Canned Responses Templates | Simple automation for Gmail

You start your shift and before you realize it, you’re swamped with so many chats you don’t even have time to make a cup of coffee. And the worst part? Most of those chats are about the same thing, and you have to type the same message over and over again.

Customer service reps have to deal with boring, repetitive tasks every day, but they can handle them in ways that save them time and sanity. one of those ways is to use canned responses.

from this post you can learn:

  • what are canned replies and how to use them,
  • how to set them up in gmail,
  • popular templates,
  • how they differ from automatic replies ,
  • best practices,
  • the benefits they offer,
  • everything you need to know to implement them in your own workshop!

keep automation in check

While canned responses will save you a lot of time, you need to find the right balance. If you try to use them in response to each and every message, your customers may become victims of robotic responses that often result in negative feelings.

some companies have spoken out against repetitiveness with solutions that we can mostly label as automation. for example, artificial intelligence should theoretically handle the most common queries with ease. however, it often leads to poor customer experiences.

we should accept that the level of support in such cases can be lower, right? after all, it’s all in the name of faster service. still, consumers have the right to be treated with respect and feel cared for.

this situation required a middle ground, a hybrid solution. something that would cover both the practical and the human side of the business. thus the canned response was born.

what is a canned response?

A canned response is a pre-written message (template) that you can insert into your text with keyboard shortcuts or from a drop-down menu. They are most commonly found in online chats and email boxes, but you can also find them in any type of text messaging, mobile apps, SMS, and similar solutions. they often appear under different names, such as autoresponders or response templates.

is a faster alternative to typing the same answer over and over or pasting it from your notes.

how to use canned responses

Think of a text that you write constantly in your daily work. create a text template from it and save it to your chat, email or mobile system as a canned response. From now on, you can load it into a text feed whenever you need to, saving yourself from typing it repeatedly. Before you send the prewritten response, customize it to fit the recipient’s situation.

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It’s all about sending quick, pre-written messages, seasoned with a personal touch. it is convenient for both the recipient and the sender.

the difference between a canned response and an automated response

automatic reply is a feature you can find in mailboxes like gmail. they can automatically send pre-written responses to hundreds of emails in your mailbox. a good example of an autoresponder would be an out of office notification or shipping confirmation email.

we can easily spot the main difference: the purpose. canned reply can be used to reply one by one while auto reply should reply to a large number of emails automatically. one leans toward the personal touch while the other encompasses large amounts of work.

Depending on the program you’re using, you may experience other differences, such as the ability to attach files, emails being labeled “automatic reply,” or mobile apps not supporting one or the other. it depends on the solution you’re using, so always make sure to check how they work before committing to a tool.

both response types are very effective in what they offer. Furthermore, they can work together quite well. For example, if you find that a particular canned response resonates with recipients, you can turn it into an autoresponder and see how a larger audience reacts.

do’s and don’ts when using canned messages

Canned responses can boost your work, but only if you learn how to use them correctly. treating them only as quick responses can do you more harm than good, so here are some tips to avoid that:

don’t save time writing generic and lifeless messages

Spend some time on a quality draft. Make it personal, descriptive, and witty. it’ll be worth it in the long run, since you won’t have to work as hard to customize it later.

make your previously saved answers as cute and thoughtful as handwritten ones

A bad canned response will instantly jeopardize a potentially good relationship with your customer. don’t be afraid to put emotions into your draft, make it feel real and fit well into the conversations you’re having.

don’t automate entire conversations

It can be tempting to answer all of your customers’ questions with pre-written messages, especially if they’re suitable for the conversation. but trust me, customers can see when it happens. and when he does, you’re losing his trust and sympathy. instead of copying and pasting all the answers, insert them with care and taste.

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track your performance

observe, note and adjust. Experiment with your answers to find the one that hits the mark. canned responses are secure in the sense that you control how many people see them and in what context. make use of that and take your time to learn what your customers like.

use them creatively

What if I told you that canned responses are more than quick responses? you can use them to store any kind of information that you find useful to have on hand. for example, links, online signatures, notes and even simple greetings and goodbyes. a canned response does not have to be a complete message typed from start to finish. you can cut it and use specific pieces when you need. think of it like a notepad with keyboard shortcuts and you’ll be surprised how useful it is.

canned response templates you can steal

support heroes use canned responses in live chat to great effect. we developed a huge library of pre-written templates to draw on in times of need. take a look at the successful ones and feel free to use them whenever you want:

say “thank you”:

  • You’re welcome 🙂 in case of any additional questions, I’ll be happy to help!
  • After our chat conversation, I have created a ticket for you. I will discuss your problem with our technical team and we will get back to you as soon as possible!

use a call to action:

  • If you have a spare moment, check out our community!
  • If you wish, we can initiate a screen sharing session with our technical support: one of our l2 representatives will access your screen and collect any additional information needed to resolve this case. if that’s something you’re interested in, download the teamviewer client.
  • here is a pre-recorded demo that will guide you through the functionalities of our software: I’ll be happy to answer all related questions and pass your details on to our sales team if you’re interested in scheduling a call.


  • We are having problems with our servers – our administrators are currently working on a solution to restore full functionality as soon as possible. sincere apologies for the inconvenience. you can monitor for live updates on the issue.
  • We didn’t get a chance to finish our conversation, so I decided to send you this follow up. if you have any questions let me know and just reply to this email.
  • I noticed you called our conversation “bad”. Is there anything I should have done or said differently to make you feel more satisfied with our chat? Let me know so I can change for the better!
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As you can see, these are very simple examples. but they are so useful that they have earned their place in our library. however, you should note that these are just raw templates. agents must customize them for their recipients each time they are used.

Discover more examples of canned responses.

how to set up canned reply in gmail

Let’s do a real-life test of how canned responses work. gmail will be our host for this task.

1. enable templates in config:

select the gear (settings) icon in the top right corner of your gmail panel -> go to the advanced tab -> select enable on the right side of the templates row.

An image presenting how to enable canned responses in Gmail settings

2. Write your first response:

compose an email -> type the message you want to save as a standard reply -> select the 3 vertical dots in the bottom right corner of the email window -> hover over templates -> save draft as template -> select save as new template.

An image presenting how to save canned response templates in Gmail settings

3. Enter the response name and select Save.

An image presenting how to save a canned response template in Gmail

4. Load the pre-saved message in your emails.

To do this, select the 3 vertical dots in your email window -> go to templates -> select the name of the canned response you want to load.

An image presenting how to load a pre-saved canned response template in Gmail

That’s it!

interested in ticketing systems? check how to use canned responses in the helpdesk.

canned response statistics research 2019-2022

below you can find live chat stats on response length on over 2 million canned responses from 2019 to 2022

Canned responses Livechat research data visualization chart showing length of responses.

50.04% of canneds are longer than 130 signs. But most popular canned responses’ length is from 42 to 64 characters.
Canned responses LivheChat length research 2019-2022 details: data is based on 2176137 canneds created or modified by users since 2019 the median lenghts wa 130 with only 1% shorter than 15 char and only 1% longer than 1117 characters.
Canned responses LivheChat length research 2019-2022 details

It’s time to upgrade your workshop

As you can see, canned responses can be your best ally in the endless fight against repetition. now is the time to include them in your toolbox and stop wasting time writing the same answers over and over again.

Use them wisely, tastefully, and always sprinkle them with a personal touch, and you’ll find your mundane, everyday tasks become a breeze.

Learn more about other live chat messaging tools.

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