PIMEX MailExpress 4.50

Introduction

PIMEX MailExpress is a bulk e-mail program for users who need to send the same (optionally personalized) e-mail to many people (newsletters, announcements, etc.). All you need is a text (flat ASCII) file containing a list of email addresses. This utility is Freeware. It was designed for Windows 95/98/ME/NT/2000/XP/Vista/7, and requires a SMTP Server (hosted by most Internet Service Providers, or ISP). PIMEX MailExpress will not work with AOL or web based (Yahoo, Hotmail, etc.) e-mail accounts. However, it will work with Google Mail (Gmail) if you enable POP3 option in your Gmail account.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  DO NOT SEND UNSOLICITED E-MAIL. Be aware that you are solely responsible for the messages you send.  In many cases sending unsolicited email (Spam) is in violation of the law, and you will be solely accountable and liable for damages and violations. We reserve the right to refuse technical support and/or other services if you: send unsolicited email; or hijack a mail server relay; or distribute illegal information or materials; or forge header information; or put false of misleading information in the subject; or fail to provide a means to unsubscribe from your e-mail lists.

Setup

 Connection

Click on Settings in the Connection box to fill out the SMTP account and communication settings.

SMTP Server: Name or IP address of your outgoing e-mail server (example: mail.spring-mail-1.com). If you do not know what this is then you should contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP) or network Administrator. You can also check your current e-mail software setup. For Outlook 2003 users you should go to the Tools Menu, E-Mail Accounts, select “View or change existing e-mail accounts”, click on Next and then Change. The SMTP Server information can be seen in the Outgoing Mail (SMTP) field. In Outlook Express 5 and 6 you should go to Tools Menu, followed by Accounts, Properties then Servers Menu. See the Outgoing Mail (SMTP) field for details. For Netscape Messenger go to Edit Menu, followed by preferences, Mail & Newsgroups then Mail Servers menu. Details are available in the Outgoing Mail (SMTP) Server field.

Note: If you are connected to Microsoft Exchange Server, enter its name instead of SMTP Server name; for example: pamail02.pimexonline.local. Under “authentication” enter your Microsoft Exchange Server login parameters – user name and password. If you are not sure what they are, contact your network administrator.

Port Number: The value is typically 25, 465 or 587. This can be verified in advanced settings of your current e-mail program.

Timeout (s): This is a connection or server reply timeout in seconds. If you click on Test Connection (see below), and connection settings are invalid, MailExpress will timeout and show connection error after this amount of time. Typical value is 30 seconds.

SMTP server requires authentication: If your email provider requires you to authenticate your connection before sending messages, you should enable this option and fill out the SMTP User and Password fields. You can check this setting in your current e-mail program.

Your E-Mail: The sender’s e-mail address

Your Name: The sender’s full name or a company name (Examples: John Smith, B&C Enterprises)

SMTP server requires SSL connection: Check this box if you know that your SMTP server requires encrypted connection (SSL). You can check this setting in advanced options of your current e-mail program.

Delay (s): Delay in seconds between messages. You can try sending e-mails with no delay (0), and if you start getting errors after a few e-mails, you should change it to 1 or 2 seconds. This setting depends on how quickly your SMTP Server can process e-mails.

Reconnect (msg): This setting determines how many messages the program should send before creating a new fresh connection. Some mail servers have limits on the number of messages they will receive in a session, others may just get slow. For typical dialup users the setting should be kept at 25 or under. For cable or DSL you should be able to push this much higher. This setting may need a bit of tweaking to obtain the best results.

Pause (s): Pause in seconds before each reconnection is made. 1 – 5 seconds should be appropriate.

One batch of e-mails per session: If your ISP provider has a limit on a number of e-mails you can send in a certain period of time, this option may become handy. For example, if the limit is 100 e-mails per hour, you should check this box and set the number below to 100. After you close this dialog box, Send All Remaining option in the E-Mail window will change to Send Next Batch, and the program will automatically stop each time after 100 e-mails have been sent. Every consequent batch will have to be manually restarted at any time.

