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Send Email to Many Recipients Using a Mail Merge - Knowledgebase / Email and Collaboration / Email - OIT Service Center

Send Email to Many Recipients Using a Mail Merge

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In order to prevent spam, Google will temporarily disable accounts which send a lot of email in a short time.  It's important to be aware of these limits when doing a mail merge. Here are the limits, from Google's help pages:

  • 2,000 messages per day (i.e., you can hit 'Send' a maximum of 2,000 times)
  • 500 unique recipients per message (external) or 2,000 (internal)
  • 10,000 total recipients per day (for example, you could send 20 emails, each with 500 recipients)

In addition to these limitations, Google will temporarily disable your account if you exceed these limits or if you send a large number of undeliverable messages. 

According to the Google help center, you can only send a message to up to 100 people at a time if you use POP or IMAP. For more detailed information, see Google's Support Page on Sending Limits.

BCC or Google Groups

If you don't need to customize content for your recipients, you can simply BCC them on an email or use a Google Group.

BCC: You can put your own (or your department's) address in the To field and paste the list of recipients into Bcc. This is a good solution if it's a one-time mailing or if the recipient list changes every time you send an email.

Google Groups: Every Google Group has an email address. When you send mail to that address, it is delivered directly to all members of the group. If you need to email the same group of people periodically, this may be a good option. Google Groups are requested through the IT Service Center. If you are using a Google Group to send announcements, we recommend requesting that it is set up so that only you (Manager) can post to the group. Otherwise, recipients might Reply All and send email to the rest of the group. 

Connecting Outlook to Your Google Apps Account

You can continue to send mail merges using Outlook, but you must configure Outlook to connect to your GoogleApps account. Ask your department's IT support staff to help you set this up.

Using Scripts in a Google Spreadsheet

Using this tutorial, you can create a Google spreadsheet that sends a mail merge. The tutorial is slightly outdated, so it might help to have some foundational knowledge of Google Apps Script.

Here is an example Mail Merge Spreadsheet available to members of the Brown community. You can make a copy for your own use. 

A similar product that has been pre-built is Yet Another Mail Merge. It's been approved for Level 2 data at Brown. There is an associated cost depending on the amount of mail you plan to send.

Mail Marketing Services

If you are sending large mailings or are contacting people for marketing purposes, alternate solutions such as the ones linked below are  often the most appropriate way to contact your audience.  They can have advantages such as the ability to send nicely-formatted HTML emails and track the success/open rate of your message. Before getting started with one of these, we recommend contacting Web Services for best practices and template suggestions.

Mail Chimp - approved for Level 1 data
Constant Contact - approved for Level 1 data

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