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How do I send email to a lot of people at once?


I made a group in Outlook express of about 1,200 emails. Why can’t I send a
blanket email to them? I tried and one email got rejected but I also copied
myself and it did not get sent to me either.

Without knowing more, it’s hard to say exactly why it failed, but
I’m not at all surprised that it did.

The approach that you took is most certainly not one that I would recommend,
for exactly that reason. There are alternatives, but they do require a little

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First, realize that these two things are VERY different:

  • Sending 1,200 individual emails

  • Sending one email with 1,200 recipients

By creating a group in your email program, and then sending to that group,
you’re creating a single email with 1,200 recipients.

And you know what that looks like?


Because of spam most email providers put a limit on the number of
recipients you can have on a single email message. Without seeing the error
message you got, or knowing who your email provider is, I can’t say for sure
that this is the problem you experienced, or what the limit might be. However, if I had to bet money,
exceeding that limit is where I’d place my bet.

That’s probably why you only got once error message – you only sent one
piece of email. Your mail provider returned the error before even trying to
send it on to all the people you had listed.

“Because of spam most email providers put a limit on the number of
recipients you can have on a single email message.”

Most email programs, and certainly Outlook Express, do not have the
ability to create a mailing list of 1,200 recipients, and then send a message
as 1,200 individual messages. That’s not what they were designed for.

As I see it, you have essentially two options:

  • Figure out what the limit is, divide your list into groups of no more than
    that limit, and send the message separately to each group. If your email
    provider’s limit is, for example, 10, then to send to 1,200 people you’d have
    to send 120 batches of 10.

  • Use a true mailing list service. This gets complicated, since you’ve already
    collected the 1,200 email addresses. Ideally you might use a free service such
    as Yahoo Groups, or many of the mailing list services targeted at on-line
    marketers. The problem is that most, or at least the most reputable ones, will
    require that each email address be confirmed by the recipient before they’ll
    send anything to it. Why? Once again, spam.

Without knowing more about your specific situation, my general
recommendation would be to get your 1,200 people to join a Yahoo group.
They have to join, but once they’re on, then a) you won’t be accused
of spamming, and b) you’ll know that they actually want to get whatever it is
you’re sending.

If you absolutely cannot ask them to take action to “sign up” for your
email, then you should check with your ISP for mailing solutions, or look for
mailing list providers that don’t require double opt in. You do run
the risk of being labeled a spammer, though, if you go this route.

Or, of course, you could send a lot of individual emails, by hand.

Though you’ll still run the risk of being called a spammer.

Do this

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13 comments on “How do I send email to a lot of people at once?”

  1. Dear Sir,
    I have problem with sending email to a lot of people at once.
    How do I can send email to alot of people at once?
    Can you answer to me?
    I thank you in advance and looking forward to hearing from you soon

    Poeng Vuthy

  2. Dear sir,

    How can send email at once? great to have your information.

    How many email address you keep for yourself? i thinking is hard to get some customer email address.

    thank you


  3. I want to know that i want to send email to 10\ prople but I dont want any one of them to know who all else got this same mail, If I add these ID to BCC, it still shows the recipients.. Please help.

  4. Dear LeoI’m still waiting for a answer if you have one could u please let me in on it. It seems as though everyone sends their mail this way . I always thought it was just being lazy or not so personal. I would like to know how I can send letter to 10 people at once. Its a reply letter. Thanks SDondra Oct. 4th, 2004

  5. I want to send email to 20 people but I dont want any of them know who got this same mail, If I used BCC, it still shows the recipients.. Please help

    The whole point of BCC is *not* to show the addresses to the recipients. If your mailer is working properly, recipients will not see it.

    – Leo
  6. Leo, I’ll put $50 in your tip jar if you either tell me, or do this for me.

    I’ve created a petition on

    So far we have 2600 signatures.

    We now have a rally on Sunday May 3 2009 and we want to let all the signatories know about the rally.

    I read your advice above and seems like there really is no way to send an email to these people unless I ask them to join the facebook rally homepage.

    However, it looks like even that requires me to send them in batches of 50. This could take days …well, 32 email anyway.

    I’m organizing the national rally and don’t have the time to do this.

    Any other suggestions?

    Barbara Biggs

    I believe it’s facebook “fan pages” that let you sent a notice to all members that shows up in their email. (I haven’t tried it yet with the Askl Leo! fan page.)

    But ultimately I don’t know of an easy way for you to do what you want. Sorry.

    To make matters worse, I also hold the opinion that online partitions don’t work, and are in fact harmful.

    – Leo
  7. I use Windows Mail and if I am sending to several people I click on Tools, and then “Select Recipients” and up pops a list of all the people who have mailed me in the past. Then all I have to do is click on each recipient that I wish to send it to, using bcc as necessary.

  8. I am trying to do the same.
    There’s got to be a automated way to send all that people an email without getting spammed, other than having them linked to a yahoo group.
    I need to send my resume to 1,000 recruiters.
    I can’t add them to a yahoo group.

    Thanks for the valuable information.
    I love the blog.
    Keep it up!


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