Can you sell when you’re on vacation? Of course, but dragging out your laptop and taking calls from the beach is sure to annoy your family.
But there’s another simple way to keep selling when you’re out of the office, and this option doesn’t require any work on your behalf. Don’t just thoughtlessly scribble an out of office reply five minutes before you board the plane. Just a few more seconds of thought can produce an automatic reply that sparks prospects’ interest.
Here’s how to get two undervalued email assets -- your signature and out of office replies -- to work for you (even when you’re not working).
How to Optimize Your Email Signature
A picture does not a good email signature make. For starters, too many people throw a bunch of images in their email signatures. I don’t care if it looks pretty -- don’t do it.
Make your signature as simple as possible. The only thing you should add is a link to recent positive PR. If the title of the story isn’t that good but the article is awesome, change the title in the link that you share.
[Name] | [Twitter Handle]
[Title], [Company name]
[Mobile/Skype] | [Office/Skype]
Forbes Names [Company Name] Top 10 Fastest Growing in 2015, Find Out Why!
The article you link to should be customized to who you’re trying to sell. For example, If you’re selling experts on signing up for Udemy, you can include an article titled, “Udemy Raises $32 Million to Democratize Education” and rename it in your signature as “Udemy Raises $32 Million from Top Investors to Make Experts More Money.” An expert who gets this in an out of office reply is likely to click the link -- and become even more interested in Udemy.
My friend Scott Britton does this with his blog to increase traffic. Scott explains:
Instead of including a link to my blog in my signature, I link to each post individually with the precursor “Most Recent Thoughts.” This more compelling copy is likely to inspire a click.
What’s the ROI on this? It took me about 20 seconds to change the hyperlink in my email signature within my Gmail settings. To measure the amount of traffic this drove, I used a bit.ly tracking link.
It turns out that 45 people clicked on my “Most Recent Thoughts” link over the past three days. From those 45 clicks, three people reshared this content via Twitter. Assuming an equal number of referrals per tweet, I used Google Analytics to project that this link was responsible for over 100 page views. Not too shabby for an extra 20 seconds of work.
Want to easily generate your own custom email signature? Check out HubSpot's free email signature tool.
How to Optimize Your Out-of-Office Message
Another thing you can do it put your Out of Office (OOO) reply to work for you. I see too many people with the generic, “I’m out of the office with limited access to internet and will be back on [date]. If it’s urgent please contact [coworker].”
How many emails do you get per day? I might get hundreds, so this is a key time for me to advertise and optimize.
Instead of a generic out of office reply, try an email template like this:
I’m currently traveling with limited access to Internet and will be back on [date]. In the meantime, check out our most recent article [link to company blog post, personal blog post, or recent good press]. If it’s urgent, please contact [coworker].
This way you’re not wasting those eyeballs you’re getting while you’re offline.
Do you have any tips for how to sell while you're on vacation? Share in the comments.
Editor's note: This is an excerpt from the new book Hacking Sales: The Playbook for Building a High Velocity Sales Machine. It is published here with permission.
This post was originally published in April 2015 and has been updated for comprehensiveness and accuracy.