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Mail Merge now respects the Gmail Reply-To address

[January 2019 Update] Our Reply-To functionality has been updated, so that you can set an individual Reply-To address on a per campaign basis, by setting it directly in the GMass Settings box. You can still set it in your Gmail account’s settings, as shown below, but it’s much easier and more manageable to set it directly in GMass’s Settings.

In your Gmail or G Suite account, you have the ability to set a Reply-To email address. If you do so, Gmail adds a Reply-To header to all of the emails you send, and what that means from a practical perspective is that when someone replies to your email, the reply will be sent to the Reply-To address instead of your From Address. Meaning, when somebody hits Reply, the To field of their “reply” email will be set to the Reply-To address you set in your account, rather than your From Address.

I’ve set the Reply-To for my ajay@wordzen.com to the address of my assistant, maya@wordzen.com.

 

Until now, if you set a Reply-To address in Gmail and then used GMass to send a mail merge campaign, the Reply-To address was ignored. Replies would always be sent to the From Address used for your email campaign. Now, however, the Reply-To setting will be respected and used for your GMass mail merge campaigns.

Why wasn’t the Reply-To setting always used for mail merges?

It took some effort to get GMass to respect the Reply-To setting because of how GMass stores campaign data and how Gmail stores Drafts. GMass uses a Gmail Draft as a template of each campaign you create. A Gmail Draft itself doesn’t carry the Reply-To setting from your Gmail account. That’s because, unlike the Subject, Message, From Address, and Attachments, your Reply-To setting in Gmail is universal to your entire Gmail account, and not specific to a particular message or Draft. So, since GMass used the Gmail Draft as a means of storing campaign details, it previously didn’t have access to your Gmail account’s Reply-To setting.

Recently though, Gmail introduced a “Settings” API, which allows programmers like myself to pull the Reply-To setting from your Gmail account. So now, whenever GMass sends an email campaign for you, it queries your account to pull the Reply-To address, and if one is set, uses it in all the individual email messages it sends as part of a mail merge campaign.

Why would you want to use a different Reply-To address for a mail merge campaign?

There are lots of reasons you might want replies to your email campaign to be sent to a different address than your From Address. You might prefer to handle replies in a different email account than the one you use to send, even dare-I-say…a non-Gmail account. Doh! You might prefer to have your assistant handle replies to a mass email campaign.

For example, my email address is ajay@wordzen.com, and I send a lot of email to people from this address. But let’s say I want my assistant Maya, maya@wordzen.com, to take over the communication if somebody replies to an email I send. I would set my Reply-To to maya@wordzen.com, and then, when somebody replies to an email I send, it will go to  maya@wordzen.com instead of ajay@wordzen.com.

How do you set the Reply-To in Gmail?

Setting the Reply-To in Gmail is easy. Go to your Settings, then Accounts, and click edit info next to the email address whose Reply-To you want to set:

Then click the “Specify…” link, enter in the address, and hit Save Changes.

It’s important to note that the Reply-To setting is specific to each Address that is set up in your Gmail account. If you’ve configured Gmail to send “from” more than one address, you can specify a different Reply-To for each. Similarly, when using GMass to send mail merge campaigns, whichever From Address you use in the Gmail Compose window will determine which Reply-To address is used.

A note about timing

GMass will use whatever Reply-To address is set at the time you hit the GMass button. Let’s say you change the Reply-To to your assistant’s email address, and then you use GMass to schedule a mail merge campaign for tomorrow afternoon. After scheduling the campaign, you remove the Reply-To address because you want to continue your day responding to your person-to-person emails, and you want those replies to come back to you, not your assistant. When the mail merge campaign sends the next afternoon, it will still send with a Reply-To set to your assistant’s address, since that’s what was set in your Gmail account at the time you scheduled the campaign.

10 Comments
  1. My problem is that all the threads are embedded into a single mail. I don’t see a list like what you illustrated. I have view conversation off.

  2. So, if I understand this right:
    I want to send out email from info mail, but we have two campaigns – one for Slovenian people, and other for Dutch. We want Slovenian people to reply to Slovenian person, and Dutch to Dutch.

    So I can first send out Slovenian campaign and set reply-to to Slovenian support. Than I change reply-to email to Dutch support and send another campaign out for Dutch people?

    Thanks for help.

    1. Yes. Just to confirm, you’d need 2 separate campaigns for both Slovenian and Dutch with each going to the different reply-to email addresses.

    1. Hi Daniel,

      Yes, any emails that have not been sent (including auto follow-ups) will include the new reply-to email address you add and save to the campaign.

  3. if any emails that not sent then including auto follow-ups will include the new answer-to email address you plus and save to the campaign

    1. Hi,

      When you send a campaign, may it be to new addresses or old addresses you wish to resend to, it will include the reply-to email set at the time when you schedule it. Any auto follow-ups sent will follow the reply-to email that’s currently set when it sent.

  4. just to be clear.
    1- I set up a new campaign with new reply-to
    2- I queue it up
    3- I change my reply-to back to normal
    4- the campaign for #2 sends out the next day at 8am

    5 days later the auto-replies are still part of the reply-to set in #1 correct?

    1. Hi Daniel,

      Correct, as the most recent changes you make to the reply-to address at the time it is scheduled will take precedence. So if you add a new reply-to address and schedule it for tomorrow, then remove that same reply-to email and schedule continue sending the following day, then it would send tomorrow with the reply-to address you’ve set, then the following day reverts back to normal.

  5. You say following days revert back to normal. That means the auto follow-up on the original campaign will goto where… the reply-to or to my email

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