Sometimes you might need to send the same email to a bunch of people. This is where this Gmail mail merge tutorial comes in.
Today you’ll learn how to send bulk email from Gmail using Google Sheets. You’ll learn 2 different, very simple tools to do that and the exact process to using both.
One method uses an extension, and one uses a script. Both are available for free, but the extension is limited in volume. Both work with attachments.
If you’re watching this and want to spam people, you suck. But there are a lot of other situations when this is perfectly legitimate.
For my business, I’ve used this when I am working with several partners and I don’t want to add them to my email list just to send them a message. If it comes from my email list and there is an unsubscribe in the footer and all that, it will clearly look like I’ve added them to an email list. That’s not something I want them to think.
I’ve also used this in my personal life to send out wedding invitations. Because who still uses paper and cardboard?
One thing to note is that if you over-do this, your emails are going to end up in spam. There’s no hard rule for when this happens. It’s going to depend on the emails you are sending, your previous reputation and how many people you’re sending to.
There are also sending limits for Gmail which you view here.
Option 1 – Yet Another Mail Merge (Extension/Add-on)
This is the easiest way, but it’s a paid tool with a free tier of 50 per day. I like this method the best if you’re sending less than 50. It’s just a bit easier than the other way I’ll show you.
1. Install the tool
Visit the YAMM website and install the add-on
2. Create a Google Sheet
It should look like this. Start simple with columns “Email Address” and “Name”
Add your recipients.
3. Create a draft email
Go into Gmail and start composing a new email. This draft will be copied by the tool and sent to all your recipients.
You can set any of the following:
- Email body
- From address (Alias)
In your email, you can use placeholders that use curly brackets with the column name inside, like this. Make sure it exactly matches
4. Send a test email
The first time you try to run it, you’ll need to give the app permission to access your account.
Choose the email template from your list of drafts, and enter your name in the first box.
You should also test the email first using this button. Then just check it has arrived and that all the placeholders were filled out. If you see curly brackets in your email, then you know something is wrong.
5. Run the Gmail mail merge
This time just click the ‘send email’ button.
Yet Another Mail Merge will add a new column saying that the emails have been sent.
Option 2 – Google Script
This method has no sending limits (other than the standard Gmail ones) and is totally free. The setup is a tiny bit more complicated though.
1. Copy the Google sheet & script
Go here, then scroll down to the special link that enables you to copy the spreadsheet.
Create a copy in your Google Drive.
2. Create a draft email
This is almost exactly the same as the previous method. However with this tool you can’t set alias, cc or bcc. Attachments work though.
Again, be very sure that you match the column names exactly as they are, inside curly brackets. Notice this time we’re using “First Name” instead of “Name”.
3. Add recipients to the sheet
For your first run, just add your own email so that you can test it is working. You can copy the other ones later.
4. Edit the script
Open the script by going to Tools -> Script Editor. Find the line where it says “GmailApp.sendEmail”
Here, you can remove the comments (remove the two slashes) from the “name” line. This is where you set your name. You can do the same with bcc, cc, and your email alias if you need to.
5. Send the emails
In the Google Sheet, go to Mail Merge -> Send Emails
The first time it runs, you’ll have to grant permission. It may tell you that it is “unsafe” and that is because the script hasn’t been verified by Google. It’s up to you, but I am happy to grant permission.
This tool requires you to enter the email subject. So just paste it directly in from your draft email.
Then click send!
It will also update the last column to add the email sending status. Then just check it has worked.
Once you’re happy with the test, add the rest of your recipients and repeat steps 4 & 5.