What mail merge feature do you want next?

2016 has been an incredible year for GMass. The ultimate mail merge tool for Gmail has grown in spades, with new features like automatic follow-up emails and suppression lists and fully automated recurring campaigns with Google Sheets and even the magical automatic first-name detection capability.

The year is winding down, and while I’ll be celebrating with my family in Ohio, I will also be aggressively writing code to improve GMass. Help me decide what mail merge feature to add to GMass next. Use the Comments to tell me what you like and don’t like.

Here are some ideas, gleaned from user feedback and my own brain:

  • More email sending power: Gmail and G Suite accounts restrict your sending ability to 500 and 2,000 emails per day, respectively. We could potentially let you configure GMass to send through your own SMTP server, or set up a shared external SMTP server that our trusted users could use. You would still use Gmail and GMass as your interface, but the actual emails would go through an external SMTP server, not Google’s mail servers, and you could send far beyond Gmail’s limits.
  • More  auto follow-up stages: Right now, GMass lets you set 3 auto follow-ups with a campaign. Some users have asked for the option to set more.
  • Skip weekends with auto follow-ups: Right now, when you set auto follow-ups to go out 3 days, 5 days, and 8 days, after the original campaign for example, if one of those days falls on a weekend, the follow-up email is still sent.
  • CRM integration with Salesforce: The ability to have email sends and replies, opens, and clicks, sync back with the Contact or Lead in Salesforce.
  • Ability to add a random number of seconds in between each email send: Some users have asked for each individual email to be sent a few seconds after the previous email, because of the belief that doing so will make a campaign seem less spammy.
  • Ability to use GMass from Inbox instead of Gmail: Right now GMass only works with classic Gmail and not Google’s new Inbox. Are you an Inbox user? Do you want to use GMass with Inbox?
  • Better analytics: We already give you stats like your open rate, click rate, and let you download all of your reports. How about seeing an open or click report by domain, or over time? Do you want bar graphs and pie charts to help visualize data?
  • Easier way to customize the From Name / Reply-To: Right now, it’s laborious to change the From Name associated with your GMass campaigns, and some users have reported that setting the Reply-To in Gmail doesn’t stick with GMass. Should I make this easier to control?
  • Real-time human editing of your campaign before sending: Through my other product, Wordzen, you can have your emails proofread by a human before you send them. Do you want a tighter integration with GMass?
  • Dashboard: A dashboard where you can see everything happening with your account, from campaigns in progress to future scheduled campaigns to recent delivery statistics.
  • Personalized attachments: The ability to upload a bunch of files to Google Drive, and then set a column in your Google Sheets spreadsheet for each recipient, specifying what attachment should be sent with the email.

Please respond in the comments below to indicate your enthusiasm for any of the above-mentioned mail merge features, or if you have a feature request that isn’t mentioned, please let us know!

I will go be actively reading and responding to the comments and then ultimately determining which feature to build next.

118 Replies to “What mail merge feature do you want next?”

  1. Keith

    I don’t believe this is currently possible,

    Extract a date time from google sheets so emails can be sent at a date / time in the spread sheet.

    • Ajay Goel

      You are correct – not currently possible, but thanks for the input. What is the use case — why would you want each individual email sent at a different date/time?

      • BH

        This will be an awesome feature and which makes easy if the email campaigns are targeted for different time zones.

        Ex: If a column has eastern and pacific data with values “25th Dec 2016, 10:00 am” for eastern email address and “25th Dec 2016, 01:00 pm” for pacific email address.

        and if the GMass is rightly picked column values and send as per the given time, that means recipient receives email at 10:00 am on eastern time and pacific email is received at 10:00 am pacific time.

        Note: Current system time is 10:00 am Eastern.

  2. James

    1) Need a separate page to manage everything, reports, campaigns and such.

    It is difficult to manage in Gmail and a wee bit confusing because the campaigns are not in chronological order.

    Dates are not shown in the subject line either.

    Campaign IDs are not shown when you go to do a follow up campaign. It’s difficult to match them up to the one you were just looking at in the reports.

    It would be nice to see a brief preview of the recipients and the email that was sent, in the report. (w/o having to download).

    In the campaign report, you can’t tell if something was a follow up campaign. You don’t get separate results for 1st email compared to the 2nd email you send.

    • Ajay Goel

      Thanks James. This is all great feedback, and a lot of what you’re asking isn’t too difficult to implement. I should be able to show the Campaign ID in the dropdown when you select a campaign. And I should be able to add the “preview” to the main Campaign Reports as well. The Campaign Reports do mention at the bottom if that campaign was an auto follow-up email campaign, but you are correct that there’s no easy way to compare the original to Stage 1 to Stage 2, etc. without looking at each individual report. I will think through how to solve this.

