IMG_8057We fence ourselves in sometimes. Color inside the lines. Steer clear of stretching beyond the norm.

But in an increasingly automated world, where so much is standardized and sanitized, it’s such a refreshing thing to see creativity jutting out of the most unexpected places.

Here’s one way to hop the ho-hum fence that we, often unconsciously, erect: spice up your email auto-replies. You know: those thingamajigs that people create when they think folks can’t bear to be without a response pronto?

The auto-reply vehicle is an easy way to demonstrate your individuality…elicit a laugh…just plain brighten someone’s day via a few well-chosen words.

What’s more, because of the auto-reply’s rapid-fire response nature, while you are sunning in Miami, hiking in the Andes or simply catching up on laundry, you are virtually guaranteed to capture more attention than usual with whatever you share.

In this crazy world with messages zinging all around us, opportunities for slicing through the clutter don’t get much better.

So seize the moment–instead of following the outlines set forth by the International Council on Dreadfully Serious Messages, Which Shall Occasionally Include An Inexplicable Typo or Two*.

Here’s a composite of every auto-reply I’ve ever gotten:

“Thaks for your email. I’l [sic] be out till July 10. If this message is urgent, please call my assistant, Joey Bag O’Donuts., at 888-711-2289…”

Isn’t there a more fun, creative way of communicating? You don’t need to be in PR or marketing to benefit from coming across as a distinct, engaging and memorable human being.

You can still note your mobile phone number (if you must), the precise date of your return to work and the name of someone else who can address urgent matters. But jazz it up a little and have some fun. Depending on how serious and sober a front you need to maintain while away, you may even be able to indulge in a lot of fun.

The possibilities are as endless as our individual senses of humor. Here’s one approach:

Through the wonder of technology, I have seemingly replied to you in no time flat. But don’t be fooled. I am actually nowhere close to getting back to you. It’s not personal—I am trying to enjoy a work break, 20th century style, with no access to emails (unless I can sneak away from my spouse for a few minutes and take a peek). So count on me responding to your message—if, indeed, you are not a spammer—shortly after (date here). Meantime, if this is truly urgent, please contact so-and-so at (contact information here).

*As you may have guessed, there is no such organization as the International Council on Dreadfully Serious Messages, Which Shall Occasionally Include An Inexplicable Typo or Two. At least, not yet. Anyone interested in launching a group by that name—you know how to reach me!

Related Posts:
Two Marketing Humor Strategies: Think Animals & Practice `Less is More’
My Two Cents on Humor’s Pivotal Role


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