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Drupal & Simplenews

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These are the slides of the Drupal User Group presentation about Simplenews, given by Sander Vleugels (Desk02) on the 14th of December 2010 in Machelen - Belgium

These are the slides of the Drupal User Group presentation about Simplenews, given by Sander Vleugels (Desk02) on the 14th of December 2010 in Machelen - Belgium


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  • Recently I had some problems when sending e-mails with simplenews newsletter module for Drupal. While this is a very good module, sometimes made Drupal cron to fail and stuck. I also wanted full control on sending mails and to avoid some of the limitations of Drupal cron timings. Since I didn't have the time to enhance the simplenews module I did this script to be sure that my mails are sent. This script needs simplenews newsletter module and Drupal in order to work. It has been tested with Drupal 7 (but should work on any version) and simplenews 7.

    The script works out of drupal and speaks to the database so its better for performance and mail control. You can set the time step and the mails it sends every time based on your server sending limits. At the end logs any bad mails. For me it is the solution for sending my newsltters.

    You can learn more and get the script from

    http://tecorange.com/content/mail-send-addon-drupal-simplenews-newsletter
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  • awesome stuff, thanks for sharing!
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  • 1. Newsletters in Drupal using Simplenews0032 2 306 02 11 Weiveldlaan 37g,info@desk02.be 1930 Zaventem,www.desk02.be België
  • 2. Content of this presentation About Simplenews Simplenews setup Additional module for Simplenews Alternatives to Simplenews
  • 3. About Simplenews
  • 4. About Simplenews About newsletters and e-mail marketing What is Simplenews? Why should you use Simplenews?
  • 5. About newsletters and e-mail marketing If you are using your website as a marketing tool, chances are high you will also want to send newsletters to your users as part of an e-mail marketing campaign E-mail marketing enables you to actively communicate with your existing customers and visitors instead of passively waiting for them to return to your website or -store. You can easily target your e-mails by source, interest, or list.
  • 6. About newsletters and e-mail marketing Unlike other marketing methods, results from e-mail campaigns are easily measured Results are reported in terms of  “opens”, which report how many people saw your offer or newsletters  Click Through Rates (CTRs), which measure how many people actually clicked on the links in your email
  • 7. What is Simplenews? Simplenews publishes and sends newsletters to lists of subscribers
  • 8. Why should you use Simplenews? If you already use a Drupal powered website, you might prefer a tool which integrates with your CMS The template les support CCK elds (http://drupal.org/project/cck) and modules like ImageCache (http://drupal.org/project/imagecache) Even more advanced is the ability to embed speci c Views into the templates It is a good alternative if you dont have a need for complex HTML based e-mails
  • 9. Simplenews setup
  • 10. Simplenews setup Con guration Content type Newsletter management Sending a newsletter Multi-language newsletters
  • 11. Con guration General  Select content type and vocabulary Newsletter  Default newsletter settings and sender data  Settings include priority, sender information and format Subscription  Settings to synchronize email subscriptions to user accounts  Adjusting the con rmation e-mail texts Send mail  Cron and debug options
  • 12. Newslettersettings
  • 13. Subscriptionsettings
  • 14. Send mail settings With cron  Set the cron throttle to the number of newsletters sent per cron run  Too high values may lead to mail server overload or you may hit hosting restrictions Without cron  All newsletters will be sent immediately when saving the node  If not all emails can be sent within the available php execution time, the remainder will be sent by cron  Therefore ALWAYS enable cron
  • 15. Content type Newsletters are a separate content type The newsletter content type is extendable with CCK The newsletter content type is theme-able as any other content type
  • 16. Newsletter management Sent issues  A list of newsletters that have been sent or are pending Draft issues  A list of newsletter that have not been sent yet Newsletters  List, add and edit newsletter series (taxonomy terms) Subscriptions  List, export, mass subscribe or mass unsubscribe users
  • 17. Newsletter management: Sent & Drafts Manage or view previous or unsent newsletters
  • 18. Newsletter management: Newsletters Each newsletter category is a taxonomy term Each has an own subscription block If a user has a role that is allowed to subscribe, he/ she can subscribe to all the newsletters
  • 19. Newsletter management: Subscriptions View and manage all the subscribed users Mass subscribe or unsubscribe users Export subscription data
