A Guide to Gmail Automation
There is nothing quite as satisfying as an organized inbox.
In fact, the only thing better than an organized inbox is one that takes care of the process all by itself.
That’s where Gmail automation comes in.
Believe it or not, the average sales rep spends almost an entire workweek per month dealing with email-specific administrative tasks. It goes without saying that this puts a tremendous strain on a salesperson’s availability, leaving them in a position where they have very little time to actually sell.
Fortunately, Google makes email automation easy. In this article, we’ll go over some of our favorite tips and tricks for automating your Gmail account so that you can spend more time on revenue-generating sales activities.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
- What Is Email Automation?
- What Types of Tasks Can Be Automated in Gmail?
- Using a Gmail Automation Tool
What Is Email Automation?
Email automation (also sometimes known as inbox automation) is the process of using technology for sorting, organizing, creating rules for, and managing the way your email account functions.
That’s a bit of a mouthful, so let’s break it down.
Email automation can be used for a variety of tasks and processes. It’s especially useful for repetitive or administrative tasks. It can help email users save time by automating things like:
- Scheduling meetings
- Answering Frequently Asked Questions
- Following up or confirming meetings with prospects in a timely manner
But those are surface-level capabilities when it comes to Gmail automation. Many email automation platforms today offer those features and more, including the ability to create, save, send, and analyze several multi-touch, multi-channel campaigns at once.
Email automation availability is especially important for salespeople. The average sales rep today spends only 36% of their time on revenue-generating sales activities — the rest of their time is tied up in administrative tasks, or work that could otherwise be automated.
And of those time-sucking administrative tasks, email management is one of the main culprits — the average sales rep spends over 25% of their weekly work time sorting through their inbox.
Email automation helps sales reps take back control of their time to increase email productivity and boost sales.
What Types of Tasks Can be Automated in Gmail?
Fortunately, Google has made many email automation features available directly within its email platform, Gmail. And — even better — most standard Gmail automation features are extremely easy to access and set up.
The Gmail automation features can handle a wide variety of both simple and complex tasks. Use their built-in features to:
- Delay message send
- Filter, sort, and/or automatically delete emails based on rules you set
- Send canned responses
In fact, these are only a few of the tasks that can be accomplished with very little effort with the help of Gmail automation.
That being said, there are apps and software platforms available on the market that integrate well with Gmail and supplement its existing automation features. The best ones sit directly inside the Gmail inbox and add to Gmail’s standard offering things like:
- Meeting Scheduler: There’s nothing more frustrating than a four-email back-and-forth trying to get a meeting on the calendar. Good Gmail automation tools offer easy meeting scheduling with direct booking and confirmation emails.
- Email Sequencing and Drip Campaigns: Some Gmail automation features can help marketers and sales reps organize and execute complex and intricately-designed multi-touch outreach campaigns.
- Analytics: The best Gmail automation platforms should be able to track and measure the performance of emails and campaigns that reps send.
We’ll cover the built-in features first, then discuss how to get the next set of automation features in your inbox today.Free automation toolGet Meeting Scheduler, Campaigns, Analytics, and more in your Gmail inbox
Delay Message Send
In Gmail, you can schedule your email to be sent automatically at a specific date and time for when you’re moving quickly throughout your day. You can have up to 100 scheduled emails.
Here’s how to do so:
- In the Compose window, enter the recipient email and write your email.
- When you’re ready to send, at the bottom of the Compose window next to “Send,” click the down arrow.
- Click “Schedule Send.”
- Select a date and time to send the message.
Sorting, Filtering, and Labeling Emails
Your Gmail inbox is much easier to manage once it’s organized. There are built-in Gmail automation features that will automatically label, sort, delete, save for later, and/or forward any email in your inbox that meets predetermined criteria.
This automated sorting can make a huge difference in the day-to-day productivity of sales reps.
Not all emails are of equal urgency, so having Gmail automatically sort incoming messages according to priority can go a long way in helping sales reps allocate their time where it matters most.
Sorting Your Emails
The following steps will get you started in sorting your emails. You can choose to sort by the sender or by subject.
- Locate the search bar along the top of your inbox. Click the three horizontal lines on the right-hand side of the search bar.
- Input specific parameters around your new label or filters. These can be as simple or as complex as you need them to be.
- Click “Create filter.”
You can also use inbox filters to automatically forward emails. For example, you could forward every email from a paying customer to a customer success rep, so that salespeople don’t have to pull time away from nurturing prospects.
