While Kennel Connection gives you the option to send bulk or mass emails and email to text messages, it may not be the best way to accomplish your task and could ultimately get you blocked from your email service or blocked by your recipients email providers. Please read through the below before proceeding with any mass messaging from Kennel Connection or any software.
As many businesses begin to re-open after this pandemic, a popular tool to reach out to all customers is of course bulk emails. With most people still at home and communicating in great numbers through email and other electronic methods, this is sure to get noticed. While this is a great way to reach your customer base and can technically be done from inside of Kennel Connection, let us explain why there may be better tools to accomplish this task.
First, some info on how Kennel Connection's email module works.
Kennel Connection and most other software do not have their own email servers so you must use other email providers to send messages. In KC, we provide you a spot to enter in email settings. These could be Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, Outlook, 365 and so on. They could be paid email accounts or free email accounts but most can have their server settings entered in KC and with some email account setting changes, allow KC to connect to their servers to deliver messages. Kennel Connection itself has no control over the sending of messages or the email provider rules. Once it makes connection to the email server you have entered into KC settings and delivers the message, its task is completed and it’s now up to the email provider to continue the job. If there is every any issue that prevents KC from delivering the message to or connecting to your email providers server, an error log will be displayed in Kennel Connection. Simply copy and paste that log in an email and send to firstname.lastname@example.org for analysis. If no error appears in KC, it means the message was successfully handed off to your email providers server and KC can no longer see or track that message.
Now some info on why it may not be the best to use KC for sending mass or bulk emails or text messages.
1. Most all email providers free or paid impose strict sending limits on their accounts where you may not send over a certain number of messages at one time or send to over a certain number of recipients at one time. They may and usually do also impose daily sending limits. Not adhering to their limits could get your account suspended which means no access to send emails or sometimes even login to your inbox to check your incoming emails. Their servers were not built for bulk messaging and they must be very careful about how their customers are using their service in order to prevent them from getting on a major spam black list. There are a lot of factors that go into blacklisting but they’re very common when sending from a database with hundreds or thousands of email addresses. Read more about black listing here: Blacklisting Explained.
2. Opt-in & Opt-out. These are two key words that weren’t really a thing back when email was first added to KC and other software. At that time email was just up and coming and there weren’t many rules. Jump to 2020 with spam and scamming being so popular, the rule book has grown substantially. Opt-in and Opt-out are key these days when bulk emailing. These are options that bulk email services have and basically allow an email to be sent initially that tests the mailbox to see if it’s in fact valid and allows the user to Opt-in. Sending to a mailbox that’s not valid, has a typo, or has not been used in quite some time is a good way to end up on a black list. This is because when actual spammers send emails, they usually use bots that they feed stolen or collected email addresses to. They could have many typos and other mistakes but the bots don’t know any better so they just send and send until they reach the end of the list. Unfortunately, when you send mass emails from software, the email servers have no way of telling if you’re doing it yourself with a valid purpose or if it’s a bot with malintent. Opt-in can help get past this issue. Opt-out put’s the control over these messages in the recipient’s hand which is another thing email providers like to see. It allows the recipient to opt-out of any emails of this type if they no longer wish to receive them. When you have multiple employees entering client information into KC including email addresses, typos happen and unfortunately can be a reason for blacklisting.
3. It uses your own IP address. When you send from KC or any software installed on your local desktop, your IP (Internet protocol) address is attached to that message as the point of origin. When you start sending to mass amounts of recipients at once, the email servers you’re sending to don’t know why your IP address is sending them all this unsolicited mail. They cannot tell that it’s legitimate and may flag you as a spammer so your own IP address ends up on a black list preventing the sending of emails for possibly quite some time.
Why do we have this built in if all this could happen from using it?
Going back to when this was first implemented into KC and email was still up and coming, there weren’t really any restrictions so this was used freely. It’s still part of KC today because there are many KC users who use this for smaller groups of recipients and that run smaller operations where sending to their entire customer list is not going outside of any restrictions.
Recommendations on how to send bulk/mass emails and SMS.
If you need to send out emails in bulk, there are systems out there built specifically for this. In fact, if you’ve ever signed up for something online or even at a store and later on received some type of marketing communication from them, it’s from one of these types of providers. Some allow both emails and SMS so if you need email and text messages to go out, check out a few until you find one that can do both. Here are just a few of the services out there:
a. Constant Contact
b. MailChimp (Has a free plan)
c. SendinBlue (Has SMS option)
There are other services out there as well. A quick Internet search for something like “bulk email service” or “email marketing services” will yield many results. As with anything, do your research to see which one will best fit your needs. Make sure they allow importing of excel or csv files.
Once you find the bulk email service you want to use and create your account, you can from inside of Kennel Connection go to Utilities, Export and export your email list. You can then import these into your bulk email providers platform following the instructions from their support pages.
Again, while KC can handle mass email and text sending, the email servers it’s connecting to probably cannot and you’ll want to use a bulk messaging service. However, when sending individual or small group emails, for appointment confirmations, reminders, or other contact needs, most email providers will do just fine.