Exploring the New Google Drive Add-Ons: Mail Chimp


MailChimp Update (2/11/15): Merge has been removed from the Google Drive add-ons store and is not being actively developed at this time. We’ll update this post if there are any changes to its status.

Many of you are completely unaware that Google Drive has, again, changed dramatically.

If you have been using Google Drive at all, and have been paying attention even a little bit, you probably noticed that little menu item at the top, but many have completely ignored the treasures that await beyond the tab marked, simply,  “Add-Ons.”

Add-Ons act somewhat like extensions in your browser.  They allow you to do things in Google Drive that you couldn’t do before–like accessing some awesome tools without leaving Drive.  Why would these companies want to contribute time and effort to make a Google Drive Add On? . . . for the simple reason that it brings awareness of what they have to offer to an amazingly broad audience that may have never known their product existed, let alone understand why they need it.

I see them as small gifts.  Tiny jewels hanging inside the cave of wonders known as Add-Ons . . . but that’s just me channelling my inner geek (or maybe not?).

One of those amazing gifts from Google’s new Add-Ons comes from an unlikely source: the e-mail distribution company Mail Chimp.  Mail Chimp is a young company, hungry for market-share, and dedicated to service.  They have their offices right here in Georgia, so I was already inclined to support them before I saw their add-on.

But, OMGDNESS!  I have totally come on board, Mail Chimp!

Let’s start with a few of the other changes you may not have encountered yet, in order to get you in the mood.  If you are a member of an organization, or you are a teacher or professor who frequently emails large numbers of people about events or assignments or other things, a warning:  GMAIL limits number of people you can send an email to at one time.  The limit when sending from an SMTP by POP or IMAP account, my dear uninitiated ones,  is 99 per email.

If you pass the magic number of 99 recipients for an email, there is no warning.  GMAIL simply sends you a little notification that tells you that your email is suspended for 24 hours.


Yeah.  Exactly.  It’s a big pain in the patootie.  You can’t email ANYTHING.  So, if you wanted to get back to that student who needed help, you better have their address somewhere else because, yeah, you can’t get ahold of them for the next 24 hours.

How do you get around this ridiculous issue?  Mail Chimp!

Mail Chimp goes around the whole problem by making it possible to email directly from your Google Drive Docs.  But that’s not all!

You can also do mail merge (individual emails, yeah!), AND, the BEST thing of all for me–the master of mistakes:  If you email a doc, then you realize there is a mistake and you change the doc–the emailed doc they receive is also changed!!  Woot! Woot!

AND  . . . (Wow, I’m sounding like an old-time huckster! I promise I have NO Affiliation with Mail Chimp, really), after you send the emails out–you can see how many were opened, bounced, and/or ignored.  YES!

The only drawback is that you can’t tell WHICH ONES were opened, bounced, and/or ignored.  I’m guessing that if I paid the minimal fee they ask for the paid edition, I could uncover that secret and many more (and, frankly, it is such a useful add-on, I might just do that when I am not so financially strained.)

OK, so here is the spot where I tell you how to do it all, but why should I when there are already much more amazing videos out there?  (It’s called “time management,” people!!)

So, without further ado–a tutorial on how to use the amazing Mail Chimp Google Add-On!  (I will return with more amazing add-ons, OK?  I’m thinking this is a series!)


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