How many times have you received an email that starts with “Dear *|FNAME|*”? It happens so often it’s laughable, and it’s a clear example of personalization gone wrong.

Have you ever created a new email campaign after copying and pasting from an old one, only to realize that you’ve now sent everyone the exact same unsubscribe link, which you discovered when sally@hotmail.com unsubscribed 200 times because everyone on your list clicked her (invalid) unsubscribe link?

Don’t be too hard on yourself.

Every seasoned email marketer has made mistakes. Below, I’ll detail the most common email marketing mistakes I’ve seen, and what our technology does to prevent them.

I won’t cover obvious email marketing mistakes such as not optimizing design for mobile users, not segmenting contacts, emailing people too frequently, and making grammar mistakes, because other writers have already covered those topics here, here, and here. It’s 2019, and by now, these should be obvious. In fact, the previous articles I just mentioned were written only for the benefit of SEO, not to teach you anything useful about email outreach.

But I digress. Here are the most common technical mistakes made in email marketing campaigns and how, at GMass, our software addresses them.

1. Personalization Failures

If you use a personalization merge tag that doesn’t belong, we’ll warn you when you try to send the campaign.

merge tag warning
GMass warns you if you use the wrong merge tags.

For example, if your spreadsheet column is “First”, but in your campaign you accidentally use type {Firs} or get the tag wrong altogether, like {FName}, GMass will notice that and alert you, allowing you to cancel your campaign. See this post for more information on our personalization warnings.

2. Copying/pasting click-tracked links from an old campaign

A common practice for email marketers is to copy a campaign they’ve already used and paste it into their email marketing app’s campaign builder as a new campaign. This is a terrible practice because if you’re using click-tracking, the links in the prior campaign have already been modified to be click-tracked. That means parameters have been added to the link to identify who clicked on what and to report this data back to you.

click-tracked link
This already click-tracked link will be auto-magically replaced with the intended URL, www.superwidgets.com.

So, if you copy and paste links from an old campaign into a new campaign, and then send your new campaign to 1,000 people, all of them will get the SAME click-tracked link that’s tied to just one person.

GMass takes care of this for you. If it sees click-tracked links in your campaign, GMass will fix it for you by replacing those links with original URLs and emailing you a report.

We used to stop you from sending the campaign, and forced you to replace the links yourself, but starting August 15, 2019, the software replaces the links for you.

3. Copying/pasting an old unsubscribe link into a new campaign

Similarly, when you copy/paste an old campaign into a new campaign, you run the risk of sending a single unsubscribe link that works for just one address to your entire list. This is what results in 200 unsubscribes for sally@hotmail.com, rather than 200 individual unsubscribes from each of the 200 people who intended to unsubscribe.

unsubscribe link
This unsubscribe link was copied/pasted from another campaign and won’t work with this campaign. But that’s okay, because GMass will auto-magically fix it when the campaign is sent.

Once again, GMass handles this for you. If it finds an OLD unsubscribe link in new campaign, GMass will automatically transform it into a new unsubscribe link, and then let you know that it has made the change.

4. The deadliest mistake: exposing your list members to each other

Once, a frustrating aspect of using GMass was accidentally hitting the Gmail Send button instead of the GMass button. If you were to hit send with 200 email addresses in the To field of the Gmail Compose window, you would have broken the trust of those 200 members, since one giant address field would have been broadcast to all 200 people. The whole point of the GMass button is to turn that large “to” list into 200 individual emails, each sent to just one address.

send button
GMass warns you when you click the Send button by accident.

Still, users can make mistakes, and sometimes ours would click Send instead of the GMass button.

A couple of years ago, we decided to address this issue by hiding the blue Send button whenever GMass suspected the user intended to use the GMass button for their email.

However, hiding the Send button turned out to have its own error risks, because GMass could hide it only in certain cases.

Now, we have a better solution. If you click the Send button today, and you have more than a handful of email addresses in the To field, GMass will warn you with an alert that asks if you meant to click the Send button instead of the GMass button. And it gives you an option to cancel the send button instruction if you didn’t mean to use it.

Conclusion

So, there you have it — four of the most common email marketing mistakes and how GMass prevents you from making them.

Does your email marketing service stop you from making these mistakes? If not, you know what to do.

It’s no secret that many cold emails are simply terrible. If you have an inbox, you already know this because you’ve received tons of them. They don’t feel authentic, they have shockingly stupid subject lines, and they presume that you have nothing better to do with your time. That may be why only a quarter of recipients will open these emails.

There’s a reason that poor marketers don’t have success with cold-email marketing. The average response rate for run-of-the-mill cold emails is less than 10%.

However, when done correctly, cold-email marketing can create tremendous results. For example, one B2B company was able to get a 57% open rate, 21% response rate, and 16 new B2B customers, all by changing a few elements in their cold emails.

That raises the crucial question: How do you write cold emails that actually get responses?

In this post, we’re going to give you six winning tactics for writing cold emails that will resonate with the reader, connect you with prospects, and ultimately generate more sales.

Ready? Let’s dive in.

Step #1: Get into the Mind of Your Prospect

First and foremost, take the time to get inside the mind of your prospect. Consider their psychology and figure out their stress points. Avoid throwing “everything” into an email and hoping that by sending out a large volume of emails, you’ll generate some sort of response. That doesn’t work when there are real people on the receiving end of your emails. They’ll see your message as spammy and reach for the delete key.

So how do you get into the mind of your prospect?

Remember that your job is to convince an individual, not a company. A human is reading your email, and most people make decisions based on emotion, not logic. When writing your emails, consider the emotional state of your prospects. What are their aspirations, job demands, stress points, and struggles?

When writing your emails, tap into those motivators. Help recipients see why working with you will alleviate their greatest obstacles or fears, as well as help them achieve their goals.

Also, consider the timing of your email. How does your prospect typically work? Are they checking their inbox all day, or do they look at email only in batches?

While you can’t know the answers for certain, you can time your email for best results. You’ll have a greater chance of getting to both types — frequent and infrequent inbox checkers — if you send your email early in the morning (6 AM-ish) to get their attention first thing in the day, or in the late afternoon, shortly before they head home.

Step #2: Target the Right Person

It’s essential to get your email in front of the right person on the first try. If you rely on others to forward your emails spontaneously to the right people, you’re kidding yourself, and the results will prove it. You need to communicate with the one person who will benefit most from what you’re offering and who has the authority to make the decision to work with you.

If you’re reaching out to small businesses, contact the owner directly. If you’re reaching out to larger businesses, it can be tricky to find the right person. However, LinkedIn is a excellent at helping to find good targets. Search for a specific job title within an organization, such as “VP of HR IBM,” and LinkedIn will give you a match.

Once you have found the right name, you can use a tool such as Hunter.io or Voila Norbert to find your prospect’s email address.

If you’re not sure that the person you’ve targeted is the decision-maker or right influencer, you can include a line in your email that says something like, “If you’re not the one who is responsible for [your topic] at [company], could you put me in touch with the person who handles this?” That can increase your chances of getting in front of the right person even if you’ve targeted the wrong one.

