The very definition of recurring implies a constant flow of something.
Recurring email campaigns are just that: a constant flow of emails, with the same content, delivered to your subscribers on a set schedule.
Have you ever found yourself in a position to type the same email over and over again?
If so, you should consider the possibility of setting up an automated email message, otherwise known as a recurring email.
In this article, we will guide you through the process of setting up a recurring email in Gmail and Outlook.
The Difference Between Recurring and One-Time Email Campaign
While many of your campaigns can only be used as a one-time message, others can be “recycled” and sent on a recurring basis.
For example, an email promoting a new product or a service to a group of customers is typically considered a one-time email. These types of emails are sent only once, either immediately or at a time and date set in advance.
That said, many of your emails can also be sent more than once, i.e. on a recurring basis.
For instance, that special coupon you send to your top-tier customer each holiday season is a good example of a recurring email.
It is the same email sent to the same recipient on a recurring basis – such as yearly – that you specify in advance.
Of course, you can also set a date that will end the recurring schedule (for example, after five years).
The point is, recurring emails allow you to send consistent messages in a timely fashion.
And if you are not using an email automation tool like Mailvio, Gmail and Outlook can still do the job for you.
Both of these email service providers will give you an adequate alternative to send recurring emails, albeit at a much smaller scale.
What Is the Purpose of Recurring Emails?
People use recurring emails for a variety of reasons, such as:
- Personal reminders
- Report gathering
- Payroll requests
- Invoice submission, and
- Meeting agendas.
To begin with, you can create recurring personal reminders addressed to yourself. Let’s say, for instance, that submitting monthly reports to your investors is part of your job description. In that case, sending an email to yourself is a good way to remind yourself to do it.
But what if, for example, you are responsible for gathering annual reports from all employees in your company? In that case, you could set up a recurring group email to remind everyone to send their reports in a timely manner.
You can also use recurring emails to issue payroll requests. For instance, you could send your employees a weekly recurring email reminding them to submit their timesheets, invoices, etc.
Invoice submission is another good use for recurring emails. Especially if you need to send the same invoice to the same client on a regular basis. If that’s the case, you can just make that email recurring to make life easier for yourself and your client.
Prompting meetings and reminding people of its agenda is also a good use of recurring emails. For instance, if you are a CEO, you can send a weekly email to your staff to remind them of the weekly staff meeting. By the way, here are a few tips you can use to create a reminder email worthy of your talents.
Recommended Guidelines for Recurring Emails
There are several things you should consider (and incorporate) when preparing your recurring emails. Here’s a shortlist of the most important ones:
Give Recipients a Heads-up
You can forget this part if you are sending these emails to yourself. Barring that, you really don’t want to spam everyone on your list, whether they’re a co-worker, client, or partner. Make sure to ask permission before you send a recurring email to anyone.
Set an Appropriate End-Date
You can usually set an “end time” for recurring emails when creating them. You can, for instance, set up an email to send out every week for the next six months. Make use of this option if it is available, and set a reminder for when the time comes to reevaluate the email’s usefulness. By doing so, you’ll avoid sending out useless emails time and again.
Make Sure To Proofread Your Recurring Emails
Proofreading your emails should be a part of your standard operating procedure, especially when it comes to recurring emails. Why? Because people will see this message many times, and you won’t be able to correct any mistakes you may have made afterward. For that reason, you should make sure everything is in order before scheduling your recurring email.
Stand-by to Update Information if Necessary
From time to time, it might be necessary for you to change the conditions of your recurring email due to unforeseen circumstances. For instance, your meetings may be rescheduled from Monday to Friday, or your clients may be changing their business hours. In such a case, you should be ready to update your information as soon as possible.
Setting up a Recurring Email in Gmail (A step-by-step guide)
At this point, some of you might be saying:
“But Gmail doesn’t have the capability to send recurring emails!”
That’s right, it doesn’t. Gmail has no built-in features that will allow you to send recurring emails, at least not on its own.
To send recurring emails via Gmail, you would need to use a third-party tool such as Boomerang.
