How do I send Broadcast Emails?

Broadcast Emails provide you with a method of sending out an email to any number of your contacts, personalized to each recipient through the use of acceptable Email Merge Fields. Let’s take a look at how you go about sending out a Broadcast Email (accessible from the Options pulldown menu on the Advanced Search page after running your search):

After you have selected the group of Contacts you want to include in your Broadcast Email from the Advanced Search page, you can then click the Broadcast Email option indicated above.  This will open a dialog for you to begin composing your Broadcast Email.  *NOTE: If you haven’t provided your SMTP settings in your Site Preferences, you will instead receive a message indicating you must do so prior to using the Broadcast Email functionality.  Instructions for providing this information can be found at the end of this post.

If you’ve saved your SMTP settings, after clicking the Broadcast Email option you’ll see your Send Broadcast Email Message dialog:

1.  From The From field is the name that will be displayed to the recipients of your Broadcast Email:

You can set this up under Manage Your Account —> Change Site Preferences in the Email Options section in the Email Display Name field.  Details are here.

2.  To – The To field indicates how many records you selected on the Advanced Search page to include in your Broadcast Email:

3.  Subject – Whatever you type in the Subject line will show up as the Subject of the Broadcast Email for your recipients.

I’ve given this email a subject of “Demo Broadcast Email.”

4.  Message The Message area of your Broadcast Email is where you can create the body of the email you would like to send:


Note that above the text box for entering your message you are provided with some common formatting tools.  You can use these tools to format any of the text you enter into your Message Body.  You should also be aware that if you are familiar with HTML, you have the ability to manipulate the HTML of your Message Body by clicking on the HTML option in the toolbar.  The HTML option is accessed by clicking the icon on the far right of your toolbar.  Your message body will then be converted to HTML and you can mark up the text to suit your needs.

Additionally, you have the ability to create a standard signature to use in all Broadcast Emails under Manage Your Account –> Change Site Preferences –> Email Options in the Email Signature field.  Once you have set up an Email Signature there, it will automatically populate your Broadcast Emails.  Details are here.

Also, you have the ability to personalize your Broadcast Emails through the use of acceptable Email Merge Fields.  Below is a list of those acceptable fields:

##Firstname##
##Lastname##
##Middlename##
##NicknameFirstname##
##Salutation##
##Suffix##

As an example, if you wanted your email to begin with “Dear John Doe,” you would enter the following above the body of your message:

Dear ##Firstname## ##Lastname##,

Then, all of your emails would be addressed to each client using their First and Last Names.

5.  Send Broadcast Email – Note that there are three buttons here: Send Message, Send Test Message or Cancel:

If you click Send Message, your email will be sent to all recipients on the list that have an Email 1 address entered within their record.  If you click Send Test Message, a copy of the Broadcast Email will be sent to your email address w/o sending to everyone else on this list.  This is always a good idea as it allows you to proof the final look of your Broadcast Email prior to sending it to everyone on your list.  If you click Cancel, you will be returned to your Advanced Search results and no Broadcast Email will be sent.

These are the basics of creating and sending Broadcast Emails within Redtail.

Required SMTP Settings

You will not be able to use Redtail’s Broadcast Email functionality if you have not entered your SMTP settings for you email account within Redtail’s Site Preferences.

You can provide this information under Manage Your Account —> Change Site Preferences:

On your Site Preferences page, scroll until you see the Email Options section:

The sections which apply in regards to your SMTP Settings are the last five fields here.  You can read more about the other options in this section here.

The SMTP Settings will vary, depending upon where your email is hosted.  If you are uncertain as to the settings you should use for any of these, you can contact the company that hosts your email to provide.  If you use Outlook, Thunderbird or another email client, you should also be able to find this information within the account settings for your email account.

If Redtail hosts your email on our Zimbra platform, this section might look like the below for you after completion (though your SMTP Username and SMTP Password would be unique to your email address):

After entering all your information here, click Save in the top right corner of the Email Options box.

You should then be able to utilize the Broadcast Email functionality within Redtail.