[TxMt] email merge templates

Frank Eves gold_eagle at mac.com
Thu Nov 22 15:54:47 UTC 2007

I know there are a few of masters of the art of creating magical code  
on the TextMate list. I'm wondering if TextMate, with a little,  
perhaps a lot, of clever programming might be the solution to a very  
common small business problem.

Many small business owners are searching for a simple way to create  
and send customized boilerplate email to individuals and occasionally  
to Address Book groups. Before you get the wrong idea, I'm *not*  
referring to the usual 'bulk' email program, that market is already  
well served.

I know small business owners would be delighted to discover a  
straightforward, highly automated way to welcome new customers and  
periodically communicate with them by email.

Marketcircle's Daylite, an OpenBase SQL CRM, is the best solution I've  
been able to find. Objective-Decision's Contactizer Pro, Christian  
Fries' Serial Mail and MacTank's Mail Template also attempt to address  
this need. Bulk mail programs aren't likely to be the answer.

- family businesses are usually frugal
- paraphrasing Occam/Ockham "All other things being equal, the  
simplest solution is the best."
- leverage Apple's Address Book
- leverage Apple's Mail
- use TextMate to create email merge templates (provide an easy way to  
add Address Book fields to the merge template. Joe Pagliaro does this  
nicely with drop-down Address Book field selection in his program  
- merge data from Address Book into the TextMate merge template and  
transfer the merged text to Apple Mail for editing and sending

Potential workflow:
1. Select an existing Address Book client record (Spotlight)
2. Select a merge template (right click)
3. Magic happens, an email appears in Apple's Mail, ready to send.

I'm not a coder, so, it's a given that my idea may be ridiculous. It's  
possible Christian Fries was on the right track with Serial Mail.


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