BwPostman since 1.3.0 is a complete and extensive newsletter extension for Joomla!® Joomla!® 3.3.6. The versions until 18.104.22.168 of BwPostman also work with Joomla!® 2.5.16.
The package of BwPostman can be installed as usual by the installer of Joomla!®.
This manual is arranged in such a way, that you are able to learn the use of BwPostman step by step and you are able to create your first newsletter as soon as possible. For that reason I suggest to practise the use of BwPostman parallel to reading this manual.
While the module to register effectively is a copy of the subscription form of the component, the settings are exactly the same as at the component. Therefore there is a switch, with which the settings may be adopted. If the switch is set to no, then you have to set the options of the module completely.
This manual is written mainly for less experienced Joomla!®-Users. Experts in Joomla!® may overlook the very detailed descriptions.
The main idea of BwPostman is based on the component mkPostman, which is no longer supported and maintained by their developers after Joomla!® 1.5.
In comparison to the predecessors BwPostman in version 1.0.1 is mainly rewritten. The code is adapted to the new API, reduced and many internal processes are simplified. With version 1.1.0 the support of Joomla!® 2.5 was dropped. The code could be slimmed down, filtering and searching in back end is obviously improved with the possibilities of Joomla!® 3.
It is very useful to create some test recipients. They can be used to learn about the functionality of BwPostman. Next you can test the CSS entered in the options without sending these tests to a real mailing list. Later you can use test recipients to test the single newsletter, before it is sent to the subscribers.
Then the first newsletter will be created and sent.
Finally I will write about the special features BwPostman contains:
If there are questions or problems occur, fast help in English and German you get at the Forum of BwPostman:
Since version 1.0.1 of BwPostman there is a button Help in the toolbar at the back end, which opens a new browser window with the forum of BwPostman. Furthermore there is a button in the main view of BwPostman to the forum. A click to the button opens a new browser window or browser tab – depending on browser settings – with the forum of BwPostman.
Since version 2.2.0 of BwPostman You find a new button Manual at the toolbar at the back end beneath the button Help, which leads You to the appropriate chapter of the online manual. This button works a bit specific: In example, if You are at the newsletter list or editing a newsletter at the back end and click to this button, You get directly to the chapter for newsletters. For this a new browser tab or browser window opens, depending on the settings of the browser. Also the button to forum now doesn't open imperatively a new browser window, but depending on the settings of the browser a new browser tab or browser window.
Incidentally you everywhere find tooltips (that is, when you move the cursor to the list entry and wait a little while), that may help very fast. Many are really detailed, some will get improvements with the time.
BwPostman is tested on many Joomla!® installations without problems. Most notably I test with the current Version of Joomla!®, partly also with the preceding version. Nevertheless I can't exclude that something goes wrong during installation. Especially the „interplay“ of different extensions can't be estimated fully and negative effects can't be excluded.
Since BwPostman 1.0.1 the possibility exists at maintenance to save and restore the tables of BwPostman directly from BwPostman. Furthermore since this version there will be created a backup file of the tables of BwPostman at each update and the tables were checked on consistency. Particulars in chapter Update.
Testing an unknown extension – this is also true for BwPostman – it is highly advised not to do at a life-system.
Before you can install BwPostman, the installation package has to be downloaded. At https://www.boldt-webservice.de/downloads/bwpostman.html you will find the downloads for BwPostman and the manuals as well. The current stable version is always at the top of the list.
In the back-end of Joomla!® you also find the download of BwPostman, namely in the web catalogue of the extensions.
Since version 2.0.0 as a package as a whole, which may be installed as is and that contains all free parts of BwPostman, as there are component, modules and plugin.
BwPostman serves the automatic update function in Joomla!®. That means, that it will be shown in the back-end as soon as a new version of BwPostman component or modules is available. When the Joomla!®-integrated plugin Quick Icon - Joomla!® Update Notification is activated, you can see this when you enter back-end and the control panel will be shown. A click at the button Updates are available will show you the available updates, even so the updates for BwPostman.
When the plugin is not activated, you can look for updates in the back-end in the menu Extensions → Extension Manager in sub menu Update (clear cache before if necessary) and install it.
After installation BwPostman must be configured. To do so you click in the top right corner of Components → BwPostman at the button Options in the back-end of your Joomla!® installation. Or you click at the button Basic settings in the main view of BwPostman. The options are only available in the main view or in the maintenance.
The options are divided in seven sections: Basic Settings, Registration, Activation, Unsubscription, Lists View, Single View and Permissions. For all options there are tool-tips.
