This tutorial details how to setup auto reply Outlook emails using the Auto Reply Manager Outlook add-in. As its name suggests, this Outlook add-in is especially designed to help you auto reply from Outlook, with just a few clicks. The add-in works with all Outlook versions starting from Outlook 2003 and including Outlook 2013.
Auto reply from Outlook: how does it work?
To put it simple, Auto Reply Manager is an Outlook add-in that lets you setup & send Outlook auto reply email messages. Outlook will send the auto reply emails on your behalf, when a received email matches one of your auto reply rules. For each rule, you can define lots of auto reply options, but we will detail them later in this article.
Getting started with Outlook auto replies
Once you’ve downloaded and installed Auto Reply Manager, you have to restart Outlook in order to access its auto reply options. To access them, look on your main Outlook window for a new toolbar called Auto Reply Manager. On that toolbar, click on the Edit Rules button:
Once you clicked on the Edit Rules button, the add-in will popup an auto reply rule management window where you can view, add or remove your auto reply rules for Outlook. To get started, create your first auto reply rule by clicking on the Add button:
Now you can define your auto reply Outlook options. If you want to auto reply to all incoming emails, simply click on the Add button and choose “Create a simple rule” then enter the auto reply text. If you want to customize your auto reply Outlook options, choose “Create customized rules” and follow the steps described below.
Auto reply in Outlook – 6 easy steps with custom rules & filters
For example, let’s say you want to create a vacation auto reply (“out of office”) for your business email account, so Outlook will auto reply to all emails received on your business email address, with a certain auto reply email, during a specified period of time.
2. On the second screen, mark the Outlook email for which the auto reply email shall be applied (let’s say it is firstname.lastname@example.org). Practically, the auto reply email will be sent only when you receive emails through this Outlook account. Optionally, if you are automatically moving incoming emails to various mail folders, you can specify the Outlook mail folder where the emails are received, so the auto reply rule will only apply for the selected Outlook folders:
3. On the third screen, choose how often to send the auto reply Outlook email: you can choose to send the Outlook auto reply email to all emails received of the same sender, only for the first email received per sender or only once per sender per period of time. Optionally, you can choose to apply the auto reply email only to Outlook emails received from specified email addresses (for example, you can load your Contacts list so Outlook will auto reply only to your existing Contacts):
4. On the fourth screen, you can create various auto reply filters:
– auto reply only to emails received during a specified period of time;
– auto reply only during specified week days (for example, only during weekends);
– auto reply only to emails that include / don’t include certain keywords in their subject line;
– auto reply only to emails that include / don’t include certain keywords in their email body;
– ignore emails coming from robot-like email addresses;
– auto reply only to emails received with file attachments.
5. On the fifth step, you can choose your Outlook email action and related Outlook options. Here are some of the most important auto reply actions & options:
– auto reply to sender, auto reply only to CC addresses, auto reply to all addresses of a given email, auto forward or auto redirect (yes, you can actually redirect Outlook emails with it!);
– specify the “From” email account assigned to the auto reply Outlook email;
– specify a BCC email address where all auto replies will also be sent (just in case if you want copy someone else);
– attach specified files to auto replies;
– move auto replied emails to a given Outlook folder;
– assign an Outlook category to auto replied emails;
– delay sending the auto reply Outlook email with a specified period;
– add tracking IDs to the your replies.
6. On the final screen, you can compose the auto reply message or you can choose one from the available auto reply message templates. Optionally, you can configure it to send a user-friendly auto reply message by inserting a greetings line personalized with your Contact’s name (so if the Sender is George Mathews, the auto reply email will start with “Hi George,”):
Once you’ve added your auto reply rule, it will be displayed in the Auto Reply Manager Rules window (by clicking on the Edit Rules button). You can also access a log with the auto reply Outlook actions by clicking on the Show Log button. Log entries marked with a green icon mean that the auto reply was sent to the related email: