Troubleshoot: Cannot Send Email with Gmail and Mail Merge

Gmail has certain limits in place and you only send or receive a limited number of emails per day. If that limit is exceeded, Google may bounce the email with an error message saying “You’ve received a limit for sending email”.

The daily sending limit is 2000 email messages for Google Workspace accounts and 500 for Gmail and free Google Apps accounts. Limits per day are applied over a rolling 24-hour period, not a set time of day.

It is important to know that Gmail sending limits are per user and are shared by all of the user’s email clients, including web apps, software programs, SMTP clients and add-ons that could be sending emails through your Gmail account.

For instance, if you have sent 300 emails through the Gmail website, 50 emails through Microsoft Outlook linked to your Gmail account via IMAP or POP, and another 100 messages through an email alias on a different domain, the maximum number of emails you can send through the Mail Merge add-on will be just 50 in that 24 hour period.

If you exceed the sending limit, you’ll get an error message - like “you’ve reached a Gmail limit for sending email” or “Oops.. the system encountered a problem” - and Gmail may sometimes temporarily block you from sending new messages. The limits are not applied at any set time of the day and the user may have to wait up to 24 hours before the limits are reset automatically.

PS:The daily sending limit is even lower - 100 total recipients per day - if you are using Microsoft Exchange or any non-Google SMTP service for routing messages through Gmail email servers.

You can resend the bounced emails again after a 24 hour period.

Email Bounced - Your Message Was Not Sent

If you get a bounced email from - with the message saying “An error occurred, your message was not sent” or “You have reached a limit for sending email, your message was not sent” - it indicates that you have reached the Gmail sending limit for the day.

Learn more - You’ve Reached a Limit for Sending Email

There’s no workaround to this problem and you’ll have to wait until Gmail resets your email quota. After the quota is reset, you can resend the message to the same recipients and they should be delivered as normal.

Your messages can also bounce if you are sending too many emails to non-existent email addresses. It is thus important to clean up your mailing lists and remove invalid email addresses before running another Mail Merge campaign.

Gmail Error - Message Rejected

This happens when Gmail classifies your outgoing email message as spam. This happens when you have spam text in the message body or if you have a large number of recipients in the CC or BCC list.

Amit Agarwal

Amit Agarwal

Google Developer Expert, Google Cloud Champion

Amit Agarwal is a Google Developer Expert in Google Workspace and Google Apps Script. He holds an engineering degree in Computer Science (I.I.T.) and is the first professional blogger in India.

Amit has developed several popular Google add-ons including Mail Merge for Gmail and Document Studio. Read more on Lifehacker and YourStory


Awards & Titles

Digital Inspiration has won several awards since it's launch in 2004.

Google Developer Expert

Google Developer Expert

Google awarded us the Google Developer Expert award recogizing our work in Google Workspace.

ProductHunt Golden Kitty

ProductHunt Golden Kitty

Our Gmail tool won the Lifehack of the Year award at ProductHunt Golden Kitty Awards in 2017.

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Microsoft MVP Alumni

Microsoft awarded us the Most Valuable Professional (MVP) title for 5 years in a row.

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Google Cloud Champion

Google awarded us the Champion Innovator title recognizing our technical skill and expertise.

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