Since version 2.1.1 of BwPostman all texts of the options are multi-language-capable, where it makes sense. That means, You there may enter language strings and depose the appropriate texts at the override files for the respective language. Also see article Texts of Fields of BwPostman do not fit.
With the values entered here the fields Sender's name, Sender's email or Reply to email of each newsletter will be preallocated. They may be overwritten in each newsletter individually. They are predefined with the values of your Joomla!® configuration.
If the fields Sender's name, Sender's email or Reply to email remain empty they will be filled automatically with the data of your Joomla!® configuration. But I suggest to enter these data to become independent form changes in Joomla!® core.
In this field you can enter a text, which will be shown at the front-end in the registration form of component and module and in the subscription manager as introduction. For the module for registration you may enter the text in its settings.
The activation mail always will be sent personalized. Here you set, how to approach the subscriber, e.g. Hello or Hello Mr./Mrs. Last one only make sense, if last name, first name or both are obligatory.
To get the ability only to unsubscribe current newsletter for a subscriber, which had subscribed to multiple newsletters, at a previous version of BwPostman war introduced, that the subscriber is able to unsubscribe with one click exactly from this one newsletter. With this it also was impossible for a recipient of a forwared newsletter to unsubscribe the subscriber “accidentally”. The whole subscription could still be removed at the settings of the subscription.
Some considers this proceed as difficult since GDPR takes effect. So this option is added. When this option is activated, a subscription is completely and ridiculously removed without asking.
These settings are for the newsletters list view front-end. They serve as default values if there is nothing entered at menu entries.
May the visitor search for a specific subject? Then select Show. This is the default value.
This switch has the same meaning like at lists view, but obtains to the view of a single newsletter in front-end. The icon is shown as a button beside the sending date.
In permissions you set, who may do what in back-end of BwPostman.
The rights Configure, Administration access, Create, Edit, Modify state, Edit self-created contents and Delete correlate to them you know in Joomla!®.
BwPostman adds additional rights for Archive, Restore, Delete, Send newsletter, View Newsletter, View Subscribers, View Campaigns, View Mailinglists, View Templates, View Settings and View Maintenance. The denotations of this rights are self-explaining, nevertheless following:
It is not enough to set the access rights for the actions Create, Edit, Modify state, Edit self-created contents or Delete, it also always needs the right for the view!
With that one also has the possibility to restrict the access for single user groups to one or multiple views.
BwPostman version 2.0.0 is also delivered with predefined user groups to see, how they work with the access rights. You may use these user groups as is.
Since version 2.0.0 BwPostman offers the ability to set access rights for a sinlge data set (mailing lists, newsletters, subscribers, campaigns, templates). Here You are able to revoke permissions for an administrator. If You locked out, the SuperUser can correct this, because You can't revoke permissions for a SuperUser.
To be able to edit these permissions as administrator of a section (mailing lists, newsletters, subscribers, campaigns, templates) there are the new permissions Manage Newsletters, Manage Mailinglists, Manage Subscribers, Manage Campaigns, Manage Templates.
Checking the permissions BwPostman works a bit different than Joomla!®. BwPostman checks bottom up: If a permission is explicitly set at a data set (allowed of forbidden), this permission is valid. If there is nothing set (inherited), the permission of the section will be checked. If the permission here is set explicitly, this permission is used. If not, the permissions of the component is used. At least now is clear, if a user is allowed to this action or not. The strategy Joomla!® uses, namely to check the permissions top down excludes to allow something on a lower level if it is forbidden at a higher level.
With this it is possible to allow for a user to edit a single mailing list while the others are tabu.
BwPostman works for the permissions like Joomla!® with user groups, not single users!
If You want to grant permissions for a user group from different sections, then You have to derive Your user group from a general user group. General user groups are Administrator, Publisher, Editor, Author, ManagerBwPostmanAdmin, BwPostmanManager, BwPostmanPublisher and BwPostmanEditor. If You derive from a section group of BwPostman, You will not get, what You want.
The permission Admin Login is always needed, so that the members of the appropriate user group are able to log in to back end.
Each of these user groups needs the permission Configure, otherwise their members don't see the menu at back end.
Admin Login Configure View subscribers Create Edit self-created content
Admin Login Configure View mailing lists Create Edit
Admin Login Configure View newsletters View archive Create Edit
Modify state Archive Restore Send newsletters
Admin Login Configure View campaigns View archive Create Edit
Modify state Archive Restore Delete Manage campaigns
The back-end of BwPostman has a main view, dahsboard called here, that may be used as a starting point for all actions that are possible in BwPostman. It contains buttons for all overviews together with buttons to create newsletters, subscribers, test-recipients, campaigns or mailing lists. There are also buttons to reach options, the maintenance and the forum of BwPostman. At the right you find informative statistics.
