Bulk Emails for Schools: Use Gmail to Get the Word Out

May 23, 2022
Bulk Emails for Schools: Use Gmail to Get the Word Out
Table of Contents
Table of Contents

Bulk emails give schools a straightforward way to share important updates, graded assignments, parent-teacher communication and more. If you’d like to begin using them to keep your parents, teachers, and students informed, you’re in the right place.

Keep reading to get our comprehensive overview of how to use Gmail to send bulk emails to schools.

How to use Gmail for mass emails

You can technically send mass emails directly through Gmail, but the system for doing so is limited. Here’s what it looks like:

  1. Write an email as you normally would
  2. When the time comes to input your recipients add them to the BCC field either manually adding or copying and pasting from a list
  3. Hit send

Note: if you put the recipient’s addresses in the “To” field instead of “BCC”, the email addresses entered will be on display to your entire list.

The drawbacks of bulk emails in Gmail

The method described above can work for simple messages. However, it leaves a lot to be desired. Here are four reasons why an alternative method for bulk emails may work better for your school.

Limitation on how many emails you can send

You can only send a maximum of 500 emails per day in Gmail. That might sound like a high number, but it may not be enough for your school – especially if you want to send the same message to both parents and students.

No built-in options for personalization

Additionally, there’s no way that you can personalize your bulk emails when you send them through Gmail alone. You have to use the exact same draft for every person on your list.

That can make it tough to alter your message based on the differing interests of teachers, students, parents, and administrators. You would need to create new drafts and send separate emails to each segment of your audience to make this work – a process that can be time-consuming.

High potential for errors to occur

When you use Gmail for bulk emails, you have to manually input your address list each time you want to send a new message.

You won’t have to type every name out yourself. You can copy and paste from a list or add contacts that you’ve already communicated with on Gmail.

But having to take these manual steps each time you want to send an email opens the door for more mistakes to occur. You could end up inadvertently leaking sensitive information or not sending an important message to a large portion of your list.

No integrated method for tracking campaign performance

Finally, Gmail doesn’t have a good system for tracking the performance of large email campaigns. You won’t be able to easily see how many people opened your emails or the percentage that took the action you wanted them to after reading the message.

Gmail was designed for 1-to-1 communication. This is another example of how it lacks the infrastructure that’s necessary for effective bulk email campaigns.

An easier way for schools to get the word out with Gmail

The good news is that you don’t have to change email providers to send more effective bulk emails. Instead, you can install and use a mail merge tool like Yamm to fix Gmail’s deficiencies in this area.

Here’s how to get started for free.

Step 1: Download YAMM for free

First, you need to install YAMM as an add-on to your Google account. You can do that by installing it for free from the Google Workspace Marketplace.

Simply follow the instructions that appear on your screen to complete the installation process. You may need to restart your Chrome browser in order to activate the changes.

Step 2: Create a template of your email

With YAMM installed, you’re ready to create the template for your next mail merge. That process is really easy.

All that you need to do is write out the email like you normally would in your Gmail account. But if you take a look at the sample above, you’ll see there are a few key differences.

First, you’ll use these brackets {{ }} with a keyword that corresponds to any information that you want to personalize in the email.

For example, you can see the sample does this with the recipient’s first name. The “First Name” field will be auto-populated with the first name that’s connected to each email address in the sender’s contact list.

Second, you’ll note the sample has left the “recipients” field blank. You need to do the same to use this template with YAMM in one of the following steps.

Step 3: Create or open a Google Spreadsheet with your contact list

In the last step, we created the email that you’ll send to your audience. In this one, we’re going to make sure that it goes to the correct people.

To do this, you need a Google Spreadsheet with your contact list on it. You can see what that looks like in the screenshot underneath step 4.

You can create as many different columns as you want based on the information that you want to personalize in your bulk email. Just use the {{ }} syntax to place this information in your email, as we discussed in the previous step.

Step 4: Begin the mail merge process

Once your email template is ready and your Google Spreadsheet is complete, you’re ready to begin the mail merge process. Complete this navigation to do that:

Extensions > Yet Another Mail Merge: Mail Merge for Gmail > Start Mail Merge

The screenshot above has a visual of this if you need help finding each of these steps.

Step 5: Choose your preference and hit send

Once you complete the previous step, you should see a menu like this appear on your screen. It prompts you to input a sender name and the email template that you want to use.

You’ll also note that there’s a checkbox that you can tick depending on whether you want to track the performance of this campaign or not.

Finally, you have the choice to send out a test email, schedule this bulk email for a later time or date, and hit send.

If you’ve never used YAMM before, then it’s a good idea to test all of these features out with a sample campaign or two that you send to your own address.

That way, you can be sure that all of the information is populating from your spreadsheet correctly and that you aren’t making any other mistakes that you’d rather avoid.

Step 6 (optional): Track the performance of your campaign in YAMM

At this point, you’ve successfully used YAMM to send a bulk email to your school. You can leave it there and move on with your day.

But you may want to come back after some time has passed to assess how well your messages performed.

You can use YAMM’s integrated features to see the percentage of emails that bounced, were opened, and were clicked through, among other data points.

This information may or may not be useful to your purposes. But it can be a good indication of whether or not your emails are reaching their target audience and being read by them.

Other tips for using YAMM to send bulk emails

Schedule your mail merges for optimal readership

Some research suggests people are most likely to open emails from 8 - 12 at night. Therefore, if you want to make sure as many people read your messages as possible, you might want to wait until the evening to send them.

With YAMM, that doesn’t mean you also need to wait until the evening to write your emails. Instead, you can use our built-in features to easily schedule your emails to go out at the optimal time.

Segment your audience for more personalization

The type of information that you want to share with students, parents, and teachers is often quite different. But you’ll be somewhat limited in how much you can change your messages if you’re working from a single email list.

That’s why it typically makes sense to split your different audiences into their own lists. Doing so will make it much easier for you to fine-tune your messages and make them more impactful.

Create quick surveys people can answer directly in your emails

You can also use YAMM to send out simple surveys that recipients can respond to directly in the email itself. This is a great tool for schools to take advantage of when they’re looking for quick feedback on an upcoming decision.

YAMM makes it easier for schools to send mass emails through Gmail

Though it’s technically possible to send mass messages through Gmail alone, it’s impractical to do so regularly. YAMM picks up where Gmail leaves off to give schools like yours a simple way to send out personalized emails to large lists of recipients.Ready to use YAMM to send your first bulk email? Sign up for free to get started today.

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