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Want to send an email to all your contacts in Gmail? Here’s how

Want to send an email to all your contacts in Gmail? Here’s how

min read

Do you want to send emails to multiple contacts on your list, but don't have time to send them separately? We have good news: Gmail offers mass email features that allow you to send a single message to all of your contacts with the click of a button. 

But how far do Gmail's mass email features go? Can you send attachments or personalize emails before sending them? Or are you limited to text emails? That's what we're discussing today.

In this guide, we'll show you how to send an email to all of your contacts in Gmail and also how to maximize its mass mail features. 

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Why would you need to send a mass email?

Sending mass emails is a common marketing strategy, and marketers use it often to gather feedback via surveys, distribute newsletters, share promotions and discounts with customers, and share big announcements with multiple recipients at once.

The ability to send emails in bulk makes building an email marketing campaign significantly easier, as no one has to spend hours sending out emails individually. Some business owners also use mass emails to send proposals to multiple client stakeholders at once.

As mentioned earlier, there are two ways to send an email to all of your contacts in Gmail. Here’s a step-by-step look at each method. 

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Method 1: Send emails to your Google Contacts from your Gmail account

The easiest way to send mass emails using Gmail is to use Google Contacts. Below, we list the exact steps you need to follow.

Step 1: Consider using a mail merge (optional)

While Gmail lets you send mass emails, it limits your ability to add attachments, create personalized emails, track responses, and more. That's where a mail merge tool comes into play. Using one can bring features into Gmail that Google restricts. Some tools also send automatic follow-up emails to prompt more responses, which often adds to the success of marketing campaigns.

You can either look for a mail merge add-on within Gmail, or integrate a CRM tool that has a mail merge feature, like Streak, with your Gmail account.

Step 2: Add your contacts

If you don't already have your contacts saved in Gmail or Google Contacts, you'll need to do so. To import contacts from a CSV or vCard file, follow the next steps:

  1. Open your Gmail account.
  2. Go to Google Contacts through the Google Apps icon.
  3. Click on Import on the left-side menu.
  4. Click on Select File.
  5. Locate the contacts file on your computer and open it.
  6. Choose Import.

If you don't have a ready file on your laptop, you'll have to create the contacts yourself. Here's what to do:

  1. After opening Google Contacts, click on Create Contact > Create a contact or Create multiple contacts.
  2. Type in the information you have about each contact.
  3. Click Save on the right side of the screen.

Step 3: Label your Google contacts in Gmail

If you want your mass email to reach only a handful of contacts from your entire contacts list, you need to create a label for them. A label acts like a filter that sends emails to a specific group of contacts rather than the entire list. Here's how to set one up:

  1. Open Google Contacts.
  2. Click on Labels on the left-side menu.
  3. Choose Create Label.
  4. Write the name you want for your label.
  5. Click Save.
a screenshot of the Google Contacts page with the open window to Create label so you can send emails to this specific group through with that label

Now, you'll see the name of the label on the left-side menu. To assign people (email addresses) to the label, do the following:

  1. Go to your contact list.
  2. Mark the ones you want to add to the label by clicking on the boxes next to the names.
  3. Click on the Manage Labels icon above the contacts.
  4. Choose the label you created.
  5. Click on Apply.

Step 4: Compose your group email message

Now that you have your contact list ready and labeled, you can compose your email message.

  1. Go to Gmail's main page.
  2. Click on Compose on the left side of the screen.
  3. Click on the three vertical dots beneath the message box.
  4. Go to Templates > Insert Template.
  5. Choose the template you want.

If you don't have saved templates on your Gmail account, you can write the email right after clicking on Compose.

Step 5: Add your recipients and send your email

Adding all the email addresses you want to send the email to will now be a breeze, thanks to the labeling step you followed above. All you have to do is the following:

  1. After clicking on Compose, click on Bcc under the To field.
  2. Start typing the name of your label, and click on it when it appears.
  3. Click on Send.

Step 6: Track your email view and link clicks (optional)

For a more efficient mass email campaign, we recommend tracking your email’s views and link clicks after every send.

Since Gmail doesn't offer this feature on its own, you'll need to use an add-on or a CRM tool that offers it, and that's where Streak comes into play. Our email tracking feature monitors the time it takes recipients to open their emails and notifies you when they do (with your permission, of course).

