If you’re using GMass to send email marketing campaigns with your Gmail or Google Apps account, you have likely encountered popup alert boxes on occasion that look like this:

GMass uses these alert boxes sparingly throughout the Gmail interface to confirm certain actions that you might take. For example, if you’re sending to a large number of email addresses, the alert box confirms that you didn’t hit the GMass button by accident. Or, if you put addresses in Cc or Bcc, an alert box confirms your intentions since it’s easy to confuse the use of Cc and Bcc when sending mail merge campaigns with Gmail and GMass.

Beware the checkbox at the bottom of the alert, however. Checking that box will disable GMass’s sending functionality entirely. It may be tempting to check so that you don’t have to see such alerts in the future, but the unfortunate side effect of doing so is that it cripples GMass. This is the nature of how JavaScript’s alert boxes work, and until we enhance GMass with more stylish alert boxes, please do not check this box.

If you check it by mistake and find that GMass has become disabled, there’s an easy fix. Simply shut down Chrome entirely, and relaunch Chrome and then reload Gmail, and GMass will be back to normal.

We’ve just fixed a bug that was preventing users in regions where the time is ahead of GMT from scheduling email marketing campaigns with GMass and Gmail.

If you were in such a region, generally defined as east of London in the United Kingdom, and you attempted to use the Scheduling field to schedule a mass email send for the future, you might have seen this in the date/time field:

01/29/2016 08:00am -NaN:NaN

Instead of seeing your actual time zone offset, the nonsense text “-NaN:NaN” was displayed.

This issue was due to a coding syntax error, and only affected users with a positive time zone offset. The United States and all of North America operates on a negative time zone offset, so those users would not have been affected, but users in India or China for example, would not have been able to schedule mass emails for a future time.

The issue has now been corrected, so in the example above, if you’re in India for example, you would see:
01/29/2016 08:00am +05:30
I apologize to our users east of London who until now were been unable to schedule mail merge campaigns in Gmail because of this.
Be sure to reload Gmail in Chrome to get the GMass update that fixes this bug.

We’ve had several users recently attempt to send their mass email campaigns from their Gmail account by putting all of their recipient addresses in the Cc field, and then hitting the GMass button. This usually does not achieve the desired result of the user.

GMass works by taking all of the email addresses in the To field and sending an individual email message to each of those addresses. So, if you have 500 addresses in the To field and then you compose your Subject/Message and hit the GMass button, 500 individual, personalized emails will get sent, one to each address. Each recipient will only see his/her address in the To line. This might be counterintuitive because if you’re used to hitting the standard Gmail Send button, then you’re used to seeing one email go out to all 500 people, where all 500 addresses are exposed to each other. But that’s the whole point of GMass — to split up the addresses in the To field and send one email at a time to each address.

Put your recipient addresses in the To field when using GMass. Not the Cc or Bcc fields.

What happens if you put one or more addresses in the Cc or Bcc field?

Each of those Cc/Bcc addresses will receive a copy of every single email message that is sent to every single person in the To field. Meaning, if you have 500 addresses in the To field, and 3 address in the Cc field, each of those 3 Cc addresses will receive 500 email messages each, one for each address in the To field. In total, this will result in 1,500 extra emails being sent from your Gmail account.

So what’s the purpose of using the Cc or Bcc field then?

There may be cases where you do want to have a copy of every single message sent to a Cc address. For example, if you’re a teacher sending a mass email to the parents of your 20 students with each student’s grades, and each email is personalized with the parent’s first name and the student’s grades, you may want to Cc the principal of the school. The principal of the school will receive all 20 emails sent to the 20 parents and now has proof that the communication was sent.

Additionally, you might use the Bcc field to send data to a CRM system like Salesforce.

If you’ve sent mail merge campaigns with your Gmail account and have used GMass’s click-tracking feature, you’re used to having all of your clickable URLs altered to be tracked. In certain cases, however, phishing scanners were flagging the tracked links when a URL was used for the anchor text. Many email marketing experts have already written about this issue, so I won’t expound upon the history of phishing in this post.

The important change to be aware of is that GMass’s click tracking feature now skips tracking on links where the anchor text itself is a URL rather than a word or a phrase.

Meaning, if your links looks like this:

Go to http://www.wordzen.com for an awesome email editing service!

where the links is a URL itself, then we won’t track that link.

If your links looks like this, however:

Go to Wordzen for an awesome email editing service!

the anchor text is now “Wordzen” instead of “http://www.wordzen.com”, and so GMass will track this link.

You’ll also notice that if you’re a Google Apps user, the clickable links now point to our new domain gm.ag instead of gmass.co.

Interestingly enough, we tested other popular email marketing services to assess how their click tracking functions worked, including MailChimp, Constant Contact, and Campaign Monitor. Surprisingly, none of these services skip click-tracking on links where the anchor text is a URL, meaning emails sent from those services will get flagged by phishing scanners if click tracking is enabled and links with URLs as anchor text are present in the message.

I believe GMass, despite doing it differently than these other popular email marketing tools, is now implementing click-tracking the proper way. We hope that the rest of the email marketing industry will soon follow suit.

If you’re an email marketer using Gmail or G Suite (formerly known as Google Apps) as your email sending platform, you probably want to understand just how many emails you can send through your Gmail account.

First, distinguish between a regular Gmail account and a G Suite account. A regular Gmail account is an account with an address containing the domain gmail.com or googlemail.com. G Suite, the business product of Google, means your email addresses contain your organization’s domain, like john@acme.com or ajay@wordzen.com. In this case, acme.com or wordzen.com is a domain whose email is controlled by Gmail. You can log in to your business’s email account by way of Gmail.

What are the basic Gmail sending limits?

Regular Gmail accounts have a limit of 500 individual emails/day.

