Newsletters

The newsletter extension allows you to manage and send newsletters and optionally display them on the website. Unlike articles that are associated with a particular page, newsletters are organized in channels, which allows you to easily group or categorize them.

Recipients

Newsletter subscriptions are normally handled by the respective front end modules, so you do not have to manage recipients manually. For data privacy reasons, Contao requires Double Opt-In subscriptions and stores only the e-mail address of the subscriber.

In case you already have a list of recipients, you can import them into Contao from a CSV file.

Personalized newsletters

Insofar as you are sending newsletters to registered members, you can personalize them with so called "Simple Tokens". Simple tokens are similar to insert tags and can be used in both the HTML and the text content of a newsletter.

Dear ##firstname## ##lastname##,

Please check and update your personal data:

Street: ##street##
Postal: ##postal##
City:   ##city##
Phone:  ##phone##
E-mail: ##email##

The Administrator

In contrast to insert tags, however, simple tokens do not only allow you to insert data of the member table tl_member, but also to realize simple if-else statements to e.g. specify the salutation.

{if gender=="male"}
Dear Mr ##lastname##,
{elseif gender=="female"}
Dear Mrs ##lastname##,
{else}
Dear Sirs,
{endif}

[newsletter content]

{if phone==""}
Please update your contact details and enter your phone number.
{endif}

The Administrator

Sending newsletters

Especially on shared hosting servers, there are typically limitations regarding the script execution time and/or the number of e-mails that can be sent per minute. Contao tries to work around both problems by splitting the sending process into several cycles to prevent script timeouts and adding a custom waiting time between each cycle to control the number of e-mails per minute.

Front end modules

Front end modules are used to handle subscriptions and to optionally display newsletters on the website. They can be configured with the "Modules" module in the back end and have to be added to an article or page layout to actually show up on the website.

Module CSS class Description
Subscribe mod_subscribe Generates a form to subscribe to one or more channels.
Unsubscribe mod_unsubscribe Generates a form to unsubscribe from one or more channels.
Newsletter list mod_nl_list Adds a list of newsletters to the page.
Newsletter reader mod_nl_reader Shows the details of a newsletter.

Each newsletter has a unique URL (permalink) that can be used to reference it:

http://www.example.com/newsletters/items/james-wilson-returns.html

The above URL requests the newsletter "james-wilson-returns" via the page "newsletters". Remember that Contao is a page-based CMS, so if the page "newsletters" did not exist or if it did not include the newsletter reader module, the newsletter would not be displayed.

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