Email marketing is far from being outdated. It is the dark horse that small businesses can bank on for their overall marketing and sales strategies. In fact, it has an impressive $36 return for every $1 spent on it. That’s why most small to medium businesses rely on email marketing for customer acquisition and retention.
Out of the various kinds of emails that you can send as part of your email marketing strategy, newsletters are particularly helpful to the health of your business. Email newsletters help with lead nurturing and keep your customers engaged with your brand. Even marketing experts vouch for the effectiveness of email newsletters.
So, knowing how to send a newsletter in Gmail is non-negotiable if you are a small business. If you don’t know how to get started, we got you covered. Today, we will dive head-first into sending Gmail newsletters and show you better ways to do so.
Let’s get started.
How To Send a Newsletter in Gmail
Surprisingly, despite being the world’s most popular emailing platform, Gmail isn’t the first app that comes to mind when you think of sending an email newsletter campaign. But that doesn’t mean you can’t use Gmail to send newsletters.
There are two different ways in which you can send newsletters via Gmail.
Sending Gmail Newsletter Using Google Docs
The easiest way to create an email newsletter in Gmail is by using Google Docs and it’s easier than you think to get started.
- Go to Google Docs -> Templates Gallery -> Newsletter.
- There are three options to choose from: Geometric, Lively, and Plum. Select the one that you like and draft your newsletter in Google Docs.
- Go back to Gmail’s main page. Click on Compose and draft an email as you normally would.
- Add a subject line and copy-paste your email draft from Google Docs into the body of your email.
- At this stage, you might notice some formatting irregularities. You can try and fix them manually as best as you can.
- Now that you have the email newsletter ready to go, copy-paste the email addresses of your recipients into the BCC section of the email draft.
- Check everything to make sure your email newsletter is flawless. Now hit the Send button.
Since you cannot preview your email before it goes to your mailing list, it’s a good practice to follow these steps and send out a test mail to yourself and your team first. That way, you can account for any changes that need to be made or correct mistakes in the draft.
As you can tell, this is not the best way to send email newsletters in Gmail. Thankfully, you do not always need to depend on Google Docs to create newsletters in Gmail.
Send Newsletter From Gmail Without Google Docs
Another way to send an email newsletter using Gmail is to use its built-in email template feature. This feature is available on select Gmail Workspaces only. If you cannot access it yet, it may be because Google is rolling out this update in stages.
If you can access it, here’s how you can create a newsletter in Gmail using the Layouts feature:
- Go to Compose in Gmail.
- Click on Select A Layout in the bottom right corner of the taskbar. The icon is located next to the Insert Signature icon.
- You’ll find multiple layouts, including a few that were specifically designed for newsletters, CTAs, and referral emails. Choose one based on the preview generated on the right side of the template window and click Insert.
- The template will be automatically inserted into the body of your email where you can edit it and draft your newsletter.
- Edit the template according to your preferences. You can edit the images, add links, remove sections, and change the copy of your message.
- Once the draft has been edited to your liking, add a subject and copy-paste your mailing list into the BCC section of the email before hitting the Send button. Or, use the Mail Merge feature if it’s available to you. If it is, the icon will be located next to the Select A Layout icon in the bottom taskbar.
- You can easily schedule your newsletter if you’re drafting it using these updates.
These are the only two ways you can create and send a Gmail newsletter. Neither of the two is a great choice though.
What Are the Limitations of Sending a Gmail Newsletter?
Turns out, there are multiple shortcomings to sending a newsletter via Gmail using the two methods we discussed. Gmail, on its own, is not ideal for mass emailing whether it’s newsletters or any other email campaign.
- Whether you use Docs or Layouts, the number of templates you can access is very limited. In addition, the templates are certainly not dynamic enough to be highly engaging.
- The ability to edit templates on Gmail is restrictive. For example, even if you’re using Layouts, the image dimensions can’t be changed.
- Newsletters sent using Gmail aren’t optimized for conversion and might not have the kind of impact that you’re hoping for.
- Unless you have access to the Mail Merge feature, BCC-ing your entire mailing list is not the best method for executing a professional-looking email marketing campaign.
- There is no way you can A/B test your email campaign to understand what’s working and what needs improvement.
- Your newsletter has a high chance of ending up in the recipient’s Spam folder.
- You cannot customize the newsletters for each of your recipients unless you’re using mail merge.
- You cannot track your email newsletters for email marketing KPIs like open rate and bounce rate, which are crucial to fine-tuning your campaigns.
- There is no option to segment your audience and measure your email newsletter’s performance.
- Newsletters that don’t adhere to best practices can often be damaging to the Sender Reputation Score assigned by your Internet Service Provider (ISP). The lower your score, the worse your email’s performance will be.
In short, there are damning consequences to exclusively using Gmail’s built-in features for email newsletter marketing campaigns. So, the most pragmatic way of executing your email marketing is to take advantage of a third-party service provider, like a Chrome extension.
