Sending Bulk E-Mails with ConfTool

Organizers and chairs of conferences often have to contact the authors, reviewers and participants of their event to send them news or updates. Furthermore, they might have to inform them about e.g. the results of the review process, remind them to pay the participation fees or invite them to register for participation, become a member of the program committee, act as a reviewer or submit a contribution.

To simplify this task, ConfTool offers different bulk e-mail functions (please note that there are fewer options available for VSIS ConfTool). Users with administrative rights and chairs (when they have been given additional rights by admin users) can access them after log-in from the overview page using the link "Bulk E-Mails".

Please go to this page to start sending bulk e-mails:
Overview => Bulk E-mails 

As the first step, please choose what kind of e-mail you are going to send:

  • For general mails on the conference, select "Send E-Mails to a Group of Users". You can use this function to contact users with a specific user role, e.g. reviewers, participants and authors.
  • If you want to contact the authors (and co-authors) to send them information regarding their submission, please use "Send E-Mails to Authors (and co-authors)"
  • If you like to get in touch with reviewers or members of the program committee, e. g. to inform them about recently assigned submissions or reviews that are overdue, choose "Send E-mails to Reviewers" (ConfTool Pro).
  • If you want to inform session moderators (session chairs, discussants) about the times and papers of "their" sessions, click on "Send E-mails to Session Moderators" (ConfTool Pro).
  • If you want to contact prospective users on the list of invitations, select "Send E-mails to a Group of People in the ‘List of Invitations’" (You must have first compiled a list of invitations for this option, ConfTool Pro only).
  • If you have to contact the participants of specific sub-events or with a certain payment status, choose "Send E-Mails to Participants" (ConfTool Pro).
Image 1: Bulk e-mail options - Click to enlarge

The next step is to specify the group of recipients of your bulk e-mail (use the filters, if necessary), to set the sender name and address and to enter the message subject and body.

Please note that in “text mode” an automatic line break will be inserted after 78 characters (as this is standard for most e-mail clients and servers).

If you want to send a document like a PDF file to the recipients, we recommend putting that file on your website and send them the link to that file. (Attaching documents to bulk e-mails can cause significant network traffic as the file is sent to each recipient separately and it can trigger spam filters and cause mail servers to block further mails from this sender address.)

Below the message text area you find a selection of "codes" like {dear_fullname} that can be used in the bulk e-mail and that are replaced by data according to the recipient of the e-mail, e.g. his name, the title of his submission or the results of the review process. Please note that the codes must be entered exactly as listed, including the curly brackets {}.

Image 2: Sending bulk e-mails, step 1 - Click to enlarge

On the following page, you may preview and check the selected recipients and preview the e-mail text that will be sent to them. Please click on the preview icon in the right-hand column to see how the e-mail will approximately appear in the recipients’ e-mail client. It's recommended to do some spot tests to verify if the applied codes are replaced as required. 

Image 3: Preview of recipients - Click to enlarge
Image 4: Example for the e-mail preview window - Click to enlarge

If you are certain everything is alright, please click on ''Send e-mails now" to start the process of sending the e-mails. You will be informed on the outcome of the process on the following page.

Please note: Passwords of users cannot be sent by bulk mail if the users have set the password themselves. Instead, a link to the "Forgotten password" page will be sent to them. There are two reasons for this:

  1. Personal passwords must never be sent by e-mail, as many people use the same password for many accounts, and e-mail is not a secure communication channel.
  2. Passwords are encrypted in the ConfTool database in a way that cannot be decoded.

However, if it is a new account and the password was generated automatically or entered by an administrator, administrators can send the passwords by bulk e-mail.