Using Gmail: Ultimate Guide to Email Personalization

We’ve always been big on email personalization for the simple fact that it works. The best ways to personalize your emails is to throw in your charm, tap into social media, or maybe just speak your mind.

An overwhelming number of people use Gmail for both their personal and business accounts (Google Apps). There’s an increasing need for Gmail to function as well as any full-fledged email marketing solution as a result.

Image Credit: Oberlo Email Marketing Statistics

If you are a die-hard Gmail user, you could use the following tips to personalize your emails:
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1. Customize Outgoing Gmail Address

If you are using Gmail for business, your johndoe@gmail.com email address just won’t cut it. You’ll need something like johndoe@johnscompany.com.  Sneak into your Gmail settings and make sure you add this email address so that your emails are forwarded to your Inbox while your outgoing email address looks professional.

You can personalize your emails all you want but without a professional looking email address, your emails have a high probability of spending time in the spam folder. Mike Beato has a helpful post on how to customize your outgoing email address. We think a quick read sets this task straight.

2. Mail Merge to Personalize Mass Email

Plenty of occasions will call for sending out multiple personalized emails right off your Gmail account. Unlike the chunky and slow mail merge of days long gone, Gmail mail merge helps you achieve a lot without much effort.

Erica Ho of Lifehacker.com has a helpful post on how to use mail merge to mass personalize emails and send them out in bulk. Regular email marketing campaigns work best but personalized mass emails have their place such as to broadcast messages, shoring up your Gmail contacts for whatever reason, etc.

3. Use Templates but Paint your Love

Gmail Labs presents you with the opportunity to use templates by enabling the “Canned Responses” feature. To create templates, all you have to do is to compose a new canned response and save as template.  Most emails can be reused and this isn’t where personalization comes in.

For most sales people and business owners, however, it’s also important to be organized and efficient. Mix the utility of email templates for Gmail but don’t forget to add a line or two.

4. Reminders Make Conversations Special

We don’t realize it much but most of our regular emails follow through like conversation threads. Since it’s digital, gaps and time lags exist for every conversation. That’s why it’s important to set reminders to emails so that you can follow-up with recipients.

Now, email, by itself, demands a reminder service since listing each email on your favorite “to-do list” program can be overwhelming.  RightInbox was built for Gmail and has a “remind me” button with options such as to remind you  “Only if no one responds”, “star it”, “archive it”, or “mark as read or unread“.

5. Find a Connection

What do we mean when we say find a connection? We’re not talking about the recipient being the connection. We mean finding something that you have in common with your recipient.

Our inboxes are overflowing each and every day, so you need to stand out.

Find their LinkedIn or Twitter profile and dig through what they’ve been talking about recently. Find something that you have in common – this could be where you live or lived, favorite sports team, or movies you both like.

Doing so doesn’t take long but can make a world of difference with your emails.

6. Use Their Name More Than Once

If you’ve read articles on personalization before, then you’ve probably seen that they mention you should use their name in the email. “To whom it may concern” just doesn’t cut it.

With mail merges, email marketing software, and outreach and sales tools becoming more common, all the smart email users are inserting recipients’ names.

And that means you should be, too.

Add their name to the subject line. Bring it into the body copy. You can even sign off with it.

It’s a little tip but a great one for personalizing emails more than other people do.

7. Wait for Trigger Events

Suppose the email or pitch isn’t crucial to send this very minute. In that case, you can wait for a trigger event to help personalize your email.

A trigger event could be their business receiving seed funding or a big hire for their company, for example.

Whatever the trigger, even a simple sentence referencing it can provide more personalization than any other email landing in their inbox.

Do you use Gmail for your business? How do you personalize your emails?

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