Simple and effective solution to send personalized emails with Gmail

A few months ago, I found a Mail Merge, a solution to convert Google Sheets (Spreadsheet) and Gmail into a rudimentary but highly effective email solution ! Since then, I’ve been using it regularly for my trade reminders and emails other than our newsletter, and here are my notes as well as a small tutorial to help you get started with the tool…

The principle of mail merge and the use of Google tools to send emails in a jiffy without effort. The premium version allows you to send up to 100 emails per day. The tool certainly won’t replace tools like Mailchimp (which we also use and love) which are much better at everything about newsletters, although for a rudimentary small newsletter with less than 100 subscribers it can do business but for all that it is Relational and business emails, they will be very useful to you!

Example : Business emails, reminders from clients, prospects or even collaborators, sending important information to your contacts, etc.

Personnellement, depuis que je l’utilise, j’ai gagné un temps fou dans mes relances commerciales diverses qui ne peuvent pas être gérées avec Mailchimp puisque mes contacts ne sont pas forcément abonnés à notre pourner, s’ passagewayab, ‘over here).

Practically speaking, the plugin works like a classic mail merge tool. This will happen in three very simple steps:

  1. I create my contacts file on Google Sheets
  2. I am creating a Gmail draft that will serve as a template for my email correspondence
  3. I am sending!

Of course, before you have to install the plugin that will be added to Google Sheets, you can find it here, and it costs $29.99, which is a really steep price compared to the service provided. Personally with time savings, it pays for itself from first uses, and it’s not a subscription, so you pay once for lifetime use.

I’ll let you click here to install it, the page also has an explanation video (in English with an Indian accent, that of the developer, but we understand the principle perfectly).

1: Build your contact profile

It’s very simple, we open a Google spreadsheet, go to “Additional modules” choose “Mail merge” and then “Create merge template”

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The tool then creates column headings automatically. These different fields will be used to personalize your email.

By default we find, first name, last name, e-mail, file to attach (which you have previously checked in a Google Doc), and programming date (because in addition, you can program the submission on a specific date and time) but you can add the fields you want well , for example: company name, personal message, appointment date… There is no limit on the level of email customization fields.

There for example I added a field “RDV date”

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Once you’ve created your file and it includes the fields you want, you should now fill it in with your contacts.

For my part, I do this manually using the information I have in my CRM tracking files, but there is also an option to import a group via Google Contact. In this case, you should create a Google Contacts group and include the various contacts you want to reach via email. Once you’re done, just click on “More modules” then “Mail Merge” and then “Import Google contacts”, nothing complicated!

My contacts file is ready, let’s move on.

2: Configure the message that will be sent to my contacts

Click “Add-ons”, “Mail Merge” and then “Configure Mail Merge”

You can then fill in the sent email, the name of the person sending, possibly a copy or Bcc of an email, the reply address and also activate the opening tracking. For my part, I leave my Gmail address along with the other default fields and I activate tracking to make sure my messages are open.

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You can then click “choose email template”, then there are two possibilities:

  1. I’m using an existing Gmail draft;
  2. I am creating my own HTML template.

The easiest way is to go to Gmail, create your email remembrance to add the custom fields as well {{field name}} by formatting them as desired and then closing the window. Gmail will then automatically save it to your drafts and Mail Merge will have access to it.

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Once I write my post, I go back to Google Sheets to launch my campaign.

Then I chose “Use Gmail Draft as Template” and then select My Draft. Be careful to create your draft before starting the configuration or else it won’t appear in the list (you just have to restart the configuration procedure).

At this time, before releasing your email to the entire database, you can send a test email that allows you to see if everything is in order, especially the personalization fields.

So click “Send Test Email”. Go to Gmail and check that all the fields say “dummy value” If so, everything is custom:

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3: Send your email

If everything is fine after the test, you can click “Run Mail Merge”. All you have to do is make yourself a coffee while Mail Merge does the job for you!

And here she is 🙂

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and then

If you activate Open Trace, to generate the report, simply click on Additional Modules, Mail Merge, Configure Mail Merge, and then Email Read Report. Which will create a new tab in Google Sheets. You can then verify that the recipients have opened the email:

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to conclude

Mail merge is a very simple but very effective solution, and will meet most of your relational email needs (except for newsletters). I highly recommend it.

As a reminder, you can download it here.

Image source: shutterstock

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