Out of Office Emails: A Different Look

Sorry I cannot respond immediately to your message as I will be away from the office January 11th through 13th. For urgent matters, please contact me at xxx-555-1212.


The bane of a cold-calling salesman’s existence is the Out of Office reply. It means for certain that your email will be relegated with the rest of the newsletters, Groupon deals, junk mail, and solicitations that will clutter an inbox on their return. It means a cold, dead lead for most of you.

But does it have to?
What if you did something different?
What if you separated yourself from the crowd?

Lazzy Feet on a Blue Ocean Beach vacation

What if you replied to the Out of Office email?

Yeah, I went there. I’m putting it out there. I’ll even admit this isn’t my idea, but it’s genius. It shows that your email didn’t come from a robot or an automated list. It shows that you actually can respond (maybe with some humor, if you’re like me) and give them something new to remember.

Not only that but you can use that for intelligence. You now know things about your prospect. You know when they’re gone and when they’ll be back. In some cases you’ll know what they are doing while they aren’t answering your email so you have conversation starters when they get back. I received this real Out of Office message yesterday:

Please note that I will be out of the office with no access to
email/phone as I attempt to hike to the roof of Africa (Mount

Kindly note the following points of contact:

You’re damn right that gives me all kinds of ammo to work with. Imagine the response I’ll get when he gets down from the mountain and sees an email like this:
“Awesome! That sounds like a great accomplishment and something that is a cool story. The kind of client who takes some time to climb a mountain is the kind of client I want to work with, I’d love to hear about your climb when you get back!”

What have you thought about differently today?