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Phplist 2 E-Mail Campaign Manager

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  • Posted August 24, 2011

    phpList 2 Email Campaign Manager

    Keeping your users/customers informed has never been easier with phpList. phpList is a one-way mail delivery system, perfect for distributing newsletters and events to a broad spectrum of users. It's ability to manage users and distribute custom content to those users from a variety of systems is quite impressive and painstakingly simple. Like most books, the first few chapters are on how to install and configure the application. The author assumes you'll be doing this on Linux, but the examples worked just fine under Mac using MAMP. From there, you begin creating subscription forms, managing users, and creating newsletters that you can send out not only to a list of users, but users under that list who meet a certain criteria obtained through attributes (for example, a list of global customers that you wish only to contact those in the US). Also you learn how to create custom templates that pull from these attributes to create custom (albeit canned) responses and deliver them to your customers. Probably the most impressive and useful chapters of this book is how to implement this in several key systems--such as Drupal, Wordpress, and Facebook. The author goes over step-by-step instructions on how to install, configure, and utilize the system from within these applications. On a final note, it's nice to see the chapters on security and how to hack and secure phpList. Normally we're in too much of a hurry to implement that we quickly dismiss a critical point such as this. All in all, phpList 2 Email Campaign Manager was a great book for utilizing a mailing distribution system. The content was good, although there were a few screenshots and wording issues that caused some confusion, but were easily worked through.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 7, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    efficiencies in managing email lists

    Long before the rise of the Web and its browsers, email was the first killer app of the Internet. While the browser is perhaps now the most commonly used app, email is surely second. What Young addresses is the continuing need for some of us to maintain and effectively use an email list. To answer this, phpList version 2 is a freeware offering that can be straightforward to learn, according to the text.

    It has many convenient features, that are perhaps actually necessities today. One is the means of introducing spam blockers. This arises when you have a subscriber form, to let a visitor sign up for your newsletter. The problem is that a spam bot can troll the web, or maybe is manually directed to your subscriber webpage. It can by repeatedly filling out the page form and submitting it to your server, cause the making of fake subscribers. Who might then be able to send out spam to all the subscribers on your email list. What phplist offers in defense is the insertion of a Captcha into the generated HTML subscriber page. So when a purported human fills it out, she will be presented with some wavy text, that she has to understand and type correctly into an input box.

    A more advanced feature is in chapter 4, which describes how phpList can hook into 3 key systems - Drupal, WordPress and Facebook. Of these, Facebook could be of the most interest to some readers, because of its commercial prominence. The integration abilities seem quite straightforward to implement, from your standpoint.

    As for actually writing an email that goes out to your subscribers, another chapter delves into how to have message templates. These factor out the common text, while phpList then lets you add customised fields, like salutations with the recipient's name. This can be a huge time saver, and improve the attractiveness of your emails.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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