How do I send an email from my default email application (using the postbox email address) and 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:
- Generate an email from your default email application such as Outlook, Mac Mail or Google Mail
- Generate an email from Neoserra
Both methods have their respective pros and cons. First, let's review the pros and cons related to sending the email from Neoserra:
- Unlimited recipient list
- Emails are sent to recipients individually
- Substitution variables supported
- Ideal for individual group email messages
- No Sent/Draft Mail Folder
- Attachments supported for up to 250 recipients only
For more information about sending emails from Neoserra refer here
Next, let's review the pros and cons related to sending the email from your default application (e.g. Outlook/Mac Mail/Google Mail):
- Sent Mail Folder
- Attachments limits are set by your email application
- Ideal for individual email messages
- 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 your default email application to send emails and have these emails recorded as counseling sessions.
As noted above, your own default email application is generally speaking preferred when emailing directly with a single client. These email messages tend to be specific to the client's needs and of a substantive nature, such that they can be recorded as follow-up counseling sessions in your Neoserra database. Using this method, you no longer need to cut and paste emails from your Sent Mail folder into Neoserra.
The first step to using your Microsoft Outlook, Mac Mail, Google Mail, etc to create counseling sessions is to configure your personal preferences. At the bottom of the personal preferences page you will find your unique postbox email address (highlighted in orange below) along with some default settings (highlighted in green) that you can configure. Defaults include contact time and default area of counseling. Additionally, you will need to decide if you want to automatically set your counseling sessions created from email as being Reportable?. If you are a counselor and you intend to use the postbox feature to record counseling sessions into the Neoserra database, then this is critically important.
Furthermore, you will need to determine the funding source to be used for the sessions automatically created by the postbox feature. By default, the client's default funding source will be used. Alternatively, you can choose to set the funding source to default to the user's default funding source. The session type will automatically be assumed to be a "Follow-up" session unles you change it to "Administrative". These defaults will apply to all emails received into Neoserra via the postbox process. They are merely defaults and can be overwritten on a case-by-case basis.
This email address is your unique address associated with your counselor record within your Neoserra database. We recommend that you copy this email address into your personal address book of your default email application. In other words, you create an entry for Neoserra in your address book with this email address so that you can easily retrieve it each time you want to use it. When you send a message addressed to a client, with the postbox email address in the BCC field, then a follow-up counseling session will be automatically created for the client(s) with your counselor association. If more than one client email address is included in the email message (either in the TO or CC lines) then a counseling session will be created for ALL clients identified by Neoserra.
It is important that the email address exists in the Neoserra database, either on the client record and/or on one of the contact records that are associated with the client. If it does not, then Neoserra will still create a follow-up counseling session for you that is temporarily attached to your counselor record. You will be notified via the Message Center that Neoserra was not able to identify the client:
Assuming Neoserra is able to identify the client then you will also be notified as soon as the message arrives into the Neoserra system. The Message Center notification will appear at the top of the screen next to the calendar icon. The counselor can clear the message from the Message Center simply by clicking the "x" to the right of the notification. An easy link to view or edit the counseling session is also provided:
While Neoserra is able to capture the content of the email message, Neoserra does not know how long it took you to research and compose the message, this you should edit yourself. In fact, it is important that you edit or clear the Message Center of all messages that have come into Neoserra via the postbox. The green Message Center "bubble" is there to alert you if and when you have messages that have not yet been cleared. Neoserra will auto-clear any messages that have come into the database that are older than 90 days, but only if these messages were attached to an actual client record. If Neoserra was not able to identify a corresponding client, then the message will remain in the Message Center for you to review and update.
Keep in mind that Neoserra will take the entire email thread and use it to create the follow-up counseling session. Once the counseling session has been created you may want to edit the thread and remove some sections that aren't relevant or potentially duplicated elsewhere.
Because Microsoft Outlook/Mac Mail/Google Mail do not track time and/or area of assistance natively, you will need to set those defaults under your personal preferences. When an email message is sent from Outlook to a client email address that exists in the Neoserra database; AND you include your personal postbox email address in the BCC line, then this email message will be automatically added to the database as a follow-up counseling session with your default time and area of assistance. Any attachments included in the email message will also appear in the clients' data stream.
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.
To get the email addresses from Neoserra for import into your regular email application you will need to click the Email link at the top right hand corner of the screen:
Since you are using your default email application, you can ignore the template selection. Next, 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)
- Use the bid match email addresses of the companies (as found in the "Bid Match Options" area of the client record)
- 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.
Select the: "Generate email address list for export to external email client?" checkbox.
And choose the appropriate export format and click Continue. The email addresses will be presented on the screen, in the format you selected, ready to be copied and pasted into your standard email application.
To preserve the privacy of your clients, you may want to copy the email addresses in the BCC field of your email application along with the postbox email address from your personal preferences. Use your standard email application to compose your email and send it to your clients. Assuming you included the postbox email address in the BCC field of your email message then a follow-up counseling session will be created for all recognizable recipients. Sending one email to multiple recipients will create ONE counseling session with multiple clients attached. The counseling session will have the default time and counseling area as specified in your preferences. Any attachments included in the email message will also appear in the clients' data stream.
As soon as the message arrives into the Neoserra system, you will receive a notification in the Message Center. The Message Center notification will appear at the top of the screen next to the calendar icon. The counselor can clear the message from the Message Center simply by clicking the "x" to the right of the notification. An easy link to view or edit the counseling session is also provided.
When counseling sessions are added via email, things like logos in signatures may count as attachments and eat away at your storage allocation. This happens when you send the logo with your signature in each email message rather than having the image as a link to Web resource (URL). Using a URL is much better since it takes the load off the mail systems, stops needless copies of the image, and allows the browsers/mail applications to cache the object. We stongly recommend that you link to your logo rather than include it as a file with each email message as discussed in this FAQ titled: How to add a link to your logo in your signature block in a third-party email application? for more information about document attachments.
Want more? Browse our extensive list of Neoserra FAQs.