Canned emails are one of those writing projects that are often put to the bottom of the priority list because they seem just so GD boring and unsexy! I myself put off writing them for years until I was forced by my CRM (Dubsado for those playing along at home) to get them done with a capital D, and once I got stuck in? Easy peasy – I knocked them out in a couple of hours.


Before I get stuck in to the ‘how’ of creating a library of canned emails, let me just slip in a quick ‘what’. Put simply, canned emails are prewritten responses to common questions you receive or information provided in a logical sequence. This blog post is in the context of client experience, one of the most underrated communications tactic of all time. Of all time, I tells ya! In terms of client experience, I’m referring to the basic steps people move through in the process of being wooed by you through to being bid a fond adieu. And while that poetic interlude was unintended and unintentional, I’ll die before removing it!


Anyhoo, where was I? Oh yes, a person reaches out to you via Instagram, LinkedIn, your website contact form, or carrier pigeon. What happens next? Perhaps you organise a time to catch up to find out more about them and how you could be of support. What next? You catch up, and you decide your ‘group phenomena program’ is the perfect fit for them, and they want to know all the details. What next? They love your group phenomena program inclusions and want to sign on the dotted line, so you send them a relevant contract. Then what? You deliver said phenomena group program and then you send them on their way, secure in the knowledge that they are, indeed, a phenomenon- singular, no less. A month passes, and you wonder how they are going in their newfound phenomenon status. A year passes, and you’ve created an extension of your phenomena group program that would be perfect for them. So you reach out, and repeat the above step until you both die…

Holly at desk

This is where canned emails really shine. I use canned emails within my CRM (again, Dubsado) but before I did, as I worked with people I did an unholy search, copy and paste tango again and again and again. Ugh, I almost want to vomit at the very memory. Imagine, for every step of that process you have an email sitting there, ready to be sent, without you having to draft it times infinity. Can you imagine how that speeds up not just your response time but your headspace? Canned emails also remove or reduce the potential for oopsies with the wrong information sent to the wrong recipient.


Beyond the mental load, they also provide a massive opportunity to inject some marketing and branding smarts into the process. Dubsado have an inbuilt library of canned emails which are pretty damn good as a starting point. Their limitation is the language is a bit colloquial which won’t suit a number of businesses, but a benefit is they use the Dubsado lingo which I won’t bore you with in this email given my knowledge is actually pretty limited here – go to Charlotte Isaac or Samantha June as these two ladies revolutionised my life and are Dubsado royalty. I work against a distinctive style guide including voice for all of my communications tactics and so I wrote my own library of canned emails.


Want to know how?


For every single service in my suite I grabbed a stack of sticky notes and plotted out the entire client journey from ‘shall we?’ through to ‘would you like fries with that’ and then onto ‘have a nice life.’ Once I had this mapped out, I could then see where an email wouldn’t go astray:


  • Lead comes in and they receive an email invitation to a chit chat and to read my services guide
  • After the chit chat, I email a proposal
  • Once proposal is accepted I email a contract, invoice and information about next steps
  • I deliver their project, sending update emails along the journey where appropriate
  • After I hand over their project I request feedback about the experience of working with me and send them on their way
  • After some time has passed I send an email to see how they’re travelling with what we worked on together.


This is a very basic overview of my workflow (more Dubsado lingo) and they are a lot more extensive, particularly as I worked with the aforementioned Dubs royalty dream team of Charlotte and Samantha to bring this to life. Bottom line, they told me what they needed in terms of emails to create an ideal experience, and I wrote it against my brand voice, knowing that these emails and this experience is a communications touchpoint with my brand that is just as important, if not more, as any other.  I used a ton of power words across both the emails and the subject lines, and I kept clarity as my number one goal within brand voice – what are the bare bones of what someone needs to know in each step of their experience of working with me? For example, when someone is considering a proposal it’s about providing information to confirm and clarify their expectations and their desired outcomes.

Holly with a sticky note party

Of course, you don’t have to use Dubsado. I know Google has a templates feature and I assume the other leading CRMS do too. I’m also aware that people use tools such as Asana or Trello for their canned email libraries. As long as they’re somewhere logical to you, that are easy to whip out when they’re called for. As I said in my introduction above, writing these bad boys is something I put off, and like anything we procrastinate over, the ‘getting it done’ sometimes proves much less painful than anticipated. Writing 30 + emails falls into that category for me, and while I can’t say they were the creative achievement of my year, I injected a dose of fun within the obligation by adding as much of my brand voice as humanly possible which made the experience much less onerous.


Tell me, are you doing the search, copy and paste tango? Have you, like me, royally buggered it up on occasion?  Do you consider your client experience as a comms touchpoint? How secure are you in your brand voice? Should I ask you another question? Nay, let’s just have a chat instead- just reach out.


I love writing about communications, writing, life in business and life in general! If theres something specific youd like me to cover in my writing, please shoot me an email or give me a buzz, and Ill do my best to help, or address it in an upcoming blog post or on my social media platforms.

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