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Newsletters


HeadStand

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi, I have a query for this plugin. I wish to send automatic newsletters to my members that follow a certain criteria. Lemme try and explain my ideal requirements here.

-- All content that will be sent in newsletters will be automatically fetched from IP.Content that follow a certain set of rules.

-- Members should be able to choose the frequency [daily, weekly, fortnightly] of the email, as well as the time of delivery [exact time, or "morning", "afternoon", "evening"]

-- The content is divided into 10-12 categories. The member should be able to select one or multiple categories that interest him, while subscribing for newsletters.

-- Even Guests should be able to subscribe to newsletters. The only difference being, the guests will also have to specify their email addresses, and verify it.

Now, what I am interested to understand is how many of these requirements can be fulfilled by this plugin. And if not all, then how many more can be easily custom coded? This requirement is slightly urgent at my end. So, all prompt answers will be highly appreciated.

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Pretty much just the first one.

1. You can pull content from almost anywhere on the site (including an IPC database), and there are several filters available.

2. Newsletters are scheduled to go out at specific intervals. Members cannot choose the frequency and no one has control over the exact time (not even me, technically). I don't even have a way to implement this request, shot of creating a separate task for every newsletter (NOT what you want).

3. Categories, while not currently present, are a good idea. BUT... filtering the content during distribution will kill performance, and as it is it takes several hours for a newsletter to disribute.

4. Guest subscriptions is something that has been requested and that I fully intend to implement.

That being said... I'm afraid I am currently booked solid well into August. Some of the above requires fairly extensive development, and there's just no way I can commit to that now. I wish I had a better answer for you. :(

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2. Newsletters are scheduled to go out at specific intervals. Members cannot choose the frequency and no one has control over the exact time (not even me, technically). I don't even have a way to implement this request, shot of creating a separate task for every newsletter (NOT what you want).


Hey, thanks for the prompt response. I can understand non-availability of other features, but I have a beef with this one. There are situations (for example deal/voucher/discount sites like us) when people do want daily email notifications. If you say that's technologically impossible, then I wonder how others make it happen.

Secondly, even if your plugin doesn't manage to meet all my requirements satisfactorily, is there any other way/plugin that can help me achieve my goal?
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Hey, thanks for the prompt response. I can understand non-availability of other features, but I have a beef with this one. There are situations (for example deal/voucher/discount sites like us) when people do want daily email notifications. If you say that's technologically impossible, then I wonder how others make it happen.

Secondly, even if your plugin doesn't manage to meet all my requirements satisfactorily, is there any other way/plugin that can help me achieve my goal?


You misunderstand. It's not technologically impossible, that's not what I meant. Two things:
1. As an Admin you can control the frequency of the newsletter. I meant I can't do it at the member level.
2. IPB's task system (which is used to do things at regular intervals) is not technically automated. Tasks are triggered based on user activity. This means that if a user requests a newsletter at 4 AM, but you have no one online at 4, nothing happens. Additionally, you can't tell IPB to send out, for example, 5,000 emails at once, or the user's session will hang. So bulk mails have to be sent in batches. Now, let's say I ask for a newsletter at 10:00 AM, and 500 other users asked for the same time. My newsletter, MAYBE will show up at 12:00 (depending on other tasks/traffic at the time).

I hope this explains it a little better.

To my knowledge there is no other plugin that handles this.
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1. What I want is for the members to choose, during the time of signing up for the newsletter, whether they want a daily email, or a weekly one, the way Yahoo Groups and Google Groups do it. Is that impossible to work out on IPB?

2. I understand this limitation perfectly. My idea was, let's say, we have 3 different time sections when the emails will reach the registrant's email - midnight to 8AM, 8AM to 4PM, and 4PM to midnight. And, we will allow the registrant to choose the section when he might want to receive the email. Realistically speaking, for our website, there won't be more than 3,000 people for any given section of time, every day. Will it be almost impossible to achieve that?

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1. What I want is for the members to choose, during the time of signing up for the newsletter, whether they want a daily email, or a weekly one, the way Yahoo Groups and Google Groups do it. Is that impossible to work out on IPB?

2. I understand this limitation perfectly. My idea was, let's say, we have 3 different time sections when the emails will reach the registrant's email - midnight to 8AM, 8AM to 4PM, and 4PM to midnight. And, we will allow the registrant to choose the section when he might want to receive the email. Realistically speaking, for our website, there won't be more than 3,000 people for any given section of time, every day. Will it be almost impossible to achieve that?


1. You could achieve this now by setting up two newsletters with different intervals. The user would subscribe to the one that they want.

