Tip 23 : Expert VA lends a hand for your business this festive season…

Have you set up your auto-responder to let your clients and customers know about your trading hours over the festive season?

If not, now is the time to set it up.

But how?


1) Click on gear icon in upper right hand corner.
2) Click Settings and then General tab.
3) Select Vacation Responder in the relevant section.
4) Enter Subject and Message.
5) If you only want to send responses to those in your address book, check box.
6) Save changes.

Outlook 2010

1) Create new email.
2) Type a subject and message.
3) Click file.
4) Save as – type : Outlook template.
5) For best results, save email in your Microsoft>templates folder.
6) Close email.
7) Go to Microsoft Oulook window and click on Home tab.
8) Click Rules – Manage Rules and Alerts – New Rule.
9) Click Start for a blank rule.
10) Click Apply rule on messages I receive.
11) Click Next.
12) Make your selections in new dialogue window – Click ‘through the specified account’ – Next.
13) Select ‘reply using a specific template’ – Step 2 : click link ‘using a specific template’.
14) New dialogue window – locate your vacatiion email.
15) Click ‘Look In’ text box and select “User Templates in File System’.
16) Click your Vacation email and click Open.
17) The vacation email location URLwill appear in Step 2 textbox.
18) Click Next.
19) Finalise the settings.
20) Review rule.
21) Name the rule.
22. Finish.

You can also just add a section at the bottom of your email signature advising that you will be on leave.

Remember whether an autoresponder or adding to your email, always remove once the festive season is over or when you return to your business.

This is a great way for you to communicate with your clients and customers.

Hazel Theocharous is the owner of Expert VA and a small business support specialist.