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How to send high volume cold email [beyond Gmail’s limits]

High Volume Cold Email

If you’re a cold emailer using any cold email platform other than mine, you’re likely subject to limits in the hundreds of emails per day. For most people, that allowance of a few hundred emails/day is enough, since it’s quite hard to find more than even 100 targeted prospects’ email addresses per day, where your message is relevant enough to the prospect that it doesn’t seem spammy.

But, let’s say you’re just that good at finding leads and capturing email addresses. Let’s go crazy here for a second and say you’ve fine-tuned a process that brings in 5,000 new email leads per day, and every day, you want to email these 5,000 email addresses and set a follow-up sequence that sends every few days until they reply. Now you’re in deep, because not only do 5,000 new email messages need to send every day, but once the follow-up schedules start to kick in, you’ll actually be sending more than 5,000 emails/day, when you take into account the original message volume and the follow-up email volume.

So, given G Suite’s limits of 2,000 emails/day and most cold email platforms’ own limits, how can you accomplish this?

You could set up multiple G Suite accounts, warm them up, and eventually send 2,000 emails per day per account. However, as years of experience has shown, it doesn’t always work so smoothly, and often times G Suite caps an account’s sending volume at a level much lower than 2,000 emails/day. This can work for some users but won’t work for most.

Last year, I invented a way to integrate an SMTP service into a high volume cold email process such that you can send as many emails as you want through an SMTP server like SendGrid, while preserving the ability to detect replies and send follow-up emails to non-responders. We do this through a little bit of inventiveness in how we relay the emails through an SMTPΒ and sync the data back to your G Suite account.

Recent High Volume Cold Email Campaigns

Here is a sampling of recent large cold email campaigns sent by our platform in the last few weeks. Included are the number of auto follow-up stages and the open and reply rates. Some of these were distributed in daily batches via Gmail and some were sent via a third party SMTP relay.

This cold email campaign data is updated daily.

From AddressSubjectFollow-up StagesRecipientsOpen RateRepliesDate
chris.vargas@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.comP______n32,98257.8%38809/03/21
chloe@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.com{___________, q___k q_______?12,25657.5%9609/06/21
matthew.miller@xxxxxxxxxxx.comH________d S_. D______r R_g A_____s12,01352.3%20309/02/21
matt@xxxxxxxxxxxxx.net{_________L t_____r s____s n________________________h t_____r n____d f_r s_____l a______________d s____}32,68352.0%509/03/21
wesley.ashcraft@xxxxxxxxxxx.orgH_y {____t N____, h_____s a w_____e b__k p_____e12,31051.3%10609/02/21
chloe@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.com{___________, q___k q_______?13,49750.4%7008/31/21
ali@xxxxxxxxxx.comC___k t__s o__!118,33048.7%4009/02/21
enquiries@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.comJ__n o_r S_______r P__________l t______g112,00848.4%009/06/21
chloe@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.com{___________, q___k q_______?13,29047.1%10109/02/21
chloe@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.com{___________, q___k q_______?13,49545.9%10209/01/21
chloe@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.com{___________, q___k q_______?13,23944.9%7609/03/21
juliansp@xxxxxxxxxx.coS_____y L_______s f_r y__r m___c13,76344.8%11909/02/21
todd@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.com{____t n___} πŸ‚ S________d D____x in E__t C______, IN πŸ‚ 5_3 W C______s D___e πŸ‚ 1__% O______d C__h F_____g D_____! πŸ‚23,21642.9%1109/03/21
freja@xxxxxxxxxxxx.comB___i J_____y C___________n15,99940.1%36209/07/21
juliansp@xxxxxxxxxx.coS_____y L_______s f_r y__r m___c12,81539.6%6909/02/21
elise.l@xxxxxxxxxxxx.comB___i C___________n16,00039.6%32809/06/21
freja.h@xxxxxxxxxxxx.comB___i J_____y C___________n16,00039.5%36009/07/21
tilda_isakson@xxxxxxxxxxxx.comB___i J_____y C___________n15,99539.0%35709/07/21
todd@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.comR_W 🐬 {____t n_____� D____x in T___e H____, IN 🐬22,95337.9%909/03/21
tildaisakson@xxxxxxxxxxxx.comB___i J_____y C___________n16,00037.9%33309/07/21

Steps to sending high volume cold email:

  1. Set up your G Suite account, and connect it to GMass.
  2. Set up a SendGrid account or any other SMTP service and subscribe based on the daily volume of emails you want to send. When determining daily volume, take into account the original message plus follow-up emails that need to go out per day.
  3. Connect SendGrid, or your alternate SMTP service to GMass.
  4. When you launch your cold email campaign in GMass, set the SMTP option instead of Gmail.
  5. Configure your auto follow-ups.
  6. Hit the GMass button to launch the campaign.

What happens next?

Even though your emails are being sent by SendGrid, you’ll still see a copy of each individual email in the Sent folder of Gmail. When someone replies, the reply will still be threaded to the same conversation as the email in the Sent folder. And if someone doesn’t reply, and a follow-up email sends automatically in a few days, that follow-up will also be threaded to the same email conversation.

But wait, I’m not technical enough to set up SendGrid!

If setting up your own SMTP service is too complicated, and you don’t want to bother with the implications of DNS records, SPF, DKIM, DMARC, and all the subtleties that are recommended for deliverability, you have a couple of options:

  1. Sometimes we allow users to use our SMTP serviceΒ β€” but typically for cold email that isn’t opt-in, we don’t.
  2. There’s a fiverr gig these days where someone will help you configure a SendGrid account for use with GMass.
  3. You sign up for SendGrid and subscribe, and then send us your credentials and we’ll link GMass to SendGrid for you.

By the way, if you’re an advanced web developer and this all sounds to easy for you, you may want to read my technical review of SendGrid to take a look under the hood and see if you want to customize your SMTP process. That review is written specifically for advanced web developers.Β 

How high is our volume?

When you’re shopping different cold email platforms, ask them how much email they send. Then check our real-time counter for how much email we’ve sent. We’ve sent over 1 billion emails through Gmail and G Suite accounts. Not all of them were cold email campaigns, but a lot of them were.

6 Comments
  1. Do I need the paid version of SendGrid? If so what particular feature is it that is not available on the free version that I am paying for? Is this something that would be resolved if I simply use HubSpot or MailChimp?

  2. Great article. Do you think the age of the domain and/or the email address affects the results when using GMass
    and SendGrid?

    1. Hi Peter,

      Yes, it could affect deliverability. Even though the emails are being sent using an external SMTP, the from address would still be tied to the email address’s domain. So the email address and domain’s reputation would still play a part on deliverability. However, we couldn’t say how big of a part it does play.

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