Using Gmail, Google Docs, Zapier, and GMass, you can easily set up a “series” of emails to be sent in a timed sequence to new people who sign up for your software, your email list, or indicate interest in your product or service. For example, let’s pretend you own an email proofreading service, and you want to welcome all of your new subscribers with a 5-part email series on writing more effective emails, with each of the five emails containing one important tip.
Step 1: Create the 5 individual email messages and save them into GMass
Just compose each email exactly the way you want it to look, and send it to yourself using the GMass button. This saves the template into GMass, and will allow us to select it later when we set up the series of emails.
I draft the email for “Tip 1”, and use the GMass button to send it to myself. This saves the template in the GMass system.
I then do the same for “Tip 2”, and repeat the process for each email that I want to be part of this series of emails sent to my new signups.
Step 2: Determine who will receive the automated series
Do you want to send the timed series of emails to just a static group of recipients? If so, you don’t need Google Sheets or Zapier. You can just paste the list of email addresses into the To field of the Compose window when you set up the campaign. If you want the series of emails to include personalization beyond name, then you should store your email addresses in a Google Sheets spreadsheet.
And finally, if you want to really get fancy, you can connect your in-house database to Google Sheets using Zapier, and use GMass’s capability of sending emails to new rows in your spreadsheet in an automated fashion. Using this technique, anytime you get a new signup, that signup will get added to your Google Sheets spreadsheet, which will then place them into the automated email sequence.
Step 3: Set up the campaign
The original campaign will contain the first email in the five-part series, and we’ll use the first auto follow-up to send the second email in the series, the second auto follow-up to send the third email in the series, and so on. Hit the Gmail Compose button, and configure your campaign, or if you’re connecting to a spreadsheet, click the Spreadsheet icon at the top to first connect, and then configure your campaign as follows:
Note the following in how I’ve set up this campaign:
- The first tip email in the series is my actual campaign, so that’s what you see in the Subject/Message area of the Compose (even though it’s hidden in the screenshot). The Stage 1 auto follow-up is set to Tip 2, the Stage 2 auto follow-up is set to Tip 3, and so on and so forth.
- The condition is ALL, rather than the NO REPLY or NO OPEN option, which is what you might be used to using. Since this is a sequence of emails we want sent to everyone, regardless of whether they reply or open, we set the condition to ALL. Also, because it’s set to ALL and set to use a “custom message” rather than typed out text, each Stage of the series will send as a new thread, rather than a reply to the previous email in the series. If the condition was NO REPLY or NO OPEN, then each Stage would send as a reply to the previous email in the series.
- I’ve spaced each stage of the series apart by 7 days. This way, my list will receive one tip per week. If I wanted them to instead receive a tip daily, then I’d change the “days” setting to 1, 2, 3, and 4, respectively.
- I’ve checked the Repeat daily to new Sheets addresses box. With this option checked, GMass will check daily for any new email addresses in the spreadsheet, and if found, will start sending those new people this same 5-part email series.
Using Gmail and GMass, and optionally Google Sheets and Zapier, you can put everyone who signs up for your product, your email list, or your webinar into an automated drip email campaign, where every email is sent from your Gmail account. The advantages of sending the emails from Gmail are many, including the world’s highest deliverability and using a tool which with you’re already familiar and love…Gmail!
Ajay is the founder of GMass and has been developing email sending software for 20 years.