it’s practical to use Gmail to send mass emails. Why? Because so many use the platform. Around 1.8 billion people in the world use Gmail. This is almost half of all email users, which Statista pegged at four billion in 2020. With a global population of over 7.8 billion, the number of Gmail users represents 23% of the entire human race.
However, you might be wondering, can Gmail handle sending out bulk emails in the thousands? What are the common problems marketers and businesses face while using Gmail for mass email?
These questions and more will be answered in this article.
But first, what is mass email?
Mass Email – Explained
A mass email is a message that is sent to a large number of recipients. Also known as bulk email or email blasts, it is an important marketing tool brands use to reach vast audiences.
When done right, mass email can be a highly effective way to improve engagement, increase brand awareness, and boost revenue.
These bulk messages must not be confused with spam mail, which is illegal. While spam is also sent to a large number of people, it is largely unwarranted and unasked for.
Mass email for marketing is fundamentally different because all recipients are from a targeted list—they have likely signed up to receive messages from the brand. This means they are interested in their offerings and will likely open the message to read its contents.
What is the most common content of mass emails?
- Newsletter – This is a periodic news-type bulletin sent to members of a list. For marketing, newsletters are sent to customers and prospective leads who may be interested in what the brand is up to.
- Promotion – These are messages about new products and services, upcoming sales, advertisements, and any other content that promotes or markets the brand.
- Event invitations – These emails invite customers or prospective clients to company events and brand-sponsored activities.
- Company updates – These messages contain product or service updates, company anniversaries, and relevant news about the brand.
Common Problems With Mass Emails in Gmail and What To Do About Them
Gmail is one of the most popular email platforms in the world because of its ease of use and streamlined interface. It is a practical choice to use for your email marketing campaigns.
However, it is not without issues.
Here are some of the common problems you may encounter when using Gmail for mass mail and what you can do about them.
Gmail Daily Sending Limits
There is no standard number of emails that a business needs to send in a day. However, large retail businesses amass tens of thousands of signups and must engage with their customers regularly.
Unfortunately, Gmail has a cap on the number of emails one account can send in a single day. The limit is in place so malicious parties won’t use the platform to send spam. It keeps the Gmail ecosystem safe and healthy.
This means your business can’t send thousands of promotional emails or newsletters to all your customers or prospective customers at the same time.
What Can You Do?
The hard limit cannot be bypassed, and your account may be suspended if you force it.
There are several workarounds though, some more taxing than others.
One way is to create multiple accounts. If you create ten Gmail accounts, you can send as many as 5,000 emails. You can make as many as you want, but maintaining all those email addresses will be quite a hassle.
There is also a matter of inconsistency if multiple accounts send out branded emails.
The following are the Google Workspace sending limits (as of 2023):
- 2,000 messages per day (1,500 for multi-send and 500 for trial accounts)
- 10,000 auto-forwarded messages (those that are automatically forwarded to another account). These limits are not included in the daily sending limit.
- 2,000 recipients for one message
- 10,000 email addresses or recipients (all messages)
The message count includes those sent from an alternate address or alias, delegated users, and Gmail’s vacation responder. The cap is applied over a rolling period and starts over every 24 hours.
But what if you need to send several thousands of emails in one day for your promos?
A mass email service is a tool that allows you to send bulk emails. Certain software allows you to send thousands of emails a day. Marketers prefer to use mass email services because they can send tens of thousands of emails with minimal effort. Without third-party software, doing so would be exhausting.
Spending money for software is worth it in the long run because you don’t need a lot of people to send out emails and there will be fewer mistakes. It’s faster too.
Plus, you can schedule all emails to be sent at a specific date and time. There is also less chance for the email to be flagged as spam and you won’t get flagged by the internet service provider. Companies that provide mass email service will also ensure that your campaign follows the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing (CAN-SPAM) Act of 2003.
The issue with sending bulk emails is the possibility they will be tagged as spam. If the email service, Gmail in this case, suspects that you are spamming because you are sending blast emails by the hundreds, your branded communications may be sent directly to recipients’ spam folders.
Low deliverability is a common issue with Gmail because of its strict parameters. Gmail does not want anyone to use its platform for suspicious activities.
What Can You Do?
There are several things you can do: first, don’t send out suspicious messages that may be flagged.
A marketing email must be well thought out and well-written. It must have a proper header so the recipient will not mistake your message for spam. The header must be properly formatted, too.
Plus, all your emails must have an unsubscribe link—it is mandated by law. If you don’t include one, your email might be automatically tagged as spam and will never be seen or read by your target audience.
