Creating a mailing list is an essential part of any marketing or communication strategy. Whether you need to send announcements, newsletters, or other correspondence to a group, having an organized contact list makes this process much easier. In this article, we’ll walk through the steps to easily create a mailing list using Google Docs Spreadsheets.
Why Use Google Docs for a Mailing List
Google Docs Spreadsheets provide a simple, flexible platform to build a mailing list. Here are some key benefits:
- Free to use with unlimited storage
- Shareable and collaborative – allow others to view and edit
- Customizable with a variety of column options
- Integrates seamlessly with other Google services like Gmail
- Accessible from any device
Overall, Google Docs removes the barriers to creating a functional, shareable mailing list.
Step 1: Set Up the Spreadsheet
To start, open a new Google Sheet and title it appropriately at the top, like “Marketing Mailing List.”
Before inputting any data, we need to add column headers to organize our information. Add the following columns in the first row:
- Full Name: The contact’s full name
- Email: The email address
- Company: Their company or organization
- Phone Number: A phone number to reach them at
You can add other columns like Address, Birthday, Purchase History, or any data points relevant to your needs.
Example mailing list spreadsheet
Keeping this information structured from the start ensures your list stays organized as it grows.
Step 2: Input Contact Information
Now we’re ready to populate our mailing list with contacts! Input information for each contact in new rows.
As you’re entering data:
- Put each data value in its corresponding column
- Use proper capitalization and punctuation for names
- Use full email addresses like [email protected]
- Include country codes for phone numbers
Entering clean, accurate data makes your list more usable and targeted.
Step 3: Add Contacts from Other Sources
Manually inputting each contact can become cumbersome. Luckily, Google Sheets makes it easy to pull contacts from other sources like email contacts, Google Contacts, LinkedIn, or a CRM platform.
Here are two options to import contacts:
- Open the Google Contacts homepage while logged into your account
- Click More > Export to download contacts
- In Google Sheets, go to File > Import and upload the .csv file
Another File or Source
- Export the contacts from the platform into a shareable format like .csv
- In Google Sheets, click File > Import and choose the exported contact file
Google Sheets will automatically match the columns to pull the information into your spreadsheet. You can also manually select columns if needed.
Step 4: Add Email Merge Capabilities
The true power of a Google Sheets mailing list comes from integrating it with Gmail for email merging. This lets you create template emails that automatically populate with information from each contact.
To set up:
- Open your mailing list Google Sheet
- Under Add-ons, search for and select a mail merge tool
- Follow the set-up instructions to integrate Gmail
- Compose a template Gmail with merge tags like |FNAME| and |EMAIL|
- Use the add-on to quickly generate and send individual emails
This saves tons of manual work personalizing and sending emails one-by-one.
Extra Tips for Success
Follow these best practices to get the most out of your Google Sheets mailing list:
- Clean your list regularly by removing inactive contacts
- Use Google Forms to collect new sign-ups directly into the spreadsheet
- Segment your lists into groups like customers, prospects, past attendees
- Avoid sending to old, outdated lists causing spam complaints
- Always include an unsubscribe option for contacts to opt-out
A Google Sheets spreadsheet provides an easy-to-use platform for creating and managing mailing lists. By following this guide, you can set up a functional, organized contact list integrated with Gmail and other Google services. Maintaining an accurate, segmented list ensures your emails reach the right audiences and drive results.
So try out these steps and tips to level up your next marketing campaign or email announcement! Let us know in the comments if you have any other Google Sheets mailing list best practices.