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  The mailing module

What is the mailing module?

The mailing module offers the ability to write emails to dynamic recipient lists in kOOL, e.g. group and small group members and addresses stored in "my list". This is done by using fake email addresses @kool.domain.tld.

An email sent to such an address will be processed by kOOL and forwarded to all addresses currently assigned to the given recipients list.

 

The typical process of sending such mailings involves the following steps:

1. You send an email to e.g. gr000001@kool.domain.tld

2. You get an email from kOOL which you'll have to send back in order to authorize this delivery

3. The current members of the addressed recipient group (in this case all members of the group with ID 000001) will be put in the mailing queue and will eventually receive your email - each will receive a personal email addressed only to him.

 

The second step is necessary, because without it it would be trivial for an attacker to send emails to all your addresses in kOOL. It is very easy to forge the sender email address, so all an attacker would have to figure out is an email address of one of the kOOL logins with access to the mailing module. But because an attacker can not read your emails, this step of sending you a confirmation email prevents him from sending emails to addresses out of kOOL effectually.

Recipients

There are three different types of recipients you may address:

- Members of a group/role

- Members of a small group

- Addresses currently stored in "My List"

- Addresses matched by people filter preset

Recipients from a group

The members of a group may be addressed using the email address grXXXXXX@kool.domain.tld where XXXXXX stands for the six digit ID of the group. This address can be gotten for each group in the list of groups using the email icon or by editing this group's record where it is displayed as "Default mailing address". There you'll also find the email addresses to only send an email to members of this group with a specific role.

Because it is not easy to remember these addresses, it is possible to assign a mailing alias for a group (see below).

 

For each group you may set some settings to allow even the members or everybody to send emails to this group's members - with or without moderation. Use this feature with caution - as this opens the possibility of enabling junk email. (Read more below). In Addition you can specify per group if recipients of group emails should see their personal email address or the group's email address as recipient.

Recipients from a small group

The members of a small group may be addressed using the email address sgXXXX@kool.domain.tld where XXXX stands for the four digit ID of the small group. This address can be gotten for each small group in the list of small groups using the email icon or by editing this small group's record where it is displayed as "Default mailing address".

Because it is not easy to remember these addresses, it is possible to assign a mailing alias for a group (see below).

Recipients from "My List"

To address the persons currently stored in your "My List" you may use the email address ml@kool.domain.tld.

Recipients from a people filter preset

You can define an alias for the filter preset. For example, if you define the alias 'test123' for filter preset 'xyz' then all people matched by filter preset 'xyz' can be addressed by the email address test123@kool.domain.tld.

Defining mailing aliases

As the addresses for small groups and groups are not so easy to remember, you may assign a unique mailing alias for each group or small group. To do so you must edit this group's record and enter the part before the @ to be used as the email address for this group. If you want a group to be addressable by mygroup@kool.domain.tld you must set the mailing alias to mygroup.

As these aliases must be unique, kOOL won't allow you to use the same alias twice.

Authentication process - Who is allowed to send mailing emails?

In order to be allowed to send such mailing emails to addresses in kOOL a user has to meet the following criterias:

- Read access to the addressed group or small group and it's addresses

- Access to the mailing module

- A valid email address stored in kOOL (see below)

 

When kOOL receives a mailing email it checks the sender email address and tries to find a kOOL login with this email address. If it finds such a login, it will send an email to this login's main email address (see below) containing a request for confirmation.

If someone else sends a mailing email using a faked sender address, it is the responsibility of the person receiving the request for confirmation to not authorize this mailing email.

 

Each login in kOOL can have several email addresses assigned. All these addresses are allowed as sender addresses, but only the main address will receive the request for confirmation. The priority list to find the main email address is as follows:

1. Admin email of the login's record

2. Preferred email address of the person record assigned to the login

3. First email address found in the person record assigned to the login (usually private first, then business)

Especially for groups

With groups there is another way of authentication - besides the one with kOOL logins. Each sender is identified by it's email address to be in one of three categories: Moderator, Member, Other. To be a member there has to be a person with the sender's email address assigned to this group. If this is not the case the sender is considered as "other". If a certain role is defined as the moderator role and the person with the sender's email address is assigned to this group with the moderator's role, he is considered a "moderator".

According to these categories an email sent is either being refused, accepted for moderation or accepted for immediate delivery - all depending on the following settings found for each group:

  • Are moderators / logins allowed to send emails? This setting applies to moderators as specified with the next setting. But it also applies to kOOL logins with access to the mailing module.
  • Moderators are defined by the following role. Select a role. All addresses assigned to this group with this role are considered moderators. By this their access may change but they will also receive moderation requests from other senders who may only send after moderation.
  • Are group members allowed to send emails? Set the access level for group members.
  • Are non-members allowed to send emails? Set the access level for all other email addresses (the open world).

Using text markers in your email texts

It is possible to include text markers in your emails that will be replaced for each recipient. This way you may send personalized emails. The markers always look like this: ###FIELD###, where FIELD is the desired address field to be inserted.

The most commonly used markers are:

  • ###_SALUTATION###: Just "Hi"
  • ###_SALUTATION_FORMAL###: "Dear Mr." or "Dear Mrs."
  • ###VORNAME###: The first name of the recipient
  • ###NACHNAME###: The last name of the recipient

Mailing settings

In the admin module you'll find some settings for the mailing module in "General settings":

- Number of mails to be sent by cycle: This number of email will be sent each time the mailing script is run (usually every 5 minutes).

- Maximum number of recipients (set to 0 to disable limit): Set a limit for the number of recipients. If a mailing email addresses more recipients the sender will receive a failure notice.

- Disallow the use of default email addresses with IDs, only allow using aliases: Setting this option deactivates the possibility to send mailing to groups and small groups without email aliases. This might help to prevent unintentional emails.

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