Create emails from a Google spreadsheet and Google doc template

code | July 30, 2019

Last year I wrote about how to create emails from a Google spreadsheet. I’m going to show you how to simplify the process by creating your email template in a Google doc.

Find your variables

Look at your spreadsheet and find the variables that you will use in your template. These variables are the first row of your table. In the example below, my variables are Name, Email, Type, and Recipe.

Spreadsheet example where Name, Email, Type, and Recipe are all column names

💡 Make sure your spreadsheet header has unique titles.

Write your email template

Write your email template in a Google doc. Replace the words that you want to personalize with data from your spreadsheet with their variable name wrapped in curly brackets. For example, “Hi Katy” becomes “Hi {Name}”.

Email template in Google doc

Get your Google doc ID

Look at the URL for your Google doc and copy the sequence of letters and numbers after /d/ and until the next /. See the highlighted string in the URL bar in the image below. This is your document’s ID, you’ll need it later.

Find the Google doc ID

Open the Script Editor in Google Sheets

Open up the tab of a Google spreadsheet that has your data.

  1. Click Tools > Script editor... from the toolbar.
  2. Replace the code in the Code.gs tab with the following script.
  3. Edit the first few lines of the script:
    • googleDocId - Paste in your Google doc’s ID number that you found earlier.
    • emailField - Enter the column header name that holds the email addresses, for me, it’s Email.
    • emailSubject - Enter the subject line you want to send. You can use variables from your spreadsheet or keep it static.
    • emailStatus - Enter the column header name that will serve as a status indicator that your email was drafted, for me, it’s Date drafted. This will prevent duplicates if you run the script again.
  4. Click the save icon or click File > Save from the toolbar.
  5. Enter a project name, such as “Email drafter”.
Google doc id

Run the script

Google doc id

When you’re ready to draft your emails:

  1. Click the Select Function dropdown and select draftMyEmails.
  2. Click the play button and authenticate your account.
    • A window should appear, click “Review Permissions.” Select the account you want to authenticate.
    • You may get a warning since this isn’t an official script. Review the code to get an idea of how it works and how it will interact with your account. Once you feel comfortable, from the warning screen, click “Advanced” then “Go to Email drafter (unsafe)” (or whatever you named your script). This will get you through to the next screen. Click “Allow” to grant the script access to the stated parts of your account.
  3. Check your spreadsheet, the column you indicated as your emailStatus should have today’s date.
  4. Open Gmail and check your drafts folder. You should see emails that are ready for you to send.
Google doc id

If something didn’t send properly, double check that your spreadsheet column rows match the variables in your Google doc exactly.

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