If you’re an email marketer using Gmail or Google Workspace (formerly known as G Suite) 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 Google Workspace account. A regular Gmail account is an account with an address containing the domain gmail.com or googlemail.com. Google Workspace, the business product of Google, means your email addresses contain your organization’s domain, like email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
Google Workspace 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.
A special trick you can try, but that I haven’t tested
If you’re a Google Workplace customer, you can configure your account to use Gmail’s own SMTP relay server (smtp-relay.gmail.com) and send 10,000 emails per account per day with a maximum sending capacity of a whopping 4,600,000 emails per day across all of your Google Workplace accounts. Don’t believe me? Google states it right here.
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:
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.
The other kind of Google limit
There’s another kind of Google limit which some Gmail accounts hit that isn’t directly related to how many emails you’ve sent but rather how quickly you sent them. This is called a “rate limit” error, and you’ll know if you’ve sent emails too fast because you’ll see this error when you try to send:
RequestError User-rate limit exceeded. Retry after 2021-01-16T07:28:21.855Z (Mail sending)  Errors [ Message[User-rate limit exceeded. Retry after 2021-01-16T07:28:21.855Z (Mail sending)] Location[ - ] Reason[rateLimitExceeded] Domain[global] ]
This is a Gmail API error. Meaning, you won’t see this error during the regular course of using your Gmail or G Suite account, but you might see this error in warning messages when sending mail merges or cold email campaigns with Gmail. If GMass encounters this error when sending one of your campaigns, we pause your campaign for an hour and throttle the sending speed when it resumes. Meaning, your campaign will resume sending in an hour, but this time, there will be a 5-10 second space in between emails.
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 shot. GMass employs several methods for sending large campaigns through your Gmail account but here are the steps we take when simply distributing a campaign over multiple days.
- 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.
- GMass counts 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 “regular” emails through your G Suite account in the last 24 hours using the blue Gmail Send button, and now you’re sending a 2,500 person campaign. GMass will send 1,985 emails now, and 515 emails 24 hours later. In cases where you’re mixing send types, sending some campaigns natively with Gmail and sending some campaigns over SMTP, GMass will count only the emails sent natively through your Gmail account when determining where you fall within your Gmail account’s limits.
- 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” email@example.com with the Subject “You have reached a limit for sending mail”, you probably want to resend your email to the recipients that resulted in this bounce.
In most cases, GMass will automatically re-queue these specific email addresses for your campaign. That means you don’t have to take any action, and when it’s determined that your account can send again, or if your campaign gets re-routed to an external SMTP server, then these addresses that bounced the first time will subsequently get your email.
In certain situations though you may want to manually re-send your email to the email addresses that bounced.
Using the GMass segmentation tool, doing so is just a matter of a few clicks.
1. Click the red @ button near the Gmail Search bar. This launches the segmentation tool.
2. Choose the campaign from the dropdown that experienced the blocking.
3. Under Behaviors, choose Over Limit.
4. Next click the main COMPOSE FOLLOW-UP button.
5. A Gmail Compose window will launch and the To field will be filled with the addresses you want to send to, the addresses that previously blocked your campaign.
6. Next load the content of your campaign by clicking the GMass Settings arrow and choosing your original campaign from the Campaigns dropdown. Your Subject and Message will be set.
7. Lastly, ensure all other GMass Settings are how they should be, such as Tracking of opens and clicks, and make sure the Schedule is set to the desired time of sending.
8. Finally, hit the red GMass button to send. Your campaign will now go to the email addresses that blocked you the first time.
You may also be interested in best practices to avoid over-limit bounces in Gmail.
Those are the fundamentals of Gmail’s and Google Workspace’s 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.