Once again Google came up with a few potential candidates. A few of these were high cost solutions which for my task would be out of question. I quickly filtered out 2-3 I wanted to look closer at, and after another half an hour of screening I had decided on Sendblaster (version 2.0.118) as the chosen solution.
The software downloaded and installed without any problems, and when I opened this I found it intuitive and therefore quickly got the hang of how it worked.
I created my email text, then utilised the "tags" function to personalise the email. In the "To:" field I insertied the tag #e-mail# which I picked from the dropdown box to the right of the recipient box, and finally I added a tag in the first line of the email so as to start off the email with the recipients first name: The first line of my email template therefore read: Dear #name#,
IMPORT OF RECIPIENTS:
import of the recipients from my spreadsheet was easy using the import wizard and I was in no time ready to send the mailshot.
To send the mailshot I had to do some configurations of the sending mail account, such included the name of your smtp server, username and password, all of which you should know.
At this point you also need to know the limitations of your email system. In my case my hosting provider had set a limit of 250 emails per hour, which meant I had to split up the sending accordingly to avoid getting into trouble. Alternatively I could under advanced settings have configured e.g. the mailshot to go out in blocks of 200 emails with 3600 seconds pause, which would have sorted this as well.
For the more advanced user you will find useful integration with TrackReports and Google Analytics, and both of these are free.
In my case this software definitely saved me hours of work, and worked completely without any problems whatsoever. I will definitely use this again, and will recommend this to anyone looking to same time and money when sending mass email mailshots.
Tip! do a small mailshot to a couple of email addresses including yourself the first time around so that you see how it works.
Sendblaster website: www.sendblaster.com
Reviewed in PCWorld: http://tinyurl.com/32r9477
Reviewed in Cnet: http://tinyurl.com/33b4b3o