How to search your Gmail account like a boss

When you start sending mass emails from your Gmail account, you’ll have many more emails filed in your Sent Mail folder than you’re used to. For users who are inexperienced with narrowing Gmail’s search results, having many additional emails in the Sent Mail folder can feel overwhelming. Google has published an extensive guide to all of Gmail’s search features, but this guide teaches you how to search specifically when you’re sending campaigns with GMass.

So today I’m going to show you how to search your Gmail account for sent messages like a boss, neatly sidestepping the great mass of GMass-generated emails and zeroing in on just what you want. The Sent Mail folder really shouldn’t be something one “browses” anyway, but should be seen merely as a record of what you have sent. So, I hope this post is helpful on your way to being both a Gmail and GMass search expert.

Example 1: Filtering out a GMass campaign from the Sent Mail folder

Let’s imagine you’ve recently sent out a mail merge campaign with an email that has a Subject line of “Sale this weekend”–and you’ve sent it to 10,000 people. Due to this, you’re now going to have a copy of each of those 10,000 emails in your Sent Mail folder. But if you want to see everything you’ve sent except for your campaign, you can filter all of them out of your results with this simple line in the Gmail Search bar:

in:sent -subject:"Sale this weekend"

Like this:

That line is part of the syntax of Gmail’s filtering, and it tells Gmail to search for everything in your Sent Mail folder that has a Subject line that is not “Sale this weekend”. The key to this is that minus sign right before the word “subject”. Minus signs in Gmail (and in Google searches, as well) tell the search engine to leave out that search term.

Example 2: Did that person get my email?

If you want proof that a campaign was sent to a particular person, you would use this search:

in:sent to:email@domain.com

For example, this search, followed by clicking the magnifying glass to the left of the search field, produced these three emails sent to Jack Lovich:

A search for emails sent to a particular recipient.
A search for emails sent to a particular recipient.

Example 3: Did that person open or click my email?

Because GMass writes all open/click events to the GMass Reports–>Opens and GMass Reports–>Clicks Labels folder, if you quickly want to see if somebody opened or clicked an email campaign, you can use this sort of search criteria:

label:gmass-reports-opens email@domain.com

Like so, using a person’s actual email address:

A search for occasions when a particular user opened GMass-sent emails.
A search for occasions when a particular user opened a GMass email campaign.

Example 4: Did my email to that person bounce?

With GMass, it is useful to occasionally check your bounced emails Label to see which emails that you sent through a GMass campaign did not actually make it to their intended recipients–that is, they “bounced”.

Use this search query:

label:gmass-reports-bounces

This will bring up all the bounced emails:

Showing a search to display all bounced emails.
Showing a search to display all bounced emails.

Checking your bounced emails is important in carrying out GMass campaigns, because this will let you know who didn’t get an email that you expected should have. When that occurs and isn’t caught by you, that’s a wasted opportunity for a sale or notification!

Another way to see this “folder” (it’s really a Gmail Label) is to, of course, click on the Bounces Label on the left side of your Gmail screen:

The GMass Bounces label (highlighted)
The GMass Bounces label (highlighted)

And, of course, you can click on any of those Labels and see which emails are filed there, such as “Opens” or “GMass Auto Followup”. The nice thing about searching in the search bar, though, is you can create arbitrarily complex searches. For example, you could choose to search for any emails that fulfill all of these criteria:

  • To a certain set of recipients.
  • The emails bounced.
  • With a certain subject keyword.
  • During a particular date range.

The search query you would use for that kind of complex search might look like this:

label:gmass-reports-bounces to: 
(jacklovich501@gmail.com,  brandonwalsh8477@silicomm.com) 
 subject:("Follow up") after:2018/4/1 before:2018/6/2

Example 5: Searching for a particular campaign’s report

What if you sent a campaign in the past and you would like to find it, and you know there was a particular word in the Subject line? That’s also easy to search for in GMass. 

Let’s say the Subject line word was “review” (which I used recently in another tutorial blog post, showing you how to create an automated outreach campaign that gets people to review your product). In that case, you would do a search as follows:

label:gmass-reports-[campaigns] subject:review

And the result would bring up any campaign with the word “review” in the Subject line:

The searched-for campaign is found by a keyword.
The searched-for campaign is found by a keyword.

Now, if we click on the GMass Campaign Report, you can easily see information about that campaign:

The GMass campaign report from the searched-for campaign.
The GMass campaign report from the searched-for campaign.

You can see how this type of search is a fast way to go from one word to a nice report about how any campaign(s) associated with that keyword is doing. This eliminates a lot of overhead in tracking your success. For example, you could make a point to use Subject lines that serve as useful keywords, such as:

  • Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter for seasonal sales.
  • Version numbers of new versions of software.
  • Magazine or other journal issue names.
  • Book titles (if you are an author with multiple titles, or a publisher)
  • The names of memorable holiday-associated sales, such as “Columbus Day Sale”, “St. Patrick’s Day Sale” and so forth.

As you can tell, GMass makes extensive use of Labels. Labels are where everything related to GMass is stored, from your scheduled campaigns, to your individually sent emails, to your reports, to your open and click notifications. If you’re interested in learning more about the Labels specific to GMass, see this guide to the Gmail Labels used by GMass.

2 Replies to “How to search your Gmail account like a boss”

  1. Steven

    Ajay,

    When I open an email I sent with Gmass, it triggers an open in my reports even though I am the sender.

    How do I prevent this from happening?

    • Marvin Quinsaat

      Hi Steven,

      If you want to view the email sent to the recipient, please open them from the GMass sent label instead of your Sent folder. This way you’ll be viewing a copy of the sent email without the tracking pixel.

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