Send emails and Newsletters

joomlaExtensionsAcyMailing allows you to send emails and Newsletters to defined contact groups.  This article describes how to get started.

Visit the Joomla extensions site to review AcyMailing and to get the latest version.


Installation

To start the installation install the following:

  1. Visit the AcyMailing website.
  2. Download the version most suited to your needs (for this article I'm using the enterprise version, but the free version also has lots of features).
  3. Install the downloaded extension.

Note that this extension is rather large at over 2MB, and you might get a PHP error as follows:

Error
There was an error uploading this file to the server.
Maximum PHP file upload size is too small: This is set in php.ini in both upload_max_filesize and post_max_size settings of your PHP settings (located in php.ini and/or .htaccess file).
Unable to find install package

In this instance you can either edit your php.ini file, or upload and extract to the /temp directory, and install from there.

 

How Does It Work?

AcyMailing allows you to create Newsletters, based on Templates, to send to Distribution lists of Users, who can subscribe, or unsubscribe from one or more Distribution Lists.  We will look at setting up these fundamental building blocks, before sending our first Newsletter.

 

Lists

Before you start adding new AcyMailing users, it's worth creating a list first, as a list is a logical collection of users.

  1. Go to Components > AcyMailing > Lists.
  2. Click New.
  3. Enter a List Name and Description.
  4. Repeat to add more lists.

 

Users

Users are people who would like to subscribe to one or more of your newsletters.  Users can be Joomla Users or AcyMailing users without a Joomla User account. There are two ways that AcyMailing users can be created, in bulk, or by them visiting your site and subscribing to a newsletter.  To add a list of users:

  1. Go to Components > AcyMailing > Users.
  2. Click Import.
  3. Upload a .csv file, with a name and email column.
  4. Select any Lists that you'd like this group of Users to be subscribed to.

 

HTTPS

If you are using https protocol on the front-end of your website, make this configuration.

  1. Go to Components > AcyMailing > Configuration.
  2. Select Yes for Use https URLs.

 

Distribution Lists

In the Enterprise version, you can create distribution lists, that allow you send an email to a single email address, and AcyMailing turns it into a mailout, based on a List, or a Group etc...

  1. Go to Components > AcyMailing > Lists.
  2. Click Distribution Lists in the left pane.
  3. Enter the following details:
    1. Main Information
      1. Name: Send to members.
    2. Configuration
      1. Server: imap.gmail.com
      2. Username: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
      3. Password: email password
      4. Connection method: IMAP
      5. Secure method:  SSL
      6. Port: 993
    3. Conditions
      1. Here you can (and should) limit who can use this list for mailouts.
    4. Actions (select the options, here is an example)
      1. Forward to a list
      2. Membership
      3. Include the message in Membership emails.
      4. Enable Senders details.

Note that you will typically need to configure the Gmail user account to accept less secure apps.

  1. Log on to the Gmail user account.
  2. Click this link to configure Less Secure Apps.
  3. Click the radio button to Turn on access for less secure apps.

 

Create Cron task

You will now need to create a cron task (I use cPanel for my web hosting)

  1. Go to Components > AcyMailing > Configuration.
  2. Select the Queue Process tab.
  3. Copy the Cron URL (e.g. https://yoursite.com/index.php?option=com_acymailing&ctrl=cron)

Log on to your web hosting and set the task to run every 15 mins.

  1. Go to your cPanel.
  2. Click the Cron Jobs icon.
  3. Select once every 15 minutes for the minutes setting.
  4. Select every hour, day, month, week etc for other settings.
  5. Different hosts will support different cron URLs. I found the following command worked for me.
curl --silent --compressed "http://www.yourwebsite.com/index.php?option=com_acymailing&ctrl=cron" > /dev/null 2>&1

 

Templates

The default templates might cover various situations, here is how to configure them to suit your circumstances.  For this article I'm going to change the free Technology template.

  1. Go to Components > AcyMailing > Templates.
  2. Select the Technology template.
  3. Click Copy.

You now have a template that you can configure to suit your needs.

  1. Select the newly created copy_Technology template.
  2. Click Edit.
  3. Change the Template Name to something meaningful (e.g. My first template).
  4. Select a Category, or create a new one.
  5. Give your template a meaningful Description.
  6. Enter a Subject for your email subject.
  7. Enter the From, and Reply to details.

AcyMailing comes with 4 different free templates.  For 20 euros, There are more templates to choose from. Here is the procedure for installing new templates.

  1. Start by downloading a new template from the AcyMailing website.
  2. Go to Components > AcyMailing > Templates.
  3. Click the Import button.
  4. Browse to your downloaded template.
  5. Click Import to upload and install the new template.

Thanks for visiting.