Email has permeated the business space since the internet became mainstream. For many, templates have become as important to streamlining the work of responding to common business-related inquiries as digital marketing campaigns are for growing your customer base. A template isn't merely something you copy and paste for every email response, there has to be a genuine intent to converse with customers or potential clients so that your replies don't sound lazy or inauthentic. In the best case, email templates are tailored to the recipient's needs as they're likely expecting a helpful response to their email.
This article details the step-by-step process of creating and using email templates in Gmail and how they can benefit you in the long run.
Who Can Benefit from Email Templates?
Businesses or individuals that need to manage their inbound email communications is one of the main reasons email templates exist. As you become busier, or as your business grows, you can expect to receive potentially hundreds of emails daily. For example, if you're running a business, you may get inbound requests from brands looking for partnerships, individuals inquiring about a product, or complaints and suggestions from users who have tried your product.
Templates are created to efficiently breeze through repetitive inquiries so that the person managing the inbox doesn't have to spend the whole day digging through each email, typing out a response, all to just arrive at the same ending.
Advantages of Making Email Templates
As mentioned earlier, creating and using Gmail email templates have several advantages; most of them are essential to managing your time and workload. For example, using email templates can save you enough costs over time so that it gradually becomes more of a necessity than a technique to supplement productivity.
Speed of Delivery
An email template allows for a faster response time, especially with emails that can be handled with the same response. Suppose, for example, that you're operating a business that wants to be responsive to its customers and people frequently come to you with similar complaints or issues that need assistance. In that case, you need to be ready to respond promptly, which is where email templates come in handy. You don't need to type the content of the email manually, one after another. Instead, pull up an appropriate template and edit parts of the content to match the name and concern of a customer or client.
A faster response means you save a lot of time. Emails are important, but some things are more urgent and demand immediate attention, such as closing a big deal and or details of an important event you can't afford to miss. With email templates, you don't have to worry about forgetting or taking too long to respond, you already have a template ready to be sent out.
Customer Satisfaction and Brand Recognition
Customers generally don't like automated responses because they are impersonal and sound lazy. So it's always a better idea to create templates you can customize. You can design generic templates that are easy to edit and personalize when needed. Consequently, personalized templates help you build your brand name by letting your target customers know that you're responsive to their concerns.
Along the lines of branding, you can also use templates to import your company's branded footer, for example. Or it can contain other brand-relevant assets and communication styles.
Types of Email Templates You Can Use
Header and Footer Templates
Headers (salutations to customer) and footers (signatures at the bottom of the email) are among the most important email components to note when customizing a template. Your email header establishes the quality, vibe, or attitude of your email. It's the first thing a reader sees and the first opportunity to make a good impression. Be sure to fill out this section with the recipient's name to let them know that you're sending them a personalized email and not an automated one.
On the other hand, the footer is usually where a recipient might look for more information on you, like your contact details, links to your other website, social media accounts, etc. You can imagine how tedious it would be to type this out for every email response, so save yourself some time and use a template.
Note: Gmail does have a feature specific to adding signatures to your emails, which can be found via the General tab in Settings. This works well for many signatures, but templates might work better if you want to also set up a standard greeting or email body.
Newsletter Email Template
Newsletter emails are intended for regular subscribers. These are commonly used in marketing campaigns to promote new products, features, deals, etc. If you're not using a traditional newsletter service like Mailchimp, you can instead send them out manually in Gmail with email templates. You don't have to personalize these emails so that you can send them in large numbers.
Confirmation Email Template
This type of template might be used in response to a customer that emailed you regarding a purchase, reservation, etc. The confirmation template could include placeholders for common information you need to send back, like the order number, total cost, dates, etc. This way you can respond without forgetting any of the information the customer would expect to get back.
