Broadcast email question

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bdalton
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Postby bdalton » Sat Sep 27, 2008 10:51 am

Last night I sent a broadcast email to all users. My wife and I have not received it yet (20 hours later), although we were definitely on the list of addressees. I'm not at all confident these messages are really being sent as advertised. Does it occasionally take days for a broadcast email to be sent?

After more than a year of active campaigning we have only 56 people signed up for the website in our ward, although we have email addresses (via Relief Society and Priesthood quorums) for many more who would like to receive email notices of activities. People are not signing up because they perceive the web site as cumbersome, they don't know how to get on, they are too busy, or whatever. Nevertheless, the great bulk of our ward use email.

Can we use something like Google Groups as a way of sending email to the larger group of ward members' email addresses?

Short of that, can I grab all the addresses shown in the email broadcast and use some kind of script to send the message to each of those names in turn from my own computer instead of via the church mail server? I seem to recall reading that someone has done that, although I can't find it now.

Any help would be appreciated.
- Brad

rmrichesjr
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Postby rmrichesjr » Sat Sep 27, 2008 12:28 pm

One thing that might get in the way of sending email from your home computer to a large group of recipients would be the limits some ISPs put on outbound email. I'm told some place restrictions on the number of recipients per outbound message or the total number of messages times recipients per day.

jdlessley
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Postby jdlessley » Sat Sep 27, 2008 1:14 pm

BDalton wrote:Last night I sent a broadcast email to all users. My wife and I have not received it yet (20 hours later), although we were definitely on the list of addressees.
When you said you sent the broadcast message does that mean you are a web administrator? Or did you submit a request for a broadcast message to be sent out?

If you sent a request for a message to be sent out then the web administrator must first approve it before it even gets sent. If you are a web administrator then read on.

Difficulties with broadcast messages is not so much an issue with the LUWS (assuming the web administrator is not the hold up.) but rather with ISPs, their spam filter, or even your spam filter. The first thing to check is to see if anybody got the message. If not then it is your ISP that may be blocking it from being sent because they may think it is spam. On the other hand if you are one of the few who are not receiving it then your ISP may still be blocking it as spam. It may sound strange that an ISP would send the message to multiple addresses but then block it from being delivered to the very same address from which it was sent. Check this article on PCMagazine.com.

I would check into your ISP's policies regarding mass mailings. See if they have a limit on the number of addresses a message can be sent to simultaneously. Also check on their spam policies and filtering.

One final thing. I have noted with my ISP is that for some strange reason a message can get 'lost' for some time before finally being delivered. When I called them about messages being delivered four days after being sent they claimed it wasn't their problem. However when the header information was checked with the date-time stamps the problem occured after their servers received it.
JD Lessley
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jdlessley
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Postby jdlessley » Sat Sep 27, 2008 2:26 pm

BDalton wrote:Last night I sent a broadcast email to all users. My wife and I have not received it yet (20 hours later), although we were definitely on the list of addressees.
When you said you sent the broadcast message does that mean you are a web administrator? Or did you submit a request for a broadcast message to be sent out?

If you sent a request for a message to be sent out then the web administrator must first approve it before it even gets sent. If you are a web administrator then read on.

Difficulties with broadcast messages are not so much an issue with the LUWS (assuming the web administrator is not the hold up.) but rather with ISPs, their spam filter, or even your spam filter if you use an e-mail client, such as MS Outlook. The first thing to check is to see if anybody got the message. If you are one of the few who is not receiving it then your ISP may be blocking it as spam. Check on their spam policies and filtering. Since May this year some ISPs have tightened their policies on spam and the filters for incoming mail have become more restrictive. Also check in your spam folder. If you are using an e-mail client for an ISP server e-mail address and not a web based e-mail address you will want to check your spam folder by going on-line to view your messages. You can then look in your spam folder (Some ISPs may have a different name for it.).

One final thing. I have noted with my ISP is that for some strange reason a message can get 'lost' for some time before finally being delivered. When I called them about messages being delivered four days after being sent they claimed it wasn't their problem. However when the header information was checked with the date-time stamps the problem occured after their servers received it.
JD Lessley
Have you tried finding your answer on the ChurchofJesusChrist.org Help Center?

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Sat Sep 27, 2008 3:24 pm

BDalton wrote:Can we use something like Google Groups as a way of sending email to the larger group of ward members' email addresses?


