Sometimes, all it takes is adding in one extra line to make the message go from adequate to advantageous.

Share story

You wouldn’t know it from the terse, one-line affairs must people use, but out-of-office messages can be an incredible tool to create social connection with recipients.

Sharing a small piece of information about yourself, your trip or your company’s product or service can serve to deepen a business relationship or the connection a person feels toward your company. When people feel positively linked to us, they are more likely to want to do business with us, and will be more likely to want to figure out solutions to problems together.

Connection comes from feeling like you really know someone. Sometimes, all it takes is adding in one extra line to the standard out-of-office message to make it go from adequate to advantageous.

Share the meaning. Share a meaningful piece of information that can be a conversation starter next time you speak to the person. Why are you taking time away from the office? What are you learning at a conference that will help you serve your clients better?

Offer a resource. Another option is to share a resource that will speak to your audience: “Hi! Hope you’re having a great week. 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 our CRM system.”

Customize your message. Some email systems allow the sender to draft one note for internal people and a different note for those outside the organization. Many also allow you to send autoresponders only to those in your address book, versus blasting it out to people you don’t know. These simple functions can give you even more flexibility.