Bulk Emailer

Bulk Emailer

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View the latest version of this manual online at http://mindprod.com/application/bulk.manual.html.
Introduction Prerequisites
How It Looks To Subscribers Friendly Email Hosting
Benefits Configuring
Disadvantages Configuring Details
How It Works Costs
Use With Eudora Links
Recovering

Introduction

Charities, churches and clubs need to broadcast email notices to all their members. Typical tools for doing this are hard to use. They are designed primarily for spammers rather than for those with a legitimate need to send bulk emails. Email programs like Eudora are not designed to work with large mailing lists. It is tedious breaking the lists up into bite size pieces for them. In contrast, the CMP (Canadian Mind Products) bulk emailer was primarily designed to be easy to use.

How It Looks to the Subscribers

The emails that arrive to your subscribers looking as if they had been individually addressed in the TO: field. They may be formatted (HTML (Hypertext Markup Language)) or plain. They might contain embedded images. They might include attachments. However, the emails are not customised in any way. Everyone gets exactly the same message. There is no customising the message for each recipient, other than the TO: field. Subscribers cannot see the names of any other subscribers. Unlike a BCC:, they see themselves as the primary recipient of the message.

Benefits

Here are some reasons to use the CMP Bulk Emailer rather than the competition:

Disadvantages

How It Works

To send a bulk email, compose your email exactly as you would send it to an individual. It can be formatted or not. It can have colours and fonts It must have a subject. It can have embedded pictures. It can be plain, or styled (with HTML ) or both. It can have attachments. Use whatever tool you are familiar with to create the email, e.g. Eudora, Opera, Outlook, Pegasus, Pine, Polarbar, SeaMonkey, Thunderbird, etc. You can even use a WebMail program such as HotMail. Use any of the fancy features you please.

Create a list of email addresses and names you want this mail sent to. You might use a simple Abundance database to do this, or you might create it with a word processor, or you might export it from your client database. [Abundance is just a computer language for writing database applications with extensive validation of data. It is relevant only if you don’t already have a database.] You database should give you the ability to select the people by various criteria to spin off to send a letter to.

The list is technically called a CSV (Comma-Separated Value) Comma Separated Value list. Entries look like this:

mayor@city.victoria.bc.ca is the email address.
Mayor Lowe is the name that will appear on the TO:
Mayor Allan Lowe is the person’s full name. This is useful if you get a reject to figure out which person it was.
0001 is the optional account number if you have a database with account numbers. It too is useful it tracking rejects.

You then attach the list to your email. Then you send the message to an email account reserved for accepting bulk email to be relayed, e.g. bulk@mydomain.com. In theory, you could send it to yourself, but having special reserved account for bulk emails is simpler.

Then you fire up the bulk email processor by clicking STARTBULK. You can leave it up to process as many different bulk email masters as you want. It does not matter which you do first, STARTBULK or send email masters. When you are done, you can shut it down by clicking STOPBULK. Each email will appear to have been individually sent from whomever originated the bulk email. Every one will be identical. Nobody will see any other names on the CC:

You will get an email back from the bulk emailer about rejects. Make sure you research them and fix the database. You may also get a few individually bounced emails back later. They too need to be researched and corrected.

If you are nervous, you can do a test run first, that sends only a copy back to you, by putting don’t send as the subject.

Use With Eudora

To use with the Eudora email program, compose the bulk email as if you were going to send it to an individual recipient. You can use any of the fancy formatting features such as colour, bold, type sizes, and italic. Address it to the special bulk account, e.g. bulk@myisp.com. Right click Attach file and specify the name of the file listing the email addresses of the recipients, usually produced by an abundance program, e.g. C:\CIV\LIVE\EMAILS.TXT . Then type click the STARTBULK icon. After all the emails have been sent, click the STOPBULK icon.

Recovering

If for any reason your computer or the program should crash during a bulk mail run, you will have to type CLEARBULK to reset it. To be very safe, you might want to manually read the mail you sent to the bulk email account, to clear the queue of work, figure out just what was sent, and then resend what was not. Without that step, it should recover fine, with some possibility of sending some messages twice.

