Let’s assume you have a shared mailbox in Outlook on which you receive external emails. You want to set up an automated reply (autoreply) so that all the senders receive certain information. For example, you can set an automated reply on an HR mailbox to inform the senders that the email was received and also to state the policy of your HR department on processing the CVs for example.
You are looking for a simple solution, no scripts or 3rd party applications, neither on the client or on the server.
So here’s what you can do: set up a rule in Outlook. Yes, it’s as simple as that!
You create a profile on any machine for the account in question (or use one of the profiles that are already created for the shared mailbox), then define the rule (which will be applied even if Outlook will never be opened).
To create and apply the rule, here are the steps to follow:
1. In Outlook (2003 or 2007), go to Tools | Rules and Alerts
2. Click on New Rule
3. Select "Start from blank rule", then click on "Check messages when they arrive" and click on Next
4. In the next window, don't tick any option and just click on Next, then on Yes in the window that pops up
5. Check the "have server reply using a specific message" option and click on "a specific message" to define the message
6. You will get a mail form in which you have to fill in the Subject of the mail and the body. This is the message that will afterwards be sent in reply to all incoming mails.
7. After customizing the message as you wish, click on the "Save and Close" button
8. In the Rules Wizard window click on Finish
This is something you have to customize only once, and the rule will be processed and applied at the server level, without passing through the client at all.
This would be the best way to configure the auto reply message.