Step #3: Craft a Compelling Subject Line

Your subject line is no different than the headline in a newspaper. Add interest so that people can’t help but open your email. It’s the most important line in your email because if you don’t get the subject line right, no one will read the masterpiece that follows.

There’s a reason almost 50% of emails are deleted without ever being opened. It’s because half of all email subject lines didn’t do their job.

So how do you craft the perfect subject line?

  • Make it specifically relevant to the reader. For example, let’s say that you know the reader is likely to be struggling with a certain problem. You could tailor your subject line to speak directly to that challenge. It could say something like, “7 Tips to Help with [challenging issue].”
  • Evoke curiosity. A subject line like “Quick question” is powerful because it creates a sense of curiosity in the reader. They want to know what your question is in case they can lend their expertise or opinion. They also know that because you used the word “quick,” your email will be short. (Make sure it is.)
  • Congratulations. If you know that your prospect has recently achieved something praiseworthy, acknowledge that in the subject line. People love to receive recognition for their achievements, and by doing so, you make it more likely that they’ll open your email.
  • Acknowledgment of expertise. This is a similar form of personal recognition with a slightly different flavor. If you know that your prospect is an expert in a particular area, highlight that expertise in the subject line. For example, you could say, “Your work [in X area] made me want to get in touch.”
  • Use a personal sender name. Hubspot’s A/B tests for email marketing showed that open rates increase when you add your personal name to the company name in the sender line, instead of just a company name alone.

Kyle Gawley of Get Invited puts it this way:

“I get loads of cold emails myself and one of the things that surprises me is that many of them begin with a generic “Hi” and fail to include my name.

Do I read past this? Absolutely not, it’s obvious that I’m just one of potentially thousands of people that are being contacted in a mass email campaign and this person has no idea who I am, what my business does or why I should buy their product. I’m just a number in an email database.”

  • Pay attention to your first sentence. Most email clients preview the first sentence of the email for the reader, in addition to the subject line. This means that your first sentence must be as compelling and interesting as your subject line, so use the same tactics to grab the prospect’s attention.

How long should a subject line be?Keep your subject lines within zones that promote high open rates. MarketingLand suggests these and other subject line tactics to boost email opens and responses.

Step #4: Introduce Yourself

Once you’ve hooked the reader with the subject line, it’s time to introduce yourself. This is your opportunity to explain briefly who you are and why that matters to the recipient. People want to feel like they’re talking to a real person, and they definitely do not want to feel like they’re part of an impersonal email campaign, so make a human connection.

How do you avoid being impersonal? It’s simple: Take the time to personalize your email by introducing yourself, telling your prospect what you do, and then getting to the point quickly. (“I’m Eric, an engineering audit specialist in Southern California.”) Don’t take up their time with a wordy introduction, as they probably won’t read it on their way to clicking the delete button.

Tip: You may want to consider including a photograph of yourself. This can go a long way toward making your email feel more personal, especially if you run a small business.

Step #5: Write Compelling Body Copy

After you’ve introduced yourself, it’s time to write the body of your email. Given that recipients will delete most emails in less than four seconds, you need to get to the heart of your request right away.

What makes compelling body copy? One proven formula is the Before-After-Bridge method.

Before-After-Bridge method

In the “Before” section, you talk about the prospect’s current problem. Maybe they’re not generating enough leads. Perhaps they’re having trouble getting conversions from their website. Or possibly their ROI on email marketing isn’t high enough. Whatever the case, this is your opportunity to highlight the problem that you can solve. Your goal is to agitate the problem enough so that the reader feels compelled to keep reading.

In the “After” section, you highlight what their world will look like once that problem is solved. Paint a picture of life after their pain-point disappears. Help the reader visualize freedom from their current discomfort once they reach the better world you’re offering.

Finally, in the “Bridge” section, show them how your solution can transport them to those greener pastures, from before to after.

For a deeper look at the Before-After-Bridge method, check out Yesware’s explanation.

Tip: To keep your emails feeling personal, use email tools to insert your prospect’s name or company name in natural-sounding places within the body of your message.

Step #6: Automate Your Outreach

Even if you use the best techniques, cold email outreach still requires that you send a lot of emails. One way to make your life easier is to use a tool like GMass to automate your follow-ups and track sales, etc. Set them up in advance and let the software handle distribution for you.

If you’re just starting out, don’t be discouraged if your first email gets too little response. Sales experts know that it takes anywhere from three to nine touches to get a prospect’s attention, so don’t be tempted to give up after one or two.

Tip: If you automate your email campaigns and follow-up responses in advance, you will be more inclined to complete the whole campaign, and less inclined to give in to early discouragement. In the end, you’ll have better results.

What are the most effective follow-ups?

  • Immediately after you leave a voicemail. If you try calling your prospect and don’t get an answer, send them an email immediately following your call. Because you’re reaching out to them both audibly and visually, you increase the odds of them calling you back.
  • Reference their behavior. If your prospect is opening and reading your emails, you can use that information in your follow-up emails. “I noticed that you read my last email and wonder if we could follow up with a call tomorrow.”
  • Craft your followup emails carefully. Your followup emails should be crafted just as carefully as your initial email. Don’t simply regurgitate what you said in the first email. Be just as compelling, interesting, and relevant in your followup emails as you are in your first email.

Final Thoughts

Cold emailing is not just a task, it’s an essential investment in your success. So, it should come as no surprise that it takes work to do it well. Put in the time to create compelling outreach emails that get inside the heads of your target audience. Make a serious effort to craft an irresistible subject line and first sentence. And write powerful body copy.

It’s well worth the effort.

Done right, cold email outreach can generate huge results, so don’t wait any longer to start producing highly effective cold emails. You can begin today by using GMass to personalize your approach as you reach and follow up with your carefully selected prospects.

You now have the option to expand an “alias” recipient list into the actual email addresses in the Compose window’s To field, and even download the recipient list as a CSV file.

If you’ve mail merged with a spreadsheet or built an email list by searching your Gmail account or even sent to a segmented list of a prior campaign, you know that GMass launches the Compose window for you and places an “alias” address in the To field, so that your campaign is ready to go. The “alias” address looks something like:

433-recipients-aEfjek4@gmass.co

So in the Compose window you’ll see:

add email list to TO line

If the recipient list is fewer than 100 addresses, GMass will automatically expand the list for you, turning the “alias” address into the actual 100 addresses. If the list is more than 100 addresses, however, we don’t do this automatically, because it slows down the Gmail Compose window.

Now, however, if you wish to convert the alias address into the actual addresses, because perhaps you want to remove one or two, you can.

You will now be presented with the option to do so in the lower left corner of your Gmail window.

expand or download email list

Notice the second option which lets you download the full email list as a CSV file.

Those options will remain visible for about 10 seconds.

If those options disappear and you decide later that you want to see the individual addresses that are part of the alias address, you can type a command in the To field to trigger GMass.