Automatically Filter Emails
You can also ask Gmail to automatically delete any promotional emails with the following steps:
- Open the promotional email in question and click on the drop-down menu at the top right.
- Gmail will automatically fill in the sender’s details in the “From” field, so choose “Filter messages like this,” and then “Create filter” in the pop-up window.
- In the next window, you can decide what you want to do with those messages — either send them to a folder or delete them.
It may seem trivial, but having a clean inbox, where emails are pre-sorted, easy to find, and streamlined makes a huge difference in how you approach your workday and to-do list.
Canned Responses/Email Templates
Email templates can save a tremendous amount of time for sales reps. The use cases are nearly limitless; sales reps can use templates for:
Although Gmail automation tools take email templates to the next level with personalization, there is basic functionality for sending frequently used emails in Gmail.
Here’s how to get started with Gmail templates, previously known as Canned Responses:
1. Open Gmail settings.
2. Find the “Advanced” tab and switch the “Templates” to “Enable.”
3. Click “Save” and return to the main Gmail screen.
4. Write the message that you want to save directly in the Compose window.
5. Click the three vertical dots in the lower right-hand corner of the screen and from the drop-down menu click “Templates,” then click “Save draft as template,” and “Save as new template.”
6. Now to insert a template, at the bottom right of the Compose window, click the three vertical dots.
7. Go to “Templates” and select the template you want to send.
Effective use of the email template function can prevent a sales rep from having to rewrite the same email over and over again.
If you’re interested in more personalized email templates, keep on reading.
Using a Gmail Automation Tool
If you’re looking for a more robust tool — one with a well-rounded and very capable set of email automation features — try Yesware.
Yesware is a powerful set of email and inbox automation tools that is both impressively complex and pleasantly simple.
And, best of all, it fully integrates with Gmail.
It’s as easy to use as it is to set up (and even that part takes only 60 seconds), and lives directly inside your Gmail inbox for easy and streamlined integration. Yesware helps sales reps move quickly and effectively through the sales process.
Finding a time that works for everyone is one of the most tedious tasks as a sales rep.
Enter – Meeting Scheduler. This tool is the easiest way to book more meetings with more prospects. The customizable link seamlessly integrates with your calendar for quick and easy scheduling.
Once you create custom meeting links in Settings, you can insert your links into any email, template, or campaign. You’ll find Meeting Scheduler at the bottom right of your Compose window.
Here, you can select your general availability meeting link (My Calendar Link) as well as any Custom Meeting Types you have created.
When you send your meeting link, recipients will be able to choose available time slots based on your calendar.
Then, when a recipient books a meeting, you get a confirmation email with the date, time, and relevant info.
The calendar event will auto-populate on both of your calendars.Automated schedulingTry Meeting Scheduler for free today
Email Sequencing and Drip Campaigns
Another powerful Gmail automation tool in Yesware is Email Campaigns.
Yesware can sequence and execute multi-touch, multi-channel outreach campaigns, complete with calls, emails, and social touches.
Campaigns live inside your Gmail inbox, you’ll find them at the top of your inbox:
When you create a campaign, you can add recipients individually or all at once by importing a list. You can add recipients directly from Salesforce Leads or Contact records or bulk import entire list views.
Then, you can customize emails automatically with dynamic fields.
You can create a variety of touches and automate these touches to go out if prospects don’t respond to your outreach. Recipients will be removed automatically who reply or book a meeting.
Reporting & Analytics
Yesware’s reporting and analytics features are powerful yet flexible and give reps tangible insight into the health of their pipelines.
You can find reports at the top of your Gmail inbox as well.
Here, you have access to a variety of reports where you can uncover what’s working in your email outreach.
Reporting allows you to gain insight into how recipients engage with your emails and find new ways to get better email engagement (opens, replies, meetings booked).
Personalized Email Templates
Lastly, Gmail automation tools like Yesware allow you to quickly personalize all email templates, organize them, and track them.
Email Templates help reps save time with winning, ready-to-go templates that can be saved and sent in a matter of seconds.
Click templates at the bottom of your Compose window and quickly fill in any template from your library.
Here, you can personalize your email in seconds. Just fill in the blanks or choose from a dropdown.
When creating your templates, you can add images, merge fields, links, and attachments for quick personalization.
Then, you’ll have a library of ready-to-go messaging for the entire sales cycle – accessible in your inbox.
You can track all emails to see what messaging works and share your best templates with your entire team.
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