    • Ajay Goel

      Hi! I believe I know who you are, as you’ve previously emailed me this request. I will give it a second look, but my gut feeling right now is that Smartsheet is too unknown of a platform to make it worth building an integration with GMass for it.

  3. Ky

    I would love for all the recipients to be automatically populated in the BCC. I stopped using GMass because one time I sent an email and all the recipients addresses were listed in the CC field.

    They all kept replying to the entire group and drove each other crazy.

  4. Mark

    I would like to be able to do different blasts that include some of the same email addresses and have the follow up email be attached to the actual blast that the follow up is “following up” on, not just the latest email sent to that recipient. I’ve run into troubles in which I will reach someone with a blast, then email them individually about something, then follow up on my blast email and the follow up shows up as a reply on our individual email — very confusing for the recipient and difficult to keep track of this.

    Thank you!
    Mark

    • Ajay Goel

      Mark – if you’re using the auto follow-up feature, then the auto follow-ups will always go as replies to the last email sent as part of the email sequence.

      If you are NOT using auto follow-ups, and instead sending a manual follow-up campaign using the “Send as replies” option, then yes, it goes as a reply to the last conversation you had with the recipient.

      Can you clarify how you’re sending the follow-ups?

  5. Michel

    We would love to set up a series of emails to be sent at set intervals (say 2 weeks). I believe you already do this, but limited to 3. We would like to create a series of 26 to last the entire year.

    At the end of the series, we would want to sent recipients back to the beginning of the series. We would also want an easy way to change the order of emails (drag and drop?) and insert new emails as we refine and improve our own communication process.

    • Ajay Goel

      I hear you. Yes, you can currently do this, but limited to 3. I will also soon be publishing a blog post that is a step by step how-to for creating a series of emails like this. I’m thinking through how to get GMass as close to what you’re describing as possible.

  6. David Deeds

    Ajay, it would be great to have better training video’s, step by step walk through. This would help dummies like to see what you are pointing to and follow along to increase the use of GMass

    • Ajay Goel

      Got it. Thanks for the feedback. I am planning on writing more step by step blog posts, and we do have a team-member working on videos as well for our YouTube channel.

  7. Sam Zawadzki

    Ability to track client referrals easily through email.

    E.G.

    “Hey Jason,

    My friend Helen runs a fast growing start up and is looking for investment, I think she is a good fit for you.

    P.S. full disclosure if Helen takes funding from you, she will pay me a referral fee.”

    GMass then logs that this introduction could generate a referral, and follows up at a set number of times to see if the referral converted.

  8. Aaron

    Good day, Ajay. Sometimes success reach you on 5th and even 8th follow-up during business communication (according my practice). Most of it sales advisors recommend to create no less than 5-step follow-up campaigns.

    So «more auto follow-up stages» is important to stay competitive.

  9. Jason

    Personalized attachments: The ability to upload a bunch of files to Google Drive, and then set a column in your Google Sheets spreadsheet for each recipient, specifying what attachment should be sent with the email.

  10. Martha Way

    Please define sending power. Gmail sets the sending limits, and that is frustrating to me. Is there another free email I could use with GMass?
    I am learning to limit my sending and work within Gmail’s guidelines.

    • Ajay Goel

      By “sending power” I mean email sending limits. So I am wondering if GMass users want the ability to send more emails than Gmail / G Suite allows. If so, we could potentially route the emails around Gmail’s servers.

  11. Holly Conroy

    CRM integration with Salesforce would be so cool! Maybe I can convince my employeer to get the paid version if it could do that.

  12. Tolu Osinowo

    Marketing automation (auto segment people with no responses vs those who did) with tagging feature..so when someone becomes a client they can move to a different campaign

    CRM integration…not just with salesforce, but others too, the major ones is a great start

  13. Deepak

    The gmass power is insane. It’s UI and explanations suck

    That’s why I moved over to Vocus. Less features way better UI and easy to understand.

    Focus on experience now I say then I would come back

    • Ajay Goel

      What?! You mean you don’t like the GMass Settings box where there’s like 20 different things you can configure and set??

      Hah, just kidding. I know what you mean. I intentionally designed GMass to NOT be a step-by-step screen after screen process of setting up a mail merge campaign. My goal was to make it possible to configure and send a campaign in as few steps as possible, and that’s what the UI does for you. So admittedly, this approach isn’t for everyone. Meaning, it’s not for someone that wants a tool that guides them through step by step. But if you’re the type of user that wants to accomplish the most in the minimal amount of time, then GMass is for you.

