I want to send a newsletter twice (or more) a week to certain contacts in a group, but I don't want to send people more than one e-mail per week. In this scenario, what I need is to limit the number of people whom I will send the first newsletter (let's say the 50% of the group) just to keep some users to send them the second newsletter (let's say the other 50%).

Is there any option to limit the number of recipients in CiviMail? Or any other ideas?


  • Can you provide a bit more background and detail on the business case? What do you mean exactly by massive email? Why you want to limit the number of people you are sending it to? Commented Feb 19, 2018 at 21:30
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    Hey Michael. What we want to do is to send a newsletter once or twice a week to several people but we don't want to send them more than one e-mail per week. We thought in sending, for instance, the first e-mail to the 50% of the people and the second one to the other 50%. That's why we need something like a "TOP" of this group.
    – hgarcia
    Commented Feb 20, 2018 at 11:10
  • If you could provide a bit more information on why you send the newsletter once or twice a week, that would be useful. Is it because the latest information changes very quickly? Or is it because you want to do AB testing? Or something else? Commented Feb 20, 2018 at 11:12
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    It's because they subscribe to a weekly newsletter, so they don't want to receive more than one e-mail per week and we don't want to spam them. The thing is we have more than one e-mail to send per week, they're about urgent actions that are needed concerning to put someone out of prison, avoiding them of death penalty, etc., and that's something we will know the same day and we will want to send it urgently, but only to those who haven't received a newsletter that week. So, the only way is avoiding to send the e-mail to the entire group, but only to a certain %.That makes sense? Thanks a lot!
    – hgarcia
    Commented Feb 20, 2018 at 11:23
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    Thanks for the clarification. Feel free to edit your question title and details so it is of more use for others searching on this topic. Commented Feb 20, 2018 at 11:44

2 Answers 2


CiviMail allows you to exclude recipients of a previous mailing. I think this is what you need.

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Lets say you are sending to the Newsletter Subscribers group:

1) Send your First mailing of the week out as normal

2) When you are ready to send the Second mailing, choose the same newsletter group as last time, but choose to exclude recipients of the First mailing.

In your case, it sounds like you want to send out a message to an arbitrary 50% (now I understand why you asked the question!) or so of the first group. Unfortunately, there is no limit to 50% button. One approach would be to create another group based on Newsletter subscribers that contains ~50% of your initial group and use this for the first mailing. Another approach might be to do an Advanced Search with the criteria a) Newsletter recipients b) some other criteria that splits the group in half (a smart group for users with an odd contact ID, maybe?!) and then choose the action Email - schedule/send via CiviMail.

Whichever method you choose, once the first email has been sent, you can use the approach mentioned above to send the second email.

  • Hi Michael! Thanks for the answer. That would be perfect except for the first time. If I send the first newsletter to all the group, I will have 0 potential recipients for the second one, unless I wait to the next week. That's why I need to limit the number of people in the first newsletter, to keep some users to send them the second newsletter. Thanks!! :)
    – hgarcia
    Commented Feb 20, 2018 at 12:02
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    Ah, I see. So it doesn't matter who gets what, but you do want to spread it between the two groups. I will edit my answer. Commented Feb 20, 2018 at 12:04
  • PS. Just realised who hgarcia is - hello :) Commented Feb 20, 2018 at 12:06
  • I have edited my answer to reflect that. Not a particularly elegant solution, but might be helpful... Commented Feb 20, 2018 at 12:15
  • PS. Hahaha, hello! :)
    – hgarcia
    Commented Feb 20, 2018 at 13:53

Only for you to make sub-groups from your main target group and send it to each sub-group in turn. Perhaps if you explain 'why' you want to limit it you may get a more useful answer if your actual concern is about avoiding the mail crashing and burning.

  • Hi! I've explained a little bit more in the answer above. Thanks!
    – hgarcia
    Commented Feb 20, 2018 at 11:11

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