The menu at the left may be switched of by a click to the blue left arrow.
Okay, let's start:
Before the first newsletter can be created, there must exist at least one mailing list. It is possible to use separate lists for different topics and/or groups of recipients.
Via menu entry Mailing lists you get an overview about already created mailing lists.
A new mailing list will be created either in the main menu of BwPostman with the button Add mailing list or in the overview of the mailing lists with the button New in the toolbar. The view Mailinglist details appears and one is at the tab Edit mailinglist.
Each mailing list needs a title/name and a description. Both can be displayed in the front-end.
In the select list access level you can determine, who can subscribe to this mailing list. When a subscriber is not allowed to subscribe to this mailing list, then it will not be shown in the select list in the front-end.
In order to be able to select the mailing list in the front-end, it must be published. This can be done in the details (mode Edit) of the mailing list. But also a click to the symbol in the column Published in the overview of the mailing lists switches the state, too.
At the tab Mailinglists permissions the permissions or exactly this mailing list may be edited.
A mailing list can be edited by clicking at the title in the overview of the mailing lists or while checking the check box in front of the title and clicking at the button Edit in the toolbar. The view Mailinglist details appears and one is at the tab edit mailinglist [ID = nn].
Archived mailing lists will not be displayed in the overview!
Normally subscribers subscribe to the mailing lists by themselves. More precisely mailing lists will be subscribed to and to them you send newsletters. But there are cases to create a subscriber in the back-end by webmaster. Because of that you got this possibility in the back-end. Test-recipients only may be created in back-end.
How we just learned at the mailing lists, subscribers can be created in the main menu of BwPostman with the button Add subscriber or in the overview of the subscribers with the button New at the tabs Confirmed subscribers and Unconfirmed subscribers. The view Subscriber details appears an one is at the tab New subscriber details.
Test recipients will be created in the main menu of BwPostman with the button Add Test-Recipient or in the overview of the subscribers in the tab Test-Recipients with the button New. The view Test-Recipient details appears an one is at the tab New subscriber details.
Last name and first name must be entered, when it is set to obligatory in the options of BwPostman. There also is no exception in the back-end!
It must be entered at least a mail address for the subscriber. Indeed, BwPostman has to know where to send the newsletter.
The mail format can be selected at Format and is predefined with the value from the options of BwPostman.
The field Confirm only appears when you create a new subscriber. At test recipients and editing a subscriber it is not displayed.
At the right there are further information of the subscription. Details of registration and details of confirmation. If there is nothing to see at registered by or confirmed by, the subscriber has done it by himself.
Since version 2.1.0 of BwPostman there is a button Print subscriber data at the top if these details. With a click to this button a pop-up is displayed, which shows all available and used data of the subscriber. A click at the button print opens the print dialogue of the browser.
The available mailing lists will be shown below. On the left you find the mailing lists, that ever can be selected in the front-end in general. The state of this mailing lists is Public and they are published.
In the middle there are mailing lists, that only specific user groups may subscribe to in the front-end. These mailing lists are published basically and can be subscribed at front-end, but not for everyone.
At the right there are mailing lists, that only can be assigned in the back-end. These are the mailing lists, that are unpublished, nevertheless to which user group they are assigned to.
The mailing lists are not shown at test-recipients. They will be created in general and get all mailing lists at test sending.
Like noted above someone with appropriate access to the back-end may assign the subscriber to that mailing lists, that are not shown in front-end, for what reasons ever.
While the subscriber has not confirmed his subscription, he will be displayed in the overview at the tab Unconfirmed subscribers. When the subscription is confirmed, the entry moves to the list Confirmed subscribers.
Archived subscribers and test recipients will not be displayed in the overview!
At the tab Subscriber permissions the permissions or exactly this subscriber may be edited.
If a subscriber is added, BwPostman checks back whether this mail address perhaps exists at a registered Joomla!® user. If so, then the corresponding ID will be stored at the subscriber and the subscriber – if he is logged in – gets offered the mailing lists to subscribe, that are available for his access level.
Now we come to the core piece of BwPostman, the newsletters.
A newsletter can be created by copying an already created newsletter. Either unsent and sent newsletters may be copied.
To copy a newsletter click at the button Copy in the toolbar. The copy appears in the tab Unsent newsletters in the overview, even if you copied a sent newsletter.
