How to Send Thousands of Emails at Once: 2024 Guide

how to send thousands of emails at once cover image with a helmet with thousand in writing

If you’re furiously googling “how to send thousands of emails at once,” you’ll be happy to learn that we’re going to offer you a solution today. And you’re not the first one to ask this question; it’s a problem so common, that there’s an entire industry built around it. 

Welcome to the world of email marketing!

This guide will show you how you can send thousands of emails to your contacts and also share ways to optimize the process and track performance.

Can You Send Thousands of Emails from Your Regular Email Account?

It’s technically possible, but it will be extremely inconvenient. This is because popular mailbox providers like Gmail and Yahoo offer email accounts for personal use and not for mass emailing

For example, Gmail has daily sending limits and anti-spam filters that can be stricter for bulk emails. This means your marketing emails might land in spam folders instead of inboxes.

Gmail accounts (ending with @gmail.com) allow sending a maximum of 500 emails within a 24-hour period, while Google Workspace accounts (@yourdomain.com) permit sending up to 2,000 emails within the same timeframe.

In this scenario, if you wanted to send, say, 50,000 emails to a list of leads, how would you do it?

You could create 100 Gmail accounts and email 500 contacts at a time; but even if you stay within the limit, sending multiple emails from a single account could raise red flags for spam filters, landing your messages in spam folders instead of inboxes.

Alternatives include browser plugins and online services that let you send your marketing emails via Gmail, but you’d still have to create accounts or use the ones they created. But none of these services are free.

In short — you could send thousands of emails from a regular email account, but it will be a massive challenge. This next section explains why.

Why Using Gmail to Send Marketing Emails is a Bad Idea

Let’s assume you’ve decided to use Gmail to send your marketing emails. 

The top reasons you shouldn’t do this are:

  1. You will violate the terms of service,
  2. You get limited features,
  3. Design options are poor,
  4. Strong chance you’ll land in the spam folder,
  5. The 500-email limit is restrictive,
  6. Personalization isn’t possible,
  7. You may break compliance laws,
  8. It’s poor for your brand image.

These points apply to most popular mailbox providers in the market today. And these are all serious hurdles, as you’ll discover below.

Terms of Service

Gmail’s Terms of Service typically prohibit using their platform for bulk or commercial emailing purposes. Sending marketing emails from Gmail could potentially violate these terms, leading to account suspension or termination. 

If you create a hundred accounts and they all get banned after you send emails, it’s a huge waste of your time and efforts.

No Features

Gmail lacks the advanced features and functionalities that are crucial for effective marketing campaigns, such as robust analytics, automated workflows, and A/B testing capabilities. 

Dedicated email marketing platforms offer these features to optimize campaign performance. We cover this in detail a little bit later.

Limited Designs

Gmail offers a few basic email templates for composing messages, but these templates are generally simple and lack the sophistication and variety available in dedicated email marketing platforms. 

Customization options are lousy, too — you can change basic elements like text color, font, and formatting, but you won’t have access to advanced design tools to create complex layouts or add interactive elements.

You can’t do much for mobile formatting either, leading to issues with email rendering and readability on smartphones or tablets.

Poor Deliverability Rate

Your deliverability rate tells you how many of the emails you sent made it to the inbox. And this is the biggest con of using Gmail to send marketing emails — they may never make it to the inbox. 

Gmail is sensitive to spamming behavior; sending marketing emails from a Gmail account increases the risk of being marked as spam. 

Additionally, violating Gmail’s sending limits or triggering spam filters can lead to Google suspending your account.

Send Limitations

Gmail imposes sending limits to prevent abuse and spamming. These limits may hinder your ability to reach your entire subscriber base efficiently, especially if you have a large audience.

Gmail simply isn’t built to handle large-scale email marketing. As your list grows and your campaigns become more complex, managing them in Gmail becomes difficult and time-consuming.

No Personalization

Gmail is designed primarily for one-to-one communication rather than mass marketing. Email personalization is crucial for engaging subscribers, and Gmail’s limited customization options may not suffice for effective marketing campaigns.

Compliance and Legal Problems

Marketing emails must comply with various legal regulations, such as anti-spam laws like the CAN-SPAM Act or GDPR. Using Gmail for marketing purposes may increase the risk of non-compliance due to limited control over email delivery and tracking.

It’s Not Professional!

Sending marketing emails from a generic Gmail address may undermine the professionalism and credibility of your brand. Using a custom domain email address (for example, ceo@johnsmith.com) is more appropriate for business communications, including marketing campaigns.

Gmail or Yahoo is suitable only for personal or small-scale communications. For all these reasons above, it’s best to stick to sending only personal emails from Gmail.

So — how exactly are you supposed to send thousands of emails at once?

The solution you’re looking for is an email marketing platform. The term may sound daunting — but it’s simply a service that lets you send thousands of emails with a bunch of features and tools to help you get the maximum value from the emails you send.

Here’s why it’s a great idea to consider one.

