An Electronic Postman: NewsMAIL V2.0

Product Profile: NewsMAIL

For an increasing number of businesses, communicating with customers through e-mail is becoming standard practice. But without the proper tools, managing and maintaining e-mail distribution lists can be tedious and time-consuming. To that end, Pacific Software Publishing Inc. created NewsMAIL, a broadcast e-mail engine.

NewsMAIL eases the task of sending the same e-mail to multiple recipients. The product's functionality is ideal for a company issuing frequent press releases, announcements, newsletters, surveys and product updates to its customers.

NewsMAIL runs on Windows NT Server 3.51 or higher and Internet Information Server 2.0 or higher as a mail client, and sends individual messages sequentially via SMTP/POP3 system-compatible mail servers. Adding and deleting e-mail addresses and composing and sending e-mail are all accomplished with a standard Web browser.

With version 2.0, users can access their NewsMAIL accounts via a browser; select existing files containing e-mail addresses or create new groups; compose a message online or "paste" letters; upload tab-delimited, merge data to a NewsMAIL database; and attach a binary file for delivery to everyone on the list. The Merge function, a new feature, transforms a single e-mail into multiple customized messages for any number of recipients. With up to 32 customizable merge fields, you can insert personal-touch information into your message text so your customers think you took the time to write them individually. It allows you to broadcast your e-mail without disclosing your mailing list.

Most of the functions are handled through the browser interface. However, log file management must be handled by the server administrator. A log file is automatically generated for each broadcast session and is accessed from the NewsMAIL menu in order to verify the message contents and distribution.

A company that had an immediate need for e-mail broadcast distribution was Business Travel Northwest (Seattle), a travel agency specializing in corporate travel for "high-tech" companies. The company books approximately $35 million in air travel annually and has one main office as well as five other locations to better service the accounts it handles. "We send out several large mailings each week," says Mel Runner, vice president, information systems, Business Travel Northwest. "Some examples include a weekly travel report and white papers. Our clients can select which, if any of these, mailings they wish to receive. Some are aimed at certain target groups, for example, travelers vs. financial officers."

A typical example of automating list subscription would be linking an online product registration form's e-mail address field to a NewsMAIL's address group file. To send product-related announcements, the marketing staff uses browsers to access the department's NewsMAIL account, select that product's group address file, compose a message and distribute the same message to each address. NewsMAIL also eliminates alias-based mail lists or use of "cc" or "bcc" to send e-mail.

Some of the improvements Runner’s customers would like to see in NewsMAIL include the ability to selectively send HTML- or RTF-formatted documents and the ability to send a single message with different return addresses based on an e-mail address. All in all, though, says Runner, "[Our customers] have been quite happy with it."

NewsMAIL V2.0
Pacific Software Publishing Inc.
Bellevue, Wash.
(425) 688-8080