With Boomerang, you simply write your email and schedule to send it (to yourself or to others) at a specific time of your choosing.
So how does one go about setting up a recurring email in Gmail using Boomerang?
Obviously, you need to install the app first. Then, draft your like you normally would.
Once you install Boomerang, you will notice a new red button appear in your Gmail account. That is Boomerang’s Send Later button.
Once you enter the recipient details and set up the message, press the “Send Later” button to open the menu. At the bottom of the pop-up menu, you will see a “Schedule recurring message” button. Clicking on it will open up another pop-up menu where you can:
- Select a start time and end time (for the recurring period),
- Choose days and times of the day when the email should be sent, a
- Dictate the frequency of your recurring email (daily, weekly, monthly, etc).
Note that you can change and edit your recurring emails wherever you want from the “recurring messages” menu.
Alternative Options to Send Recurring Emails via Gmail
If you need to send the same message time and again (but at varying intervals) you could use Gmail templates instead.
But how do you get these Templates to appear in your Gmail account? Just head over to the Setting menu and then click Advanced.
Then, find the Templates option below and click Enable (don’t forget to save the changes).
Next, start writing your message and then click on the three dots located in the bottom-right corner of the window. Once you do that, a “Templates” option will appear.
Hover over it, and then hover over the “Save draft as template” that will appear on the screen. Then, select the “Save as a new template” option and name the template as you please.
Once you do all this, the template will be saved, and you can use it whenever you need to. All you’ll need to do is:
- Click on the three dots in the bottom-right corner,
- Highlight Templates, and
- Select the Template you want.
The template will populate as soon as you click on it, allowing you to make edits before clicking the “Send” button.
Set Up Gmail Calendar Reminders
Did you know you can create recurring “Gmail Calendar reminders” to receive recurring email notifications? People use this method to remind themselves to do various “recurring chores”, such as:
- replacing their contact lenses, or
- changing their home air filters when the time has come.
To do this, go to Google Calendar and create an event. Then, set it to recur as many times as you need to. Make sure to select the option to receive a notification (in the form of an email) to remind you of the event.
Setting up a Recurring Email in Outlook
Much like Gmail, Outlook also doesn’t allow you to create recurring emails on its own. However, you can still use Outlook to set up recurring emails by using one of these two methods:
Using Visual Basic Script
To generate a recurring email message, you can use Visual Basic Script and recurring tasks. You will need to:
- Set up a custom task form that automatically creates an email message once the task is completed.
- Utilize said task form to set up a recurring task at predetermined intervals
- Mark the task complete when it is due.
- Once the boilerplate message is ready, send the email
- Send the email when the boilerplate message is created.
Utilize a Third-Party Plugin
If you find the first method to be a bit complex, there’s a simpler alternative you can follow. Like with Gmail, this method also makes use of a third-party tool. Remember that Boomerang tool for Gmail? Well, there’s also a Boomerang tool for Outlook, and it works almost the same way as its counterpart for Gmail.
Once you’ve downloaded and installed the app, start crafting your message as usual.
Next, you can click on the Send Later button, which will appear at the top of the window. Then, simply select “Schedule recurring message” and:
- Set a start time and end time for the recurring period,
- Select days and times when the email should be sent, and
- Choose the frequency (daily, weekly, monthly, etc) and click Schedule to wrap it all up.
Like in Gmail, you can also make changes to your recurring emails whenever you want from this submenu.
As you can see, it’s really easy to set up recurring emails on your favorite email clients.
Provided you are not an email marketer who needs a more robust tool like Mailvio, you can use these methods to create recurring emails.
All you need is a Gmail and/or Outlook account, and the help of a third-party tool like Boomerang.
From there, it’s as simple as creating regular email messages and sending them at predetermined intervals. Happy Emailing!
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Vladimir is a passionate content writer and digital marketing enthusiast. With over 3 years of experience in the field, he loves sharing his insights on topics ranging from content marketing and SEO to social media strategy. When he’s not writing, you can find Vladimir exploring the great outdoors or experimenting with new recipes in the kitchen. Connect with him on LinkedIn to stay updated on his latest articles and adventures.