Using Out of Office Messages to Create Unique Brand Experiences


A wise business leader once told me Every interaction with your company creates an experience, or memory, in that customers mind.

As an example: Think of the message you send by putting up an Out of Office reply on your work email account.

Most of the Out of Office messages I see go a little something like this:

I will be out of the office on MONTH, DATE, YEAR. When I return to the office I will respond to you. If an emergency contact my colleague at name@email.com

Nothing special. It’s direct and to the point. It is fairly informative in the event of an emergency.

But think about the number of emails you receive in a day.

On average, I receive in the neighborhood of 150 emails per day.

What if your out of office message looked a little something like this.

Today I am out of the office for which will benefit you, my customers, in <this, that and the other way>. When I return to the office I will respond to your note as soon as possible.

Dale Carnegie mentions six keys to build trust with people (including customers) in his world-famous business book How to Win Friends and Influence People.

Of the six ways to make people like you, Dale’s fifth suggestion is to Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.

In short: Describe what’s in it for them!

So when you are out of office at an industry conference ask yourself: How does this benefit my colleagues or customers.

Tammy Wood, one of our rockstar SEO Directors, did just that a few months ago when she was attending the Pubcon Marketing Conference in Las Vegas (her summary here).

As a MKG Marketing client it’s immediately apparent how Tammy taking time from her workday will benefit their business in the long run:

“I’ll be attending classes to further improve my SEO Techniques so I can be of better service to all of you.”

If Tammy receives as many emails as I do each day that means that 150 individual people saw that message about her developing her SEO skillset to be a better SEO leader for their business.

I’m proud of the Memory (or Experience) that Tammy created with that Out of Office message. In fact, I’ve followed Tammy’s lead and plan to call out why and how my absence from the office will benefit colleagues or customers in the long run.

Just like I did last week when I was out of office at a Development meeting.

Of the 150 or so emails that this auto-reply message went to, I received two separate notes from clients and partners that essentially said “This is awesome! Have fun and learn a lot for us!”

And that’s a brand experience that will stay with the partner and client who replied to me.

If you’d like to hear a summary of this post on creating unique brand experiences please watch (and share!) my video below.

PS: A big ‘thank you’ to Terra Papagalli Studios for the memorable cover photo of a parrot’s feathers.

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