by Shelley Hitz
Gmail has a simple, yet effective, feature authors can use when marketing their books. It is called “canned responses.”
Canned responses allows you to save pre-written messages you can easily insert into your e-mails later. This can save you hours of time and make you more productive.
How can authors use canned responses?
There are several ways I personally use canned responses in my book marketing efforts:
- FAQ – I save frequently asked questions readers send me via e-mail in canned responses. This way I can quickly insert my response and customize it as I would like.
- Review copies – I have templates I use to send reviewers copies of my books. Using canned responses helps me to reply quickly and efficiently to review requests.
- Book launch bonuses – When I want to manually send book launch bonuses to readers who purchase my book during the launch, I will have them forward their receipt to my e-mail and then use a canned response to deliver their bonuses.
- Speaking requests – As I receive speaking requests on certain topics, I have canned responses saved to easily insert and customize a response for each meeting planner.
There are so many more uses for canned responses, I have only listed a few.
Now, let me walk you through the process of setting up canned responses in your Gmail account.
How to set up canned responses in Gmail
First, you will click the gear located in the upper right hand corner of your Gmail account. Then, click on settings.
Click on the link that says “Labs.”
Next, scroll down until you see “Canned Responses” and click the radio button next to “Enable.”
Click “Save Changes.” This will take you back to your main Gmail inbox.
The next step is to write and save your first canned response. You will first click to compose a new message.
Then, you will type the message you want to save within the body of the e-mail. This can be formatted like you would any other e-mail with links, bullets, etc.
Finally, you will click on the arrow in the bottom right hand corner, move your mouse over “Canned responses,” and click “New canned response.”
Now you will choose a name for your canned response. Choose something that will be easy to remember for that particular message. If you save a lot like I do, you will eventually have a long list and will want to be able to find the message you need quickly.
Your first canned response is now saved within Gmail and you can access it anytime you need it.
When you are ready to use a canned response, compose a new message. You can also simply click reply and insert a canned response into your e-mail reply.
Next, you will click on the arrow in the bottom right hand corner, move your mouse over “Canned responses,” and click on the title of the canned response you want to insert. Make sure you click on the link under the heading “Insert.”
Now your canned response will be in the body text of your e-mail. You can customize it as you want, add recipients, etc.
Review your e-mail and click “Send.”
Congratulations! You have just sent your first canned response.
Canned responses in Gmail is a productivity tool I use all the time. It helps me save time. Instead of typing the same responses over and over or looking up my saved document and copying/pasting it into my e-mail, I can simply insert the message with a couple clicks of my mouse.
Have you used canned responses? If so, in what ways have you used it?
What other e-mail productivity tools do you use?
This article was originally published on The Future of Ink and is reprinted here in its entirety for our Magnolia Media Network readers.