  14. Doug Mackey

    First, GMASS is awesome.

    Second, would it be possible to send reports of opens, clicks, replies to a specified email address (instead of the creator). This would mean that I could send an email to all of our accounts and the account rep could get notified if one of their accounts opens, clicks, replies to the email.

  15. Waylon

    It would be nice if Auto-response/Out of office emails didn’t show up on the “opened” list in the Gmass reports. I don’t think that the Auto-Follow emails for the people who didn’t actually open the email will be sent out.

  16. anthony reighard

    A way to remove unsunscribes from your current contact list. This would help when you have old contacts that are not good and contacts that unsubscribe. It would be a great way to filter your contact list in gmail and clean it up.

  17. Pierce

    Essential is a dashboard. Somewhere to see and track all active campaigns and see what is already underway: For example, when is the next stage scheduled. What is the content in that stage. And see reports related to the campaign.

    Focus on visibility and naking it easier to track.

  18. SWANG

    Allow mail merge to do personalized URL components for users we shall be personalizing the URL’s they shall be visiting. I hope you shall also think scale-ability, for Gmass to be used across multiple browsers and to be powered independently, maybe make it a browser Plugin.

  19. S

    The ability to isolate/sandbox the permissions gmass has, or at least a sandbox version of gmass with reduced features. I *do not* want any apps having full access to my gmail and drive account.

    • Ajay Goel

      How do you envision this working? I can understand the privacy concern, but GMass has to connect to your account to perform its functions. You could always create a “dummy” Gmail account just to test out GMass. Unfortunately the Gmail API doesn’t allow me to reduce the permissions required but still provide even the core functionality of GMass.

      Also, GMass does not require access to your Google Drive data, but if we add the personalized attachments feature, then it would require this.

    • Ajay Goel

      Understood on the dashboard. When you say “automatic list cleansing”, what do you mean exactly? GMass already stores your Unsubscribes and Bounces and cross-checks who you’re sending to against these lists and removes these addresses from your campaigns. So in that sense, your recipient lists are cleansed automatically.

      Do you mean you want GMass to actually delete these addresses from your Google Sheets spreadsheet?

      • Momisageek

        Mark the addresses that are bounced in the source sheet instead of just in the report

        Better dashboard to track campaigns

        Improve mobile delivery – I use text to SMS and I get bounces for numbers I know are correct

        Template for email to SMS. It took much experimentation to get thee format right and find the cutoff

    • Ajay Goel

      Got it. This is actually a bit challenging from a programming side, but using a Gmail hack I came up with a while ago, I can add a link into the main Campaign Report that links straight to the copy of the campaign stored in the “GMass Reports –> Sent Copies” label. I will work on this.

  20. Richard demy

    I have been using your app a lot for keeping in constant contact with my students.

    I have been using your app more and more, however I wrote a bunch of scripts for my spreadsheet that I use to invoice my students and send them reminder emails instantaneously.

    There are other services out there that do this specifically for music teachers and can be used for any private one-on-one appointments. However they do not work nearly as well as you are at does, they are very difficult to integrate calendars and they are also expensive. There is one software package called music teacher helper that does all of this but not very well.

    Me not being a programmer Kama I was still able to patch together scripts that would download my Google Calendar onto a spreadsheet, use a Google form to submit payment information to the same spreadsheet comma and the Google send message Scripts 2 email students all of their invoice and payment information on a timed trigger.

    Obviously this is well beyond the scope of gmass, but from the looks of other people commenting, it seems that several people have the same desire or something similar.

    Obviously there are much easier things 2 work on first that will be more usable. My friends dance like the idea of a better user interface for the dashboard. But if timed email send can be combined with spreadsheet it might make this completely possible to do without any complicated coding. Perhaps a spreadsheet template would help other music teachers and contractors who need to invoice for scheduledappointments.

    • Ajay Goel

      Thanks for the note Richard, and I’m impressed that you have integrated GMass into this cool workflow you’ve created with your own scripts. I hear you on the timed sending with the spreadsheet — someone else mentioned that as well.

  21. Lewis

    Hi Ajay,

    I keep having issues with my gmail account being suspended, despite sending the minimum amount of emails through Gmass daily (25).

    Maybe a feature that allowed several headline and body variations would solve this problem?

  22. David B.

    Ajay,

    Having a mechanism that recognizes when a person responds from a different email address than the one the original GMASS was sent to, and either:

    1.) disables auto follow-ups for these emails.