Prerequisites

  1. You need two standard SMTP/POP3 email accounts one for creating the emails e.g. and being the official sender of the mails, and the other used for relaying the emails, e.g. . Often these come bundled free with your Internet access. WebMail accounts will not work, such as yahoo.com or hotmail.com. You can often borrow email accounts from someone who has extras they are not using. I repeat these are two perfectly ordinary email accounts, nothing special about them at all. In a pinch you should be able to rent the pair of them for under  $10.00 USD a month from almost any ISP (Internet Service Provider) on the planet. I would recommend renting the locally for better phone support and for getting help from friends already familiar with their peculiarities.
  2. You also need a decent email program for creating the emails. I suggest Eudora. It lets you create many special effects including adding pictures, coloured text, varying fonts and sizes of text. You can download a free copy from Eudora.com. If you are already using Outlook you could continue to use that, though I would strongly recommend against it since it is so prone to spreading viruses and worms.

    If you are unfamiliar with computers, it will be much easier on you if you find someone locally, not necessarily a computer expert, who has set up email accounts and email software before. Once you have the two email accounts set up and working with Eudora, it is relatively easy to get the Bulk Emailer working after that.

  3. You need a Pentium/AMD class PC (Personal Computer) or better, capable of running Java. I would recommend having 1 GB or more of RAM (Random Access Memory). You are not limited to running on W2K, XP, W2003, Vista, W2008, W7-32, W7-64, W8-32 and W8-64 machines, though it will be simpler if you are. The bulk emailer will run on anything that supports Java version 1.6 or later and JavaMail, e.g. Linux. You can get a jump start on checking out the suitability of your machine by installing java and seeing if you can run the Biorhythms Applet.
  4. Java Requirements and Troubleshooting

    Bulk is a Java application to Bulk Emailer. If it does not work…
    1. This Java application needs 32-bit or 64-bit Java 1.7 or later. For best results use the latest 1.8.0_20 Java.
    2. It works under any operating system that supports Java e.g. W2K, XP, W2003, Vista, W2008, W7-32, W7-64, W8-32, W8-64, W2012, Linux, LinuxARM, LinuxX86, LinuxX64, Ubuntu, Solaris, SolarisSPARC, SolarisSPARC64, SolarisX86, SolarisX64 and OSX
    3. To ensure your Java is up to date, check with Wassup. First, download it and run it as an application independent of your browser, then run it online as an Applet to add the complication of your browser.
    4. If the above application does not work, check the Java console for error messages.
    5. If the above application does not work, you might have better luck with the downloadable version available below.
    6. If you are using Mac OS X and would like an improved Look and Feel, download the QuaQua look & feel from randelshofer.ch/quaqua. UnZip the contained quaqua.jar and install it in ~/Library/Java/Extensions or one of the other ext dirs.
    7. Upgrade to the latest version of Internet Explorer or another browser.
    8. If you still can’t get the program working click the red HELP button below for more detail.
    9. If you can’t get the above application working after trying the advice above and from the red HELP button below, have bugs to report or ideas to improve the program or its documentation, please send me an email atemail Roedy Green.
    Java powered   Get New Java   Get New Browser   Help

Installing JavaMail 1.5.2

The Bulk email program requires JavaMail be pre-installed. See JavaMail for details on how to download and install. Basically you just:

  1. download
  2. Unzip
  3. Put a copy of the contained jar files in each of your ext directories, such as:
    ext directories :

Friendly Email Hosting

If you send out thousands of emails, your ISP (Internet Service Provider) might start complaining. He may impose a quota. One way around this is to do the mailing in batches. Let us say you were signed up with shaw.ca who puts a limit of 1000 outgoing emails per day on all business accounts. Let’s say you had under 300 emails going out as part of your normal traffic. That leaves you 700 to use for bulk emails. You split your mailing into batches of 700. It might take you several days to get your bulk mailing out that way. If you prepare you mail list with an Abundance program, you would use the pages feature to select the correct batch.

If anyone complains about your emails as spam, even if they deliberately asked for them, your ISP may shut you down. So you want to check with your ISP first that they won’t mind what you plan to do, and they won’t block you.

What are you options if your ordinary email provider is not suitable? You can search with Google for bulk email hosting for ISPs (Internet Service Providers) happy to take your bulk email business.

If you are more adventurous, you can set up you own email server, in effect, become a miniature ISP, and handle your own mail sending. You would need to run the email server software all the time so that it could both resend failed emails, and accept rejects. This is considerably more of a technical challenge that running the bulk emailer.

