Introduction to Shared Email Templates — Your Options Explained

Responding to similar emails and collaborating with your team can be a challenge. Which is why you may want to utilize shared email templates. Here's why.

Anyone that spends time responding to emails knows how useful a well-crafted response or saved email template can be. An email template or canned response is a prewritten email or text that you can easily edit and personalize to quickly respond to emails. They can consist of a thoughtfully written response, or a short reusable text block or “snippet” that can be inserted into an email. 

Email templates are a great time-saving feature that helps you respond to emails faster and more consistently. If your team frequently responds to the same types of customer emails or repeatedly sends the same messages to clients, you’ll want to develop templates with your team to improve performance and streamline company communication efforts.

In this post, we’ll cover some benefits and how you can share email templates with your team.

What is a shared email template? 

Shared email templates are just that — a series of pre-written text and email responses that can be easily shared, edited, and accessed across a department or organization. The best-shared email templates allow for personalization and can be easily accessed by your entire team or selectively accessed by specific departments. They’re typically used to answer common questions, maintain specific messaging or provide an outline for lengthier responses.

What are the benefits of shared email templates?

Save time and boost productivity

Whether it’s a quick snippet or a carefully written email, having custom email templates can streamline repetitive tasks such as responding to customer service-related requests, welcome emails, or sales follow-ups. 

Having a library of shared email templates can help your team respond to customers faster and spend less time writing emails so they can focus on other tasks.  

Better communication and consistency

Shared email templates give you more control over your company’s communication. Without shared email templates, it can be challenging to ensure your team responds to customers accurately and consistently. 

Imagine that a customer emails your team with a question about a return policy on two separate occasions, and they get conflicting responses from your department. Having shared email templates eliminates confusion and can lead to higher customer satisfaction.

How to share email templates with your team

However, sharing email templates with your team isn’t always easy because most email providers like Gmail and Office 365 only allow you to create and save email templates within your personal inbox. 

Here are a few options for sharing email templates with your team. 

A shared document

Since many email providers don’t offer shared email templates, one of the most common ways to share email templates is through a shared document like Google Docs. Files can also be shared using Office 365 or uploading them to a team channel in Microsoft Teams.

Sharing templates in a document allows team members to open the file when they need it, but this method leads to more time spent copying and pasting. It can also leave room for mistakes like forgetting to include customer-specific information like a name or order number. You’ll also want to make sure everyone on your team knows where to access your most recent email templates to avoid confusion or using outdated information. 

Purchase an add-on or extension

For teams that use Gmail and Office 365, you can download third-party add-ons or extensions that allow you to create, save, and share email templates. 

Canned Responses Pro connects directly to your team’s inboxes and allows users to create and share Gmail email templates. This extension offers a free and paid version. While the free add-on has some core functionalities, teams will have to upgrade to enable attachment support, one-click sharing, and more. 

If your team uses Office 365 or Outlook, Shared Email Templates is an add-in that offers a shared email template solution through the Microsoft app store.

While these tools help you efficiently share templates with your team, they cost money and might not offer as much value as other tools. 

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Email management solutions for teams 

Even with the help of shared email templates, there are still plenty of email collaboration breakdowns you will want to avoid, like duplicate responses and confusing email threads. To make email truly collaborative, your team might benefit from a shared inbox solution like Outpost. 

Shared Templates with Outpost 

Outpost is a shared inbox software that makes it easy for teams to work together and manage emails in one place. Outpost provides teams with shared templates in addition to other collaborative features so your team can spend less time writing emails and focus on what matters.

Create and share your most effective templates

With Outpost, your team can build an organized library of your most effective custom email templates and share them with your team. You can create a template that applies for all of your mailboxes or to a single inbox. And with unlimited templates, you can create templates for all of your business’s needs from customizable greetings and apologies, to auto-responses and out-of-office messages.  

Save time and send emails with one click

Templates only help save time if they are easy to access. If your team has a lot of templates, Outpost makes it easy to quickly find the one you need with filtering. Search for templates by inbox or name to quickly preview and insert one or multiple templates to build email responses in seconds. 

Save templates in Outpost for easy access.

Personalize your emails 

Outpost makes it easy to add custom variable fields into any template by simply adding {…}. When a member of your team uses a template with variables, they’ll immediately see a pop-up form listing those variables, as shown below. Once they fill in the fields, the key details will be added to the email automatically so you can be sure your team is always sending accurate emails. 

Easily personalize any saved templates with Outpost.

Other collaborative features that are perfect for your busy team

An email template won’t help your team respond to every email. For conversations that require responses from scratch, team members can collaborate on email replies in real-time with Outpost’s private, internal notes feature. With notes, team members can communicate in-app to share feedback and work together without the CCs and confusing back and forth. 

For teams that respond to emails in a single inbox like support@ or info@, you will want to avoid duplicate responses. Outpost’s collision alerts let team members know who is working on specific emails to avoid duplicate efforts that can negatively impact your customer communication. 

While email templates can certainly help save time, you need data to understand how your team is performing. Outpost’s analytics feature tracks your team’s average response times to get the insights you need to boost your team’s productivity. 

Having a tool like Outpost can help your team collaborate and save time so they can take better care of your customers. 

You can start a free trial of Outpost today, or schedule a customized demo with one of our team email experts.

Posted in: Email Productivity

Jonathan Michael

Jonathan Michael

Jonathan is the Engagement Marketing Manager for Palo Alto Software, and has spent the last 9 years developing and implementing digital marketing strategies. During that time, he has learned that empathy and authenticity are strengths by which companies can effectively engage with individuals at every point throughout the customer journey.

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