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How do I send Broadcast Emails from within Redtail?

Broadcast Emails provide you with a method of sending out an email to any number of your contacts, personalized to each recipient through the use of acceptable Email Merge Fields (listed in Step #5 below). Let’s take a look at how you go about sending out a Broadcast Email (accessible from the Options pulldown menu on the Advanced Search page after running your search):

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 After you have selected the group of Contacts you want to include in your Broadcast Email from the Advanced Search page, you can then click the Broadcast Email option indicated above.  This will open a dialog for you to begin composing your Broadcast Email.  *NOTE: If you haven't provided your SMTP settings in your Site Preferences, you will instead receive a message indicating you must do so prior to using the Broadcast Email functionality.  Instructions for providing this information can be found at the end of this post.

If you've saved your SMTP settings, after clicking the Broadcast Email option you'll see your Send Broadcast Email Message dialog:

 

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1.  From The From field is the name that will be displayed to the recipients of your Broadcast Email:

You can set this up under Manage Your Account —> Change Site Preferences in the Email Options section in the Email Display Name field.  Details are here.

2.  To – The To field indicates how many records you selected on the Advanced Search page to include in your Broadcast Email:

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3.  Subject – Whatever you type in the Subject line will show up as the Subject of the Broadcast Email for your recipients.

I've given this email a subject of "Demo Broadcast Email."

4.  Attachments — you can click this link to then browse your computer or network for files to attach to your Broadcast Email.

5.  Message The Message area of your Broadcast Email is where you can create the body of the email you would like to send:

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Note that above the text box for entering your message you are provided with some common formatting tools.  You can use these tools to format any of the text you enter into your Message Body.  You should also be aware that if you are familiar with HTML, you have the ability to manipulate the HTML of your Message Body by clicking on the Source option in the toolbar. Your message body will then be converted to HTML and you can mark up the text to suit your needs.

Below is a screenshot of this toolbar - mousing over any of the tool icons will provide you with a popup explaining its function:

 

Additionally, you have the ability to create a standard signature to use in all Broadcast Emails (you can see mine in the example above, highlighted in yellow) under Manage Your Account --> Change Site Preferences --> Email Options in the Email Signature field.  Once you have set up an Email Signature there, it will automatically populate your Broadcast Emails.  Details are here.

Also, you have the ability to personalize your Broadcast Emails through the use of acceptable Email Merge Fields.  Below is a list of those acceptable fields:

##Firstname##
##Lastname##
##Middlename##
##NicknameFirstname##
##Salutation##
##Suffix##

As an example, if you wanted your email to begin with “Dear John Doe,” you would enter the following above the body of your message:

Dear ##Firstname## ##Lastname##,

Then, all of your emails would be addressed to each client using their First and Last Names.

As a last note about composing the body of your Message, you can insert images into your Broadcast Emails, as long as the image is available on the web somewhere which will allow you to link to it.  To include an image:

  • Prepare the rest of your message in the Broadcast Email window.
  • Locate the image on the web, wherever you have it stored.  Right-click on the image and select the option that allows you to copy the URL for the image itself.  Depending upon where the image is, this might be accessible by selecting Properties after right-clicking.  Once you've located the URL for the image, copy that URL.
  • You'll then need to copy the URL inside the following string, replacing everything inside the quotation marks with that URL:  <img src="paste the URL you copied here">
  • Then, within your Broadcast Email, click the Source button in the toolbar.  This will open up the HTML editor for your message.  You can then copy the entire string from above, that now has the URL for your image as the img src (Image Source), in the location within the HTML that will place the image correctly.  
  • Click the Source button again to see what the image looks like within your message.  You can drag it to move it to different places within your message if it didn't end up just where you wanted it after pasting the code to the Source.
  • We highly recommend utilizing the "Send Test Message" functionality, discussed below, prior to sending your message to your intended list of recipients.  This will allow you to make sure that everything is lined up as you wanted before you actually send it to your recipients.

6.  Send Broadcast Email – Note that there are two selection boxes and three buttons here: Save Copy as Note, Send Me A Copy, Send Message, Send Test Message or Cancel:

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If you select Save Copy as Note, your Broadcast Email will be saved to each contact record to whom it is sent as a Note. 

If you click Send Me A Copy, you'll also receive the Broadcast Email.

If you click Send Message, your email will be sent to all recipients on the list that have an Email 1 address entered within their record. After clicking this, you'll see a "Broadcast Email Queued" dialog:

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This indicates that we've pushed the message and all its details to a queue and will send from there. You can click the link that says "click here to check the status" and you'll be taken to your Manage Broadcast Emails page, or you can click OK and continue working. You can check the status at a later time by going to Manage Your Account —> Manage Broadcast Emails.

If you click Send Test Message, a copy of the Broadcast Email will be sent to your email address w/o sending to everyone else on this list.  This is always a good idea as it allows you to proof the final look of your Broadcast Email prior to sending it to everyone on your list.  If you click Cancel, you will be returned to your Advanced Search results and no Broadcast Email will be sent.

NOTE: Broadcast Emails are sent to the Email 1 address on selected contacts' records. If a contact has multiple Email Addresses with a Type of Email 1, only the first Email 1 Address for the contact will receive the Broadcast Email, but they will receive as many copies of the email to that address as they have Email 1 Addresses. As a best practice, only designate your contacts' primary email address as Email 1 and use other Types for additional addresses.

These are the basics of creating and sending Broadcast Emails within Redtail.

Required SMTP Settings

You will not be able to use Redtail's Broadcast Email functionality if you have not entered your SMTP settings for you email account within Redtail's Site Preferences.

You can provide this information under Manage Your Account —> Change Site Preferences:

On your Site Preferences page, scroll until you see the Email Options section:

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The sections which apply in regards to your SMTP Settings are the last five fields here.  You can read more about the other options in this section here.

The SMTP Settings will vary, depending upon where your email is hosted.  If you are uncertain as to the settings you should use for any of these, you can contact the company that hosts your email to provide.  If you use Outlook, Thunderbird or another email client, you should also be able to find this information within the account settings for your email account.

If Redtail hosts your email on our Zimbra platform, this section might look like the below for you after completion (though your SMTP Username and SMTP Password would be unique to your email address):

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After entering all your information here, click Save in the top right corner of the Email Options box.

You should then be able to utilize the Broadcast Email functionality within Redtail.

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