5 Canned email templates you need in your creative business

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canned email templates

Do you find that you’re repeating yourself ALL THE TIME in your emails?

Early on in my business I felt like I was always in my inbox, saying the same thing over and over again to clients and potential clients.

It was exhausting.

Sound familiar? If yes, you need to be using canned emails, or email templates!

What is a canned email?

Canned emails are simply templated emails that you create inside your email provider (like Google Workspace) or project management system (like Dubsado), that you can use again and again to save time.

Canned emails are NOT automated emails. Meaning, they are not automatically sent when a client/potential client triggers an automation.

Canned emails are templates that you use as a starting point and manually adjust to fit each unique scenario. This allows you to give a great response that is customized to each person you are responding to.

Instead of writing your response from scratch each time, you can use these canned emails to quickly respond to questions and scenarios that come up a lot in your creative business.

Not only does using canned emails help you save time (because you’re not staring at a blank email and reinventing the wheel each time), but canned emails help you look and sound professional, even when you’re in a hurry! When you start from a solid template, you’ll be sure you include all of the information you need to convey, said in the right tone, and organized in the right way. This will impress your clients, and get you out of your inbox faster.

So let’s get started with your email templates! Here are five email templates you’ll want for your creative business!

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You receive a project inquiry

Wanna impress your potential clients right away? An email template can help!

When a potential client submits your inquiry form, you need to tell them what happens next. An easy way to do this is with a canned email template. They’ll get the info they need, and you’ll look like you know what you’re doing (which you do!).

Do you reply with an Intro Packet?

Do they schedule a discovery call?

Or are you not available/interested, and do you need to refer them elsewhere? This is why you don’t want to automate a response to a potential client inquiry–you may not want to work with them!

Create templates for both scenarios: interested and not interested, so that you can quickly tell potential clients what to do next, or pass them along to someone who is a better fit.

You send a contract

You should always use a contract for your projects. Always.

This email is best set up within your project management system (PMS) and sent along with the contract. But don’t just say, “Here’s your contract, sign it,” give your client some instructions.

Ask your client to review the contract and ask any questions before signing. We want everyone to understand what they are agreeing to!

Give them a deadline for when they need to sign. You don’t want them sitting around for two years, then finally signing and expecting you to start work! Yes, I’ve heard stories of this kind of thing happening. Make sure there’s a clear deadline for when they need to sign the contract.

And of course, tell your client what to expect next. Will they be making a payment? How much? When is it due? Or should they expect something else to happen next? Create an email template to tell them!

Need help with contracts? Check out my favorite contract templates!

A payment is late

Late payments are, unfortunately, a common occurrence when you work with clients. Many times they may have simply forgotten (make sure your PMS is set to automatically remind them!), but other times… something else could be happening.

Having a canned email for this scenario will help you remain professional and composed when a payment is late!

In your first email, be sure to give them the benefit of the doubt. Even if something else is going on, we don’t want to put our client on the defensive–we want to get paid!

Let them know when you sent the invoice, how much it was for, and when it was due. Then, give them a link to make the payment online immediately (a PMS like Honeybook makes this easy!).

95% of the time, this works and you get payment right away! If you don’t, your next email will need to be more direct, and you can refer back to the payment agreement outlined in your contract to get paid, and whether you will pause or completely stop work until payment is made.

Need help with sticky client situations? I’ve got you! Check out my copy and paste email templates!

get 125+ email templates!

You send a weekly update

If you are not updating your clients each week with the status of their project, you need to start!

Clients get antsy when they don’t hear from us, and a simple two-minute email is all it takes to keep them in the loop and happy.

In your weekly update, be sure to include what you worked on, what you need from them, and what you’ll be working on next. You don’t have to get elaborate, just bullet point each section so that your email is easily readable/skimmable and your client knows what’s happening.

This will make a big difference in keeping your clients happy, as well as reminding them of what they need to do to keep the project moving.

Check out my post on exactly what to include in your weekly update!

The project ends

Woohoo! The project has wrapped, and you’re ready to send your client off into the world with what you’ve created for them.

You’ll want to send your client their Goodbye Packet which will outline all the details of project handoff.

You’ll also want to tell your client when you’ll be closing their project in your PMS and when any support you are providing ends.

Don’t forget to tell them where they can access any files or downloads, and if there is a date they need to access them by.

Your email should be VERY clear that the project has ended/is ending, which will help prevent clients from coming back in six months expecting free support!

Learn how to make your own goodbye packet!


Save time in your creative business by creating canned emails for frequently asked questions and scenarios.

You can create these in your email provider and/or project management system. Simply create the basic template, then adjust to fit each unique scenario.

Want to make emails as easy as copy and paste?

I’ve got all your canned emails for you inside Say What?! These simple, copy and paste email templates can be tweaked to fit any client situation, even sticky ones! Click here to get your email templates now.

get 125+ email templates!