  1. Type the command “expand@gmass.co” into the To field, and the alias address will expand into its individual addresses.
    Type expand command
  2. Type the command “download@gmass.co” into the To field, and your browser will download a CSV file of the individual addresses and names.
    Type download command

Note that expand@gmass.co and download@gmass.co aren’t real email addresses. They are “commands” that trigger GMass into doing certain things, in this case expanding the alias address and downloading your list as a CSV file. These “command” addresses will disappear from the To field immediately after GMass is done with its work.

 

Looking to craft the perfect networking email subject line?

You’ve come to the right place.

In this blog post, we’ll give you tons of email subject line examples to use in your networking emails. We’ll also give you some emailing tips to ensure that your networking emails convert!

The networking email subject lines I will show you can be applied in a variety of situations, such as:

  • To build a relationship before pitching your products or services
  • As a precedent to sending your resume
  • To explore a partnership
  • To pitch a guest post
  • To ask for advice from an industry expert

Here’s what the article contains:

(click on the links to jump to a specific section)

Let’s get started.

Why Are Email Subject Lines So Important?

Everyone’s heard that an email’s subject line is incredibly important.

But why?

Here’s what the research says:

  • 69% of email recipients send an email to their spam folder based on its subject line.
  • 47% of email recipients opened an email based on its subject line alone.
  • Personalized subject lines are 22% more likely to be opened.

Your email’s subject line plays a massive role in whether networking email is successful or not. Your subject line can be the difference between making a valuable connection and getting blocked by a recipient.

It’s no surprise that people like email marketers and sales folks spend hours writing email subject lines. Luckily, you won’t have to – as we’ve compiled a list of great email subject lines that you can use right away.

Introductory Email Subject Lines

Writing introductory emails can be tricky.

The person you are trying to connect with doesn’t know you yet. So why should they invest the time to open your email?

Your subject line has to look authentic and valuable enough for them to open your email.

Always try and personalize an introductory email’s subject line. You want to make a connection, introduce yourself and set the base for your future interactions. And all of this starts with your subject line.

Introductory Email Subject Line #1:

Reaching Out For Some Expert Advice On (Topic)

Why this works:

Everyone loves compliments. Being referred to as an industry expert on a topic is something that your contact is bound to love. Usually, people are happy to offer helpful advice – provided you ask correctly.

Also, as you’re asking for something, there’s a sense of urgency about it – which increases the likelihood of a quick response. It’s an easy way to get the conversation going and (possibly) gain some valuable insights about a topic.

Introductory Email Subject Line #2:

Loved Your Recent Article In (Publication)

Why this works:

A lot of introductory emails come across as inauthentic and spammy. “I really love your blog and I have been following you for a while” is now well recognized as a spam template!

However, referencing a specific piece of content that the recipient has written (as opposed to a generic comment above) is a great way to come across as genuine. It’s a great way to sound truly interested in your contact and hopefully get a response.

Introductory Email Subject Line #3:

Fellow (Common Interest/Qualification) Looking For An Opportunity To Connect

Why this works:

Common interests and qualifications are an easy way to connect with your recipient. This instantly establishes some common ground to build the discussion on.

When referencing common interests/qualifications, only use information that’s readily available to the public like their alma mater or industry. Don’t get excessively personal by digging through a recipient’s social media profiles and reference a picture they took at a party the other day!

Other good introductory subject lines:

“Just caught the interview you had with [source]”

“Fellow [city resident] that’d like to connect”

“I was asked to reach out to you by [Mutual Acquaintance]”

“Would love to know more about your article on [insert publication]!”

“I love that [insert thought, idea or opinion] you shared on [publication]”

Follow-Up Email Subject Lines

Chances are, you’ll have to follow up on your initial interactions with a prospect. Maybe you asked for an informational interview with them earlier, but there’s been no response since then.

Dropping the prospect at this point could be premature. Maybe they simply forgot to respond, or are waiting for some other information. Whatever the case may be, it’s important to politely nudge them and keep the conversation going.

To help you follow-up successfully, here are two simple subject lines:

Follow Up Email Subject Line #1:

Hey (Recipient’s Name), This Is (Your Name)

Why this works:

The goal of a follow-up email is to remind the recipient of who you are. This subject line accomplishes that. As you’re mentioning names, the recipient will know that this is a genuine email – even if they don’t remember you very well.

Also, by keeping the subject line slightly vague – you’re encouraging them to open your mail to see what it contains.

Follow Up Email Subject Line #2:

Hey (Recipient’s Name), Just Following Up On Our (Call/Meeting) The Other Day

Why this works:

This subject line directly references a past conversation, social media interaction or event with the recipient. It’s a great way to instantly jog their memory of the meeting and remember who you are.

Other good follow-up email subject lines:

“I really hope you enjoyed the [event]”

“It was great meeting you at [event]”

“Hey (Recipient’s Name), just checking in since we last spoke”

Number-Driven Subject Lines

Leading with numbers is a great way to interest a reader and show them what you’re offering. Quantifying the content on your mail, such as “3 ways I can…” or “The 5 Best…” is a simple way to get their attention.

You can add numbers to your introduction or follow-up email to make them look more enticing. Here are a few simple number-driven subject lines:

Number-Driven Email Subject Line #1:

The 5 Ways (Recipient’s Company) and (Your Company) Can Work Together

Why this works:

By mentioning “5 ways” in your subject line, you’re being specific and creating a lot of curiosity. This is bound to get their attention and convince them to open your email. Additionally, by mentioning the names of the companies involved, you’re adding a layer of personalization and authenticity to the email.

Number-Driven Email Subject Line #2:

3 Things I Loved About Your Article On (Publication)

Why this works:

This is a good example of using numbers to supplement your introductory emails. Sure, referencing previously written content is a great way to look authentic, but that’s not all. By adding a number to your subject line, you’re letting the contact know what specific things stood out. It shows them that you thoroughly did your research – which leads to interest.

Other good number-driven subject lines

“Loved these 3 insights from your recent article on (publication)”

“5 reasons why (recipient’s company) could benefit from better (topic)”

“7 things I learned from your interview on (channel)”

5 Tips For Networking Email Subject Line Success

1. Keep It Short

The goal of your networking email subject line is to simply get your recipient’s attention and encourage them to open your email. Just write specific and concise subjects.

Why?

  • Email recipients find long subject lines difficult to read – especially if they’re viewing your email on a mobile device.
  • Long-worded email subject lines come across as spammy and might trigger some automatic email spam filters.
  • It’s harder for the recipient to instantly gauge the purpose of the email. They’ll question the intent behind it and might even send it to their spam folder.

TipUse an online subject line checker to help hit the perfect word length for your networking email subject line.

2. Time It Right

Your email needs to reach your recipient at the right time. Your content can’t impress a recipient if they don’t see it in the first place, right?

A good rule of thumb for maximum reach is to only send emails during work hours (9 AM – 5 PM). This ensures that your email reaches the top of the recipient’s inbox when they’re going through their mail.

