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Dissatisfied: Mass Email Limitations

Since I get very little satisifcation from asking for another 'feature request' let me outline my problems with the current mass emailer in, the world's leading CRM.
The mass emailer in salesforce is very weak and a big disappointment to me.   While I can live with the 1000 day restriciton (barely) I find the work flow process for keeping within that limit below par and not in keeping with costs of maintianing a salesforce account and its reputation as the #1 online CRM.
I am posting this message to help other newbies and those considering coming to the salesforce platform to help identify this issues earlier rather than later because they may not be immediately clear to you:
Problem #1:  1000 a day email limit; 30 000 per month.  Thus, if you have 50.000 contacts you will be forced to use a addon such as vertical response which exponentially increases your monthly costs.
Problem #2:  For some reason salesforce has made it unbelievably difficult to actaully define your views in order to meet the 250 limit. I will give you some examples of this strange situation:
A.  Suppose you generate a report showing all you all customers interested in a certain product between two price ranges.   The report neatly spits out the list and gives you a total.  You would think there would be a way to simply 'mass email'. But no, no such feature. And, anyway, if your results were over 250 you would not be able to filter them into the mass email feature anyway.
B. Ok, so know you have to use the mass email feature found under leads, contacts and accounts.  However, if you attempt to add it to an existing campaign which has exceed 250 you will not be able to do anything.
C. Your only option is to now create a 'view' and do a filtered search outlined in A. Fair enough.  However, if you will first notice that salesforce provides absolutely no TOTAL at the end of the view. Thus, you have no idea if you have exceeded your total. 
D. Ok, so now you create view and you hit mass email and go through the steps.  At step five it tells you oops sorry you have exceeded your limit but you have no idea by how much.
E. So now you think to yourself how do I actually meet this limit in a way that makes sense to me and my multiple users? So this is what support tells me:
"Create your view and then add a condition which only brings back first names with the letter 'a'."
Ok, so this may or may not keep you under 250 for this view. But remember, if you have a 5000 contacts you wish to send a notification to you will have to create views for just about every batch of three later alphabetic letters. 
Can you picture the mess of views that would entail? Can you imagine trying to maintain these cluster of views for each and every user and then trying to do a follow up campaign?  Virtually impossible.
F:  Additionally, if you try to use their so-called great 'campaign' feature to tie in the mass email you will be faced with a whole bunch of manual procedures require to 'update' the progress of the campaign.   I almost call this section unusable.
Conclusion #1: Salesforce have made it virtually impossible to use the mass email feature in terms of their restrictions. It is cumbersome, confusing and extremely limitiing. They do not easily give you mechanisms to meet the criteria or adjust the criteria or even provide a simple total in the adjusted views.
Conclusion #2: You are forced to now use a third party to get out of this mess. But before you do  this consider that every time you send a 250 emails through vertical response you will be charged 100 dollars.
Conclusion #3:  On the face of it, the on-demand solution appears very promising and elegant. But once you start using the salesforce system you realise you could spend a fortune trying do simple little things like elegantly manage a small mailing or even control duplicates in the system.
While I understand that salesforce  have built a business model around on-demand they should be obligated to allow fundamental features in the system such as easy to use and understand basic mass emailer and additionally control 'duplicates' in the system.
Surely any CRM worth its salt should have this capability built in.
And, please, do not talk to me about controlling spam and the problems of a blacklist.  I am very aware of this issue.   At the moment I cannot even do one newletter to my entire database which currently numbers 50,000. 
This is the way I see things.  A company should use a third party such as vertical response or client house to do the mass corporate mailings. However, an individual user should be able to quickly and easily do a small maling to some of his clients. At the moment there is no reporting or adjusting mechanism to meet this 250 limit. It is quite simply ridicolous, clunky and messy.
I would be interested to hear other points of views on this.

Message Edited by EdgeLine on 08-28-2006 08:08 AM


Yes, the more I look at the mass emailer component in salesforce the stranger it seems. Even Act 6.03 and Wired Contact do a better job than saleforce. I am on a entreprise version spending in thousands upon thousands in this system per year never mind the custom development to help me overcome other limitiations. This is before we even get to using third party on demand software.... Yet, I cannot simply and easily allow my users to send small campaigns to there users without jumping through hoops. 

Take a look at another post:


That is a weird design. Why would one not want to see the detail of a mass email that was sent to the customer?? I understand if they want to save space maybe, but even if they just created one snapshot of the mass email before it's sent and then have one link to this, it would be a great help. That's valuable history right there, that's being lost.
It's curious that this is inconsistent - feels like different developers worked on these sections without it all coming together. The rules of when what is stored, when it's stored under "Activity" and when under "HTML Email" etc are a bit blurred.
we do have a large number of enhancements on our roadmap in this area.  I'm going to have our product manager for email contact you to dig deeper into these.
Lets make sure we have our numbers straight.  250 emails set through Vertical Response is less than $4.00.  Not $100.00

Apologies, this is correct.   I was actually diving that 250 into 7000 records for one of my salesman to come out with a figure of roughly $100.

