Newsletter

Time to read: 15 minutes


Introduction

The newsletter module allows PepperShop administrators to inform their customers about news and actions with professionally created newsletters.

This module is optionally available for the PepperShop and must be purchased separately.

Application

Division of labour

The PepperShop newsletter module consists of two components:

  • Shop extension for administration and import/export of newsletter data
  • Application for creating and sending newsletters (Supermailer or Newsletter2Go)

By this division we use the best of both worlds:

  1. The PepperShop manages the customer database online and all shop customers can make changes via their customer account at any time. An import/export mechanism ensures data flow. The administration also allows the most important changes online.
  2. The Windows program Supermailer is not subject to any runtime limitation (no expiration of the license) and offers a modern GUI incl. Spamchecker, HTML mail support, etc.
  3. Newsletter2Go is a browser-based application and does not require any local installation.

Double Opt-In

The Double Opt-In procedure is used in the newsletter module. For a recipient to be definitively added to the newsletter mailing list, he or she must enter a personal confirmation link in the web browser. This will be communicated to him in an e-mail after registration.

Send reminder mails

This is done in the shop administration in the menu Marketing > Newsletter:

Figure 1: Newsletter administration mask

Newsletter recipients who have subscribed to the newsletter but have not yet visited the confirmation link can be sent a reminder e-mail. This will ask the recipient to visit the confirmation link for definitive activation. A subscription link will also be sent if the recipient explicitly wishes to unsubscribe from the newsletter. The number of days that must have elapsed at least since the newsletter entry can be set in the Settings / Export Link in the Reminder to field.

Newsletter categories

In the menu Marketing > Newsletter > Newsletter administration different categories can be provided since the Shopversion 4.0. With the help of these features, customers can be addressed more specifically.

Already when the customer subscribes to the newsletter, he can choose on which topics he would like to receive a newsletter.

In the newsletter administration, the customer can also be manually assigned to other categories.

Manually register newsletter recipients

Also from version 4.0 a new newsletter recipient can be entered manually in the newsletter menu with the button New recipient. The category affiliation can already be defined here.

Delete inactive entries

All newsletters that have not visited the activation link will be deleted from the database. The number of days that must have elapsed at least since the entry in the newsletter can be set in the Settings / Export Link in the Delete after field.

Edit settings

Export username/password:

  1. Shop Administration > Newsletter > Settings/Export Link
  2. export user name: enter any user name
  3. export password: enter any password (see screenshot)
  4. save

To ensure that the list of newsletter recipients cannot be downloaded by everyone, the recipient export is provided with user name and password protection. The default username and password must be changed to allow export! After changing the username and password, the complete download link is displayed above the Save button for copying.

Remember me after
Number of days to wait before sending a reminder email. Newsletter recipients who have subscribed to the newsletter but have not yet visited the confirmation link can be sent a reminder e-mail. This will ask the recipient to visit the confirmation link for definitive activation. A subscription link will also be sent if the recipient explicitly wishes to unsubscribe from the newsletter. The newsletter system remembers which recipients have already been sent a reminder e-mail so that no recipient receives more than one reminder e-mail.

Delete after.
Number of days until a recipient who has not visited the activation link is removed from the database again.

Export call

The link to retrieve newsletter recipients for external applications is displayed in the Settings / Export Link menu as soon as the default password and username have been replaced by individual details.

Structure export link: http://example.com/shop/connect/newsl_export.php?user=USERNAME&pass=PASSWORD

Optional parameters:
Certain restrictions can be made using optional parameters. Thus it is possible for the multilingual dispatch of newsletters to download the recipients of individual languages in a separate export. Restrictive criteria can be expanded in a comma-separated list. The opionalen parameters are simply copied behind the regular link.

Restrict customer languages: &lang=en,de
Restrict newsletter categories: &kat_id=1,2,3,4

The 30 latest receivers

Display of the 30 most recent receiver entries. This page is displayed when you call the newsletter administration via the shop administration.

Import recipient

Any number of newsletter recipients can be imported using a CSV file. If a customer record exists for an imported e-mail address, the link to the corresponding customer is created automatically. The imported recipients are directly activated for reception.

