Gmail is one of the most popular free email services available today.

We are used to the tabs, the quirks and the limitations.

We are willing to deal with the good and bad of Google because Gmail has so much functionality, it’s hard to not have an email address with them.

There are a lot of reasons for our affection for Gmail, many of which I’m not going to get into here. 

Today I’m going to share one of my favorite Gmail hacks, and how you can use it to organize your inbox and test your courses in more ways than you may be aware!

You know when you are getting ready to launch a course and you want to test it?

You want to test permissions, make sure people who sign up will get access to everything they purchased and nothing else. You want to make sure you won’t get inundated with customer service questions about access.

You also want to make sure your course looks professional from your learner’s perspective. You want the pages to make sense, the layout to be easy to navigate and the course itself to make sense and feel substantial.

But not overwhelming.

There’s no other way to truly understand what you are creating for your students than to look at things from their perspective.

And the only way to do that is to log in as them.

But how do you do that without creating a bunch of different email addresses? How can you easily and simply create new logins for your course, each at a different level if you offer more than one level, and each with its own access?

With Gmail that’s easy!

Let’s say your email address is

If you are looking to test your base level course you could create a user with this magic email address:

Gmail has this amazing feature that allows you to add any qualifier after a + at the end of your email but before the @ sign and it will still go to your inbox.

You can use this to sort mail in your inbox by creating filters based on what email things come in through.

You can easily search your inbox for welcome emails and follow up emails for your learners to make sure things come through correctly and see how they look from the receiver’s point of view.

You can create multiple users within your LMS (Learning Management System) to test multiple levels or access configurations, or any other combination you would like to test.

And all email strings will come into the same inbox so you can easily and quickly ensure they look exactly like you want them to.

So, imagine you are doing a course launch and offering bonuses throughout your launch.

Maybe you offer a different bonus depending on when people purchase. Perhaps you offer various downloads for various referral partners.

Maybe your partners offer different followup emails they’d like you to send out.

Whatever the case, by being able to test all of these combinations using different email addresses you are able to effectively, and efficiently, test all the variations you need to without creating endless email addresses to keep track of. 

Now, this is how you can test your course access and organize your inbox. 

But imagine the other ways you could use this hack.

Testing opt ins. Testing follow up sequences. Opting in to other people’s mailing lists to see what they offer. Signing up for newsletters for easy sorting in your inbox.

Really, the ways that you can use this are endless. I often use a + gmail for other programs I need to get a separate account for if I already have one.

Seriously, this may be the coolest hack you learn this month with the most applications across your business and personal life.


Course creator, gmail, online course

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