Using templates can save you a ton of time with your emails – even more so if you write a lot, or use emails for marketing.
With a tool like YAMM, you can even personalize pre-written templates to avoid them feeling like templates.
However, what about if you want to use a template and include an attachment? This is where things can get a little more complicated.
Keep reading for a simple step-by-step guide to creating a template in Gmail with an attachment.
A quick overview of creating a Gmail template with attachments
We’ll dive into each of these steps in-depth later on, but for now, here’s a quick look at what you need to do to create a Gmail template with an attachment:
- Turn on templates in your Gmail settings
- Create a template
- Add an attachment to it via Google Drive
- Save the template
- Begin using it
Bonus: Use a free mail merge tool like YAMM to add personalization and track large batches of templated emails.
Here’s all you’ll need to get started
- A Gmail account
- An attachment
- A message you want to send
Step 1: Enable templates in your Gmail settings
Before you can do anything, you need to ensure that you’ve given yourself the ability to create templates in your Gmail account.
You do that by navigating to your settings page, which you can access by clicking on the cogwheel in the top right-hand corner of the screen.
From there, you’ll click on the tab near the top of your screen that says “Advanced.” Then, find the section that says “Templates” and click on the “Enable” button.
You can see what all of this looks like on the screenshot above if you need help.
Step 2: Create your email draft template
Now you’re ready to begin creating your first template. For now, just create the email in the same way that you’d write any new email.
You can plug in placeholder text into the address and greeting fields since you’ll likely be altering those for each new email you send with the template.
Step 3: Add an attachment to the template via Google Drive
This is the main step that you need to know to create a template in Gmail with attachments.
You can’t attach a file from your computer to an email draft and save it as a template. The file attachment needs to come through Google Drive instead.
To do that, navigate to where the send button is on your email draft screen. Then, place your mouse over the icons to the right of that until you see “Insert Files Using Drive” pop up. You should see a window pop up that looks like the above screenshot when you click here.
At this point, you have two options. You can either:
- Upload a file from your computer to your Google Drive
- Choose an existing file from your drive to add as an attachment to the draft
Once you can see the attachment that you want in this window, just double-click on it. When you do, you should see a link to that file pop up in your email template.
Step 4: Save the template
At this point, we’ve already got our Gmail template and an attachment. Now we need to save that template so that you can go back and access it whenever you need to in the future.
Here’s how to do that:
- Click on the three dots on the right-hand corner of your email window
- Highlight the “Templates” selection
- Highlight the “Save draft as template” selection
- Click on the “Save as new template” option
- Enter a name for the template in the window that pops up
If you get stuck, you can see what all of this looks like in the screenshot above.
Step 5: Use the template to send new messages
You’ve officially created a template in Gmail with an attachment. Now all that’s left to do is use it.
The process for this is a smaller version of the one that you just followed. You simply:
- Click on the three dots on the right-hand corner of the email window
- Highlight the “Templates” selection
- Click on your template name in the window that pops up (ours is called “Test Template”)
When you click on the template, it’ll auto-populate the email window screen with both the text of your draft and the attachment that you linked to it from Google Drive.
Limitations of Gmail templates
Basic Gmail templates can be nice if your email goals aren’t complicated. But when you start trying to maximize the performance of your email marketing campaigns, there can be some key limitations.
Here are three to think about:
No easy option for personalization
One problem is that there’s no good way to quickly personalize large amounts of emails with Gmail.
The only way to add personalization to your messages is to manually pull up the template and type in the details yourself. You have to do that every single time you want to send a personalized message.
That may not matter too much if you only have 10-20 messages you want to send. But it can add up to be a huge time sink if your contact lists are any larger than that.
High potential of errors occurring
Since you have to do everything manually with Gmail, it creates many unnecessary opportunities for errors.
For example, let’s say that you have to type out 50 names and you want to get through it as quickly as possible. There’s a decent chance that you’ll mess up on at least one of them.
That type of thing may seem relatively minor, but you never know how it will impact your target audience — small mistakes can make a big difference.
No integrated tracking features
Finally, Gmail also doesn’t have an integrated feature for tracking the performance of your campaigns.
If you want to see the percentage of people who open, click-through, and respond to your messages, then you have to use an add-on to do so. There’s no way around it.
Email tracking metrics are important because they help you assess performance and figure out what you can do to improve it.
Using a mail merge add-on could make more sense for your goals
If you’d like to go beyond the limitations of Gmail for email marketing, then using a mail merge tool such as YAMM could be just what you need. Here are some examples of how this type of add-on can help you get more out of your campaigns:
Personalized promotional emails have a 29% higher open rate. Mail merge tools make it easier to personalize your messages by doing it for you automatically.
All that you need is a Google Sheet with all of the personalization details that you want in your emails.
Once you create that list, you can use it as many times as you want to craft different types of email marketing messages with the same personalization details.
We talked in the previous section about how Gmail increases your potential for errors by forcing you to do all of your personalization manually.
Mail merge tools do the opposite. They can help you reduce errors since you only need to get the details right once, then you can allow the mail merge tool to do the rest of the work for you.
That way, you can devote a larger chunk of time to proofread your email copy while still saving time that you won’t have to devote to getting the manual personalization details right.
Mail merge tools like YAMM also give you the ability to track the performance of your campaigns as well.
For example, with our add-on, you can see the percentage of your emails that bounce, are opened, and are clicked through directly in Google Sheets.
Finally, mail merge tools also help a lot with list segmentation.
With a mail merge, you create a contact list in Google Sheets, which auto-populates your emails. It’s super easy to segment these addresses with filters in Google Sheets.
That way, you can make sure that you’re always sending the right messages to the people who they’re going to have the greatest impact on.
Get more out of your Gmail templates with YAMM
YAMM is an intuitive mail merge add-on that helps you get more out of your email marketing campaigns.
With it, you can:
- Easily personalize large quantities of emails
- Track the performance of your results in Gmail
- Reduce your potential for error
- Quickly segment your lists
You can sign up for a free version of YAMM today to experience the value yourself.