The advantage of the mailserver approach is it runs faster, since ordinary ISPs put a choke on the mail to keep the flow to a dull roar. The bottleneck in using the bulk emailer is the speed at which the mail server accepts mail to send. The disadvantage is the mail server approach is more complicated since you have to buy, install, configure and maintain an email server. Even with your own server, your ISP connection provider might field complaints about your emails and shut you down. When you use a hosting service who is bulk email-friendly that is not a problem. Complaints usually go to the mail provider, not your connection provider.

Telus blocks outgoing SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) port 25 traffic. This discourages Telus customers from having email accounts on other servers. This would be a problem if the Telus email account itself had too onerous a quota. Bulk itself does not absolutely require SMTP 25 access to other than one email account, though it does need it for the optional mailserver validation. Further, though a private mail server used to greatly speed mailing up, would require SMTP 25 access to outside servers.

The key is to be upfront with your ISP and your email provider about what you plan do, telling them just how many bulk emails you plan to send each day to make sure they have no objections. Otherwise they will interfere and block you in many ways defeating the purpose of the program. They are often concerned that you might up to some sort of spamming.

Configuring

When you order the program, I burn into it various facts about you, such as the names of the email accounts you want to authorise to use your bulk mailer, and the names your email servers. When the program arrives, it is 100% ready to go. There is nothing for you to configure. I will work with you until you are successful.

I will guide you to tell me such things as:

This information all goes in a Java class called CustConfig.java. The program is written in Java, so part of the installation process requires installing the Java runtime, which can then be used for any Java programs. There is no extra cost for this, just extra steps in the installation process.

Configuring Details

To make the program work, normally you would hire me to together custom configure a piece of the program that looks something like this: I will guide you to prod your mail provider to give us the information we need to set this up. If you have some experience with email setup and Java programming, you can configure and recompile yourself.
You must reconfigure, rebuild (recompile the Java source and recreate the jar). Just configuring the CustConfig.java file is not sufficient.

Costs

The bulk emailer itself free.

I thought you would like to see the prices on this webpage in  CurrCon Applet needs Java 1.7 or later to display prices in your local currency. , but you can change that instantly, thanks to the Canadian Mind Products CurrCon Applet that you too could use on your own website to display prices in any world currency using today’s exchange rates.

We would have a discussion about your needs and I could give you a firm price quotation for any custom work. Send an email to  email feedback to Roedy Green or Canadian Mind Products.

Acquiring the Bulk Emailer

PackageVersionReleasedLicenceLanguageNotes 
bulk
Bulk Emailer
1.7 2007-08-21 custom configuration Java
more infoprecismanualscreenshotbrowse source repository
for the current version of Bulk Emailer.
Simple bulk emailer to broadcast emails for charities, churches and clubs.
download 2.2MB zip for Bulk Emailer Java source, compiled class files, jar and documentation to run on your own machine as an application.

Runs on any OS that supports Java e.g. W2K, XP, W2003, Vista, W2008, W7-32, W7-64, W8-32, W8-64, W2012, Linux, LinuxARM, LinuxX86, LinuxX64, Ubuntu, Solaris, SolarisSPARC, SolarisSPARC64, SolarisX86, SolarisX64 and OSX.

First install the most recent Java.

To install, extract the zip download with WinZip, (or similar unzip utility) into any directory you please, often J:\ — ticking off the use folder names option.

To check out the corresponding source from the Subversion repository, use the TortoiseSVN repo-browser to
access bulk source in repository with [Tortoise] Subversion client on wush.net/svn/mindprod/com/mindprod/bulk/.

After you have installed the jar, you can run it as an application. Type:

java -jar J:\com\mindprod\bulk\bulk.jar parms

adjusting as necessary to account for where the jar file is.

download ASP PAD XML program description for the current version of Bulk Emailer.

$1989.00 US donated so far. If the CMP utilities solved your problem, please donate a buck or two, or donate to one of the charities featured in the footer public service ads throughout the website and get a tax receipt.

Bulk Emailer is free. You are free to use the program as-is without payment. However, it requires programming skill to configuration. The fee is for my time to customise the program for you and help you install it. Check out the prerequisites carefully and email me to discuss your needs before you buy. Non-military use only.
 
 
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