Entries Tagged 'Broadcasts' ↓
October 19th, 2010 — Adding Users, Admin, Broadcasts, Errors, File Resources, Users
When you look at the “System > Job Queue” screen, you see one line that shows this error…
Message: Error in CSV File
You were probably trying to to Bulk-Add Users to DAP. Or do a Broadcast email to a CSV file. In either case, there was an error in processing your request, because one of the following happened:
1) The CSV file could not be created in /dap/admin/bulk/ folder because of a permission issue (try CHMOD 755), so when the cron task ran, it could not find the CSV file (or the file was corrupted for some reason).
2) The list of email addresses within the CSV file were not in the right format – Order should be: Email,FirstName,LastName ( LastName is optional)
How To Fix It
If a job fails, then there’s no way to “fix it and re-run it” right now. So you basically have to delete the job, and then submit a new one. So if a Bulk-Add job erros with the above message, then here’s what you need to do…
A) Click on the “Delete Jobs In Error” link on the “System > Job Queue” page. That will delete all jobs that have failed for whatever reason.
B) You should also clear out the /dap/admin/bulk/ folder to make sure you delete any old, or errored out CSV files from that folder.
October 4th, 2010 — Attachments, Broadcasts, Email, Setup
Uploading file to be attached
First upload file(s) to be attached to the emails, to the folder…
Attaching it to Autoresponder Emails
On the Email > Autoresponders page, any file(s) uploaded above, show up as in the image below. When composing a new email, just click on the “add” link next to the file name to be attached to that email.
Attaching it to Broadcast Emails
Same deal for broadcast emails. The uploaded file shows up as follows. Click on the “add” link to add to the broadcast email to be sent.
June 23rd, 2010 — 3rd Party Integration, 3rd Party List Integration, Aweber, Broadcasts, Customization, Email, Email Resources, Setup, Troubleshooting, Username & Password, Users, Web Hosting
Sending Email Through Your Web Site: The Basics
DAP is not an email service (like, say, Aweber).
DAP is just a script – a tool – like Microsoft Outlook or Thunderbird – that simply sends out email using your web host’s email server.
It is your web host’s mail server that actually sends out the email to the recipient. So once DAP notifies your mail server about a email that is to be sent, it has absolutely no control over what happens next.
It’s like when you put an envelope with a letter (regular mail) into the mailbox (post box). It is up to the Postal Service to actually pick up your letter, and deliver to the destination address. Your web host is like the Postal Service. If it doesn’t pick up and deliver the (e)mail, then DAP doesn’t have any say in it.
So if the emails that DAP sends out are not getting delivered to your recipients (or landing in the spam/junk folder of the recipient), there could be more than one reason for that.
Improving Email Delivery
DAP uses your web host’s email servers to send out emails.
Here are some ways to improve email deliverability and also avoid your email landing in the recipient’s junk/spam folder.
- Check with your web host to make sure they have “Reverse DNS” setup and configured correctly for your domain. If not, then this is most likely the cause of emails not getting delivered.
- Do not use a Gmail or Yahoo or some other web based email as the “From” email id (under DAP Admin > Setup > Config).
- Instead, use a domain-based email id – like You@Yoursite.com or Support@Yoursite.com – as the “From” email id
If you are on a shared host, you may even consider totally by-passing sending emails through your web host, and instead use DAP’s “SMTP” feature to send emails out through an external email system – like Amazon’s SES (Simple Email Service) , Gmail or AuthSMTP.com.
Welcome Emails Not Going Out
If Admin notifications are going out ok, but the welcome email to the buyer/member is not being delivered, then see Troubleshooting Welcome-Email Delivery
Autoresponder Emails Not Going Out
If yours is a new site setup, then this is usually because the hourly cron-job has not been setup.
However, if the emails were going out fine previously, and suddenly stopped going out, then it usually is because…
- Something changed on your host that caused the cron to stop working.
- There is an error in the job queue, because of which DAP is unable to proceed with the remaining non-error emails. This could have happened if you tried to send out a broadcast to a CSV list, and there was an error in one of the emails from the CSV list.
- You’re trying to use a third party “SMTP” server to send out the emails, and your server is unable to connect to that server because the authentication settings you’ve configured on “Email > SMTP” are incorrect.
Steps to troubleshoot
- Make sure that the hourly cron (dap-cron.php) is still running – you need to look at your web hosting control panel for that.
- Go to “System > Job Queue” and scroll through any items there, and see if there are any scheduled messages there with the status “Error”. If yes, then click on the “Delete Jobs In Error” link. That will delete any jobs that can’t be processed because of an error in the email id or in the import process. Also be sure to click on “Delete Successful Jobs (till yesterday)” just to clear up old, sent emails.
- Also go to “System > Logs” and empty the logs.
- Go to “System > Config” and set “DAP Log Level” to “5″. That will start logging all the details you/we may need for troubleshooting.
- Wait for the top of the next hour and then re-visit the queue and see if emails are going out.
- If they still aren’t going out, go back to “System > Logs”, copy paste all text there, and open a new ticket with that info, of course, also giving us more details about the problem, what you have tried, etc, along with your login info for: FTP, WP Admin, DAP Admin, and Web Host Control Panel.
If your inexpensive (read as cheap shared web host is hosting a large number of sites on one server, and one of them knowingly sends out spam (or mistakenly gets flagged for spam), that will put the email deliverability of every web site on that server in jeopardy, because your site now shares the same IP address as that of an “alleged” spammer.
So your emails get sent to junk/spam folder by Gmail and Yahoo. Or worse, they just totally disappear into the ether.
Hourly Email-Sending Limits
Almost all shared hosts have hourly email sending limits. For example, DreamHost has an outgoing limit of 300 emails per hour. Which means, a total of only 300 emails can be sent out per hour through any web site hosted on DreamHost. All of the following count towards the 300 limit:
- Emails sent by any scripts on your site – like DAP
- Your WordPress blog notification emails
- Your WordPress admin emails,
- WP forgot password emails,
- WP comment notification emails,
- Forum notification emails,
- Forum emails sent to each other by your users,
- Forum-software Admin notification emails,
- Support software user and admin notification emails
- Tell-a-friend emails
- Viral-inviter type emails
- Emails sent through Outlook or Thunderbird where you have set the outgoing SMTP server to be your web site’s SMTP server
- Emails sent by others using the same SMTP server to send out emails- like your business partners, employees, etc
- DAP User welcome emails, Payment notification emails, Forgot password emails, Autoresponder emails, Broadcast emails, etc
So do you see how quickly you can go over that hourly limit of 300 emails per hour?
But here comes the worst part…
Once you go over that limit, any emails that are actually sent by you or the scripts running on your site, will not actually result in any kind of error. The mail server will respond by saying that the email(s) has been sent successfully, but in reality, on the backend, it quietly “snuffs out” the email. Which means, it doesn’t go anywhere – just gets sent to a “blackhole”. So you keep thinking that you sent out the email. DAP keeps thinking it has sent out the email. But in reality, the emails never actually get sent.
This is the same as you actually putting your letter into the mailbox at the Post Office. But then, imagine this: The postal worker who comes to pick up your mail, quietly goes to the back of the post office and dumps it all into one giant trash can, and destroys all of the mail. So you’re thinking you actually mailed out that important check to pay your utility bill. But the utility company never gets your check, and they slam you with a late fee.
1) BEST OPTION: DAP + 3rd party SMTP service provider like Amazon SES, AuthSMTP.com or SMTP.com. (much less expensive than Aweber, and very reliable too)
2) DAP + Aweber (more expensive, very reliable)
3) DAP + Good web host (cheapest option, but can lead to mixed results – depends on your host).
You could always use DAP and external SMTP service provider like Amazon SES, AuthSMTP.com or SMTP.com to send out bulk mail through DAP while totally bypassing your web host’s email system. This is probably the first best option where DAP controls the composition and sending of the email, the 3rd party service controls the deliverability.
Next best option is using a service like Aweber or GetResponse.
And if you can’t afford even that, then simply use DAP on a good web host. We ourselves use just DAP and LiquidWeb’s email servers to send out emails to all of our users.
And DAP also has built-in job queues to schedule outgoing emails while also making sure that you don’t exceed your web host’s hourly email sending limits (dreamhost’s limit is 300 emails/hour, I think). We use multiple SMTP servers from our own other web sites, all combined to be able to send a few thousand emails per hour.
But even with a lot of planning, it is easy to go over the hourly limit.
So the next time you see in your Job Queue that emails were sent out successfully, but the recipient never received it, here are some things to check:
1) It landed in your recipient’s junk/spam folder. Ask them to whitelist or add your email address to their contacts list.
2) You have overshot the limit, so you would have to actually send out the email again.
3) Try to send out broadcasts during a low-traffic time – say like later in the night – when you’re not actively sending out emails, and using up precious email counts from that hourly quota.
June 16th, 2010 — Broadcasts, Cron, Email, Email Resources, Products, Setup, Users
You wish to do what we call a “silent” import. Basically, you don’t want DAP to send out the instant “thanky-you” email to the users being imported.
You may want to do this, say, if you wanted to import a bunch of users into DAP first, without DAP sending them any kind of emails at all, do some preliminary testing, make sure their settings, product access, etc, are all correct, before notifying them of any changes.
Here’s how to do a “Silent Import” with DAP
1. Remove the “ThankYou-Email Subject” and “ThankYou-Email Body” from the Product into which you wish to import users. Save it in a text file for later, and save the Product.
