As you get ready to wind down, with both yourself and your staff heading off to see family and friends for a well-deserved break, there are no guarantees clients and suppliers will follow suit, and quickly emails will start bloating your inbox just like your stomach on Christmas Day.

This is when you need an auto reply for your emails and set up Google My Business with your closed days.

It is easy to forget to do and leave it to the last second but with different setups for each email client, setting up an automatic response can be confusing. To ensure peace of mind for you and your business over the holidays, here’s a quick guide on how to set up an out of office reply on the most popular email clients. Also below is a guide on how to set up your closed days on Google My Business.

Google GMail

GMail offers one of the most simple ways to set up your out of office, or “vacation responder” as the service calls it.

First, click on the settings cog in the top right corner of your GMail inbox, and select “Settings” from the drop-down menu.

Then, scroll right to the bottom of the list, where the vacation responder options are laid out. Simply click “vacation responder on”, enter how long you want the email to be sent for and compose a message you wish your contacts to see.

Checking the tickbox under the message will only send the out-of-office reply to people within your contacts list. This option is great for any SME owners who regularly communicate only with people on their contact list, but if you receive multiple pitches or unsolicited emails from potential customers, it’s advisable to keep this unticked.

Microsoft Outlook

Outlook labels its out-of-office service as an “Out of Office Assistant”, but only in Office 2007 versions or earlier. If you’re running on a newer version of Office, keep an eye out for the “Automatic Replies” section instead.

Both of these settings can be found under the Tools section of the Outlook client, located in the top left corner of the program.

Once opened, select the “Send Out of Office messages” checkbox and enter in a message in the space below. Outlook automatically populates the subject line with an out-of-office response subject, so you can’t customise it as you would in GMail.

Then, set a period of time you wish the response to be sent for, and also select if you want to send your out-off-office to those not within your contact book. Outlook allows you to customise a message for people that aren’t on your contact list, allowing you to choose different levels of personalisation.

Google My Business

Sign into your Google account and under Google apps in the top right (the 9 dots) and look for info on the list to the left.

You will then see your current hours.

Under your hours of operation there is another section for special hours. Look for the calendar symbol.

Slide the bar to open or closed and make sure you APPLY the changes.




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