A click on the subject of the newsletter or select the checkbox in front of the row and a click to Edit on top opens the newsletter.
Creating newsletters will be processed in five steps. This will be symbolized with five tabs. Creating a new newsletter or modifying an existing newsletter always begins at tab General information. Within a Joomla!® session BwPostman reminds the last used tab of each edited newsletter. When editing this newsletter again in this session, BwPostman opens the newsletter with the last used tab.
Sender's name, Sender's email and Reply to email were taken automatically from options entries of BwPostman, but they may be overwritten, too. Then you enter the subject for the newsletter. There is nothing without subject. Since version 1.0.8 the subject needs not to be unique. You may use one subject several times. But to keep newsletters apart there is a new field description, that you find right-hand.
Next you may select an attachment to send with the newsletter. The dialogue to select the attachment is the same one Joomla!® uses. This means, that you may upload the desired attachment to the server if it is not there.
Since version 2.2.0 of BwPostman the appearance for the attachment has changed, because now it is possible to attach up to 20 attachments to the newsletter .Now You don't see a selection dialogue directly but a button +. A click to this button opens a selection dialogue for the attachment with a frame. The selection dialogue has not changed at all.
If You want to add another attachment, click to the green + button at bottom right of this frame. Another frame for attachment appears.
If You want to delete an attachment, click to the red x button at right top of the frame.
The ordering of the attachments can be changed with the three dots superimposed upon each other. Simply click and hold with the left mouse button and move to the desired position.
At the database attachments of a newsletter are stored at a single character field with the length of 1000 characters. The attachments are stringed together including the (relative) path, separated by semicolon. The relative path is what You see at the dialogue field.
The sum of all characters for all names and paths of the attachments including needed separators should not exceed 1000 characters. If that happens, the remaining characters are cut off while saving. That means, that all that exceeds the 1000 characters will not be sent as attachment.
If you already have created campaigns, then you can select whether and – if yes – to which campaign the newsletter belongs to.
Below you can set whether a newsletter shall be set published at a specific time and when publishing ends. This only meets the visibility in front-end. These dates work exactly like the dates at the articles of Joomla!®. With the publishing date you do not set, when the newsletter will be sent!
Right-hand you find further informations to the newsletter. Here you may enter a description for the newsletter. This is very helpful to keep newsletters apart, that use the same subject. The description is only for internal use. A subscriber does not see the description.
Since version 2.2.0 thee You find the possibility to define the newsletter as content template. This is really useful, if You have to send nearly the same newsletter again and again, in example a circular note, that a service is offline for a maintenance period. Here You can define the optical template for the newsletter, the recipients and also fixed content. Then You mark content template at tab Generals and save the newsletter .
Okay, that would also be possible by copying and changing a previously sent newsletter. But changing needs increased attention. A content template contains only the fixed part. I find that really useful.
A newsletter marked at content template cannot be sent, for that the content template will not be "lost" by sending. The tab for sending disappears after saving of a new content template newsletter and is not visible while editing such newsletter. Instead You get a message, that You are editing a content template newsletter.
Next you select the template the newsletter shall use. This will be done separately for HTML newsletters at the left and text newsletters at the right. A tool-tip for the template shows a preview of the template if there is any created at the template. More informations you will find in chapter Templates – Adjusting the appearance of a newsletter.
Subsequently you select to whom the newsletter shall be sent: To one or more certain mailing lists and/or to one or more user groups of Joomla!®. You may select multiple entries from the select lists. It also is possible to select entries from the select list for the mailing lists and for the user groups of Joomla!® contemporary.
Here, too, the mailing lists are divided into three sections: At the left the mailing lists, that may be selected in front-end ever, in the middle the mailing lists, that only may be selected by designated subscribers and beside at right are the mailing lists, that only can be assigned in back-end. At the far right the user groups created in Joomla!® are selectable.
Finally you select if you want to use articles from Joomla!®. To do so make a double click at the desired article of Joomla!® in the select list Available website contents at right or mark the desired article in the select list and click the button with the left arrow between the two select lists. The selected article moves from the right to the left select list Selected website contents and disappears in the right list, so you can't select him twice accidentally. Double content isn't very pretty.
Articles of categories, which are listed at excluded article categories at the Basic settings of BwPostman, are not shown!
If you were in error and you don't want a specific article already selected for your newsletter, then select it in the left select list and click at the right arrow. It moves back to the right select list and will be shown afterwards at the bottom of the select list. A double-click to the unwanted article does the same.
The current working state always can be saved by clicking the button Save, if the mandatory fields are filled.
