Why You Shouldn’t Use GMail For Email Marketing
Gmail is one of the most popular email clients. While Gmail is great for sending and receiving messages, there are many reasons why it should not be used for email marketing and blasting newsletters. Instead of using Gmail, email marketers should use an email marketing platform designed specifically for email marketing. There’s many reasons for this, all explained below.
Limited Email Design / Editor
While Gmail does allow you to format text, add images and do some other fun stuff, the editor is laughable when compared to the modularized editors that pretty much every email marketing suite comes with anymore.
With the email editors in email marketing platforms, you’re able to design in multiple columns, manage visual assets much easier, choose a design from template libraries, add personalized or conditional content and much, much more.
This makes for more professional looking email campaigns that can be designed in less time.
More Time Consuming – CCing / BCCing
Although you can manage contacts through Gmail, it’s not nearly as robust as the list management available in email marketing platforms. Gmail offers no list segmentation, doesn’t integrate with opt-in forms and lacks many other contact management features contained in email marketing solutions.
Also, CCing / BCCing all the contacts is long, time-consuming and requires more thought and a lot more manual action. You also risk adding the wrong contacts or omitting contacts that should have received the newsletters.
Don’t Send Using A Free @gmail.com Address
Sending using a free email address is very suspicious and will affect email deliverability. This is because a lot of spammers will startup a new email account, spam a bunch of messages and once the emails no longer hit the inboxes, those spammers start a new account.
It also looks very unprofessional. You should always be using an email address with the domain name of your website. Even if you’re doing this through Google Apps for Business, you still shouldn’t use Gmail for email newsletters for all the other reasons addressed in this post.
Limited Contact Segmentation
As mentioned above, there is no ability to segment contacts through Gmail. With regular email marketing suites, you’re able to segment lists based on a wide range of criteria. This allows marketers to send out more relevant email marketing campaigns. Lists can be segmented based on database fields, interactions with previous campaigns and tons of other criteria.
With Gmail, you must manually add all the contacts to the blast before sending out the newsletter.
No Template Library
Every email marketing suite comes with a template library. These contain pre-built placeholder email marketing templates. There’s templates for specific industries, different kind of newsletters, templates for specific holidays and much more. You’re also able to design your own templates and save them to the library. This is not possible when marketing through Gmail.
Harder To Opt-In Email Recipients
If you’re using Gmail for marketing, it’s much harder to opt users into the mailing list. With an email marketing platform, you’re able to easily add a subscription form directly to your website. When users signup for email newsletters, they’re automatically added to the mailing lists within the email marketing suite. With Gmail, you’ll have to manually import the contacts into the marketing list.
Limited to No Reporting or Analytics
There are ways you can see who opens your Gmail newsletters and when. This requires 3rd party plugins, however. To the best of my knowledge, right out of the box with no add-ons, you can’t see how many people and who opens up the emails you send. Even if you’re using a Gmail plugin that enables you to track emails, it’s all pretty limited.
With an email marketing suite, you get tons of reporting on each campaign. This includes opens, clicks, forwards, geographical information and much more. Many suites also allow you to export reports to share with other people within the organization. There’s also statistics on each individual recipient, as well as each campaign that gets sent out.
Might Have Too Many Contacts To Blast Emails
I’ve actually got a true story where this happened. A past client of mine working with investments in precious metals was actually using Gmail for newsletters. One day, the marketing coordinator called me up and said that there were too many contacts copied in on the email for Gmail to actually send it. She was asking me if I knew how to solve this.
I was shocked that a company of their caliber was actually using Gmail to send out marketing messages. I got them setup with an email marketing platform and the problem was solved.
No Personalization / Data-Merges
A lot of email marketing platforms allow for personalization of the email newsletter. This usually comes in the form of a first name data-merge, either in the headline or in the email body. Some suites allow you to get even more crazy about it. You can use if/then statements and database fields to determine what type of content is shown. This can allow for some crazy and near-endless personalization options.
Needless to say, this isn’t available when sending newsletters via Gmail.
Hard To Stay CAN-SPAM Act Compliant
CAN-SPAM is the law regulating the requirements to provide methods of opting-in and out of receiving marketing messages from companies. It is insanely difficult (some might call it impossible) to stay CAN-SPAM Act compliant when marketing through Gmail.
To stay CAN-SPAM Act compliant, you need to have a link that allows recipients to opt-out of receiving emails from you in the future. Although it is possible to create such a thing for your Gmail newsletters, it’s not a simple process.
All the email marketing platforms make sure all emails sent out are CAN-SPAM Act compliant. Anyone who opts-outs, or worst, hits the spam button, is automatically removed from all the mailing lists. With Gmail, there’s tons of manual actions required, with a greater chance of manual error.
Gmail Alternatives For Email Marketing
Now that we’ve gone over all the reasons why you shouldn’t be marketing through Gmail, lets talk alternatives. Linked below is a list of email marketing platforms to choose from. All email marketing platforms offer free trials to test them out and all of them are priced fairly. Whatever investment you make into an email marketing platform will be justified by the time saved and increased sales from more effective marketing. See what’s available and find the solution that works best for you.
Learn More: List Of Email Marketing Platforms