Why You Shouldn’t Send “Out of Office” Replies

Going on holiday for the next couple of weeks? Or going out of the office on a business trip for a few days?What do you do about your email? Do you set an out of office reply? Here’s why you shouldn’t.

The main reason is spam. The second reason is spam and the third reason is also spam. What do I mean by this?

When you set an Out of Office Reply, the reply message gets sent as an automatic response to the sender of every email you receive. That includes spam emails. There is no discrimination. This creates a number of problems for you.

Send Me More!

You have immediately confirmed to the spammer that yours is a valid email account. Spam email is not just about trying to sell you Viagra or similar. Some spammers are trying to detect valid email addresses. They broadcast junk messages to email addresses that they’ve made up on the assumption that some of them will be valid.

Out of office replies are an excellent way for them to confirm to them that an email address is live. They then add that email address to a list and eventually sell the list on to dubious internet marketers who will send out all those spam, Viagra and similar, emails.

Sending Out of Office Replies effectively says to spammers “send me more”.

I’m a Spammer!

A lot of spam emails have spoofed sender addresses. Out of Office Replies get sent back to that spoofed sender address from your email account.

If that address is not valid, the Out of Office Reply will get bounced back to you as undeliverable.

If it’s a valid address the recipient is going to see the message from you and, knowing that they never sent you anything in the first place, treat the message as spam. They may even report it as spam to one of the blacklists that are in operation.

Sending Out of Office Replies advertises to people that you could be a spammer.

Kick Me Off my Mail Server

All those messages bouncing back and forwards between your email account and others will eventually come to the notice of your mail server manager who will start to treat your account with suspicion and, in the extreme, could even ban you from the server.

Sending Out of Office Replies is a great way to p… off your email server manager.

What do I recommend when you’re out of the office?

  • Compile a list of the key people who need to know that you’re out; clients, suppliers, friends, and relatives.
  • Set up an email distribution list with their addresses.
  • Then, each time you’re going to be away, send them a simple email saying so and giving the date when you’ll return etc.

Follow my advice and will inform the people who need to be informed and keep the spammers in the dark where they should remain.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Written by
Mike Brogan
Mike is a website developer specializiing in website design, online marketing, ecommerce design, and consutancy. He has developed website for clients for over 20 years.

Related Posts

Why it’s Wrong to Focus on SEO Alone

Why it’s Wrong to Focus on SEO Alone

I’m often asked, by customers with websites, if I can do some optimization to increase the traffic they are getting from search engines because they are not receiving enquiries from the site. I can always make changes that will increase traffic from search engines....

How Do Websites Work?

How Do Websites Work?

Have you ever wondered how websites work? This is the first in a series of posts aimed at explaining what's involved in designing, building, and running a website. These posts are aimed at people who want to have a website developed. They want to understand the basics...

Five Myths About Selling Online

Five Myths About Selling Online

Businesses that were smart and had already started to sell online through an eCommerce website before the lockdowns, were able to offset some of their losses by continuing to trade online.

White Label Website Services

White Label Website Services

This article explains what white label website services are and how, as a professional who deals directly with business clients, you can benefit from these services. The Problem Let’s assume that you are a business consultant. You troubleshoot businesses that have...

I hope you enjoy reading this blog post.

If you want me to design a website for you or help you with internet marketing, click here.

Can Customers Find Your Website?

Download Mike’s “30 Website & SEO Tips” for free.

Web Design Secrets Revealed

Take your website design skills to the next level to steal a march on your competition and make your website a success.