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Business Tip :: How to Create Canned Email Responses with Gmail

Dear Photographer,

After being a small business owner for over 6 years, I have come to the conclusion that my TIME is worth a lot. How do you value your time? I love to spend time with my son during the day and go to the park. I love to have a healthy meal on the table when my handsome husband gets home. I love finding NEW ways to be more efficient so I can do the things that make me excited for life. Although I love getting New Clients in my inbox- I don’t like spending a ton of time responding to emails. I used to be the photographer that wouldn’t give any information or pricing without speaking to you in person on the phone or via Skype. That soon changed when I moved to New Jersey and I started to get a flood of new clients in my inbox each week. While this was good, I started to realize that I didn’t want to be on the phone every nap time or every evening away from my family. I literally could talk for hours!! At this point in my career I feel like people are seeking me out because they already know who I am and are familiar with my work. They are now looking to find out HOW to book me and what that will cost. I am totally cool with giving that information now and letting them make an informed decision without personally speaking to me. I’m saving time by being smarter and finally booking my ideal of my perfect client!

Canned Email Responses have saved my life! I use Gmail and love that you can create your own responses and save them. As soon as a client contacts me I will send them my “1st Email Response” email. I always personalize it with their names and/or wedding venue. If it comes from a personal referral I try to always give a little shout out to the person that connected us. Click “SEND” and wait for a reply. This takes the pressure off of the clients and me! They can browse my Client Lounge for more information and pricing and choose to get back in touch if we are a good fit. If I do not hear from the inquiring client within a few days I will send my second canned response “FOLLOW UP”. I used to feel guilty for not being “personal” and hand writing every email. But at the end of the day, this is a business and I want to run it as smart as possible.

Time is Money

Some of my Canned Responses include:

  • 1st Email Response
  • Follow up Email
  • Unavailable for your Wedding Date (which includes a list of photographers I think would be a good fit)
  • Wedding Day Questionnaire
  • Booking for Same Date (when someone inquires about the same date)
  • New Client Info (a link to a google doc that asks the basic questions that will go into making their contract)
  • Engagement Prep (an email explaining what the engagement session will be like and how to prepare)

I hope this helps! Feel free to leave questions or comments! Gain your life back a little at a time by automating your email responses!

Your time is very valuable and your clients will love your timely response and professionalism!









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Laura Neff -

was just starting to get all my canned emails in order, thanks leaha –see you tomorrow!!! =)