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I always wanted a way to reach out to my readers other than what blogspot already offers in the name of - syndicating the contents of the post to the subscriber of my blog "Momscribe" whenever a new post goes live. Instead of sending the snippets or entire contents of my blog post, I wanted to send emails which I can personalise according to my needs. Researching the Internet, I found that the work of sending email is done by Mailchimp, Aweber and Mailigen, some of the best online email marketing solution to manage contacts.

But, I wanted something more simpler and that which worked in my power. And this is what I found. Email Marketing for blogs can be done if you have the knowledge of Mail Merge. All you will need is a Gmail account and a Google Drive (using Google Docs Spreadsheet) - both of them free and powerful tools till date. Now, let us see how to mail merge an email using the below four steps.

Note: The below post will explain in detail on how to mail merge your Blogger Blog post with Gmail for creating Newsletter and for sending Bulk emails.

How to Mail Merge an Email


Step 1- CREATE A SPREADSHEET


Click this link to go to this specific Google spreadsheet.

In that spreadsheet, click File and Make a Copy giving it a suitable name. Let's name it as "mymailmerge". This will be saved in your Google Drive mail folder.

By default, you have a First Name, Last Name and Email Address column but you can add any number of columns as per your requirement. Remember, that email address column is mandatory.

Now, we need to populate the rows. This can be done in three ways,
  1. By manually filling it on your own, 
  2. By importing your contacts from Gmail to your spreadsheet and 
  3. By making the visitors sign up their contact details and collecting them as responses.

Okay, for the sake of this post, I have entered two email ids manually (using the first option) in my "mymailmerge" spreadsheet. These emails are the ones to which the Momscribe newsletter will be send.

gmail mail merge
Email Mail Merge Steps

Step 2- GMAIL INBOX


We are going to create a email template which will be used to send across various recipients. In my case, it is two of them. For to do this, go to your Gmail inbox and create a new message. Do not fill in the To, CC or BCC fields in your inbox as we will be using mail merging to access the recipients emails. Just fill only the subject line and the body of the email.

In the body of the mail, we will be accessing our spreadsheet column headings and to do this, we got enter the variables as $%Column Title%

Example: For our "mymailmerge" spreadsheet, we have
$%First Name%
$%Last Name%
$%Email Address%

Make sure that the variables that is entered matches exactly the column heading that has been used in our "mymailmerge" spreadsheet. Now, let's see how we can incorporate these variables in our email the way we want - see image below for details.

gmail mail merge
Email Mail Merge Steps

Step 3- BACK TO SPREADSHEET


After creating the email template, just leave it open (do not close it) and navigate back to our "mymailmerge" spreadsheet. This is done so that our template is live as a draft in our mailbox and is not deleted. All you need is to just navigate away from our Inbox by leaving the template as such so that whatever we have written inside the body of our email works just fine.

Now, go back to the spreadsheet and click "Mail Merge" from the above. In there, click Standard Merge (see image below).

gmail mail merge
Email Mail Merge Steps
When used the first time, you will get a notification asking for a script to run. Click "OK". After granting access to the script, click on the Mail Merge menu and the Standard Merge again.

You will get a window asking you to choose the template for our mail merge.

mail merge gmail
Email Mail Merge Steps 
In the "Select a template to begin the mail merge" box, you will see a list of templates which has been named exactly as we have entered in the subject line of our email template.

Select the "Momscribe Newsletter" template and then click "Send Mails". You will be getting a message as "The merge is done" as seen in the below image.

mail merge gmail
Email Mail Merge Steps

Step 4- BACK TO GMAIL INBOX

Success! You should have received a mail just like the template we have created during our mail merge. Also, the same mail is send to whatever email ids we have had in our "mymailmerge" spreadsheet (it can be two or tens or even hundreds).

mail merge email
Success! Mail Merging is done
Similarly, we can extend the features more to what texts we need to send and how it appears by inserting colors, tables, hyperlinks and images.

Hope you found this post helpful!

6 comments:

  1. I didn't know you could do it with Gmail itself ! I have been using mailchimp for weeks.. but then it came to my attention that its terms and conditions state that they do not allow personal bloggers to spread out newsletters. Since then I have been back to feedburner :(

    But THANK YOU, I think I am going to go with this method

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  2. Very interesting indeed, all these years, I have been using Gmail via Outlook for mail merge which is easy and simple. However, with this method, I can use webmail as well. Thanks for sharing.

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  3. wow .. you solved so many problems atleast for me !

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  4. Useful and informative post.. I learnt new thing today.. Thanks :)

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  5. Yes, Uma! Great information, thank you so much for this post... Planning to try it out. I hope you won't mind me copying this content... Thanks again! TC! Keep smiling :)

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  6. Can we also add image as body content for mail merge?

    ReplyDelete

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