Google imposes a limit to how many emails each Gmail user can send from their account in every 24-hour period. If you use your account only for personal email, that’s usually not a problem. However, if you want to send mass emails from your Gmail or Google Workspace account, you need a way around those limits. GMass provides a solution.
Gmail/G Suite sending limit
If you use Gmail or if your company uses Google Workspace (formerly G Suite), then your email account is subject to a Gmail sending limit.
How many emails can be sent at once in Gmail?
Gmail sets a rate limit of 20 outgoing emails per hour. If you exceed this limit, Google might suspend your account for anywhere from 1 to 24 hours. If you gradually and consistently raise your use to a higher number, Google will tolerate the increase. But if you aggressively exceed this limit, Google will mark your emails as spam, which will damage your email deliverability because it will trigger spam filters among the receiving email services.
Anything you send to external recipients from an alias address will count toward this total, as will vacation auto-responders. And when you sync your phone to your Gmail or Google Workspace account, any emails you send from that device will count as well.
If you send an email to multiple recipients, Google counts each recipient as a separate email. If you frequently send email to the same recipients – for example, 30 members of your cycling club, or your team of 12 local volunteers – one way to expand your reach is to establish a Google Group of that membership (e.g., “SpeedyCyclers”). You can then address your email to the Google Group name, and it will count as just one unique recipient (SpeedyCyclers) even though it is distributed to all members of the group.
For individual Gmail accounts, the daily send limit is 500 emails per rolling 24-hour period. If you’re a typical Gmail user, you may not even know about this limit because it’s doubtful you send that many emails in a typical day. But note, Google counts each email address as a separate email, so one message sent to five recipients would count as five emails.
For Google Workspace accounts (formerly G Suite), the daily sending limit is 2,000 emails per rolling 24-hour period, per email address. These accounts are usually for businesses and operate under the company’s domain, such as AmalgamatedWidgets.com, but they use the same Google email (Gmail) technology.
If you’re one person using one email address, then you’re not likely to bump up against the 2,000-email daily limit. But if you’re sending a bulk email campaign on behalf of your company, and you have a large customer or prospect list, that 2,000-email sending limit won’t meet your needs. That’s because, like to the individual account, one email addressed to 5,000 recipients, it counts as 5,000 emails.
At this point, you may be asking, “how can I send more than 500 emails a day on Gmail?” There are two ways.
One is to create a Google Group, as noted above – although this is only appropriate for groups of people who know each other or have a reason to be addressed together, such as being part of the same team, club, or interest group.
The other is to increase the number of external recipients by using an SMTP relay service.
Okay, so what is SMTP relay?
“SMTP” (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) is an automated system of rules, authentications, and steps that a server uses to prepare your outbound email for delivery to other email addresses. “SMTP relay” is the process of one SMTP server delivering email to another SMTP server. The SMTP process is pretty technical, so most bulk email senders use a service to manage their SMTP relay.
Although you can set up an SMTP service on Gmail, it will still impose those lower limits and block your account if you exceed them. However, if you set up an SMTP relay service on GMass, you don’t have to worry about that lower SMTP limit because you’ll be sending through GMass’ servers.
This lets you bump your daily email limit up to 10,000 recipients.
Gmail maximum recipients
Google limits the maximum number of emails you can send each day based on the number of recipients that are emailed from an authorized Gmail or Google Workspace account. Google considers a recipient as one unique email addresses, and each email sent to them within a rolling 24-hour period counts as one email.
The maximum limit applies to all the emails you send in a day, not just your bulk emails. And each email you send to a unique recipient counts as one email. So, if you send four individual emails to your boss on different work topics, two preview versions of your mass email message as tests, and then include your boss in the final mass email distribution list, that would count as seven emails (4+2+1).
Similarly, if you used the same email account to send a meeting reminder to 85 members of your cycling club, that would count as 85 emails.
That’s why it can pay to set up a separate email account with your webmail provider exclusively for bulk emails, especially if you have a large mailing list.
How many recipients does Gmail allow?
Free Gmail account — If you use a free Gmail account, you are limited to sending a maximum of 500 emails in a 24-hour period, and a maximum of 100 addresses per email.
Paid Google Workspace account — If you use a paid Google Workspace account, you are limited to sending a maximum of 2,000 emails in a 24-hour period. If you use Google’s SMTP service, a single email may have up to 100 recipients.