Also, don’t send out bulk emails from a brand-new Gmail account. Warm up the account by first sending out a few emails per day. Once it has some engagement, you can start sending bulk emails.
Send emails only to people who want to receive them, or your messages will go straight to the spam folder. This also entails constantly updating your contact list and weeding out inactive accounts.
Further, don’t include too many links in your emails. Too many links will not only increase the likelihood of being flagged as spam, but also will give you an unclear insight on a customer or potential customer’s reason for clicking. When customers click on all links, you lose the chance of understanding their preferences. If there are too many links, the recipient will simply get tired of clicking links. There is also a higher chance of messing up links when you need to update too many of them.
If you have attachments in the email, they must be correct. Too many links or discrepancies in attachments can send your messages to spam folders.
Follow-up sequences should only be sent to accounts that need them. When you are building a relationship with clients, you must send follow-up emails. However, you have to be pragmatic about how you go about email sequences because you don’t want to annoy the recipients and prompt them to unsubscribe. You can send around two more follow-up emails, but if you don’t get a response from them, don’t push it. Or if you do, at least give the recipient some space so they won’t get annoyed and unsubscribe.
Lastly, use the Simple Mail Transport Protocol (SMTP) relay.
SMTP is a relay service that allows businesses to send thousands of marketing messages from a separate domain and email server. It sends your emails to the target computer and inbox. It’s necessary for business when mass emails are part of its success.
Lack of Reporting
Mass emails from Gmail don’t provide data reporting that may be helpful in analytics. Part of the reason why you send marketing emails is to reach out to your audience. But how do you know if the message reached the audience? How many recipients opened the email and engaged with its contents?
Email marketing metrics such as clickthrough rate, bounce rate, conversion rate, overall ROI, etc., will help you measure your campaign’s success. Gmail does not provide any of this information.
What Can You Do?
Use a Gmail extension that tracks emails and provides metrics and analytics reports like Mailtrack.
This tool allows you to personalize emails with ease. All you need is a spreadsheet outlining recipient information; the extension will do the rest. It also has a useful and accurate tracking feature.
Mailtrack reports include the following:
- Date the email was sent
- Date and time when the email was first opened
- Number of emails sent
- Open rates
- Click rates
- How many PDFs were viewed
This information will help you determine what type of content is opened by which of your recipients and which ones get a lot of engagement. You will also be able to target recipients in follow-up emails.
Low Email Engagement
Tools have made it easier for marketers to send out mass email. But high email deliverability doesn’t mean much when recipients don’t read the brand message. Success is measured by engagement levels.
Email engagement is a measurement of the efficacy of a marketing campaign. The recipients must be encouraged to act on your email, whether they click on a link, subscribe to a newsletter, or proceed to buy from your ecommerce store.
Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to get recipients to engage.
What Can You Do?
You need to be strategic. Don’t just send emails because you think you need to. You have to plan each one: the content, when to send it, and how and when to follow up.
1. Send Welcome Emails
Don’t try to sell to your recipients right away. Sending a welcome message and a series of informational emails will ease them into your blossoming brand relationship.
You can send a brief survey to gauge your recipients’ interests, personalities, and shopping habits.
2. Personalize Your Emails
Your messages must be relevant and valuable to the recipient. This is where you can leverage surveys and other customer data.
3. Perform A/B Split Testing
This is the process of testing two marketing variants (subject lines, email templates, etc.) to determine which one generates more engagement. Regularly test elements of your email marketing campaigns to send the better and more effective options.
6 Keys to Succeed in Your Mass Email Campaign
The success of your email campaign is measured by the open rate and click-through rate (CTR). Open rate refers to the percentage of people who opened the mass mail while the CTR measures the number of people who actually clicked the links in your message.
According to MailChimp, the average open rate across all industries is 21.33%, while the click-through rate is 2.62%.
Obviously, the higher the rate, the better it is for your email marketing campaign. How can you achieve higher open and click-through rates?
Check out some of these tips for a successful and profitable email campaign
1. Personalize Your Email Message
“Hi, Jenny!” just hits differently than “Hi, customer!” Personalized emails stand out and encourage recipients to open them compared to other generic communications. This direct address implies that the email contains information they will surely be interested in.
This simple adjustment also makes for a better customer experience, as the recipient will feel more valued by the brand. This is easy to do with Mail Merge.
However, personalization is more than just putting a recipient’s first name on the email. It must also be about content. Segment your customer database and send customers relevant emails. For example, when you have new signups, a welcome email is appropriate. Sending such a message to a long-time customer will make it clear that you are not paying attention.
