Using Drupal 7.67 and CiviCRM 5.13.5.

We run volunteer inductions, and send an email to all people who have attended volunteer inductions (as per CiviEvent) after the induction. We only run inductions once a month, though there is sometimes a delay of a few days until our volunteer coordinator can send this email to induction attendees.

This is done through sending an email through CiviMail to a Smart Group. (We do it through CiviMail rather than through CiviEvent > Email all participants, because we want to see who opens the email and clicks on particular links).

The smart group has the following criteria:

 - Group(s) = Attended volunteer induction - last 7 days ...AND...
 - Group Status 'Added' ...AND...
 - Event Type = Volunteer Induction ...AND...
 - Start Date - greater than or equal to "4th July 2019 12.00 AM" ...AND...
 - End Date - less than or equal to "10th July 2019 11.59 PM" ...AND...
 - Participant Status (ID) In Attended ...AND...
 - Participant is not a Test

We use the start date and end date to only select people who have attended a volunteer induction in the last 7 days (the actual group criteria we've configured is "event date: last 7 days including today").

We haven't had a volunteer induction in the last 7 days, apart from a test one I've just made in which there is only one attendee (me).

However I'm seeing huge discrepancies between the number of contacts that should be in the smart group (1 - just me, since the only Volunteer Induction event in the last 7 days is a test one I just made) and the number of contacts that a mailing would be sent to, in CiviMail.

Contacts > Manage Groups

This page shows 32 contacts are in the group (wrong).

32 contacts are in the group, according to Contacts > Manage Groups

From that page: "Contacts"

Clicking the "Contacts" link on the aforementioned page/the above screenshot, again shows that there are 32 contacts in the group (wrong).

32 contacts in the group, again wrong

"Edit Smart Group Criteria"

Clicking the "Edit Smart Group Criteria" page takes me to a new search page that shows there is only one contact in the smart group (the correct number of contacts!). I didn't actually edit any of the criteria, I only clicked the button and it shows me the correct number.

only 1 contact in the group when I click "Edit Smart Group Criteria" -- correct!

CiviMail recipients

However when I go to CiviMail and select the smart group as the recipient, it shows that it will be sent to 31 recipients (??) rather than 1. Looking into the recipients list, the 1 contact that should actually be in the smart group based on the criteria IS in the group, plus another 30 that may have previously met the criteria but don't anymore (based on attendance date).

CiviMail shows 31 recipients, rather than 1 recipient

CiviMail shows 31 recipients, rather than 1 recipient


This is pretty perplexing, does anyone know what's happening here? As I mentioned, the extra contacts who are showing up in the group are contacts who previously met the smart group criteria but don't anymore (they attended a volunteer induction a couple months ago, not in the last week).

I do wonder if it's because the smart group is referencing itself... in the criteria I pasted in at the top of this post, the first line seems to imply that contacts who are in the smart group, are ...in the smart group. But in screenshot 3 (under "edit smart group criteria"), that first criteria isn't there any more.

2 Answers 2


I think we've worked it out! A while ago some contacts had been manually added to the Smart Group (their status on the contact list for screenshot 2 showed them as 'Added' rather than 'Smart'). Smart groups don't automatically remove these people, so I've manually removed them which should solve the problem.

Going to avoid manually adding people to Smart Groups now and let them do their thing!


In mailing the count of recipients may be different than the count of smart group. The contact in mailing are filtered out if

  1. Contacts email is on hold
  2. Privacy set to donot email.
  3. Same email address grouped together (this is configurable via spanner next to 'recipient count' in the mailer)
  4. Contact doesn't have email id



  • In this case though, the count of recipients in mailing is higher than it should be, and is including contacts who do not meet the smart group criteria.
    – josh
    Commented Jul 10, 2019 at 6:06
  • Try resaving the smart group criteria Commented Jul 10, 2019 at 7:32
  • 5. contacts with multiple bulk email addresses Commented Jul 10, 2019 at 8:59
  • @PradeepNayak is that by going to "Edit smart group criteria"? As I mentioned in my post that shows one contact (the correct number of contacts for the smart group) but then when I try to make a mailing it wants to send to 31 contacts again
    – josh
    Commented Jul 10, 2019 at 23:31
  • @FrancescBassasiBullich I'm not sure if I'm missing something but I don't think that link/question is relevant to this problem
    – josh
    Commented Jul 10, 2019 at 23:32

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