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Using Exchange 2003 / Outlook 2007 here.

If someone sends an e-mail to our address, for example then it should send back an auto-reply mail saying "Thanks for you message etc..."

I can figure out how to set a rule in Outlook so that this auto-reply mail is fired back at everyone. But how to set it up so that only people outside the company would get it?

So basically I guess I need to create a rule where "Sender is not in the Global Address Book". Is it possible?


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Following these may help you to set it up

  1. On the tools menu of Outlook, click on "Out of Office Assistant".
  2. Click "Send Out of Officew auto-replies"
  3. Dont check on "Only send during this time range", this will allow to send auto-replies until you click "Do not send Out of Office auto-replies".
  4. On the Outside My Organization tab, select the "Auto-reply to people outside my organization" check box, and then type the auto reply message.
  5. On the "Outside My Organization tab", click "My Contacts only" or "Anyone outside my organization". It is recommended to select "My Contacts only" to prevent your auto-reply from going to spammers.
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Is this for emails sent to one or a few email addresses or is it for emails sent to any email address, because if it's for emails sent to any email address it sounds like a bad idea. For one you'll put more load on the messaging system by generating an automatic reply for every incoming email and secondly, it will quickly annoy the people sending emails to your organization.

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It should only work for a few specific addresses (like customer service), not everyone in our organization. – Siim K Nov 2 '10 at 12:58

Your best bet is to set this up outside of exchange on your external mail relay, completely out of the loop of your internal exchange routing.

If you have a spare server this can be setup fairly easily and will provide you with a lot more benefits than just external out of office.

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