That would appear to me to be against this policy


BDalton wrote:Short of that, can I grab all the addresses shown in the email broadcast and use some kind of script to send the message to each of those names in turn from my own computer instead of via the church mail server?


I don't see why not, but your own ISP may consider you a spammer and disconnect you. I'd read your ISP's Terms of Service before going that route.
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bdalton
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Postby bdalton » Sat Sep 27, 2008 5:03 pm

Thanks very much for the information. I am the ward web administrator. I sent the message out to all ward users yesterday and still haven't received the message or the usual notice that the message was sent. I sent a slight modification of the message today and within a few seconds I received the message and the email notice that it was sent. I suppose I could have messed up yesterday, but I'm sure I sent it properly. This is not the first time a message has failed to go after giving me the prompt telling me it was sent.

I'll have to look into my Qwest DSL and see if there are some rules that would affect bulk emails.

I use Outlook Express in connection with a Gmail account. I have tested sending to multiple recipients by putting "members@ourward" as the TO: address and all the other addressees in the BCC: line. It seems to work. The recipients see only the "members@ourward" as the addressee and don't see anyone else's addresses. I get a "delivery status notification (failure)" email (because of the bogus TO: address) that shows my message was sent. I suppose if I break up the big group into several smaller groups I might bypass any ISP problems.

On a related note, when I create an email broadcast in MSWord and paste it into the web site email box, the delivered message often appears with question marks and other odd characters replacing quotation marks and several other punctuation marks. Any idea what that is all about? It doesn't do that if I create the message in the church web site, only if I paste it in.

Thanks again!
- Brad

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Sat Sep 27, 2008 5:22 pm

BDalton wrote:when I create an email broadcast in MSWord and paste it into the web site email box, the delivered message often appears with question marks and other odd characters replacing quotation marks and several other punctuation marks. Any idea what that is all about?


The quotation marks is a big clue. The standard ASCII quote mark is a single character and it used for both open and closed quote. When you type in Word, look carefully at the results - Word will change the quote to a more correct left quote or a right quote. It changes "this" to “this”. The problem is the web page probably doesn't support the higher character sets required for the left/right quote.
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RossEvans
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Postby RossEvans » Sat Sep 27, 2008 5:23 pm

BDalton wrote:On a related note, when I create an email broadcast in MSWord and paste it into the web site email box, the delivered message often appears with question marks and other odd characters replacing quotation marks and several other punctuation marks. Any idea what that is all about? It doesn't do that if I create the message in the church web site, only if I paste it in.


MS Word does you the "favor" of turning your ASCII double-quotes into left- and right- double quotes that are in the Windows character set but not in the character set supported by the web form or application, whether you like it or not. Other web forms, such as the one I am using right now in this Forum, might not have that problem. You might avoid that problem by using a dumber text editor to draft your message.

For example, look closely at the quote marks here:

“This is a test in double quotes created in MS Word.”

"This is a test in double quotes created in Notepad."


Now that I think about it, I actually am not sure if the failure to support that character set is a property of the web form or the email protocol.

rmrichesjr
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Postby rmrichesjr » Sat Sep 27, 2008 8:14 pm

RussellHltn wrote:The quotation marks is a big clue. The standard ASCII quote mark is a single character and it used for both open and closed quote. When you type in Word, look carefully at the results - Word will change the quote to a more correct left quote or a right quote. It changes "this" to “this”. The problem is the web page probably doesn't support the higher character sets required for the left/right quote.


It's not just quotation marks that are modified by the application software sold by a certain very large company. In some email messages I receive and read using /bin/mail (nail version 12.3), half or maybe more of what should be space characters (0x20) are actually 0xA0. At times, other punctuation characters have had similar problems when coming from software from said large company, a character in the upper 128 in place of a prefectly valid ASCII character in the lower 128.

bdalton
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Postby bdalton » Thu Oct 02, 2008 1:51 pm

As ward web admin, when I send a broadcast email, it appears to the recipient as if I am personally sending them an email. I have begun including some text in the body of the message that specifies the message is being sent to all ward members from the web site, but this is still not always very clear. Is there some way to change the return address so it shows up as coming from something like "ElkRidge3rdWard@LDS.org" instead of from my personal email address?


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