Have you ever tried using Gmail for email marketing? Beyond using the service for a temporary email address, not a lot of professional marketers believe that it has the right tools for a full email marketing campaign. With the right combination of extensions, however, you should get a powerful marketing tool available for you.
While Gmail is designed for individual email accounts, any small business can take advantage of this free email service provider (ESP). Here’s how to use Gmail for email marketing and get the most out of it.
1. Find Gmail Marketing Extensions
Whether you’re looking to send SEO tips or built in-email sales, you need to start with setting up your marketing tool. While you will still use your Gmail interface, you would need an extension to help. The primary setup you want is an extension that helps you send mass emails to simplify mail marketing.
It’s good to remember that you don’t need a mass email extension to send emails to a large list of people. Regardless, it can get tedious if you have a list of hundreds of recipients for one email. You want consistency when sending out your newsletters.
There are several options that you have when it comes to extensions. These include extensions like GMass, Right Inbox, Yet Another Mail Merge, and more. These extensions are designed for both mass email marketing, as well as precision outreach and cold campaigns.
Another option that you have is Gumbamail and BEE, which are great for building beautiful email templates. You can download these from the Google Workspace Marketplace, so everything should be good to go.
2. Manage Your Mailing Lists
Once you get your Gmail extensions prepared, it’s time to build on your mailing list. Gmail extensions have a natural limit of 500 recipients per email, so it is more suitable for businesses with smaller lists. Assuming your list is under 500 users, you have several ways to build your email list.
The first way to do it is to utilize Google Contacts. With Google Contacts, you can select several contacts on your list and add specific labels to them. You can add them to new or existing labels, as well as put them into several groups and rules. Once you finish, anyone on your Google Contacts will receive the right email newsletter.
The advantages of Google Contacts boil down to the lack of security risks. It is secure and easy to access, as well as integrated into your Gmail ESP. Most email marketing tools can also access it, which should make it much easier to use.
If you’re looking for an alternative, you can also use Google Sheets that you can use to merge. The extension Yet Another Mail Merge can also help take contacts from your Sheets. If you have existing CRMs like Hubspot and Salesforce, you can also extract contacts from there.
3. Review Email Marketing Regulations
Before you start sending promotional emails and boosting your revenue, you need to make sure that you’re following the law. One of the biggest no-nos in email marketing is not knowing the rules for sending mail to cold contacts. It’s one thing to send email marketing campaigns to subscribed audiences but it’s another issue to send cold emails.
Depending on where you live, there are different rules for every region. In the US, for example, you would want to read the CAN-SPAM Act to prevent the need to pay legal fees and fines. If you’re in Canada, the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) is among the regulations that you have to work around with.
If you live in the EU, you would need to contend with the E-Privacy Directive, as well as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Many paid email marketing tools have a way to work with many of these regulations but Gmail alone doesn’t.
You need to make sure that everyone on your list is currently subscribed to your email marketing. Accidentally sending email marketing material to an unsubscribed user can cost you hefty fines, mostly charged per email.
4. Personalize Your Emails
When it comes to your email marketing, it’s important to ensure that you create personalized emails. Not only will these help you prevent getting screened by spam filters, but they can also improve your open rates and clickthrough rates. More personalized emails can help give you more traffic and even better sales.
There are several ways to personalize emails. You would want to start by segmenting your emails, which we’ll help you on the next entry. Another great way to personalize your emails is to integrate their name with every email. Adding the recipient’s name adds a nice touch to your newsletter and should make a good impression.
Use Merge Fields to access your Google Sheets list and extract the customer’s first name. Apart from the recipient’s first name, you can use Merge Fields to personalize discount codes, discount values, and much more.
5. Start Segmenting Your Email Lists
Segmenting email lists means dividing your email list into smaller groups called segments. With these segments, you can start sending emails to a more specialized group of people, divided by specific information and statistics.
There are several ways to segment your audiences, most of which you can ask during your sign-up form. You can ask about their countries of origin, as well as their birthday, and the types of service that they are interested in.
If you want a frictionless sign-up, you can ask minimally in the form and ask more questions in the signup confirmation. Some extra details you can segment your customers into include:
- Content download
- Products and services they’re interested in
- Pages visited
- Time of last purchase
- Cart abandonment status
- Amount spent on your products
Listing by demographics or behavior gives you a more personal way to connect with your customers. You can split-test emails with several segments and make the process much more simplified.
Email marketing with Gmail is possible with the right combination of extensions for your system. These can help get you started without investing too much money upfront.
While this has its limits and restrictions, it’s a good enough starting point for those who don’t have access to email marketing platforms. Get started with Gmail email marketing and make the most out of this service for your business.