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Anything to watch out for when mail merging to a distribution email list?

longedge
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Anything to watch out for when mail merging to a distribution email list?

I send a sort of newsletter/events list out once a month or so and have been using a free application limited to 60 recipients. I now need to go over the limit and can't afford/justify the cost of the full app. My requirements are very simple and I can do what I want using MS Word and merging to email. I've just done a test which seems to have worked OK. I've had a few unexpected bounces which I'll be looking at to try to find out why.
What I'm wondering is whether there is any 'anti-spam' provision in place at PlusNet to limit the number of emails that can be sent out. The MS Word/Outlook combination sends emails to individual recipients one at a time so I'm not passing everybody's addresses out to all the other recipients but it means that I'm sending a large number of emails in a very short space of time.
Does anybody know if am I going to have a problem?
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Superuser
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Re: Anything to watch out for when mail merging to a distribution email list?

Will you be using your Plusnet connection when you send the messages or a third-party one?
I believe the Plusnet relays enforce a per email recipient limit of 250 and a per hour recipient limit of 1000 when using a Plusnet connection, but much smaller limits apply using a third-party connection.
David
longedge
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Re: Anything to watch out for when mail merging to a distribution email list?

Thanks for the reply. I intend using PlusNet although I have got other options available.
As far as I can determine a 'stream' of emails is generated each one to a different recipient i.e. there is only 1 recipient per email (if that makes a difference). If I understand correctly then I would be limited to 1000 an hour which is way beyond anything I'm ever going to need.
Is my interpretation correct?
Superuser
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Re: Anything to watch out for when mail merging to a distribution email list?

Yes you'd be doing one recipient per email so the sending limit is 1000 emails per hour.
There remains the possibility that if multiple recipients use the same domain (eg ...@gmail.com) that receiving server might refuse to accept some/all of the messages - claiming spam-like behaviour. Including the header Precedence: bulk might help though I don't know if MS Word/Outlook allows custom headers to be added.
Are any of the unexpected bounces you saw during your test caused by that?
David
longedge
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Re: Anything to watch out for when mail merging to a distribution email list?

Quote from: spraxyt
Are any of the unexpected bounces you saw during your test caused by that?

Not sure about the causes for all of them yet but a couple of the returned messages said," recipient rejected - domain has no delivery address (DNS MX or A record)". I'll investigate further tomorrow.
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Re: Anything to watch out for when mail merging to a distribution email list?

Slightly off topic - why do you do it that way
If you prepare the document in Word then save it you would have a number of options depending on how the recipients would prefer to receive it using a standard email program
Add all the recipients to an email group
Paste the document into it
Convert the document to a pdf and send it as an attachment
Send the Word document as an attachment
Whichever you decide send it using the BCC option so that the recipients don't see the other email addresses
This means that in effect you are only sending a single email
longedge
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Re: Anything to watch out for when mail merging to a distribution email list?

Quote from: Oldjim
Slightly off topic - why do you do it that way[snip]

A number of reasons. I can send a personalised email to everyone using merged data from my mdb. By sending individually I'm not passing each person's address to everyone else i.e. in the TO: field. I very often include links to YouTube material showing e.g. the Act we have appearing.
I know PDF's could perhaps serve a similar purpose but it would be a problem for some and it's an additional step. If I choose one of the list members and then BCC all the rest it's not an email to them and I've lost the personal touch. I use the source database for other purposes and the data is there and easily accessible whereas maintaining another list in the form of an Outlook group would mean duplication and in my case would inevitably mean various cock-ups  Smiley
I can keep a single document and alter it as necessary and as I am one of the recipients, I can keep a copy of each email as well. It works for me.
p.s. looking at the bounced messages, apart from the ones referring to missing MX entries, the rest appear to be 550xxxx errors i.e. "Mailbox Does Not Exist" so the conclusion is that the list that I was using previously had some duff addresses in it which have only now shown up. I was sending via another hosts' server previously and wasn't getting the errors. I can live with this, I'll just delete the bounced recipients.
justin
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Re: Anything to watch out for when mail merging to a distribution email list?

I do something similar. I create a newsletter every three months that is printed but I also send an emailed link so they can download an electronic version from dropbox as some work abroad for periods of up to 6 weeks and some just like the electronic version for reading on a tablet at work etc. So I opened up an account with fasthosts, although there are many other services, and purchased a cheap but rellevant domain name (.co.uk being the cheapest). Then set up an email address (again free once you've got the domain name) which was a forwarding address such as members@domainname.co.uk and added them to it. There are limits on how many people each email address can forward to but to overcome this I just set up another forwarding address such as members1@domainname.co.uk and put this address into the original group.... Sounds more complicated than it is to do but what it comes down to is you send one email to the first domain name and it will be distributed to all in the groups and all for about 5 quid a year for the domain name....
I hope that makes some sort of sense...
longedge
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Re: Anything to watch out for when mail merging to a distribution email list?

Quote from: justin
I hope that makes some sort of sense...

Yes I understand what you're saying. We already have a website that I maintain which includes an events list for the whole year. This is in addition to and duplicates information on the web site just as a 'belt and braces' thing. As I said, the way I'm doing it is quick easy and works for me but I was just concerned about whether I would be triggering any spam control by PlusNet, that's all really.
decomplexity
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Re: Anything to watch out for when mail merging to a distribution email list?

If you do find you have a problem, open an account with a bulk sender such as Mandrill.
You get a free allowance (Mandrill's is 12,000 addressees per month).
Zen from May 17. PN Business account from 2004 - 2017
longedge
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Re: Anything to watch out for when mail merging to a distribution email list?

Quote from: decomplexity
Mandrill's is 12,000 addressees per month).

Thanks for the suggestion - that's about 11,900 per month more than I'm likely to need for a long time to come  Smiley
For the time being I'll stick with what I know but interesting anyway.
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Re: Anything to watch out for when mail merging to a distribution email list?

Quote from: longedge
Quote from: Oldjim
Slightly off topic - why do you do it that way[snip]

A number of reasons. I can send a personalised email to everyone using merged data from my mdb. By sending individually I'm not passing each person's address to everyone else i.e. in the TO: field.

If you put the recipients email addresses in the BCC field no-one would be able to see anyone else's address. The normal way to do this is to send the email to yourself in the To field and that is the only address all the recipients would see unless they looked in the message source when they would also see their own.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
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longedge
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Re: Anything to watch out for when mail merging to a distribution email list?

Quote from: jelv
The normal way to do this is to send the email to yourself in the To field and that is the only address all the recipients would see unless they looked in the message source when they would also see their own.

Yes I understand what you are saying but a blind carbon copy of an email addressed to myself wouldn't satisfy my requirement to send a personalised email to the recipient  Smiley
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Re: Anything to watch out for when mail merging to a distribution email list?

@longedge
As you are using Outlook (which version?) I can confirm that you can leave the To: Field blank if you are filling in multiple email addresses in the BCC: field.
I've only checked this in Outlook 2010 and 2013, but I would imagine it should behave the same way in other, older versions.
longedge
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Re: Anything to watch out for when mail merging to a distribution email list?

Quote from: Jaggies
As you are using Outlook (which version?) I can confirm that you can leave the To: Field blank if you are filling in multiple email addresses in the BCC: field.

Yes Office 2010. Word merged to email using an Access database for merge fields. My emails are personalised with merged data so I don't want an empty 'To:' field, the result looks like a completely normal email.
I don't have a problem now, it works perfectly and the only thing I was ever worried about was hitting a spam protection limit.
I now know that the limit is way beyond anything I will ever send so thanks to all for your interest.