Sending out invitations
March 31, 2021 4:46 AM   Subscribe

I need to email a lot of people an invitation to a forum that they would be very likely (but not 100% guaranteed) to want to join. I'm not selling anything. It's for mutual support. Gmail isn't allowing me to send the email as there are too many recipients (a few hundred). I realise this sounds like spam. Is there a way to do this that keeps everyone happy?

posted by dance to Computers & Internet (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You need to use some kind of online service that is not going to get marked as spam, because a gmail sent too 100s of people will get marked as spam, even (especially) if you hack around the protections and send it out (say) 50 at a time.

Depending on your needs, Paperless Post, Green Envelope, Evite, or even EventBrite or CVent might fit your needs. As a bonus any service like this will help you track RSVPs infinitely better than just getting 100s of emails back.
posted by Medieval Maven at 4:54 AM on March 31, 2021 [7 favorites]

We used Paperless Post for my mom's memorial service, and it was unexpectedly great. We thought we were using it because it sent out a pretty invitation that was easy to customize, but it turned out that the best thing was that it kept a list of who had RSVPed and made it easy to send follow-up emails. It wasn't free, but it wasn't super expensive, and we were happy with it.

Otherwise, my go-to solution for this would be to use mail merge in Microsoft office. It sounds daunting but is surprisingly easy. You make an Excel spreadsheet with the email addresses you want to send the email to, you write your email as a Word document, and then you use mail merge to send the contents of the Word document to everyone on the Excel list. You can also do some more fancy personalization, like adding a salutation with each recipient's name, but you don't have to. Since every email gets sent individually, they shouldn't get caught in people's spam filters.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:23 AM on March 31, 2021 [2 favorites]

Have the recipients opted in? If they have not, it is unsolicited promotional email. And while you may be sure most of them will want it, some will consider it spam. Make sure it's incredibly easy to opt out/ unsubscribe and honor that. That's why professional organizations do sponsored mailings; when I get mail from The Institute for Meme Daytrading Activists, I know it may have a promotion, but at least I know it's related to my field.
posted by theora55 at 7:22 AM on March 31, 2021 [1 favorite]

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