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Content Management Forum

Multi site multi mail solution?
How do you deal with readers email sent to your diff websites?

 3:00 am on Jul 31, 2013 (gmt 0)

Hi there, I manage a small network of sites, each one receives email from readers from time to time. So far I've been answering the emails via pop3 email (Outlook and Opera Mail), there I have diff accounts, one for each website.

But that makes it difficult to deal with the email while I'm off the office or while traveling, so I'm wondering if there is some kind of multi email web based solution. Is there any?

Out of curiosity I found a way to read the emails from the server and list them on a page via Perl, it's piece of cake to build a multi site solution and being able of answering each email from the corresponding email address but before I get hands on I decided to ask if such thing exist. Yes my approach would be web based, as I said piece of cake but that doesn't mean it wouldn't take a lot of hours of work. So little effort but lots of time.

Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.



 4:18 am on Jul 31, 2013 (gmt 0)

I have a multi-language site for 25 different domains. Naturally the feedback form is in all of those languages, but when it sends email to me, I only need the one email address.

Otherwise, Thunderbird is fantastic for managing multiple email accounts.


 2:46 pm on Aug 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

Thanks Kendo, I gave TB a try.

I guess I will develop my own solution, been thinking and I need a webbased solution that I can run from everywhere (even without a USB memory with portable software).

What pushes me into that direction is the need of multiple diff standard responses for frequent asked questions (yes I have a FAQ but it's still needed) and a one click button for many formats of "thank you for..."

Will keep looking still.


 5:51 pm on Aug 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

I was thinking "web based" a little while ago and still need to do that. But I couldn't find anything that suited my requirements. One of those requirements is that each client be assigned a unique email address, ie: fred-blogs@site.com contacts support and our reply is sent as fred-blogs-site-com@mySite.com so that we know instantly which user is trying to poison the well. My other requirement is that the app be coded in Classic ASP so I may have to write that one myself.

I have all the bits and just need to integrate them when I have some spare time (currently have a couple of projects close to completion).


 8:07 pm on Aug 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

Ha we are on a similar boat, if not the same. I'll share some ideas:

I'm playing with a script that goes into the mailbox and searches for specific contact emails avoiding unrelated stuff. Then displays the email subjects and it will allow me to reply using an specific email address per site/account.

One email address doesn't do the job (I believe), because it's a network of sites and if someone writes to best-widgets.com they expect email answers from there, not from any other email address from other domain.

Many emails require standard "thank you" answer, I will develop several variations that can-could be used randomly, nobody wants to get the feeling they are talking to a machine. Besides, it will be me, not automatic replies. I mean, most of 100 emails can use templates, adding-modding only the important unique parts.

I'm married with Perl so I'm playing with that code right now.

each client be assigned a unique email address, ie: fred-blogs@site.com contacts support and our reply is sent as fred-blogs-site-com@mySite.com so that we know instantly which user is trying to poison the well.

Ticket software already have options so you can deal with emails and classify them, both via contact form and via email mailbox.

I'm not going that way because of personal preference, I hate setting up extra software using X databases making difficult or at least time consuming to move from server to server in case of migration. I'm also caught in the "DIY" I find many pros there.

About that unique email address, you could pick the first message and assign an ID, then use that ID on an email perhaps on the subject like "RE: contact info [ID#42517]" (mmm I don't like it because people might edit it and you are lost then) or you can use the same ID ON the email like "RE: whatever" but from contact-42517@site.com. Easy setting up a catch all option on your server. That way they could reply to contact-WHATEVER@site.com

Just saying.


 8:45 pm on Aug 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

There is lots of ticket software out there but it's all either PHP or ASP.Net. My plan is to to use this new solution on our main site to get SEO advantages and that site has always been Classic ASP. Anyway, that part is my problem and all I need is spare time. As admin I will be able to publish select support responses live for everyone to see. But until then support requests can be private.

For return mail addresses, unless the mail server is configured to allow specific email addresses new randomly assigned email addresses will be bounced. So my thought there was to use a new domain name similar but not the same (like support-mySite.com) and then set it to accept all emails @ that domain. This way I don't have to integrate with the mail server which is on Apache anyway. If I find a suitable Windows mail server I can do more, otherwise this may suffice.

RE: contact info "[ID#42517]" I like that idea because the spam filter can whitelist emails with that in the subject line. Otherwise responses can be sorted by email address.

Users will still add your support emails to their address book. Some may be doing that automatically. So if no ID they will get spam filtered.

My main aim is to put an end to spammers. I have clients who have purchased from us and now spamming with all sorts of rubbish. They are probably still using our web services and it will good to know exactly who.


 9:29 pm on Aug 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

Ohh I get it.

I usually let some spam get in and then after seeing some patterns, I just add a filter on my cpanel and will kill all the incoming spam for all my accounts. Not always easy but so far I have a very clean inbox. People always leave a trace.


 9:00 pm on Aug 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

>>multi email web based solution. Is there any?

Gmail - if you add those accounts and set GMail to "reply using the address the mail was sent to" or some similar setting, nobody knows.

You can filter mail into their own boxes or just have them all come into the same inbox. I have about six addresses I manage through one gmail account


 8:27 pm on Aug 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

Thanks ergophobe, I really don't like G services, Gmail and Mail (both dot com) were a possible solution.

I'm glad to say work brought rewards, just finished my own solution, I will be still making some improvements but the most important part works out of the box just like a ticket system. Solved.


 9:50 pm on Aug 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

And I must say... work and some little extra help. Done.


 3:50 pm on Aug 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

>>I really don't like G services

Understood. I resisted the Gorg for a long time and tried a lot of solutions... and finally gave in because it did what I wanted and did it well, for the low, low entry price of giving Google complete access to all details of my personal and business life!


 10:10 pm on Aug 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

Really? I find Gmail too unreliable. My partner has been fishing our private communications out of the spam folder for years and recently I posted a complaint about mail sent to my Gmail account also ending up in the spam folder regardless of whether it was confirmation of a sale, retrieve password or a newsletter. No, our server is not on any block lists and while their support was exonerating their service a client reported that Gmail had returned email addressed to us marked as "email address does not exist" claiming that is what our server had reported. Well that email address has been in service for several years. Who needs a mail service like that?


 1:18 am on Aug 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

I almost never get legitimate email in my spam folder and when I do it's a mass mailing (newsletter type of thing, usually with hardsell marketing).

In term of outgoing mail, if you are not sending from a something@gmail.com address, you need to make sure that you have set the SPF set up correctly. Lots of email providers have gotten more serious about checking in the past few years and if you are managing non-gmail.com addresses through gmail, your SPF settings will be wrong.

I formerly had gmail as a secondary account and recently switched to gmail using an address on my own domain because I was previously having such deliverability problems, both sending and receiving.

I'm not in the business of selling gmail though. I would in many ways prefer to be using anything else because of general uneasiness about gmail handling my email, but the simple fact is that they have a good job of it for me.

That said, I am afraid of the fact that I am at their mercy and they have no customer service number so if they decide to cut you off you are completely screwed. I don't have a great answer to that, but I do try to regularly pull all my email into Thunderbird so I have an offline backup somewhere.

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