When displaying or exporting the newsletter data you will see the column customer/is customer (yes/no). Yes means that this newsletter entry is a customer in the shop.

Registration by form (example competition)

Creation form

From the Own Content > Edit Content menu, select the page you want to edit. Then insert the code in the grey box in chapter 4.2 into the editor. This is then automatically transformed into the desired table.

In the toolbar you will find the symbol < >. This allows you to view and edit the originally inserted source code.

Example form

HTML code

<form
  action="{pps_webroot}shop/newsl.php"
  method="post"
  name="Wettbewerbs-Formular"
>
  <table>
    <tr>
      <td>Anrede:*</td>
      <td>
        <select name="anrede" id="anrede" class="check">
          <option value="bitte auswählen" selected="selected"
            >bitte auswählen...</option
          >
          <option value="Herr">Herr</option>
          <option value="Frau">Frau</option>
        </select>
      </td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
      <td>Vorname:*</td>
      <td>
        <input
          type="text"
          name="vorname"
          size="40"
          maxlength="120"
          value=""
          id="vorname"
        />
      </td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
      <td>Nachname:*</td>
      <td>
        <input
          type="text"
          name="nachname"
          size="40"
          maxlength="120"
          value=""
          id="nachname"
        />
      </td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
      <td>E-Mail:*</td>
      <td>
        <input
          type="text"
          name="email"
          size="40"
          maxlength="120"
          value=""
          id="email"
        />
      </td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
      <td>Antwort:*</td>
      <td>
        <input
          type="text"
          name="Wettbewerbs-Antwort"
          size="40"
          maxlength="120"
          value=""
        />
      </td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
      <td>&nbsp;</td>
      <td>
        <input type="hidden" name="a" value="sub" />
        <input type="hidden" name="kat_id" value="2" />
        <input
          id="submit_button"
          type="image"
          src="{pps_webroot}language/de/Buttons/bt_speichern.gif"
          alt="Am Wettbewerb teilnehmen"
          title="Am Wettbewerb teilnehmen"
          style="border:0px;"
        />
      </td>
    </tr>
  </table>

  <input type="hidden" name="source" value="wettbewerb" />
</form>

Adjustments

Open the file {shop_directory}/shop/language/en/localtext.inc.php and change the variable newsletter_additional_field1 to competition_response (in this example, probably another term for you), see the following line:

<input
  type="text"
  name="Wettbewerbs-Antwort"
  size="40"
  maxlength="120"
  value=""
/>

In addition, the value for the category ID must match. In the newsletter category management the ID is visible, line:

<input type="hidden" name="kat_id" value="2" />

With source you indicate where this newsletter registration came from:

<input type="hidden" name="source" value="wettbewerb" />

Query the entries

Enter the export user name and password and save your entries. The Export call line then appears. This link opens a new page with all registered subscribers. If required, the text can be copied, pasted into Excel and sorted there.

The actual newsletter dispatch takes place either with the program Supermailer, CleverReach or Newsletter2Go. The configuration of the various newsletter tools will be explained to you step by step in the following.

Settings Newsletter2Go

Newsletter2Go is a web-based solution and can be started from your browser (Firefox, Chrome, Safari,…) without a local installation. If you send less than 1’000 emails per month, Newsletter2Go is free. You can register directly via the following link: Newsletter2Go.

The use of the Newsletter2Go connection requires at least version 5.0.46. For the connection to the PepperShop you have to read out the API-Key at Newsletter2Go. You can do this in your Newsletter2Go Customer Center by clicking on Account → API*:

Module installation

If you have created a Newsletter2Go account and generated the API key, you can go to the PepperShop in the module administration under: Modules → not yet installed modules select the Newsletter2Go module and confirm the installation with Install.

After the installation you should receive the following confirmation window, which you can leave again with Back to module administration.

Module configuration

Then click on Newsletter2Go in the window of the installed modules and then on Use.

To enable synchronization between PepperShop and Newsletter2Go, you have to enter the following data in the module mask:

  • Activation: Activation of this module.
  • API Key: Your Newsletter2Go API key required for synchronization with your Newsletter2Go account. Enter the API key here.
  • Username: Username es Newsletter2Go-Accounts
  • Password: Also for the Newsletter2Go account

After the configuration of the Newsletter2Go module you can synchronize the receivers via the register Synchronization and the button Synchronize receivers.

