“Is there a way to send personalized bulk emails using Mozilla’s Thunderbird? That is sending mails to a group of people without each of them knowing about each other’s email address (without using BCC). Also, with each person having only his own mail address in the “˜To’ field.”
I expected this question after my previous post – How to Send Personalized Mass Emails in Outlook. So, let me continue where I left off and do a bit of Mozilla Thunderbird add-on hunting. After all, Mozilla’s rich add-on universe has a cure for every conceivable “˜problem’ except world hunger.
Yes, I found the answer in Mozdev.org. It’s the Mozilla developers’ community dedicated to open and free, quality applications and extensions – a perfect place to check out when you want to know how to set up Mozilla Thunderbird for anything.
Mail Tweak is a Thunderbird extension for Thunderbird ver. 2.0+. It’s a collection of enhancements and workarounds for the email client. The enhancements total around 36 (113KB) and one of them is called Personalize messages.
This ‘productivity’ tweak sends each recipient an individual message using fields from the address book or a CSV (comma separated values) file.
- Go to the installation page of Mail Tweak at Mozdev.org. Download the mailtweak-0.16.xpi file to your computer.
- Open Thunderbird. Select Tools ““ Add-ons ““ Extensions. Browse to the location of your downloaded file and install. Restart the Thunderbird client to complete.
- Open the Add-on window (from Tools ““ Add-on) and select the Mail Tweak extension. Click on Options.
- Scroll down the entries in the Tweaks section and select Personalize messages. Click OK.
- You can now compose a message by selecting Message ““ Personalize message from the menu toolbar.
Add your recipients (or a recipients list) as you normally do. You can include the contacts in other ways, of course.
- Click on Address Book on the menu. Select the bunch of names – right click and choose Personalize from the context menu.
- Open a new message window from Message ““ Personalize. Select the Personalize button on the menu and pick up the mail addresses from a CSV file.
- To send the messages, click on File ““ Personalize (or click the Personalize button on the toolbar). An alert pops up with the option of “˜Send now’ or “˜Leave unsent’. With the latter option, Mail Tweak saves the messages (as individual emails) in the Unsent folder. After reviewing them you can email them from File ““ Send Unsent Messages.
Further personalize your email using Mail Tweak”¦
To include other fields like address, city, work phone etc. from the address book, specify field attributes in the emails. For example, to include the first name of each individual recipient ““ place a %%firstName%% where needed.
(All available address book field names are the properties as given in the nsIAbCard file. This is where all address fields of a particular contact are stored as attributes. Check out all the attributes here.)
Here’s an example to illustrate ““ to include the home address and the city of the contacts, include %% homeAddress%% and %%homeCity%% in the appropriate place. Similarly, it can be worked out for the other fields.
Without turning this into a soup of geeky codes and syntax, let me direct you to the Mail Tweaks Personal Messages section for some more help.
Although, Mail Tweak is built for the latest version, it can also be installed in Thunderbird 1.5 and in Shredder (pre-release versions of Thunderbird 3) with limited functionality.
MozDev.org does put out this caution – Performance may be poor if you use this feature for large messages or many recipients, and you might see warning messages from Thunderbird. For bulk mailing, it is better to use a specialized bulk mailing program.
That’s a good advice but for a home user’s run-of-the-mill mass mailing needs using the Thunderbird client, Mail Tweaks is a good enough productivity solution.
So, how often do you use bulk mailing? Do you think this solution is workable for you? Let us know if you have any other freeware to lessen the load.
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