You can go further, too. Because you have important data about your customers, you can send them birthday greetings or a celebratory message during their anniversary with the brand.
2. Use Catchy Subject Lines
The subject line is the first thing recipients see when they receive your email. There is no overstating the power it holds—it could be the sole reason why someone opens the email or sends it to the trash without reading it.
Here are some tips to make catchy subject lines:
- Personalize the subject line by using your recipient’s first name, e.g., “Jenny, you might like these deals.”
- Avoid spam words or distinctly salesy language, like “buy now” or “free”
- Keep it short—according to experts, seven words and 41 characters are ideal but you don’t have to be very strict with this
- Use open-ended questions that will make recipients curious: “Who runs the world?”
- Focus on what recipients want, not what we want. Campaigns must be customer- or user-centered.
- Be specific. Instead of saying “Have better health!” say, “5 simple habits that will improve your mental health”
- Email must be timely and urgent i.e. “Special sales ends today”
- Include a single, relevant and super clear CTA
There are many ways to get the recipient’s attention—be as creative and engaging as possible.
3. Optimize Email for Mobile Devices
Most marketing emails are created on desktops or laptops, so they are usually optimized for these devices. However, according to a report, 65% of all emails are first opened on mobile devices.
Recipients will not think twice about deleting or even unsubscribing if your text and graphics are hard to read on their smartphone or tablet. You must always prioritize ease and accessibility for your audience to provide them with the best customer service and experience.
How do you make your email responsive for mobile devices?
- Keep the subject line short
- Use pre-header text
- Keep content brief
- Choose the appropriate file format for images
Test your emails on multiple devices to ensure you have all of your bases covered. Ensure the email format is perfectly readable and easy to engage with before sending it out.
4. Re-engage Inactive Subscribers
Just because you’ve lost subscribers doesn’t mean you can’t get them back. But this time, you have to improve your campaign. Look back at the things they used to engage with and the emails they used to open. Evaluate all their behavior on your record and offer similar things.
For example, you see that they used to engage with content about new shoes. Entice them with your new collections and include a discount coupon to sweeten the pot.
Always keep data on your customers and target leads so you can get back to them with better offers.
5. Target the Emotions
A great way to find success in mass email is by targeting recipients’ emotions. Here are some things that will make recipients want to open your messages:
- Excitement – offer exclusive deals and promotions they can’t say no to
- FOMO – the fear of missing out is real—if you tap the bandwagon effect in your emails, customers become more receptive to your offers
- Inspiration – emphasize your brand values and implore customers to join your advocacy
- Hope – provide solutions to problems and customers will have hope that things will become better
- Curiosity – entice recipients with something fresh to pique their curiosity
How do you make an emotional connection with your customers? Tell a story. Email marketing is not just about promotions and deals. It can be used to share a good story about the brand and its social projects.
Emphasize the sense of community and approach your messaging on a personal level.
6. Know Your Timing
Being timely refers to two things. First, it’s about seasonality. Is it close to Christmas? Then send emails about the holidays—not just deals and promotions but valuable content, like gift guides. Sending timely, educational, and informative articles will be helpful to your customers.
Second, there is also a right time of the day to send marketing blasts. You want to send it when people are more likely to open and read it.
According to Omnisend research, here are the best times to send emails:
- It’s best to send a campaign on weekdays. Tuesday has the highest open rates, but Friday showcases the best conversion rates.
- The first ten days of the month are vital in email marketing. The first day shows the best conversions, the second has the best click-through rates, and the tenth has the best open rates.
- The best times to send emails are 8 a.m., 2 p.m., and 5 p.m.
Of course, these are all general metrics—the specifics vary depending on your niche, target audience, and many other factors. Do your own market research to understand your customers and determine the best days and times of day to send emails.
Emails are just one element of marketing, but it’s an important one to get right. In some cases, it’s the first touchpoint in a customer journey that you want to benefit from.
With the appropriate tools and techniques, you can make the most of sending mass emails with Gmail and enjoy high open rates, click-through rates, and conversions.
Learn More About How to Send Mass Email Through the Following Articles:
Finances Online (2022). Number of Active Gmail Users 2022/2023: Statistics, Demographics, & Usage. Finances Online. https://financesonline.com/number-of-active-gmail-users/
Statista (2023). Number of E-mail Users Worldwide From 2017 to 2025. Statista. https://www.statista.com/statistics/255080/number-of-e-mail-users-worldwide