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Two simple methods to create a Gmail canned response

Two simple methods to create a Gmail canned response

5
min read

Emails are a centerpiece of modern business communication. However, emailing becomes a hurdle if you have to type and send the same messages over and over again to each client.

Creating templates or canned responses is an effective way to stay on top of your conversations despite the large volumes of email. 

We're sharing two ways to create canned responses in Gmail, including Google Templates and Streak’s snippets tool. Before discussing how to use these tools, and the limitations and benefits of each one, let’s discuss how canned responses work.

(Or, feel free to jump right to the instructions. We won't stop you!)


<a href="#how-canned-responses-work" class="anchor-link">Understanding How Canned Responses Work</a>
<a href="#benefits-of-using-canned-responses" class="anchor-link">Benefits of Using Canned Responses</a>
<a href="#how-to-create-gmail-canned-responses" class="anchor-link">How to Create Gmail Canned Responses</a>
<a href="#limitations-of-gmails-built-in-canned-response" class="anchor-link">Limitations of Gmail’s Built-in Canned Response</a>
<a href="#how-to-create-personalized-sharable-canned-responses" class="anchor-link">How to Create Personalized, Sharable Canned Responses with Streak Snippets</a>
<a href="#do-more-with-streaks-free-email-tools" class="anchor-link">Do More with Streak's Free Email Tools</a>

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Understanding how canned responses work

Canned responses are prewritten email templates that you can insert into a new email draft or an email reply to save time on repetitive messages.

A screenshot of Steak Snippet in Gmail with prewritten email templates

Customer support agents, sales representatives, and marketers use canned emails to provide quick answers to frequently asked questions from customers and prospects.

Some tools, like Streak, allow you to create snippets that you can share across your team. 

We’ll explain how to use Streak snippets below.

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Benefits of using canned responses

Incorporating canned responses into your workflow can help you and your team in a number of ways.

Faster response time‍

Having a standard template for recurring messages helps you respond faster to queries. Instead of writing a response from scratch or cutting and pasting from a previous email each time you receive similar queries, create a template response that you can edit and send out whenever the need arises.

Consistent standards

Another benefit of using canned messages is that they help you maintain a consistent voice and quality in all your email messages. You can create a quality response template with canned messages and leave room for personalization in each interaction.

Streak snippets allow you to share these templates with your team members, ensuring consistent, high-quality communications from each team member.

Scale your email operations

Besides saving time and improving efficiency, canned responses enable scalability.

As your company grows, it is typical to have more inbound messages from clients and prospective customers. Using canned messages enables you to effectively manage large message volumes since you spend less time writing emails and can delegate tasks among team members.

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How to create Gmail Canned Responses

In 2008, Google introduced the canned response feature to Google Labs. Since then, the feature has evolved into what's now known as Templates.

We'll walk you through how to enable the feature, create new templates, and use them in your emails.

Enable the Templates setting in Gmail

Before you get started with Google Templates, you'll need to enable this feature in your Gmail account.

  1. Log into Gmail.
  2. Click the gear-shaped settings icon in the top corner of your Gmail inbox.
A screenshot of the upper right corner of Gmail inbox showing the gear icon
  1. Click the "See all settings" option.
  2. Open the Advanced settings tab.
  3. Toggle on the Enable option in the Templates section of your settings.
A screenshot of the Advanced section of Gmail Settings showing the enabled Templates
  1. Don't forget to save your changes!

Create a template for a canned response in Gmail:

Now that you have Templates enabled in Gmail, you're ready to start creating canned responses.

  1. Compose a new email in Gmail.
  2. Click the three-dot menu at the bottom of your email draft.
  3. Hover over the Templates menu option.
  4. Hover over "Save draft as new template."
  5. Click "Save as new template."
  6. Enter a new template name in the window provided.
  7. Click save.

Use canned responses in your email

Once you have at least one canned response created, you can start using it in your email outreach and responses. The more you create for common messages and responses, the more efficiently you can work through your inbox.

A screenshot showing how to choose one of the created templates in Gmail

To add a canned response template in your email:

  1. Open the email compose window for either a new email or an email response.
  2. Click the three-dot menu at the bottom of your compose window.
  3. Hover over the Templates menu option.
  4. Under the "Insert template" section, choose the template you'd like to use.

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Limitations of Gmail’s built-in canned response

Gmail’s built-in templates are a great start – they can save you time and energy while keeping your communications consistent. However, you might want a few more features from your templates, such as:

Personalization

Gmail’s built-in templates are static, which means you get the exact same snippet every time. People tend to expect personalized communication, and you may have to edit every template you insert to give it to them.

Sharability

You can save even more time by sharing canned responses with teammates. With the built-in canned responses, this is an unfortunately manual process that requires every teammate to copy and paste into a new template on their account. Your teammates’ templates are also disconnected from the original, quickly making them out of sync with your updates.

Quick insertion

Adding a template using Gmail requires you to click through menus. Those preferring to stick to their keyboard when possible will be disappointed by the lack of keyboard shortcuts or snippet options here.

Max number of templates

You can only save 50 canned responses to Gmail at a time. This is typically enough to get started, but plenty of people (us included) quickly outgrow that limit.

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How to create personalized, sharable canned responses with Streak snippets

Sharing snippets with your team gives you more control over how your team communicates with customers and guarantees quality interactions. It also makes sure each team member is sharing the most up-to-date information – as soon as you have an updated link, product, or policy, just update the team snippet and your team will instantly start communicating the new changes to customers in each interaction.

The free Streak extension provides several free-to-use features like snippets, mail merge with automatic follow-up scheduling, and email view tracking.

These features extend the functionalities of the Gmail app and allow you to create an unlimited quantity of email templates that can be shared with your team members.

In order to create snippets in Gmail, you'll need to download the free Streak extension and follow the steps to log in.

Streak for Chrome

Streak for Safari

Once you have Streak installed on your web browser, you're ready to start creating email snippets.

Create email snippets and share them with your team

A screenshot showing how to create a snippet in Gmail
  1. Compose a new email in Gmail.
  2. Click the Snippets icon at the bottom of your email (this may be in the "more tools" menu).
  3. Click "Create snippet from draft.”
  4. Name your snippet so you can find it when you're ready to use it.
A screenshot showing a snippet being edited
  1. Optional: Give your snippet a shortcut code. This will allow you to type the code into an email body to populate the snippet instead of going through the menu.
  2. Optional: Share your snippet to a streak pipeline so your team can use it.
  3. Click Create.

Sharing snippets with your team in Gmail

Streak allows you to share your snippets with team members in a specific pipeline. Selecting a particular pipeline allows team members who have access to that pipeline to use the shared snippet. 

Separating snippets into pipelines helps organize your workspace resources since team members only have access to templates relevant to their tasks or department.

A screenshot showing how to share a snippet in Gmail

If you wish to give more people access to the snippet, make sure they're added to your streak team and have pipeline permissions for each pipeline with shared snippets.

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Do more with Streak's free email tools

Streak is a powerful tool that helps you manage workflows and customer relationships effectively. With Streak, you can track your interactions with customers, create and manage contacts, stay on top of tasks, and automate customer communications

Although Gmail canned responses also provide the opportunity to design and automate responses, Streak extends the functionality by allowing you to share your snippets with other team members and quickly import them into your drafts using only a preset code.

Try Streak for free to start creating snippets for canned responses in your Gmail account today.

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