Free trial period — Anyone using the free trial period for a Google Workspace account is subject to 500-email maximums until they convert their account to the full paid version and complete a 60-day waiting period.
Email alias — Use of an email alias does not change these limits. Your primary account address and all of its aliases count toward a single limited number of emails per day. So, if your account includes both email@example.com and the alias email address firstname.lastname@example.org, then the daily limit of emails in a 24-hour period for both is 500 (for a Gmail account) or 2,000 (for a paid Google Workspace account).
If you exceed these limits, your account can be suspended for up to 24 hours. You can still access your mailbox to receive emails and use your Google account for other features, such as your calendar; but you cannot send emails during this period.
Gmail BCC limit: How many emails can you BCC in Gmail?
When you CC or BCC an email address in an email, Google counts each unique address as a separate email, just like those you put in the TO line. So, there is no numerical advantage to putting an address on the CC or BCC lines — i.e., you don’t increase your recipient limit by moving names to BCC or CC.
Some emailers use the BCC line as a way to send to many individuals without disclosing those names to the entire group. Technically, this works, but it is not considered a best practice, as it’s a hold-over from the time before everyone could afford to use an advanced email marketing service. (What once cost $1,000+/month in the earliest days of such services now costs as little as $12.95/month.)
For example, when you use GMass, even though you include many email addresses in the TO line, each email is sent individually, and recipients see only their own name — no one else’s. Not only is this a best practice, but also it has the advantage of improving email deliverability rates, which is crucial to any mass email sender who wants to avoid their recipients’ spam folders.
Increase Gmail sending limit
To get the most from your bulk email campaigns, you want to increase the send limit for your Gmail or Google Workspace account, and you want to be sure that what you send within your limit gets delivered and isn’t wasted —no message that runs afoul of a Google script, no blocked message, no underliverable message, and so on.
How can you send more than 500 emails a day on Gmail?
There are two ways to increase your Gmail sending limit, and one way to create an exception:
Multiple accounts. Establish more than one authorized Gmail or Google Workspace account, each with its own limit. For example, in addition to email@example.com, you might create firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. Your customers would recognize the name, and you can expand your Gmail mass email capacity to 1,500 (3×500).
In this case, you would divide your recipients into smaller groups and send your bulk emails separately to each mailing list. Of course, this means you’ll need to monitor multiple email accounts for a single campaign. This may not be practical, depending on how busy you are and what your personal bandwidth limit is.
Mass Email Service. It’s much more efficient to use an email marketing service such as GMass, which works right inside Gmail or Google Workspace and offers features to increase your campaign limit to 10,000. If you want those details, you can skip ahead to read more.
Google Groups. It doesn’t work for every audience, but if your recipients are tied together by some affinity (meaning, they would have a connection to each other even if you were not in the picture), then it would make sense to recipients why they are part of your group, and Google Groups can then help you expand your reach as an exception to other sending limits.
You can put up to 100 email addresses in a group, and an email sent to that group counts as just one email against your limit. However, the email will be delivered to all 100 recipients. Your Google account has an upper limit of 3,000 external addresses per day, so this method would work only if you stay under that limit when adding all group members together.
Examples of series of groups could be Wild Trail Cyclists of Texas, Wild Trail Cyclists of Arizona, Wild Trail Cyclists of Oregon, etc. 30 groups of 50 members each would reach be sent to 1,500 people but count as only 30 emails. However, it means managing 30 different groups, so it can increase the amount of time you spend administering your mailing lists and handling responses.
The most efficient of these is to manage your bulk email campaign through a Gmail-centric service like GMass, which can also provide you with an array of related benefits, including advanced personalization, scheduled sends, personalized attachments, list testing to make sure your email addresses are valid, and much more.
How to send bulk emails on Gmail without getting blocked
There are several steps you should take to avoid having your mass emails blocked by recipients.
Use an SMTP relay service to authenticate your email as genuinely coming from you. This is one of several important signals Google and other spam filters use to determine the validity of your email.
Quality content. Make sure your content is worthwhile to your recipient so that they don’t mark one of your messages as spam. Once a recipient marks your emails as spam, future emails from you are likely to be sent to their junk folder (never to be read), and your sender reputation can suffer. The lower your sender reputation, the more spam filters will block your future messages.