If content exists in one of the tabs HTML Newsletter or Text Newsletter and then there were made changes to Selected website contents in the tab General Information, then a confirmation question occurs while clicking on another tab to check if the already selected contents in the HTML and Text version shall be overwritten. OK takes the changes, Cancel discards them. These changes only are finally saved, if the newsletter is stored by clicking to Save or Save & Close. Close or Cancel discards the changes.
The same confirmation question appears, if you select another template and the behaviour is just the same.
These changes only will be stored, if the newsletter is saved by Save or Save & Close. Close or Cancel discards the changes.
At the bottom one find the section Newsletter permissions. Here the permissions or exactly this newsletter may be edited.
To see sent newsletters not only as email, BwPostman offers the ability to create menu entry points for front-end.
You are free to decide, if you create an own menu for BwPostman or if you add single menu entries to an existing menu and which menu entries you offer your visitors. I suggest to create at least one menu entry to edit the subscription. This is especially important, if you do not use the module for subscription.
For subscription it is not critical, whether you use the module or a menu entry to the subscription page of the component. It depends on how you are interested to get subscribers. While the subscription page of the component is only reachable by the menu entry, the module for subscription will be shown on all pages, that are selected in module options.
Another difference is, that the module for subscription needs space on all pages, where it is shown, while the page to subscribe of the component only shows on one page in the area, that is used for articles on Joomla!®.
For menu entries you may select:
The procedure is as usual in Joomla!®:
In the back-end add further menu entries to an existing menu or create a new menu with the desired menu entries.
If a newsletter belongs to a mailing list, that is not selected, the newsletter is not displayed. If a newsletter belongs to several mailing lists, from which at least one is selected, then it will be displayed. If a newsletter belongs to a mailing list, that is not selected, while it also belongs to a selected user group, the newsletter is displayed and vice versa.
If a newsletter belongs to a campaign, that is selected, then it is displayed, even if the related mailing list is not selected. Because of this there is the separate tab to select the campaigns.
You eventually ask, what this option is good for. Why access restrictions, if it is levered out here? To this the following deliberations:
You don't want the content of a just sent newsletter to be accessible to all. After one or two years these information is so “old”, that it does not matter, if all visitors may see it. But in BwPostman there is no possibility to change the assignment to the mailing lists, if the newsletter once is sent and that is a good ting, too. But changing the access level of a mailing list is no option, because the mailing list is still active. How to get the newsletter accessible to the community? For that reason this option exists!
The accessibility is always checked, if you select All at mailing list selection, user groups or campaigns, there is no change. But if you select specific mailing lists, user groups or campaigns (you also may check all), then you are able to suppress the check for access with this switch.
I think, there is no need to write more, that is obvious. Perhaps it is to mention, that there is a column to display, if a mailing list or campaign is archived.
The Front-end usually shows the module of BwPostman at a module position to enable the visitors to subscribe to the (several) mailing lists.
As mentioned previously only the mailing lists will be shown here to which the visitor has access to. If only one mailing list is selectable, then the select list will not be shown to save a needless click. Is no mailing list available that the visitor may subscribe to, a warning message is displayed instead.
In front-end you are able show an overview of all newsletters, if a menu entry is created. The titles (subjects) of the newsletters are linked to show the single newsletter. Unpublished newsletters will not be displayed in the overview. Which newsletters are displayed you set at the options of the component and may override it in the options of the menu entry.
It is also possible to create a menu entry for a single newsletter.
Filters, that means select lists for mailing lists, user groups or campaigns, only are displayed, if there is something to select. If there is only one mailing list available to display, then a select list is redundant, because there is nothing to select and select lists are not displayed even if there is set something else at the options.
Finally you should enable the subscriber to edit or to delete his subscription while visiting the website. For this you also can create e menu entry in the front-end.
Editing the subscription for subscribers without user account in Joomla!® works with Double-Opt-In, too: If the subscriber clicks at this menu entry, it will be asked for his email address. To this address a link will be sent to edit the subscription, provided the subscriber has entered the correct email address. Clicking to this link the subscriber will be conducted to the web page, at that he/she may edit or delete the subscription.
Subscribers with an user account in Joomla!® are able to edit their subscription directly.
If a Subscriber changes the mail address, this new mail address has to be confirmed anew. This has to do with the double-opt-in. Since version 2.3.0 of BwPostman a message appears after saving the changes to notify the subscriber about the need to confirm the new mail address to be able to get newsletters furthermore.
At the end of each newsletter there are links to unsubscribe and edit the subscription. For Germany this is mandatory! A click to the link unsubscribe will not be processed immediately since version 1.2.0. This lead to remove the complete subscription, even if only this specific mailing list should be unsubscribed.
