HerculesPostman Mass Mailing List Plugin

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HerculesPostman is an effective and extremely easy to use mailing list manager designed to send advanced designed mail for as many users as your server can handle.

HerculesPostman was designed with marketing members in mind. We all know in the end they will be using it, hence true focus was put on its usability and objectives.

When your company requires Mass Mail services to contact clients, you will quickly learn that many systems is either very expensive or quite mediocre. Or you might find that they are overly complex and not quite what you require. I experienced this too and decided to do my own that fill my needs and that is easy enough to be used by admin people. Hercules is the result of a well thought through simple, yet very powerful mass mailing solution.

Hercules is full LGPL open source, meaning you can do with it what you like, including redistributing it. Please support us, if you find this application useful, consider making a donation here.

!You can download Hercules here!
Thank you for your support!

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Features

  • Runs on PHPDevShell and its users.
  • Unlimited users or emails.
  • Send email per group.
  • Support most email server types.
  • Support for any email template.
  • Attachments and inline images.
  • Auto resize and image insert.
  • PDF to Image conversions and auto insert.
  • Embedded images.
  • Mailing list queue with status reports.
  • Adjust From and Reply address.
  • Full Wysiwyg editor.
  • Easy upload for body design images.
  • HTML/Text Emails.
  • Programmable delivery date.
  • Unsubscribe and Browser View for mail being send out.

Requirements

For Hercules to run successfully you will need a running version of the latest PHPDevShell and you should be able to send out a test email from the General Settings gui screen.

For mass mail (hundreds of users) you will need to have cron activated on PHPDevShell to run every three minutes.

Note that Hercules was only tested on Linux. Windows servers might not have the required components to make Hercules run without problems. You are welcome to try it though :)
For auto PDF to Image conversion you will need the "convert" command on your server with "exec" permission.

Installation

Installing Hercules should be relatively easy. Once you have a running PHPDevShell, it should be very easy following these steps;

  • Extract your copy of HerculesPostman, it should be in this named format too.
  • Copy the whole folder over to your PHPDevShell installation under folder name "plugins".
  • Open PHPDevShell and go to System Management->System Admin->Plugins Admin.
  • Look for the HerculesPostman Plugin and click on the Install (You will see a list of green text being executed).
  • Hercules should now be installed, to fine tune the mailing process performance, go to System Management->System Admin->Config Manager. In the search box, type in "hercules". You will now see a list of settings related to Hercules. Increasing numbers will make Hercules send out more mail per batch, but will be much harder on the system if increased significantly.
  • To make Hercules run at its optimal best, make sure you setup PHPDevShells cron as per the install instructions and then find your way to System Management->Cronjob Admin->Cronjob Manager and edit "Mail Process":
    • Execute Cronjob: Repeat Indefinitely
    • Minute(s): 3
    • Log Cronjob Action: Yes
  • Hit save, your cronjob is now set and you are ready to start sending mail.

Usage

Hercules is very easy to use and there are tooltips for all fields. To get yourself started we included 3 basic templates and a default structure id a new mail is being created.

Mail Manager

The first screen called Mail Manager is where you will create mail. This easy to use screen has but 2 mandatory fields, the subject and to what groups you will send the mail too.

Hercules uses users from the PHPDevShell user table to send mail too. They can be either imported or created. They must also belong to some group before they can be send to users.
After entering a subject and choosing your groups, save draft and more tabs will become available.

Under the tab Mail Information, you can also set other information related to the mail. The Body tab contains the mails template or body. Once you obtained a standard body that you are happy with this will seldom need to be touched. Images uploaded under the Body tab is only meant to style the body with. You have a set of tags to use inside your mail to generate mail uniquely for each user.

You can use the body editor to create or use any email template you wish by copying in the source code and uploading images and setting the correct tags.

  • Add [TITLE] tag to HTML body for title name value.
  • Add [LANG] tag to HTML body for system lang value.
  • Add [CHARSET] tag to HTML body for system charset value.
  • Add [URL] tag to HTML body for servers absolute url.
  • Add [DATE] tag to HTML body for sent time date.
  • Add [IMAGES] tag to HTML body for auto image integration.
  • Add [BROWSER]Text[/BROWSER] tag to HTML body for auto view In browser link.
  • Add [UNSUBSCRIBE]Text[/UNSUBSCRIBE] tag to HTML body for auto unsubscribe link.

To focus on some tags like the [IMAGES]. You will be happy to know that when inserting a [IMAGES] tag gives you the capability to simply upload images without further intervention. If you click on the Inline Images tab, selecting the Inline options and uploading an image. These images will now automatically replace the [IMAGES] tag.

Attachments tab is used to physically attach files to mail. Be careful though this and embedded images is very bandwidth intensive and could kill your bandwidth. It differs from inline images as users can download images only if they wish making mail very small in size.

Mail Manager Submit Functions

Save Draft

Will save the mail as it is (edit from Mail Queue), nothing will be send out. When editing a mail that was already queued to be send out, saving it as draft again cancels the sending action and deletes the queue for this mail.

Send Preview

Will save mail as draft and send out a preview to yourself and whomever is listed in the Preview CC field. This is to make your your mail is ok for final sending.

Auto Deliver

This important button is the final action for delivering your mail. This will tell the cron system it is ready to be taken care of. When this action is executed the whole cron process will start and your mail will be delivered in chunks.

Send Manually

Not often recommended, however, if you only have a few hundred mails to send, you can use this for immediate delivery. Though... when you have thousands, use the Auto delivery system instead.

The other options is self explanatory.

Mail Queue

The Mail Queue is current status of mail and how the processing is going. Unser the status column you will not three numbers. They represent the status of the mail being send. The first number is successful mail being send, the second is mail being sent with errors and the third is how many mail there is too send.

Hercules uses a rather complex process to make sure all mail is queued and send, this is done in cycles, the first few cycles is only to queue the mail. So be patient if your mail is not delivered immediately.

Reuse: Hercules has a nifty reuse button that allows you to resend mail based on other mails or templates.
Mail Processing

The Mail Processing screen is current mail that is queued for delivery soon. You can clear this table to stop processing immediately.

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Support

Downloads



Comments

amabelmathews89 (not verified)
Wed, 08/28/2013 - 19:30

When your company requires Mass Mail services to contact clients, you will quickly learn that many systems is either very expensive or quite mediocre. Or you might find that they are overly complex and not quite what you require. I experienced this too and decided to do my own that fill my needs and that is easy enough to be used by admin people. Hercules is the result of a well thought through simple, yet very powerful mass mailing solution.

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