Welcome back to Take 5, a sometimes weekly feature that answers your questions and provides quick fixes for your blog and email, as well as keeps you updated on all the goings-on here at Sweet Tea, LLC.
And boy are there a lot of goings-on right now! But we’ll get to that.
This week, I’m tackling a question I’ve heard quite a bit lately that involves using Gmail to send emails through your email platform. I’m also sharing a couple of my favorite time-saving apps with you, and I’ve got a big, fat announcement to make! Read on.
#1 – Q for your A
Multiple members of the Blog Fuel Facebook group have asked this, so here we go:
What’s the deal with not being able to use my Gmail email address with MailChimp or ConvertKit? Do I need a domain-specific email address?
There has been a lot of chatter about Gmail email addresses lately, so let me try to shed some light on what this is and what you need to do about it.
Here’s my A to your Q:
Gmail has what’s called a DMARC policy. That’s a fancy acronym that means Domain-based Messaging Authorization Reporting and Conformance. These updates affect anyone who uses an ESP, or email service provider, to send emails to people.
Does it affect you? YES. You use an ESP if you use MailChimp, ConvertKit, MadMimi, Aweber, Infusionsoft, or any other platform.
What does it mean? Gmail is essentially telling us that we can only send emails using our Gmail email address from our Gmail inbox, not a third-party ESP. Get it?
What do you do? You need a domain-specific email address. You have a couple of options here, though.
Option #1: EMAIL FORWARDING
Typically, whomever you use for web hosting will provide email forwarding for free. All this means is, you create a domain-specific email address that is NOT hooked to an actual inbox. For example, I have email@example.com set up as a forwarded email. People can send emails to that address, and they automatically get forwarded to my Gmail inbox.
Downside: You can NOT reply from that forwarded email address. But you can use it in your ESP as the “send from” email address in lieu of your Gmail email address.
Option #2: GOOGLE APPS FOR WORK
For $5/month, you can set up Google Apps for Work and get yourself a custom domain email address that you can send from, reply from, and use in your ESP. It’s super easy to set up, and once you connect to your web host, you’ll have a shiny new email address AND inbox…and all those other awesome Google apps, ready to go.
Bottom Line: Go ahead and get your domain-specific email address, then update that in your ESP and be done with it.
#2 – New Fave App
We all know that Instagram can do amazing things for our brand, right? And having a cohesive grid is key. So when I decided to launch the Instagram account for the Blog Fuel podcast, I decided to invest in Planoly, and it does not disappoint!
Planoly allows you to schedule your Instagram posts, and you’ll get alerted on your phone. But the best part is, you can rearrange your posts before they go live to create a gorgeous grid! Take a peek at my scheduled posts for @blogfuel:
Pretty cool, right? I liked it so much that I added my @sweetteallc profile so I can work on making that account more cohesive, too! It also has encouraged me to plan further ahead. Love it!
#3 – Cool Update Alert
According to the email I got from Canva the other day, I’m one of their most active users. Not sure if that’s good or bad, but I do love Canva! They just released an update that makes me super happy, and it will make you happy, too, if you host webinars or presentations with slide decks.
Canva Presentation now allows you to not only design your beautiful slides, but also present them right there in the Canva program.
After designing your slides, click the little presentation icon in the bottom right corner and your presentation will be full-screen. This is a huge time-saver for me. I was downloading my slides as images then adding them to Google Slides to present during webinars. Thank you Canva!
#4 – The Mason Jar Opens July 1st
I drink my sweet tea out of a mason jar, so when I was deciding what to name my new membership site, The Mason Jar seemed like the obvious choice!
Launching July 1st, The Mason Jar includes a group forum, monthly group coaching, monthly group workshops, weekly email content prompts, educational content in various forms (video training, printables, swipe files, audio files) so you can design your own educational experience, and tons more!
The Mason Jar will open for only $35 for an entire YEAR for a limited time. Want to be notified when it opens, and get a peek at the website? Of course you do! Click the image below to head over and sign up!
#5 – Countdown to Blog Fuel
This time next week, The Blog Fuel podcast will be officially a thing! I’m launching with not one, but TWO epic podcast episodes from industry experts, and while I can’t tell you who my guests are just yet, I can promise you’ll learn a lot and have fun at the same time!
Learn more about the Blog Fuel Podcast by clicking the image below!
P.S. The next time I decide to launch a podcast AND a membership site within 2 weeks of each other, please slap me.
Got a Q you want me to A in the next Take 5? Leave it in the comments below!
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