A “relay” feature is available for Sailmail members, to make sending group messages easier. Traditionally, messages were sent to family and friends using “CC” addresses, allowing one message to be sent to multiple recipients. However, with the increased concern over “spam” (junk email), many internet services are blocking messages with large numbers of CC’s. Additionally, many folks do not want their email addresses to appear on long CC-lists for privacy reasons. BCC’s or “blind copies”, where the CC-addresses are hidden, are another possibility but those are often used by spammers and are increasingly being blocked by spam-filters. The only kind of message that reliably gets through spam-filters and does not cause privacy concerns is an individually-addressed email to each address, which was not previously practical via a radio link.
As a service for Sailmail members we’ve written some new software and created a special address (as part of the Saildocs weather server) for handling group mailing. Send one copy of your message to firstname.lastname@example.org. At the beginning of the message (before the normal text) include a list of email addresses, formatted with one address per line. Follow this with a blank line, then the message text as normal.
The relay-processor will check the format, and then step through the list of email addresses and create a new message addressed to each recipient, with only the message text (not the email list). The from-address and subject line will be the same as your original message and any bounce-messages will be returned to you (so check addresses carefully!).
Here is a sample message:
Subject: Update from the “Leaky Duck”
This is an update of our adventures aboard “Leaky Duck”.
Please send us mail at this address (but keep it short).
This will send three copies of our test message, the first to email@example.com, the second to firstname.lastname@example.org and the third to email@example.com.
You can set this up as a group in Airmail as follows:
Open the Airmail address book (Toolbar button or Window-menu, address-book), click “New” and enter a name for the group. In the “To” box enter “firstname.lastname@example.org” (without the quotes). Then in the “Message Text” box, enter your list of email addresses one per line (use the right-click mouse button to copy and paste from elsewhere, such as the CC-box of an existing CC-style group list). Add an extra blank line at the end, then click OK. You can revise this the same as any address, by selecting the group name and using the “Properties” button. (If you want to create multiple entries of this sort, use “email@example.com” for the first, “firstname.lastname@example.org” for the second, up to relay9).
Then to create a new group message, click the “new message” button (or File/New menu), select the appropriate group name from the address-book, and click OK. Fill in the subject, then hit Tab to go to the end of the email-list and start your message. Always make sure there is a blank line at the end of the list of addresses, but no blank lines in the list of addresses.
The list of email address can either be simple addresses (example: email@example.com) or can include a “friendly name” using the following format– include quotes around the “friendly-name” and enclose the email-address in <>’s per the following example:
“Arthur Dent” <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Also note that from Airmail ver 3.1.933 onwards, you can enter your own “friendly name” in the Tools/Options window, settings tab. The “From name” is sent using quotes in the above format, along with your usual email address. With most email programs, the “friendly” from-name is what folks will see, so they will know who the message is from. Use plain-text only for the From-name, no special or accented characters.
There is also an “insert” feature available for folks who want to get fancy (and are comfortable messing about with computers), send a blank email to email@example.com.
IMPORTANT NOTE: For security reasons, this feature is only available to Sailmail members for messages sent through the Sailmail server, either by radio or internet using direct-access “telnet” connections or Sailmail’s POP3/SMTP server. The Sailmail terms and conditions apply to the use of this service.
Jim & Sue Corenman
Stan & Sally Honey