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E.g. if I want to send a bunch of emails along the lines of "What does it feel like to X?" to ask@qr.ae (Quora allows and even somewhat encourages me to ask highly similar questions there).

And then give a dictionary of words that I want to substitute for X?

I know that the mailx readme has a small section on how to send mail with scripts, but I'm still a UNIX newbie so I'm not sure how I would be able to configure a script in conjunction with mailx just from that.

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2 Answers 2

up vote 1 down vote accepted

If you mean doing this via shell, then yes this is possible. We may have a different result in mind but the operation is similar to this structure I have written previously to deliver the message via shell.

See: http://www.akamay.net/PUBLIC/massmail.tar

The script uses three (3) files.

  1. Credential File - The actual configuration file. Put it in /tmp

    HEAD_FROM="BSDUSER"                   # Mail from:
    HEAD_TO="${FIELD1[$a]}"             # Rcpt to:
    HEAD_REPLY-TO="info@my.email.com"     # Reply to :)
    HEAD_BCC-TO="i@my.email.com"          # BCC to
    HEAD_SUBJECT="NOTICE - Personalize mass mail for ${FIELD3[$a]}"
    HEAD_PRIORITY="High"                  # Low / Medium / High
    HEAD_IMPORTANCE="3"                   # Importance
    HEAD_MIME-VERSION="1.1"               # MIME Version
    HEAD_CONTENT-TYPE="text/plain"        # Plain or HTML
    TEAM_CONTACT="info@my.email.com"      # Signature @ EOF
    INTERVAL="2"                          # Sleep sec. per send
    
  2. Owner File - The file containing your FIELD'ed values separated by a ":".

    john:Tuesday:john:john@my.email.com
    sally:Wednesday:sally:sally@my.email.com
    lisa:Friday:lisa:lisa@my.email.com
    
  3. The actual massmail script. The script is simple. What it does is to parse the configuration file using a for loop with the value of the given fields: field1,2,3 etc. What I did is to substitute this values from the CSV file, store it in an executable text with the correct format and pipe everything to sendmail.

    F1=`cat $2 | cut -d: -f1 | perl -ne 'chomp;print" $_"' | sed 's/^[ \t]*//;s/[ \t]*$//'`
    F2=`cat $2 | cut -d: -f2 | perl -ne 'chomp;print" $_"' | sed 's/^[ \t]*//;s/[ \t]*$//'`
    F3=`cat $2 | cut -d: -f3 | perl -ne 'chomp;print" $_"' | sed 's/^[ \t]*//;s/[ \t]*$//'`
    F4=`cat $2 | cut -d: -f4 | perl -ne 'chomp;print" $_"' | sed 's/^[ \t]*//;s/[ \t]*$//'`
    F5=`cat $2 | cut -d: -f5 | perl -ne 'chomp;print" $_"' | sed 's/^[ \t]*//;s/[ \t]*$//'`
    
    echo -e "#!/bin/bash" > $TMP/notify_exec
    echo -e "FIELD1=($F1)\nFIELD2=($F2)\nFIELD3=($F3)\nFIELD4=($F4)\nFIELD5=($F5)\n" >> $TMP/notify_exec
    echo -e "for ((a=0;a<\${#FIELD1[*]};a++))\ndo" >> $TMP/notify_exec
    echo -e "echo \"From:$C_F" >> $TMP/notify_exec
    echo -e "To:$C_T\nReply-to:$C_RT\nBcc-to:$C_BT\nSubject:$C_S\nPriority:$C_P" >> $TMP/notify_exec
    echo -e "X-Mail-Priority:$C_I\nMime-Version:$C_M\nContent-Type:$C_C\n$C_MSG\n\n\n" >> $TMP/notify_exec
    echo -e "Generated using: $0 - Got questions? E-Mail us at: $C_TM" >> $TMP/notify_exec
    echo -e "\" | /bin/sendmail -t -oi" >> $TMP/notify_exec
    echo -e "sleep $C_SL" >> $TMP/notify_exec
    echo -e "done\nexit 0" >> $TMP/notify_exec
    chmod +x $TMP/notify_exec
    

I ran into some issues with using mailx regarding the custom reply so I switched with sendmail to deliver the message and it works fine.

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The Mail Merge extension for Thunderbird should do the trick.

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