Good cheap/free bulk email software?
No, this isn't about Spam. I have a list of 600+ people who signed up to be notified when a certain product is ready. They volunteered their emails for this specific purpose and this purpose alone. :P
Why not roll your own? If this doesn't need to be industrial strength, you could script something in VBA in a few minutes to pump out 600 email messages...
Yes, I was also thinking of just rolling my own. Would be easy. But I was hoping somebody might suggest something even easier.... also, perhaps other people might need something of this ilk as well so I figured the replies might help others. (-:
I use Microsoft Word + Microsoft Excel + Mail Merge for short one time mailings to a list of people that requested it.
If you want to manage it pretty well, without too much trouble on your part, you can outsource it to bCentral from Microsoft.
If you want to create a custom html-based or text-based email for each person. You could use CityDesk and point it at a database; then you'll have to manually do your own open/click/forward/bounce-tracking, because most commercial mailers won't let you upload a separate different email for each person (although the more advanced ones will let you upload profiles for their servers to do the customizing for you) if you are a programmer this might not be a problem.
If _free_ is a requirement, Enemies of Carlotta (by Linus Torvald's college buddy), written in Python, will interface with Postfix and Qmail. It's a real mailing list manager but I suspect your outgoing mails will be identical for each person (without customization).
As Joel said, use MS Office with mail merge
What about MajorDomo or ListServ and the other traditional mailing list programs? Or that service that Joel uses for his mailing list.
I'm thinking that listserv-type stuff would be a bit too involved for this, with subscribes and confirms and all that. Or is it? I've never used them...
Google for blat, it is a command line smpt mailer that is free.
Pick any two
Oh I dunno, I never had to use one, but I kind of assumed the admin could add e-mail addresses easily, by maybe dropping them into a file either CSV or with carraige returns seperating them.
I know that some of us never manage a list before the way Joel has, so just some key pointers:
You should try the mail merge, if it doesn't scale, then switch to a real mailing list deployment service like bCentral.. and if that fails you.. god help you.. you need to hire a real relationship manager because by then you are making real money :)
Marshallsoft has an excellent E-Mail addin for multiple environments. We use it in our products as it supports HTML encoding. It's a single DLL that has no dependencies.
John, it's just a email component, it composes the email to allow mime alternate types (which basically means recipients' email readers can read either HTML or text, depending on their capability/preference)... you don't really need to pay $105 for that little wrapper. Is it good at anything else? Just wondering...
If this is a one-off (and even if it isn't) then forget about operating systems developed in the Pacific Northwest.
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