    2.) sends me a daily digest of these emails, asking if I’d like to disable follow-ups on a case-by-case basis.

    Here’s why this is important. Take me for example. I have 6 email addresses and I often reply to people from a different one than it was sent to. i.e. someone sends a business related message to my personal Gmail, and I respond from my business email. I do this to move the thread over to my business email for professionalism and to keep things organized and separate.

    In the case where someone sends me an email through GMASS to my personal Gmail, and I reply with my business email., I’d be really confused or annoyed if I received a stock follow up email days later as if I never replied in the first place.

    • Ajay Goel

      David,

      The GMass auto follow-up feature already takes this into account. A recipient can reply from a different address, and as long as it is kept as part of the same conversational thread in Gmail, GMass will recognize it as a reply to the original sent campaign.

      If this is not happening for you, please email us at support@gmass.zendesk.com with some examples and we can research the issue and figure out what’s going on.

    • Ajay Goel

      Unfortunately that’s not really on my radar. Supporting multiple browsers is kind of a pain, and I’m hoping most people interested in GMass will be okay with using Chrome for it.

    • Ajay Goel

      You actually can do this. To get any pre-formatted HTML into the Gmail Compose window, you just select/copy the rendered HTML from another window, and then paste into the Gmail Compose window. So if that rendered HTML includes a retargeting pixel, then it would also get copied over.

  23. Alex

    Hey Ajay,

    I really need 2 very basic features.

    1) The ability to filter rows (from spreadsheets) by difference. Meaning not row1=value1, but row1(different from)value1 and also row1>value1

    2) The reports to be sent to a specific spreadsheet. Not in my email. So I don’t want to see 9 emails that someone opened an email, but rather have a spreadsheet cell that tracks this number.

    In any case, great job you did there with GMass. It is really helpful. By the way the postponed send by timezone is GOLD! 🙂

  24. José Vte.

    Hello!! Working Gmass in spanish has a little and ugly problem. Characters like “í” “é” “ñ” or so finally are changed (when we mail) in “Á”, “Áª”Ä@” or so

  25. Steven

    Suggestions:

    1. Remove gmass signature from all of your paid plans

    It makes no sense to not have any gmass signature on the free version, but have it on any paid plan.
    If I knew the free version had any sort of signature I wouldn’t use it at all, even the free version.

    2. Charge per user and drop the google account type pricing (gmail or gapps)

    I literally filled out my credit card number and clicked subscribe.
    The payment was prevented due to me having a gapps account.
    It was then that I saw you have a separate set of fees for gapps and gmail.

    That is simply absurd sir. I literally tried to buy and have been turned away due to this complex and absurd pricing scheme.

    • Ajay Goel

      I’m aware that the pricing scheme isn’t ideal. Especially the confusion of going from free to paid, which if choosing a Minimal plan, means going from having no footer and using auto follow-ups on the free plan to having a footer and not having auto follow-ups on the paid Minimal plan. I’m thinking through how to make that better.

      I do stand by the different pricing for Gmail vs G Suite (formerly Google Apps) accounts though. G Suite accounts have more sending ability and therefore require more resources and often need more support.

      • Steven

        The footer adds a barrier that wasn’t in the free plan and chokes the funnel, at least it did from my perspective.

        On Gmail and G Suite, I don’t know if you’ve heard about this study, but it’s interesting:

        “In a California gourmet market, Professor Iyengar and her research assistants set up a booth of samples of Wilkin & Sons jams. Every few hours, they switched from offering a selection of 24 jams to a group of six jams. On average, customers tasted two jams, regardless of the size of the assortment, and each one received a coupon good for $1 off one Wilkin & Sons jam.

        Here’s the interesting part. Sixty percent of customers were drawn to the large assortment, while only 40 percent stopped by the small one. But 30 percent of the people who had sampled from the small assortment decided to buy jam, while only 3 percent of those confronted with the two dozen jams purchased a jar.

        That study ‘raised the hypothesis that the presence of choice might be appealing as a theory’ Professor Iyengar said last year, ‘but in reality, people might find more and more choice to actually be debilitating.'”

        i.e. 100 people see the big assortment, 60 people stop by, 1.8 buy (let’s round up to 2)
        100 people see the small assortment, 40 people stop by, 12 people buy

        That’s a 6x difference in results. Granted, these are not 1 to 1 situations, and plans are fit for different needs, but there are 22 plans if I counted right.

        If suite needs more support, you could separate that and charge for additional quantifiable support as an upsell (after initial order) that is commensurate with what you need, instead of turning away people who would otherwise buy your excellent product.

