10 Out of Office Messages & OOO Mads Libs That Will Make Your Vacation More Fun for Everyone
Entrepreneurs and salespeople probably laugh at the prospect of being "out of office" — or, at the very least, unavailable to their clients 24/7. But the thing is, no one can be in the office 100% of the time. Even if your "office" is as portable as your laptop.
Logging off will happen to every one of us, whether you're on vacation, have a family emergency, or need to attend a work conference. So we're going to put your mind at ease, creating a unique out of office message to greet your clients and take care of them until you return.
We have our top 10 list of out of office replies—and because we like to max out on fun times, we have an Out of Office Mad Libs activity you can try. Use it for yourself, pass away a slow afternoon with colleagues, or share it with clients headed out of town who would also enjoy it. Out of offices are here to help, after all.
Our Favorite Video Out of Office Message
Duh. We're in the travel industry. Of course, an out of office message involving dolphin-speak would be at the top of our list! Who doesn't love a dolphin?
Top 10 Out of Office Messages
1. The Honeymoon 🍯🌜 Out of Office
I mean, I think we all know the breadth and depth at which one can express themselves via emojis. But an out of office that only uses emojis? Brilliant. If you create your own Out of Office emoji reply, I BEG you to post it in the comment section below.
2. For the Marketing Savvy Young'uns
Mac? Well, he clearly works hard and plays hard. Which is totally on-brand with the vibe that Marriott's Moxy hotels exude. In summary? Points for being young and able to dance the night away. Double (mid-life adult) points for staying on brand while doing so.
so i tested my out of office reply last night.. how is my job real life!! SEE YOU TOMORROW MIAMI
3. The (Not-So) Sly Out of Office Message That's Really an Ad.
Ryan Reynolds (of Deadpool fame) doesn't just act. But you probably knew that. Why? Because he has some wildly funny out of office replies that went viral after he and good ol' Jimmy Fallon invited viewers to send Ryan an email.
So many people emailed Ryan that Aviation Gin's servers crashed. Here's his July 2018 out of office message:
From: Ryan Reynolds <[email protected]>
I will be out of the office celebrating Canada Day (July 1), World UFO Day (July 2nd), Tom Cruise’s Birthday (July 3rd) and July 4th (July 4th.) It’s also National Picnic Month so let’s just reconnect in August, shall we?
Between now and then, I recommend escaping the summer heat with a delicious Aviation & Tonic. Here’s my recipe:
2 oz Aviation American Gin 4 oz Tonic Water 1 Lemon Wedge 1 Lime Wedge
1 Teaspoon of Green Lantern Tears (optional)
Also, a lot of you have asked where you can find Aviation Gin, so I had the whizzes in our website department whip up this locator aviationgin.com/locator
4. The Educational Out of Office Reply
Witty and funny out of office messages are great, but check out how New York Times' VP of Operations, Erin Grau, uses her out of office response for parental leave as a teachable moment. That's a powerful message about something she feels passionate and connected to.
And it's worth pointing out—in case, like me, you missed it because you were awed by her approach to her parental OOO—the response is completely in sync with the New York Times' culture/brand. (You can find her OOO with live links here.)
5. The Lifeline Out of Office
Here's an auto-reply I created for my support account having some fun. But also throwing out an extra lifeline on the off chance I'm eaten by a bear. If the boss doesn't notice I'm missing, surely people emailing me will, right?
6. The I'm Here for You (But NOT REally)
For those of you arguing that entrepreneurs and salespeople must always be available, I present to you Exhibit A. While this is specific to Yesware (and you should check out their other OOO examples), it's easy enough to tweak to fit your industry.
Your out of office message can link to testimonials from your happy clients. For those of us in travel, you could try something like:
Seeing and experiencing destinations is how I keep on top of the trends and make on-the-ground connections for my clients. While I'm away, take a peek at how these connections helped me surprise Tina with an upgrade to a beachfront villa for her honeymoon [link to testimonial/video/FB post with Tina's thank you email and picture of the view].
You always don't have to be in the office to help out a client!
7. Conference Bonding Out of Office
Hey, why are you being so sneaky about where you've disappeared to? If you're not on vacation and your out of office is for a work trip, well darn it, work that! [Editor's note: Pun totally intended.]
Use your auto-reply to promote your expertise—you're going to a well-known industry conference, after all. You multitask and use your out of office to connect with colleagues/clients who are also attending the conference or event.
Or, in the case of Samarah Miel, owner of Amarillo Travel Network, her out of office message is a fabulous mix of sales/bonding with others in the industry/promoting her expertise to clients. Bonus points for including a video!
8. The Silly Holiday Out of Office Message
People often forget the power of an out of office message. One could even start their own language, as shown below:
9. The Eye Catching Gif Out of Office
Admit it. It's hard not to be mesmerized by this out of office message.
Not sure how to embed an animated gif in your signature? Here's how to spice up your next out of office reply and add an animated gif.
Mad Libs: The Out of Office Message Version
Crafting an out of office message can be plenty of fun and we're about to show you how with our Mad Libs version!
Try this out with your colleagues or share it with colleagues/clients headed off on a vacation to send them off in style:
Out of Office Example #1:
Out of Office Example #2:
Want to offer these fun out of office mad libs to your clients? You're in luck! We created customizable form templates of these mad libs for you to copy - for FREE! Check out our Free Travel Agent Forms article for how to get them through JotForm and for more free travel agent forms!
3 Out of Office Rules to Remember
In all seriousness, you've probably ended up here because you were looking for some inspiration on your out of office message. You saw that they can range from funny to outright sales-y to a serious teaching moment. There's a few other things we want to make sure you don't leave out of your next out of office reply. Here's our three rules for scratching out that next OOO:
Rule 1: Don't forget the facts
Okay. Before you go into fancyland or funnyland about how you're in the woods protecting yourself against bears, remember Rule 1! Make sure you have all the pertinent details in your out of office message.
Don't forget the obvious:
- The date range you're gone but more importantly . . .
- The day you will respond. (Pro tip: If you seriously get a ginormous volume of emails when you're away, or you're going to be gone for an extended amount of time, make sure this date is one or two days AFTER you're back from your vacation. Under promise, over deliver, do your laundry.)
- Alternate contact if there is an emergency.
- Your phone number (if you absolutely must, but I don't endorse this).
Boom easy enough.
Rule 2: Don’t Forget Your Voicemail OOO
I ALWAYS forget to leave a voicemail response with the same info above! Don't be like me.
Rule 3: Include a Call to Action (CTA)
We're talking about engagement here. Do you have a webinar clients can watch in case they miss your face or want to hear your voice? Do you have a special going for new clients or referrals? Do you have a hot new blog post you wrote just before stepping out? Tell your people to click on that!
If it's just business as usual, no worries. You can add a simple addendum like:
Travel with me: Facebook Link | Instagram Link | Twitter Link
Meet us at Booth #245 at the Work Conference Trade Show
Join us at the HAR Reception Tues., 6pm @ Ballroom B. If you need tickets, send me a text: 555.555.5555
And that's it. Easy peasy, right? We know there are tons of genius out of office messages we missed, so if you've got a favorite don't forget to share it with us in the comments below!
PS: We love our downtime and here at HAR, we're big believers everyone needs a vacay from work. Yes, even you—the social media junkies, the workaholics, the entrepreneurial diehards who accidentally (or "accidentally") take their smartphone into the shower.
Our Public Service Announcement: Each year, Americans leave 700 million DAYS of paid time off on the table. Stop and think about how many great out of office reply opportunities are missed because of this!
Editor's Note: This was originally posted in July 2018 and updated and republished on the date posted in the article. Enjoy!