Episode 16

Published on:

29th Nov 2022

Two New Gmail Features (and why you shouldn't use them)

A few months ago, Google release a couple of new features for Gmail for those who use a paid Google Workspace platform. Those features: Layouts/Branded Emails & Multi-Send Mode are good in theory, but I recommend that you do not use them.

Links to the things we discussed this episode:

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Fuzz Martin 0:00

Good morning, you beautiful podcasters. Gmail recently released some new features and I think you shouldn't use them. Let's discuss why.

Fuzz Martin 0:13

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Fuzz Martin 0:52

If you're a user of Google's workspace products, there are two relatively new features that are available to help you make email marketing great. To be honest, the features came out in July, but not many people are talking about them. And I'm guessing that many people are using them. But if they pop up on your Gmail compose email window, and you're curious as to what they are or how to use them, I thought I might shed a little light and then quickly turn the light off because I don't think you should be using them. The first feature is Gmail is new layouts feature. It's called branded emails in their help docs. But they call it layouts when you hover over the icon in your compose a new email window. They also call it layouts in their announcement. But again, they don't call it layouts in their help docs. Because Google

Fuzz Martin 1:42

If you search layouts in the Google workspace help docs, you'll get information on changing your email inbox layout, which is totally not what this is. Layouts is a way of in theory, creating nicely designed HTML emails within Gmail itself.

Fuzz Martin 1:59

If you've ever created an email in a builder like MailChimp, or Constant Contact, this is a similar setup. Again, this only works if you have certain Google Workspace additions. When you're creating a new email, you'll see a little set of rectangles down on the bottom right hand side of your email composer. If you click on that, it will bring up a window that presents you with 12 Different pre formatted layouts. Those layouts are called call to action, simple text, announcement, newsletter, new service, and referral. So that's six then they also give you a reversed out version of each of those that features a colored background, different styling on the buttons and images. But they're pretty similar. Once you click on the one you want, it loads right up into your email window, then you in theory, go through and edit each of the sections. That is however, the hard part. This is not a drag and drop editor. It just pastes in the layout into your compose window, you're limited to fill out the template exactly as it's displayed in the email. Yes, you can remove some sections, replace images, and things like that. But you can't change any of the buttons, you can change the width of the fields. It's really, really limited. And actually, it's not user friendly, and it's pretty frustrating.

Fuzz Martin 3:21

For instance, it loads up a logo based on your settings in your Google workspace account. However, it doesn't give you the option to resize that logo, you can remove it and replace it. But it becomes difficult. It's a real pain. In fact, it's easier to just put an image into a regular Gmail email, and then click and drag that as you need to. In addition to all that the designs all look very dated. I appreciate that they tried nice efforts. But you're much better off using something like MailChimp or Constant Contact instead of the Gmail layouts feature if you want to create a nicely designed email.

Fuzz Martin 4:01

Which now brings me to their other feature which is called Gmail Multi-Send mode. So like layouts, or branded emails, multi-send mode is located on the compose email window down in the bottom right hand corner. It looks like a bunch of little envelopes stacked on top of each other. This mode is again, much like sending with MailChimp or Constant Contact, but with more steps. Again, you have to have a Gmail Workspace Individual or hire account in order to use this feature. When you send using multi send mode, every person on your email list gets a separate email with an unsubscribe link. This also allows you to send bulk emails to your list. You just paste in your email list into the to field or you can set it up through Google Contacts to create a list in there that you can send to and then you don't have to worry about using BCC. By the way total sidenote, it allows you to delete the unsubscribe link which I think is the only real fee sure of this program, and it'll bark at you and tell you that you shouldn't delete the unsubscribe link, but you can delete it and send it. After you've composed your email, which you can also compose using layouts, you click Send, and then it will ask you if you want to send yourself a preview, which you always should send yourself a preview and just check everything over, then you can launch it out to the world. While this all sounds good, in theory, I worry about what happens if you send an email that perhaps your audience designs is a little too spammy. Or if you're collecting emails from a form on your website, and you get some misspelled emails, or, or some known spam emails, that will bring down your sender score, most third party platforms like MailChimp, like Constant Contact, AWeber, those kinds of things. They try to protect you from creating spam because they don't want it affecting their service and their servers.

Fuzz Martin 5:58

Will Google afford you that same luxury? Will they help protect you from them? Or will it end up tanking your domain, and your ability to even send emails to mana about recipes. What also doesn't fly with me is that you can't use multi send to schedule emails. You can schedule intimate one on one emails to your colleagues. But you can't schedule marketing emails through Google's multi send mode. This just blows my mind. There are also no mail merge fields or personalization items in the multicenter. So you'll have to start out each email with something like hey guys, or hey, what's up GMP fans? You know, something super personal like that. Hello, comma.

Fuzz Martin 6:44

tiset mode, you're limited to:

Fuzz Martin 7:39

Welp, thanks for listening to Good Morning, Podcasters! I do appreciate you spending a few minutes with me each morning. Please subscribe to the show. You can find all the links and gmp.fm/news and all the show information at goodmorningpod.com. Go to goodmorningpod.com. Tomorrow we'll explore a program called Help a Reporter Out and how that could help you get more press coverage for your podcast. Thanks again for tuning in. We'll talk to you tomorrow morning right here on Good Morning Podcasters!

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Good Morning Podcasters!
Marketing, Advertising, PR and Social Media Tips for Podcasters
Good Morning Podcasters explores marketing, advertising, public relations, and social media topics as they relate to podcasting and content creation. The show is hosted by Fuzz Martin—an agency owner and former broadcaster. The show is published on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, with regular bonus episodes of "Podcasting Sucks!" with co-host Jeff Townsend on Saturday mornings.

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Fuzz Martin

Fuzz Martin is a partner and Chief Strategy Officer at EPIC Creative in West Bend, Wis.