It’s fairly common in the online world to want to send an email to a long list of contacts, without having these people know who else is getting the message. Luckily, there are a number of solutions to this issue. Here, we’ll cover how to send an email to multiple recipients individually in Gmail.
Why send a mass email and hide the recipients?
There are countless reasons for people to want to send emails to multiple recipients without letting them know who else is being contacted. It’s a common need for a lot of people, especially:
- Salespeople, to get in touch with clients and prospects.
- Marketers, for running email marketing campaigns.
- Recruiters, to update people on open positions, or to update applicants.
- Organizations, for sending information to members, particularly if anonymity and discretion are important components to the organization.
The main benefit of doing this is the power of a “perceived individual mail”. Sending a mass email, where each recipient can see the long list of other recipients, can often feel very spammy. It’s very impersonal and can make people extra aware that the email is mass-sent.
But, with an email that is sent directly to each recipient, it feels a lot more personal and direct. The end result is often much higher engagement rates with the email and a significantly lower chance that you end up in the spam folder.
Send to multiple recipients using the BCC method in Gmail
Perhaps the simplest method of doing this is the BCC method. This works by sending the email to a single recipient, often even to yourself, and adding every intended recipient of the email as a BCC.
Contacts added into the BCC (blind carbon copy) field will receive a copy of the email, but this won’t be visible to the recipient of the email, nor to other contacts added as BCC (hence the “blind” part).
Note: Don’t get this mixed up with the CC (carbon copy) option. Contacts added as a CC to an email will be totally visible to every other person—including other CC recipients.
How to use the BCC method in Gmail
Here’s a step-by-step guide for actually using the BCC method in Gmail:
- Open Gmail, either in your browser, phone app, or elsewhere and write your intended email.
- Click BCC in the top-right of the window
- Add in the email addresses you want to contact. If you have these already typed out somewhere, you can copy the whole list and paste it in directly.
Add in a direct recipient in the “To” field.
Even if the email is addressed to a number of recipients in the BCC field, an email can’t be sent to no one. So, add an email address here – even if it’s your own email address, that will work just fine.
Potential problems of using BCC in Gmail for multiple recipients
While the BCC method for sending mass emails is incredibly simple, it does come with some drawbacks.
- The most obvious problem is the recipients seeing themselves listed as BCC recipients. While they won’t be able to see who else is receiving the message, simply seeing themselves added as a BCC rather than a direct recipient may raise some flags. It’s pretty clear that they’re not the only recipient of the email.
If recipients do notice this, then at best it appears as a somewhat impersonal communication. At worst the email could seem like spam. This could even lead to Gmail marking your email address as a whole as a spam account.
- It leaves you unaware of who has opened your emails. Simply sending out emails in this way may lead to positive results or not. However, without an email tracking system supporting these emails, you’re left without valuable data, such as who opens the email, what time people open them, and whether they click on links and attachments in the email.
- Using the BCC method also leaves you subject to Gmail’s sending limit—which typically falls into several hundred a day. While this is fine if you’re only dealing with a few dozen email recipients, once you start needing to send out higher volumes of emails, then this simply won’t suffice for your needs. The step to take at this point would be to use emailing campaign software.
Note: if someone receives an email as a BCC recipient, then if they hit “reply all”, then only you will and the contacts in the “To” field will receive the reply. The others in the BCC list will not receive the reply since their contact information is not shown.
Send emails to multiple recipients using Mailtrack Campaigns
Mailtrack Campaigns allows users to send mass emails to up to 200 distinct recipients each day. Each contact receives a direct email from your Gmail account, but don’t see any of the other recipients.
Once the free Mailtrack extension is installed, it’s integrated into your Gmail. This means that there is no need to launch a new program or keep an additional tab open to send your mass emails. You can simply use Gmail as usual, but now with extra options.
Here’s how it works:
- From your browser, open up your Gmail
- Click the Compose button, and in the top-right of the window, click the option for “Campaign”.
- In the “Recipients” field, add each contact you wish to receive this email.
Tip: you can copy the list of email addresses you want to contact and simply paste them into this field.
- Once you’ve written your email, just click Send as usual.
Now, each of these recipients will receive your email as if it were only sent to them. They won’t see anyone else in the recipients list, and their email will appear in the “to” section of the email details.
Benefits of using Mailtrack over BCC in Gmail
A little more personal
BCC is very impersonal. Knowing how to send an email to multiple recipients individually in Gmail with BCC is fine. But, when people receive an email and see themselves listed as a BCC recipient, it’s usually pretty clear to them that they’re just part of a mass emailing campaign. Sending them an email where they’re the only recipient makes the communication feel just a little more personal.
Individual email tracking
When sending mass emails through Mailtrack campaigns, each email is tracked individually. This means knowing who from your contact list is opening your emails, and who is ignoring them. Mailtrack can also give users notifications to let them know when their email recipients open the message.
If you’re sending emails that are urgent, then making sure everyone has read it can be crucial. Mailtrack provides reminders to let you know when emails haven’t been opened after a certain time. This lets users take that list of non-reading recipients and send them a second email to prompt them to start reading.
Be careful about doing this. There is often a very fine line between sending a helpful follow-up and nagging or spamming people. However, if you’re reminding people about something important, such as an imminent event being abruptly canceled, then go for it.