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Old 04-03-2008, 10:58 PM   #1
Registered: Jul 2003
Posts: 256

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Using BCC for an email distribution list is unprofessional - alternatives?

The popular convention for emailing a group without revealing their email addresses is to list everyone in the BCC field, and then for the author to enter their own email address on the TO field (even though the author probably already keeps a copy of what they send). It's a hack.

I need to come up with something better. I want each recipient to find their own email address exclusively on the TO field - just as it does when a well-configured automated sender distributes a message.

There are several problems with the BCC approach. I won't name them all.. but BCC is not always truly "blind". That's a big issue. Furthermore it looks unprofessional, and tips the reader off that the message is not personal (which is undesirable in some circumstances; and other times I prefer to mention what group I'm mailing in the body, eg. "this message is going out to recruiters I've worked with in the past").

As a recipient of BCC distribution lists, it drives me nuts, because procmail scoring and filtering is heavily dependent on which of my email addresses was used - causing improper filtering.

So other than creating a private google group for each distro list, what's a good way to do this on my own server? My outbound mail goes from mutt to postfix (locally), and postfix relays the message either directly, or via my ISP.
Old 04-04-2008, 04:11 PM   #2
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Registered: Jul 2003
Location: Los Angeles
Distribution: Ubuntu
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One way could be to put all the contacts in a MySQL table and have a PHP script automatically send the messages.

Here's an example I put together, based on this example:
PHP Code:
"Test mail";
$message "Hello! This is a simple email message.";
$from    "";
$headers "From: $from";

$result mysql_query("SELECT * FROM Contacts");
$row mysql_fetch_array($result))
$to $row['Email'];
"Mail sent to " $to;

Last edited by win32sux; 04-04-2008 at 04:39 PM.
Old 04-04-2008, 04:42 PM   #3
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Location: Sydney, Australia
Distribution: Fedora, CentOS, OpenSuse, Slack, Gentoo, Debian, Arch, PCBSD
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Try using majodomo or similar (I use this for list mailouts from work). Don't kid yourself that you'll make a bulk mailout look personal though

Old 04-04-2008, 05:05 PM   #4
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Location: Los Angeles
Distribution: Ubuntu
Posts: 9,870

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Someone should write a Thunderbird extension that does this sort of thing.


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