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Auto-Reply Email: When and how to write it (with Templates)

By March 19th, 2024No Comments

Auto-reply email can be a great tool for any company’s inbox. By implementing tools such as auto-reply email templates, you can get through incoming messages faster, keep your customers happy and boost overall productivity. But before you start sending your auto-reply email on Gmail, you need to know the best practices.

But knowing the basics of company email is just one part of it. First of all, you need to establish which areas of your company might benefit from auto-reply email. Maybe it’s customer service email, given that people expect a reply within 48 hours. Maybe your sales reps could use extra efficiency to fulfill requests. Or, sometimes, all departments can benefit from auto-reply email templates and automations.

After defining your auto-reply needs, you should look into the best practices of customer support email to understand what matters the most in an efficient reply. The final step is setting up a system that automates the whole process and clears up your inbox for you. Here are our tips and our guide on how to implement auto-reply email on Gmail:

What is an auto-reply email?

First, let’s explore the meaning of an auto-reply email. Basically, it’s an automated response based on predefined rules and pipelines, according to your workflow. They can be short and to the point or more detailed, depending on what each workflow needs.

But the main reason for an auto-reply email template is that it follows basic email best practices for you. So instead of a customer or vendor emailing you and waiting too long for a reply, you can use auto-reply email on Gmail to answer them faster.

When do you need an auto-reply email?

You need to start using auto-reply email templates when your inbox is full of messages that could be quickly answered by a common reply. So if you’re getting repeated product questions, quote requirements and even error troubleshooting, you could benefit from using auto-reply email on Gmail to declutter it.

To shorten customer service response time

Cutting down on professional email response time is a huge win for customer service. In fact, one of the main metrics to monitor is the first response time. This is the time from when your client first messages you to when they hear back. Usually, companies try to keep it to 24 hours at most, but longer response times can happen.

However, one of the concerns is that the customer doesn’t feel heard. This can result in either a decrease in company reputation or the customer reaching out again, cluttering your inbox. Or both. Which leads to less productive relationships and more clutter in your inbox.

The idea here is that you can use auto-reply email to let your customer know you’ve received their message. You can thank them for reaching out and assure them you’re getting back to the email as soon as possible (bonus points if you include the ETA).

To troubleshoot common inquiries

Another common inquiry in company email is questions about errors and product failures. Whether you sell a physical product or software, sometimes errors happen, either due to the lack of information available or user error. And your customers will reach out to find a solution.

However, it can be repetitive and time-consuming to answer each concern over and over again. That means you can write auto-reply email templates for the commonly reported concerns and set them up to reply automatically.

To offer details on your products and services

This scenario is common for sales and marketing representatives. Either clients or vendors might reach out to you to know more about your products, services and payment options. So you need to make sure they get a fast, efficient reply. One way to do it is by using auto-reply email on Gmail.

Say, for instance, a potential new customer has seen your advertisement on social media and wants to know more about your software. They might be reaching out to different companies to compare them, so a good service is key. By using auto-reply email, you can give them a comprehensive answer with all relevant information, such as specifications, price, payment options, different packages, etc.

4 auto-reply email template options to try

Now that you know the role of auto-reply email for all business workflows, here are a few auto-reply email templates to get you started:

For when your customer service queue is taking too long

Say your clients have been emailing you a lot with questions regarding your products. Your customer support team might be overwhelmed by the amount of open tickets. However, letting new messages go unread is bad for customer satisfaction. So you can set up an acknowledgment with an ETA on resolution time. Here’s an example:

“Dear [customer name],

Thank you for reaching out to our customer support team. We have received your message and will reach out to you as soon as possible. At this time, you can expect a response in [estimated time]. As always, we appreciate your comprehension as we work to find the ideal solution.

Thank you again for reaching out to [company name] and we look forward to helping you.

Best regards,

[Your Name]”

For when you are emailing a potential new customer

If you’ve recently started a new marketing campaign, you can expect new messages to reach your inbox requiring more information on your products. In this scenario, it’s best to offer a comprehensive guide on how you work and your company’s values, to aid in the clients research. Here’s an auto-reply email template for this context:

“Hello [Customer name],

We appreciate your interest in [product or service name]. We aim to offer our clients the best option in the market and we do that by making sure our standards are always the best. Here’s how [product] works:

[insert short description with any options available]

We can offer you custom packages and promotions based on your needs. And if you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to message us. We’ll be happy to assist you with choosing the best fit.

Best regards,

[Your name]”

For when your service is down

One situation that arises, especially for teams that deal with software users, is errors. The service might be down or not working properly, so you’ll get multiple repeated messages from customers. The best option is setting up an auto-reply email that shows you’re working on the solution.

“Hello [customer name],

Thank you for reaching out and letting us know you’re facing errors. We are aware of current problems with our services and are working tirelessly to get them up and running again. If you have any further questions, please reach out to us and we’ll be happy to assist you.