Avoid sending emails at the end of the workweek and right before a holiday. Chances are, your recipient won’t be checking their mail during this time and your email will remain unread at the bottom of their inbox. Or they might plan to reply later and just forget about it.

3. Personalize Your Emails

Personalizing your emails for each reader is a surefire way to get noticed.

Whenever you’re sending marketing emails, you can’t opt for a generic, bland email. You have to directly reference your recipient if you want to increase your conversions.

Mentioning a recipient’s name, company and needs is a great way to show your email recipients that you’ve handcrafted this sales email for them. This makes it easier to forge a connection with your reader and get a response.

4. Ask For Advice – Not Favors

Whenever you write a networking email, never directly ask the reader for a favor.

Why?

It’s obvious that you’re only emailing to get something out of them. Instead, opt for a slower, more organic approach where you ask them for advice and try to build a genuine connection.

5. Conduct A Quality Check

As your subject line is the first thing a reader will see, it better be perfect. There should be no spelling errors, no grammatical mistakes, no unclear information – your writing should be flawless.

You can always use an online subject line checker to help you write good subject lines. A subject line checker rates your subject line on a variety of different variables like word length, engagement, and readability to ensure that it’s perfect.

How GMass Can Help Your Email Marketing Campaigns

What Is GMass?

GMass is an email outreach tool that helps you send email campaigns from the comfort of your Gmail inbox. Used by employees from Twitter, Google, and LinkedIn, it’ll help take your email marketing and networking efforts to the next level. It’s got tons of features to boost your email click-through rates and email open rates in no time!

Anybody in the email marketing industry can easily use GMass to set-up a meeting, interview or friendly networking event in a matter of seconds!

Here’s how GMass can help you craft effective email campaigns:

1. Personalization

Networking emails must be personalized if you want them to work.

You need to tailor each sales email to cater to what each recipient relates to. If you don’t do this, your mail will come across as generic and will be tossed into their spam folder.

But what if you’re sending hundreds of networking emails? You can’t sit and personalize all the email templates individually, right?

Don’t worry, GMass does that for you.

It adds personalization variables to your email templates, such as:

  • {First Name}
  • {Last Name}
  • {Company Name}

It uses their email address and other data to determine these values and automatically adds them to each email. All you have to do is create some email templates and GMass will do the personalizing. Just add your email signature at the end of your sales email and it’s good to go!

networking email subject line 1

2. Analytics

GMass comes with detailed analytics reports to help an email marketer gauge how well their marketing emails are doing.

An email marketer has access to data on their:

  • Email open rate – the percentage of people that opened an email.
  • Click-through rates – the number of people who clicked on links in an email divided by total emails sent.
  • Unsuccessful email open rate- percentage people that didn’t open an email.
  • Replies – total number of people that replied to your emails.
  • Bounces – total email addresses that were invalid in a marketing campaign.

With GMass, an email marketer will have no trouble measuring different metrics like bounces and click-through rates to ensure that they’re getting the best out of their emails.

3. Automatic Follow-Ups

Everyone isn’t going to respond to your marketing emails immediately.

Say you emailed tons of people about a networking event or informational interview you were holding, but none of them got back.

What do you do?

Manually craft follow-up emails for each person?

That’s going to take hours and tons of effort!

Why not let a tool like GMass do it for you instead?

GMass can send automatic follow-up emails to any person who hasn’t responded to your mail. You have complete control over these marketing follow-ups where you can customize:

  • The number of follow-ups each person receives.
  • The time gap between your follow-up emails.
  • The follow-up message.

networking email subject line 2

With GMass’ follow-ups, you’ll have no trouble finally getting a response about that networking event or informational interview you set up!

4. Easy Scheduling

You want your marketing emails to reach the right people at the right time.

To help you with this, GMass can schedule your email campaigns and sending times in advance. You can choose one of GMass’ predetermined times or create custom date and time to send your emails in seconds!

networking email subject line 3

If you need to change the timings any emails you have already scheduled, just go to your “Drafts” folder and locate these emails to change their date and time. To make this easier, all scheduled emails are labeled as “GMass Scheduled.”

Conclusion

Crafting the perfect networking subject line isn’t rocket science. All you need is some personalization and you’re good to go.

In the meantime, why not sign up for GMass to streamline your networking email process? You can quickly send, manage and tweak mass emails to make the most of your email networking campaigns!

Need to send an email to multiple recipients?

Whether it’s an email marketing campaign or just a message to your club members, this post has everything you need to know.

In this article, we’ll show you how to send an email to multiple recipients using GMass and Gmail. Just follow this walk-through guide and you’ll be sending mass emails in no time!

Here’s what this article covers:

(click on the links below to jump to a particular section)

1. GMass

2. Gmail

Let’s get started.

1. GMass

What Is GMass

GMass is a powerful email outreach software that lets a user run email campaigns from their Gmail inbox. It’s powerful mail merge capabilities have made it an extremely popular Chrome extension that’s used by employees from Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google.

However, GMass isn’t only useful to email marketers.
It’s also used by different individuals and groups to send emails to their members, such as:

  • Schools and Universities
  • Clubs
  • Churches
  • Other social groups and organizations

With features like automatic follow-ups, analytics and scheduling – it’s got everything an email marketer could ask for!

A casual user can also greatly benefit from its streamlined mailing processes. With an easy-to-use interface, anybody could get started with GMass instantly.

How To Send Email To Multiple Recipients Using GMass

It’s incredibly easy to send emails to multiple recipients in Gmail using the GMass extension. Here’s how to do it in seconds:

  1. Enter all the email addresses in the “To” field.
  2. Compose your email subject and body.
  3. Hit the “GMass” button (instead of the Gmail send button).

That’s it!
You can now send emails to tons of email IDs within seconds!

The best part?
They won’t know you sent this email to anybody else.

But what if you need to send an email to hundreds of recipients? You can’t be manually adding each email address, right?

Don’t worry, here’s a detailed breakdown of the multiple ways GMass can add recipients to your emails.

1. Use Google Contacts

If you use Google Contacts to manage your mailing list, you can easily add them as recipients to your GMass emails.

Step 1
Click on the “Contacts” section in the upper-left corner.

Step 2
Use the checklist tool to select all the contacts in your mailing list that you’d like to add as recipients. Once you’ve selected them, click on the “Mail” icon.


Noteyou can only select the 250 contacts on the current page. To select any others, you’ll have to navigate to the next page and select them separately.

Step 3
Compose your subject and email body and click on the “GMass” button at the bottom of the composer window.

2. Export Your Contacts To A Google Spreadsheet

Here’s how you can easily add multiple recipients to your GMass emails using a spreadsheet:

Step 1
Export the Google contacts you want added to a .CSV file.

Step 2
Click the “Export” button in the dialog box that opens up.

Step 3
Upload this contact CSV file to Google Sheets.

Step 4
Delete any extraneous, empty contact columns that are present in the folder. This is unnecessary contact information that GMass may not be able to process.

