Sending newsletters?

If you're a new user of AppGini, feel free to ask general usage questions, or look for answers here.
Post Reply
Johnk
AppGini Super Hero
AppGini Super Hero
Posts: 65
Joined: 2013-01-09 03:47
Location: Cairns, Australia

Sending newsletters?

Post by Johnk » 2017-11-17 06:18

Hi All, I've been away for a very long time. After being diagnosed with heart disease, I went through a quadruple bypass and still have issues which have changed my life somewhat. I still have a very old version of AppGini mainly because I've had no need to upgrade. I enjoyed playing with the program and wrote a membership and inventory script for my club which we used for a few years.

Sadly we had to drop the script in favour of an online one because there were no facilities to send newsletters and other membership emails. We did this via another script called Pommo, but maintaining two databases was too hard for our membership officer to handle.

Pommo isn't brilliant and the people who supply the free membership script now want $500 a year. Thus, I'd like to revisit my membership script and add a newsletter mailing feature if possible. I don't have brilliant PHP skills, plus my heart condition and age (75) are both slowing me down.

On reading the features for the current script, it seems that a newsletter mailer can now be achieved with batch actions, but we also need the ability to write a short email to be included with the batch. As I've never been keen to reinvent the wheel, my first question is whether anyone has written a routine for this and would they be willing to share it?

I'll leave it at that to get the ball rolling, but the batch routine would have to work from a list of filtered names (current members).

Best wishes to you all and it's great to see Appgini still going strong.

User avatar
a.gneady
Site Admin
Posts: 794
Joined: 2012-09-27 14:46
Contact:

Re: Sending newsletters?

Post by a.gneady » 2017-11-22 16:34

Welcome back, John. So glad to hear from you.

New versions of AppGini (IIRC maybe since 5.20 or even earlier) allow sending an email to all users, a group of users or a single user. But mails are sent in plain text currently ... so, you might wish to use it for simple notification emails and short announcements rather than longer newsletters.

So, you may wish to either create a custom script for sending HTML emails, or, my recommendation, is to leave this job to an application that does it best ... We use mailerlite.com to send newsletters to customers and it has many awesome features. They allow you to send newsletters for free if you have fewer than 1000 subscribers, and very reasonable prices if you have more.

You can easily export users from AppGini to a CSV file that you can import to mailerlite to create your list. Here is a custom script for doing that (might not work on versions of AppGini older than 5):

Code: Select all

<?php
	/* Assuming this custom file is placed inside 'hooks' */
	$hooks_dir = dirname(__FILE__);
	include("{$hooks_dir}/../defaultLang.php");
	include("{$hooks_dir}/../language.php");
	include("{$hooks_dir}/../lib.php");
	
	/* check access -- allow only Admins */
	$mi = getMemberInfo();
	if($mi['group'] != 'Admins') die('Access denied!');
	
	/* Save users into 'users.csv' inside hooks folder */
	sql("select u.signupDate, u.email, g.name, u.custom1, u.custom2, u.custom3, u.custom4 from membership_users u left join membership_groups g on u.groupID=g.groupID where not isnull(u.email) and u.isBanned=0 and u.isApproved=1 into OUTFILE '{$hooks_dir}/uesrs.csv' FIELDS TERMINATED BY ',' ENCLOSED BY '\"' LINES TERMINATED BY '\n'", $eo);

?>
:idea: Learn all the tips and tricks of customizing AppGini applications through our new online course.

AppGini: Responsive, collaborative web database applications in minutes.

Johnk
AppGini Super Hero
AppGini Super Hero
Posts: 65
Joined: 2013-01-09 03:47
Location: Cairns, Australia

Re: Sending newsletters?

Post by Johnk » 2017-11-27 08:33

Hi Ahamad and thanks for your reply.

My life has changed so much in the past couple of years and playing with PHP is something I don't have any available time for. However, I did promise to revisit the club's membership register I designed with AppGini a couple of years ago to see if I could include bulk mailings. We send out newsletters every week and other mailings in between. While I was at the helm, I used the Appgini script and an old bulk mailing script called Pommo. When another guy took over he found it too difficult to constantly create CSV files to update pommo because new members were joining almost daily. Thus we moved over to TidyHQ, a free membership system that offered an excellent bulk email facility.

Just recently, TidyHQ has hit us with a $500 per year bill if we wish to continue with that service. As a small club, we can't afford the luxury. Our AppGini Membership database worked fine and I was hoping that someone would have written a Bulk Email feature as part of the program or an extension. I'm actually surprised this is not the case because I would have thought such a feature would be in high demand. I'm not talking a WYSIWYG email editor, just a simple one like TidyMCE which can accept attachments. Our newsletters are prepared with a publishing program and transmitted as PDF files.

An alternative would be a stand alone script that can actually read filtered results directly from the AppGini database. But I guess I'm asking too much.

I'll look at the program you recommended.

Best wishes,

John

peebee
AppGini Super Hero
AppGini Super Hero
Posts: 180
Joined: 2013-03-21 04:37

Re: Sending newsletters?

Post by peebee » 2017-11-27 22:52

If you are just looking to manage a mass mailing list and presuming you have under 2,000 members, it would be difficult to look any further than MailChimp.

Free for < 2000 subscribers and up to 12,000 emails per month. Incredibly comprehensive, fully automated, complies with AUS spam laws and a simple interface that anybody can easily manage. Also has simple import for CSV (removes duplicates, etc).

Free account info here: https://mailchimp.com/pricing/entrepreneur/

Whilst I haven't actually tried, I wouldn't think it would be too difficult to build some sort of a bridge/plugin that would connect your AppGini app signups directly to Mailchimp. Mailchimp are heavily into integration: https://developer.mailchimp.com/ There may well be a PHP plugin already out there that could be easily adapted?

User avatar
a.gneady
Site Admin
Posts: 794
Joined: 2012-09-27 14:46
Contact:

Re: Sending newsletters?

Post by a.gneady » 2017-11-28 12:25

I was hoping that someone would have written a Bulk Email feature as part of the program or an extension. I'm actually surprised this is not the case because I would have thought such a feature would be in high demand.
Mmm ... actually you're right! I'll add this to our future plans to create an extension for sending newsletters ... And we could add MailChimp integration to it as well, as @peebee suggested. But for now, the script I mentioned in my post above saves all members emails to a CSV file that you can upload to MailerLite, MailChimp or any other mail service ... If your members are less that 2000, you could use MailChimp to send them up to 12000 emails per month for free as @peebee mentioned (Thanks @peebee).
:idea: Learn all the tips and tricks of customizing AppGini applications through our new online course.

AppGini: Responsive, collaborative web database applications in minutes.

peebee
AppGini Super Hero
AppGini Super Hero
Posts: 180
Joined: 2013-03-21 04:37

Re: Sending newsletters?

Post by peebee » 2017-11-29 03:11

Looks to be made for the purpose (although I haven't actually tried it myself): https://connect.mailchimp.com/integrati ... ntegration

Post Reply