Format for the Data File
Top Line Defines Fields, Every line after that becomes an Email
In the application, you'll see a line that says "Query to Run:". Generally, websites are constructed in a way that only allows a program on the server to access the database. In our example to the right, we have a php script that would run on your server. This script, when called, will write a file on the server that can then be located by the application, and downloaded to your pc. From there, the file is merged with your text email, and sent to the appropriate individuals or organizations.
Fields that the System Must Find
Where are we sending this email?
Somehow, we need to tell the application that is building the email to be sent, where it should send it. We do this by specifying one field called "email". This field will hold the email address that we will send to. Each record must have a valid email address in this field, or the email will not be sent.
Query to Run
If you're sending lots of emails, everyday, you'll want to automate as much as possible. This field allows you to specify a query that resides on a remote server. In our case, the query would open the database, and ask, what members expire in seven days? If you have a programming department, you may want to get them involved. In general terms, the query will often run against a MYSQL database, with a php query. What's nice about this, is that the query is written once, and you can forget about it. It get's called everyday, pulling out the customers that expire in seven days, no other work on your part.