Batch (msg): This number determines how many e-mails will be sent after you click on Send Next Batch option.

To make sure that the settings are valid click on Test Connection. This will allow you to connect to your SMTP server using the settings you have just entered.

 Message

Settings

Click on Settings in the Message box to fill out the subject line, import message file (both are required), and set other optional parameters.

The message file can be either an ASCII text file or a HTML document. 

Text message can be typed in Windows Notepad or any word processor. In latter case make sure you save it as "Text Only (*.txt)" before importing it into MailExpress.

HTML message can be created in a word processor or a HTML editor like Microsoft Word, Microsoft FrontPage, CoffeeCup HTML Editor, etc. You can even create your HTML-formatted message in Outlook Express if there is no need for tables. There are a few restrictions on HTML documents accepted by MailExpress. The HTML document:

- must be a single .htm or .html file with no links to other files (images, logos, html documents) located on a local drive. If you need to insert an image file, the file must be located on a web server/web site, and have a valid URL, for example: http://i40.tinypic.com/2yyzjms.jpg. See FAQ section on the bottom for more information. Note: the file must include <html> and <\html> tags, otherwise it will not be recognized as HTML message.

- cannot contain frames

- cannot reference external CSS (cascading style sheet) files located on a local drive

We strongly recommend that you test the HTML message appearance after it is imported by clicking on HTML Preview in the E-Mail window. If it doesn't look correct, you will need to make necessary changes and then re-import it again.

The message (as well as a subject) can contain up to nine optional parameters (%1, %2, %3, ... %9) if you want to personalize your e-mail for each addressee (see Example below).

Attachments (Advanced Edition only): Click on Add button to add file attachments

"BCC" Every e-mail to: Check this box and enter an e-mail address below if you want a copy of each e-mail to be sent to that address. This address will be invisible to other recipients. 

"Reply to" is different from sender: Check this box and enter an e-mail address below if you want a reply address to be different from "Your E-Mail" entered in Settings in the Connection box. Later, if any recipient clicks on "Reply", this address will appear in the "To:" box.

The following parameter is a person's name: If your Mailing List contains multiple columns (see below), all columns starting with the second one are treated as parameters. If one of the parameters is a person's name, you can check this box and enter the parameter index next to it. This way MailExpress will add person's name to the email header ("To:" section), and your messages will look more personal; for example, To: Clay Tinsley <ctinsley@airborn.net>

Headers...: To adjust message headers or change message encoding, click on the “Headers...” button in the lower-right corner. This option is recommended for advanced users only. See FAQ section on the bottom for more information on message encoding.

Text

To edit a message, or type a new one, click on Text. You can save your current changes to the original file by checking Save changes to the original file checkbox. Changes will not be saved to the original file by default.

Method

Click on Method to choose the way your e-mails will be sent.

Send Method: The default method is “Individual E-mails”. A separate e-mail will be sent to each destination in your mailing list. Message and subject can be personalized with optional parameters (see Mailing List section below for details). If you don’t need to personalize every e-mail, and wish to significantly speed up the mailing process, you can choose “BCC” method, and fill out other settings below.

Send To: The default is “undisclosed-recipients”. This is the name of your mailing list. Every recipient will see this text in the message header. Do not leave it blank.

E-mail Address: This is a destination e-mail address (To:) for every e-mail message sent. In most cases you can leave it blank, but some ISP may require a valid e-mail address in “To:” section. Again, every recipient will see this address in the e-mail header.

BCC (per e-mail): This is the number of blind carbon copy recipients from the Mailing List (see below) per every message sent. The maximum number is 5 (Free Edition) or 100 (Advanced Edition). Please note that your ISP can have a limit on the amount of BCC copies (usually between 50 and 100).