  • 20. Newsletter management: Subscriptions Both anonymous and authenticated users can opt- in or opt-out to different mailing lists Anonymous users receive a con rmation mail with a link to a con rmation page anonymous authenticated
  • 21. Newsletter management: Subscriptions Authenticated users have the possibility to manage newsletter subscriptions on his/her account
  • 22. Sending a newsletter Create a newsletter node like any other content Select the newsletter category (taxonomy term) You can use tokens in the body text:  !site: the name of your website  !uri: a link to your homepage  !uri_brief: homepage link without the http://  !date: todays date  !login_uri: link to login page  !con rm_subscribe_url: subscription con rmation link  !con rm_unsubscribe_url: unsubscription link  !newsletter_url: link to this newsletter issue  !newsletter_name: name of this newsletter series
  • 23. Sending a newsletter
  • 24. Sending a newsletter Select whether you want to:  not send the newsletter  send the newsletter  send a test newsletter
  • 25. Multi-language newsletters Simplenews supports multilingual newsletters for:  node translation  multilingual taxonomy  url path pre xes When translated newsletter issues are available subscribers receive the newsletter in their preferred language (according to account setting) Translation module is required for newsletter translation
  • 26. Multi-language newsletters Multilingual taxonomy of ‘Localized terms’ and ‘per language terms’ is supported ‘per language vocabulary’ is not supported I18n-taxonomy module is required.
  • 27. Multi-language newsletters Use ‘Localized terms’ for a multilingual newsletter  Taxonomy terms are translated and translated newsletters are each tagged with the same (translated) term  Subscribers receive the newsletter in the preferred language set in their account settings or in the site default language Use ‘per language terms’ for mailing lists each with a different language  Newsletters of different language each have their own tag and own list of subscribers  Path pre xes are added to footer message according to the subscribers preferred language
  • 28. Multi-language newsletters The preferred language of anonymous users is set based on the interface language of the page they visit for subscription Anonymous users can not change their preferred language Users with an account on the site will be subscribed with the preferred language as set in their account settings
  • 29. Additional modules for Simplenews
  • 30. Additional modules for Simplenews MimeMail (http://drupal.org/project/mimemail) Insert View (http://drupal.org/project/insert_view) Simplenews Content Selection (http://drupal.org/project/Simplenews_content_selection) Simplenews Analytics (http://drupal.org/project/Simplenews_analytics) Simplenews Statistics (http://drupal.org/project/Simplenews_statistics) Simplenews Scheduler (http://drupal.org/project/Simplenews_scheduler) Simplenews on Register (http://drupal.org/project/Simplenews_register)
  • 31. Mime Mail The mail functionality accepts an HTML message body, mime-encodes it and sends it If the HTML has embedded graphics, these graphics are MIME-encoded and included as a message attachment Adopts your sites style by automatically including your themes stylesheet les in a themeable HTML message format
  • 32. Insert View This module has a security vulnerability, but can be used safely if you are careful with con gurations of views and input formats. Replacement patterns  [view:name of view] is replaced by the content listing  [view:name of view=name of display] invokes the view using the speci ed display  [view:name of view=name of display=arg1,arg2,arg3] invokes the view using the speci ed display and passes arg1, arg2 and arg3 to the view  [view:name of view==arg1] passes arg1 to the view and will use the "default" display set for the view.
  • 33. Insert View As easy as:
  • 34. Insert View As easy as: Hide these with theming or in the views tools (admin/ build/views/tools)
  • 35. Insert View As easy as:
  • 36. Simplenews Content Selection Allows you to select content from your website and send a newsletter with the selected content
  • 37. Simplenews Content Selection Select content from admin/content/node and choose ‘Create newsletter’ from the update options
  • 38. Simplenews Content Selection Give the newsletter a title Order the included posts any way you want
  • 39. Simplenews Content Selection Select which content types that can be selected at admin/settings/simplenews/scs
  • 40. Simplenews Content Selection Select content at admin/content/scs_node_selection
  • 41. Simplenews Content Selection And order the included posts any way you want
  • 42. Simplenews Content Selection Views Integration Depends on views and views_bulk_operations Create a view with the views Style set to ‘Bulk Operations’ and the ‘Create newsletter (scs_views_create_newsletter_action)’ operation selected.
  • 43. Simplenews Content Selection Views Integration Example view: Which leads to ...
  • 44. Simplenews Content Selection Views Integration Which leads to ...
  • 45. Simplenews Content Selection Views Integration
  • 46. Simplenews Analytics Depends on Google Analytics (http://drupal.org/project/google_analytics) Adds tags to links in in the email. This helps you to track clicks in your email newsletters with Google Analytics Permission administer simplenews settings is used. No additional permissions are required.
