How To Create Canned Responses in Gmail (With Tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published October 26, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A canned email can be a good way for someone to conduct routine communication with clients or coworkers. With a canned email, you can prewrite essential information and use it whenever someone messages you about a frequently asked question for a product or policy. Learning how to create canned emails can help you save time, plan your communication and respond more quickly to routine inquiries. In this article, we discuss what a canned email is, how to create one and provide tips on how to use them effectively.

What are canned email responses in Gmail?

A canned email response is a premade email used for communication that you might send on a recurring basis. It allows someone to create a standard email they can repeatedly use rather than writing a similar email many times or cutting and pasting content from one email to another. Users can create templates for canned emails and have multiple versions of a canned email to use for different situations. You can use emails to respond to customer questions, thank a customer for enrolling in a program or send onboarding information to a new hire at your company.

Related: Communication Skills for Career Success

Benefits of canned responses in Gmail

Canned email responses can provide users with several benefits, including:

Improve efficiency

Using a canned email can save you time, allowing you to focus on other priorities. If you create email templates that address a variety of routine issues, it can take only a few seconds to respond to messages you receive and help automate the process. A system of canned emails can create a standard, baseline response and reduces the need to write a new one each time a routine issue arises.

Improve quality

A canned email can allow you to perfect the language of the message. Because you plan to use the email many times, taking some extra time once to make sure the email is flawless can be beneficial. You can take the time to examine the language, evaluate the information in the email and have a peer review the language for you. You also can edit your canned email over time to continue to improve its quality by listening to customer feedback.

Improve response time

An automated canned email can improve your response time. For example, if customers repeatedly ask about a product at your company, having a canned email can help you respond to them as quickly as possible, which also can improve your customer relations. Instead of searching for the answer and writing a new email, you can open your template, make any necessary adjustments and send it.

Related: 4 Different Ways To Communicate Effectively in the Workplace

Improve consistency

If you are communicating the same information and want to keep a consistent message, a canned email can help. For example, if you work in human resources and send out the same onboarding information every time someone gets hired, you can use a canned email. If your company has specific phrases it wants to use in internal communications, including them when making your canned email can help ensure you follow procedures.

How to write canned responses in Gmail

Here are some steps to follow if you'd like to create a canned email in Gmail:

1. Enable templates

To begin, click the gear symbol on the top-right of the window in Gmail to open the "Quick settings" menu. Select the "See all settings" at the top of that menu to open a page for all the settings options. Then you can click on the tab on the top banner that says "Advanced" and click on "Enable" in the templates section. Then click on "Save changes" at the bottom center of the screen to verify your settings.

2. Add the content for your canned email

Start an email by clicking on "Compose" in the top-left part of the window. Next, create the email you'd like to use in a canned response. Consider having a list or creating an outline of the information you want to include before writing to ensure you add it all. If you're going to use information verbatim from a source in your company, try to have access to that document so you can cut and paste the information into the email to ensure accuracy.

3. Save your canned email as a template

Once you finish writing, click the three dots in the bottom right corner of the email window to open more options. Next, hover your mouse over "Templates" to open settings for you to save your canned email. Move your mouse over the "Save draft as template" and click "Save as new template." When saving your template, consider naming it in a way that's clear about when you plan to use it. For instance, if customers often ask how long a warranty on your products is, you could name the template "Warranty."

4. Use the template

To send your canned email from the template, you can click the "Compose" button to start a new email or click the reply arrow of an email you have received to respond to it. Next, click the three-dot icons on the bottom right and hover over "Templates." From there, you can select from among the templates you've created. Choose the template you'd like to use and make any adjustments if necessary. After the content populates the email, choose your recipient or type in their email address and send it.

Tips for writing canned responses in Gmail

Here are some tips to help you write a canned email you can use many times:

Use proper grammar and spellcheck

You use canned emails repeatedly, so make sure they're free of errors. Consider taking more time than usual to write the email, make sure it's grammatically correct and ensure there are no mistakes. You can send the email to a coworker and have them proofread it and make sure the language is accurate and appropriate.

Related: How To Write a Professional Email

Keep the language casual and friendly

Using friendly language can help an email still feel like a personal and uniquely written response, even if it isn't. Using casual language that's still professional and respectful can increase the effectiveness of your canned email response because it can make the user feel like their question received the attention it deserved. Consider thanking them for taking the time to contact you and apologize for any inconvenience to make them feel heard and valued.

Related: How to Foster Effective Communication in the Workplace

Allow for personalization and customization

Although the body of the email and much of the information might be the same, consider leaving room for personalization. A canned email might have a customized greeting, or if it's a canned email regarding a product, you might customize portions based on the customers or businesses receiving it. Small customization can make a canned email feel unique and specific to the person receiving it.

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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