My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: How to use @Gmail to do Email Marketing - How to do Mail Merge using @GoogleDocs SpreadSheets and Gmail

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

How to use @Gmail to do Email Marketing - How to do Mail Merge using @GoogleDocs SpreadSheets and Gmail

Good day to all my fellow Bloggers, especially those doing their own SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

If like me you do a lot of email Marketing to boost traffic on your blog, sending email is a must. Twitter is very good at doing this, especially when you marshal the power of TweetDeck as explained in my blog article entitled “Twitter rolls out Group DM and 30 Second Vines - How TweetDeck's Scheduled Tweets now with Group DM is addictive”.

Mail Merge, that convenient feature in the Microsoft Office 365 that’s now mobile on the Microsoft Office Word, Excel and Powerpoint apps since November 2014 as noted in my blog article entitled “Microsoft Office 365 goes Freemium Model - One Becomes Three as Word, Excel and PowerPoint with US$6.99 monthly to remove Restrictions”, makes it easy to make multiple letters.

However, that’s for printing.

Sending them individually via email in Gmail, especially to more than one hundred (100) people, is a painful chore. To make it worse, Google has restriction on how many emails you can send in bulk per day, roughly one thousand (1000) in BCC (Blind Carbon Copy) with a maximum of five hundred (500) email addresses per email. Sending that many emails individually will be very difficult for you in Gmail!

So why not automate your email marketing campaign with a simple script as explained “Gmail mass email tips: Avoid the spammy look with the personalized touch”, published Feb 18, 2015 3:30 AM by Michael Ansaldo, PCWorld?

Yes folks, this is yet another How-to or DIY (Do it yourself) article with lots of pictures, so grab a pack of National Bakery Cream Crackers with Eve Guava Jelly and sip on some of that Blue Mountain Peak Instant Coffee!

How to use Gmail to do Email Marketing - How to do Mail Merge using Google Sheets and Gmail

Before you start, it's good to note that you'll be restricted to one hundred (100) emails per script. Still, if you have multiple Gmail accounts, you can maximize on this advantage and thereby achieve your email Marketing Strategy.

To utilize a free mail merge script for Gmail, the instructions are pretty straightforward, really! First, log into your Google Drive Account. Then click New then Google Sheets on the Left sidebar to create a spreadsheet.



Give it a descriptive name as this spreadsheet will host the emails addresses that are a part of your email marketing campaign. Go to the menu bar and select Add-ons then Get add-ons to go to the Google’s add-on store.


Type in “mail merge” script in the Search bar and press Enter to begin Search for Mail Merge scripts.


Click the Free button to select a free Mail Merge app and select Yet Another Mail Merge Script.


Select the “Free” button on the Yet Another Mail Merge Script to get the free version.


A pop-up window requesting various permissions to access Google Sheets, Contacts and Gmail for the Public Mail Merge script built into Google Drive will open. Scroll down and press the button Allow to give the script access; fret not, it’s perfectly safe!


Click Accept and a pop-up will appear under Add-ons on the menu bar after the script has been installed.


Click Add-ons then select Yet Another Mail Merge and then Import contacts from a group in your Gmail Account.



You'll see a window listing all the contact groups in your Gmail Account. Note here that you do have the option to go into Gmail and create a new group with the contacts needed in your mail merge. 



Click Import contacts to populate your spreadsheet with these emails. This'll take awhile and now would be a good time to eat some National Bakery Cream Crackers with Eve Guava Jelly and sip on some of that Blue Mountain Peak Instant Coffee!

Then you need to draft the mail letter in your Gmail Account to Mail Merge. Log into your Gmail Account and click Compose creating a regular email with title. Once you've composed your email, anywhere within the email that you desire to have data from the columns in the spreadsheet to appear type the script “$%headername%”.

For example, if in your spreadsheet, you have a column that has the name “Firstname” and you want the first name data to appear at a certain point within your letter, type the script “$%Firstname%” so as to merge that data from the spreadsheet to that point in your email.

After completing that, then go back to the Google Sheets Spreadsheet click on Add-ons and select Yet Another Mail Merge and then Start mail merge. Select your email from the Drafts drop-down menu.

Note: An interesting feature that will be of interest to email marketer’s is the option to Track the users to see if they opened your emails. You can enable this by checking the Track Emails Opened box.

A test email will generate an EMAIL_SENT data tuple in the column beside each contact. If you plan to resent multiple mail merges on the same spreadsheet, remember to clear the EMAIL_SENT data tuple in the column beside each contact.

Oh, and enjoy your National Bakery Cream Crackers with Eve Guava Jelly and sip on some of that Blue Mountain Peak Instant Coffee!

Happy email Marketing to all my fellow Bloggers!



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