Most of us usually use the very basic form of out of the office reply saying “I am not here until X, with limited access to emails, in case of an emergency, please contact X”. While informative, such a message is a wasted opportunity to connect with those who are trying to reach you. Think about it: using autoresponders — whether during vacation, a conference, or the big moments in our lives like the birth of a child — can create social connection with recipients including clients and members. Sharing a small piece of information about your trip, or your company’s product or service can serve to deepen a business relationship or the connection a client feels toward your organisation. For example:

Hi, I am attending a conference in London this week with the hopes of bringing back new ideas that I look forward to sharing with my clients. I will have limited access to email during this time. If you need immediate assistance before Monday, please contact [colleague].

Another option is to share a resource that will speak to your audience. Consider the people who email you most when selecting an appropriate resource.

Hi! Hope you’re having a great summer. It’s time for my annual vacation. I look forward to responding to your email when I return on [date].  In the meantime, I wanted to share this article with you on tricks that can help you get the most from your presence on social media. Using one of these hacks could dramatically increase traffic on your platforms. If you need immediate assistance…

When people feel positively linked to us, they are more likely to want to do work with us, and will be more likely to want to figure out solutions to problems together. Think about it next time!

 We are the sports practice of global advisory firm Burson Cohn & Wolfe. We provide strategy and communication advice for sports clients around the world. For more information: www.bcw-sport.com