For most marketers, email is the command center of their business.
Reaching out to contacts, connecting with customers, communicating with clients – it can all be done from that great big switchboard in the cloud.
Gmail, the third most popular email service behind Hotmail and Yahoo, is stacked with features, hacks, and add-ons that will make any marketer drool. Here are the best gems in Gmail’s impressive treasure chest.
Over the years mankind has evolved from paper and pen to 1s and 0s, but we still haven’t figured out a way around those pesky things called words.
A keen writing ability is a hallmark of a good marketer, and Grammarly makes it possible for anyone to write with quality.
The Grammarly extension integrates seamlessly into your Gmail account, and when activated, it automatically reviews each outgoing email for issues Gmail’s spell check misses, such as verb tense, clarity, comma placement, and more, ensuring every email you send is impeccably written. For more on Grammarly, check out our article about creating high quality written content.
Boomerang For Gmail
For those who desire godlike powers over their email, take a few seconds to download Boomerang For Gmail. This handy tool allows you to schedule emails to send later, schedule emails to reappear in your inbox, initiate recurring emails, and set reminders if people don’t reply.
For marketers, this is especially useful. Perhaps a customer says they’re too busy to fill out a questionnaire, but asks that you send it again the following week. Write that email now, before you forget, and Boomerang it. Maybe you don’t have time to deal with a blizzard of emails from a certain client, but are concerned you may forget about them down the road. Boomerang the little nuisances to reappear in your inbox at a later date.
Google Calendar Gadget
If Gmail is your one screen to rule them all, then you might as well pack as much into it as possible. Integrating Google Calendar into your Gmail interface is an efficient way to stay on top of that day’s client meetings, phone calls, and events.
To add the gadget to your Gmail:
- Go to Settings
- Choose the Labs menu
- Search for calendar gadget from the list
- Click Enable.
- Save changes.
- Click the Gadgets Icon
- Icon with Three Dots in the Bottom Left of Gmail Screen
Google Mail Checker
Gmail’s impressive functionality doesn’t come without a price, and that price is memory usage. With a healthy computer, you probably won’t notice an issue, but if you’re stuck with an older, cheaper, and/or virus-heavy machine, keeping Gmail open 24/7 can really slow things down.
To save memory and declutter your browser, consider installing the Google Mail Checker extension for Google Chrome. The extension adds an icon to the top of your browser which alerts you whenever you receive new mail. Now you can close out Gmail when it’s not in use and give your struggling computer a rest.
Believe it or not, there are still pockets of the world with no internet access, and although the prospect may chill you to the bone, one day you may find yourself in a dead zone. If business comes a knockin and there is no Wi-Fi to answer, you can still use Gmail by enabling offline access.
Offline access still allows you to search through your email archive, compose emails, and schedule them to send as soon as you’re connected again. To enable offline access, follow these steps:
- Go to Settings
- Choose Offline
- Click Install Gmail Offline
- Click the box called Add To Chrome
- Choose Add from the Confirm New App screen
The Offline Google Mail icon will now appear on your Chrome app page, or you can enter chrome://apps into your URL bar.
Yesware is like a GPS tracker for your email. Among its many functions, the service allows you to instantly see when a sent message is opened. Why is this useful? Let me count the ways.
If a client stops returning your emails, a number of scenarios may play out in your head. Perhaps you offended them. Maybe they don’t want to do business with you anymore. Maybe they had a midlife crisis and quit their job, moved to Guatemala, and now spend their days walking through town with their dog Poocho. Or maybe they just haven’t opened the message yet.
Besides putting your mind at ease, the ability to see if and when someone opened your email can also help you craft better subject lines, and identify the optimal time and day to send an email. For example, say you send twenty introduction emails to potential clients, ten with one subject line and ten with another. Yesware then informs you that seven out of ten people opened the emails with subject line number one, and three out of ten people opened the emails for subject line number two.
It’s a good bet that subject line number one was more effective.
Have you ever sent an email to a Mrs. Johnson, only to address it to Mr. Johnson by mistake? Ever emailed a client, only to realize moments later that you accidentally typed fart instead of smart?
Gmail’s Undo Send feature can save you from embarrassing faux pas and business-ending mistakes. To enable it:
- Go to Settings
- Under General, scroll down to Undo Send
- Choose between a 5, 10, 20, and 30-second delay
- Save changes
If 30 seconds is too small a window for your taste, consider installing Virtru Pro. This email add-on allows users to revoke any email, regardless of how long ago it was sent.
Our flimsy human brains can only process a certain amount of information before shutting down for an impromptu nap at our desks, and marketers are no strangers to information overload.
Being a successful marketer means being inundated with swarms of emails every day. Fortunately, Gmail offers filters, which automatically sort your emails according to your preferences.
To set up filters:
- Go to Settings
- Choose Filters
- Click Create New Filter.
Here are some filter ideas.
Sometimes there are messages we could simply do without, but our hoarder mentality won’t allow us to completely delete the email. Auto archiving emails from certain senders bypasses the inbox, but still stores the email in your Gmail account. It’s there if you need it, but won’t take up your precious brainwaves.
Filter Emails To Be Marked as Read
Some messages are necessary to receive, but not necessary to read, such as a “We’re transferring money to you bank” message from PayPal, or an Amazon order receipt. Marking them as Read keeps them close, but doesn’t demand your attention.
If you’ve been receiving those PayPal messages for years, and are just now getting around to creating a filter for them, click “Apply this filter to X # of messages already in your inbox” when creating the PayPal filter. This will filter any applicable message already inside your inbox, as well as any future messages.
If you feel like herding all potentially unwanted emails into one digital pen, create a filter that sends any email containing the word “unsubscribe” into its own folder.
Part of winning clients, garnering press coverage, and building customer relationships is about tailoring your language and communication strategy to the particular correspondent. Rapportive, another powerful add-on, shows you useful information about your contacts right in your inbox.
Rapportive pulls a contact’s LinkedIn profile, shared connections, location, and more into a small window next to your email. This paints a more three-dimensional picture of the person you’re about to message. Armed with this enlightening data, you can personalize your messages, mention shared interests or connections, and connect with them on other social platforms such as Twitter and LinkedIn.