I just have to share this tip from my good friend Tina Forsyth, Founder of the International Association of Online Business Managers. In Tina’s most recent OBM newsletter she did a small “rant” about one of her pet peeves … continuing to receive the same ‘I’m out of the office’ or ‘I’m checking email twice a day’ email every time she sends a message to certain people. She said “It becomes just one more thing filling up my inbox, and we all know that we don’t need that!”
How true is that!
Her annoyance (and mine) is not that we get ‘I’m away’ emails, but that we get this same email over and over and over again … especially from someone we may email more than once a day.
As she points out in her ezine, most of us set up our vacation/out-of-office autoresponders in our email hosting plan, which will out an email in response to every new email that passes through the s ystem. Unfortunately, the autoresponder simply isn’t smart enough to know if the same person has sent 10 emails or even 20.
Tina discovered that setting up this same autoresponder using her Gmail account provided a much better alternative, one that is much friendlier. Come to find out, Gmail is much smarter than your ordinary, run of the mill email system. It knows to send out your automated message just once every 4 days to each individual that emails you. This means it doesn’t matter how many emails a particular individual sends you in a short space of time or throughout the day, because Gmail will intuitively send your ‘I’m away’ reply just once every 4 days to each individual. Now this floats my boat … big-time!
Here is how to set this up for yourself (Thank you Tina!!)
If you already use Gmail as your main email service, all you have to do is turn on the Vacation Responder setting.
To do this:
- Click ‘ Settings’ at the top of the page. You will be on the ‘General’ tab.
- Scroll down until you see the Vacation Responder section
- Put in the message you want to send out and set the Vacation Responder to “on.”
If you don’t use Gmail as your main email service, but instead use Outlook, or webmail or something else as your email system, there are a couple of extra steps. (This is what Tina does, as she is an Outlook fan.)
- Set up a Gmail account for yourself, or if you have one already dust it off.
- Set your regular email account to forward to the Gmail account.
- Repeat the steps above. Forwarding your email to your Gmail account causes Gmail to do its job with your ‘I’m away’ message.
Voila! It’s that easy! Don’t forget to try it out once you have it set up and send an email to yourself to test it and make sure it works