As a small business owner, there are likely to be times when you're not around to respond to emails.
You might be at a day-long conference or taking a well-earned break - no matter what the situation, it's important to set an email auto-response.
This sounds dead easy, right? You'd be surprised how many mistakes people make in their out of office replies, so we've put together some handy tips to help you get it just right.
What you should include
Keep your message short, sharp and to the point. This means including key information people will need if they're trying to get in touch.
• How long will you be away for? Let your contacts know how long they can expect to wait for a reply.
• Who else can they get in touch with? If you're away for a while then provide alternative contact details for a colleague who might be able to help.
• When did you leave? It might be a good idea to let your contacts know when your first day of absence was, then they'll know how many other messages you're likely to need to reply to when you get back.
What not to include
Although a poorly-written auto-response message might be a source of great amusement, it can also reflect badly on your small business.
• Don't go overboard with details. People don't need to know where you've gone on holiday to or what your illness is - just say you're away and leave it at that.
• Promises of when you'll reply by. Don't tell your contacts you'll reply as soon as you return if you have no intention of doing so - it'll only get them annoyed when you don't!
• I have received your mail. This is obvious. Don't waste space in people's inboxes by giving them pointless information.
Wishing you all the best for your week in business.