How to create a group email in Gmail: A step-by-step guide

You can create a group email in Gmail to send messages to multiple Google contacts at once. This is super useful for newsletters, announcements, and even professional sales emails. Generally, there are two methods of making a group email in Gmail.

  1. Use the standard functionality in Gmail itself. It’s completely free, but you also don’t have much control over the situation. 
  1. The second way is to use a free and secure Chrome extension like Mailtrack to create a group email—it’s faster and you can monitor responses. 

We’ll walk you through exactly how to create a group email in Gmail through both of these techniques. 

How to create and send group emails using only Gmail

It’s fairly easy to create a distribution list of addresses in Gmail and send an email to all of them. But there are a few things you should know: 

  • You will only see one sent email in your outbox
  • Gmail limits sent emails to 500 per 24 hours for free accounts (2,000 for Google Workspace — formerly G Suite — accounts)
  • Hitting the limit could suspend you from sending any emails for a day

If you hit the limit, Google won’t just take away your group email privileges. You wouldn’t be able to send any type of email at all for a short time. That can wreak havoc on your workflow when you’re in the middle of speaking with potential customers, so it’s best to stay well below the Gmail email limit. 

The limits count for every 24 hour period, not days of the week. So,  if you sent 400 emails on Wednesday evening you shouldn’t send another 200 on Thursday morning. 

The steps to create a Gmail group email are straightforward. You have to go through your contacts list for email accounts you want to add, edit recipients, then send an email to the group. 

Step one: Create a group in Gmail

The first part of a group email in Gmail is to create a list or group of contacts that you want to email. There are a couple of options for accessing your Google contacts. One way is to visit your Google Contacts page directly. The other way is to log into Gmail, click on the drop-down menu for Google Apps in the top right corner, and click Contacts.

You can manage a group of contacts in Google Contacts

Once you’re looking at your contact list, simply check off the contacts you want in your group. After you’ve highlighted a few contacts for your mailing list, click on Manage labels in the top menu bar. In the drop-down menu, select Create label and type in the name of your mailing list. This will group Google contacts into your Gmail distribution list. Be aware that the Manage labels option won’t appear until you have selected at least one email address.

Step two: Add contacts to the group

You can add more contacts at any time by revisiting your contact list, checking off email addresses, and adding them to the label you created. Be aware that Google doesn’t automatically create contacts for you. But don’t worry. There’s another list called “Frequently contacted” that shows the addresses you converse with the most. You can transfer addresses from this list to your contacts and then add them to the designated contacts group. 

Step three: Edit contacts and send mail

Next, go back to your Gmail account. Refresh the page for the newly created label to load, and then, 

  • Compose a new email
  • Type the name of the label you created into the “To” field
  • Click on the label and the field will automatically populate with each email address in the group

At this point, you can edit the group by deleting email addresses in the “To” field. Perhaps you want to plan a surprise party for one person in the office and don’t want them to find out. This would be a great way to do that. 

On the other hand, let’s say you have a mailing list that you want to email as a whole sometimes but as segments at other times. You could start by creating the main group label as normal. Next, you can deselect certain emails to form a segment and save the group under a new label. 

You can do this for as many segments as you want. When you go to compose an email, just choose which list you want to send the message to. You can also add groups to the Cc or Bcc fields. 

After your list is all set, just click send. 

How to send group emails like a pro

With the group email option in Gmail, you don’t have any insight into delivery or open rates. But there are plenty of situations where that data would be helpful. If your task is to get pertinent information out to the entire team, it would save you a lot of time to just glance and see who opened your email and who didn’t. You can then send follow-ups to the right people instead of messaging everyone again or following up unnecessarily in person. 

Read receipt data is even more useful when your email group is made up of prospects or clients. With the right tracking tool, you can see when the emails were opened and even when your links were clicked. This can give you insight as to where the prospect is in the discovery or buying process, and when you should follow up. 

Why use an extension?

There are different ways to improve Gmail functionality, but going with extensions is the simplest option. Chrome extensions are already integrated into Google, so you don’t need to switch to a different program when creating a Gmail group or getting data on your email list. 

Important: check the security of the extension. An extension may exist more to harvest data than provide a service. This is not the case with Mailtrack. Mailtrack doesn’t access or store the content of your emails or share it with third parties. When looking at extensions, make sure you can access the privacy policy to double check if you have any questions.

Mailtrack installs with one click and automatically adds different buttons and icons to your regular Gmail experience. After installation, the program gets blind read receipts without the message recipient knowing. This is especially useful for working with an email list when you don’t want recipients to feel like they are being tracked. 

Step one: Create a new group in Gmail

When using Mailtrack, you can follow the exact same procedure outlined above for creating a group in Gmail (create new contacts, select email addresses, create label). Since Mailtrack is an add-on in Chrome, you don’t have to copy and paste emails into any other form or document. You can add contacts and groups directly from Gmail labels. 

If you don’t want to create an entire group, you can always add multiple contacts manually in the “To” field. 

Step two: Start a group Campaign

Once you’ve grouped the contacts you want to add, create a new email compose window in Gmail. With Mailtrack installed, you’ll see a blue Campaign link in the top field of the compose window. Click on that. 

Now, the top bar of the compose window should have turned green, which lets you know you’re inside an email group campaign. You can add up to 200 email addresses while in a Mailtrack campaign, and that is also the maximum per 24 hours. You can either enter the label for the mailing list you created in Gmail or add emails manually. 

Of course, don’t forget to finish out the email with a good subject line and compelling content.

Mailtrack Campaigns turns Gmail into an emailing tool for up to 200 contacts.

Step three: Send the group email

When the email list and content is ready, simply send your email. You’ll see a popup confirming that you want to send the group email to the number of addresses your mailing list, and you can click Send Now to confirm or Cancel to go back. 

Step four: Sit back and collect the data

Up to this point, Mailtrack’s group email functionality has been similar to Gmail. But the magic happens after you click send. 

With Mailtrack, each person in the group email gets their own tracked email. When you click on your outbox, you’ll see individual outgoing messages to everyone that was in the email group. In contrast, Gmail only shows you one outgoing email that represents the whole group. 

Mailtrack’s standard functionality now applies to each email address on the mailing list. You’ll receive notifications when your Google contacts open the email. Each email in the group will also display one or two green checkmarks in your outbox. The first checkmark turns green to verify tracking is on and the email was sent, and the second checkmark turns green when the recipient opens the email. 

For a bird’s eye view, just click on your outbox and scroll through to see the checkmarks. Alternatively, you can go to your Mailtrack dashboard and view a report of all sent and read messages in the group. Mailtrack can monitor link clicks, too, which gives you more helpful insight. 

While there may be two ways to send group emails in Gmail, they don’t provide equal data after you hit send. Mailtrack can monitor what happens after you send a message to your email list so you know when and how to follow up later.

Get Mailtrack today