Step 5
Use GMass to connect to the spreadsheet. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to do this.

Step 6
GMass will now add all these contacts to the “To” line in your mail. In case there are more than 1000 recipients, GMass will consolidate these into an alias address that represents all the recipients.

Click on the “GMass” button and you’re done!

While this method looks complicated, it’s fairly straightforward. It’s also the easiest way to add thousands of recipients to an email in just a few steps!

3. Use The GMass “Build Email List” Feature

The “build email list” feature is a great way to easily identify the recipient and add their email address to your emails.

Click on the build email list button (the red magnifying glass icon) and type in a keyword. GMass will go through all your emails searching for conversations where that keyword was mentioned.

For example, if you wanted to send mass emails to everyone who’s talked about Android phones with you, type in “Android phones,” click enter, and the software will add all their details to the “To” field.

As there’s no manual exporting/importing involved here, you should have no difficulty using this method in GMass.

The Benefits Of Using GMass

Using a dedicated mail merge service like GMass gives you tons of helpful benefits for email sending. Here are some of them:

1. Personalization

What’s the biggest problem with mass emails?

They lack personalization.

Even if the recipient can’t see anyone else added to a mail, they’ll be able to identify a generic, mass-sent email when they receive one.

How does that matter?
The moment someone realizes that this is a mass-sent email, the chances of them taking it seriously drop considerably. They might even mark you as spam.

Name-dropping and personalizing emails are a great way to make the recipient feel like that this email was hand-crafted for them. It’s going to greatly increase your chances of receiving a favorable reply.

Luckily, GMass can add personalization variables to your emails, such as:

  • {First Name}
  • {Last Name}
  • {Company Name}

The software will use the recipient’s email address and any other data to determine these values and automatically add them to each email sent.

This way, each recipient will get a personalized email – without you having to manually edit your email templates!

2. Detailed Analytics

No email campaign is complete without some analytics to help measure how well it did.
Luckily, the GMass mail merge feature comes with comprehensive reporting capabilities to determine how well your mass emails are doing.

You’ll have access to information such as:

  • Unique Opens – total email addresses that opened your email
  • Unique Clicks – total email addresses that clicked on a link
  • Didn’t Open – total email addresses that didn’t open your mail
  • Replies – total email addresses that replied to your campaign
  • Bounces – total email addresses that were invalid

And many more!

For a more detailed guide on GMass reports, check out this article here.

3. Easy Scheduling

Scheduling is a big part of the email sending process. You want your emails to reach the right people at the right time to get the best results.

To make this easier, the GMass mail merge feature lets you schedule and set your email campaigns in advance.

Once you’ve composed your email, click on the arrow next to the “GMass” button to open up the settings box. You can choose between a list of predetermined times to send your mail or set a custom date and time.

In case you need to edit the timing of a scheduled email, go to your “Drafts” tab, find the concerned email and edit the time. For easy identification, all scheduled emails are labeled as “GMass Scheduled.”

4. Automatic Follow-Ups

It’s happened to all of us.
You’ve sent a question or form via email, but haven’t received a response yet.

So what do you do?
Send a follow-up email to the recipient.

But what if you have to send a string of follow-ups to 100s of people? You can’t type and enter that manually, right?
Don’t worry – the GMass mail merge feature will create it for you.

Mail merge tools like GMass can send an automatic follow-up email notification to all your clients who haven’t responded yet. You can set:

  • the number of follow-ups they receive.
  • the time gap between each follow-up email notification.
  • the message in each follow-up email notification.

This way, you can automatically send your recipients a friendly notification to boost your chances of finally receiving an answer email!

5. Email Campaigns as Replies

It’s far easier to continue a conversation with clients than to create a new one.

With the GMass mail merge, you can start sending email campaigns as replies to existing conversations instead of having to create a new thread. This results in higher engagement from your mailing list as your clients won’t have to open new threads to view your email campaigns.


2. Gmail

What Is The BCC Field In Gmail?

The BCC field (Blind Carbon Copy) is an easy way to send an e-mail to multiple recipients. The primary recipient of such a mail will be unaware of the other recipients you’ve attached.

How To Use The Blind Carbon Copy Method To Send Email To Multiple Recipients

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to use the BCC field for sending an email in email clients like Gmail:

Step 1
Open your Gmail account and click “Compose” to open up the Gmail compose window.

Step 2
Add your subject line and email text.

Step 3
Add the primary recipient’s email address of your email in the “To” line. Once you’ve done that, click on the “Bcc” button at the end of the line.

Step 4
Once you click the “Bcc” button, you’ll be able to add the address of each hidden recipient to your mail.

Note – while the primary recipient cannot see who else is added, all your “Bcc” recipients will be able to see that they’ve been added as a “Bcc.” While the account can’t see who has been added – they’ll know that they aren’t the only email account included in this mail.

Step 5
Click “Send” and you’re done – you can now send an e-mail to multiple recipients!

The Problems With This Method

While the Blind Carbon Copy method to send an e-mail is straight-forward, it comes with a few drawbacks. Here are a few issues you’ll face if you opt for the BCC blind carbon copy sending approach:

1) Recipients Can Mistakenly Reply To All

A big issue with BCC emails is that any of your recipients could mistakenly use the “Reply To All” instead of the “Reply” option to answer an email. This will broadcast their reply answer to all the addresses in the email chain, which could result in an unintentional, embarrassing breach of privacy. You might even have to send a new email asking people not to reply to all!

2) Looks Unprofessional

Remember, all your BCC’d recipients can still see that they’ve been added as a BCC to your email. They’re aware that there are multiple people added to this email. This makes the BCC method highly impractical for sending a message in formal contexts.

It looks very unprofessional and will probably leave a bad impression on your recipients. The BCC is an outdated decades-old feature that has practically no role in 2019.

3) Impractical For Mass Emailing

It’s not advisable to use the BCC method for emails with more than ten recipients.

Why?

As you have to manually add each recipient, working with more than ten recipients can be unwieldy and prone to error. You could misspell someone’s email address, mistakenly add someone as CC; the list goes on.

Why use an outdated service like BCC, when you have tons of advanced email programs like GMass in the market? They can simplify mailing multiple people to ensure that nothing goes wrong.

4) No Personalization

Gmail’s BCC feature doesn’t allow you to personalize your email message. It’s a highly impractical method to send pitches and marketing emails.

As you can’t make a personal connection with each recipient, they’ll receive a bland, generic marketing email message that won’t impress them.

5) No Analytical Data

Gmail doesn’t offer you any cutting-edge data insights about your email campaigns. You won’t know what Gmail address opened your email message, when they opened it, what they clicked on and so on.

While this might not be an issue for personal correspondence, it’s a big issue for email marketers and salespeople. You could have a great email campaign in place, but without the right analytics, you’ll never make the most of it.

Conclusion

Sending an email to multiple recipients doesn’t have to be a tough, tiring process.

