How to use email signatures as canned responses

Learn how to use CodeTwo Email Signatures for Office 365 to provide your users with a set of ready-made response emails that they can immediately send to their clients.

When the program works in client-side mode, Outlook users can select a signature from a set they are provided with. They also have a lot of control over the contents of such client-side signatures.

However, this feature can also be used to provide your users with more than just signatures. You can give them access to complete emails that can be used to quickly respond to standard customers’ questions and requests. This way, you make sure that all the answers provided by the employees meet the company’s standards, and that no important information is omitted. This also saves a lot of time for your users, because they no longer need to create a different response to every message from scratch. And since users can edit these canned responses before sending, a certain level of personalization is possible.

Basics

This article shows how to configure CodeTwo Email Signatures for Office 365 for a specific email signatures usage scenario. If you need more basic information, use the links below:

How to configure the program for this scenario

This scenario can only be used in client-side mode.

First, you need to prepare templates for canned responses (emails). These can e.g. include answers for the most common questions asked by your customers.

The next step is to consider what changes your users will need to make to the emails before sending them. Clearly mark (highlight) all places in the text where additional information can be provided by a user, e.g. the name of the recipient or their company. Another good idea is to provide space for the recipient's preferred title (e.g. Ms. or Mr.) and even mark places in the text where the user should make changes to the text so that it reflects the gender of the recipient (this will be more important in some languages like German or French). As a result, the email will not read like an automatic response. A sample template might look like the one show in Fig. 1.

Canned response example.
Fig. 1. Canned response example.

When this is done, go to app.codetwo.com and create the first client-side signature rule (Fig. 2.) containing a signature template that will become a canned response email. Name it accordingly, e.g. Opening email, so your users know what to expect when selecting this signature in Outlook.

Creating a client-side signature rule.
Fig. 2. Creating a client-side signature rule.

Go to the Senders tab and define rule conditions as you need. This way you can make sure that this canned email will only be available to selected users (e.g. a group of employees responsible for communication with customers). Learn more about how to configure rule conditions and exceptions

Go to the Design tab and create a signature template. Enter the text you want to use as a canned response (as shown in Fig. 1.). When designing your template, do not forget that you also can include the standard elements of an email signature, such as a sender’s name and job position, your company’s contact details, a marketing banner, a legal disclaimer, etc. A complete signature template (canned response) is shown in Fig. 3.

A preview of a canned response containing the full email text with places to fill in and a complete signature.
Fig. 3. A preview of a canned response containing the full email text with places to fill in and a complete signature.

When the signature template is ready, go to the Options tab and deselect the Set this signature as default for new messages and Set this signature as default for replies and forwards, as shown in Fig. 4. This way, when a user is typing a new message in Outlook, a canned response will be used only if it is selected.

Be sure to clear these checkboxes if you don’t want your canned responses to be added to all messages in Outlook by default.
Fig. 4. Be sure to clear these checkboxes if you don’t want your canned responses to be added to all messages in Outlook by default.

Repeat the steps above to create as many canned emails (signature templates) as you need.

If you want to make all canned responses available for the same users (i.e. use the same conditions and exceptions in all signature rules), you can use the clone (ESIG 365 clone rule button) function that creates an exact copy of the selected signature rule. All you need to do then is create a signature template containing the information you need.

When you are done, make sure to submit the changes to CodeTwo’s signature-adding service by pressing the ESIG for O365 rule save button.

Result

When all your client-side signature rules containing canned responses are ready, the defined users will have access to several complete emails from their Outlook. Canned responses can be selected exactly like standard email signatures (when composing a new email, replying to a message or forwarding one) by clicking the Signature option on the Outlook's ribbon (Fig. 5.).

A list of available canned responses, accessed directly from Outlook.
Fig. 5. A list of available canned responses, accessed directly from Outlook.

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