The Advantages of Using an Email Marketing Platform

An email marketing platform, or email services provider (ESP), is a specialized software or online service that lets you create, send, and manage email marketing campaigns. 

An email campaign is simply the act of sending multiple emails in one go. ESPs offer a wide range of features and tools to streamline the process of creating and executing these campaigns, as well as studying their performance.

By choosing to send emails using an email marketing platform, you get these benefits:

  • Contact management,
  • Deliverability,
  • Compliance,
  • Personalization,
  • Segmentation,
  • Analytics,
  • A template library,
  • Integration with third-party tools,
  • Customer care,
  • Scalability,
  • Automation.

Wondering what these terms have to do with sending emails? 

Don’t let the jargon scare you! This next section explains how you can benefit from these amazing features.

ESP Features Explained

If you’re curious to learn more about these terms, here are simple explanations:

FeatureWhat it means
Contact managementOrganize and manage email contacts, including segmentation, custom data, and preferences.
DeliverabilityThe chances of emails sent from an ESP landing in the inbox are much higher compared to personal email accounts.
ComplianceThese features help you comply with email regulations and anti-spam laws, including opt-in/opt-out management and unsubscribe links.
PersonalizationPersonalize email content based on subscriber data, such as first name, location, or past interactions.
SegmentationDivide email contacts into targeted segments based on demographics, behaviors, or other criteria.
AnalyticsTrack and analyze email campaign performance metrics.
Template libraryA collection of professionally designed email templates optimized for various purposes and industries.
A/B testingExperiment with different email strategies to identify the most effective ways to improve campaign performance.
Integration with third-party toolsCompatibility with other marketing tools and platforms for seamless data sharing and workflow automation.
Customer careYou get dedicated customer support personnel to help you with technical problems, plus knowledge resources and tutorials.
ScalabilityWhen your needs grow, an ESP can scale with them.
AutomationSet up automated email workflows triggered by specific actions or events.
Features offered by Email Services Providers

These features can magically transform your email-sending experience from a basic, no-frills one to a powerful, controlled, and trackable activity where you can learn more about your subscribers. 

While the action of sending an email is the same, the difference is night and day — with a proper email marketing platform, you get control and results like never before.

Mass Emails: Personal Accounts vs Email Marketing Platform

This table highlights the differences between sending thousands of emails from your Gmail or Yahoo account versus sending them via a professional ESP.

FeatureGmail/YahooEmail marketing platform
Design templatesBasic templatesProfessionally designed templates
Contact managementBasic informationFlexible and powerful contact management tools and features
AutomationNoneAdvanced automation for triggered emails and workflows
PersonalizationLimited to email templates and contact groupsDynamic content insertion and advanced personalization features
AnalyticsNoneComprehensive analytics and reporting
A/B testingNot availableA/B testing for experimenting with different elements and strategies.
Compliance and deliverabilityNo built-in compliance featuresCompliance tools (opt-in/opt-out management) and monitoring for better deliverability
Integration support for third-party toolsNot much besides a few pluginsIntegrations with CRM, e-commerce, and analytics platforms for seamless data sharing
Tech supportLimited support optionsDedicated customer support and resources for technical assistance
CostFree for personal use; Paid plans for business useSubscription-based pricing with various plans based on features and email volume
Sending Emails via Personal Accounts vs Email Platforms

As you can see, personal email accounts are no match whatsoever for email platforms; they’re not even in the same league. 

Next, we discuss one of our favorite aspects of email marketing — automation.

Email Marketing Automation Will Change Your Life!

Automation Builder on Campaign Refinery
Creating automation sequences on Campaign Refinery is simple [Source]

Email marketing automation gets its own section because of how useful it is and because it transforms the process of sending emails into something simple and manageable.

Automation is a game-changer for email senders, offering a powerful set of tools that streamline workflows and boost campaign effectiveness.

Sending emails gets a lot easier with automation:

  1. It eliminates the need for manual intervention in repetitive tasks such as sending welcome emails, birthday greetings, or follow-up messages. This frees up time to focus on content creation, audience analysis, or campaign optimization.
  2. Automation allows for consistent communication with subscribers by scheduling emails to be sent at optimal times, regardless of your availability.
  3. You can deliver personalized content to each subscriber based on their behaviors or interactions. This can significantly improve engagement and conversion rates without requiring manual effort for each recipient.
  4. With automation, you can set up triggered email campaigns that are activated based on specific actions like website visits, email opens, or purchases.
  5. After segmenting subscriber lists, you can use automation to target specific groups and send tailored content.
  6. You can nurture interested leads by automatically delivering relevant content at different stages of the customer journey. This helps nudge them toward conversion, which is not possible manually.
  7. Whether sending emails to hundreds or thousands of recipients, automation ensures that each subscriber receives the right message at the right time.

Email automation gives you 24/7 control over your email marketing. Like we said — one of the best features of using an ESP!