While the BCC feature in Gmail can help, it’s far from ideal. Using email programs like GMass is a much smarter solution for your email sending needs. A user can easily send, manage and tweak mass emails in seconds to keep things personalized and efficient.

Why not sign up for a free account and experience the power of GMass today?

If you’re a fan of forwarding emails to friends, family, and colleagues, I’ll teach you how to mass forward emails in a personalized, trackable way.

Email to be forwarded

Why not forward the normal way in Gmail?

In Gmail, forwarding an email is as easy as hitting the Forward button, typing in the recipients into the To field and hitting the Gmail Send button. With Gmail’s new Scheduling feature, you can even schedule when you want the mass forward sent. What you can’t do natively with Gmail, however, is:

  1. Personalize the mass forward. Meaning, make each email start with “Hey {FirstName}, check this out…”
  2. Track who you forwarded the email to opened or clicked on links in the forwarded email.

That’s where GMass comes in. When you click the GMass button instead of the Gmail Send button, each person in the To field gets an individual, personalized email, rather than one email going out to everyone. This also means that unlike a traditional email forward, the individual recipients of the forward won’t know who else you forwarded the email to.

GMass acts as a replacement to the traditional Send button in this case.

Add some personalization to the top of the email, make sure Open Tracking and Click Tracking are set, and hit the GMass button instead of the Send button.

GMass settings for mass forwarding

If you’re working late night and want the email sent first thing in the morning, you can also schedule that in the GMass Settings box.

Scheduling mass email forwarding

There are other solutions for mass forwarding emails in Gmail, but only GMass allows you to personalize each forward and track opens/clicks while at the same time scheduling the forward. In fact, many users use the GMass button exclusively instead of the Send button on all email, including forwards, replies, and new messages.

When would you want to mass forward an email in this way?

Here are just a few of the example scenarios when you’d want to send a mass forward this way:

  1. You received a conference invite and you mass forward it to 20 people that you wish would join you at the conference. When each person receives his own personalized forward, each person will think he’s the only person you forwarded the email to, making them feel really special, and the chances of that person then joining you at the conference just went up 10x.
  2. You received a newsletter that you want all your employees to see. So you might mass forward it to all your employees and want to know who opened the email.
  3. You received a funny joke that you want to forward to a few friends and are curious which friend opened your forwarded email so you can give the friends that didn’t a hard time.
  4. You’ve received an educational email that you think a few of your clients would benefit from. You forward the email using GMass to ten of your clients, but using GMass, since each recipient will get their own forwarded email, each client won’t be able to see the other clients you forwarded the email to.

What does your Sent Mail folder look like after a mass forward?

Here it is…notice that each address you put in the To field receives its own individual email addressed to just that one person.

Individual mass forwarding

What does the report look like?

You’ll get a report of your mass forward showing how many people received the forward and who opened and clicked on it. Here’s a sample report from the forward above.

[screenshot of our new web-based report for a sample mass forward, sample report: https://www.gmass.co/report?c=287d34ec-76b9-438a-a596-394855d7076b

but your screenshot should be a GMass report of a mass forward that you actually send.]

This is NOT a way to forward multiple emails

If you’re wanting to forward multiple emails to multiple people, GMass is not the solution. For that there are other Chrome extensions specialized in batch forwarding multiple emails like this one. [insert link]. What GMass helps you do is forward ONE single email to multiple people in a personalized, tracked, and scheduled way.

Until now, it’s been impossible to export all your Gmail Contacts from just a specific Label. There are several ways to export all of your Gmail Contacts, but as soon as you want to do it just for one Label, a world of complexity typically awaited you.

There is a particular feature of our Chrome extension, which wasn’t designed to export contacts from a Label, but so happens to make that possible because of how it works. It’s the “Build Email List” feature that scrapes your Gmail account for email addresses based on a search criteria. Don’t worry about that for now though.

Let’s dig into how darn easy it is to export the contacts in a specific Gmail Label.

This method will find all of the From, To, and Reply-To addresses of all emails in a particular Gmail Label.

Step 1: Click on the Label.

Select Gmail label

That easy! Just click the Label, so that you’re only viewing the messages in the Label, and so the Gmail Search bar says something like in:[Label Name] at the top.

In my case, I have a Gmail Label called “Graphic Designer” which contains emails from a bunch of potential graphic designers I’m considering hiring.

Step 2: Click the red magnifying glass button.

Sort by Gmail label

It’s next to the Search bar, and wait for GMass to scrape the addresses in the Label. You’ll see that GMass is chugging through your Label.

GMass sorts Gmail label

Step 3: Copy and paste from the Compose window.

GMass exports contacts from Gmail label

All of the addresses that were found in the Label will show up in the To field of the Gmail Compose window. Now all you have to do is copy/paste this. You can copy/paste into a CSV file or a Google Sheet or any other place you desire to place your newly exported Gmail Contacts.

When developing a Chrome extension, you might need to get an XMLHttpRequest that’s part of a content script to send cookies for a domain when making a request to that domain, if the origin is not that domain. Not much has been written about how to do this.

Dana Woodman, a Chrome extension developer discusses how to do this, but she makes a mistake, claiming that you need to designate the “cookies” permission in your manifest.json. This is not accurate. You can designate the “cookies” permission in manifest.json, but you only need to do that if you want to access cookie data separately from an XmlHttpRequest. Additionally, she makes a mistake that 99% of Chrome extension developers make, assuming that you have to put your domain in the “permissions” field in order to make cross-origin web requests to it.

There are a few Stack Overflow threads like this one and this one that explain the issue, but they also leave out key details and insights.

In this article, I’ll break down exactly what you need to do to pass along cookies to cross-origin XmlHttpRequests in a Chrome extension.

Why would anyone ever want to do this to begin with?

So that your web server endpoint for your Chrome extension can authenticate a user. If part of your Chrome extension setup is to let the user authenticate via a webpage, then you probably set a cookie or a session ID for that authenticated user. If your Chrome extension then makes XHR requests to your web server as part of its functionality, you’ll want to pass cookies along so that you know what user you’re dealing with.

First, let’s clarify the issue of placing “hosts” in the “permissions” field:

Most Chrome extension developers assume that if their website is www.mydomain.com, and their Chrome extension makes XHR requests to www.mydomain.com, then you must put www.mydomain.com in the permissions field of your manifest file. This is simply not true.

I can understand why developers are confused about this though; Google’s documentation on using hosts in the permissions section of manifest.json is poor. The document doesn’t even mention the reason for listing a host, other than to “give access to one or more hosts”. But what does “give access” mean? Furthermore, while the page on match patterns offers a hint at what the purpose of hosts in the permissions field are, clicking on the “host permissions” definition on this page takes you back to the original permissions page with this URL (https://developer.chrome.com/apps/declare_permissions#host-permissions) and unfortunately there is no content tagged with #host-permissions on that page. This is probably an error on Google’s part. SO, we are left to figure out what the purpose of “hosts” in the permissions field ON OUR OWN.

