How to Create a Mailing List in Google Sheets

A mail merge in Google sheets is daunting for new marketers. That’s why we’ve created a guide to help you get started on the first step

If you are wondering how to start creating and building an email address list, then you’ve stumbled on to the right web page. Prospecting for addresses and entering them is the first step you need to take before you can start sending emails. Before you begin to mail merge for cold emails or for marketing emails, you first need to create your address list the right way. In this article we are going into detail on how to create an address list in Google Sheets. So, before you start entering information, take note of a few of the tips we have listed below. 

1. Prospecting & List Building

Find out how you can locate your customer base and begin gathering information for your mail merge in Google Sheets

Finding addresses can be the trickiest part of email marketing.

The first step of creating an address list is — you guessed it! — finding addresses. There are a few easy ways that you can begin collecting addresses. First, you can place a popup on your site with a call to action. For example, you can create a popup with copy similar to “Join our mailing list” or “Enter your email address for the latest updates.” Once you’ve placed this prompt on your site, you’ll begin receiving addresses and you can start your list.

For cold emails, you should look for addresses from any publicly available online source. Facebook and LinkedIn are great places to start looking for addresses

If your business involves ecommerce, you can gather your addresses from customer purchases. If your business is brick & mortar, you can always ask the customer for their email while they are in your storefront. To begin properly email marketing, you should collect around 100 email addresses. If you have too few addresses, your marketing efforts will be far greater than the results. 

2. Starting Your Spreadsheet

Once you’ve gathered your addresses, you are one step closer to executing a mail merge in Google Sheets

Your address list is your most important cold email or email marketing tool.

Now that you have the raw data for your address list, it’s time to get started on your Google Sheet. If you are more comfortable using Microsoft Excel, you can use that too. However, it is usually easier to do a mail merge in Google Sheets while you are using Gmail to send bulk messages. 

To get started, open up a new spreadsheet. Then, name your spreadsheet. We recommend using the name of your business, followed by “Master Address List” so you don’t get confused later on. 

After naming your spreadsheet, the next thing you need to do is designate a column for each information category. For example, you should have a designated column for each contact’s first name, last name, email address, and any other pertinent information you can gather. A few more examples could be age, gender, location, profession, or any other category you feel will be beneficial to your eventual marketing campaign.

To designate these different categories, use the first cell in each lettered row as a header. This way, you can avoid accidentally placing the wrong information in the wrong category. By carefully designing your columns you are setting yourself up for a successful mail merge using Google Sheets down the line. 

3. Add All Relevant Contact Information

The last step for creating your address list is adding the contact information

Carefully catalog every piece of information you can gather while prospecting.

After your spreadsheet is created and all of the columns are properly labeled, it is time to start entering your addresses. It is very possible that not every email address you’ve collected will be applicable to every column, which is perfectly okay. You just need to make sure that when you complete your mail merge in Google Sheets that you pay attention to any missing information. If you don’t plan accordingly around blank cells, your mass email service will end up sending messages with blank sections.

Alternatively, you can create different address lists based on relevant information and segment your email campaigns accordingly. For example, if you only want to send a message to recipients from a certain region of the world, you can create a list of contacts that have their physical addresses attached. If you are looking to appeal to only men or women, you can create a new list so only contacts who have provided their gender will be sent a message.

4. Update Contact Information

To avoid any mistakes during your mail merge in Google Sheets, keep all contact information as up to date as possible

Up to date information is the key to successful email marketing.

The final step in creating your address list is updating your information. These days, people are changing jobs more often than ever, meaning they change email addresses more frequently too. As a good rule of thumb, you want to update your contact information every 6 months to avoid sending messages to inactive accounts. To identify out of date addresses, you can always consult your mail merge service to check bounce rate and open rate. As we previously mentioned, you can always look for up to date addresses on Facebook or Linkedin. 

Now that we’ve laid the foundations for your eventual mail merge in Google Sheets, it’s time to get started collecting and organizing your address list. Remember, your address list is one of the most important marketing tools you have on your side, so make sure that you keep it organized and updated!

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Hrvoje Horvat

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