Responses & Placeholders

Postbox has brilliant ways for you to save time and effort by reusing content.

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Have you ever found yourself sending the same information over and over again, either by retyping the content or pasting it in from previous messages? Wouldn't it be nice to reuse content, so that you can save time? Then we have the perfect feature for you – Responses!

Responses are pre-canned message snippets that you can reuse over and over again. A response can be a small text snippet, cover letter, mini bio, or photo portfolio. They can include plain text, formatted text, images, tables... anything that can be composed can be saved and used as a Response using quick keyboard shortcuts.

Here's how to create, configure, and use canned responses in Postbox.

Creating Responses

To create a new canned response, navigate to Preferences (macOS) or Options (Windows) | Composition | Responses.

Next, click the Add or + button to open the editor drop down. Create your response and use the formatting buttons to style your entry. You can create additional responses by simply clicking the Add or + button again. To edit an existing response, click the Pencil button below the list.

Using Responses

Use the Responses toolbar button to insert a response into the composition window. Alternatively, you can insert a Response Using the Quick Bar.

  1. When you’re writing a message in the Compose window, type command-L (macOS) or ctrl-L (Windows). The Quick Bar dialog opens.
  2. Start typing the name of the response you want. Matching items appear as you type. To make it easy to get your hands on the thing you want, Postbox tells you whether each item is a signature, response, or topic.
  3. If the response you want isn’t already selected, select it now with your mouse, or using your up/down arrow keys.
  4. Hit enter on your keyboard to insert the selected response.


In Postbox 5, you can now add dynamic data fields to Responses and Templates. Placeholders automatically populate with data from the message itself –or– your own data through the custom fields you create.

It's very quick and intuitive to set these up, and once done, they can save you a ton of time!

For example, a Response could contain the following Placeholders:

Dear {{source.sender.firstName}},

Thanks for reaching out about job opportunities at Postbox. I'm free to chat on {{}} the {{}} at {{custom.time}}

Bobby Whiteshoe

There are two types of Placeholders, Custom and System.

Custom Placeholders

Custom Placeholders are those that you create and populate with your own data. A custom Placeholder can contain company names, people, products, events... anything at all!

When editing a Template or Response, position your cursor in the desired location, then click the {a} in the Formatting Toolbar and select Custom Placeholder. Enter a Placeholder name that is recognizable to you, such as {{}} or {{}}.

Then, when using a Template or Response, simply tab to move to the first Placeholder. The Placeholder will already be highlighted, so all you have to do is start typing to enter your custom value. Once complete, you can press the tab key again to move to the next Placeholder.

Postbox will conveniently display a warning if you try to send a message with an unresolved Placeholder.

Note: The tab key will move from one custom Placeholder to the next until all Placeholder values have been entered. After that time the tab key functions normally.

System Placeholders

System Placeholders automatically populate with message data. For example, if "Bobby Whiteshoe" emails you, your Response template could include the {{source.sender.firstName}} Placeholder. When you send, this Placeholder will automatically populate with "Bobby."

When editing a Template or Response, position your cursor in the desired location, then click the {a} in the Formatting Toolbar and then navigate to the Placeholder you wish to use.

Note that System Placeholders are non-editable, because they populate with values from the Postbox system.

There are three categories of System Placeholders:

1) My Selected Identity

This contains first, last, full name and email address of the selected identity. These elements are useful when using multiple identities.

For example, if we (at Postbox) respond to a customer from our "Store" identity, we could include a signature at the end that looks like this:

... Thanks for being a loyal Postbox customer!

{{this.fullName}} > resolves to "Postbox Store"
{{}} > resolves to "[email protected]"

2) Source Message

The source message is the message being replied to. For example, if "Bess Truman" sends you a message, then your reply can reference data elements from the source message:

Dear {{source.sender.firstName}}, > resolves to "Bess"

Thanks for your note...

3) This Message

Pulls data from the message currently being composed. For example, if you address a message to: "Bess Truman," "Bobby Whiteshoe," and "Kitty Malone," then Postbox will use the data from this message:

Dear {{}}, > resolves to: "Dear Bess, Bobby, and Kitty"

Of course, you do not have to remember the system placeholder names, as Postbox provides you with convenient ways to insert them into your Template or Response.

Previewing Placeholder Values

The Placeholder menu contains a "Fill Values" function that populates the values before send, as opposed to during send. This allows you to preview the values, which is helpful when you are first learning the feature and/or testing out your Placeholder before they are put into use.