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What I would like to have is a channel entry that will be a monthly newsletter that can be updated each month and then available on the site to view. But that can also be used as the content for sending out to a small mailing list using the communicate module managed within the EE control panel.

In the perfect world I'd like it to be converted to use inline css to reduce problems with some email clients. When I do it manually I use the Mailchimp inliner tool but that's getting complicated for non-techie users.

The Chimper addon by Dukt would probably be perfect and be better for larger mailing lists but the project has been on hold for a long time now.

Any ideas for a simple easy to use solution?

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  • Do you want to sent email using the same template each month? One idea would be to create a Newsletters channel and publish a new entry each month. When the entry is submitted it would post to the site and create a new campaign to your subscriber list using the same template - so just the data changes from month-to-month. – Justin Kimbrell Dec 7 '12 at 17:24
  • Yes, that's the sort of thing I'm looking for. Which I'm guessing Postmaster would do? I looked at it but it seemed much more powerful than I needed. – Paul Frost Dec 7 '12 at 21:01
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Postmaster can definitely do this provided you use a mailing service, and not using the built-in communication module. You could however write an email service for Postmaster that reused your mailing list vs. deferring to MailChimp or something.

I advocate using MailChimp or CampaignMonitor over another services because sending email is otherwise unreliable. You will find that people simple don't receive some messages, even though the server sent them. PHP doesn't do email very well by default, so it's best to use one of these services. And to use these services with small amounts of email won't cost any money anyway.

Postmaster can handle all your template and allow you to use channel entries to create new campaigns. You can use whatever fieldtypes you desired, so the data entry portion is really great since clients are already use to it. The real challenge in my mind will be how to reuse the native mailing list module. Other users have requested support for it, but to honest, I can't even figure out how it works (and it's not very good anyway). If you decide to go with an email service, Postmaster includes all the tags needed for signup.

While Postmaster may seem like overkill, the template parsing isn't an easy task. All the options and configuration are really what make Postmaster as good as it is. For instance, you could setup Postmaster to send "draft" campaigns when an "open" (default) status, but only send to the real subscriber list with a "Publish" status. The possibilities are endless.

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  • If I use MailChimp I'm not sure how much extra Postmaster gives me for a simple once a month newsletter. I can create the template there and users can use the WYSIWYG editor in MailChimp. I'm just struggling to justify the $50, as I'd probably want to add this to several sites, but they are all small sports clubs and mostly managed as a volunteer. – Paul Frost Dec 7 '12 at 23:16
  • I'll have a closer read of your documentation to see if I'm missing something. Apologies if I sound mean, but with the recent increase in EE license fee the cost of setting up a new club website is getting to be a significant amount of money. – Paul Frost Dec 7 '12 at 23:22
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    No worries, if it's outside your budget that's ok. Postmaster's price has to do with the underlying API's and feature roadmap. v1.2 is due out for release shortly and pretty much doubles the feature set. It's under very active development, and is a premium product. It does a ton of stuff, but if you only need 1 thing it may not be worth it to you. Email support[at]objectivehtml.com if you have any specific questions about it. – Justin Kimbrell Dec 8 '12 at 23:24

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