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How To Send Automatic Reply Emails In Gmail

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Gmail is easily one of the best email clients around and one of the features that help it earn its place is the ability to send automatic reply emails. But learning how to do that isn’t necessarily intuitive if you don’t happen to be tech-savvy. So that’s what this guide sets out to explain.

Why would you want to send an automatic Gmail reply?

Now, there are a number of reasons you might want to send automatic reply emails in Gmail. And this is quite separate from sending an automated vacation response.

Instead, this feature is meant to help sort out and acknowledge receipt of emails, for instance. Namely, to assure the sender that you’ve received their email and a timeframe for response. Or for some other automated purpose along those lines to specific emails. Such as sending details about contact information or thanking them for their order.

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And, of course, there are just about an unlimited number of other reasons to send an automated email. So business is hardly the only reason you’d likely want to learn how to do this.

This is a three-step process

The biggest roadblock to this feature is its intricacy, as is often the case with our how-to guides. It’s a three-step process, requiring first that you set up an automated response template and then that you create filters to decide when to send an automated response. That’s after you turn the feature on, to begin with.

We’ll cover all three steps here. Then you can repeat the steps as needed to create as many automatic reply emails as you need in Gmail.

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How to set up templates to send in your automatic Gmail reply messages

WORDS (you can create more than one, of course). But in any case, you’ll need to do this from a full web browser either on a computer or in desktop mode on your phone or tablet.

You’ll need to navigate to Gmail.com via either a desktop computer, laptop, or mobile device in “Desktop Mode,” to begin with. Then select the gear-shaped icon at the top right-hand corner of the UI. Select “See all settings” from the list.

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In the “Advanced” tab of the resulting Settings page, scroll as needed to locate the “Templates” segment and check to enable those.

Select the “Save Changes” button at the bottom of the page.

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Create a template to use in your automatic responses

Next, you’ll create a template email. You can, as noted already, create multiple emails and then assign them to different triggers and parameters. So repeat these steps as necessary to create the automated responses you need.

First, on Gmail’s home page, select the “Compose” button to open a new email.

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Leave the subject line and recipients’ spaces empty for now. Instead, type the main body of the email as you’d like. Our sample image shows an email with a body that reads “We’ve received your request. A representative will typically reach out within 48 hours but wait times may increase up to 72 hours.”

However, type whatever message you need. For instance, you might thank the sender for their inquiry and inform them of a timeframe for an expected full response.

Next, select the three-dot menu at the bottom right-hand side of the compose window, as shown in the image below. Then select “Templates,” “Save draft as template,” and finally, “Save as new template.”

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If you’re making edits to an existing template, you can simply save the template by selecting its name from the list of templates that will also be shown if you already have templates.

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Name the template in the resulting pop-up window and select the “Save” button. We’ve chosen the name “Help Request” for our example.

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How to determine who automated replies go to

The next step, of course, will be to set parameters to send a reply email. These are the triggers that will result in an automated response. You can choose to set this up to work using the subject line, who the email is from, who it’s written to, words included — or not included — in the email itself, size, or attachments.

We’ll be using the subject line as a trigger here, for brevity. Depending on how emails are arriving at your Gmail account — such as from an external website link — you’ll want to match your parameters to ensure it works properly. For instance, if you have a link set up to send emails from a site that always sends the subject line “help request,” you’ll want to use those words, as we’ll show in the following steps. But you’ll want to choose a filter that works best for your situation, regardless.

Following the same steps as in the first segment here, select the gear-shaped Settings icon, then “See all settings.”

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Now, select the “Filters and Blocked Addresses” tab from the top before selecting the “Create a New Filter” option. That’s located at the bottom of that page.

Enter the parameters you’d like to use for your automated responses. We’re using the above-mentioned “help request” trigger in the “Subject” line. But, as shown in the images below, there are a number of triggers you can use. Once you’ve finished filling in the parameters, select the “Create filter” button.

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The resulting screen will provide even more options to choose from. Including everything from automatically starring or archiving messages received with your parameters to ensure that the emails never go to your Spam folder. As shown in the image below, you’ll also see an option for “Send Template.”

Select the “Send Template” box.

Finally, use the dropdown menu next to the “Send Template” option to choose which template email you’ll send back automatically. Then select the “Create filter” button.

You can test the filter and automatic reply by sending an email that meets the parameters to your Gmail address. In our example, an email with a subject line reading “help request” would need to be sent to the email address.