Valid email addresses. Your undeliverable emails also affect your sender reputation, so it pays to validate every email address on your list before you send your bulk campaign. If you’re sending 2,000 emails, it’s not uncommon that as many as 200 or more addresses have become invalid and thus undeliverable, which will hurt your sender reputation.
Don’t spam. Avoid the temptation for a quick result by cutting corners and getting into spam territory, because whatever momentary gain you may enjoy will be offset by a long-term penalty from spam monitors. A handful of these independent monitors influence thousands of spam filters to block the emails you send.
Check the reputation of the IP address from which your emails are sent. If you share a server with another department or company that doesn’t observe strict reputation behavior, they could draw an unfavorable sender reputation. And fair or not, when you share a server IP address with one of them, their bad reputation can cause your emails to be sent to the spam folder. So, make sure your server IP address is clean, and if its not, move to a new, clean IP address. Note that Google likes to see IP addresses age before any email is sent from them, so experienced emailers keep several IP addresses registered well before they are needed.
Check your “From” reputation. If your sending email address has become known to spam filters as a sender of unwanted junk mail, get a new email address and be meticulous about keeping it clean.
Use GMass to manage your mass email campaigns. Not only can you enjoy the ease of using it within the familiar Gmail/Google Workspace framework, but also you can take advantage of its tools, such as a free email address validator.
You can now send mass email campaigns with 10,000 emails with Gmail using GMass, and we will distribute the emails over multiple days automatically, based on your Gmail account’s sending limits.
As explained above, if you have a regular Gmail account, you can send up to 500 emails per rolling 24 hours. If you have a Google Workspace account (formerly G Suite), you can send up to 2,000 emails per rolling 24 hours. Here’s a guide to Gmail’s official sending limits.
With GMass, if you have a Google Sheet with 8,000 addresses, and you’re sending from a Google Workspace account, when you hit the GMass button, 2,000 emails will send immediately, another 2,000 will send 24 hours from then, another 2,000 48 hours from then, and the final 2,000 72 hours from then.
GMass itself now has over 1 million registered users, meaning I need to use this feature myself whenever I send an announcement to my users.
This feature is only useful if your emails are not time-sensitive. Most email campaigns are not time-sensitive, so I’m able to use this new capability to send GMass announcements. If you need to send 500,000 emails in an hour, then you should use a commercial emailing service meant for high volume, like MailChimp. While it pains me to recommend a different Email Service Provider, I must admit that GMass is not optimized for speed but for deliverability.
Our platform will automatically send the maximum emails/day allowed, which is 500 emails/day or 2,000 emails/day depending on whether you have a Gmail or a Google Workspace account. You can also control, however, how many go out per day with the Speed setting in the Settings box. If left blank, GMass will send the maximum of 500 (regular Gmail) or 2,000 (Google Workspace) automatically, but you can override this by setting your own value.
How the timing works
Because Gmail tracks total emails sent on a rolling 24-hour basis, each subsequent batch of emails will be sent exactly 24 hours after the last email from the previous batch is sent. For example, if you send 8,000 emails on Wednesday at 2:00 PM, then the first 2,000 will be sent right away. If they finish sending at 2:15 PM, then the next batch of 2,000 will be sent at 2:15 PM on Thursday. Also see our article on timing.
An “alias” address will represent your large email list
If you connect to a Google Sheet with more than 100 addresses (for example, 10,000 addresses), then instead of populating the To field with all 10,000 addresses, you’ll see an “alias” address that looks like:
This address represents all 10,000 recipient email addresses.
When you hit the GMass button, the sending to the first batch of 10,000 addresses will begin. The reason we use an alias address instead of stuffing all 10,000 addresses in the To field is because the Gmail Compose window gets clunky with 4,000 or more addresses in the To field. Loading a few thousand addresses in the To field takes a long time and we don’t like making you wait. The “alias” address method is fast! Keep reading to learn just how many addresses the Compose window can hold.
Can you just paste 10,000 addresses into the Gmail “To” field?
You don’t have to use a Google Sheet. If you’re sending non-personalized email, or only need to personalize with the first/last name of contacts in your Gmail account, you can just paste all of your recipient addresses into the To field. As previously mentioned, this can slow down the Gmail interface though. We ran some experiments and concluded that the Gmail Compose window can actually hold up to 50,000 addresses!
Why send fewer emails than the maximum allowed?
