Recently, during the heavy vacation period of august I sent an email blast to my list. Not surprising at all, about 30% of the email messages came back with the standard: Mrs. Jane Smith is out of the office. I will be out of the office starting 20/08/2008 and will not return until 02/09/2008 If you need immediate assistance blah, blah, blah… Now, traditionally we could use this as an excuse to justify not working as hard during holiday periods, and say, “What’s the point! Half the people are gone to the lake. I will go hard as soon as people get back to work in September!” Just like 90% of other marketers and sales people. Or Start viewing the out of office message or vacation alert email as a gift of information. After all, you know exactly when your client, customer or prospect is returning to the office. In fact, you could easily diarize to give this person a few days to get back and caught up, then call or email them when they are still on cloud nine from their vacation. Be one of the first people to call or email them, and ask how their holidays went. You might just be pleased with the response, and valuable insights you get.