Newsletter service?

Big Dan

EQ Forum Moderator
Hi Guys,

I may have posted about this before if so my bad. I'm looking for a newsletter service to send quarterly newsletters to my forum members. I would send roughly 3200 emails in one shot.

I'll be using this addon to generate the newsletter: HTML Newsletter Generator with Showcase, Resource Manager, Gallery & Attachment Support

There's a few things I need:

The ability to import a list of addresses every time I send the newsletter replacing the previous list without the user needing to opt-in. I would have already handled opt-in on the XenForo side.

Basically I'd be using XenForo to generate a list of addresses. Anyone who unsubscribed by deselecting receive administrator emails in their profile would be removed from the list for future newsletters.​

Or have an unsubscribe link inserted by the service that would prevent the address from receiving our newsletter in the future even if I re-import the same address for a subsequent newsletter.

Analytics would be nice. Open rate, links clicked, etc would be nice to show advertisers in the future. They don't need to be extremely in depth.

Bounce management would be nice. Even if the service just spits out a list of addresses that bounced so I can place them on do not email status.

Secondly, I'm a little unclear on how sending works. If a service like MailChimp sends mail from @mydomain.com a lot would wind up in spam as the SPF record points to my IP. Would I just add an additional SPF record for them or use a sub-domain say mailer.mydomain.com and point it's SPF record to the service?

I'm not overly concerned with price. I'd like to keep it under $25 per newsletter if possible. I'm also not opposed to letting the service handle all the mail for my domain including the standard XenForo notices for replies, private messages, etc if that means deliverabilty is better and I can get analytics from those emails too.

Thanks in advance,
Dan
 

popowich

EQ Forum Admin
Staff member
I'm going to try and convince you not to use a XenForo plugin for this, for the same reasons the email newsletter I'm working on isn't going to use the XenForo forum software either.

First, you'll want to keep your email newsletter traffic separated from forum notifications and the other lower quality and/or transactional emails generated by your forum and other sites that you host.

The ability to import a list of addresses every time I send the newsletter replacing the previous list without the user needing to opt-in.

I'd confirm addresses a single time using the email newsletter service. Once the member opts in, you're good as long as they show activity (reading, clicking, etc) and don't ignore the email. Starting with the "Allow email from admin" or whatever you are doing to identify them in XenForo, send that full list to the newsletter confirmation form to make sure the users want to start receiving the email newsletter. Include the directions to uncheck the appropriate box in their forum settings too. Start everything unchecked. At different intervals than your newsletter, then you can start sending the emails from the last 30 days through the same process. Have your fun sending great email newsletters with useful content that your subscribers love to receive! :)

The newsletter service will handle unsubscribes. The newsletter service likely has a much better chance of making your subscriber inboxes than your forum server. Keep your complaint rate extremely low and you should be good.

I'm not overly concerned with price. I'd like to keep it under $25 per newsletter if possible.

You don't have a lot of subscribers yet. This should be free or very cheap depending on the service that you choose. I'd start by checking out AWeber and MailChimp.

Maybe @VinnyOHare has some additional suggestions.
 

popowich

EQ Forum Admin
Staff member
I'll be using this addon to generate the newsletter:

I checked out the add-on to see if I can also answer your original question too, and it turns out it's making the starting lists designed for the services we recommend :yay:

How Can I send My Newsletter Out?
How you send your newsletter out is entirely up to you. What this add-on does is provide you with the html code that you copy and paste into any email server such as Sendy, Mailchimp Aweber or the XenForo Email Users built in feature.

I still think you're going to need to manually copy over new addresses.

Start with those who subscribed, and then copy over the new members form the last X days since the last email who have subscribed and add them to the list before sending.

You shouldn't need to copy a full new list each time. They'll unsubscribe using the newsletters unsubscribe feature. All you need to do is copy in the latest addresses.
 

popowich

EQ Forum Admin
Staff member
Secondly, I'm a little unclear on how sending works. If a service like MailChimp sends mail from @mydomain.com a lot would wind up in spam as the SPF record points to my IP. Would I just add an additional SPF record for them or use a sub-domain say mailer.mydomain.com and point it's SPF record to the service?

As of January 2015, these are the address ranges to add to your SPF record when sending from MailChimp:

205.201.128.0/20
198.2.128.0/18
 

Safe-Mail.eu

Email Service Provider
Watch out with Mailchimp when you import a mail database (.csv or something). They have put in an extra security to check which email addresses are going to bounce. The fun part...they don't tell you which one it is. So if you have a few hundred mail addresses upload them in pieces.
 

Big Dan

EQ Forum Moderator
Thanks Ray. I knew you would be the one who knows all about this stuff. I already a newsletter of sorts going out to users who haven't visited the board in 30+ days but that's just a list of active threads and not a true newsletter. I plan on dumping that once I get set up with the quarterly newsletter.
I'm going to try and convince you not to use a XenForo plugin for this, for the same reasons the email newsletter I'm working on isn't going to use the XenForo forum software either.

First, you'll want to keep your email newsletter traffic separated from forum notifications and the other lower quality and/or transactional emails generated by your forum and other sites that you host.

I'd confirm addresses a single time using the email newsletter service. Once the member opts in, you're good as long as they show activity (reading, clicking, etc) and don't ignore the email. Starting with the "Allow email from admin" or whatever you are doing to identify them in XenForo, send that full list to the newsletter confirmation form to make sure the users want to start receiving the email newsletter. Include the directions to uncheck the appropriate box in their forum settings too. Start everything unchecked. At different intervals than your newsletter, then you can start sending the emails from the last 30 days through the same process. Have your fun sending great email newsletters with useful content that your subscribers love to receive! :)

The newsletter service will handle unsubscribes. The newsletter service likely has a much better chance of making your subscriber inboxes than your forum server. Keep your complaint rate extremely low and you should be good.



You don't have a lot of subscribers yet. This should be free or very cheap depending on the service that you choose. I'd start by checking out AWeber and MailChimp.

Maybe @VinnyOHare has some additional suggestions.

That's a great idea. I didn't think of copying a list of addresses to the server then having the user opt-in via Aweber or MailChimp. I suppose an announcement on the forum a few days before the opt-in wouldn't hurt either.
 
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