Direct Mail Tutorial

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Direct Mail Tutorial

Extension Key: direct_mail_tut

Copyright 2000-2003, Marlies Cohen, <mc@mcuniverse.com>

This document is published under the Open Content License available from http://www.opencontent.org/opl.shtml

The content of this document is related to TYPO3 – a GNU/GPL CMS/Framework available from www.typo3.com

Table of Contents

Direct Mail Tutorial...1

Introduction...2

What does it do?...2

Installing Direct Mail Module...3

Mail User Administration...3

Administration Typo3 Template...4

Direct Mail Module...6

Direct Mail Typo3 Template...8

Editing Direct Mail Module...9

Using Direct Mail - Step by Step Instructions...10

Accessing Direct Mail Plugin...10

Module Configuration...11

Recipient List...12

Recipient List Types...14

Newsletter...17

Selecting an Existing Newsletter ...18

Create DirectMail...19

Mass-send...21

Send Direct Mail...23

Creating a Newsletter...25

Compiling the Newsletter...25

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Introduction

What does it do?

This tutorial is divided into 3 parts. Move from one page, starting at the top and you will create your own mailing easily.

• Part One - Step by Step

explains how to send newsletters to subscribers. • Part Two - Creating a Newsletter

explains how to put a newsletter together so that subscribers only get the content they subscribed for. • Part Three – Setup

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Installing Direct Mail Module

Mail User Administration

Installing Direct Mail Plugin There are 2 parts to this plugin:

1. An administration page where the users subscribe, and

2. The Direct Mail Module is the engine that generates the mailing. Newsletters are also stored in subfolders of the module. The newsletters are basically a regular page with content and subsequently; a mailing is created based on the newsletter page.

Make sure you have the following extensions installed and active • 'Web->Plugin->Direct Mail'

• 'Address list'

• 'Direct Mail Subscription'

Mail User Administration

On the 'Mail user administration' page users can subscribe to the newsletter. A subscription generates an "Address" record in the "Direct Mail module". The subscriber is able to maintain his account by email-based authentication.

Creating the Mail User Administration Folder

The administration folder is a regular page with page content. 1. Create a new page in the directory tree.

2. Create a new page content like the one in the screen shot below. From Type select 'Insert Plugin'

From Plugin select 'DirectMail subscription'

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Administration Typo3 Template

This is how your Mail User Administration Typo3 Template should look. I went to the Direct Mail Example and copied the template from there.

1. This ID is the for the 'Direct Mail Module' Folder you are using. You can create a new one in your website or use the one from the example outside your website. They both will work.

2. The code here needs to be all on one line. I only split it up to make it visible.

The template file could also be moved to the fileadmin/media/scripts folder and the link will just have to be changed accordingly here.

3. There is no need to make any changes to the Setup field

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Direct Mail Module

In the 'Direct Mail folder' all the subscribers are stored and the newsletters are stored in subfolders. In the "Direct Mail folder" you'll also find a template which determines the design of the newsletters and furthermore there are "Direct Mail records" which represents a 'direct mail campaign' based on a certain newsletter and bound for a certain selection of subscribers.

Installing the 'Direct Mail Module'

1. Create a new folder

2. Go to Edit Header and from the Type drop down menu select 'Sysfolder'. Or

Copy the 'Direct Mail Module' folder from the Direct Mail Example and paste it after the 'Mail User Administration' folder you have just previously created.

If you copied the folder you will not have to make any changes to the folder.

If you created a new folder you can follow the information given under 'Module Configuration' and set it up the way you want it or start of with this information in the Tsconfig field and then make changes later in the 'Module Configuration'.

## CONFIGURATION of the direct mail module: mod.web_modules.dmail {

from_name = John Spam Doe

from_email= john.doe@nothing.test organisation = John Does Testsite replyto_email =

replyto_name =

plainParams = &type=99 HTMLParams =

# UID's of the tt_address records to use for test-sending: test_tt_address_uids = 13,14

# table name of a userdefined table similar to tt_address (same fields) which may be used for distribution also. userTable = enablePlain = 1 enableHTML = 1 http_username = http_password = sendOptions=3 categories { 1 = Food 2 = Books 3 = Sport 4 = Religion } }

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mod.web_dmail.test_dmail_group_uids=1,2 mod.web_modules.dmail.categories.0=Food mod.web_modules.dmail.categories.1=Books mod.web_modules.dmail.categories.2=Sport mod.web_modules.dmail.categories.3=Religion mod.web_modules.dmail.categories.4= mod.web_modules.dmail.sendOptions=3 mod.web_modules.dmail.long_link_mode=0 mod.web_modules.dmail.quick_mail_encoding=0 Note

Make sure that you have selected Direct Mail from the drop down menu in the 'Contains plugin” section.

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Direct Mail Typo3 Template

This is the Typo3 Template that is associated with the Direct Mail Module. Constants and Setup fields are empty.

• Clear: Constants and Setup have checkmarks in the boxes • Rootlevel has no checkmark in the box

• Include Static has template; NEWSLETTER, plugin.alt.plaintext (99) and cSet (default) included (if you include CSet (default) you will have problems with the emails)

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Editing Direct Mail Module

After testing the Direct Mail Module you end up with a whole bunch of sent mail. How do you gain access to those items to delete them? Simple. Select 'List' in the Typo3 column then click on the 'Direct Mail Module' folder and you will see the screen shot below in your workarea.

Apart from the normal 'Page' and 'Template' sections there are now Address, Direct Mails and Direct Mail Groups sections. • Address

Here you see at a glance all the addresses of your subscribers. • Direct Mails

All the mailing you have sent are listed here. • Direct Mail Groups

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Using Direct Mail - Step by Step Instructions

Accessing Direct Mail Plugin

To access the Direct Mail Plugin

1. Click 'Plugins' in the Typo3 column

2. then in the Navigation Column (second colum) click on 'Direct Mail Module'.

You will then see the screen below in the workarea to the right (third column).

From here you can

• access direct mail you have created beforehand • create a direct mail newsletter

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Module Configuration

Here you

Set Default Values for Direct Mails Configure Technichal Options Create Categories

These settings can also be changed in the TScript of the 'Direct Mail Module' Sysfolder in Setup.

SET DEFAULT VALUES FOR DIRECT MAILS:

'From' email

Enter the sender email address. (Required) Example: john.do@nothing.test

'From' name

Enter the sender name. (Required) Example: Your Name

'Reply To' email

Enter the email address to which replys are sent. If none, the 'From' email is used. (Optional)

'Reply To' name

Enter the name of the 'Reply To' email address. If none, the 'From' name is used. (Optional)

'Return Path'

Enter the return path email address here. This is the address to which non-deliverable mails will be returned to. If you put in the marker ###XID### it'll be substituted with the unique id of the mail/recipient.

Organisation name

(Optional)

Example: Company Name

Default Format options

Select the format of the mail content. If in doubt, set it to 'Plain and HTML'. The recipients are normally able to select their preferences anyway.

HTML parameters

Enter the additional URL parameters used to fetch the HTML content. If in doubt, leave it blank.

Plain Text parameters

Enter the additional URL parameters used to fetch the plain text content. If in doubt, set it to '&type=99' which is standard. Use: &type99

Long link RDCT url

If you enter a http://../ url here it should point to the index.php script of typo3 without any query-string. Then the parameter ?RDCT=[md5hash] will be appended and the whole url used as substitute for long urls in plain text mails. This configuration determines how QuickMails are handled and further sets the default setting for DirectMails.

Not only links longer than 76 chars but ALL links

Option for the RDCT-url feature above.

Encoding for quick mails

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Note: I don't know what these mean. If anybody knows, please contact me so that I can explain it.

CONFIGURE TECHNICAL OPTIONS

Allow Plain Text emails

Set this if you want to allow plain text emails to be fetched. If in doubt, check this option. Place a checkmark in this box

Allow HTML emails

Set this if you want to allow HTML emails to be fetched. If in doubt, check this option Place a checkmark in this box

HTTP username

If the mail content is protected by a HTTP authentication, enter the username here. The username and password is used to fetch the mail content. They are NOT sent in the mail!

If you don't enter a username and password and the newsletter pages happens to be protected, an error will occur and no mail content is fetched.

HTTP password

... and enter the password here.

List of UID numbers of test-recipients

Before sending mails you should test the mail content by sending testmails to one or more test recipients. The available recipients for testing are determined by the list of UID numbers, you enter here. So first, find out the UID-numbers of the recipients you wish to use for testing, then enter them here in a comma-separated list.

List of UID numbers of test dmail_groups

Alternatively to sending test-mails to individuals, you can choose to send to a whole group. List the group ids available for this action here:

AVAILABLE CATEGORIES

Category 0 Example: Food Category 1 Example: Books Category 2 Example: Sport Category 3 Example: Religion Category 4 Category 5 Category 6 Category 7 Category 8 Category 9

(You can use categories from 0-30 inclusive. However this interface shows only 10 categories for your convenience.)