If you send regular one-to-one correspondence from your Gmail account, you should leave yourself room in your account quota to send those emails. So, you may want to set your mail merge to send 450 emails/dayrather than 500 emails/day, so you have a buffer of 50 emails/day for your regular correspondence. Similarly, if you’re a Google Workspace user, you may want to set this to 1,900 instead of letting the system default to 2,000. Sometimes, Gmail doesn’t give you your account’s full sending ability, so this needs to be adjusted down in these cases. Our software, however, counts how many emails your Gmail account has sent in the last 24 hours and factors that in when sending your mail merge campaign.
We count how many emails you’ve sent (even through non-GMass methods) and adjust
If you’re a Google Workspace user and you’re sending a single mass email to 8,000 people, then unless you adjust the Speed setting your campaign will send the maximum of 2,000 emails/day over four days. If you don’t send any other emails during those four days, then this should run like clockwork. If you do send other emails, be it person-to-person emails with the regular Gmail Send button or other mass emails over those four days, prior to sending a new batch of campaign emails, we will count how many other emails have been sent from your account in the last 24 hours and adjust your campaign sending speed accordingly. This includes person-to-person emails, and even email campaigns sent from any other mail merge tool.
For example, if you’ve also sent 100 regular correspondence emails in the last 24 hours, now only 1,900 emails will be sent for the day’s batch instead of 2,000. After any batch of emails is sent, you receive an emailed report showing you how many emails were sent, when the next batch will send, and an explanation for any forced “throttling” put in place for you to prevent you from reaching your Gmail limits.
Here’s an example of a report after the daily Gmail limits have been exceeded for the day:
How well does Google enforce the sending limits?
After analyzing over a million email accounts that have sent through our platform, we know that sometimes Google gives you your full account sending quota of 500 emails/day for Gmail accounts and 2,000 emails/day for Google Workspace accounts, sometimes Google decreases these limits, and sometimes Google even increases these limits. That’s right — sometimes, if an account has a high reputation and is sending squeaky clean email campaigns, you can send more than 500 or 2,000 emails/day without Google suspending your account or bouncing your emails. See our article on the factors that we believe Google takes into account when determining your true sending limits.
Want to send 100,000 emails? Bypass Gmail’s limits altogether.
You can also bypass Gmail’s sending limits and infrastructure entirely and send an unlimited number of emails from your Gmail account. Need to send a campaign to 100,000 or 250,000 people? Just connect your account to a third-party SMTP service like SendGrid, and you can send as many emails as you want, right from the familiar Gmail interface. We use GMass to send our Gmail Genius newsletter to 400,000+ subscribers using this exact integration. In some cases, GMass will automatically send your emails through SendGrid for you when you run into your limits. Whether we do this or not is based on your sender reputation with us. If you find that your emails are not being auto “pushed” to SendGrid when you hit your limits, you should set up your own account with a third-party SMTP service and then connect it to your account.
Set up your own SMTP server and connect it to GMass, as described above.
If you’re sending low volume campaigns or have a high reputation with us, we may automatically push your campaign through our internal SMTP server when you hit a limit.
You can just have your campaign send your account’s daily maximum until all emails are sent.
You can sometimes stretch the limits of your account and choose to ignore your account’s limits and keep sending.
List of top ten highest volume campaigns we’ve sent recently.
This list of big campaigns is updated daily. This is a list of the biggest campaigns sent about a week ago. Why a week ago? So that each has enough time to accumulate “engagement” like opens, clicks, and replies, before we show you the results.
W_____r - C_S a_d C________l P___r 2__2 B_____g C_____s f_r PT / OT / S_P (_________e l_____d to 1_0 p___________)
Analytics for high-volume campaigns
Like all campaigns sent through our system, you get full analytics on opens, clicks, unsubscribes, bounces, replies and more. Each of these segments of a campaign can be used for a follow-up campaign or can be downloaded for easy import into a CRM or database system like Salesforce or Hubspot. Here’s an example of a high-volume report where about 400,000 emails were sent using Gmail via SendGrid as the email delivery service:
Sending high-volume campaigns in Gmail can be done but managing your Gmail limits is a complex issue. We provide several options to circumvent limits though, including:
Distributing emails across days, sending a specific amount per day
Sending your campaign through our internal SendGrid account
Sending your campaign through your own SMTP service.