The Best Way to Send Emails for Small Business

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Michelle has been an Act! Certified Consultant since 1999, and an Act! fanatic long before that. Whether implementing an Act! solution for a company with 1 user or 150, the heart of every project is to solve the business need. You can find more by Michelle at

Do you email your clients?  Of course you do!  Written communication has long been the top method to communicate in business, with email taking the lead overall as computers and internet connected devices infiltrated out lives.  What is the right way to send email to your clients?

Yes, there is a right, or at least a best, way to send emails to your clients.  To know which is best is all about the circumstance.  A few factors that play into how to send include:

  • Your audience - who are you sending to
  • Size of your send - how many recipients are in your send
  • Email design - what your email looks like

Sending to one contact

When your audience is one, or even a couple of contacts, your email client – like Outlook® - is easy, quick and efficient.  Act! can even record a history of the email sent.  (You can follow the instructions in this Act! KB article to integrate your Outlook® with Act!.) 

This is great if you have a simple, primarily text-only, message you need to send.  You can click on the email address in Act! and your email client opens, or you can simply send the email directly from Outlook® and the Act! email integration will make sure it’s dropped in the Contact’s history tab.  


Sending to Multiple Contacts

This can be a subject of deep discussion with many of our customers.  Before we get into the “right way” to manage these types of sends, it warrants a little education of the why behind the how.  If you are sending to multiple Contacts via email, you are more noticeable to spam filters. 

Spam filters – According to good old Merriam-Webster, Spam – noun - email that is not wanted: email that is sent to large numbers of people and that consists mostly of advertising. 

You may shake your head and say “I’m not sending spam.  I’m not sending to a “large” number of people, and everyone wants the info I’m sending them.” 

Think about emails as letters.  If you take 25 pieces of mail to the post office at one time, someone will notice.  Spam filters are similar.  There are so many spam monitors out there, that chances are one of them will notice.  Depending on the thresholds of the different spam cops out there, you are running the risk of being tagged as a spam sender. 

So, before you send those not-so-many emails straight out of your email client, really think before you click.


Act! Templates & Mail Merge

If you are sending to a handful of Contacts and you’re confident that what you are sending won’t fall into the land of spam, a mail merge to email may be a good option.  At the most basic level, you’ll:

  1. Create an Act! template
  2. Perform a Lookup
  3. Perform your mail merge

Your recipients each receive an individual email the history is recorded in Act!.


Act! emarketing

Act! emarketing is a subscription based email marketing tool, integrated right into your Act! database.  We recommend using Act! emarketing when you are sending to a large number of Contacts – rule of thumb on “large” being 25 or more.  A solution like Act! emarketing offers the ability to design an eye-catching email, without any real design skills.  You can schedule and track the success of your send. 

We even use Act! emarketing for one off emails, to single recipients, when we want to send an email that is prettier than a regular email, or we want tighter control over what the recipient will see on their end.  Meaning, if you heavily design/format your email in Outlook, there is no guarantee that your recipient’s email client will display it even remotely close to what you designed.  We like that we have tracking for opens & clicks. 

Act! emarketing also ensures you’re compliant with spam rules, like offering an opt-out option.  For us at 3Leaf, the biggest reasons to use Act! emarketing are:

  • Design capabilities
  • Personalization
  • Call Lists
  • Reporting
  • Scheduling

These are all tips that help ensure opens.  That’s truly the goal, isn’t it?  You’re sending your email with every intention of the recipient opening it.  Why not use the best strategy to raise that likelihood?