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How do you do....it? Thread, Mass E-mail with attachment in Technical; Does anyone have any recomendations for a piece of software we could use to e-mail parents en-mass with an attachment? ...
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    maniac's Avatar
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    Mass E-mail with attachment

    Does anyone have any recomendations for a piece of software we could use to e-mail parents en-mass with an attachment? This is so we can e-mail out our weekly bulletin to parents who have subscribed to it.

    I know we could use BCC field in outlook, but I'd like to find a way of customising the e-mail so it's a bit more personal. Word allows you to mail merge to e-mail addresses, but won't allow you to put an attachment on. I've found a really clunky way of doing it with a Macro in word, but it needs to be easy to use if possible so a member of admin staff could set the process going with minimal fuss.

    Any recomendations?

    Mike.

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    I personally wouldnt give the option of the attachment. I would upload it all to the school website and link it via the email.

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    maniac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danlewis3 View Post
    I personally wouldnt give the option of the attachment. I would upload it all to the school website and link it via the email.
    Can't really do that, as the bulletin often names specific students for achievements, and details things which we only really want parents to know about and not anyone and everyone. We don't have parent/carer logins for our VLE yet as I'vbe not had time to get that side of the system working, and we don't have a parent gateway for sims yet either so we can't distribute it this way.

    Anyhow, to encourage people to read it we'd like it to be as acccessible as possible. PDF attachment to an e-mail is how we'd like to do it.

    Mike.

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    Well it all depends on the emails. If they are using work email address it may get blocked.

    Put it on the website in a strange location. And make sure the robots.txt does not cache it.

    Then the only way people will be able to find the bulitin is if they are given the link directly.

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    What mail server? If you have Exchange then save this script on your Exchange server and run it. (note that it's using CDO which isn't installed by default on Exchange 2007 but you can download it here http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/d...displaylang=en)

    The sInput specifies the text of the message you want to send as an HTML file; sFrom will appear as the sender's email, sSubject as the subject (!) and sAttach is the name of the attachment. sList is the name of a plain text file containing the email addresses to send to (one address per line)

    When you first run it, it will send an email to "some.testaddress@mydomain.co.uk" - change that to a suitable test address! When you're sure it works, change "boolSendAll=false" to "boolSendAll=true"

    If you don't run Exchange then look at something like Blat (happy mailing : Blat online) and a script similar to the one below but calling Blat in the sendemail sub.

    Code:
    sInput="c:\temp\email.htm"
    sFrom="John Smith<john.smith@somedomain.co.uk>"
    sSubject="End of term newsletter"
    sAttach="c:\temp\newsletter.doc"
    sList="c:\temp\people.txt"
    
    boolSendAll=false
    
    Set oFso=createobject("scripting.filesystemobject")
    
    sendmail("some.testaddress@mydomain.co.uk")
    
    set oFile=oFso.opentextfile(sList)
    iSent=0
    do while not oFile.atendofstream
      sEmails=oFile.readline
      if boolSendAll then sendmail sEmail
    loop
    oFile.close
    
    wscript.echo "Sent " & iSent & " emails"
    
    Sub sendmail(sEmail)
      iSent=iSent+1
      Set objMail = CreateObject("CDONTS.NewMail")
      objMail.From = sFrom
      objMail.to =   sEmail
      objMail.subject = sSubject
      ObjMail.BodyFormat = 0
      ObjMail.MailFormat = 0
      objMail.body= strResults
      if sAttach<>"" then
         objMail.attachFile(sAttach)
      end if
      objMail.Send
    wscript.echo "sending mail to " & semail & vbCrLf
    End Sub

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    maniac (30th March 2010)

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    maniac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danlewis3 View Post
    Well it all depends on the emails. If they are using work email address it may get blocked.

    Put it on the website in a strange location. And make sure the robots.txt does not cache it.

    Then the only way people will be able to find the bulitin is if they are given the link directly.
    Other issue here is the website is difficult to update, and requires me to do it. The idea of this is it can be done with no involvement from us as we have enough to do as it is!

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    enjay's Avatar
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    If you start sending too much email like this, you run the risk of getting flagged as a spam sender, so it might be better to investigate third parties like ParentMail, Clarion, etc.

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    maniac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by enjay View Post
    If you start sending too much email like this, you run the risk of getting flagged as a spam sender, so it might be better to investigate third parties like ParentMail, Clarion, etc.
    It's 400 students once a week and is only on a subscription basis - generally you only get flagged as a spam sender if you're sending 1000's and if people report your address as spam.

    We don't really want to pay for a service we can do with the equipment we already have available - we have an exchange server so I'm going to look at the script posted above, as that seems to fit the bill.

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    RabbieBurns's Avatar
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    we used to do this with macros, but since we upgraded all office / admin staff to win7/office2010 it broke their macros. So now they just upload it ane mailmerge the link.

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    aleach2's Avatar
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    I have used this software in the past:

    http://www.group-mail.com

    Worked really well for us. I can remember when we purchased it they gave us a educational discount, I think the distributor is based in Ireland. There is a free version to try as well.

  12. Thanks to aleach2 from:

    maniac (30th March 2010)

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    IrritableTech's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maniac View Post
    the bulletin often names specific students for achievements
    I would suggest that you really shouldn't have full names of students in your bulletin, even if it only goes out to parents. Even if little johnny is in the same class as little jacob, doesn't mean little johnnys dad should be able to identify little jacob.

    We only ever publish first names in general mailings.

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    Quote Originally Posted by terrorvis View Post
    I would suggest that you really shouldn't have full names of students in your bulletin, even if it only goes out to parents. Even if little johnny is in the same class as little jacob, doesn't mean little johnnys dad should be able to identify little jacob.

    We only ever publish first names in general mailings.
    I won't suggest that, as last time I aired my views on such issues, I think I was told to "leave the running of the school to the management team and concentrate on my job" Therefore I now only do as asked. They want to be able to do this, and thus I shall provide a way of doing it - what's actually published within it is not my responsibility.

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    Quote Originally Posted by maniac View Post
    I won't suggest that, as last time I aired my views on such issues, I think I was told to "leave the running of the school to the management team and concentrate on my job" Therefore I now only do as asked. They want to be able to do this, and thus I shall provide a way of doing it - what's actually published within it is not my responsibility.
    Fair enough I suppose, leave the leading to the leaders.

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    Is a service like MailChimp a better idea so parents can manage their own subscriptions and no worries about outgoing email capacity.

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    ParentMail is probably the market leader... we're currently running a similar product that is so awful that I won't name it because really it is something out of the ark; very inflexible. We look like jumping to parentMail in the Autumn, thank goodness.

    (We don't have exchange, so that isn't an option for us)

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