Types of Email Campaigns You Can Send

If you opt for an ESP, a world of email campaigns opens up to you as you can’t execute any of these using a regular email account — it would be too taxing. 

The most common email campaigns you can execute with an email platform:

Campaign TypeDescriptionWhat’s the use case?
Welcome seriesAutomated emails sent to new subscribers after signupIntroduce your brand, build relationships, or educate users
PromotionalEmails promoting special offers, discounts, or new product launchesDrive sales and increase revenue
Seasonal Emails promoting sales or events tied to holidays or specific seasonsIncrease brand awareness and capitalize on seasonal trends
Transactional emailsAutomated emails triggered by order confirmations, shipping updates, or password resetsProvide important information and improve customer experience
Abandoned cartEmail sequence sent to customers who leave a website without completing a purchaseRecover lost sales and remind customers about abandoned items
Customer feedbackEmails requesting feedback through surveys or pollsImprove products or services and understand customer sentiment
Re-engagementEmails sent to inactive subscribers to win them backReduce churn and re-activate dormant leads
Examples of Email Campaigns

Depending on your industry and what’s popular with your subscriber pool, you can refine and shortlist the types of campaigns you send your readers.

How to Track the Performance of Your Emails

Campaign Refinery Email Performance
Campaign Refinery: Analytics Dashboard

When you run an email campaign on an ESP, you also get the ability to track its effectiveness — this is something you can’t do with a regular Gmail or Outlook account. 

There are numerous campaign metrics that you can study to refine future strategies further so that you get the best results from the campaigns you run next.

These metrics give you insight:

MetricWhat it tells you
Delivery rateThe rate at which email is accepted by the recipient mailboxes. Calculated by dividing the unique emails accepted by total sent emails.
Open rateThe percentage of recipients who opened the email.
Click-through rate/CTRThe percentage of recipients who clicked on at least one link within the email; calculated by dividing unique clicks by total number of emails sent.
Conversion ratePercentage of email recipients who completed the desired action, such as making a purchase or downloading a file.
Bounce rateThe percentage of sent emails that were not delivered.
Unsubscribe rateNumber of recipients who removed themselves from your email list.
Spam complaintsThe percentage of recipients who reported your email as spam.
Which Campaign Metrics to Track

By analyzing these data points, you will be able to steer your future campaigns in the right direction, until you hit a sweet spot and know exactly what emails to send your customers!

Choosing the Right ESP

Now that you’re convinced that an ESP is the answer to your problems, how do you go about choosing one?

Factors to consider:

  • Deliverability rates: A high deliverability rate ensures your emails reach recipients’ inboxes and avoid spam filters. Look for ESPs with a proven track record of high deliverability.
  • Reliability and uptime: Your ESP should offer consistent service with minimal downtime. Find providers with high uptime guarantees to ensure your emails are always being delivered.
  • Security and compliance: Choose an ESP that prioritizes data security and has a strict anti-spam policy. Compliance with data privacy regulations is crucial.
  • Scalability and flexibility: Consider your future needs. Will your campaign complexity and email list grow? Choose an ESP that can scale with you and offers flexible plans to accommodate growth.
  • User-friendly UI and features:  A user-friendly interface makes managing your emails and campaigns effortless. Seek intuitive features like drag-and-drop email builders, easy list management tools, and automation capabilities.
  • Integration: Does the ESP integrate with your existing CRM, marketing automation platform, or other tools? Seamless integration streamlines your workflow and avoids data silos.
  • Customer support: Reliable customer support is vital when you encounter issues. Look for providers offering multiple support channels (phone, email, live chat) with responsive and knowledgeable reps.
  • Cost effectiveness: ESP pricing varies depending on features and sending volume. Determine your budget and choose an ESP that aligns with your needs — you’ll soon discover that the ROI is well worth the cost of email marketing.

We do have a recommendation that checks all these boxes…

Campaign Refinery: The Best Deliverability Solution

Campaign Refinery Homepage
Campaign Refinery: The Choice of Email Veterans

Campaign Refinery is a boutique email services platform built around the idea that if an email is sent — it should have the best chance of reaching the inbox. 

And we’ve been successful with this mission because Campaign Refinery has the best deliverability rates in the market — and we’re proud of it!

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg:

  • We have an automated list cleaner that goes through your contacts list and automatically removes spam traps, burner IDs, seeder accounts, role-based emails, complainers, and similar problem-causing entries. 
  • Our automation designer is simple and intuitive; if you can dream it, you can create it.
  • Want to segment your lists and organize your leads in a hundred different ways? Discover our tagging system — you will be surprised at how easily you can target your subscribers.
  • With Zapier, you can connect all your favorite marketing tools. We’re talking thousands.
  • Want click rates as high as 72.76%? Try our Gamification system — by rewarding your subscribers for engagement, they will start looking forward to your next email!
  • Dependable, friendly customer support — we really care.

What better place to begin your email journey than an email marketing platform that is the best at landing your emails in the inbox? Apply to be a Campaign Refinery customer today!

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