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Google Apps limits outgoing emails to 500 a day

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.

—–UPDATE——

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.
December 6, 2007

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18 comments found

Comments for: Google Apps limits outgoing emails to 500 a day

  1. vbg

    which hosting company are you using ? coz i have heard goDaddy.com also has per day limits on their mail sending.

  2. Post author: 
    David Vielmetter

    I now use hostgator.com (which is coincidentally the first hosting company I’ve ever been relatively satisfied with). Godaddy has no such limit on outgoing messages. The limitation is strictly a Google APPS limitation. With their free accounts outgoing email messages are limited to 500 on their SMTP servers. Use of these servers is mandatory for the proper function of Google APPS. Using your own outgoing email server and a Google mail server will make your messages seem suspicious to some systems that do reverse DNS checking on incoming email.

  3. Master Google Apps and Postini

    @David Vielmetter

    That’s not true!
    You can user other SMTP servers to send your mass emails!
    Just go and configure your SPF records!

  4. Post author: 
    David Vielmetter

    @Master Google Apps and Postini
    Yes, Mr Master at Google. It is true that you can configure another SMTP server to send mass emails. But if you’ve already setup your reverse dns to point to Google Apps, then even after setting SPF records those emails sent from another smtp server will have a higher chance of getting rejected as SPAM because they will not necessarily match the reverse DNS pointer for your domain. But in essence Mr. Master at Google is correct…it is in fact possible to add more than 1 valid smtp server to your organization using SPF. To learn how, see my article on configuring your mail server properly: https://davidvielmetter.com/?p=402

    During the SPF configuration in this article you’d simply add whatever other SMTP servers you have to a:, mx: and ipv4: fields.

    I stand corrected.

  5. Srinivas

    Hi David,

    What is the workaround for sending more than 500 emails from a google app account.

    Thanks
    Srinivas

  6. Post author: 
    David Vielmetter

    @Srinivas
    This is what I’ve used before and it worked. You setup 2 Google Apps accounts, lets call them A and B. You can send 500 emails from account A per day with Google Apps standard. In account B’s settings head over to “Accounts and Import” and under “Send mail as:” enter account A’s email address. You’ll get an email in account A in which you’ll need to confirm the request to allow account B to send as account A. Doing this will let you send email from account B that’ll appear as account A. Now you can send another 500 emails from account B that’ll look like they’ve been sent from account A.

  7. Elisabeth

    David Vielmetter,

    What if I am trying to use only one central account. I have Primary A account that friends and family use. I then import all my mail from Secondary B and Secondary C, have them skip the inbox where they are automatically archived under a label and then, when new mail comes in, the label changes to show new mail received. Can I now, under Primary A, send 1500 messages all from Primary A because of imported accounts?? I read that because I am using POP, I can only send to 100 recipients at a time. Am I way off?? Do I have to log into different accounts to do more than 500??

  8. Post author: 
    David Vielmetter

    Elisabeth,

    The answer to your question depends on how you setup your pop3 accounts within Google Apps (or gmail). In the preferences section under “Accounts and Import” specifically in “Send mail as” if you have setup account B and C to send mail through B and C’s SMTP servers then outgoing emails as that address would be restricted by whatever limit existed on B and C’s SMTP servers respectively. If you chose to send all outgoing email for accounts B and C then I would assume that those messages would count against your daily outgoing message allowance in Google apps or gmail. So, have a look at how you set those B and C accounts and sending email for them setup in the interface.

    Additionally, sending emails from B and C accounts would not really appear as coming from your Primary A account. Any replies to those emails would be returned respectively to B or C pop3 servers and only by configuration end back up in your A email box under the labels you specified. If that’s OK with you, then yes this would potentially give you more sending capacity but it would be more akin to setting up multiple other accounts and then linking them together in one interface.

    Hope that helps,
    David

  9. Marco

    Hi!
    English is not my native language and I’m not sure I understood.
    I want to use regular Gmail (not G. Apps) to send some newsletters to my contacts. I send them through an external SMTP server after configuring it in Gmail. Do you know if the 500 emails limit also applies in this case?
    Thank you!

    1. Post author: 
      David Vielmetter

      Marco,

      Yes, the 500 outgoing email recipient limit also applies to regular Gmail accounts.

      See google help: http://mail.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=22839

      David

  10. Oliver Drummond

    Hello David,

    I am using Google Apps as the mail server for my band. We are trying to send a newsletter with it.

    I would like to know if it´s possible to use the 500 mails “work-around” to solve this. For example:

    -I use one email adress to send 500 mails ([email protected])
    -I use a second email adress ([email protected]) to send another 500 mails, but send them as [email protected]

    Do you know if this can work?

  11. Nudy Brown

    my domain n hosting were both from godaddy and I don’t really like to use the webemail from godaddy. So I have switch it to google apps (standard). I have just know that there is 500 email limit for google apps.

    Do you know if hostgator has limit on sending the email ? if nope I think i will just switch and host under hostgator.

    1. Post author: 
      David Vielmetter

      The limits for hostgator are described here: http://support.hostgator.com/articles/security-abuse/mail-policy-and-limits
      In essence it’s 500 emails per hour max and emails with more than 900 recipients can only be sent between 1AM – 8AM Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday. If you have more than 5000 recipients you’ll need a custom solution that’ll probably cost you extra.
      Hope that helps,
      David

  12. Zaki

    Hello David Vielmetter,

    Is the limitation is applicable for a single email account in that domain, Or whole email accounts club together in the domain can send 500 emails?

    Thanks,
    Zaki

    1. Post author: 
      David Vielmetter

      Zaki,

      The limitation is applicable only to a single user’s email account, not all user accounts combined in a particular Google Apps account. See the following help page for more detailed information: http://www.google.com/support/a/bin/answer.py?hlrm=en&answer=166852&from=166862&rd=1

      David

      1. Zaki

        Thanks David, That helped a lot!

  13. Geri Weis-Corbley

    Hi David,

    This has been helpful to me. 2 questions:

    !) I have a dedicated server, but use Google Apps mail servers for all email. In your opinion, is it easier to send a message to all my 16,000 users by changing the MX, SPF etc, settings on my own server to send the email from there, or to update to PREMIUM, create 2 google apps accounts there and send 4000 or so per day from those. (I see google requires an UNSUBSCRIBE link at the bottom, too, which I don’t know how to do…

    2) Will Google Apps premium allow 2000 emails from more than 2 accounts per day? This is not mentioned in their HELP page.

    Thanks!

    1. Post author: 
      David Vielmetter

      Hi Geri

      1. I like Google Apps and for message security and spam protection etc. switching to Google Apps for mail was a no brainer. I don’t have the needs for an email list of 16000 recipients. Mine at the time was a mere 8000 so with two accounts I could get newsletters out pretty quickly once I switched to PREMIUM. I do help other business with sending large e-newsletters though and everyone I’ve helped has switched to a mail service like MailChimp or ConstantContact (Mailchimp my preference). See my quick review of Mailchimp here: https://davidvielmetter.com/reviews/target-a-thousand-subsribers-free-with-mailchimp/

      2. If however, you decide to stick with Google Apps Premier, then yes you can send 2000 emails from more than 2 accounts per day (in fact as many accounts as you have paid for).

      Hope it helps.

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