Earlier today, I received an email from a dear friend. I truly enjoyed seeing pictures of his family and all the activities they had engaged in for the 2008 school year. One piece of curiosity though was HOW he sent the emails out to friends and family–he used Filemaker Pro’s SMTP-It, a program I know he’d purchased many years ago and that I used extensively in years past. Here’s what the bottom of his email had:

This email was sent to you using a demo version of SMTPit–A FileMaker Pro plug-in developed by Comm-Unity Networking Systems (CNS). Disclaimer: CNS and SMTPit are in no way connected with the above email. SMTPit is simply a program that sends out email. CNS is not responsible for any unwanted email sent to you using this software. For more information about SMTPit, visit us at
http://www.cnsplug-ins.com/

The SMTP-It takes your FMPRO database and turns it into a bulk email program. That is, it will send email out to everyone you designate. While it’s great if you have FMPRO and are willing to buy the plug-in (SMTP-It), it’s not all that great for convenience (IMHO). Of course, my experience is about 6 years old, so take that with a grain of salt. In that time, I’ve discovered two bulk emailers that I would encourage anyone that has to spam folks to use.

I use the first one listed below almost exclusively because it is so good and easy to use on Windows (it runs in WINE on UbuntuLinux and, of course, in virtual Windows on a Mac). It’s not resource intensive.

Need to send out bulk email? Use one of the following bulk email tools (which I blogged about here):

  1. FairLogic’s WorldCast: Available for free to non-profit educational institutions in Windows only version, this is a versatile mass emailer. Registration does not result—as I once feared—in more junk email and the free registration code arrived instantly upon my emailed request.

    FairLogic describes its product—accurately—as being able to send bulk email, validate email addresses as to whether they work or not, send emails to huge recipient lists imported from dBase tables, text and comma-delimited values and address books from popular email programs (e.g. Outlook, Outlook Express, Palm Desktop). It can also import many fields—no limit yet that I’ve discovered—and include the fields in mail merge format within the body of the email. It can also set itself up as its own SMTP server, which is a powerful feature.

    It is an excellent bulk emailer and easy to use with built-in wizards. What’s more, it can send HTML, or web page, emails without problems. Of course, the main benefit is that it is the only free bulk emailer this author has encountered. It is available online at http://www.fairlogic.com

  2. MaxProg’s MacBulk Mailer: Available for Macintosh and Windows at a cost of $39.90, this is a powerful bulk emailer. The Pro version not only boasts the features of FairLogic’s WorldCast as well but also support for MySQL, direct emailing from Filemaker Pro databases, and conditional message content based on who it is your writing to. I highly recommend this Mailer for Macintosh users. The program is available for download and/or purchase at http://www.maxprog.com/MaxBulk.html

If you know of any other bulk email tools–that are no-cost, or FOSS–please let me know! I’ve seen several attempts in each category but none that match the two above.


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