This behaviour also is mentioned as a problem, if a newsletter was forwarded. If the recipient of the forwarded newsletter clicked to unsubscribe, the origin subscriber was unsubscribed!
Because of that this link also leads to the page to edit subscription. Beneath the selectable mailing lists there is a checkbox to unsubscribe the whole subscription at once. The expense for the subscriber isn't grown essentially.
Since version 2.1.0 at the options of BwPostman there is a possibility so switch to the previous behaviour. With this the subscriber is completely archived and does not get any newsletter to the subscribed mailing lists.
This is about:
Several newsletters, that are build on one another and/or correlate thematically are called campaigns in BwPostman. Campaigns are used e.g. to launch, relaunch or promote a product or a service and in this case have few to do with a common newsletter, that first of all serves for information. Nevertheless the newsletters belonging to campaigns also are displayed in the list of newsletters. Additionally, newsletters of campaigns you can see in the details of the campaign at the particular tabs.
Campaigns may be used, but it is no must. They only give you the ability to give a structure to your newsletters.
Have I to write how to create or edit a campaign? That happens like all other parts of Joomla!® or BwPostman.
A campaign at tab Campaign details owns a title, which is mandatory, and a description, which is useful for orientation. A subscriber does not see this description.
Since version 1.2.0 the recipients of a campaign you set here. Therefore below title and description a section exists, at which you may select mailing lists and/or user groups. It is absolutely the same dialogue like at newsletters.
For information there are listed all newsletters of a campaign at the tabs Unsent newsletters and Sent newsletters.
At the tab Campaign permissions the permissions or exactly this campaign may be edited.
BwPostman offers the ability to import subscribers. The accepted formats are XML and CSV. You also are able to export your subscribers. The used formats are XML and CSV as well.
To see how the data looks like in the respective formats, demo data are supplied. You will find them in the admin-folder of the component (<path-to-your-Joomla-installation>/administrator/components/com_bwpostman). They are named import_demo.csv and import_demo.xml.
You call the import with the button Import at the toolbar in the sub-menu Subscribers of BwPostman. The button is not visible at test recipients.
First you have to select the format, XML or CSV. Only then the button Browse... will be enabled, with that you can select the file to import. When you import a CSV file, then you have to enter the CSV delimiter as field separator and the CSV text separator and whether the file contains the field names in the headline.
For field separator there are available comma, semicolon, tabulator and space. For text separation you can select no separation, apostrophe and double quote. Text separators are normally not used. For best practise at CSV files you will find a detailed guidance below.
XML files don't need this informations naturally.
With the button Further you go to the next view. Here you allocate the data from the file to import (in the right list) to the fields of BwPostman (in the left list). Important here is to match the same order at the left and right. The order of the import fields will be adjusted in the right column. To do so highlight the the name of the data field and click to the button up or down under the select list.
Also fields, that only exists in one of the select lists, have to be removed. This will be done with the button Remove below the corresponding select list.
Then you select the mailing lists, to which the subscribers shall be added. Here, too, the mailing lists are divided into three: At the left the mailing lists that are public, in the middle the mailing lists that only can be subscribed by special user groups and in the right the mailing lists that only can be assigned in back-end by the webmaster or a person with appropriate permissions.
Below you set the default email format that will be allocated to the subscriber in case there is no entry in the committed data. Finally you set, whether the subscriber gets an email to confirm the registration (check box not marked) or to confirm the subscriber while importing.
This setting only takes effect, if the data to import contain nothing else. If you exported the subscribers of BwPostman with their state before and now you import these data, this setting takes no effect.
The import will be processed by clicking the button Import data.
In BwPostman (like Joomla!®) it is not possible to create one or more subscribers with one and the same email address. But it is possible to create two equal test recipients – one per mail format – and one subscriber with the same mail address.
If the data to import contains one email address multiple times with the same settings (regular subscription, test recipient HTML, test recipient text), then it will be imported only the first set of data of this email address.
If an email address already exists in BwPostman, then all sets of data with this email address will be skipped while importing. In each case of skipping you get a message at end of importing.
Mail clients often offers a lot of data fields in their address manager. You principally should restrict the export of the address data to that data fields BwPostman is able to import: last name, first name, mail address and mail format. The field status only concerns the internal state of a subscriber in BwPostman and normally only is of interest while importing data, that were exported form BwPostman prior. Status 1 means the subscriber has confirmed his subscription, 0 is an unconfirmed subscription and status 9 means test recipients.
