If you’ve ever found yourself writing the same email you’ve written a dozen times before, answering the same question again and again, or making the same request, creating templates might just be the answer. Using an email template saves time and effort. They can be easily changed, too, for specific situations.
Email templates are simply pre-written messages.
They are a generic model or pattern used to respond to often-asked questions or to communicate common information or requests. While templates are great time-savers for answering emails, I find them useful for creating telephone scripts, too.
The benefits of using templates are many.
In addition to the time and effort saved, templates allow you to use a consistent voice, one that reflects your brand. With a good template in place, an assistant can easily handle routine matters on your behalf. Using templates means you’re always prepared; you won’t be forgetting any details as you dash something out for the umpteenth time.
They can eliminate you having to write that dreaded email that begins, “One thing I forgot to mention…”. Templates are especially useful when you have a long message with several points to make.
It’s smart to store your templates for easy access so you never have to hunt for them.
You may want to store them in a Word folder or tag them in Evernote so you can just copy and paste the text. Alternatively, you can set them up as macros in your email program. A macro is simply a shortcut you type that turns into a longer paragraph. For example, you could set up a macro to tell your email program, whenever I type this:
then run this macro:
“And I’d love to stay in touch on social media, where I provide tips and inspiration. Connect with me on Twitter (@metrozing), Pinterest (Geralin Thomas: Career Consulting for Professional Organizers), and Instagram (geralin.thomas).”
You type just a few keystrokes to tell the program to fill in an entire paragraph. (If you’ve never set up a macro before, don’t be put off; it’s not hard. Find a tech-savvy friend to show you how, or simply do an online search for “setting up macros in Outlook” or whatever email program you use.).
Give your templates names that are easy to remember and recognize, so you can always pull up the appropriate template for the occasion. Some of my personal examples of templates include:
- “Dear Citizen of Timbuktu”: For someone who lives outside my service area
- “Dear Inquiring Mind”: For someone who has asked about my services and needs more information
- “Dear Not Ideal”: For someone who is not the right client fit (but I’d like to stay in touch with on social media)
- “Dear Please Write a Review”: To request a Google review, LinkedIn endorsement, or a mention on NextDoor.com, for example
- “Dear I’m Raising My Rates”: To let clients know what’s coming
- “Dear Let’s Work Together Again Soon”: To make contact with a client who hasn’t called in a while
There are other occasions when a template can be a time-saver, letting you respond quickly and efficiently. If you’d like guidance in crafting your own templates, or help with other aspects of creating your professional organizing business, schedule a coaching call.
To create your own templates, consider first which points you want to address. Review some of the messages you’ve already written on the subject. Polish the paragraphs so they are courteous and helpful, always casting you and your business in the best light.
In the next post in this series, I’ll walk you through the process step-by-step and give you examples to help you write winning templates for your own professional organizing business.