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How to Write Out of Office Email Autoresponders with Chat GPT


A Laptop Displaying ChatGPT Site

If you work in the online space at all, you know that AI writing tools have taken the internet by storm. While they certainly have limitations when it comes to writing, especially professional writing like ours here at Crystal Clear Copy, there are some fun ways to use them. Internally, we love to use Chat GPT to write out-of-office email autoresponders, and today, we are going to share how to do it with you. 



When to Use Email Autoresponders?

Small businesses like us primarily use email autoresponders when we plan to be out of the office for an extended period of time when we would typically be working. For example, anytime I take a holiday that starts mid-week or lasts longer than five days, I craft an autoresponder so that anyone who emails me during that time knows why we aren’t responding within our usual 24-hour time frame.

For example, here is an email autoresponder I crafted for my Christmas holiday vacation!


"Hey there!
Chelsey here from Crystal Clear Copy. I’m writing to you not from the depths of our word-filled office but from the comfort of my holiday hideaway! Yes, you read that right – we're officially on a holiday break!
We're out of the office, soaking up the festive spirit and will be back, recharged and ready to tackle your copywriting needs on Monday, January 8th.
Here’s the deal: During this joyous time, I’m trading keyboards for gingerbread, and conference calls for Christmas movies. I'll be focusing on spending time with family, friends, and those dear to me. So, I'll only be peeking at emails like a child sneaks a peek at their holiday gifts – only occasionally!
Got something pressing that just can’t wait? Fear not! My amazing VA, Doreen, is your go-to. She's like Santa's most efficient elf, but for emails. You can reach her at XXXXXXX@gmail.com. She’s got the magic touch to notify me of anything that absolutely, positively, cannot wait until my return.
As we wrap up the year (see what I did there?😄), I want to extend a heartfelt wish for you and yours to have a fabulous holiday season and a sparkling start to the new year. May your days be merry, bright, and filled with delightful surprises.
Happy Holidays, and see you in the New Year!
Warmest regards,
Chelsey"

Of course, some businesses get far more emails than we do. Therefore, if you see an abundance of correspondence each day and know that you can’t get to it all effectively, then an autoresponder is a great way to provide people with resources to point them in the right direction – possibly eliminating the need to email them back at all. 

I’ve seen this with larger businesses, where their email autoresponders are essentially an FAQ and library of content compiled to give people a directory to answer questions independently without human help. This is definitely an excellent way to conserve business resources!

Overall, using an email autoresponder will be entirely up to your and your business's needs. So, today, we will focus on those longer out-of-office holidays!


What’s Needed in Email Autoresponders?

A few key elements must be included to create a helpful and impactful email autoresponder. Let’s dive in!


 1. Dates of Absence:

The first thing to include in any out-of-office email autoresponders is when you will be gone and your return date. For those working in an office, you will likely need to give your exact days out of the office, as your coworkers will recognize when you leave and return—for example, May 21st – May 28th.


However, if you are a small business owner and no one knows your comings and goings, I recommend giving yourself a buffer day at either end of your time off. So, if you plan to be gone May 21st – May 28th,  I advise listing May 20th – May 29th as your days absent.

By adding a buffer day to each end of your trip, you will have the space to wrap up any remaining details in peace before you depart and a whole day to wrap your head around work when you return.


If you’re like me, I typically reserve my first day back to respond to the myriad of emails waiting for me and address any backend administration stuff that may have popped up in my absence.


Here is my super secret pro tip: when responding to emails on your buffer day (you’re technically not back yet), always schedule the email to be delivered the following day. Not only does that prevent back and forth with clients on your first day back when you are likely overwhelmed, but it allows you to take your time in addressing each email to ensure you are helping your clients to the fullest measure. I always schedule them for 8 am on my official day back!


2. Communication Expectations

The next part to include in your email autoresponders is communication expectations. I recommend giving clear instructions on how you want those emailing you to communicate with you and how they can expect you to communicate back.

Personally, I do a digital detox when I am on holiday. I always let my clients know well in advance when I plan to be gone for extended periods, and I work hard to complete all projects before I leave. Therefore, when I am on holiday, I AM NOT AVAILABLE!

For example, here is a snippet of an email autoresponder for when I was at my Bachelorette Party in Mexico:

“I'm making a bold move for this special occasion - no laptop and a digital detox! That's right, my cell will only whisper sweet notifications when it finds a cozy Wi-Fi spot. So, expect zero responses as I embrace the art of living in the moment and detaching from modern woes.”

I make it known that I will not read or respond to emails unless it is an emergency. If you are a new business owner, this might be scary, but I have had no problems whatsoever with it. By planning well in advance, my clients have always been content with my decision to take well-deserved time off.


However, if you plan on checking in during your time off AND want your clients or coworkers to know this, set the parameters for what that means. It could be “checking in each morning for a brief review of emails” or “responding to text communication once a day.”


Just know that if you say you will do this, then do it. If you’re unsure, don’t put it out there that you will check-in, just in case it doesn’t work out!


3. Emergency Contact:

Next up is picking an emergency contact. No, I do not mean for your medical needs; I mean solely for business needs. If you work with any kind of team that will still be in office when you are gone, you may want to redirect communication to them.

Of course, ask them first! In my case, I delegate communication to my virtual assistant when I am out of the office. Here is another snippet of my bachelorette party email autoresponder for an example:


“While I'm sipping margaritas and lying in the warmth of the Mexican sun, my amazing VA, Doreen, will be your guardian angel for anything urgent. You can reach her at XXXXXX@gmail.com, and she'll ensure I get the message whenever I deign to check my emails. For everything else, rest assured, I’ll circle back to it with fresh eyes and renewed energy when I return to work on January 25th.”