  • 47. Simplenews Analytics Results in a link like: http://www.yoursite.be/node/1? utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Drupal%20newsletter
  • 48. Simplenews Statistics Gathers newsletter statistics like the open rate and click-through rate  Open Rate is the number of people who open a newsletter divided by the amount of subscriptions  Click-through rate is the number of people who clicked a link in a newsletter divided by the amount of subscriptions
  • 49. Simplenews Statistics
  • 50. Simplenews Scheduler Sends a newsletter as a re-occurring item based on a schedule Creates a new ‘edition’ (rendered copy as HTML Format) of a node at the time that it is required to be sent again Works great with Insert View to place the content of a view into a newsletter
  • 51. Simplenews Scheduler
  • 52. Simplenews Scheduler The editions have an extra tab (for those with permissions) for viewing all editions as well as the original newsletter they are generated from
  • 53. Simplenews on Register Enhances simplenews by adding the ability to sign up for newsletter from the user registration page
  • 54. Alternatives to Simplenews
  • 55. Alternatives to Simplenews Inside Drupal  Views Send (http://drupal.org/project/views_send) with Views Bulk Operations (http://drupal.org/project/views_bulk_operations)  Email Newsletters (http://drupal.org/project/enewsletter)
  • 56. Views Send Create a view and add at least one column containing e-mail addresses Create a ‘Page’ display and set the Style to ‘Bulk Operations’ Select the ‘Send mass mail (views_send_mail_action)’ operation You can use exposed lters Messages are sent on cron runs
  • 57. Views Send Basic settings at admin/settings/views_send
  • 58. Views Send Example view:
  • 59. Views Send Leads to:
  • 60. Email newsletters Still in beta Many features:  Multiple email newsletters  set up as many as you need  Plain text or HTML email  Subscriber chooses which to receive  Default can be set to either format  Multiple schedules  Each newsletter can have more than one schedule, e.g. Daily, Monthly, Quarterly...
  • 61. Email newsletters Many features:  Include site content  Restrict to content types (con gured accross all newsletters)  Filter by category terms (con gurable on each newsletter)  Include all new content if no terms are set for a newsletter (option)  Subscriber content control  Subscriber can select which of the newsletters terms they receive content from  Manual or scheduled send out  Send manually (Send Now button), or send every (x) hours, (x) days, or (x) months  Bounced email handling  (in development)
  • 62. Email newsletters Many features:  Personalization  Pro le info can be added into email  Token integration  Templates  Templates can use Drupal input formats, e.g. use PHP to create a conditional plain text email  Include teaser or full content  Include content/teaser in newsletter based on length  Email link authentication  Read more links, and account control links, allow users to access the site (based on their role) and their email subscription settings, but without accessing their full site account.
  • 63. Email newsletters And many dependencies:  Access Permission Grouping (http://drupal.org/project/access_perm_group)  Deliver (http://drupal.org/project/deliver)  Bounced Email (http://drupal.org/project/bounced_email)  HTML To Text (http://drupal.org/project/html2txt)  Identity Hash (http://drupal.org/project/identity_hash)  Publication (http://drupal.org/project/publication)  Schedule (http://drupal.org/project/schedule)  Subscribed (http://drupal.org/project/subscribed)  Templates (http://drupal.org/project/templates)
  • 64. Alternatives to Simplenews Outside Drupal  How to include content from Drupal  From an XML feed  Copy/paste from the appropriate view  MailChimp (http://drupal.org/project/mailchimp) (http://www.mailchimp.com)  Account directed to one speci c client or company  Campaign Monitor (http://drupal.org/project/campaignmonitor) (http://www.campaignmonitor.com/)  Account directed to one company with multiple clients
  • 65. MailChimp Set up a MailChimp account Create mailing lists in MailChimp  Each list will have a block in Drupal
  • 66. MailChimp Alter the subscription forms  The elds from MailChimp will be shown in the block
  • 67. MailChimp Alter the subscription forms  The elds from MailChimp will be shown in the block
  • 68. MailChimp Con gure MailChimp at admin/settings/mailchimp
  • 69. MailChimp
  • 70. MailChimp
  • 71. MailChimp Send out e-mail campaigns from the MailChimp website
  • 72. MailChimp Follow up the reports
  • 73. Campaign Monitor Set up a Campaign Monitor account Create a client Create a mailing list
  • 74. Campaign Monitor Fill in the API key, client ID and list ID at admin/settings/ campaignmonitor
  • 75. Campaign Monitor Create and send or resend an e-mail campaign
  • 76. Campaign Monitor Follow up the reports
  • 77. Interesting links Incomplete guide on d.o (http://drupal.org/node/369754) Simplenews theming and code snippet for an alternate subscription block (http://drupal.org/node/369757) Simplenews theming (http://drupal.org/node/268404)