Before I start my rant, I’d like to mention that I’m still pleased with the overall functionality of Google Apps and I’ve posted to that effect here. That said, here are a couple of things I dislike about Google Apps & Google Apps Premier. Both have impacts on small business clients of mine. First Google Apps Standard limits outgoing emails to 500/24Hr period for each account. Second, although very effective at reducing unwanted email spam, the Google Apps spam filter can neither be customized nor turned off on Apps accounts.
I’m an independent IT/IS consultant and most of my work is done from home. I communicate mainly via email and see how some of my clients could easily exceed that 500 outgoing email message limit per day. What’s worse is that each unique address on a single email counts against your daily limit. So sending a single email, say a newsletter, to 500 recipients could end your email sending abilities for a whole day.
The second issue with Google Apps is the Google spam filter. Although I was initially ecstatic about how much less SPAM ended up in my inbox, I soon determined that some emails from valid clients were getting tagged as spam. Even marking those specific messages as “NOT SPAM” did not guarantee that future messages from those people wouldn’t be spammed. After talking to Google support, I found out that there really is no way to tweak the Google SPAM filters, meaning I’d have to periodically search all my spam email for valid emails that might have ended up there. What a nightmare.
I looked into upgrading my Google Apps “Standard” account to Google Apps “Premier” in the hopes that this would somehow get me around my outgoing limit and spam filter issues. The widely advertised “Upgrade Now” option in the standard apps control panel promised more features for $50 bucks per year. “Hmm…sounds like a good deal if it allows editing the Spam filters and gets rid of that 500 outgoing email limit” I thought…right? Except not. Turns out Google Apps “Premier” will NOT let you customize the spam filters or send more than 500 messages per day. Dang.
So in the end, I along with some of my clients had go back to the hosting company provided email server. It won’t be the fastest or the best at sorting out SPAM, but at least it’ll let me send however many emails I want and I can create an email whitelist.
The 500 outgoing email limitation no longer applies to Google APPS Premier accounts. For said accounts the limit is now 2000 messages per 24 hr period and has been for a while now (I just haven’t had time to update this post). Additionally Google APPS forums suggest a work-around that involves getting an extra account which would permit you to to then send up to 4000 emails per day. I will post a HOWTO on how to do this in a separate post in the future.
Additionally Google APPS Premier now allows users to customize the spam filters with an addon (free for Google APPS Premier customers) by POSTINI (which was recently acquired by Google). This addon allows users create white-lists and configure many other spam filter related options.
Here is up-to-date information from Google Help:
Each Standard Google Apps account can still only send to 500 external recipients per day. Business and Education users can send to 2000 external recipients per day.
The workaround that exists right now involves creating multiple accounts:
- To send to more than 500 recipients, create multiple user accounts to send mail. For example, ‘Admin1’ and ‘Admin2’ can each send 500 messages to reach 1000 unique recipients. (On Google Apps for Business or Education, two accounts can reach 4000 recipients.)
- Stagger mass communications over the course of two days. For example, send messages to the allotted number of recipients on day one, wait for 24 hours, and send messages to another group of recipients on day two.
Also note that:
- In all editions of Google Apps, an individual message can be sent to a maximum of 500 external recipients at one time.
- If you use a POP or IMAP client (e.g., Microsoft Outlook or Apple Mail), you may only send a message to 100 people at a time.