Email newsletter software wanted, web-based
December 15, 2003 8:22 AM   Subscribe

What's a good free web-based software package for maintaining an email newsletter? [more]

I'm helping out someone who wants to set up an email newsletter on their web site. It will be a low volume of subscribers—maybe the low hundreds, at maximum. I'm looking for scripts that meet the following requirements:
  • free (beerwise)
  • PHP- or Perl-based
  • uses sendmail to send mail
  • preferably, can use MySQL for data storage
  • doesn't require root access to install (this seems to eliminate Majordomo, for instance)
  • automated double opt-in
  • user interface for subscribing, confirming, and unsubscribing that's easy to integrate with site's look and feel
  • web-based admin interface
  • easily configured and maintained by a non-coder (I am a coder, but I won't be the one maintaining it)
I've come across Jax Newsletter, Dada Mail, MyMail, and PHPMailList, among others, and I'm looking for recommendations and firsthand experiences (pro or con) regarding these or any other scripts. Also, any other important features I should be looking for? Known security vulnerabilities?
posted by staggernation to Computers & Internet (10 answers total)
PHPList is excellent, and I believe it to be fairly widely used.
posted by oissubke at 8:55 AM on December 15, 2003

I use ListMessenger and it works very well. They have a free (0.9.4) and a pay (1.0) version. Very well done.
posted by fletchmuy at 9:58 AM on December 15, 2003

I wouldn't worry about software, and instead use Andrew from Diaryland's bulletproof service NotifyList.

He's been running it completely for free for the past couple years without nary a hiccup. It can handle subscribers into the hundreds and messages carry no ads.
posted by mathowie at 10:23 AM on December 15, 2003

Dada Mail.
posted by gramcracker at 11:14 AM on December 15, 2003

I've used ExactTarget and it's great, though it will cost you $.

NotifyList looks great -- why/how is it free? Me no understand.
posted by _sirmissalot_ at 11:22 AM on December 15, 2003

I second dadamail. It was recently called mojomail but had to switch names. We use it for a 1400 name list with minimal fuss.
posted by machaus at 11:33 AM on December 15, 2003

Response by poster: NotifyList does look great. However, it appears it's only intended for noncommercial use. This is for a startup web design shop. While the newsletters might not carry advertising per se, they are offering services for sale, so I suspect it wouldn't be permitted under NotifyList's ToS.

I'll definitely keep it in mind for other purposes, though. Thanks.
posted by staggernation at 11:52 AM on December 15, 2003

I've been using GNU Mailman, which seems to meet most of your requirements although most of it is Python. It doesn't require root per se, but it does require that you have a way to tell your MTA about its aliases. Depending on how the host is configured that could spike Mailman as an option.
posted by majick at 1:11 PM on December 15, 2003

I'm really unfond of mailman for announcement lists, especially when catering to an audience that is not technical. Most have trouble with its password mechanism for unsubscribing.
posted by machaus at 1:30 PM on December 15, 2003

i love notifylist, but i wouldn't use it for a client. while it's generally reliable, there are occasional hiccups and backlogs in the queue - which is totally fine for me for personal projects and amazing as a free service, but for a client i'd want to be able to pay for maximum uptime.
posted by judith at 3:33 PM on December 15, 2003

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