How To Send Newsletters in Gmail Using a Chrome Extension
Chrome extensions can come in handy when you’re attempting to track your emails or planning to send mass campaigns.
One nifty extension that you can consider using is Mailtrack.
Mailtrack is a free-to-use Chrome extension that lets you track emails sent from your Gmail account. You can sign up for its Advanced plan to get access to the Campaigns feature that lets you send mass emails with up to 10,000 recipients.
This feature can work wonders for email newsletter campaigns by making the process easy and efficient.
Here’s how you can use it to send newsletters from your Gmail account:
- Sign up for the Advanced plan after installing the Mailtrack Chrome extension and Refresh your Gmail inbox.
- Click on Compose in Gmail. You’ll find the “Campaign” button on the right side of the Draft box.
- Click on Campaign and add the email addresses of your recipients in the “To” section of the Draft box. You’ll need to import all the contact details of your recipients into a Google spreadsheet which allows you to segment them based on your needs.
- Add a subject line.
- Draft your email as you normally would. While doing so, you’ll notice a Download A Template button to the right. If you click it, you’ll be redirected to Mailtrack’s dashboard where you can create a new template.
- Alternatively, you can copy-paste your email from Google Docs or use Google’s Select A Layout option as outlined above.
- Fill in all the mandatory fields before hitting the Send button.
At this stage, Mailtrack will show you a pop-up that tells you how many people the campaign will reach. This depends on the number of contacts you’ve added to your mailing list. Remember, it can accommodate up to 10,000 recipients.
This pop-up also gives you the option to adjust other settings for your email campaign. You can:
- Choose the notifications you would like to receive about your email (when it is opened, who opened it, how many times they opened it, etc.)
- Schedule the campaign to go out at a later time
- Send a preview to yourself before it goes to your mailing list
Select the options that serve your interests best before sending the campaign. Mailtrack also gives you the freedom to send single or batch campaigns.
You can also cancel an ongoing campaign if you want from Mailtrack’s dashboard. While canceling a campaign won’t unsend emails that have already been delivered, all pending emails will be canceled.
This is a useful feature to have, especially if you notice mistakes in the email draft or want to undo an ongoing campaign for whatever reason.
Sending Newsletters in Gmail: Built-in Mail Merge vs. Gmail Extension
You might be wondering why you should pay for an extension like Mailtrack when you can use Gmail’s built-in Mail Merge feature. After all, it lets you send the same newsletter individually to all your recipients and even provides limited personalization options.
Despite being a helpful feature, mail merge has its shortcomings. Here’s a side-by-side comparison of the two that will give you a clear idea of which one is better for your email newsletter campaigns:
|Built-in Mail Merge||Mailtrack’s Gmail Extension|
|Best For||👑Internal group emails||👑Bulk email marketing campaigns|
|Available For||👌Workspace Individual|
|👌All Mailtrack users (individual or otherwise) on Advanced plan|
|Sending Limit||✉️1,500 – 2,000 emails||✉️10,000 emails|
|Pros||👍Unique emails sent to each recipient |
👍Customizable with first and last name
👍Individual unsubscribe link
Easy to useAffordable
|👍Unique and personalized emails sent to each recipient |
👍Customizable with first and last name, as well as any additional custom fields
👍Tracks bulk emails individually
👍Easy to use
👍Email marketing performance analysis through the Campaigns Report
👍Simplified signature requests for senders and recipients
👍Safe and secure document and data sharing
👍Full-throttle CRM with Salesforce integration
👍Option to cancel ongoing campaigns
👍Zapier integration for add-on benefits
|Cons||👎Cannot be used for bulk email marketing campaigns |
👎Emails can get marked as spam
👎No full-spectrum analytics support
|👎Not available to free users|
|Restrictions||Cannot be used with the following types of emails: |
|⚠️Only available in Gmail|
As you might have guessed, mail merge shares some similarities with Mailtrack’s Campaigns feature, but mail merge is still inadequate for bulk email campaigns. As you can see in the table above, Mailtrack’s Campaigns feature is the best alternative that offers solid functionalities.
Rounding It Up: How Should You Send a Newsletter on Gmail?
You have multiple options to optimize your email marketing campaigns via Gmail. Each of these methods comes with its unique set of pros and cons. Therefore, choosing one method over the other can be confusing if you don’t do your due diligence.
Ask yourself a simple question before making that choice: what do you want to gain from your email campaign?
If you just want to test the waters before taking a serious plunge into generating or nurturing leads, Gmail’s built-in mail merge can be a good warm-up exercise. However, if you’re look for more and know the value of a well-designed email marketing campaign, look no further than Mailtrack.
This Chrome extension is an email tracking and management tool that can make your job easy for you. Its features allow you to create genuine and professional newsletter campaigns and track how they perform with your audience
Give it a shot and experience the difference it can make to your email newsletter campaigns.