Many a time, I have found myself in a situation where I wanted to send a personalised email to multiple people but with the same content. I did not want to expose the email address of all these people so “CC” was out of the question. Neither does “BCC” worked for me because I would not be able to personalise the email and would need to use something like Greetings Friend instead of Greetings John. So I was looking for an option that satisfy all my requirements within the Gmail client.

While browsing through my gmail settings, I came across this amazing Gmail Labs feature called Canned Responses that let’s you save a draft of your email that can be re-used multiple times. Exactly what I was looking for. By the way for those, who don’t know what Gmail labs features are, These are features that are developed by the developers at google and are tested across the teams and even real-time users and depending upon the usability and response from it’s users these features are either made live as a part of the Gmail interface itself or discarded. The best thing about these features or sub-apps is that they are available for everyone to use. The only drawback is that they might not be stable and be a little buggy if they are still under development process. You should definitely checkout other features available under labs, maybe you’d find something that will make your life easier.

But getting back to Canned Responses, Let’s go through how to enable and use this. The first thing we need to do is to click the cog icon on the top right within the gmail interface and click on the settings option.

Gmail-Settings
Gmail-Settings

Once you are on the settings page, click on the Labs tab (third last option as of this writing). and you should see a list of features that are available in the labs with a enable/disable radio button right next to it.

Gmail Labs
Gmail Labs

Yes, you guessed it right, all you need to do enable the feature is to find the canned responses feature and click on the enable button.

Canned Responses
Canned Responses

Once you have clicked on the enable button, Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on save changes button.

Save changes

Now let’s start using it. First let’s draft an email that we’d save as our base draft. So compose a new email without filling in the recipient and the name of the recipient in your email body.

Email draft

Once you are done with the draft click the little down arrow (down-arrow) on the bottom right corner of your draft window and then hover over canned responses and then click on New canned response. You will be asked to enter the name or title of the canned response, do not change anything and click OK (Unfortunately this feature has a bug which changes the subject of the draft to whatever you name your canned response).

canned-responses

Now you canned response is ready to use. Fill in the email and name of the first recipient and click send. This will send the first email. Now to send this to another user, simply click on the compose button then click on (down-arrow), hover over canned responses and under the Insert title click on the the canned response you saved and it should pre-fill the content for you. All you need to do is add the next recipient email and name and there you go!

successful-canned-response

Hopefully, this feature will come in handy to you too. until next time. 🙂