SMTP Setup

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To E-mail confirmations, receipts and other forms (and in fact to even see the functions for sending E-mail), the appropriate settings need to be configured first -- go to Maintenance / E-mail Setup / SMTP Setup.  (SMTP stands for "Simple Mail Transfer Protocol", which is a standard E-mail system used on the Internet.)  Campground Master must be able to access an SMTP mail server via the internet in order to send E-mail.  If you're not using one of the E-mail services with specific examples below, contact your provider to see if they have an SMTP server available and what the settings should be.  Note that if you're using GMail or GSuite, then you can also use the "Oauth2" authentication which is more secure and avoids some of the issues with traditional SMTP setup.


Note that one of the other common standards, "IMAP", is not currently supported.  Make sure your service supports SMTP from "3rd party apps".



Using the SMTP function to send E-mail


Once the SMTP configuration is done (particularly the Sender and Server information as mentioned below), then a new button will be available on the Reservation Transactions dialog to Send E-mail Form (like confirmation letters).  There will also be an Email Form button on Reservation Details and Customer Details, as well as right-click functions to send E-mails from the tab views, and Batch E-mailing will also be possible from the E-mail list reports for Customers and Reservations.


You can also send E-mail messages to customers using the blue "E-mail" link on Customer Details (but with SMTP configured it uses the built in E-mailing instead of opening the default E-mail program in Windows).



Global settings vs. different settings on each computer


If you're using the networking option, you'll see an option to either use global settings or use different settings on this computer.  In most cases you'll want to use global settings, since each computer on a local network generally needs to be set up the same (except for possibly the bind-to IP address, which is always a local setting anyway).  However if you use a computer to connect remotely, e.g. through the internet from various places, then you might need to use different settings on that computer depending on the specific internet connection (ISP) you're using at the time.  


Note: Be sure to select the option to use "different" settings before making changes to the settings, so you don't inadvertently change the global settings for everyone else!



Sender (defaults) Settings


Your name & E-mail address can be entered in the Sender section. The Name and E-mail entered here are used for both the "From" and the "Reply-To" for every E-mail you send.  Optionally you can check the options to have it use the Park's Name and Park's E-mail address, as defined for the Park (or Parks) through Park Setup.  This is useful if you have more than one park set up in the database, and want to use a different Reply address in confirmations depending on which park it's for.  (If an E-mail is sent to a customer without reference to a reservation, the park specified as the Park shown on non-reservation receipts will be used, and that setting is specific to each workstation.)  Note that if you do check these options, the name and E-mail addresses entered here will be ignored when appropriate park information is available.  However you should still fill in a default Name and E-mail address here, in case an the Park record doesn't have the E-mail field filled in.


Important: Many SMTP servers require these to be in the same "domain" as the SMTP host you're using.  For instance if you're using SMTP through your web host and your web site is, then you might need to use an E-mail address that has in it.  Likewise, if using GMail use your, etc.  


If you want to keep a copy of all E-mails sent, the best way is to fill in BCC all mail to with your E-mail address.  This will blind-copy each E-mail to yourself (or any address desired.  If you want to enter multiple E-mail addresses for the BCC, use the semicolon character (;) between each address to separate them.   Note however that BCC does not currently work with GMail OAuth2 authentication.


You can also have all E-mails copied to another E-mail using CC all mail to -- unlike BCC, the recipient will be able to see the CC address (which may be desired, e.g. if it's an alternate contact E-mail). The CC option does work with GMail OAuth2.


Note: If you use the "Use the appropriate park's E-mail" option for any of the settings, be aware that this only applies when sending E-mails for Reservations (and assuming a Site is assigned to the reservation).  If you use the Test function during setup, or send E-mails to through Customer Details, for instance, it will not know which Site is applicable and therefore will not have a Park reference, so only the default E-mail shown here on the Setup dialog will be used.



Server Settings -- using an SMTP Server


Refer to the additional topics further below for example settings and special instructions for some of the common online E-mail services (GMail, AOL, Yahoo, Hotmail, and Outlook).  


If you aren't using one of those, then set this up according to your E-mail host - you will need to get the proper settings for these entries from your E-mail provider.  Here is the information you will usually need:


Host Name/Address


Port Number

(e.g. 465, 587, etc)

Security type

Use SSL or TLS?


(Username and Password)


Host name/address -- This is the URL of the server you'll use for sending mail.  If not using one of the common mail services like Yahoo or GMail illustrated below, this is usually "mail" or "smtp" followed by your ISP or web host domain name.


Port / Security -- Most SMTP servers now use port number 465 with SSL (or port 587 with TLS)


Authentication method -- Most of the time you can just select "Automatic" authentication.  However some web hosts and other E-mail providers used other ports and options.  There are some cases where it cannot be automatically detected, though, so you can set it to one of several manual settings.  Also, the "Automatic" setting will not work if "POP3 before SMTP" authentication is required.


Username & Password -- If using the "Automatic" setting, you will usually need the Username and Password filled in.  


POP3 before SMTP authentication -- Some SMTP servers, typically ones used by web hosting services, may not have a login on the SMTP itself but may require you to read your E-mail (through the web host's POP3 server) before you can send mail through their SMTP server, with a time-out.  If this is the case for your SMTP host, select the "POP3 before SMTP" authentication method and provide the login, host, and port for the POP3 server.



Other settings


The Return Receipt option simply sets a flag in the E-mail requesting a return receipt when the E-mail is opened, but this does not guarantee anything since many E-mail programs don't support return receipts.  In particular, GMail says this does not work with personal accounts (as of this writing).





You can use the Test button on this Setup dialog to test your settings by sending an E-mail to yourself.  You can also change the E-mail to test sending to someone else, which is a good idea since in some cases you will be able to send mail to yourself but not someone at a different domain, due to insecure server settings.





Examples for specific E-mail services:


 GMail Setup


 Yahoo Settings example


 Hotmail Settings example


 Outlook Settings example


 Office365 Settings example


 America Online Settings example



Additional Topics:


Send E-mail (Preview)


Batch E-mailing options


Confirmation E-mail Text & Options


Invoice, Receipt and Statement E-mail text



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