I run a website that offers downloadable digital books, and recently did a fundraising drive for a new book which included a digital copy of a book as a premium. The software I used to generate individual, email-linked coupon codes was supposed to email each recipient with their code, but it seemed to fail (silently) *sometimes*, and after several tries, a lot of people still didn’t have their codes. I decided to give the “Lite” version of this app a try, so I could send the messages from my own email account and know for sure that they went out.
I was able to import my recipient list directly from a CSV export of the coupon codes without a hitch. There’s a few other format options for import, including using your own Address Book. My test of 10 recipients (the limit in the Lite version) went out flawlessly. I was able to BCC myself to see exactly what they got, and know that everything went through. Then I grabbed the full version, imported the whole list of 200 recipients, and sent them all out in a few minutes. Worked great.
Knocked off a star for a few reasons:
1) Upgrading from the Lite version to the full version, I had to re-enter my preferences. Would be nice to reward upgraders with a seamless transition.
2) importing email accounts from Apple Mail doesn’t seem to work; I just get a blank menu even though i have two accounts configured. It didn’t slow me down much to have to manually enter my account info, but it might be a roadblock for the less technically-savvy. It’s especially a problem since SerialMailer’s auto-configuration didn’t seem to work for Gmail accounts; since they are probably the most common, that doesn’t speak highly of the reliability of that feature. :-/
3) When I imported my list of recipients, they were all selected by default, but I couldn’t find a way to deselect them all at once and just pick a few. Usually option-clicking a select box or clicking in the header area above that column will turn all of them on or off. That would be a welcome addition.
4) The confirmation message that comes up before sending was a little alarming, since it refers to sending the message to everyone in the “database”. The list of recipients is on the “Recipients” tab, that list is called “Address List” in the “Send to:” menu just prior to sending, and then it’s referred to as a “database” in the confirmation. Because of the inconsistent naming, I was worried I had done something wrong and it was going to send messages to everyone in my Address Book. It would benefit from some clarity and details; use consistent terms throughout, and give the user a count of the recipients so they can see if the number is unexpectedly high. Otherwise the dialog is unneccesarily alarming.
Some minor issues, but the main thing is that the app does what it promises, and will undoubtedly be helpful to small business users who need to do personalized email correspondence. You can save your email and re-use it later with different recipients, modified text, etc. There’s also an option to include attachments that are personalized for each user, based on name of the file. That would be very very useful for sending out watermarked digital books or PDF coupons or what-have-you. I imagine I will find lots of uses for this software in the future!