Email is such a time suck for most virtual assistants but it doesn't have to be. Most of you are familiar with template emails but do you realize that you could be using template emails to market your VA business and save time when it comes to writing out the same emails over and over again? Canned emails have been around for awhile. A canned email is just a cute name that Google came up with to describe an email template that you can create, save and use over and over again.
Thing is, Gmail didn't create this concept. Actually, the concept of creating a template has been around for years.
If you use Outlook it comes in the form of "signatures". For Google, it's called canned response. To access the canned response feature you have to set it up as it doesn't come built-in. To view a quick tutorial I created on how to set up Gmail's canned responses click below to watch now.
Let me give you a bird's eye view into my world as a virtual assistant so you see how I used to spend countless hours writing email after email and how I have flipped that to a more time and cost-effective system that works MUCH better than it did before.
When I was building my VA business I used to write a LOT of emails to prospects. I would research their business model, write a thoughtful email that showed I had done my due diligence. We often had a few back and forth emails before we scheduled an introductory conference call.
A great deal of the verbiage I was using in the emails to prospects could have been canned. In other words I could have written a canned email response to prospects. I could have included in that email things that almost every prospect asks when they first contact me. Things like:
- what services I provide
- what I specialize in
- what my rates are
- what my hours of operations are
- what they can expect from our working relationship
Just think about the questions you get asked over and over and write those questions down and answer them in an email that you can use as a canned email.
Another GREAT use of canned emails is for your clients. Say you're working for a client and this client has you emailing his/her business partners or clients. If you see that much of the emails you are sending out could be canned, DO IT. Your time is better well spent doing other things, like promoting your own VA business, or getting more projects completed for other clients. Your time is valuable so use it wisely.
And finally use canned emails as signatures. If you have more than one client and at least one of those clients want you to use a signature like this:Reese Ben-Yaacov Virtual Assistant to Jane Rockport www.janerockport.com e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org You can use WiseStamp for setting up a signature on Gmail.
The problem with the above is that you don't want that signature inserted automatically in every email you write. With a canned email you can insert that signature with the click of a button only on certain emails. This makes your client happy and keeps you from accidentally writing the wrong signature.
What ways are you using canned emails to be more efficient and save time? I want to know so leave me the details in the comments!