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Issue 2.5



Issue: 2.5 (May/June 2004)
Author: Marc Zeedar
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 3,808
Starting Page Number: 8
Article Number: 2502
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If you run a business, you probably communicate with your customers via email, sending out a company newsletter, product updates, or special offers. Unfortunately, mass emailings with a standard email client are awkward. There are no tools for managing your customer database, you cannot personalize messages, and sending out hundreds, thousands, or hundreds of thousands of emails is slow or even forbidden.

That's where IntelliMerge comes to the rescue. It allows you to create and maintain as many customer databases as you'd like. With the built-in message editor, you can create your email message (plain text or rich) and include variable information from your customer database. Then, with the click of a button, IntelliMerge takes care of sending all the emails for you. It even indicates which emails were sent successfully!

IntelliMerge's database features 12 customizable data fields. For instance, if you're offering different prices to different customers, you could include a price field. A handy palette lets you quickly insert field name variables into your message which will be replaced by data from the database when the emails are generated. You can create as many separate database files as you'd like, and you can import data from several popular email clients as well as text files. Unfortunately, the 12 field names are used for all your mailings; if you do a variety of mailings you may find 12 pieces of data isn't enough.

Creating and editing messages is a breeze. When you save your message, the recipient database you've chosen is linked to the message, making it easy to update a message and resend it in the future.

When you're ready to send a message, you can preview it first; in the preview, the variable names are replaced with actual data. You can scroll through all the personalized messages to ensure they are correct. When you press send, the emails are sent using your SMTP settings. IntelliMerge can send multiple messages at once, so even large mailing lists are dispatched quickly.

Within the recipient list, individuals are marked as being "sent successfully" or with an error message. You can later resend the message to only those who didn't successfully receive it the first time. Unfortunately, IntelliMerge does not include email verification (where an email address is tested to see if it's valid before sending), so if your mailing list isn't current, you may have a lot of bounced messages.

If you're looking for an easy way to handle personalized mass emails, IntelliMerge is an excellent choice. It's not flashy, but it is solid and professional. It performs exactly as advertised.

End of article.