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Ever thought of using ‘Out Of Office’ emails (known to us as OOO’s) to entertain your audience? OOO replies are seen as a courtesy, something to inform a sender that yes they did in fact type in the correct email address.

Most out of office replies just sit there and skirt the truth that someone is having fun while you’re sending an email.

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However, they can be much more useful than the initial disappointment eludes you to believe. Throughout this post, I would like to present you with the plot twist! That yes OOO’s can be almost as useful as any other response ever received.

So hold on there, how can you utilize OOO’s information to your advantage? And why should you not be disappointed that you just wasted time in crafting that perfect email to someone that is not even in the office?

  • You have been officially been anointed King! How you ask? Well, from the OOO you can glean critical information on exact date your prospect will return. You can use this to reach out a day or two after their return when they are back on top of their workload, by also mentioning and asking about their holiday or time off and by following their instructions and being insightful and relevant you can put the onus on them to reply given the effort you have demonstrated to reach them.
  • If the OOO also reveals and suggests colleagues or their senior to pick up with in the interim in their absence, it’s the perfect excuse to widen the net, reaching out to the alternate points of contact as suggested, mentioning you have been re-directed via so and so… This serves well to massively speed up the process of obtaining the desired response. Our stats from sending millions of emails and thousands of OOO referred messages indicate that by following this method you are 50X more likely to get a response in comparison to a stone cold email.
  • Keeping contact records up-to date and data accuracy and data sources, in general, is of critical importance in the era of post GDPR, so use the information wisely in updating your prospect records, and of course where you can utilising direct line numbers in combination with insight gleaned to reach out directly with an intelligent cold call.
  • OOO messages also very often reveal a piece of unique information that can help you draft a standout hyper personalised email pitch later on. Capturing and recording this information will massively boost your chances of success in your next outreach.

 The above tips and processes, when followed in combination, will do wonders to massively boost your lead gen response rates. Especially when you consider just how many OOO’s receive back from every B2B outbound email campaign. This stat is generally around the 15% mark, and can be as high as 40% in holiday seasons – this means from just a single email campaign to 500 people you could get as many as 75 messages back into your inbox, packed with insight and referred prospects! By intelligently actioning each of these and recording useful insight, your team of sales development reps will see much greater returns.

From a sender’s standpoint, there is also value in how you craft your own OOO’s. Out of office examples usually go something like this:

 “Hi there, I’m out of the office until DAY OF WEEK, DATE, with limited access to email. If you require immediate assistance, please email […]”

 But they can be so much more. You can use them as a tool to show your personality, generate leads, and entertain your spectators. With just an additional 20 seconds used to convey your wit and charm, you may just secure that sale that has eluded you:

 “Hello and thank you for your email. Unfortunately for you I’m out of the office right now but will endeavor to get back to you soon as I return on Monday. If you need assistance right away, please email or book a demo on

In the meantime, we’d encourage you to check out our  Best Practice Guide to Email Automation – To Supercharge Your Sales. Its been years in the making, it’s a step by step guide and best of all its free!

 Talk soon”

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So we encourage that instead of thoughtlessly scribbling an out-of-office reply five minutes before you board the plane, put a little bit more time and creativity into what you write. The right words in your out-of-office reply and your signature can more easily than you realise be the initial spark and building block in a new client relationship.

For more tips on how to step up your lead generation efforts via email, we’d encourage you to check out our extensive guide to ‘Email subject lines and how to ramp your open rates.‘ 

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