It’s important to maintain good communication when you’re away from work, whether for a holiday or personal reasons. Setting a suitable out of office auto reply is an excellent way to do it without checking your emails constantly.

Here’s a list of auto reply email templates you can use:

  • General reply
  • In a meeting reply
  • After hours reply
  • Social media-based reply
  • Holiday reply
  • Christmas reply

A few tips for your auto reply email template

When writing auto-reply emails, you should include a couple of things. 

Exactly when you’re away

Provide dates and be specific. Giving the exact time frame you’ll be away, lets your customers know when they can expect to reach you.

Be light on details

While you should be clear about when you’re away, leave out the reason for your absence. Customers don’t need to know you’re spending the week in the South of France. Putting this information into your replies can be too personal for business purposes.

Who to contact

If you get emails about something urgent, it can damage your business if there’s no way to handle it while you’re away. It doesn’t matter if you provide details of where people can reach you, or someone else who can handle things while you’re away. 

If you put someone else’s contact details down, remember to ask them first. They might be busy or on their own leave. The last thing you want is a chain of auto-replies and redirections.

Be professional, instead of funny

It can be tempting to put a joke into your replies, but it’s difficult to guarantee how it will come across over text. Whoever reads your auto reply may not appreciate the joke, or feel that it means you are unprofessional. So, it’s better to steer clear of any jokes, rather than risk any negative outcomes.

Make sure you proofread your email

You should always proofread and double-check any email you send — your auto-replies are no different. Anyone can receive your response, and if it’s full of errors, that can damage any professionalism you may have. Make sure your reply is ready to send before you set it. 

General reply

For the general out of office reply, this template gives the reader all the information they need and provides them with another person to contact if they need rapid communication. It’s a very simple reply, and is best when you’ll only be gone for a short time.


I will be unavailable from [Start date] to [End date].

Please direct any enquiries to [Contact’s name] at [Contact’s email address]. 

Kind Regards,

[Your name]

In a meeting reply

When you’re in a meeting, the last thing you want is emails coming through and that interrupt either you or someone else. On the other hand, you don’t want a potential client to feel ignored. Your best bet is to set a short-term meeting auto-reply. 


You’ve caught me while I’m in a meeting, I should be available by [Time] today, and I’ll respond as soon as possible.

Thanks for your patience,

[Your name]

After hours reply

On the other hand, you might receive an email when you’ve already gone home for the day. In that case, you could set an after-hours auto-reply, to capitalise on enquiries.


Thanks for reaching out to [Business name]. I’m afraid we’re currently closed, but we’ll respond when we reopen. 

If you want to contact us again, our operating hours are between [Operating hours and days]. 

Kind Regards,

[Your name]

Social media-based reply

If you want to improve your social media following, you could insert your profile information into your automatic reply. Doing so can help grow your audience and improve engagement, but it won’t work for every business. 

For example, a digital designer isn’t limited to a location and can use social engagement to improve their sales. Meanwhile, a dog walker is restricted to customers in their area, no matter how large their social following is. 


Thanks for your message. I’m currently away, but I’ll get back to you soon. 

If it’s urgent, please contact [Name] at [Email address].

In the meantime, have you checked out our socials? They’re the best way to stay updated on what we’re doing at [Company Name]! 

[Links to your social accounts]

Thank you,

[Your name]

Holiday reply

You’re entitled to take a holiday throughout the year, and while you’re away, it’s important to set an auto-response. This way, anyone who contacts you won’t be confused about your lack of response. If you’re a sole trader, it can be a great idea to include your contact number as it lets you maintain your business without needing to worry. 


Sorry for missing your email. I’ll be unavailable from [Holiday start date] to [Holiday end date]. If it’s urgent, you can reach me on [Contact number], or you can contact [Name] at [Email address].

Kind Regards,

[Your name]

Christmas time reply

It’s Christmas time, and you want to spread some festive cheer. While some offices take Christmas off, others may work through it, so you could receive emails during the festive season. If that’s the case, you may want to set a festive auto-reply while you’re away. 

Dear [Emailer’s name],

I’ll be unavailable for the Christmas season. I’m coming back on [return date], and I’ll be able to reply to your enquiries then. 

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

All the best,

[Your Name]

Managing your finances while you’re away

When you’re away, you don’t want to waste your time sorting out your finances. Instead, it’s better to have it automatically sorted for you, by the Countingup app. 

Countingup is the business current account and accounting software in one app. It automates time-consuming bookkeeping admin for thousands of self-employed people across the UK. 

Save yourself hours of accounting admin so you can focus on growing your business. Sign up for a Countingup business account today.

Start your three-month free trial today.

Apply now.