Project: Mass emails

A lot of times people need to email a whole bunch of people, like, for example, an entire department, and not everyone has access to a convenient mass mailer. So you need to get all the email addresses into the address field somehow. Typing them in is fine when there’s only a few, but the more names you have the more likely you are to mistype, forget one, or add one twice.

Plus, you can’t just have a list that you copy & paste into the address field. Many email programs require you to have either a comma or a semi-colon between addresses, and if you just copy the list you don’t have that.

So, here’s where another incremental formula comes in for me. Instead of adding, though, I use concatenate.

For example, assume column A has the emails, and column B has the formulas. Then assuming the first row has the column labels, the formula you’d enter in B2 would be =concatenate(A2,”, “,B3), or some variation as described below.

To illustrate:

1 Emails Formula Result
2 =concatenate(A2,”, “,B3),,,
2 =concatenate(A3,”, “,B4),,
2 =concatenate(A4,”, “,B5),

See how the result grows? At the end, all you have to do is copy B2 and paste it into the address field. Your email program might not like the comma after the last email, though, so if it gives you an error message try deleting that comma and seeing if it fixes it.

And, although it’s kind of off topic, let me take this moment to remind people that if everyone on the list only needs to reply to you, not to each other, then bcc is MUCH better than cc. It means no-one accidentally sends a response to everyone by hitting “reply all”, and it means people don’t have to scroll down past a page or more of email addresses to get to the actual letter.


If your email program needs semi-colons: =concatenate(A2,”; “,B3)
If you’re using Open Office: =concatenate(A2;”, “;B3)
=concatenate(A2;”; “;B3)
If you’ve named column A “Emails” and aren’t using Google Docs: =concatenate(Emails,”, “,B3)