In order to use the CRM to automate emails and SMS messages, it is required to configure the Outbound Email Settings.
In CiiRUS, either an SMTP server can be connected, or Mailchimps Transactional Email (formerly Mandrill). Either of these two options is required to use the CRM.
An SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) server is an application that's primary purpose is to send, receive, and/or relay outgoing mail between email senders and receivers.
SMTP is a fairly universal way of remotely sending messages from a 3rd party email server, using another application to generate the message. Many email services offer SMTP functionality including but not limited to Gmail, Outlook, Zoho, and others.
With SMTP, the message is composed from CiiRUS but is then sent to an SMTP sever to actually “send” the message. This method sends the message as the email service user and so instead of the message coming from @ciirus.com with a mailto: in the header, the email sends from the user’s actual email address. Such a method is SPF compliant and results in a much more reliable delivery system.
- Users should be careful connecting to their SMTP server to an automated system like the CiiRUS Email and Rules, as too high of a volume of messages to the wrong recipients could leave the email address permanently black-listed.
- The user should refer to their email service of choice for the documentation pertaining to this set-up.
Transactional Emails Overview
Mailchimp offers a transactional email server, formerly known as Mandrill.
Mailchimp Transactional Email is a purpose built, high volume email distribution solution. It is very much like an SMTP except it does not integrate directly with the user’s emails service, and it provides safe guards to prevent black listing from occurring. Additionally, it provides detailed reports and tracking, so that the user can see how each email was handled, when it was opened, or if it failed and why.
Mailchimp Transactional Email is a paid service, and setting it up requires a Mailchimp Account.
After creating a Mailchimp account and adding on the transactional email, the text records will need to be added to the sending domain's nameserver to pass SPF Validation.
Mailchimp Transactional Email provides some great documentation on how to complete the set-up.
Outbound Email Settings
To access the Outbound Email Settings, go to:
- Account Settings
- User Account
- Settings Assistant
Navigate to the "Company Profile" page from the navigation drop-down menu:
Select "Edit Your Outbound Emails."
Notice, it defaults to the CiiRUS Default server. This is not supported by the CRM, and therefore, using the CiiRUS default server will not allow the Property Manager to automate emails and SMS correspondence. In addition, using the CiiRUS default means that any manual emails that are sent, will come from a CiiRUS email address rather than the Property Manager's email address.
Select either SMTP or Mandrill.
Mandrill API Key
After creating a Mailchimp account and configuring the transactional emails, an API Key will be provided. Enter this key in the "Mandrill API Key" field, and enter the sending email address in the "Mandrill From Email" field.
SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol)
To obtain the SMTP server setting for the email account such as Gmail, Outlook, G-Suite, etc, open a web browser and search for e.g. (Gmail SMTP Server Setting), or contact the email service provider for more information.
After obtaining the information, enter it within the SMTP Server Settings window in CiiRUS:
Click on "Test" to ensure that it is working correctly:
If an error occurs, please verify the following:
- The correct username and password has been entered (these credentials are the same for logging into the email account)
- Ensure that a strong password has been created. When in doubt, update the password to something stronger.
- Turn ON "Less Secure Apps" (Click here for more info).
- Try a different Port Number with and without SSL enabled
For additional help configuring Mailchimps transactional emails or the SMTP, please submit a ticket to the Support Team.