2. I cannot guarantee any specific time slots. It depends on
a) how many users are online during each slot
b) how many other tasks you have running
Both of the above are things that I have no control over whatsoever.
BUT.... In theory you could have your host set up a cron job for you (which would eliminate the above restrictions), in which case you have a pretty good shot. But again - since this is outside of my control I don't want to give 100% guarantee. (also known as CYA)
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What is the interval for sending the newsletters? Trying to figure out how long sends will take if I set it to 100 per batch.

5 minutes. You can adjust it by editing the "Newsletter Distribution" task. That being said, note that even if you set it to run every minute or two, it may not actually get triggered that often. If the previous cycle is still running, the task would be locked and skipped.

I've found that 5 minutes gives the best results.

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Ok, thanks for the info. Another question. Is there a way to clear the sending queue? In case you need to stop sending after you have already hit publish.

Yes. You can manually "close" an issue from the ACP, which will cause it to stop distribution after the current cycle (meaning, if it's already sending out 100 newsletters, it has to finish that set of 100. I don't have a way to kill it in the middle).

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I seem to be having an issue where the sender will only send to 15 people on the distribution before the scheduler task locks. When it does this, it shows that 0 emails were sent in the Back Issues section. I have tried my local SMTP as well as Mandrill. If I unlock the task, it just resends to the first 26 members again. Any ideas?

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I seem to be having an issue where the sender will only send to 15 people on the distribution before the scheduler task locks. When it does this, it shows that 0 emails were sent in the Back Issues section. I have tried my local SMTP as well as Mandrill. If I unlock the task, it just resends to the first 26 members again. Any ideas?

It means you're hitting an error somewhere. You should have a log file in your cache folder called "newsletter.cgi". Please PM that to me so I can review.

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This excellent feature has been working just fine for us since purchase 14 months ago. We recently had to move the website which contained the IPS software and newsletter to new hosting arrangements, doing this via the backup utility in cpanel. Everything started to work normally again except the newsletter does not fire out. Post/new topic alert emails go out but there is no evidence that the newsletter attempts to initiate at all when the scheduled time is reached.

We've spent a couple of days trying to figure out what's wrong but we're stumped. Any suggestions?

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This excellent feature has been working just fine for us since purchase 14 months ago. We recently had to move the website which contained the IPS software and newsletter to new hosting arrangements, doing this via the backup utility in cpanel. Everything started to work normally again except the newsletter does not fire out. Post/new topic alert emails go out but there is no evidence that the newsletter attempts to initiate at all when the scheduled time is reached.

We've spent a couple of days trying to figure out what's wrong but we're stumped. Any suggestions?

I can't tell you without seeing logs. You should have a file in your cache directory called "newsletter.cgi". Please send that file to me via PM so I can review. Thanks.

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HeadStand, I'd love to purchase this but for myself, it would be more useful to have a subscription service. I have interest, my social pages are doing well and this would be a powerful feature to include on the site.

If I could E-Mail non members, I might be able to hold their attention in an alternative way.

Do you have any ideas if you plan add this feature? I really don't mean to come across pushing, though I am very hopeful of using the system.

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HeadStand, I'd love to purchase this but for myself, it would be more useful to have a subscription service. I have interest, my social pages are doing well and this would be a powerful feature to include on the site.

If I could E-Mail non members, I might be able to hold their attention in an alternative way.

Do you have any ideas if you plan add this feature? I really don't mean to come across pushing, though I am very hopeful of using the system.

It's one of those things that I really really do want to add - in fact, it's the first thing on my list for Marketplace Mod enhancements. The problem is I'm completely swamped for time, and it's going to take a few hours to implement it correctly. I wish I could give you a better answer. :(

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It's one of those things that I really really do want to add - in fact, it's the first thing on my list for Marketplace Mod enhancements. The problem is I'm completely swamped for time, and it's going to take a few hours to implement it correctly. I wish I could give you a better answer. :sad:

Would you consider also adding a subscription block for IP.Content?

It will be very much worth the wait and I thank you for giving me the best answer you can. I'm really excited about this, as I want to try and reach more people and I firmly believe your mod will play a major part in this. I can't wait (but I will) :P

Thanks HeadStand!

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Would you consider also adding a subscription block for IP.Content?

It will be very much worth the wait and I thank you for giving me the best answer you can. I'm really excited about this, as I want to try and reach more people and I firmly believe your mod will play a major part in this. I can't wait (but I will) :tongue:

Thanks HeadStand!

If by "Subscription Block" you're referring to the current sidebar block on the board index... I've already got that. ;)

block_newsletter_block.xml

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  • 4 weeks later...

thought I read somewhere that there was a way to unsubscribe directly from the email but I cannot find it now.

is there a manner or was I thinking of some other mod perhaps?

There is. If you include

{unsubscribe}

in your newsletter (like the header or footer), it will generate a unique URL per user that does not require a login.

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