On top of that, Streak can show you your tracked emails in a chronologically organized list so that you can follow up with clients in a timely way. And the best part? It's easy to turn off and on using a toggle in the email composing box.

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Method 2: Send emails to all your contacts using Google Workspace

An alternative method to send mass emails on Gmail is using Google Workspace, but you'll need to subscribe to the Individual Plan or higher to unlock the features explained below.

Step 1: Sign up for a Google Workspace account

First, you need to create a Google Workspace account.

  1. Open Google Workspace.
  2. Click on Get Started.
  3. Follow the prompts to add your personal and business information.
a screenshot of the page that shows in the first step of subscribing to Google Workspace
  1. Choose the email you want to set up a Google Workspace account on.
  2. Set up your payment method.
  3. Click on Subscribe.

Step 2: Use multi-send mode for multiple contacts

Once signed in, you can unlock the feature that'll allow you to send group emails. Here's how:

  1. Open your Gmail account.
  2. Click on Compose.
  3. Click on the multi-send mode icon in the horizontal menu next to the Send button.
  4. Click on Turn On.

Step 3: Draft your mass email

Google Workspace offers you various email templates you can use for your mass emails. Here's how to choose one for your first mass email and draft it:

  1. Click on Compose.
  2. Click on the Choose Layout button in the horizontal menu next to the Send button.
  3. Choose the layout you want (call to action, announcement, new service, simple text, etc.).
  4. Click on Save Changes > Insert.

Step 4: Pick your recipients

Here, you have two options. You can either write the names of your recipients manually in the To box, or use a label for a faster process, as we've mentioned above. In either case, Gmail will send your email to each recipient individually.

Step 5: Send your group email

Now, you have a ready recipient list and written email. All that's left to do is send it. You can do so by clicking on Continue after drafting your email. Then, Gmail will show you a pop-up alert to help you avoid your email landing in the spam folder. You can either click on Learn More or Got It, then you'll get another message with two options, Send Preview and Send All.

The former will send you a preview of the email so that you can make sure everything looks good, while the latter will send the email to the recipients right away.

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Should you use a mail merge tool?

Using a mail merge tool can make managing an email marketing campaign a thousand times easier, so we highly recommend it. Gmail has some definite limitations when it comes to sending mass emails, so an easy-to-use CRM tool like Streak is essential if you’re sending mass emails often. 

Streak's Mail Merge feature empowers marketers, business owners, and sellers to send mass, personalized emails — and then track opens, responses, and clicks for a better sense of recipient engagement. Not only that, but Streak can also send automatic follow-ups to recipients who haven't replied, helping you improve your response rate.

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How to send a mass email without showing everyone’s email addresses (BCC field)

When adding recipients to a mass email, it's best practice to use the BCC field, not the CC field. The BCC field will send an individual email to each recipient, whereas the CC field will make your contact list public, so any recipient will be able to view who else got the same email. From a compliance perspective, this isn't advised in marketing or business emails since you’re responsible for keeping your contacts’ information private.

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Should you use Gmail to send emails to all of your contacts?

Sending mass emails using Gmail is a good idea if you run a small business with a limited number of customers. However, it’s not the best option for large companies or e-retailers that send hundreds of thousands of emails to various lists each year. Google limits the number of emails you can send per day, and Gmail will likely mark your account as spam and freeze all of your sending if it senses you’re using the platform for commercial email blasts.

Ideally, you should subscribe to an email marketing tool if you plan on sending more than 1,000 emails daily.

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Level up your email game with Streak

Whether you want to build a detailed contact list, send bulk emails and track them, or send personalized emails to select contacts each day, Streak is the best sidekick for your Gmail account. It's a CRM tool that integrates with Gmail and brings a host of convenient features to the table.

One capability that stands out, in particular, is its Contacts and Organizations feature, which can compile all of your contacts into organized boxes for easier contact and project management. It’s easy to see any email threads they've ever been a part of with your or your colleagues, as well as all personal information they’ve shared before or that Streak AI found on the web. Streak also allows you to distribute past email threads with colleagues with a simple link, so collaborating on deals is simple and seamless.

Here’s the best part: You can try Streak for free to see if it’s a good fit for you, and it only takes 30 seconds to get started.

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