Newsletter Failsafe with Zapier and GoogleSheets

Since there's nothing scarier as a publisher than realising many hours too late that your newsletter didn't send as supposed to, we developed a Newsletter Failsafe Alert System using Zapier and GoogleSheets: if your newsletter doesn't arrive by a given time each day, the system will automatically send you an alert by email.

The system is compatible with any newsletter provider/platform, although the runthrough is for Ghost.

Please note: setting up this integration is non-trivial, probably 15-30 mins. No coding knowledge is needed, but some of the steps might seem a bit technical – if I find a quicker way to achieve this goal will of course update.

1) Make yourself a copy of the Newsletter Failsafe GoogleSheet

2) Give a complimentary full subscription to a special email address you have access to – if you're using a GMail-based service, I recommend yourname+failsafe@yourdomain.com (you can add a + sign and then any word at all after yourname in a gmail address and it will still go to your main inbox; this is often useful for filtering messages).

Send a test-email from your newsletter to the failsafe email address.

3) Copy the Newsletter Failsafe Zap. (You may need to set up a Zapier account; the free tier will be more than enough for a daily newsletter or even 2-3 daily newsletters).

Fill out the Zap by selecting your email account and filtering all emails to your failsafe email address, then selecting the Failsafe Googlesheet – the other relevant information should be pre-filled.

4) Go to the Failsafe Googlesheet and fill out your newsletter name and the email addresses that should be notified if a newsletter fails to send. (You can send to as many addresses as you like, just separate them with commas). Don't edit any other fields, they will fill themselves.

5) Go to Tools --> Script Editor; this will open a new Script Editor Tab. Go there and click the "Current project's triggers" button (clock in speech bubble icon) in menubar; this will open a third new tab, the Trigger tab.

6) In the Triggers tab, click "Add Trigger". Choose function "ifNotSentToday". Select Event Source "Time Driven". Choose "Day Timer" or "Week Timer" according to needs, and select appropriate time. (You may want to test the system by setting a time before your usual newsletter send time, then once you see that that triggers the alert email as required you can go back and change the trigger to a time after your usual newsletter send time). Click Save and authorise -- all set!

Good luck! Hope this helps save some stress and worry.

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