I’m using TextExpander on the Mac. And for documents Google Docs (which I turn into Templates). If you’re using Gmail they have a labs feature that does something similar to TextExpander.
None of these boilerplates are perfect at first. But every time I have a brainstorm I go into the text and modify it just a little bit to close a loophole or make something clearer.
This saves so much time that I would otherwise be procrastinating on writing a lengthy email to a web prospect (And, yes, there certainly are prospects who you should personalize a little more for).
Just yesterday I had an existing user prospect who I saw 10 YEARS AGO call and greet me like a long lost relative. He has been on my newsletter. He is ready to change (or so he says).
Since I don’t take every person who stumbles across my web site and wants to ask a free quick question and/or pay hourly in 1/10th of a minute intervals — I have a boilerplate reply that I send via email as a pre-screen.
I have found NOT to pre-screen is to waste an enormous amount of time in meeting and chit chat where the prospect tries to ask you free tech questions.
Note: The above is primarily useful for those receiving a lot of inquiries via the web that are NOT referrals. I treat referrals a little differently and spend more time tailoring and meeting with them – so I’m not advocating a one size fits all — merely a way for those struggling with pre-qualifying prospects who find you in a Google search.