I’ve been cleaning up my site and my email accounts in preparation for turning most of my attention over to teaching. Part of that has included making sure information people ask for frequently is either provided automatically or is easy to access.
We’ve always made use of saved email templates (called “Saved Replies” in HelpScout, my email provider of choice for the main inbox that I share with my admin person) as something that speeds up our workflow and ensures we get all the important info out every time. I thought it might be helpful to share some of those templates here so that others can make use of the info/ examples.
The “Your Estimate is Ready” Email
We sent this out, as the name implies, once an estimate is complete and ready to go out to the potential client. All estimates were done via Pancake App.
Our estimate for your project is ready! Please access it here: [URL]
We use invoices and estimates both as a financial document but also as a way to make sure everyone is on the same page about the project scope and timeline from the outset. As you review the estimate, please consider:
• Do you see everything you’re hoping to include in the project scope listed? We want to be sure the estimate covers the full scope in detail so that we’re on the same page from the outset.
• Does the estimated timeline match your expectations? Note that no specific timeframe is guaranteed until deposit and contract are received.
• There are a number of website costs that are not covered in a development quote that you may want to keep in mind as you plan your overall budget, see this blog post for more on WordPress site costs.
Let us know if you have any questions at all about your estimate – we’re happy to talk through it! You may also want to review a sample version of our contract: http://zoerooney.com/files/zrwd-contract-sample.pdf
The next step, should you approve this estimate, is a 50% deposit and execution of the contract.
We hope to work with you on your project and look forward to hearing from you!
We’ve edited this a lot over time to get to this point. I think the key things in here are that it’s super clear about the process and also how we use the estimate to agree on scope. I also love the post about site costs that are not included, to help prevent surprises later in the project.
The “Here’s Your Invoice” Email
This one is nothing that special, just a useful frame that gets the necessary info out quickly to new clients.
We’re looking forward to working with you on your project!
You can find your invoice with payment links here: [URL]
Please note that a deposit of [AMOUNT] is due immediately to secure your spot on our schedule. There is a link on the invoice page to submit your payment via PayPal or credit/debit card.
I’ll be sending your contract along shortly via an online service called CudaSign, so keep an eye out for that as well. Very occasionally the e-contracts end up in a ‘spam’ folder so be sure to look there if you don’t receive your contract by the end of today.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions!
This helped us make sure that initial project processing was SUPER fast and efficient. It also cut way down on the number of emails we got from people who weren’t sure how to pay or couldn’t find the contract email.
The “End of Project” Thank You
This email wasn’t one we always used, but it was helpful when Brianne had been in touch with a client and wanted to do a final confirmation and thank you from her as well (usually I am talking to clients in other ways around launch).
I know you (hopefully) already got at least one auto-notification acknowledging your payment, but I wanted to check in in person one more time and say thank you! It’s been a pleasure working with you on your website, and we wish you the best.
Please let us know (via the contact form or by emailing [EMAIL ADDRESS]) if you have any questions as you continue to get to know your website, and/or if there’s anything we can help you with in the future.
If you haven’t already, we also suggest you sign up to our clients-only email list [LINK] so that we can send you any urgent/ important notices regarding your site (for example, major plugin updates or important changes to Shopify or WordPress).
It was also a way to encourage ongoing follow up from clients if they have questions and to remind them about the email list we used for a short series of end-of-project notes (about things like security and reminders about the bug fix window).
In addition to the full email templates above, we used a bunch of small snippets that could be inserted into other emails. These were mainly bits of instructions that we had to retype a lot, and/ or information that included links that we didn’t want to have to remember or look up each time. For example:
Please go to the following link and enter your name and email. It is prefilled with the “send to” email address, so you can then just hit the button to send your details to us. Link: http://firstname.lastname@example.org
(Notice how we pre-filled it with the email address we wanted the report sent to.)
Other snippets we save like this include affiliate links to services we recommend a lot (like Shopify) and links to company forms like our W-9.
Do you use saved replies? Any great ones you want to share?