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Sending external emails on the platform

Sending external emails from the platform is a great way to communicate with mentors. External emails directly from a Program Manager have more weight than an email notification from the platform telling a mentor that he/she has a message waiting for him/her and are often read more quickly by mentors.

The Problem

You may experience trouble while attempting to send external emails from any page on the platform that has an external email option. The problem lies in the "Mailto Protocol," which allows websites like our platform to send external emails from mail clients like Outlook or Gmail.

The Mailto Protocol allows users to send external emails by choosing who they would like to send emails to on a website. That website then fills those email addresses in for the user in the external mail client. On the iMentor platform this looks like first selecting users to send an email to, then choosing to send an external email, which then opens up an email in Outlook or Gmail filled in with those users.

The problem is that all web browsers (ie – Explorer, Firefox, Chrome) have a character limit of about 2,000 characters. This proves troublesome when trying to email a large number of users on the platform, because the character limit normally encompasses only about 90-95 users.

This is what happens on each web browser:

For Google Chrome or Internet Explorer: If you attempt to send an external email from the platform, and a new email opens up, your character count is below the limit and you can send your email as normal. If a new email does not open up, your selection exceeds the character limit.

For Mozilla Firefox or Safari: Whether or not your selection exceeds the character limit, a new email window will open up. The email addresses will be cut off at the character limit if you go over. It will look like you are contacting all of the users you selected, and you may not know if an email address is included or has been cut out.

The workaround

An easy way to get around the character limit problem is to export the selected users you want to email externally from that page to Microsoft Excel. You can do this by clicking the Excel icon on the top left of the page.

After opening the document, copy the email address column and paste it into a new Outlook or Gmail email. Outlook and Gmail will accept at least 500 email addresses when entered directly into Outlook or Gmail instead of through a Mailto command.