Regardless, your monthly fees will accelerate as your database grows and your users become more proficient in targetting opt-in customers.


I have re-drafted the current issues with the mass emailer and the campaign area into clearer points below. I hope this helps new accounts about to sign up. You need to be fully aware of the restrictions, limits and issues with using the inbuilt mass emailer and campaign area as it is not immediately apparent from the training modules and the knowledge base.  




Campaign Management Area

1.      Common sense dictates that one should be able to send out the 'small' mass email from the campaign area…yet you cannot.


This should be the central control panel for any mass emailing. You should be able to add and deselect your members here and be able to do mass emailing.



2.      You cannot delete members from an existing campaign. You have to delete the entire campaign.     



Email Limit

The current email limit is 1000 per emails per day. Bear in mind, this is for ALL your users combined.


Thus it appears if you have 20 users each of these users will only be allowed to send 50 emails on one calender day if they did it all on the same day!


It appears that for each user further user you add in future to your system your limit will go down, you guessed it, to Zero.


There is no way to track or pin down when you are about to overrun the limit or who has exceeded their daily quotas.  The 'exceed limit' warning only comes right at the end and gives you no indication of by how much.




From the Lead's tab, when you click 'Mass Email Leads':

1. The default lead views setup on the Leads tab do not carry over to the "Mass Email Leads" views, we would have to duplicate these.  This makes things confusing.

2. Once you have duplicated/created your desired view, if it exceeds 250 - it doesn't tell you by how much, you have to go back and narrow your search criteria further.
A Sales Force Rep suggested narrowing alphabetically, using your previous views as a means of keeping on top of the members you've already mass emailed.

3. If you are UNDER 250, you still do not get a total to work with in order to determine how many more members you could add to the mass email list


Additionally if you are basing your campaign on one set of criteria but the results return e.g.: 2000 records, you would have to break up that one campaign into 40 different campaigns all staggered over the course of a week to meet the daily limit.  

From the Lead's tab, under "Mass add to campaign"

1. After you select your campaign and you enter step 2 (Selecting members to add), you are able to add as many members as you'd like - but there's no way to send to modular parts (250) of that campaign.


Surely if there are restrictions in the amount of emails you could send it should stop you are perhaps default only to the first 250? If not, why can your campaign not be automatically broken up for you?


Even If could, it would still be extremely messy.

2. Multiple versions of the campaign is a workaround and from this view we are able to control the amount of records per page to possibly add at a time, but the views do not provide a total amount of clients that were returned based on our criteria. In other words, we are unable to determine how many pages of the view we would have to click through to meet our 1,000 emails/day restriction as well as how many CAMPAIGNS it would take to email that entire view of clients.



Reports Tab – Missing link

1.      The reporting section is powerful allowing you to define your reporting criteria and additionally giving you running totals of records returned. 

You would think there would be a way to hit a ‘mass email’ button for your returned records especially since you know beforehand how much records are returned by the initial search thus avoiding losing time with a vague message:

You have exceeded the 250 record limits.

2.      Instead they have they have the ‘add to campaign’ feature which allows you to EXCEED the 250 limit and thus run into trouble later when you have to go the round about route of using the mass emailer button in the leads or contacts tab.


Other Concerns

Our organization is limited to 1,000 mass emails per day. How are our brokers meant to know if this limit has already been reached by another user? Do they have to go through the entire process above in order to find out they can't send it that day.

Message Edited by EdgeLine on 09-01-2006 01:40 PM


Thank you for posting this. I have been with salesforce for years and can't believe they have not solved this problem. You described it perfectly. It is that DREADED time to send a mass email again and every time I call salesforce to see if they have come up with a solution to make this filtering process NOT be a nightmare. Because that is what it is. I always threaten to find another service that can handle these mass emails but i have not yet found an alternative and as you say, you would have to add that cost on the high cost of salesforce, or leave salesforce. I am trying to get emails out for cyber monday. I hired a VA to help me but now I am paying her to make the same mistakes I make trying to add on the new leads since the last email blast. Truly a nightmare. Anyone with any solutions please reply. Thanks.

I'll add one more to the list. I am trying write apex code to run a scheduled job that will email opportunity owners when an opportunity is overdue. I am doing a mass email. What I have found is that if I have an owner that has two opportunities overdue, they will only get the first notice. (Yes, I know emails don't go to users so I do have a contact associated with each user to do the task.) So no duplicate email addressess even if it has a different opportunity associated with it. 
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