How public relations can attract journalists and bloggers with Gmail direct mail – ABOUT MAG 2020

Direct mail for Gmail is the best journalist outreach tool for Marcom and public relations professionals. Send personalized, targeted email suggestions and press releases to your media contacts with Gmail.

Posted in: Direct mail to Gmail

John is a public relations professional and often requires you to send press releases and event invitations to journalists, bloggers and influencers via email.

Reaching individual journalists can be slow. How do you send the same email to multiple people at once? Some people use the Bcc option in Gmail – compose a single email, put the addresses of all recipients in the Bcc box and press Send.

This is obviously the easiest option for sending bulk emails via Gmail, but this generic information is unlikely to be noticed.

Send email suggestions with Gmail

In that tutorial, I will show you how you can use send personalized email sends your media contacts via Gmail and Google Sheets. You will be able to schedule your press releases in advance and also track which influencers have seen your emails.

The big advantage is that, unlike other bulk e-mail programs, messages sent by direct mail are delivered as ordinary e-mails directly to the inbox.

Let’s start:

Using mail merge with Gmail

Access the GSuite Marketplace and install the Gmail direct mail add. You will need to grant certain permissions so that the add-on can send emails from your Gmail accounts. He also needs permission to attach files from his Google Drive.

Now that the add-on is installed, type in your browser to create a new Google spreadsheet. Inside the spreadsheet, go to the Add-ons menu, choose “Direct mail with attachments” and select the “Create direct mail template” menu.

Direct mail with Google Sheets

Your spreadsheet now has all the essential columns needed to perform the mail merge, but you can add more columns. Let’s add Location and News Outlet columns, as shown in the screenshot above.

The next task is to place the media list on this Google spreadsheet. You can import groups from Google Contacts, your Mailchimp campaigns, or, if you are an Excel user, export as CSV and directly import the CSV file into Google Sheets.

Create an email template for merging

Open your Gmail, create a new email message (see screenshot) and save the template in your drafts folder. The email may have {{markers}} between double brackets and these are replaced by the actual values ​​from Google Sheets in emails sent.

When we put some text inside double brackets, it becomes a highlighter and these are replaced with values ​​in the spreadsheet. You can also add emojis in the subject and in the body.

Then, we can add some attachments to our email template. You can upload files from your computer or bring them directly from your Google Drive.

Direct mail email template

Configure and perform mail merge

Now that our email template in Gmail is ready, go back to Google Spreadsheet and choose Configure mail merge in the Direct mail menu at

Follow the step-by-step wizard to set up the merge, but there are a few important things you should know.

  1. You can send emails on behalf of any associated email address as a alias in your Gmail account. Thus, an intern can send emails on behalf of the manager while signed in to their own Google account.
  2. You can add a CC or BCC email address and all of your merged emails will also be copied to them. Keep in mind that Gmail counts all CC or BCC recipients as a separate email and therefore accounts for your daily email quota.
  3. Direct mail includes email tracking so you can find out who opened your email or clicked on the links. For email newsletters, you can even include an unsubscribe option in your email messages.

Configure mail merge

After setup is complete, go to the Send email section, select the option Send a test email and press the Go button.

The mail merge takes the merge data from the first row of the Google Spreadsheet and sends a test email. You can find the test email in the Sent folder in Gmail.

If you are satisfied with the test email, go back to Google Spreadsheet, select the Perform mail merge option and press Go to perform a mail merge. That’s it.

The emails will be sent immediately and you can check the Status column of the direct mail in the spreadsheet to follow the progress of the sending.

You can add more lines to the Google Spreadsheet to send the same email to another batch of people, and when you press send, Direct Mail will automatically ignore the lines that have already been sent.

Direct mail – tips and tricks

  1. You can schedule emails – just add a date and time in the Scheduled Date column and run the merge again to schedule the emails.
  2. If you have a lot of rows in the spreadsheet, you can skip sending emails to specific lines hiding those lines in Google Spreadsheet. Alternatively, you can use filters in Google Sheets to show only rows that match certain criteria. When you perform the merge again, emails will only be sent to the visible lines.
  3. If you want to cancel scheduled emails, you can empty the column for the scheduled date or access the Direct Mail menu, choose Help and click the Cancel scheduled mail option.
  4. With direct mail, you can also send different attachments to different people. Watch instruction guide.
  5. You can also create drafts with direct mail and this is a useful option if you want to manually review emails before sending them to real people.

Get Gmail direct mail

Paula Fonseca