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newsletter manager


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Is anyone aware if there is a easy and quick way to send a "test" email out to just me for a new newsletter I am creating (rather than all my subscribers) to check the format,layout, etc I know their is a preview option, but it seems the preview is not exactly displayed in the same format as how it is displayed when emailed to subscribers.

Thanks, Gary

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Personally I do not use the built in oscommerce newsletter system. It is too hard to use and there are better options available such as mailchimp. Using the inbuilt one will restrict the number of emails that you can send based on the number your hosts have set as a maximum number of emails allowed. You could also get your site listed as spam if too many customers complain.


There are mods that allow you to export the required customer details to allow them to be imported to mailchimp, or what ever you choose. There are even paid for addons that will link the customer sign up form to add details directly to mailchimp. Mailchipmp is free to use as long as the number of recipients is less than 2000 i think it is, and its not that hard to learn.


Back to your question. Could you not try sending the code you enter as a newsletter into the email space and choose you as a customer to send it to. Its just an idea. May be there will be someone along later who actually uses the system you may have an idea.


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PHPlist is another good mass mailer. Your host's limit on emails per minute, hour, or day is independent of which mailer you use (assuming you're not handing it off to a third-party service), but some (like PHPlist) are easier to configure for rate limits. It comes down to the convenience of some secondary function bolted on to your store, versus better features for a tool designed from the ground up to do one thing (mass emails) and do it well. An external mailer will need some information from the store's database, at a minimum the customer list (usually exported table in CSV format). You may also be able to use additional information such as customer name (to personalize emails), their purchase history (remind them to visit if they haven't been by for a while), new products, etc.


Regarding being tagged as a spammer, you can minimize the risk by 1) getting explicit opt-in from customers, even if the law allows you to email them sales material, 2) making it easy to unsubscribe from the mailings, 3) reminding them at the top of each email that they gave permission to be mailed, and how to unsubscribe, 4) taking it easy and not flooding their in-box with every little thought that crosses your mind, and 5) keeping send rates reasonable so that you don't flood receiving email systems.


"mailPimp"? I like that for some reason!

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Hi  - on a standard osC you can only send a newsletter to all subscribers (i.e. no test). I've installed a fair few add ons over the years to change that for folks but, nowadays, go with mailPimp ;-)


Seriously - get one of the mailChimp addons installed and you'll not regret it (before you do have a look at the Mail Chimp site and try your hand - it is easy, makes decent HTML emails that look GOOD on a tablet/phone) and, even in free mode, it's very powerful.

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You can install my add-on  'Mail Manager'  and you will be able to send test emails to yourself, and this add-on will throttle the speed of emails sent so you can send large mailings thru shared webhost sites. That said, I no longer use  my own add-on and have switched to using MailChimp. WIthout knowing a lick of html you can relatively easily create professional looking responsive emails, and send out large mailings in a few minutes.  - Even if you know a lot of html, it is still tedious and whole new learning curve to learn how to code responsive html emails on your own for use in Mail Manager or the OSCommerce Newsletter .


WIth MailChimp you can also track all kinds of info related to your mailing as well.


If you have a list you haven't cleaned or updated your list in while you will want to run it through a bulk mail validator, (example: www dot briteverify dot com)  which will weed out the bad emails addresses first, as MailChimp, (and probably as well competing services like Constant Contact),  will not let you import a list with a high percentage of invalid email addresses.

Oscommerce site:



OSC to CSS, http://addons.oscommerce.com/info/7263 -Mail Manager, http://addons.oscommerce.com/info/8120

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