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Efficiency means doing things at the right time, automating what you can, and going through them in one go. If you’re effective, you’re doing something right. That’s why you should use email filters and schedule email time. One trick is to prepare canned responses for emails you frequently write.
Here is a list for your inspiration.
Seasons Greetings, Birthday Wishes & Other Special Occasions
Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Happy Easter, and wishing you a Happy Birthday, too. When it’s time to send out annual greetings, you probably repeat the same verbiage over and over again, like a broken record. Don’t you admire people who can pen those lines without sounding like everyone else? Original greetings are more memorable and meaningful as a writer puts some thought into their preparation.
What has this got to do with canned responses? Well, not everyone is creative all the time, but almost everything is copied anyway. Set aside some time to collect greetings you like, maybe write some yourself, and copy them into the respective email template. Whenever you notice an original greeting by someone else, add it to your growing list and note who inspired it. Note that email templates aren’t limited to text alone. You can also collect GIFs or links for special occasions.
When it’s time to send out greetings to your loved ones, you can dive into your collection for ideas. When you’re feeling creative, build on what’s there or add something new. When you’re pressed for time, copy and paste a nice greeting from the list and move on.
Most email programs allow you to set up individual signatures for different “send from” email addresses. But what if you are wearing many hats and use only one email address? Try using canned responses to switch back and forth between multiple email signatures. Your contacts will never get bored with your signature if you cycle through a set of all purpose messages or your favorite quotes. That’s if you don’t want to rely on third party signature tools that customize your signature with quotes. Just make sure your email signature leaves the right impression.
Repetitive Business Emails
If you often find yourself explaining the same things or sharing the same information, you should set up templates and store them as canned responses. For example, if you sell things online and often get the same questions, you can set up a FAQ and update it with answers to new questions as you go. Although in the long term, it’s smarter to set up a web-based FAQ page and add the URL to your canned response instead. You can perfect your templates over time and customize them for each use to make them sound more personal.
Even cooler than a template sent out manually, is one that goes out automatically. We have shown you how to set up auto responses in Thunderbird and how to create automatic email responses with Gmail filters. And you should find this feature in most other email programs.
One neat trick is to trigger the auto-response based on the alias an email is sent to. You could use this to store and access information; you could even share a current grocery list with your partner.
Do You Find Canned Responses Objectionable?
Don’t feel bad for using canned responses and don’t rap someone if they do . It’s a way to make the most of your time. Life has nicer things to offer than writing emails.
Invest some time during a slow day. Scan your sent folder for repetitive content. Prepare your canned responses, and set them up when you come across new content. When you use a canned response, remember to give it a personal touch. After all, you do care about the human on the other side of the screen, don’t you?