        All of it should be tested before being seriously considered, of course, as the numbers do not lie.

  26. Steven

    One more thing, pre-fill the ‘BCC’ field instead of the ‘To’ field so that if we accidentally hit the blue send button instead of Gmass, we don’t end up giving all of our recipients everyone else’s email address.

    • Ajay Goel

      This is an interesting suggestion. I have had reports of users accidentally hitting the Send button. That’s why in most cases we make the Send button disappear if you have enough addresses in the To field. The exception is if you have multiple Compose windows open. The issue here, is that if I did what you’re suggesting, it would take away our existing Bcc and Bcc personalization capabilities:

      http://www.gmass.co/blog/secret-feature-set-the-cc-and-bcc-fields-in-a-mail-merge-from-a-spreadsheet-column/

      • Steven

        I just realized that Gmass does this; thing is, I almost always import them from a spread sheet, and this is where the send button does not disappear.

        So it’s probably just a bug, since you are already aware of the potential issue and have countermeasures in place. It’s just when importing from spreadsheets.

  27. Sergey

    More auto follow-up stages would be great
    Ability to receive test emails of auto-follow-ups inside one test email
    Ability to recognize auto-answers as no reply and “sending failures” as bounces

    Thanks for what you’re doing

  28. Jim

    I will right away seize your rss as I can’t to find your e-mail subscription hyperlink or e-newsletter service.
    Do you have any? Kindly let me recognise so that I could subscribe.
    Thanks.

  29. O

    Yes more auto follow up stages. I’d also like a feature where there are past follow up emails in each sequence. As I send
    many different campaigns with different follow up sequences. It would also be great to have a reoccurring
    button in the schedule…I’d like to send out stuff every month or every week…especially for my clients.

  30. Mike Thomas

    Domain-level reporting. I have 30+ GMass users, and I have to individually download / evaluate their reports.

    I’d like to be able to pull all reports for a date range under my domain to get a big picture.

  31. AH

    I just started using GMass. If I could see a seea test email with all the merge field present, for instance, seeing the first name as Lauren and not “First Name” would be so helpful.

    Also, an easy way to cancel follow-ups that have been set or change the email language if the campaign has changed would be helpful.

    All that has been mentioned above, especially a dashboard that shows the campaigns in chronological order and clearly tracking to note who opened, replied, or opted out would be great.

  32. JR

    Definitely could benefit from a more user friendly dashboard and a bit cleaner UI. Aside from that, I think a couple of things are necessary as well:

    1. better test emails (currently test emails do not replace the personalized text fields…if you could see a test name, etc so that you know it’s working correctly which is the entire point of a “test”) &

    2. Easier manual follow-ups of a previously sent campaign. I recently tried to send a follow-up which was a reply to the first initial campaign and it was very confusing and time consuming to figure out and no way to really test it (or see it tested, as mentioned above)

    All in all, great product and will likely keep using, especially with noted improvements!

  33. Eugene Terrans

    I can’t image there is no feature that would allow to specify a time interval at which your emails would be sent. I want to sent 1000 emails at a 3-minute interval. That’s the best way to keep gmail spam filters away from your account. I’m ready to buy the plugin once this feature has been added.

  34. Jordan

    For campaign reports, most services offer visual aides to show when opens occur, how many and from where people have opened or clicked, etc. The campaign report is very basic but it would be a nice feature to have these analytics visually available as well

  35. Everett Reiss

    Two more mail merge fields could be the [Day of the Week] the message is being sent – “hope you’re having a great Wednesday.”

    Also the [Month] could be good

    Lastly, [Morning], [Afternoon], [Evening] though this could be tricky when the recipient is in a different time zone.

    • Ajay Goel

      Actually, I have a surprise for you. You can already use {DayOfWeek} as a personalization tag. This is an un-documented feature, because we added it specifically for a large user recently.

  36. Kristen

    I’ll right away snatch your rss as I can not
    find your email subscription hyperlink or newsletter
    service. Do you have any? Please allow me know so that I may subscribe.
    Thanks.

  37. JR

    Also would be good to be able to manually change the timing of the follow-up campaigns… as-is now, it appears that the following stages are sent at the same time of day as the original… would be GREAT to be able to change the time of day (i.e. I sent a campaign at 5pm on Monday, but would like the 2nd stage follow-up to go out 8 am Thursday).

  38. Evan

    Is there any way to set a follow up for those who did not open multiple campaigns in a row? I do not want to pester those who occasionally skip opening or replying, but it would be nice to send followups to those who miss a certain amount of campaigns.
    Thanks.

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