Alpha Software releases beta Internet e-mail product

Alpha Software Corp. has released the beta version of NetMailer, a product that lets users merge different mailing lists and send personalized mass mailings of electronic-mail messages over the Internet.

"The only thing that exists today are list servers that send a generalized message to all subscribers," said Richard Rabins, co-chairman of Alpha Software. "NetMailer allows people to keep in touch with contacts in a personalized and cost-effective way."

NetMailer allows users to send out a personalized message to each recipient by automatically inserting the person's name, title or other information into a standard e-mail message. A contact database stores the names and e-mail addresses and can be customized to include other relevant information. NetMailer will allow users to import any ASCII or text file into the contact database.

NetMailer's list manager lets users build queries that will help create a new mailing list based on certain criteria, allowing a recipient to belong to more than one list.

There are many applications for NetMailer in the government, Rabins said.

"If the Army sends out thousands of letters to employees about a training event, it would cost a dollar a piece to send a conventional mailing," he said. "But with NetMailer, the incremental cost is zero."

NetMailer also lets users send attachments with their e-mail messages, so users can attach reports, graphics or multimedia demonstrations. A scheduler component prioritizes messages and tracks of the delivery of each message.

NetMailer Personal Edition, which runs under Microsoft Corp.'s Windows 3.1 or Windows 95, will start shipping at the end of July for $69.95.

Until then, the beta version can be downloaded from Alpha Software's World Wide Web site at http://www.alphasoftware.com. Expected later this year is the NetMailer Server version of the product, which will run under Windows NT.

The products will be sold through such federal resellers as CompUSA and Software Spectrum.

Alpha Software, best known for its PC Windows database products, counts the Secret Service, the U.S. Mint, the U.S. Postal Service and the U.S. Geological Survey among its users.

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