2. Go ahead and do the bulk-add of users from “Users > Add > Bulk-Add Multiple Users To A Product”.
3. Wait for the DAP Hourly Cron to run and finish importing all users. Since the “ThankYou-Email Subject” and “ThankYou-Email Body” of the Product is empty at the time of import, DAP won’t send out those emails.
4. Once all the users have been imported, put back the “ThankYou-Email Subject” and “ThankYou-Email Body” text content, and save the Product.
5. At a later point, if you want, you can send out an Autoresponder email – or even better, a Broadcast email – with the merge codes for the email and password, if you want the newly imported users to get their passwords, or if you wish to notify them of anything at all (like the new system you’re using, their new account info, a general “what has changed recently” type of email, etc).
May 24th, 2010 — Broadcasts, Config, Customization, Email, Email Resources, Personalization, Setup
Here are the merge-tags that you can use in outgoing autoresponder and broadcast emails sent through DAP.
This will be replaced by the first-name of the user.
This will be replaced by the first-name of the user.
This will be replaced by the email id of the user.
This will be replaced by the password of the user.
This will be replaced by whatever text you have entered in “Setup > Config > Basic > Site Name” in your DAP Dashboard.
This will be replaced by whatever text you have entered in “Setup > Config > Basic > Admin Name” in your DAP Dashboard.
This will be replaced by whatever text you have entered in “Setup > Config > Basic > Admin Email” in your DAP Dashboard.
This will be replaced by the actual affiliate link of the member (Eg., http://yoursite.com/dap/a/?a=1234)
Replaced by your actual web site url (Eg., http://yoursite.com)
This is replaced by a 1-click Unsubscribe link that you can add to the bottom of your outgoing broadcast and autoresponder emails.
Using Custom Fields In DAP Emails
You can send custom field values in the DAP emails by using merge tags like this - %%custom_tax_id%%
Add ‘custom_’ in front of the custom field’s database field name.
So if you have defined a custom field called tax_id in your database, to include this field in the autoresponder/broadcast email, just add this – %%custom_tax_id%% to the body of your email.
That’s it. When the user receives the email, dap will automatically replace the merge tag with the user’s tax id value.
So if your email message body contains the following text:
Your Tax Id: %%custom_tax_id%%
When the user receives the message, it will look like this (in this example, the user’s taxId = 9999):
Your Tax Id: 9999
Click here for full documentation about Custom Fields
Click here for merge tags you can use in WordPress posts/pages
May 20th, 2010 — 3rd Party Integration, 3rd Party List Integration, Aweber, Broadcasts, Email, Email Resources, Setup, Web Hosting
(Or… “DAP vs MailChimp”, “DAP vs. GetResponse”, …. “DAP vs 3rd-Party-List-Service”)
We often get asked why use Aweber (or other third-party list service) when DAP itself has a built-in Autoresponder system as well as an Email Broadcast system. So here’s a brief overview of when and why it makes sense to use DAP – or Aweber.
Why DAP Rocks
[UPDATE 1 on 05/20/2012: Starting v4.3.1, DAP now integrates with Amazon SES (Simple Email Service), which allows you to send out tens of thousands of emails a day using DAP. Which means that it will only cost you pennies to send out a large volume of email via DAP (just $0.10 per 1000 emails!). So imagine the power of DAP and the deliverability of Amazon in one sweet integrated system!
UPDATE 2: DAP can also send out emails via Gmail's servers - all you need is a Gmail account]
Until quite recently, it used to be that the biggest advantage of using a third-party service like Aweber was their deliverability rate. But with the onslaught of high-powered, high-deliverability but-still-inexpensive services like Amazon SES, the advantage now shifts more towards DAP.
But first, some basics…
DAP is not an email service like Aweber.
DAP is just a tool – like Outlook or Thunderbird – that simply sends out email using your web host’s email server.
If your inexpensive shared web host is hosting a large number of sites on one server, and one of them sends out spam (or mistakenly gets flagged for spam), that will put the email deliverability of every web site on that server, in jeopardy, because your site now shares the same IP address as that of an “alleged” spammer. So your emails could get sent to junk/spam folder by Gmail and Yahoo. Or worse, they just totally disappear into the ether. Some customers won’t get your emails. This won’t happen with Aweber (for the most part).
Aweber (and other premier email service providers) have staff on hand just for this purpose. Their core business is about email deliverability. They spend a lot of time, money and resources dealing with regular ISP’s (like AOL and SBC) to make sure their lists – and their reputation – remain clean. Which is also probably why they shut down large lists without much of a warning to you, and do other similar crazy stuff.
I guess it works for them – and the other Aweber users, because when you send out an email through your Aweber list, it almost always gets there in your recipient’s inbox. Which is very cool. And which is why they also charge so much for their service.
And that’s where DAP comes in.