If it is not possible to restrict the data to export from mail client or other program, then I suggest to export the data to CSV. This file can be cleared out by a program, that can handle CSV files. Well done is this by CALC from the OpenOffice-Series (Apache OpenOffice, LibreOffice, …).
Open your CSV file with OpenOffice. There is a portable version of this program, that only has to be unpacked and called. OpenOffice is a sure candidate for functional CSV files.
Apache OpenOffice (other versions of OpenOffice eventually have different labels) shows a dialogue while opening a CSV file, where you can select character set, with which the file is written, field separator and text separator and more. But OpenOffice recognizes really well, which conditions are set. If you take changes here, then you can examine these changes in the section below. A click to OK opens the file.
Because BwPostman only uses first name, last name, email address, email format and state, you should remove the columns BwPostman don't need. That eases following work. If email format is given, but as text – e.g. HTML/text – then you can enter the values 0 for text and 1 for HTML by Edit → Find & Replace.
Following save the file by Save As as CSV file with UTF-8, field separator (best is semicolon) and text separator double quote. These settings you reach by checking Edit filter settings. OpenOffice asks, whether you want to keep current format – that is CSV – or ODF format. It is imperative to click to Keep Current Format.
Next dialogue is preset with the selections while opening the file. But that settings not always are the best, take care. Ensure the checkbox Quote all text cells is selected.
Now the CSV data are treated in a manner, BwPostman may import.
So far the settings UTF-8, ; and “ did work properly, whilst the data did not come from Excel, because Excel makes a BOM, absolutely unusual an hardly to exorcise.
A text separator particularly is important, if spaces and special characters occurs at first name or last name. These characters bring trouble upon import (empty or broken data sets).
It is indeed recommended to use double quote as text separator, because the chance to occur in a name is really little, while a single quote may occur in name affix. Think of names like D'Angelo…
With batch processing at subscribers it is possible to subscribe a further mailing list, to move from one to another mailing list or to unsubscribe from a mailing list multiple subscribers at once. Especially with filter by mailing list this is a very strong tool! Moving only works, if you filter by mailing list. The filtered mailing list is that one, from which the subscribers are taken off.
Batch processing is very simple: Tick the checkbox in front of the subscribers, you want to edit. Then click to the button Batch at the toolbar. A pop-up appears, at which you select the desired mailing list and the action Subscribe, Unsubscribe or Move. A click to Process processes the selected action.
Archive is exactly that what the name says: To archive something.
In BwPostman you can archive newsletters as well as subscribers as well as mailing lists and even whole campaigns and templates. All, BwPostman has to deal with, you can archive. And all what is archived, can be restored from the archive. But in the archive you can't change anything except the state of a newsletter.
To archive e.g. a newsletter go to the overview of the newsletters (mostly is wanted to archive sent newsletters), mark the select box it front of the row of one or more newsletter(s) to archive and click in the toolbar at the button Archive. BwPostman shows a confirmation prompt to surely archive the selected newsletters, that you can answer with Ok or Cancel.
For archiving the permission archive is necessary.
For restoring you select the tab newsletter at the archive, select the desired newsletter(s) to restore, and click in toolbar at Restore.
Archiving mailing lists, subscribers, campaigns and templates works the same. At campaigns there is an additional question, whether the newsletters assigned to the campaign shall be archived or restored, too.
For restoring the permissions View archive and Restore are necessary.
The archive contains an additional function: It is not possible to delete something in the lists of newsletters, subscribers, campaigns, mailing lists and templates. Deleting only is possible in the archive. Here, too: Mark the desired to delete in the appropriate tab at the select box and click on Delete at right top. Here also you have to answer a confirmation prompt. And also an additional question appears at campaigns to delete the assigned newsletters or not, too.
For deletion the permissions View archive and Delete are necessary.
The button Check-In you find in each list view of BwPostman. With this button you may check-in entries that are orphaned. You recognise these entries at the lock symbol at the beginning of a row.
Not all entries, that show a lock symbol, are orphaned! Rather in the contrary. The lock symbol shows, that an entry is edited. The entry indeed becomes an orphan, if you don't leave editing of the entry by buttons but closing the browser or tab, the browser or pc crashes or something else.
To check-in tick the checkbox with the lock symbol and click to the button Check-In. To check-in you need administration rights.
To adjust the look of BwPostman to fit your template, basic knowledge of CSS and HTML is necessary. And you should have installed an extension in your browser to inspect the currently displayed page. For Firefox, my preferred browser, there exists a great extension called Firebug. Such an extension also exists for Internet Explorer and in Chrome and Opera such a function is already implemented.
