James Cridland

Useful Gmail filters for out-of-office and more (for newsletter operators)

I haven’t found anywhere online which shares these, so I felt it might be useful to share.

All my email goes into Gmail — I use ForwardEmail to handle my incoming email. It’s an excellent service. And once it’s in Gmail, I run some simple methods of cleaning the email before I get to play with them. I’d love more: my email is james@crid.land if you’d like to get in touch.

How to use these…

  1. Copy/paste the filter into Gmail’s search (on desktop), and press enter
  2. Does it find the emails you want it to? Excellent. Press the ‘show search options’ button in the search bar.
  3. Press “create filter”, and work out what you want to do with the emails you’ve found.
  4. You’ve now made a filter. Congratulations. You’ll find them all by hitting “settings”, then “see all settings”, then “filters and blocked addresses”.

Automatic replies

This filter cuts most, if not all, automated replies from your inbox. I set this to simply “delete” the emails; you might want to do something else.

subject:("Abwesenheitsnotiz" OR "Automated Response" OR "自动回复" OR "Respuesta automática" OR "Ateb awtomatig" OR "Automaattinen vastaus" OR "Risposta automatica" OR "Automatická odpověď" OR "Out of the Office" OR "Automated Reply" OR "Out Of Ofiice" OR "Out of Office" OR "Réponse automatique" OR "Automatic reply" OR "Automatisch antwoord" OR "Automatische Antwort" OR "Autosvar" OR "Automatisk svar" OR "Automatyczna odpowiedź")

Tip: You might send your newsletter from a different email address to your personal one (and that would be sensible). The way I use the above filter is to add to it the following:


…so it only fires if it’s sent as a response to my automated emails, and not to my personal email address.

Thanks for contacting me replies

Some people configure their email system to automatically respond with other things. Here’s my list: you’ll notice it specifically adds my newsletter email address in the filter, so I don’t miss personal emails this way.

to:([updates@podnews.net](mailto:updates@podnews.net)) ("I'm out of office until" OR "not checking email." OR "out of the office" OR "Thank you for emailing me!" OR "Liebe Partner," OR "Dankjewel voor je mail" OR "We have received your email. We make every attempt to respond to questions" OR "This auto-reply is just to let you know")

Again, these are set to just delete.

Embargoed press releases

“Do you agree to this embargo?” Why, yes, I do. Send me the press release already.

For this, I use a filter like:

subject:(-Re:) ("agree" AND ("embargo" OR "embargoed")) OR ("under embargo")

…and send back a templated email saying that I always respect embargoes and just send it over. (Templates are in “Advanced” in Gmail, and you need to turn them on; they always respond from your underlying Gmail address.)

Guest posts

Would I like a guest post? Why, no, I would not.

("Guest post proposal" OR "were willing to add our link" OR "link exchange" OR "add our link to that page" OR "link insertion favor" OR "do-follow link" OR "dofollow link" OR "do-follow backlinks" OR "guest post" OR "guest content")

…and a separate one (because I don’t *think* you can have a filter which looks for something in the body or something in the header.

subject:("Love your content about" "(and a proposal)")

Again, I send back a templated email.


"I use a new email filtering service called BitBounce"

That’s nice. But no. I delete them.


"powered by mine®"

I respond to these faux-legalese threatening emails with this grumpy email template:

Congratulations — you’ve just let a random company from Israel read every single email in your inbox. They don’t have to follow either US or EU privacy laws, and there’s absolutely no guarantee that they’re not going to use your email data for anything else — and no legal recompense for you if they do.

If you’d like to unsubscribe from any of my newsletters, you’ll find a link at the bottom of every single email. I’ll send you details about full data erasure when you unsubscribe.

I don’t respond to these Mine requests otherwise, since they’re automated.

If you’ve any more, then excellent! Please get in touch.