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Recently I've helped host a contest, during it several hundred email were sent to our gMail inbox.

Sorting through all of these emails to deliver replies individually would take forever, and we wouldn't be able to respond by our deadline. So I am wondering if there is any way to respond to everyone that has contacted us quickly.

I know this is possible through use of a macro in outlook (either by scraping the emails of everyone or sending a reply to each individual email but only once) but I don't currently have access to outlook so I wouldn't be capable of this.

If there is a way to do it with Windows Mail, Thunderbird, or the native mail application on a mac computer I would be open to that as well. But ideally, I would only like to use gmail.

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3 Answers 3

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Here's an idea:

  1. Create another gmail account ("new account").
  2. Add the old address to the new account so you can send mail from it.
  3. Make it the default account.
  4. Create an auto responder on the new account, which has the text you want to send to the users.
  5. Create a rule on the new account which trashes all messages that shouldn't get this reply.
  6. Set up the old account to read the mail from the old account via POP3.

As the mail is read in the new account, the ones that shouldn't receive a reply should be trashed and only the valid ones should go through (if this part doesn't work, you will need a 3rd account which forwards to the second based on a rule). Next, the mail that does go through should get auto replied via the auto responder, which should use your old account to reply.

Note: As you probably guessed, I haven't tried this. I would recommend trying it out first. Another problem that might happen is this new account might be revealed to the people getting the message via an "on behalf of message".

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You can use Google Chrome, and install the batch-reply-for-gmail extension. Then you can display all emails for that label, select all mails, and hit the bulk "reply" button to reply to all of them in one go.

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This extension no longer works. I have released a new extension that does work, and it is open source. chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/batch-reply-for-gmail/… –  Elad Nava Aug 17 at 22:59

I wrote a GMail Gadget that does that, see https://sites.google.com/site/replytomany/

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I tried this on my gmail account and the instructions to enable it didn't work. Also, please add more information to your answer to make it more contextual explaining why your solution is a good one. –  Dez Aug 7 '13 at 17:33
    
Hi, did you fill the form in the site? That gadget is in closed beta so I keep a list (only name and email) of testers so I can communicate with them. If you still have problems just send me a email. Cheers. –  user45166 May 9 at 14:50

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