email technique

One RED HOT Email Technique for the New Year

Earlier this year I surveyed C-suite executives by asking this question: Name a business writing best practice that has served you well in your career. 

On the day I sent the email, Rachel Suman, IAAP’s chief experience officer, was out of the office. This is the OOO response I instantly received:


*** Out of Office ***


REASON | Hosting an AWESOME IAAP Summit 2022 in Nashville, TN

RETURNING | Monday, July 18, 2022

RESPONDING | Upon return to office

RED HOT | If you have an urgent need, please send an email to with URGENT in the subject line, and we’ll get back with you as soon as we can


What a great OOO message! It surely beats the standard template most people use. With Rachel’s permission, I’m sharing it with you and adopting the approach myself.

Follow the four Rs for automatic responses:

  • The REASON you are out of the office and unable to respond within 24 hours
  • When they can expect you to RETURN
  • When you are able to RESPOND
  • What to do if the issue is RED HOT


To customize a keynote or professional development session that will have your audience laughing and learning, contact Mandi Stanley.

Certified Speaking Professional Mandi Stanley works with business leaders who want to boost their professional image by becoming better speakers and writers through interactive high-content keynotes, breakout sessions, workshops, technical writing seminars, and fun proofreading classes. 

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Photo by Karolina Grabowska