In this article, we’re going to focus on out of office subject lines. Subject lines are extremely important because this is the first thing an email recipient sees whenever they receive an email.
Technology has given people the tool to communicate with one another without boundaries, without limit and with little to no waiting period. Over 300 billion emails are sent every day and are delivered within seconds, minutes at most.
As a business owner or someone with a stake in the corporate world, you rely on emails to communicate effectively. Irrespective of profession, everyone relies on emails for effective communication. In some cases, your career success depends largely on how efficient and effective your email communication is.
Regardless of this, there are simply times where you just don’t have access to your email's mailbox, are too busy or on a vacation and are unable to respond to emails as promptly as you should. In case of this, your best option would be to set up an out of office auto-responding email.
Out of office response emails helps you communicate with whoever sends you emails whenever you’re out of the office. Like the name suggests.
Before deciding what to put in an out of office email, the first thing to decide is what to put in the subject line.
Subject lines can be likened to the titles of books, it decides if it’s getting taken off the shelf or not. In this case, it decides whether or not it’s getting open.
Your out of office subject line dictates whether or not your email will go ignored, read immediately or deleted. Hence, it should be informative, relevant and should grab your reader’s attention.
Out of office subject lines are only the first part when it comes to writing your out of office email.
How to Write the Best Out of Office Subject Lines
Email overload is a problem in today’s extremely fast-paced world. Everyone’s inbox is constantly being barraged with a fusillade of emails and it’s become a battle to gain their attention.
Your out of office subject line is meant to cut through this noise and make sure your email gets taken off the shelf.
People spend seconds scanning their email subject lines deciding whether or not they’re going to open it.
If you’re sending a client an out of office email, it means they’ve sent you an email and you’re merely responding. This is why your subject line must cut through the noise.
1. Personalize your subject line
Your out of office subject line is about you- the reason you’re unable to reply and when you get around to replying.
The recipient of an email would like to know enough about your email from the out of office subject line before they proceed to read everything. This could be something as simple as “Out of office for a few days”
2. Get specific with your out of office subject line
While the first point talks about getting personal, getting specific is walking the same lane, but with a little more information. This is best for customers or recipient that you’ve developed a certain level of rapport.
Usually, a specific out of office subject line often gives up most of the information concerning why you’re out of office.
It could be something like, “Out of office on a business trip” Or “Out of office on vacation” out of office subject lines like these serves as a more detailed response to your recipient.
3. Capitalize the important words in your out of office subject line
Capitalizing every word in your subject line is not advisable as this could be seen as you shouting at your readers.
Better still, pick out the most important words and capitalize these. Capitalizing words in your subject line helps in drawing your reader's attention. This way, you grab their attention and your email isn’t just a random email in their mailbox.
What to Avoid When Writing Your Out of Office Subject Lines
Your out of office subject line should be realistic and professional. Here’s a list of things you’d want to avoid when writing your out of office subject line.
1. Don’t give too much detail
Your out of office subject line should be simple, straight to the point and shouldn’t contain any unnecessary information.
2. Refrain from giving specific information as much as you can
Giving specific information may be harmful to your brand as you may not be able to meet up the expectations you’ve set.
Giving a specific date when you’ll reply to all emails or saying you’ll “get back to them immediately” you return can be unrealistic. As much as you can, try to make your responses vague but reassuring. This way, you’re able to account and adapt for any unforeseen occurrence without harming your reputation.
3. Do not commit to anyone without talking to them first.
A common practice with out of office emails is committing to a colleague in case of emergencies.
While this a standard and encouraged practice, it’s important you do it with the consent of whoever would be handling the inquiries.
Samples of Out of Office Subject Lines
Out of office subject line for when you’re out on Vacation — “Out of office on vacation”
Out of office subject line for hospital emergency — “Out of office at the doctor”
NB: If you have a medical emergency, your might want to add it to your out of office subject line as your contacts would understand and not intrude on your privacy as you heal.
If you’re want to shake things up a bit, you could use a funny out of office subject line that says, “Been abducted by aliens! Don’t send help”