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Email Blaster

Email is a core component of registration management and our blaster allows you to handle the vast majority of your marketing and transactional emails. We support emailing three groups:

  • Everyone in your database
  • Everyone attending an event
  • Everyone not attending an event

With these combinations and additional filtering based on member type, member status, registration status and payment status, you can reach most segments with a targeted message.

A word of warning: once you click 'Send' and confirm, the emails are immediately on their way. There is no mechanism to stop it so proof-read and test beforehand!

Features

There are several features that make the email blaster an organizer favorite:

  1. Customize sender info
  2. Add arbitrary emails from any opt-in source
  3. Multi-part messages
  4. Bounce handling
  5. Spam feedback loops
  6. Attachments

Compose window

For organizations who run their own email domain (e.g., you@yourOrg.com), we have additional instructions for your webmaster on how to configure your DNS to improve deliverability.

Customize Sender

We recommend using generic organization addresses for communication in order to minimize the disruption when people change roles. An address like RaceChair@yourOrg.com can be forwarded to anyone filling the role whereas joe@hotmail.com is a non-transferable address.

The first field of the email composition screen is a From address and name. You will increase your email open rates by using recognizable sender information that includes the name of your organization whenever possible.

See the following links for ideas on how to improve your emails:

Add Arbitrary Emails

Especially when first getting started with MotorsportReg.com, your database of people to email will be small or non-existent. However you may already have a list of email addresses from other sources such as an organization mailing list, spreadsheet or previous (ahem, inferior!) registration service.

By clicking the "show/hide recipients" link, you will find a box where you can paste in any legitimately acquired email addresses to be included in the blast. Legitimate means you have an existing, opt-in relationship with the recipient.

An Example of Adding Email Addresses

Play this video - Watch a short screen cast of adding email addresses to your email.
Watch a short screen cast of adding email addresses to your email.

Multi-part Messages

For those organizations wishing to spice up their email, we support multi-part emails. These emails include both a plain text and a richly-formatted HTML email in a single delivery. Upon receipt, the recipient's email client decides which format to show.

Plain text vs. formatted HTML Email

Switch between the tabs to enter one or both formats. The WYSIWYG editor eliminates needing to know HTML in order to send a formatted message but for those users who are comfortable with the code, click the "Source" button to work with the underlying HTML.

Technically you can deliver only one of the two formats but we recommend always sending at least a plain text version for those who can't or don't read HTML messages.

We recommend sending a test email for HTML deliveries to ensure it appears as desired

Formatted Email Templates

Formatted email (HTML) can be very challenging: each email client and webmail provider performs various tricks to try and protect you from spam and spyware, often times mangling the original message. Achieving consistent formatting is more of an art than a science but using a tested email template can improve your chance of success.

CampaignMonitor.com, a full-blown email service provider, has made available free HTML templates your organization can download and use in your own campaigns. Just click the "Source" button in the editor to paste in the HTML after downloading from the link above.

MailChimp.com, another great email service provider, has free HTML templates your organization can use. Many of the templates include a mobile-friendly version. Like above, just click the "Source" button and paste in the HTML after downloading it from the link above.

Bounce Handling

Rather than pollute your inbox with bounce messages from your campaigns, we collect the bounces on your behalf and then send you a nightly report detailing the quantity and causes of the failed deliveries. We also indicate if they are temporary, permanent or spam-related.

Nightly bounce report email summarizes temporary and permanent failures for each email campaign you send

The bounce report includes telephone contact details in case the information is urgent and you need to follow-up with the intended recipient.

Email Authentication

To identify reputable senders, there are several ways that email servers use to differentiate between legitimate email and spam. "Email Authentication" is a broad term that includes specific techniques such as Sender Policy Framework (SPF), DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) and Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance (DMARC).

As of April 2014, we send email on your behalf from an address that we control (noreply at motorsportreg) due to changes in Yahoo's DMARC policy. We include a Reply-To with your email address so that responses are directed to you. As a result, there is no action currently required on your part to enable email authentication. See our blog for more details on this change.

If, in the future, we are able to revert to sending email "From" your address directly, you would want to add an SPF record to your DNS.

SPF Record

An SPF record is only valid if you control the DNS for the domain that you send email from. If you send email from an @gmail.com or @yahoo.com address, this is not available to you. If you send email from @clubname.com, an SPF record will tell the world that MotorsportReg is an authorized sender of email on your behalf. To add an SPF record for your domain:

  1. Go to your DNS control panel (this might be GoDaddy, Register.com, DomainMonger, etc)
  2. Open your DNS settings and look for a TXT or SPF record
  3. If creating new, add the following:
    v=spf1 include:mail.pukkasoft.com ~all
  4. If editing, simply add our mail server into your existing record like so:
    v=spf1 include:spf1.domain.com include:spf2.domain2.com include:mail.pukkasoft.com ~all
  5. Save and wait up to 48 hours for your DNS to propagate across the Internet
  6. Send yourself a test message via MSR and view the full headers. You should see a line that references a successful SPF similar to:

Spam Feedback Loops

Part of any serious email infrastructure is participation in feedback loops. When one of your participants with an AOL, Yahoo! or other supported ISP account flags a message as spam, we receive an automated notification. This lets us track the complaint level on a per-customer basis and monitor it for abuse.

By carefully protecting our sender reputation, we maintain a very high level of deliverability for your email campaigns.

Attachments

Currently there is no attachment capability. This is primarily for deliverability reasons. Because we deliver email on behalf of all customers from our mail infrastructure, we have restricted this capability to avoid letting "one bad apple" intentionally or unintentionally impact the deliverability of all other customers.

We are evaluating how to add this feature while protecting our sender reputation for all customers.

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