Afterwards you should receive the following confirmation window, after which you can begin with the newsletter production in the Newsletter2Go:

Settings Supermailer

Supermailer is compatible with Windows PCs and must be downloaded and installed:

Download Supermailer

Enter the license key in the Supermailer

When you start the program for the first time, please enter the key in the Enter unlock code dialog. To open this dialog, proceed as follows:

  1. Start SuperMailer, the SuperMailer Shareware Note window will appear.
  2. Hold down the Ctrl and Alt keys and left-click the Supermailer icon in the upper left corner of the displayed window.

Activate recipient list export in webshop

Supermailer can obtain the current list of newsletter recipients directly from the web shop. For this to be possible, a user name and password must be defined once in the newsletter system.

Once the username and password have been saved, the shop will display the export call link in the following format:

http://www.example.com/shop/connect/newsl_export.php?user=youruser&password=yourpassword

You must enter this link in the Supermailer to retrieve the addresses (One line, without line break).

Import recipient list from webshop

After the recipient list export has been activated in the webshop, the export call link can be entered in the Supermailer as follows:

  1. recipient of the email > import > from the internet
  2. enter the export call link (copy from the shop)
  3. select Semicolon delimiter
  4. click Import now.

You only need to enter the export call link the first time you import the recipient list.

If you import the recipients directly from a .csv file, make sure that the character set is set to Unicode (UTF-8), otherwise umlauts will be displayed incorrectly. When you open the file, a box appears with the selection option, change there and save the document.

Configuration settings in Supermailer

The following initial settings must be made once. Don’t forget to save your “project” in the Supermailer after you have made the settings.

Settings for sending e-mails

  1. project > Settings for sending e-mails
  2. e-mail addresses: Enter your e-mail data
  3. e-mail dispatch
  4. send (x) via SMTP server of e-mail provider
  5. outgoing mail server (SMTP): Same server name as you entered it in your e-mail program (Outlook, Thunderbird,..).
  6. authentication at the SMTP server necessary
  7. username/password: same information as you entered in your e-mail program (Outlook, Thunderbird, ..).

File upload for images and attachments

The pictures embedded in the newsletter should not be sent as content of the newsletter! Supermailer offers a very comfortable functionality, which allows to upload all pictures embedded in the newsletter via FTP to the server before sending the newsletter. Instead of the pictures, only references (links) to the pictures, which are on the server, are supplied in the newsletter. The only thing you need to do on the web server is to create a new directory where Supermailer can upload the newsletter images.

  1. project > file upload
  2. transfer local images to the Internet before sending them by e-mail
  3. upload via FTP
  4. Enter the FTP server, user name and password as specified by your provider.
    (if you are a Glarotech hosting customer, please refer to the info PDF in the section “Server data (FTP access/control panel)” and “FTP access (for homepage upload), which you received after setting up your hosting).
  5. FTP directory: directory that you created for uploading the images. If you have specified a user name, password and FTP server, you can click on the button next to the input field and select the directory directly on the server.

Save project

After you have made the initial settings, you must save the project in the Supermailer (file → Save project). The settings are saved for the project. This allows you, for example, to use the Supermailer for several shops.

Create and send newsletter

All initial settings must have been made beforehand!

  1. open newsletter project, if it was not loaded automatically when Supermailer started: File’ > ‘Open project
  2. afterwards the current recipient list must be imported from the shop. This step is very important, because otherwise possible recipients will be contacted who have unsubscribed from the newsletter since the last mailing!
    Receiver of the e-mail → Import → from the Internet → Import now
  3. create e-mail text: Text of the e-mail
  4. enter the complete newsletter text for the HTML version and insert images. You can use the Insert field menu item to insert placeholders for salutation, first name, last name, e-mail and the unsubscribe link. These placeholders are filled with the values of the respective recipient when the newsletter is sent.
  5. Since the Supermailer itself also uses a unsubscribe link function, right-click on the column to change the field name from subscribe link to subscribe link shop. (This step can be omitted from PepperShop version 3.0)
  6. don’t forget to add the unsubscribe link (field: unsubscribe link shop) to the newsletter. If this is missing, the recipients cannot unsubscribe from your newsletter and in the worst case you will be reported as a spam sender!
  7. click on e-mail in text format and check whether the text version of the e-mail was created correctly

Send newsletter:

  1. click Send e-mails now.
  2. if all information is complete and correct, you will now see ‘Send test e-mail’. You can use it to have a test newsletter sent to a single address.
  3. Send now triggers the newsletter dispatch.

