Automatic reply to emails on vacation. How to do it right

Communication has evolved towards instantaneity both for personal life and for the company, email occupies a good part of the time. For this reason, we will have to configure the automatic response to emails when summer and holidays arrive , because email  accounts are a small headache if what we want is to take a vacation and disconnect from work completely.


In order to be able to autoresponder emails correctly, we will first have to configure it in our email accounts. Let's give an example the configuration through Plesk ─which is the control panel that provides  in its hosting plans to its clients─ . In the mail configuration page, we will find at the top a tab called " Automatic Reply " or " Autoresponder ", in which we will find everything necessary to leave our automatic reply email ready for our holidays.

From this tab we can activate and deactivate the option. When activated, it will allow us to modify the different parameters. As the subject of the email we can check that "Re: <request_subject>" appears . If we leave it as is, the automatic reply will have as its subject the name of the original subject ─with which the sender wrote it─ and a “Re:” in front of it. If we modify it, the same modified subject will always be sent. A good option in this case would be to leave it by default and, in case we want to change it, a good topic could be "I'm on vacation."

How to write a good autoresponder

Now we get to the most important part when setting up an automatic response: the body text.

It is very important to have the text of the automatic response well written since this will not lose clients or potential clients, in addition to being able to redirect emergencies to a means by which we can respond instantly.

The basic scheme that we can follow is the following:

  1. Greetings with thanks for contacting: essential in any mail. In this case we cannot say hello with a "Good morning" since we do not know at what time of day the automatic reply will be sent. We should also appreciate your writing to us. So a good option for the greeting could be "Hello, thank you for contacting me ..."
  2. Explanation of the current situation. Dates of absence: You must clearly specify the date of when we will be available again. Specifying the return date is much easier and clearer than specifying the vacation dates. For example: "I'll be back on September 16" better than "I'll be on vacation from September 1 to 15, both included." Both are valid, although in this case less is better than more.
  3. Short apology for unavailability: Although we are all entitled to a well-deserved vacation, the recipient of the autoresponder will appreciate your apology for the unavailability at that time. An "sorry for the inconvenience that my absence may cause" could be worth it.
  4. Redirection to another email of someone from your company to contact: you have to indicate an email or a contact telephone number so that the receiver is calm in case they need something.
  5. Contact form in case of urgency: in case of urgency, leave a phone number or another form of contact (another email that you do check on vacation or WhatsApp, for example). You must clearly specify that you are contacted only in an emergency to avoid inconvenience during the holidays. People will understand.
  6. Greeting: we greet the receiver in a generic way and we can congratulate the summer if we wish. For example "Greetings", "Greetings and happy summer", "See you back".

Before ending the automatic response, it is necessary to read the mail again to avoid errors in the dates, the telephone numbers and / or contact emails.

Of course, we must not forget that the wording of the automatic email has to be consistent with the rest of our emails. So if we always tweet, we will tweet. In case we deal with you to our clients, we will write it as such.

Auto reply example

Finally, an example autoresponder could be:


Thanks for contacting me. First of all, sorry for not being available. I am on vacation and will return on September 16.

In case you need something before, you can contact [Name and email of the colleague]. If it is an emergency you can contact me in [Contact form]

Greetings and happy summer."

It is short and concise. We don't have to write much more. We will save our reader time and the information will be seen quickly.

Don't be afraid of potential problems or worry about the mail in any way. Our recommendation is that you set up an automatic reply email whenever you go on vacation and forget to constantly check it. If it is necessary to enter because you cannot leave it aside - you are self-employed or have a high responsibility position - we recommend that you specify two times a day to look at the email for about 10 minutes and read diagonally. Also, when they return, they will not have so many emails pending to read.