 Mailing List

Click on Import to import a list of e-mail addresses from a file. This has to be an ASCII text file containing up to 200 lines (Free Edition) or 20,000 lines (Advanced Edition). Each line must start with an e-mail address, which can be followed by up to 9 optional parameters:

email address,param1,param2,param3,param4,param5,param6,param7,param8,param9

Once again, the email address is mandatory, the rest is optional. A comma, semicolon, or tab can be used as a separator. If any of the parameters contain commas or double quotes (James Sterner, Jr. for example) it must be surrounded by double quotes: “James Sterner, Jr.”.

Such list files can be generated by Excel or some contact or personal information managers. We recommend PIMEX, because it is designed to work with PIMEX MailExpress, has a special tool for generating e-mail address lists with optional parameters, and can create multiple list files with a predefined number of lines (200 in each file, for example). PIMEX is available for a free download at http://www.pimexonline.com

Example:

This is a sample text file, containing a list of e-mail addresses with 3 parameters:

rayforce@forcecars.com,Raymond Force,Vogue,$14.86

jmcclarey@irishgifts.com,"John McClarey, Jr.",Allure,$16.04

nettllep@newhomes.com,Mary Gatesworth,Vogue,$14.86

mcguires@home.com,Michelle Holm,Home and Garden,$10.20

This is a sample personalized message with 4 parameters (%0 will insert e-mail address):

Date:    9/17/2007

E-mail:  %0

 

Dear %1,

Thank you for renewing your subscription to %2 magazine.

Your credit card was charged the following amount: %3.

Sincerely,

Your Subscription Management Team

The resulting message for the first line in the list will read:

Date:    9/17/2007

E-mail:  rayforce@forcecars.com

 

Dear Raymond Force,

Thank you for renewing your subscription to Vogue magazine.

Your credit card was charged the following amount: $14.86.

Sincerely,

Your Subscription Management Team

Note: If you need to insert a parameter inside of HTML tag, it must be surrounded by square brackets. For example, the following fragment:

<a href="http://www.website.com/feedback.asp?e=[%0]&n=[%1]"> 

will be converted to 

<a href="http://www.website.com/feedback.asp?e=rayforce@forcecars.com&n=Raymond Force">

Once the mailing list is imported, you can browse it in the Mailing List box. The actual message will appear in the E-Mail box each time you highlight a new line in the list. Note that if you imported a HTML message, the E-Mail box would show the text (source) version of the message, not the actual HTML-formatted view (HTML rendering takes some processing time and may considerably slow down the program). To review the actual message, click on HTML Preview in the E-Mail box. If the message contains parameters, you will be able to browse the list by pressing on Next or Prior buttons, and see the message for a particular destination.

If you want to edit an e-mail address or a parameter, click on Edit. To delete an unwanted destination click on Delete. To add a destination to the list click on Add. To save a modified list click on Export. If you need to export a part of the list, select the desired lines by holding Ctrl or Shift key and clicking on the lines, right-click on highlighted area and choose Export Selected in the popup menu. When an e-mail job is completed and log file exported, you should clear the list by clicking on Clear.

Sending Messages

After all required parameters have been set and a list of e-mail addresses has been imported, the Send All Remaining item in the menu will become enabled. 

If you are sending a HTML message, do not forget to click on HTML Preview and make sure that it looks correctly. 

Now you can click on Send All Remaining (Send Next Batch if batch mode is enabled in connection settings) and watch the progress in the status bar on the bottom of the screen. You can interrupt the job at any time by clicking on Stop Sending.

If there are failures after the job is completed, you can click on Resend Failed to automatically resend them. You can also manually select one or more lines in the mailing list (by holding Ctrl or Shift key and clicking on the lines) and click on Send Selected. To reset status of selected items to “Not Sent”, right-click on highlighted item(s) and choose “Reset status to “Not Sent”. To highlight all items in the mailing list, right-click on the list view and choose “Select All”.

When the job is completed, you can export the log file in comma-separated values format, which can be opened and printed by any spreadsheet application (like Microsoft Excel), or any text editor. To export the log click on Export Log in the menu, and enter the file name.

