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Have you ever sent an important email to a colleague, partner or customer and have it go unanswered for a few days or weeks only to get a reply stating that they were away on holiday? It can be frustrating when people are incommunicado and go away without letting others know. If you use Office 365’s Outlook Web App you can limit problems like this by setting an automatic reply to keep people in the loop.

Here is an overview of the different types of automatic reply available for the Outlook Web App and how to set a response up.

About auto reply
If you are going to be out of the office for an extended period and likely won’t be checking your email, setting an auto reply makes sense. Outlook’s auto replies are highly customizable and can be set up quickly and easily.

When you set an auto reply, you are able to pick the length of time it is active for, who will receive the message (either internal, external, or all contacts), and even schedule the reminder to turn off automatically.

Setting an auto reply
If you are going to be away or not checking your email you can set an auto reply by:

  1. Logging into the Outlook Web App portal on your Web browser. This will either be mail.office365.com or mail.yourcompany.com.
  2. Clicking on Options which is located in the right, above your emails, followed by Tell people you’re on vacation.
  3. Selecting Send automatic replies and set a start and end time for your reply.
  4. Entering a message you would like to send to your contacts when they email you. It is best to keep your message short, saying you will be out of the office and stating the time and dates you will be gone, as well as who the sender should contact should they need emergency help.
  5. OPTIONAL: Ticking Send automatic reply message to external contacts if you want the message to be sent to contacts who are not part of your organization.
  6. OPTIONAL: Entering a message in the body that you want people who email you from outside the organization to receive.
  7. Clicking Save followed by My mail to return to the main Inbox.

If you use auto reply, it is advisable to always set a start and end date and time, as this will ensure that the reply will not be sent while you are in the office and causes confusion for all concerned, as well as making you look unprofessional. If you don’t set these dates the automatic reply will also start as soon as you hit save. Looking to learn more about the Outlook Web App or any of the other Office 365 programs? Why not call us, we can give you the lowdown and some valuable tips.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Published on 27th August 2013 by Jeanne DeWitt.

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