You can avoid putting www.mydomain.com in the “permissions” field entirely if you set your web server to allow cross-origin requests to begin with. To make cross origin XHR requests, listing your domain in the permissions field is only needed if the web server for the domain doesn’t already allow cross-origin requests. That’s worth reading again. So, let’s say you’re making a cross-origin request to www.facebook.com. Well, since you don’t control the web server for www.facebook.com, you DO need to list www.facebook.com in the “permissions” field. But you DO control www.mydomain.com, so while you CAN list it in the permissions field, you don’t have to if you’ve already set the web server for www.mydomain.com to respond with a * for the Access-Control-Allow-Origin response header.

If the only reason you’re putting your domain in the permissions field is so you can make AJAX XHR requests to it, then you probably don’t need to do it. Just handle it on the web server by setting the Access-Control-Allow-Origin header.

There are OTHER reasons you may need a host in the permissions field, EVEN IF the host already has the Access-Control-Allow-Origin header set to *. If you need programatic access to the host’s cookies, and you declare the “cookies” permission in the manifest, then you’ll also need to declare the host in the permissions field. This is only if you need to access the cookies without making an XHR request. The documentation on the cookies permission field states that “To use the cookies API, you must declare the “cookies” permission in your manifest, along with host permissions for any hosts whose cookies you want to access.”

It’s important to understand this because at some point in the evolution of your Chrome extension, you may find that you separate your web server into www.mydomain.com and extension.mydomain.com, so that your marketing website can live at www.mydomain.com and your extension makes calls to extension.mydomain.com. Since Chrome extensions don’t allow you to future-proof your code you may have missed putting extension.mydomain.com in the permissions when you first launched. And if you add it later, your extension will become disabled for everyone until they accept your new permissions, which can be catastrophic to the user base for an extension. So, instead of updating the permissions field, you only need to set your server to allow cross origin requests.

It’s also important to understand this because you don’t want to scare off users when they click the “Install” button and get the permissions warning popup. If you list hosts in “permissions”, the user will be told that you want to have the ability to change the data on those sites. If you don’t, and just handle it via the the web server, you can reduce potentially scary permissions warnings.

Now, let’s talk about sending cookies with XmlHttpRequests.

Now that you understand what is and isn’t required to make cross origin requests, let’s talk about sending cookies with these requests.

First, you do not need to declare the “cookies” permission in your manifest.json, even though most developers assume you do. Google doesn’t do a good job of explaining what this “cookies” permission is for, but it’s NOT for passing along cookies in XHR requests. And as discussed above, you don’t necessarily need to declare the host in your “permissions” field either.

What you DO need to do is set .withCredentials=true in your XMLHttpRequest. That’s it. That’s how I’m doing it with GMass as well. Here’s a more detailed explanation of when .withCredentials is necessary. It’s not necessary for non-cross origin requests, so if the XHR call is being made from the same domain as the destination domain of the XHR request, then .withCrednetials has no effect. But for a Chrome extension’s content script the “origin” is the Chrome extension itself, and so you’re almost always making a cross-origin request when making an XHR call.

But here’s the tricky part. In the latest version of Chrome, you’ll think the cookies AREN’T being sent, when they actually are.

That’s because a recent update to the Chrome Developer Tools made using the Network tab a lot trickier. If you’re using the Network tab to monitor your XHR requests your Chrome extension is making, you’ll often see “Provisional headers shown” for the Request Headers, and you won’t see a Cookie section, so you’ll assume Cookies aren’t being sent. Perhaps you won’t then even try to retrieve the cookie on the server side. It took me a long time to figure this one out. This stack overflow article explains that a recent change to Chrome has made it so that you have to modify a few Chrome flags (chrome://flags) if you want to see the full headers, including any cookies being sent.

Once you make that change, you’ll see that your cookies are being sent.

Today the GMass team is launching a new email productivity tool called SearchMyEmail.com. It’s a free tool for bosses and their assistants.

I built SearchMyEmail.com for my own use and am now making it available to the world.

My team members all have the ability to search my Gmail account for information they need to be productive. I get a report of everything they’ve searched for and accessed, so I can rest easy that they aren’t snooping.

This is a solution to comfortably allow people access to your email account without having to fear that they’re searching for something inappropriate like “employee salaries” or “affair”.

For example, my bookkeeper might be working on reconciling my books and sees some Amazon charges, but doesn’t know what I bought. She searches “amazon” using this tool to see what I purchased.

It has personal uses as well. My wife often needs to know my itinerary for an upcoming business trip. She searches “expedia” in my account to get my flight info, so she knows when I’m in the air!

Here’s a bigger list of examples of how this tool can be useful. And here are some screenshots.

It’s much safer and less anxiety-producing than handing over my Gmail account password (never do that), because now I know what everyone is looking at, and I don’t have to be bothered with

We’ve just launched a new responsive campaign report. The new report is beautiful, more easily accessible, and works on desktop and mobile. Here’s what it looks like.

Example of our new responsive campaign report.

 

You can access this new report from either a “send confirmation” email you get after a batch of emails is sent or from the classic campaign report that is found under the GMass Reports –> [CAMPAIGNS] Label. Both contain a link to the campaign’s real-time responsive report.

Why the new report?

In the past, we’ve always kept the user experience of GMass inside Gmail, and as such, campaign reports were placed inside a Gmail Label, so they could be viewed easily on desktop or from the Gmail app on iOS and Android. This technique, while creative, limits the interactive capabilities of the report. Our new responsive campaign report is a launch pad for a lot of cool things to come, like the ability to search for a single recipient inside the campaign report and get detailed data, like the full list of open events, for that recipient.

Do the old reports still work?

Yes, you can still find campaign reports under the GMass Reports –> [CAMPAIGNS] Label.

Does the old report contain the same information as the new report?

Mostly. The old report was also updated today to contain a table of your top domains. The new responsive report doesn’t have this yet. Additionally, the old report has download links to download CSV files of raw campaign data. The new responsive report doesn’t include these download links yet.

On the other hand, the new report contains a time distribution chart of opens and clicks, so you can see when your campaign generated the most activity and if the campaign is still being engaged with.

Over time, the new report will become the primary source for campaign statistics, and we’ll likely phase out the old report.

We recently noticed inflated open rates across campaigns, and upon a detailed examination, we found that Gmail has been triggering false opens on emails since May of 2018.

Specifically, Gmail has been triggering opens via a bot as soon as an email is received by a Gmail user, and Gmail triggers the open from one of many Google IP addresses with this specific User Agent:

Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/42.0.2311.135 Safari/537.36 Edge/12.246 Mozilla/5.0

By analyzing all the IP addresses that downloaded our open tracking pixel with this specific User Agent, we are confident that all the opens from this User Agent are false opens.

Additionally, opens from this User Agent happen within seconds after sending an email. We recently added a time designation to the “open” notifications that GMass users receive in the GMass Reports  –> Opens Label. The Subject line of the notification shows how much time has elapsed between the email sending and the email opening. All of the “false” opens are recorded in mere seconds after the email is sent:

The “open” events that happen under a minute after the email is sent are likely false opens.