G Suite accounts have a limit of 2,000 emails/day.

The limits I’ve described above apply only if you’re sending individual emails to one recipient only, the kind that would be sent if you’re using GMass. They apply on a rolling 24 hour basis. That means that if you have a regular Gmail account and you send 500 emails at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, and it takes 10 minutes for the emails to send, you won’t be able to send any more emails until 2:10 p.m. on Thursday. Another example: if you send 100 emails from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, and 400 emails between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Wednesday, then you won’t be able to send any emails until 2 p.m. on Thursday, at which time you’ll be able to send a max of 100 emails. After 4 p.m., you’ll be able to send more.

There are other limits in effect if you’re sending say, one email with 10 email addresses in the To field, and limits if you have your account set to auto-forward, and other limits explained in the URLs referenced above.

GMass lets you “break” your Gmail sending limits.

GMass includes a feature that lets you send your email marketing campaigns from your Gmail account, but have your emails sent via a third-party SMTP server like Sendgrid. This feature allows you to send an unlimited number of emails from your Gmail account.

What happens if you exceed your Gmail account limits?

If you’re logged into Gmail, and your account is at its limit, this is what happens when you hit the Send button:

The message refused to send and remains as an unsent Draft in your account.

If you’re using any kind of external app to send emails through your Gmail account, the app will be able to successfully connect to your account and place the email in your Sent Mail folder, however the email won’t actually send. Instead, you’ll get a bounce notification indicating the email hasn’t been sent because your over your limit.

How can you tell how many emails you’ve sent over the last 24 hours?

Gmail doesn’t provide an easy way of determining how many emails you’ve sent over the last 24 hours, other than looking at your Sent Mail folder and manually counting, but GMass calculates this for you and displays it. Click the Show usage button in the GMass Settings box to see how many emails you’ve sent over the prior 24 hours. This will help you determine how many emails you can send at any given time.

How does GMass manage your account’s sending limits?

You can send a mail merge campaign through GMass to several thousand email recipients in one go. GMass employs several methods for sending large campaigns through your Gmail account:

  1. GMass will automatically distribute your email campaign over multiple days to avoid exceeding your account’s limits. For example, if you have a Google Apps account, where your limit is 2,000 sent emails/day, and you want to send a campaign to 10,000 people, GMass will evenly distribute your campaign at 2,000 emails/day for 5 consecutive days.
  2. GMass takes into account how many emails you’ve sent through your account over the past 24 hours when calculating how many emails in your campaign can be sent right now. Let’s say that you’ve sent 15 person-to-person emails through your Google Apps account in the last 24 hours, and now you’re sending a 2,500 person campaign. GMass will send 1,985 emails now, and 515 emails 24 hours later.
  3. GMass will pause sending of your email campaign when it detects that you’ve exceeded your account limits. It does this by analyzing the number of your sent emails over the prior 24 hours and scanning for bounce notifications in your account that indicate you’re over your limit. When this happens, GMass will pause your campaign and retry in one hour.

How can you re-send emails to addresses that bounced because you were over your limit?

If you received the dreaded bounce that is “from” nobody@gmail.com with the Subject “You have reached a limit for sending mail”, you may want to re-send your email to just the recipients that resulted in this bounce. GMass makes it easy using the manual follow-up tool to re-send emails to addresses that bounced because you reached your limit.

Those are the fundamentals of Gmail’s and Google Apps’ email sending limits and how GMass navigates those limits to allow you to send large mail merge campaigns. Remember that you can use the GMass unlimited sending feature to avoid these limits altogether.

Update on 3/22/16: This feature has been enhanced. Bounces are now detected automatically and bounced addresses are suppressed in future email campaigns. This is part of the new Automatic Reply Management feature.

I just deployed a hack that lets you pull bounces from your Gmail account so that future GMass mail merge campaigns skip sending to those bounced addresses. If you already have a history of sending mail merge campaigns through your Gmail account with GMass, you’ve likely accumulated some bounce-backs. You already get ridiculously high email delivery rates when using GMass, but avoiding repeatedly sending to bounced addresses will optimize your email delivery even further.

This is a hack, and in time we will release a better bounce handling mechanism. For now though, here’s how to pull your bounce list and prevent GMass from sending to past bounces:

1. Use the Gmail search tool to search for “from:mailer-daemon@googlemail.com”, and then search. This will show all of the bounce notifications you’ve received.

2. Next, click the GMass “Build Email List” button. This process could take a few minutes to complete if you have a lot of bounces in your Gmail account.

3. After it’s done, a new message will launch with all of your bounced addressed in the To field. Simply discard this message by hitting the Trash button in the lower right corner. GMass has now captured all of your bounced addresses and added them to our internal database. Now, if you attempt to send to any of these bounced addresses, GMass will skip over them.

That’s it! 

In the future, we will automate the process of plucking bounced addresses from your account and adding them to our database, so that you don’t have to go through this manual process. Stay tuned for that.

If you have a scheduled mail merge campaign, it will show under the GMass Scheduled Label. To cancel the campaign, find the campaign under the GMass Scheduled Label, open the Draft, click the GMass Settings arrow, and hit the Cancel button.

This also applies to a large campaign that has been set to send over multiple days. If after a couple of days, you decide you don’t want the rest of it to send, follow the same procedure to prevent further sending.

If the campaign is in the process of sending right now, then hitting the Cancel button will attempt to stop the current send and prevent future emails for the campaign from sending. If sending is in progress, up to 50 emails may send before sending is stopped.

Important Note: If you have auto follow-up stages assigned to a campaign, then canceling the campaign after it has partially sent will NOT prevent auto follow-ups from going out for people that have already received the email. To also cancel auto follow-ups, set each Auto Follow-up Stage to 0 Days, and hit the GMass button to save it.