Composing, testing, and sending with PHPList

From HAA Best Practices Wiki
Revision as of 18:52, 5 April 2010 by WikiSysop (talk | contribs)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to navigationJump to search

You start a mailing by selecting the users to be mailed and creating a PHPList with those users on it. Instructions for this first step are here.

Once you have created the list, you should go to PHPList at yoursiteurs/lists/admin (e.g. http://hrtemplate/lists/admin). Once there, you will have to sign in using the same user id and password you use to sign in to the back end of the Web site.

Once you are signed in to PHPList, you can check your list by going to "Lists" on the menu bar on the right-hand side. On the lists screen you will see the lists that are available and the number of users in each list. You can click on "view members" to see who's on the list.

When you are ready to mail, click on "send a message". You will see a screen with a number of tabs across the top. The first tab is labelled "Content" and allows you to enter your message. You should enter the subject line and the body of your message. Once you have done that be sure to click "Save Changes" at the bottom of the page before you go to another tab. Otherwise you will lose your work.

When you have entered your message, you can send a test copy by typing an email address in the block next to the "Send Test Message" button and then pressing the button. The email address you use must be one that is on PHPList's list of users - that is it must be one that is in your Web site's database. Presumably your own would be a good choice.

If you have a template defined, you should apply the template by going to the format page and selecting the template from the pull-down list. Be sure to click the "Save Changes' button".

When you press the "Send Test Message" button, PHPList will send two copies of your message: One in html format, the way you entered it, and the other in text format. This will let you check both formats.

When you are satisfied with the message, go to the "Lists" tab and select the list that you want to send the message to. Press "Save Changes" and then press "Send Message to the Selected Mailinglists". You should see a message that says: "Message queued for send". That means that PHPList is ready to send your email and will do so the next time the process queue is run, as explained in the next paragraph.

PHPList actually sends messages when it processes the mail message queue. The time when that happens is controlled by a setting on your server. Information on how to change the time when the message queue is processed is here.

We set up new sites with the server set to process the queue once a day. Each time PHPList processes the queue it will send up to 300 messages. If you have a mailing that is bigger than that, you may want to set the server to run the queue more frequently.

The reason for this batch process is to comply with the terms of service of the hosting companies where our Web sites reside. Siteground requires that you send no more than 400 messages in an hour and that you don't send them more frequently than one per second. We ship PHPList configured to comply with these requirements.

You can see the status of saved and/or queued messages if you click the "messages" menu item. Here you will have the opportunity to change or edit your messages and to delete them.

PHPList has many features that we have not configured the system to use. You can find more information about them here. In particular, You should probably not try to process bounces without reading the PHPList documentation and being sure what you are about. We configure the listbounces mailbox to be forwarded to the webmaster, so he or she can process the bounces manually.

If you do figure out how to use other features of the system, please document what you have learned on this wiki!

Return to Bulk Email How-to's