Advanced Edition

The advanced edition of PIMEX MailExpress can import up to 20,000 e-mail addresses at a time, send attachments, BCC every e-mail to up to 100 destinations, and allows saving/restoring program environment or workspace (connection settings, e-mail list, message and message settings). It can be purchased for US $39.95. To purchase the advanced edition of MailExpress, click on the Advanced Edition menu and then on the Buy button. Once your payment is processed, you will receive your registration key by e-mail. You should then click on Advanced Edition -> Enter Key, and enter the key you received. This will automatically convert the program to the advanced edition.

Note: on older computers large e-mail lists can considerably slow down loading and clearing Mailing List view. If this becomes an inconvenience, try to keep number of e-mails in a single file below 10,000.

 

Saving/Restoring Program Workspace

This option comes very handy when you need to manage multiple email address lists, use multiple connection accounts or reuse your message and message settings.

To save program settings, e-mail list, and message file for future reuse, click on Backup Workspace in the menu, enter file name, and press on “Save” button.

To restore a previously saved workspace, click on Restore Workspace, select the file you want to restore, select restore options, and click on “Proceed” button. Note that if you restore a partially completed email job with “Reset status to Not Sent for all recipients” option unchecked, you will be able to continue sending emails from the point where the job was left at the time of the backup.

Note: this option is available in the advanced edition of PIMEX MailExpress only.

Notes

Check http://www.pimexonline.com for a newest version of PIMEX MailExpress.

PIMEX MailExpress was created by PIMEX Group, LLC

PIMEX MailExpress is a Copyright © PIMEX Group, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

If you have any comments or suggestions, please e-mail us at info@pimexonline.com

Appendix: Troubleshooting Tips

1. Problem: I receive an error with a specific number, for example “Socket error #10060”.

Solution

This error is NOT generated by MailExpress; it is reported by your SMTP server. Please search Internet on error message text to learn about possible causes of this error. Most likely you will find a solution or a workaround. If you don’t find a solution that works for you, please contact your ISP or network administrator.

 

2. Problem: I entered my SMTP Server and User information, but when I click on Test Connection I get an error.

Possible Causes and Solutions 

- Double check your account settings in your primary e-mail program. Often incoming POP3 e-mail server requires authentication (password) while SMTP server does not. If "SMTP Server requires authentication" box is clear in your e-mail program, uncheck it in MailExpress as well.

- Contact your ISP or network administrator and verify your outgoing e-mail settings.

- Check if SMTP server requires SLL connection

 

3. Problem: Test Connection works fine, but when I try to send e-mails, I get an error on a first message.

Possible Causes and Solutions 

- Your SMTP Server may require authentication in order to send e-mails. See topic above for possible solutions.

- Your e-mail server may require a login to the incoming POP3 e-mail server in order to send e-mails (this is quite typical for educational networks, and can be verified with your network administrator). MailExpress currently does not support this option. Try to use your home or business ISP for bulk e-mails.

 

4. Problem: After first few e-mails are successfully sent, I start getting a failure on every e-mail or an error message pops up.

Possible Causes and Solutions 

There are two most possible sources of errors: an anti-virus program installed on your PC or SMTP Server.

- If the error you see mentions your anti-virus program, it may be set up to block the connection after a certain number of e-mails per a certain time frame. Check the settings in your anti-virus program and disable this option while sending bulk e-mails.

- Your SMTP Server may be equipped with anti-SPAM features, and it may reject e-mails or break the connection if the number of e-mails exceeds a certain amount per a certain time frame or per one connection. 

- Try to adjust "Reconnect" and "Pause" settings in the Connection box. For example, if SMTP Server accepts only up to 15 messages per minute, you need to set "Reconnect" to every 15 messages, and "Pause" to about 40 seconds. If limitation is on "per-connection" basis, you don't need to increase the pause.

- If SMTP Server is tuned to accept a limited number of e-mails per hour, you may need to use the batch mode (Connection settings), and manually restart the process every hour.

