Since I get very little satisifcation from asking for another 'feature request' let me outline my problems with the current mass emailer in salesforce.com, 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