Recipient List

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and you will see the screen below

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Recipient List Types

Once you have chosen either to create a new mail group or clicked on the pencil icon next to an existing group you will see the screen below.

Depending on the drop down menu you choose under Type: you create different mail groups. By default it opens to 'From Page' Type.

From Pages Type

The 'From Pages Type' uses address that are found on pages in the website. You select a starting point which in the example is the 'Direct Mail Module' File. The reason I chose this starting point is that all subscription addresses are stored with that file.

To see all the addresses you click on Page in the Typo3 column --> then on Direct Mail Module in the Navigation column --> and in the work area you will see page header and page content information and addresses. For a screen shot go to Editing DMM Content.

1. Title

Give your group a title that is descriptive 2. Description

Fill in the description field

3. Startingpoint

Select the starting point by clicking on the ' Browse for records' button and select the file you want as starting point for collecting your address for this group.

4. Recursive

I haven't quite figured out yet what this does exactly 5. Tables

I haven't quite figured out yet what this does exactly 6. Must Attend Categories

If you create lists with subscribers to specific categories you can set that category here. Now all the people on this list will only get the information destined for that particular category.

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7. Save the group.

Plain List Type

The Plain List Type does exactly what it says. It will send only plain text mail, no HTML. In this type you have to add your addresses manually in the Recipients box.

1. Title

Give your group a title that is descriptive 2. Description

Fill in the description field 3. Recipients

The emails have to be entered in a specific way for the list to work. There are 2 choices: [a] email space comma and then press the enter key for a new line

[b] CSV [name],[email] - I have not been able to get this to work and can't tell you what the format is. 4. Save the group

Static Group Type

In the 'Static Group Type' email addresses have to be manually added to the group. 1. Title

Give your group a title that is descriptive 2. Description

Fill in the description field 3. Recipients

Click on the ' Browse for records' button and select the email from the address options that are given. 4. Save the group

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Newsletter

Selecting Newsletter from the drop down menu will change your screen to the view below

Now you can select a newsletter that you have created previously. You can select the newsletter by either clicking on the yellow file folder or by clicking on the name of the newsletter.

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Selecting an Existing Newsletter

After you have selected an existing newsletter file as the base for your direct mail you will get the screen below.

1. To see how your newsletter looks online in the browser click on ' View Page' 2. To make changes to your newsletter click on ' Edit Page'

Hold on a minute and don't press the create button just yet!

In the bottom half of the workarea is an other area which needs your attention.

5. When people subscribe to your newsletter their are asked which categoies they are interested in by selecting the check box. The reason behind this is that now you can create newsletters with information for all categories, but you only want to send it to subscribers to 'Books' for example. By selecting the 'Books check box your newsletter subscriber will only see the information you created for the 'Books' section.

6. When you're done click on 'Update category setting'. Now you can create your direct mailing

3. When you are satisfied that everything is ok you click on ' Create new direct mail based on this page'.

4. Now you will see the popup window below. As I was testing I kept on creating new direct mails based on the same newsletter and as you can see the program kept track of my attempts.

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Create DirectMail

This is the screen you see after you have pressed ' Create new direct mail based on this page'. The screen shot below shows the top half of the information.

The Subject is the name you have your newsletter in the 'page header'. I haven't really fully customized the information yet as you can see from the screen shot. Click on ' Edit' to customize the information to the current newsletter you are sending. Everything is pretty much self explanatory.

Mail Page is the ID of the newsletter you are sending.

Parameter, Plain text: &type=99 makes the newsletter is ledgeable in plain text. Parameters, HTML is ok to be empty to work.

Below Edit you have again the option to have another look at your newsletter. Clicking the yellow folder or on the file name will take you back to your previous screen.

At the bottom of the work area is now the 'OPTIONS:' Menu.

Your next step is now to compile your Direct Mail and you do that by clicking on 'Fetch and compile maildata (read url) from the drop down menu and you will see the screen below

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Now you press the 'Read URL' button and wait. Don't do anything else on the computer or it will not work. Multitasking is out of the question or you will have to start to read the URL again. And yes, it does take some time (2-3minutes), so get up and do something else.

Once the URL is read you will back to the screen at the top of this page. Note

Once the newsletter is read it stays in the memory until it is sent, even if it is the next day and you have turned off Typo3 and your computer in the meantime.

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Mass-send

After the URL is read, you scroll back down to OPTIONS and there will be 2 more added • Send a testmail and

• Mass-send mail.

