BulkEmail Sender


The BulkEmail Application

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CURRENT STATUS: Closed Source.

MY ROLE: Developer / Designer / Maintainer

Application Goal:

This application was built so that the Marketing, Sales and Distribution departments could create their own email blasts to their recipients when needed without the previous requirement of needing a designer, web developer and technician on hand to assist. Within a company with such an online presence as DigitalVision the need to keep a personalised email system running becomes paramount.

Myself and another developer took on the task of an application that could let an end user design, check and test, then send a mail shot out to 1000s of clients at without the need of any assistance. Further more emails could be saved as projects for later use, either by sending to another batch of recipients or copying the project and amending the contents.


Application Workflow:

Using the program for the first time a user creates an email project. This project is defined by its name and the author. Details such as the senders name, subject line, senders email address can then be added. At this stage the project is saved and ready for editing. The HTML email editor is used to build up the email into a set template with company branding applied. This means that whoever is sending the email always stays on brand. Sections of the email are added - header, footer, content areas, with images. If an image is to be used a user can choose from already used images or upload new images which get FTP'd on to a live server.

Once finished with editing an email the project is saved again, ready for sending or testing. The testing of an email will show a final preview of what the email will look like in a users browser along with a text version automatically created by the application in case a recipients email package can't or won't receive HTML emails. Once the user is happy with the preview a test email gets sent out using standard SMTP sending to mimic a live send. The test recipients are limited to certain addresses. If a user is happy with this the email can be sent out live after the author has uploaded a list of recipients in a text file to the application.

Once sent the program checks the SMTP logs for fails and successful sends of email, reporting back on screen. At this stage a user can delete the project, copy it or put it on hold for the future.

Application features:

  • HTML email creation
  • Automatic creation of text version.
  • Mail Stats.
  • Threaded sending.
  • Web Front End.
  • Templated design.
  • Multiple templates.
  • Project saving, recall & amending.
  • Test sending to predefined list.
  • Image FTP uploading.

Technologies used:

The application executable was built using a combination of Microsoft ASP, running on a dedicated Microsoft Windows 2000 server networked to another Microsoft Windows 2000 server running Microsoft SQL Server 2000 project mangement and a Microsoft Exchange 2003 for mail sending. It also utilised FTP services and IIS5 for the hosting of images

High resolution graphics where used as this was a close networked application.

Technology OverView:

  • Dell Hardware
  • HP Compaq Hardware
  • Microsoft Windows 2000/2003
  • SQL Server 2000
  • Microsoft SourceSafe
  • Microsoft Exchange
  • Adobe Photoshop 7
  • GFPrintPro

Project Wishlist:

As with all projects of this type there are features that didn't into the version last created and BulkEmail was no exception. Of the features requested I would have liked to add the ability to integrate more with our statistics package that we used so mail shots would have automatically been tracked through to offers. Time constraints and the original project brief also held back the inclusion of built in template editing, editing of test recipients and better control over rights.

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