In GMass’s lifetime, as of today, approximately 307 million total email opens have been recorded across all campaigns across all users. Today’s analysis shows that this User Agent first started appearing in our open tracking logs in May of 2018 at a fairly infrequent rate of about 500,000 incidences per 20 million recorded opens, or a false open rate of 2.5%. This steadily increased over time to an incidence rate of 1.3 million per the 20 million most recently recorded opens, or a false open rate of 6.5%. That means that at most your open rates on past campaigns may go down by 6.5%, but likely less than 6.5%.

How good are you at percentage math? Assuming your open rate goes down by 5%, this does NOT mean that a campaign that previously had a 20% open rate will now have a 15% open rate. It means that a campaign that previously had a 20% open rate will now have a 19% open rate (19% is 5% less than 20%).

The Google Image Proxy

Several years ago, Google introduced the Google Image Proxy, which is a system by which images are downloaded in Gmail not from the source server, but via a proxy operated by Google. The whole concept of “open tracking” in email campaigns relies on a unique one-pixel image being downloaded.

The purpose of inserting the proxy between the end recipient and the email marketing service’s server was to obfuscate the location of the download, preventing companies like GMass and MailChimp from knowing the details of the “open”, such as the location and device used to open the email. The proxy still allowed ESPs to know IF an email was opened, however.

This new behavior is a separate issue from the Google Image Proxy, and Litmus has also found this to be the case.

The Google Image proxy uses a variety of User Agents, such as:

Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 5.1; rv:11.0) Gecko Firefox/11.0 (via ggpht.com GoogleImageProxy)

but always includes this bit:

(via ggpht.com GoogleImageProxy)

An open triggered by the Google Image Proxy does seem to be a real human opening an email, however an open triggered by the previously mentioned User Agent seems to be an open triggered by a Google bot.

The irony is therefore, that the User Agent that looks like a bot is actually a human, while the User Agent that looks like a human is actually the bot.

We have deleted millions of opens

In order to accurately convey open statistics to our users, we have deleted the approximately 4.5 million false open records from our system, and updated campaign reports will reflect this. If you notice your open rates drop on a campaign, it’s because we have deleted these false opens.

Going forward, we won’t count these as false opens

As of today, opens that originate from this User Agent will be ignored by GMass and not counted in your campaign reports.

Why did it take so long for us to notice?

First, wishful thinking. You see high open rates, and you want to believe it’s true. Why investigate something that’s making you look like an email marketing rockstar?

Secondly, the User Agent looks like a regular, normal User Agent. It looks like a real browser being used by a real human. Shame on Google for doing this in such a sneaky way.

Thirdly, it seems that not many other email marketing services have noticed either. We belong to a number of email marketing industry associations and discussion groups, and this issue hasn’t been mentioned at all. In fact, the only other mention of this issue I could find was in this Litmus discussion.

Other sources of false opens

Unfortunately, the mysterious Google bot isn’t the only source of false opens. It’s possible for you, the user to trigger a false open on behalf of your recipient as well, as we explain in this post on why your open tracking stats may be inaccurate.

The good news is that in the next couple of weeks we’ll be releasing an update to the GMass Chrome extension that addresses this issue — such that if you open an email from your Sent Mail, or you open a bounce notification, an “open” will not be triggered.

Unrelated, but interesting SEO find

I’ve reported before how Google doesn’t rank its own content over others. This is the case with the Google Image Proxy. If you Google “Google Image Proxy”, you’ll see articles from x, y, and z, but the official Google announcement on the introduction of the proxy is all the way on page X! Go figure!

If you’re a reputable sender, GMass will now automatically push your campaign over our SMTP server if your campaign pauses because of a Gmail sending limit issue.

A brief history of how we’ve overcome Gmail’s limits

For a long time, the biggest frustration amongst GMass users was hitting Gmail’s sending limits and receiving a flurry of “You have reached a limit for sending mail” bounce messages in the Inbox. To address this, we built the distributed scheduling feature, where you can send large campaigns of 10,000 recipients or more, and GMass will spread it evenly over a number of days, so as to not exceed your daily sending quota.

This technique proved to have its limitations, however, because Gmail doesn’t always allow you to send your full account limits.

To further address this, GMass added the option of being able to set an outside SMTP server with your account, such that you could still use GMass and Gmail to launch your email campaigns, but the emails would actually be sent via a third party sending service rather than by Gmail directly. From the user’s standpoint, however, everything would still look and feel the same: the emails would still show up in your Sent Mail folder, and everything from opens and clicks to bounces and replies would still be tracked.

For our non tech-savvy users, however, signing up for a third party SMTP service and connecting it to GMass was frustrating and difficult. To address that frustration, we made it possible for users to use our internal SendGrid account. We created an application process for “good” senders where we would connect their GMass account for them to our internal SendGrid account, so the user could skip the technical details and just send.

Still though, this requires “work” on behalf of the user, because the user has to

  1. Apply to use our SMTP server.
  2. Wait for approval from us.
  3. Remember to choose the “SendGrid” option instead of the “Gmail” option in the GMass Settings box.

An easier way going forward

Starting a few days ago, we have our most simplest option yet to circumvent Gmail’s sending limits.

Now, if your campaign is under 10,000 recipients and exhibits the qualities of a legitimate sender and not a spammer, we’ll automatically push the remaining portion of the campaign through SendGrid after you hit Gmail’s limits.. You won’t have to wait for your Gmail quota to reset, and you won’t keep getting flooded with “You have reached a limit” bounces.

How will you know if we’ve “pushed” your campaign?

If your campaign is selected by our algorithm to be pushed to our SendGrid server, you’ll get an email notification like this:

The Subject will clearly indicate that we’re pushing your campaign through our SendGrid server.

Shortly after, you’ll receive another notification like this, confirming that the email is now sending through SendGrid.

What’s the secret formula to getting pushed through SendGrid?

We can’t say, but we have a pretty sophisticated and accurate way of determining whether a campaign is opt-in.

What about the deliverability advantage of Gmail?

When GMass automatically pushes a campaign via SendGrid rather than Gmail, the email is no longer going through the Gmail’s deliverability servers, but our recent data shows that the IP of the sending server is less relevant than it used to be for email deliverability purposes.

Inbox placement has more to do with the actual sender, the domain’s reputation, and the content of the email, rather than the sending IP. Meaning, we’ve been noticing that if half of a 5,000 recipient campaign sends through Gmail, and the other half sends through SendGrid, the open rates for each batch of 2,500 are around the same.

However, to ensure that we’re not compromising your campaign’s deliverability by re-routing it through SendGrid, we’ll show you your campaign’s open rates, broken out into TWO groups — the chunk of emails sent natively via Gmail, and the the batch sent via SendGrid.

Here’s an example of what you’ll see in a campaign report:

I don’t want my email campaigns automatically pushed to SendGrid

No problem, just let us know, and we’ll set your account to never use this new capability.