CleverReach

CleverReach is a cloud-based email marketing software that helps you to create, send and analyze your email marketing campaigns. Newsletters can take on a uniform look via ready-made or own templates and fit into your corporate design. Create new content in minutes with Drag & Drop Editor.

To synchronize the recipients between PepperShop and CleverReach, a separate module is available which compares registrations and cancellations via the CleverReach interface. In addition, sales are exported to CleverReach to give you the opportunity to tailor newsletters to the buying interests of your customers and thus increase the attractiveness of your campaigns.

Join CleverReach now!

Module installation

System requirements

To use the CleverReach module you need PepperShop v.5.0 Professional or Enterprise from Build 35, as well as the Newsletter module.

Copy files

All files of the module must be copied to the shop/Admin/module/cleverreach directory or already exist there.

Installation

Install the module via the module administration and activate it in the configuration.

Configuration

After successful installation you will see the following fields in the module settings:

  • Activation
    Activation of the CleverReach module
  • Customer number.
    The customer number assigned to you by CleverReach.
  • Username
    Your CleverReach username
  • Password
    Your CleverReach Password
  • API token
    The API token is filled in automatically as soon as you click Save and the module has successfully registered with CleverReach.

Group assignment

After the settings have been set correctly, the module fetches the CleverReach groups and another tab appears. Here you can assign the newsletter categories in the PepperShop to the newsletter groups in the CleverReach. If you only have one receiver category, only a selection with Standard, which is the standard category in the PepperShop, will appear. Click Save again to proceed to the next step.

Synchronization

From this point on, everything is ready for the first synchronization. You can do this by clicking on “Synchronize with…”. Depending on the number of newsletter recipients, this can take up to several hours. During synchronization, the progress is continuously displayed. Please do not close the browser window until the synchronization has been completed.

Synchronization by cronjob

If you have the option of setting up a cronjob, you can have the synchronization executed using a cronjob. For this the filecli_sync.php must be executable. On unix-based systems, you can adjust the rights as follows:

chmod o+x shop/Admin/module/cleverreach/cli_sync.php

The following setting executes the cron job once a day at 1 o’clock at night. Since the synchronization is relatively complex, you should perform the cronjob as rarely as possible. If your newsletter is always sent on the 1st of the month, it is sufficient to synchronize only once a month before sending.

Cronjob settings

minute hour day month day of the week
0 1 * * *

Path: {Shop-Root}shop/Admin/module/cleverreach/cli_sync.php -category={Category-ID} >/dev/null 2>&1

Installation

System requirements

To be able to use the newsletter module, a PepperShop v.5.0 Professional or Enterprise is required. The installation is carried out by Glarotech for hosting customers.

Copy and upload files

The module essentially consists of a Windows program and five shop files, which you have to copy into your installed PepperShop. First unzip the included ZIP archive. The following module files are contained, shown here with the target directories:

{shopdir}/shop/newsl.php
{shopdir}/shop/newsletter.def.php
{shopdir}/shop/connect/newsl_export.php
{shopdir}/shop/Admin/shop_newsletter.php
{shopdir}/shop/language/html_templates/newsletter.tpl.html

The files can be easily uploaded via FTP or SCP to the web server. The placeholder {shopdir} stands for the shop directory on the web server, where the file index.php is to be found together with the file README.txt.

When PHP runs on a UNIX system as a web server module:

chmod 666 newsletter.tpl.html

Now the module is recognized and integrated by the shop. It is listed in the Shop Settings > Shop Configuration menu at the bottom of the internal module info.

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