There are 3 or 5 email plugins. Here is a comparison
MailChimp Integration with FileMaker Pro – Part 1 of 3
Sending HTML Email from FileMaker 11/02/2012
A Likely Fix for SMTP Send Mail Error 1506 Woes January 11, 2011
Thanks, Dave. I will take a look at those.
I don't care so much for Mail Chimp because even with their paid account I was unable to turn off link tracking and didn't want to send my customers weird-looking URLs. So I switched to using Constant Contact, and am pretty pleased with them. They also have amazing customer support.
I'll take a look at the links you provided.
Shin Ninagawa, who I sometimes work with here in Tokyo, also told me about this plugin: http://360works.com/email-plugin/
Anybody ever try that?
I just took a look at that but it doesn't actually send emails out, does it? I just helps create messages.
I'll look at some of the other links.
There must be an easy way to do mail merges. Using some tool. :)
Correct, the method the file demos can be used to compose the messages you send out--whether you print them, export to other software such as MS word or use the resulting message fields in the body of your emails. It enables you to design specific "Message Templates" which can then seemlessly merge data from your database.
I found a great solution - Serial Mailer (http://www.falkon-ware.com/SerialMailer/). I don't feel an urge to have to do everything from within FMP. FMP is great for what it is good for, but I just don't think it is good for mail merge. It's like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.
Word 2008 mail merge requires you use Entourage as the default mail client, and Word 2011 requires you use Outlook. But I want to use standard Mail App. Plus I want to send directly via SMTP.
As you know, I'm using FileMaker Pro Advanced for my database (and it's great for that - I have been loving using it these last few weeks). But FileMaker's mail merge feature is very poor: you have to awkwardly construct the mails using a calculation field, there is no preview, there is no mail progress and only text mail is possible. (FileMaker purists will script work-arounds, but to be honest, I think they are all way too complicated, and still don't do everything SerialMailer does.)
SerialMailer is just $29 (direct price or from the Mac app store) and it has everything I needed:
(1) I could easily import the export from FIleMaker or Excel.
(2) I could create plain text, formatted or HTML mails easily in the simple editor included. You can even include attachments.
(3) I could preview the emails one by one. This was very important to me.
(4) When sending via SMTP I can view the progress. I encountered an error with one recipient's email address, was able to fix it right there and then send to that user and the remaining users without any fuss.
(5) Each mail you send is saved in a special file containing the recipients and the mail you created, so you can open it up, resend if you want, check the log, copy the file and create a new mail with the same recipients, etc.
(6) It includes its own database. So when you import the export from FileMaker or Excel it saves the info in its own internal database from which you can create a new mail.
Basically, it just works great. And safely. It's not bloatware, but I'm sure there will be bells and whistles people want as time goes by. The developer seems friendly and responsive.
I'm very surprised this software is not better known. It really fills a missing gap on the Mac - the ability to easily, without any fuss, create a mail merge from FileMaker or Excel or any other CSV source. I think it's a great companion app to use along with FMP.
Just thought I'd let people here know.