As there old saying goes, “No man is an island”, we all have connections with each other in our line of work. Participation in community activities, becoming members of professional bodies, joining interest groups and etc. One of the most common form of group communication is via individual member’s email. And when it comes to personal email address, gmail.com from Google is still the top preference for most people.
So your line of work requires some form of group facilitation among the group members, it is important to group the email addresses of groups members under a single group name (label) and add all the required emails under that group name. Then, when it time to send a group email, select the group name only and send, rather than having to pick all required contacts from your long lists of contacts. For a group less than 5 members is manageable by normal click and choose method. However, if your group is more than 10 (eg. Lecturer trying to communicate to all 50 students in his/her class, or a Secretary of a Professional Club who needs to send the minutes of the last general membership meeting minutes to all members of the club. These kind of situation requires the use of group email. So, in this article, I will explain how to create an email group from a normal Gmail account.
Compile the Name and Email List in Excel
The first thing to do is to compile all the names of contacts and their email address in an Excel File.
Important to take note of the following.
- Make sure that the Excel file (workbook) has only one worksheet (sheet) only. This is because, Gmail contact import function will not accept worksheets with multiple worksheets.
- Worksheet must include the three columns with exact column names as follows so it fits well into the Gmail contact fields list. Don’t include so many columns. These three are must to include. Then fill the columns with name list.
Good time to compile this list is during the processing of new application forms, initial group meetings and etc. As time progresses, you can new members to the group, remove if they are no longer needed and etc. Once the list is completed in Excel, then you can follow the following steps.
Step 1: Save the Excel list as CVS file
- Open the contact list file. Click File=>Save As
- From the Save Dialog box, change the Save Type as, to CVS (Comma Delimited). See image.
- Click Save to save the file. When Excel notifies that you will loose some format, click Yes to continue. Note, Excel will maintain the original file in Excel, and copy will be saved in CVs file format.
Step 2: Log onto your Gmail Account
- Log onto your Gmail account
- Click on Apps command next to the User Accounts command and click on Contacts.
3. Click Labels==>Click Create Labels
4. In the Create Labels dialog box, type the group label name , eg SalesTeam and click. The group label name should appear on the contact pane.
5: Click on the group name to select it. Then click Import
6: From the Import Contact Dialog Box, click Select. Locate the list of contacts you have saved as CVs file format. Click Open.
7. The file name should be displayed after the Select command for you to confirm that it is the correct file. Once confirmed click the Import button.
All contacts is loaded under the group name.
Sending An Email to the Group
- Click on Google Apps button (the same button you got the contacts) and click Gmail button. This should get you back into your Gmail interface.
- Click Compose to create a New Email as usual, then in the To… (where Email address is normally typed), type the first letters or the full name of the Group name eg, SalesTeam. Google will pop up the name for you to choose,
- All you have to do is select the Group name.
- Then complete your email and send. If you want to CC the group, then use the group name under CC box.
Important Note on Using the bcc Box with Group mail.
It is a recommended practice to use bcc (blind carbon copy) option with group email. The reasons are as follows.
- The email address of each individual is not visible to everyone in the group. Particularly in group mail for Memberships, lecturer/class communication and etc. In that way, communication is maintained and also, their email address is protected from potential unwanted use by other members of the group.
- If a user replies to a group email, it is not circulated to all recipients except the sender. In this way, no replies that does not have anything to do with another user does not and fills up their inbox.
Hope this article is of benefit to you.