You can use DAP’s built-in email autoresponder and broadcast system, and send out emails through your web host. But that normally means that the deliverability of those emails is only as good as your web host’s deliverability. And if you’re not on a Virtual Private Server (VPS) or a Dedicated server, then relying on your cheap, shared web host to safely deliver your email to your members is totally unrealistic and naive – just ain’t gonna happen.
And that’s where the 3rd-Party SMTP feature of DAP comes in real handy – this is one of the un-sung features of DAP that makes it so much more powerful than almost all other competing WordPress membership plugins, and just doesn’t get talked about enough.
You can use DAP as an “Email-Sending Tool” and hook it up to an external SMTP service provider – like Amazon Simple Email Service (Amazon SES), Fusemail.com or AuthSMTP.com – to send out bulk-mail through DAP – while completely bypassing your web host’s email system.
Which means your deliverability goes through the roof, thanks to a 3rd party SMTP provider like Amazon SES that practically guarantees you sky-high deliverability rates and rock-bottom rates, because now you can host hundreds of thousands of emails in DAP for no extra charge (it’s after all just disk-space in your database), and send emails through Amazon SES (costs just 10 cents for every 1000 emails you send).
Don’t wish to pay even those few pennies? Then simply use DAP on a decent web host.
DAP also has a built-in job queue to schedule outgoing emails, with the ability to throttle the number to make sure that you don’t exceed your web host’s hourly email sending limits (most web hosts limit you to 300 outgoing emails/hour).
You can even use multiple SMTP servers from your own other lesser-used web sites, all combined together in a round-robin fashion, be able to send thousands of emails an hour right from your web host for absolutely free!
So, to summarize, here’s what DAP can and can-not do when compared to more expensive, dedicated email services like Aweber and GetResponse.
- Aweber and similar services cost several hundred dollars a year (see Aweber.com – it could cost you about $794 a year – based on an annual fee of $194/year + another $600/year for maintaining a list size of just 5,000 subscribers). But all emails sent via DAP are essentially FREE! You don’t pay anything to send out thousands of emails and have a list with tens of thousands of members. The Autoresponder & Broadcast features are built right into the core DAP software.
- Don’t trust your web host to deliver the emails? Simply hook up DAP to an external email system like Amazon SES and send thousands of emails for mere pennies! Takes all of 5 minutes to set up!
- Unlimited Autoresponders
- Store Unlimited email id’s for free (no limit on how large your list can grow – so it’s practically free, since you’ve already paid for DAP and your web hosting)
- Full control over your list. You can make the sign-ups single opt-in. You can add your buyers to your list without forcing double opt-in on them. Services like Aweber will force double opt-in even when it’s a paid member who just purchased your product or service. And there’s no way around it. And you have to play by their rules, even if they don’t make sense sometimes. But since you control the DAP software, you get to decide who to send out broadcast or autoresponder emails to. Bring them all in as single-optin if you want. Or move them from one list to another. Or add them to multiple lists. Whatever you want.
- Import any CSV list (just need an email) and broadcast to them or add them to your autoresponder. You don’t even have to add them to your database at all – do on-the-fly mailings without storing any of the emails or subscriber data (imagine sending out a quick email blast to your mastermind group – or soccer team parents!). A very powerful tool – so don’t abuse it (i.e., don’t use it to spam!)
- Add same email to multiple Autoresponders (unique to DAP)
- Email throttling included, so as to not exceed your web host’s hourly email sending limits
- DAP has a stunning-looking “Lightbox” plugin with several built-in templates, to show your DAP signup form as a popup. See List Builder Popup for DAP
- Ability to merge member data – like password or affiliate link or user id – right into the emails (DAP only). Third-party email services won’t know as much about your members as DAP does, and won’t be able to (say) send members their personalized affiliate link (like DAP can).
- International-friendly: Using DAP, you can send out autoresponder and broadcast emails in multiple languages. Not restricted to just English. DAP now supports Chinese, Spanish, Russian, Danish, French, Italian, and Hindi – and that’s just what we know! DAP will surely work with any language that is UTF-8 based. We don’t think any of the big third-party email marketing services – like Aweber or GetResponse – support non-English emails. This in itself is a HUGE plus for DAP.
Advantage: Aweber and the others
- Ability to track open rates and click-through rates (coming in a future version in DAP)
- Ability to automatically send out your newly published blog posts as a broadcast (also coming in a future version in DAP)
So given a choice, here’s what we recommend, in the order listed below:
1) DAP + 3rd Party List Service like Amazon SES: Best option that we use ourselves
2) DAP + Aweber: If you already have an Aweber account, then this is a great option, especially if you want advanced email analytics that DAP itself doesn’t offer (yet).
3) DAP + Your Web Host: Very usable and workable option as long as you are hosting with a decent web host.
Feel free to comment below if you have any questions.