So, there are many better ways to accomplish what you want, many of them involving third party applications and services (such as MailChimp, for instance), but I am assuming you would prefer to do this entirely inside of FileMaker, and plugin free.
Since the subject and body is probably the same for all messages (I.e. "my website has changed"), you could capture all 1200 email accounts into a variable and then loop through that list inside a script that would fire off the same email message to each recipient in your variable list.
If you have an FileMaker 13 server at your disposal, you could host that file and have the script execute server side. You might be surprised at how quickly that can get done...
I strongly recommend a 3rd party service. You run the risk of running afoul of anti-spam laws and, more importantly, pissing your customers off.
there are several great tools like MaxBulk to do newsletters.
a unsubscribe function is a must!
Also a valid sender adress (=> who you are).
This means you might spend some time to sort out those who sent back a unsubscribe message.
Some tools even check if the email address is valid in advance.
Check with your internet provider: How many emails are you allowed to send per day?
There are limits even with a mac account (max. 100 recipients per day)!
If you are planning to send more newsletters I give you in consideration to use special applications for email marketing like MailChimp. There is a very nice tool to connect MailChimp to your FileMaker database named FMChimp. With this tool you can use te best of both worlds. Sending your newsletter with full statistics, who opened it, which mails bounced, who unsubscripted etc. All connected to your current FileMaker application. I think it will be worth the investment.
you should also consider data-protection:
- having the application with your email addresses on your computer
- have your email addresses /customer addresses uploaded on a 3. party server
As they say: If a product is for free, than the product is you (your informations and customer addresses)!
Somebody correct me if I am wrong, and I’m sure someone on the FMCommunity will, but I believe that there are a two things at work here.
One is the technology, and two the ethics of how it is used.
Filemaker really does send an individual message for each record in the database. My early post is a feature that Originated in
Responsible use of this feature and the data stored in the FileMaker system is still incumbent on the developer of the solution, therefore, yes protect the contact data stored in your system, and yes conform to anti spam laws. your system will need to track responses to remove individuals that wish to opt out. While there are many reputable 3rd party solutions that will do the this for you, and provide click through analysis that is difficult or impossible FileMaker to access. However, keep in mind that the contact records can be the enterprise’s most valuable asset. Storing and using them locally, not in the cloud, is a level of security that FieMaker can provide. As FileMaker developers we may want to remember that while there are reasons to use cloud based solutions, FileMaker often offers viable LAN based solutions to achieve the enterprise's business goals.
I completely agree.
With MaxBulk or other local programs, you can as well create individual messages where customers get addressed like
Dear Mr. Smith | Dear Ms. Brown | etc.
Based on recent experience, there appear to be two major categories of contributors to this community, one group includes members such as yourself who are genuinely interested in discussing technical and general FileMaker issues and actually helping others who have questions about how to use FileMaker.
The second category of contributors I have encountered appears to be more interested in disseminating Fear,Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD) and generally attacking or discrediting any contribution other than their own.
People come for advice. They often think they need a technical answer, when their problem is greater than that, say a database structure issue. In this case, after years and years of experience in dealing with clients wanting to send e-mail newsletters, I can assure you, it is better to use a service for unsolicited commercial e-mail.
1) If in the US, you run the risk of getting fined from the FTC because your e-mail is non-conforming
2) You run the risk of your ISP ending their service contract (most ISPs prohibit the practice becuase...)
3) You run the risk of having your e-mail address (or ISP domain name) being put on e-mail black lists.
4) You run the risk of getting irate e-mails from clients, losing business etc.
I have personally worked with clients where all of the above has happened (which is why they came to me).
The issue is not sending "one e-mail" or sending a "separate e-mail to each address". The latter is certainly far worse (in fact, the chances of you bccing more than 100 people is slim due to limits imposed by ISPs). But the former is still considered spam and subject to the above problems. MaxBulk may solve these problems, I don't know the program. But just sending the 1,200 e-mails "raw" is looking for trouble.
MaxBulk may solve these problems, I don't know the program. But just sending the 1,200 e-mails "raw" is looking for trouble.
For MaxBulk, you can and should configure how many addresses (Bcc) per Email, what time interval and so on.
Hard work is to find out reasonable values for those parameters.
I'ld recommend to ask your provider and get into US legal terms about email traffic.
This is obsolete as long as you can assume that it's in your customers interest to receive your mails.
Thanks, I have FP13 Server and just created an account with MailChimp. I will compare both and see which looks smoother. I understand the concern and complaints from others on this thread. In my case, I am sending it to my current customers who already receive individual service orders from me.
This really isn't a newsletter (but it made sense to describe it this way). I am sending out information that our new website will allow them to connect to 'My Account' where they can access FM by WebDirect. It lets them know to contact me to get there username and password, etc.
No spam and they are all willing to receive this email from me.
Thank you for the help everyone!
David is spot-on for the WHY of using external services. Keep in mind that for those clients who do NOT wish to export their data for such a service, you may research the security of the service, the security in getting data to (and sometimes from) the service. And if all else, your client can be "all internal" especially if they use their own mail servers. But heed David's warnings. However, when I've HAD to stay internal, I've used a pause in loop and/or BATCH process to not send too many emails at one time. Also changing subject and body ever-so-slightly can help keep the spam-police at bay.
A short pause is a good trick. Batching is also a good way to go.
What will work depends on the ISP and / or mail server. I had a personal experience with my Google Apps Gmail account (@mydomain.com not @gmail.com) where I hit the 500 send limit per 24 hour period. If you go over, you cannot send any email for 24 hours, which is a terrible terrible thing. Gmail's policies are a mix of max # of recipients per e-mail, max # recepients per day, unique recipients per day, number of e-mails per day. Other mail servers may have different policies.
This experience was a couple years ago. The exact limit may be different now. Google does change their policies regularly in part, I suspect, to prevent spammers from gaming the system. But the point is "be careful".
Oh, and one other thing in favor of 3rd party services, is not only do you send nice HTML-formatted e-mails, you get to track things like "views" and "click thrus" which is really helpful.