Workshop: How to use PHPlist

In this workshop I’ll talk you through how to use the PHPlist Campaign Manager.PHPlist is another Open Source venture which has grown tremendously over the years. Even though not anywhere near as elegant as WordPress it gets the job done and it’s free to use – so we can live with its intricacies.

Using the system isn’t as easy and straightforward as it could be so I thought it’s time for a screencast.

I’m not going over all options here, this is more designed to be a refresher course if you haven’t used it for a while.

Workflow and how to send your first message

Here are the three crucial steps involved:

  • click “send a message” and write your newsletter
  • select which “list” you’d like to send it to
  • process the queue (which finally sends the message to selected lists)

How to create lists and add users

You can either manually add people to your individual lists (via Users – Add a User – select which list at the bottom) or use a signup option where users add themselves.

For the latter option there are either the direct link in PHPlist to the subscriber page or for much slicker integration use one of the many fine WordPress Plugins that are available. Search for PHPlist under Plugins – Add New.

One that springs to mind is WP PHP List: it adds a simple signup widget to your sidebar – check it out.

Templates for PHPlist make your emails look better

You can tweak the look and feel of your newsletters by applying a template (under Templates).

The default one that comes with PHPlist isn’t amazing but with a bit of CSS knowledge you can make design changes and create a nice look. To get you started, check out these two links I found on Google – they have a couple of ready-to-rock templates that you can use for free or amend to your liking.

Other Newsletter Options

Don’t like PHPlist but still need a newsletter software that delivers?

No worries – there are several options you can use too:

And let’s not forget Google’s excellent Feedburner Service: among many many other things you can let people subscribe to new posts in one or several categories. The service is absolutely free and has tons of other benefits too.

As always: enjoy 😉