Select 'Mass-send mail'

Your screen will change to the one below

This screen gives you 2 choices for sending the mail. 1. 'Select a mail group' to send the mail to

2. 'Send Mail - List of Emails'

Select a Mail Group

1. From the drop down menu select the Mail Group you want to use for this mailing 2. Click on the 'Send to all subscribers in mail group' button.

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4. Click on the Back button and follow the instructions on the next page 'Send Direct Mail'

Send Mail - List of Emails

If you have list of email you want to use for your mailing select this Option.

So that there is no overlap or unwanted emails being sent I created a Recipient list of the Static Group Type, but left the Recipients box empty.

To use this option

1. prepare you mailing as usual, 2. after the URL has been read

3. scroll down to the second option 'Send Mail - List of Emails' and place the emails in the box and 4. hit send button.

With this option the mails are sent immediately, there is no need to start the mailer. engine. Your screen will now look like the one below.

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Send Direct Mail

Now you select from the drop down menu 'Mailer engine status'.

Your screen will change to the one below

1. A newsletter is scheduled to be sent.

2. Start your Mailer engine by clicking on the text 'Invoke Mailer Engine'

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1. The status of the Mailer engine is indicated and a log given of what transpired. - The time it was started

- The name of the newsletter that was sent

- How many copies were sent and which address used (tt_address) - How long it took to send the mail

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Creating a Newsletter

Compiling the Newsletter

I am using the Newsletter #1 that is included in the 'Direct Mail Example' as a reference to explain how to format the newsletters you create so that subscribers only see content for which they subscribed.

This is an overview of the newsletter in 'List Mode'

The sample Newsletter has 9 content sections and is setup to use the 'Normal Column' and the 'Border Column'. See screen shot below.

1st Content Section

This is the greeting and intro section and uses 'Data Fields' to personalize the mailing. You can find the list for the 'Data Fields' under

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Data Fields in Direct Mails

You can insert personalized data in the mails by inserting these markers: ###USER_uid### (the unique id of the recipient)

###USER_name### (full name)

###USER_firstname### (first name calculated) ###USER_title### ###USER_email### ###USER_phone### ###USER_www### ###USER_address### ###USER_company### ###USER_city### ###USER_zip### ###USER_country### ###USER_fax### ###SYS_TABLE_NAME### ###SYS_MAIL_ID### ###SYS_AUTHCODE###

(In addition ###USER_NAME### and ###USER_FIRSTNAME### will insert uppercase versions of the equalents)

2nd Content Section

This section is placed into the 'Border Column' and links to the Sitemap. In the example it is configured like this in header section of the content:

• Type: 'Menu/Sitemap' is selected.

• Menu Type: 'Section index (pagecontent w/Index checked' is selected.

3rd Content Section

This section is also placed into the 'Border Column' uses the 'News Plugin'. In the example it is configured like this in the header section of the content:

• Type: Insert Plugin • Header: [News Splash] • Plugin: News

• Code: LATESTS • Startingpoint: News

Recursive: 2 levels

4th-7th Content Sections

These 4 sections correspond to the 4 categories in the example: Books, Food, Religion and Sport. Create a separate content for each category, don't put them all together into one content section.

8th Content Section

This section links to other pages. In the example it is configured like this in the header section of the content: • Type: Insert Records

• Name: [insert record ..]

• Items: Links, Tables, Filelinks, Email form • Layout: Normal

9th Content Section

The last section links to the Search Page for your site. In the example it is configured like this in the header section of the content:

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• Header: Search for your favorite Stuff • Send to Page: Search

Now that you have created your newsletter you need to match the sections to the categories of your subscribers. Go the the next page.

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Newsletter Categories

You can link the newletter to the categories now or when you are ready to mail the newsletter. Just don't forget to do it. I placed a reminder in the tutorial under Select Newsletter.

Clicking on Plugins --> Direct Mail Module or the name of the Newsletter you just created will open the Newsletter Direct Mail Edit Page.

Here you see all the newsletter(s) that you have created. You can view them from here, edit them, create your mailing based on them and select the categories that go with each content section.

• Leaving all the check boxes blank will automatically include that section for all subscribers.

• Selecting checkboxes to match subscribers category choices will send that page content only to subscribers. • At the bottom of the page is an update button to save your settings.

When you set your categories as you create your newsletter you won't have to worry remembering to set them at the time of your mailing. This way if you create your newsletters in advance or in bits and pieces, by automatically setting the categories you are always up-to-date.

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References

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