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Gmail restriction on multiple emails from same sender in a short time period?

Posted on 2013-01-29
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Last Modified: 2014-11-12
Hi,

I'm doing some work for a company that's running the corporate version of GMail (not sure of the exact details).

I have a PHP script that sends emails to its employees, using PHPMailer pointed at their Gmail SMTP server.

Depending on values entered on a database using PHP, a person can receive 1, 2 or 3 emails.

If one of these employees is supposed to receive 2 emails, both emails (which are slightly different from another and with different subjects) are sent within milliseconds of each other but only 1 is received by the employee. The emails have only one recipient on each and no BCCs.

If I change the receiving email address to an external address, I receive the correct number of emails.

Does Google have some restriction in place that's preventing
1) multiple emails being sent to the same person from the same email address within a very short space of time
OR
2) multiple emails being received by the same Gmail user from the same email address within a very short space of time?

Many thanks

$mail = new PHPMailer();
$mail->IsSMTP();
$mail->SMTPDebug=1;
$mail->SMTPAuth = true;
$mail->SMTPSecure = 'ssl';
$mail->Host = 'smtp.gmail.com';
$mail->Port = 465;
$mail->Username = $TheEmailUsername;
$mail->Password = $TheEmailPassword;

//Now send it
$mail->SetFrom($EmailFrom,$EmailFromName);
$mail->AddAddress($to,"");
$mail->Subject = $subject;
$mail->IsHTML(true); //Specify that it is HTML
$mail->Body = $message;
$mail->send();

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Question by:kbit
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Frosty555 earned 500 total points
ID: 38832290
The corporate version of Gmail is called "Google Apps for Business" (http://www.google.com/enterprise/apps/business/)

Google and Gmail do have some restrictions in place for email, but I'm not sure if any of them are relevant to this situation:

- Google DOES have some unpublished "smarts" to prevent deliver of duplicate emails. I know that if you send an email to a distribution list which ultimately causes looping in the message routing (e.g. send to an external address which then forwards a copy to a member who is already on the distribution list, or send an email which includes yourself in the list), then Gmail will block the duplicate emails from being delivered to the user's mailbox. This is to prevent message loops flooding people's mailboxes. This tripped me up when trying to test out "Groups" in Google Apps (E.g. sent an email from myself to a group that I was a member of, and got confused when I didn't receive the message).

It's possible some variant of this is happening here.

- Google employees several restrictions on sending limits to prevent spam / abuse

http://support.google.com/a/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=166852


Alternatively, it is possible that your employee *IS* receiving both emails, but they are either being marked as spam, or both are delivered into a single "conversation thread" in Gmail, causing it to appear as only one line-item in their inbox. If you open the conversation you'll see both messages listed one ontop of the other. This happens if they have similar / identical subject lines.
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Author Comment

by:kbit
ID: 38832342
Thank you very much for your reply, youre absolutely right...the other emails are being marked as spam for some reason. Only one email from each batch is being allowed into the inbox.
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