Internal Communications Template
Today many office jobs can be done online, whether it's for observing health protocols or just personal convenience. So day-to-day email communication between colleagues, management, and employees has become even more important for efficient coordination. Often, internal communications involve a predictable daily work routine commonly followed in an organization. You can save yourself the trouble of composing an update from scratch every single time by setting up an internal communications template you can easily fill out only with important details warranting the update, like the latest changes or developments, facilitating day-to-day communications with co-workers.
For example, your boss may want to know what you're working on on a daily basis, which might require a daily email. You can set up an email template to provide the structure and general information of what you want to include, thus saving you time and providing a quality update.
Customer interaction templates are used to keep customers informed or engaged. Templates can help a company's customer care and sales departments achieve their core duties by responding to inquiries and concerns expediently and provide prompt support. The quality and tone of customer interaction templates can strengthen or weaken customer relationships. So ensure you create professional, appropriate, and gracious templates that positively reflect your brand name to your customers.
For example, you can set up a template that automatically responds to all customer inquiries to let them know that their request was received and that you'll be responding shortly. While this will obviously look like an automated response, it does help customers at least know that they've reached the right inbox and that they won't have to wait long to get a full response.
Enabling Your Gmail Templates
This section of the article shows you how to enable your templates in Gmail to ensure you can use them when composing an email. We have provided screenshots, so it's easier to understand.
Step-by-step instructions with Screenshots
First, click on the settings button on the top right, which looks like a gear icon.
You will see a window that shows you the quick settings and themes to customize the appearance of your Gmail account. Next you'll want to click on the "See all settings" button.
Once you've opened the settings page, click on the "Advanced" tab on the settings page.
Next, find the Templates section on the Advanced screen and click "Enable".
Finally, at the bottom of that page, click the "Save Changes" button.
Managing Email Templates
Creating an Email Template
To create an email template, click on the "Compose" button at the top left corner of the screen. Type your template in the compose box, and click on the three dots at the bottom right.
Once you click the three dots, you will find a Templates menu. Hover over it and then click "Save draft as template". Finally, click on "Save as new template". It'll then prompt you to name the template. I'd suggest giving it a name that easily identifies exactly what the template does. If you have a few variations of the same template, try to come up with a naming scheme that differentiates each version.
Editing an Email Template
A very similar process applies when editing an existing email template, except that you need to overwrite the template you want to edit with the new content.
Using an Email Template
To actually use your email template, start by composing a new email and clicking on the three dots, hover over "Templates", and choose the template you want to use.
If you're replying to an email and not starting a new one, just open the email, click the "reply" button, and then you should see the same three dots at the bottom of the reply window. From there, the steps are the same to select an email template:
Automating An Email Template
Having an email template saves you the time to think of how to compose your email. Automating these templates allow you to fully enjoy the benefit of speed, giving you more time to focus on other productive work.
Step-by-step instructions Screenshots
Templates become even more useful when you automate the sending process. This can be done using Gmail's filter functionality.
To automate an email template, click on "Show search options" button at the top. It's the icon on the right side of the search bar. Click this button to create a new filter.
Next you have to set up the search criteria to ensure you're matching the right emails. In our example, we're sending an automatic reply to let our customers know that we received their request for help, hence we're matching any email that has the word "Help" in it, as shown here:
When you're done, click "Create filter". This will take you to another menu in which you'll tell the filter what to do. Here we'll tell it to reply with our template:
Note: The reply will not be personalized to the recipient, so in this case make sure the template is generic enough that it works for any matched email. For more personalized email responses, you'll need to use a more advanced Gmail integration.
Setting up your email templates in Gmail is fairly easy to do on desktop. Unfortunately there is not yet a way to do this on Gmail's mobile app. Once you're familiar with creating a template and have learned to use it effectively with the automated feature, the work of emailing or responding to many different people, amidst many other work demands within a busy timetable, becomes more efficient and organized.
With templates, there's no more need to stress over writing a new email every time you reply to an email, like customer concerns or feedback, with email templates in Gmail. It’s time you enjoyed the convenience of this practical Gmail service.