As you can see, my clients can tell her if there is a problem, and she will let me know (if it is actually urgent). That way, if there is some major problem, which has never happened for us, I can pop on and take action. However, it goes through her first, and everything else can wait!


4. Alternative Resource Options:

Another helpful aspect to include in email autoresponders is alternative resource options. If you are a business where people regularly reach out to you for stuff you have already created or addressed, you can point them that way within the autoresponder.

I have seen people include hyperlinks to blogs, FAQs, service pages, freebies, online stores, and much more. I recommend including something like this if it is a frequent email.


For example, Crystal Clear Copy typically gets service inquiries. So, I included a link to our service page, where we have a service media kit available for download at the bottom of the page. This frequently answers most of their questions, so the following email is a project inquiry. Simple enough!


5. Closing Statement:

Lastly, make sure to give an informative sign-off! This is a great way to add a little personality to your email while showcasing who you are and your position in your job. That way, if someone emails you for the first time, they know who they are talking to!


How to Write Out-of-Office Email Autoresponders with Chat GPT

Now comes the fun part. When writing out-of-office email autoresponders in Chat GPT, it is beneficial to think out all five points above and include them in your prompt. You also want to tell it in the tone you want to talk in, whether that is professional, casual, witty, or whatever suits your needs. For example, we like to use this opportunity to be witty and helpful.

Here is the prompt that we use. Feel free to copy, paste, and modify!


“You are a (insert service type) called (insert company name). Your name is (insert your name); you are (insert job title) at the company.
You are writing an out-of-office email autoresponder to include in your email. Your tone should be (insert tone).
Here is what you want to share with those who email you: 
1. You will be out of the office from (insert dates) for your (insert reason if you want).
2. During this time, you will (insert communication preference). (insert reason for communication preference.) Therefore, clients can expect (insert communication expectation) from you.
3. If there are any emergencies, people may email your (insert emergency contact), (insert emergency contact name), at (insert their email). You ask that people only email them for pressing concerns, and they will let you know if they are deemed as such. Otherwise, you will address everything else upon your return.
4. If people are emailing to inquire about (insert alternative resource options), you recommend they (insert what they should do), (insert they process that will happen if they do so). Alternatively, feel free to check out (insert another resource).
5. Explain that we appreciate their email and business and look forward to assisting them when we return.
6. A closing signature from (insert your name)”

Here is an example of how we modified the prompt for our most recent out-of-office email responder!

“You are a copywriting agency called Crystal Clear Copy. Your name is Chelsey; you are the founder and head copywriter at the company.
You are writing an out-of-office email autoresponder to include in your email. Your tone should be witty, funny, engaging, and helpful.
Here is what you want to share with those who email you:
1. You will be out of the office from April 22nd through May 6th for your upcoming wedding.
2. During this time, you will not be checking in at all. You are excited for your big day and are looking forward to spending time with family and friends. Therefore, clients can expect zero communication from you.
3. If there are any emergencies, people may email your VA, Doreen, at XXXXXX@gmail.com. You ask that people only email her for pressing concerns, and she will let you know if they are deemed as such. Otherwise, you will address everything else upon your return.
4. If people are emailing to inquire about our services, you recommend they review our service page and download our service media kit, which will be emailed to them automatically if they fill out the form at the bottom of the service page. Alternatively, feel free to check out our Resources page for other resources!
5. Explain that we appreciate their email and business and look forward to assisting them when we return.
6. A closing signature from Chelsey”

Now, the final reveal! Here is what it popped out! 


“Hey there!
Thanks a bunch for reaching out to Crystal Clear Copy! Your message just landed in my inbox, but I'm currently floating on cloud nine preparing for my upcoming wedding extravaganza! 🎉
Here's the scoop: I'll be officially out of the office from April 22nd to May 6th, soaking up every moment of wedded bliss. During this time, I'll be fully immersed in cake tastings, dance rehearsals, and general pre-wedding shenanigans. So, while I'll be MIA from my inbox, you can rest assured I'll be back, refreshed and ready to roll, on May 7th.
Now, I'm a firm believer in leaving work at work, especially when it comes to something as magical as tying the knot. However, if you're facing a copy crisis of epic proportions, my trusty VA, Doreen, is on standby at XXXXXX@gmail.com. She'll be keeping a vigilant eye on urgent matters, and if it's truly a code red, she'll sound the alarm.
For those curious about our services, fear not! Head over to our service page for all the juicy details. Fill out the form at the bottom, and voilà, our service media kit will land in your inbox faster than you can say "I do." If you're feeling particularly adventurous, our Resources page is brimming with goodies to keep you entertained in the meantime.
Your patience and understanding during this time mean the world to me and the Crystal Clear Copy crew. We genuinely appreciate your business and can't wait to dive back in headfirst once the confetti settles.
Stay fabulous, and I'll catch you on the flip side!
Warm regards,
Chelsey
Founder & Head Copywriter
Crystal Clear Copy”

It's not too shabby, huh? Of course, we made some minor adjustments to the content, did a bit of editing, and added the links! Otherwise, it was a great base for our out-of-office email responder!


Remember to Make it Fun – Copy the Crystal Clear Way

At the end of the day, we believe that email autoresponders should be fun and show off your personality. The last thing you want is a boring email autoresponder that does nothing to help the person emailing you.


P.S. Want help writing one? We can help – feel free to shoot us an email! Maybe you’ll even see our autoresponder in action!


 

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Chelsey

Chelsey is the founder and head copywriter of Crystal Clear Copy. She is an avid writer, published author, and lover of cats and craft beer.


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