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How do I send an email to my clients from Neoserra and automatically create a counseling session?

There are really two ways to generate emails to clients and have the email message automatically converted to a counseling session:

Both methods have their respective pros and cons. First, let's review the pros and cons related to sending the email from Neoserra:

  • Pros:
    • Unlimited recipient list
    • Emails are sent to recipients individually
    • Substitution variables supported
    • Ideal for individual group email messages
  • Cons:
    • No Sent/Draft Mail Folder (although messages sent via Neoserra during the most recent 90 days can be accessed via your Preferences page)
    • Attachments supported for up to 250 recipients only

Next, let's review the pros and cons related to sending the email from your default application (e.g. Outlook/Mac Mail/Google Mail):

  • Pros:
    • Sent Mail Folder
    • Attachments limits are set by your email application
    • Ideal for individual email messages
  • Cons:
    • Potentially limited recipient list
    • Emails are sent in BCC line

As a general rule of thumb, OutreachSystems recommends that you use Neoserra's email functionality for bulk emails, while we recommend that you use your standard, default email application for one-on-one emails. Your standard email application should automatically be invoked if/when you click on an email address in Neoserra.

In this FAQ we will discuss how you can use the Neoserra email capabilities to generate an email and have it automatically be recorded as a counseling session. For more information about sending emails from your default application, please refer here.

By far, the biggest advantage of using the Neoserra email system is its ability to send to an unlimited recipient list, PLUS Neoserra sends a message indivdually to each recipient. Most university and government e-mail systems limit the number of recipients that can be included in an email message in order to prevent spammers from abusing their mail servers. Since Neoserra doesn't place such limits on its email feature, it is ideal to use for marketing and mass communications purposes. Plus, by sending a separate message to each recipient you can use substitution variables.

Since Neoserra will be sending these email message using YOUR email address as the sender, it it important to let your mail server know that OutreachSystems is allowed to send email on behalf of your domain. If you decide to take advantage of the Neoserra email functionality then you should ask your IT staff to update your email server's SPF record. If you are using Outlook, then the update may look something like this:

    v=spf1 -all

This is a change your IT department should make and they will know best how to update your SPF records.

All emails sent from Neoserra will be logged, for 90 days, under the Administration|Email Operations Center menu option. Here you will be able to see all successes as well as all bounce backs. Any email address that is bounced back, will appear in red highlighted text within the Neoserra interface:

Only the system administrators will have access to the Email Operations Center

How can I send one email message to multiple clients or contacts?

You can send emails to all the email addresses found in a grouping of client or contact records. Use Neoserra' various filtering tools to display a grouping of client, contact, or client activity records that is relevant to the topic of your email.

Once the appropriate grouping of records is displayed, click the Email link at the top right hand corner of the screen:

From the dialog presented, first choose the email template that you want to use. Neoserra system administrators can create custom email templates that contain common information frequently sent to your clients. For purposes of this discussion, we will assume you selected the (regular email) option. Secondly, choose which email addresses you want to send to:

  • Use the email addresses of the companies (as found in the top area of the client record - if the client email address field is blank then it will default to the primary contact's email address)
  • Use the email addresses of the primary contact for each company (as found in the primary contact that is associated with the client record)
  • Use email addresses of all contacts of all companies (as found in the contact records for all contacts associated with the client record)

Decide whether or not to exclude email addresses that belong to records with the subscribe to emails option deselected. And decide if you want to use your default email application to send your message check the "Generate email address list for export to external email client?" checkbox. Click Continue when you are ready to proceed.

The Neoserra email interface will appear:

  1. Assuming that you selected the (regular email) template then the sender name and email address will always be the name and email address as associated with your login account. Neoserra, by default, will send the emails from you. Your systems administrator can create custom templates if this is not desired.
  2. You can individually delete email addresses found in the "List" field, but you are not able to add or edit the email addresses. Because Neoserra supports substitution variables it is important that the email addresses found in this field correspond to a client record in the database.

    Note: Even though Neoserra places all recipient email addresses into the List field, it's reassuring to know that, under the hood, the email is being delivered individually—one per email address. Upon receipt, your clients will only see their email address in the To field.

  3. As discussed in this FAQ, Neoserra will send a separate email to each recipient in the "List" field, which means that multiple emails are potentially sent. Including your name in the CC or BCC line would normally cause you to receive a copy of every email sent, Neoserra, however, has special CC/BCC handling and it will only send ONE copy of the email to the CC and BCC recipients. When you receive a CC/BCC copy, keep in mind that the substitution variables will not be expanded for you.
  4. You can add attachments to your email but each attachment may not be more than 5MB in size. Furthermore, the attachment option is not offered when emailing more than 250 recipients as discussed in more detail in the FAQ titled: Can I include an attachment in my email message sent from Neoserra?
  5. The message can contain HTML formatting, if so desired. You can also include an image in your message text. However, you can not merely paste an image into the message. You will need to use a full URL that refers to the image somewhere on the internet. The Neoserra application does not allow you to include the actual image file. To insert an image, follow these steps:

    • Place your cursor where you want to insert the image.
    • Click Insert|Insert Image.
    • In the source field, put the full public URL to your image file. The URL should look something similar to:

    • Click OK to save the image.
  6. Enter your message text as appropriate. If you decide to add substitution variables in your message body, be sure to enter them exactly as found here. Do not change the capitalization, brackets or wording of the variables. The substitution variables must be entered exactly as shown. And keep in mind that if you reference a substitution variable that does not exist in the client record, then Neoserra will not be able to resolve it. For example, if you use [CONTACT_SALUTATION] but your contact record does not include a salutation then Neoserra will leave the space blank.
  7. A signature will automatically be placed in the message body if you have one configured under your preferences.
  8. While the CC and BCC option will only send you one copy of the email, you can send yourself a copy of every message, if you want by checking the "Send a copy of each delivery to myself?" checkbox.
  9. You can save the email message, generated from Neoserra, as a counseling session by checking the: "Save message as a counseling session?" checkbox. Be very careful when using this feature! Generally speaking mass emails are not considered to be reportable counseling sessions. The default option that Neoserra offers is to create an administrative, non-reportable session. This default allows you to record the message without affecting your scorecards numbers.

    Also, please be aware that Neoserra will create a counseling session for each and every recipient in the "List" field. Thus, if you are sending an email to 10 recipients, then 10 separate counseling sessions will be created. If you should need to delete these counseling sessions afterwards, then you will need to delete them 10 times.

    This option is tremendously powerful but should be used with caution.

  10. Upon clicking "Send" Neoserra will send your email messages in the background. Upon returning to the filter view you will see that the message is being processed:

    You can either click away and continue to work within Neoserra, or you can click "View" to see the messages queued up ready to be sent. Notice, in the screenshot below, that the "Result" column is still blank. As each message is delivered, the "Result" column will be updated either with a "Success" or "Failure" status:

    Once all the messages have been processed and delivered you will be notified via the Message Center:

    As noted in the screenshot above, you can "Dismiss" the Message Center notification or your can "Review" the delivery details. A review of the deliveries will show all successful and failed deliveries.

How can I send an email message to a single client or contact?

The Neoserra email functionality is ideal for sending mass emails to multiple clients, while it can also be used to email a single client, this generally speaking isn't the preferred method. When emailing a single client, it is recommended that you use your default email application such as Microsoft Outlook/Mac Mail/Google Mail as discussed in the FAQ titled: How do I send an email to my clients from my default email application and automatically create a counseling session?

If you do want to email a single client using the Neoserra email feature you can go to that client record and click More|Email. This will invoke the same email interface as discussed above.

Want more? Browse our extensive list of Neoserra FAQs.