure what to write in an out-of-office message? If it’s an automatic reply for work, the most important information for your colleagues and customers is how long you will be gone, when you will be back, and who they can contact if they need urgent assistance. You may also like to provide them with a way to contact you in emergencies or tell them why you are gone.

Nowadays most people strive for a polite and friendly tone in their automatic reply. Here’s a professional out-of-office message example:

Thanks for reaching out! I’m on vacation this week and will not be able to check my emails until June 28. If your message is urgent, you can contact my assistant Pierre Jones at (555) 555-5555. Otherwise I’ll reply as soon as I can after my return.

Funny OOO message examples

If you are setting up an automatic reply for family and friends, you can certainly use the approach above, but you can also feel free to get creative. Or funny – here are a few classic replies to inspire you:

I’m taking a break from email while I’m on vacation, but if it’s important you can contact me on Twitter. Please use the hashtag #InterruptingYourHoliday.

Congratulations – you are the proud winner of a free automated email response! If you email me again before July 6, you have a 100% chance of winning again!

I’m unable to reply to your email due to a family emergency: The Wi-Fi is down at our house and the kids are on the verge of killing each other.

How do you create automatic replies in your mail.com account?

As you may know, mail.com offers options for adding a signature on emails and sending automatic replies. So setting up an out-of-office message for one or all of your mail.com addresses couldn’t be easier. Simply go to E-mail Settings and click Autoresponder. Mouse over the email address you’d like to create an automatic reply for and click on the wrench symbol that appears to the right. Or click Autoresponder for all your sender addresses to send the same automatic reply to all your incoming messages:
Screenshot of Autoresponder window in mail.com E-mail Settings
You can set up automatic replies to one or all of your mail.com addresses

This will open a window where you can set the dates for your automatic reply and save the message you want to have sent (up to 500 characters), as in the out of office message sample below:
Screenshot of out-of-office options in mail.com settings
Enter the time and text for your autoresponder and click Save

Setting up an automatic reply in Outlook

If you use MS Outlook in the office, simply click on the File tab in the upper left corner of the application. If you see a button marked Automatic Replies (Out of Office), you can click there and follow the intuitive instructions to create and activate your OOO message.

However, if you use Outlook with POP or IMAP to check a third-party email account (like your mail.com Premium account) this option will not be available. To set up an out of office reply, you will have to use the “Rules” function instead. Unfortunately, to send automatic replies to incoming messages, you will have to leave Outlook running while you are away.

If you would like to use this option, the first step is creating an out-of-office template by composing a new email containing your vacation message and saving it as an Outlook template (*.oft). Once you have done so, go to the File tab and click the Manage Rules & Alerts button. Now you can set up a new rule using the “reply using a specific template” option. Setting up email rules in Outlook can be complicated, so we recommend visiting the Microsoft support page if you need assistance with your out of office message.

We hope you found this information helpful! Before you start composing your out-of-office message, please give us some feedback below!
This article first appeared on June 21, 2021 and was updated on March 31, 2022

Images: 1&1/Shutterstock

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