- If the error message you see has a number assigned to it, try to search Internet on this particular error. You may be able to learn more about the cause, and find a workaround suggested by others.

- Last but not least, try to contact your ISP and find out about limitations on outgoing e-mails.

 

5. Problem: Some or all e-mails do not reach their recipients while MailExpress considers them sent.

Possible Causes

- Anti-SPAM filter on your SMTP Server

- Anti-SPAM filter on the receiving side (incoming e-mail server or e-mail client itself)

Both check subject and body of your message, and calculate SPAM score using a specific algorithm. If it exceeds a given number, your e-mail will be blocked, but you most likely will not be notified about it. You can learn more about SPAM scores on Internet, for example at

http://spamcheck.sitesell.com

- Anti-virus program on your computer may block outgoing emails. Try sending emails with the anti-virus program disabled or add PIMEX MailExpress to the list of allowed programs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I export my mailing list from Excel?

1. Make sure that the left-most column contains the list of e-mail addresses

2. Open File / Save As... menu. Enter file name.

3. Next to “Save As Type: select CSV (Comma Delimited) (*.csv)

4. Press Save

Q: Does PIMEX MailExpress work with Gmail?

Yes, starting with version 4.0 MailExpress works with Gmail.

1. Open your Gmail account page in a web browser

2. Go to Settings and enable POP3 account

3. Print out instructions on how to setup POP3/SMTP Gmail account in Outlook or Outlook Express

4. Apply SMTP portion of instructions in MailExpress Connection settings. Make sure that the SSL Connection box is checked.

Q: How do I create an HTML message in Word?

1. Open Microsoft Word and create your message. It may contain tables, headers, various fonts, etc. If you need to insert images, see the next question below

2. Go to the File / Save As menu, next to “Save as type:” select “Web Page, Filtered”, enter a file name and save the HTML document

Q: Can I insert an image into my HTML message?

Yes, but the image file needs to be located on a web server/web site and have a valid URL. Sending a locally saved image with every message dramatically reduces the speed of bulk email process. There are many free image hosting web sites where you can upload your images. The example below uses www.tinypic.com.

If you are using a HTML editor to compose your message, you may insert image URL directly into the document, save it, and use the document “as is”. If you are using Microsoft Word, it will save a local copy of the image file and create a reference to it. You will have to manually edit the HTML document to revert local file reference back to the URL.

Example:

1. Open www.tinypic.com in your web browser and upload your image. After upload is completed you will see the direct image URL (looking like http://i40.tinypic.com/2yyzjms.jpg) under “Direct Link for Layouts”. Copy this URL for reusing it later.

2. In Microsoft Word go to the Insert / Picture / From File menu and paste the URL next to File Name: http://i40.tinypic.com/2yyzjms.jpg

3. Go to the File / Save As menu, next to “Save as type:” select “Web Page, Filtered”, and save the HTML document

4. Open this HTML file in Windows Notepad. Go to Edit / Find menu, type img and find the image tag. It will look something like this:

<img width=136 height=180 src="TestDoc_files/image001.jpg">

5. Replace the value of the src attribute with the URL:

<img width=136 height=180 src="http://i40.tinypic.com/2yyzjms.jpg">

6. Save the file

7. Import this HTML file into PIMEX MailExpress and click on HTML Preview menu. You should see a complete document with the image.

Q: How do I make characters in my language display correctly?

1. If your message is in HTML format, make sure that you use proper encoding (or character set). For example, for Chinese language with big5 encoding in the beginning of HTML text you should see a line looking something like this:

<meta http-equiv=Content-Type content="text/html; charset=big5">

2. Click on Settings in the Message pane, then on Headers... button, check “Include MIME version and Character Set”, and enter the same character set in the box below (big5 in this example).

For Greek code page character set would be Windows-1253, for Turkish – Windows-1254, etc. The complete listing of character sets can be found here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charset#Popular_character_encodings