As always, you are our priority. Best regards,

[Your name]”


For when you’re unavailable

When you’re out of the office, you still get emails. That’s why it’s crucial to set up a good auto-reply email that redirects your correspondent to the person they need to message and lets them know when you’re getting back. That way, you don’t have to check your inbox when you’re not working, but the messages aren’t left unanswered. Here’s an option:

“Hi [customer name],

I am currently out of office. You can expect a reply from me in [insert date]. If it’s urgent, don’t hesitate to reach out to my colleague at [insert address]. They’ll be happy to assist you with anything you need.

Best regards,

[Your name]”

Turn Gmail into your Team’s Workspace.

  • 2.5x faster email responses.
  • 20 hours less spent per month, per team member.
  • 40% more deadlines achieved and happier teams.
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How to set up auto-reply email on Gmail

Gmail is the main inbox for all personal and business communication, with 1.8 billion users worldwide. Given the impressive Gmail stats, it makes sense that this tool offers a way to implement auto-reply email templates, along with other essential tools.

There are two steps to this process.

Set up email templates

Before actually having auto-reply emails, you need to write your auto-reply email template library. Here’s the guide:

  • Open Gmail on your browser
  • Click Compose
  • On the pop-up window, write your auto-reply email template
  • Click on the three dots in the lower right of the window and then Templates
  • Select Save draft as template
  • Then Save as new template
  • Name the template
  • Click Save


You can do this for however many different auto-reply email templates you need. Just make sure to name them accordingly, so it’s easier to find the ones you might need after.

Creating email auto-reply rules

With the answers written the next step is to determine the auto-reply mechanism. If you want to set up an auto-reply email on Gmail, you need to use search filters. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  • Open Gmail on your browser and click on the search bar
  • Then click on the Show search options icon
  • Filter by the criteria that match the messages that require an auto-reply email (subject line and keywords, for example)
  • Click on Create filter
  • Select Send template and the template you created earlier
  • Click Create filter

auto-reply in Gmail

The issues with this method

Creating auto-reply email templates in Gmail is an easy process, but it can be repetitive. One of the issues is that it requires you to write multiple variations of the same messages, given that they don’t adapt to different scenarios and aren’t easily customizable.

So when your customer, partner or vendor emails you, they’ll get a generic, non-personalized message back. If it’s a quick response, this won’t be a problem. However, in the long term, it can seem disingenuous, since the replies aren’t based on their actual concerns, but keywords and common subject lines.

Besides, another problem that arises is that your filters for the auto-reply email templates can still be ineffective. If the customer uses a word different from the search criteria to reach out, their message will be still left unanswered.

But the main concern is that you can’t share them with your collaborators. They are tied to one specific account, so each member of the team has their own template library. To make sure your company’s communication stays consistent, you’d need to add the same auto-reply email templates and filters to all accounts.

Why a shared inbox helps you with auto-reply email

A shared inbox is a different option for business communication that allows you to collaborate further. Instead of a traditional email list view, shared inboxes allow your entire team to access the incoming messages from their own accounts. So you can set up a catch-all address, such as support@ and add all customer service agents to it.

That way they can all see the incoming mail in real-time, as well as the answers and solved support tickets.  Which means the auto-reply email library is also shared. When you set up auto-reply email automation and rules through a shared inbox, your communication stays quick and consistent.

How to set up auto-reply email with Drag

Our platform, DragApp, is the ideal shared inbox solution for small and medium-sized businesses. We offer all the collaboration tools you need to set up efficient workflows, including auto-reply email. Here’s how to do it:

Setting up templates

  • Install DragApp’s extension to your Gmail
  • Access your inbox and click on the DragApp icon
  • Scroll down and click on the Templates tab
  • Select Create new Template
  • Name the template and select which template folder it should be in
  • To share the template with other team members, click on Invite Members and select them (This can be done later as well)
  • Write your template and click Save Changes

auto-reply email template drag

Automating email templates

  • Select the Automations tab on Drag’s menu
  • Click on Create an automation
  • Give the automation a name and description (to find it easily later!)
  • In the When section, select Card received
  • Choose the board/workflow to apply the auto-reply email automation towards
  • In the If section you can define further criteria, such as sender’s address or subject line
  • In the After section, define the timeline to send the auto-reply email, either instantly or with a delay
  • In the Then section, select Send email and then your auto-reply email template
  • Click on Create and you’re done! Now your shared inbox has shared auto-reply email automations.

auto-reply email

The result of implementing auto-reply email

Auto-reply email templates can help you optimize your time, by cutting down on email clutter and making your inbox easier to deal with. However, the most important result of doing auto-reply email on Gmail or otherwise is having a better relationship with your customers and collaborators.

If you have a good system that acknowledges messages, sets them up as tasks and helps you distribute your workflow, your entire process will be more efficient. Then, as a result, you’ll offer better services and faster turnaround time. Leading, naturally, to higher customer satisfaction a a long-term impact on your company’s reputation.

Turn Gmail into your Team’s Workspace.

  • 2.5x faster email responses.
  • 20 hours less spent per month, per team member.
  • 40% more deadlines achieved and happier teams.
Try for Free
Duda Bardavid

Author Duda Bardavid

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