Q&A: Is sending with GMAIL bad? What about using video in emails?

Keep the questions coming!

You send questions, I answer them for all the world to see. A rising tide lifts all boats, so make sure you steal, er…. adapt these answers and ideas to your own email marketing sends!

Q. I was going to start an email newsletter, but someone told me it’ll probably just end up people’s SPAM folders. Is this true?

A. If you’re just sending to a big BCC list using something like Gmail account - probably, yes. Don’t do that.

“There are a lot of spammers using @gmail.com to send out mass emails. So to protect their sender’s reputation, Google has strong anti-spam policies that often block bulk emails, whether it is spam or not,” says Email Octopus.

Use a for-real “Email Service Provider” like MailChimp or Substack. They’re built for sending to lots of people (unlike Gmail), and have better tools to get people to subscribe to your list, too, with landing pages (a fancy term for “a website where people can sign themselves up for your email list).

If you send with something legit, your email probably won’t go to spam. That said, you can still fuck things up! Check out Mailchimp’s ‘How to Avoid Spam Filters,’ and “only email people who have given you permission!”

(I forgot who asked me the above question on Twitter - it was awhile ago!)

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Q. I’m thinking of starting an email list to let people know about my upcoming shows. I’m thinking about starting a YouTube account to post video, too. Google says Constant Contact is the best platform for embedded video in email. Do you think this is true? (from SH)

A. The way I've been "embedding" videos is screen shots of the YouTube player, and putting that into Mailchimp (or Klaviyo, or Substack), like this:


Adding a button helps, too. People love buttons.

“Using a call-to-action button instead of just a text link got us a 28% increase in click-throughs,” says Campaign Monitor in a test they did.

“Lastly, don’t assume the reader only clicks on the CTA button. Curious people often try to click different elements in the email like the logo, headlines, and images. Consider adding the same link to those elements if you think it will help the reader,” says MailerLite.

This is why I always link video screen shots to the video, too!

You could also use an animated GIF for your video, too. Just be mindful of the file size. “Ensure you GIF is sized at 0.5 MB or 1 MB maximum,” says Send In Blue. Check out ‘A guide to animated GIFs in email’ from Litmus for lots of insight.

Video is tricky in emails, so I’m a big believer in using the most "basic" method, to makes sure it works for everyone.

I hope that helps some of you! Send your questions to seth@heavymetal.email or just reply to this email!