Choosing the Email Address for Each Person in a Google Contact Group

By Jason Terry, with another solution to a problem that has been nagging him for a long time! Picking the email address to use for a contact in a Google Contact Group.

Do you use Google Contacts to keep track of all the people you know? If not, then you can move on to the next thing in your day… thanks for reading!. :)

For those of you that DO use Google Contacts, you’re probably aware that you can create a Contact Group. This is really handy when you find yourself emailing the same group of people a lot. For example, I’m involved in a few peer advisory groups. And the blog teams for our clients. These are groups of people that I email on a regular basis. And I’ve set up Google Contact Groups for all of them.

Before I go into picking the email address for each person in a Google Contact Group, I will quickly show you how to set up Google Contact Groups.

Blue Gurus: Google Contact Group

Setting up a Google Contact Group

  1. Log into your Google Contacts
  2. Click on any of your contacts.
  3. You will see a button (like in the screenshot, labeled Groups) that has a three-headed group icon. Click it.
  4. In the drop down, you can create a new group or assign the contact you’re currently looking at to one of the existing groups in the list.
  5. If this is the first group you’ve created, click Create New.
  6. A new dialog pops up where you can type in the Group Name. Do that. Then click OK.
  7. And now the group will show up in your list of groups. Click the checkbox next to the group you just created to add your current contact to the group and click Apply. (This is an easy step to miss… you have to click Apply to actually save the group affiliation.)

Sending a Group Email

Once you’ve set up a Google Contact Group, all you have to do to send a group email is start a new email. In the “To” field start typing the group name, and when it shows up, click on it. The “To” field will then be filled out with all the contacts in your group! It’s that easy. And really useful.

Here’s the Problem…

Many of the people in my contacts have a work email address and a personal email address. And when I send group emails, they usually have a strong preference about which email I use for group communications. But for some reason, Google would just pick an email address. Sometimes it was the right one, and sometimes not. This ended up being a manual process for me to fix… silly, right?

The Solution

There’s an easy fix, that I guess should’ve been obvious to me… but it wasn’t. Refer back to the screenshot above. Do you see the second arrow labeled “Choose Email” that points to a little drop down icon next to the group name? All you have to do to pick exactly what email address you want to use for that group is click the drop down. All of the contact’s email addresses will show up in the list, and you can pick the one you want to use for the group. (Important: You have to click Apply for the change to be saved.)

And that’s it! I’ve gone through all of my contact groups and chosen the correct email addresses for each person in my groups. It’s a small thing, but it was really annoying to manually fix when sending a group email. You might have already known about this solution, but I’m sure some people missed it like I did.

If you didn’t know about this setting in Google Contacts or you found this blog post helpful, I would love to hear from you. Leave a comment or shoot me an email… I would really appreciate it! Thanks for reading!

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