Demand GenerationMarketing Strategy

Turn Your Out of Office Email into Gold

By March 11, 2014 No Comments

There are a lot of tips out there for using content to connect with your target buyer (there are 11, for example, in this eBook).

But I have an amazing way to connect when you’re not even there. And on top of that, a way you can feel even better about going on vacation. Let your content work for you while you’re out of the office.

It’s really easy, and the trick is in your email vacation settings.

I learned this from our Director of Content Marketing, Jesse Noyes. While specifically ignoring his instructions not to bother him (I know, employee of the year), I sent him an email him about a project while he was moving his life across the country. Here’s what I received in return:

Simple, brilliant, effective. And here’s why it works so well.

1. It’s Surprising.

Most of us are used to getting the standard, “Thank you for your email. I’ll be out of the office from March 28 through April 11. If you need anything, contact my assistant.” Sometimes, you get the occasional “fun” out of office reply, which goes something like “Thanks for writing! Right now, I’m tanning on the beach with a margarita, but I’ll get back to you when I return to winter.”

But this? It’s anything but standard. It tells you what you need to know, it’s written in the friendly voice of a real human being, and it drives you to a single call-to-action. That’s a great marketing email.

2. The Recipient Already Knows You.

This isn’t a batch and blast. Heck, this email isn’t even hitting a specific segment based on their title or interest in a topic.

It’s better than all that.

Your out of office reply goes to someone who, presumably, already knows you and is in contact with you. You already have a relationship with that person. Also, if they just sent you a note, they either need something or have some to tell you. So when they get a response immediately, they’re going to open it.

3. It Hits the Very Right People.

We’re big believers in reaching out to prospects and target customers, then working on joint content projects with them. Even if they’re not quite there with sales, it keeps us in touch with them, helps them learn more about what we do, gives us insight into their challenges, and solidifies our relationship.

Jesse is constantly in communication with our target audience. So when they click on that link to our introductory eBook, then download that eBook, the right people consume our content. And, of course, this activity is tracked and lead scored through the beautiful workings of technology. And since we’re already in touch with them, chances are it’s an important prospect.

So, as you can see, even though you may be tanning on the beach, or skiing fresh powder, or sightseeing somewhere exotic, you can turn off that workaholic instinct and relax. Because your content is busy building relationships for you.

Anne Murphy

About Anne Murphy

Anne Murphy is the former Director of Content at Kapost, makers of content marketing software. She oversaw the Content Marketeer, a marketing blog dedicated to the art and science of content creation. Follow her at @amurphias.