All elements, that are shown in the front-end, may be addressed individually at least since version 0.9.7 of BwPostman. The exact CSS path to the element you may find easily with above-mentioned extension. For all elements, BwPostman uses in front end, CSS Styles exists in the CSS file delivered with BwPostman. Most of them are empty and may be filled if needed.
For the component you find this file at
For the subscription module it is the file:
For the overview module it is the file:
You might change the CSS Styles in this files. But that only would reach until the next update of BwPostman, because while updating the file is set back to initial settings.
Another possibility is to set the desired CSS Styles in a CSS file of your template. But alike before there is still the problem, that the changes only last until the next update of the template.
Because of that I implemented a solution on a permanent basis since version 0.9.7 of BwPostman:
Create a file named com_bwpostman.css for the component and one file called mod_bwpostman.css for the module in the CSS directory of the template you use, or copy the delivered ones there. Or better: Copy the delivered CSS files to this location. These files will be read from BwPostman after all other CSS files. This means, that the CSS styles set in these files, override all previous read CSS styles.
Thus the path to these CSS files is:
Since version 1.1.0 BwPostman has a great template system for newsletters. Many thanks to Karl Klostermann for this. It is not only his idea, he realized it. Very great!
Thanks to the provided default templates for HTML and text newsletters, it is now also possible for less experienced users to send out optical attractive newsletters, that meets the corporate identity, the appearance of the association or or or and really looks well on mobile devices. Simply copy one of the delivered templates, give a new name and make changes to your wishes.
For the experienced user there are free templates also for HTML and text newsletters. Here you are completely free in design. Important to know, that despite of the high grade of freedom the newsletter finally gets added a table with the imprint by BwPostman.
You may create as many templates as you want. In example you may create an own, individual template for each mailing list.
Templates will be assigned to the newsletters while creating a newsletter. There you select the desired template from lists of HTML and text templates. To simplify the selection, a thumbnail will be shown at the tool-tip.
One each HTML or text template you can set to default. This then is the preselection, if you create a new newsletter.
Like all other sections of BwPostman you reach the templates by main menu of BwPostman with a click to templates. With the buttons Add HTML-Template and Add Text-Template you create a free HTML or text template. Templates also are reached by main menu of Joomla!® with Components → BwPostman → Templates.
Since version 1.3.0 of BwPostman there is a possibility to install further standard templates. To do this there exists a button Install template at the toolbar. A click to the button leads to a view, where you may select and install the template package. The packages is a ZIP archive – as usual at Joomla!® – , that will be installed with a click to the button Start template installation. Now a view appears, where you see the single steps of the installation of the template. A click at the button back leads you back to the list of templates. Afterwards the new template is available like all other templates for the use at a newsletter.
New templates you may get at the downloads for BwPostman at Boldt Webservice.
Templates of BwPostman don't have to do something with templates of Joomla!®! While templates for Joomla!® are build to display websites all the same in all browsers as desired by the website owner, templates for BwPostman are made to give the same look-and-feel for the newsletters at all mail clients. But while even some “renegade” browser manufacturers made their browsers standard-compatible, at the mail clients is heavy proliferation the norm, which grows with each second mobile device.
Since version 2.1.0 of BwPostman there is the ability to export templates. With this You are able to transfer templates created for one installation to another.
After activating the checkbox of the desired template at the list of templates and a click to Export template a file is created that contains the template in a installable manner. When this process has finished, a message with a download button is displayed. This file also is stored at
and can be downloaded (or deleted) from there as well using the Media-Manager of Joomla!®.
The file name contains the ID of the exported template, because the ID is surely unique, there are no two templates with the same ID. The title of the template cannot be used (quite alone).
You don't have to conserve the file name, the import of the template works with every file name.
Standard templates are predefined templates for newsletters, that you may use directly. The title of the included standard templates begins – who wonders – with standard. They all are responsive. That means, that they look well even on small displays, which occurs on mobile devices. Nevertheless standard templates can be individualized widely. To keep out of harm's way I suggest to copy a provided template and then adjust. If an adjustment is not possible with one provided template: Perhaps it is possible with another?
At the left you make the adjustments, at the right you see a preview of the template, that will be refreshed by clicking to Refresh preview. A refresh also will be done, if the template will be saved.
Here you do the general settings to the template. The template gets a name and a description, you set the width of the newsletter as also the font size, the space and the colour for font and background of the various sections. Here you also may select a little image, a so called thumbnail. This image is shown in the list of the templates as preview and in the tool-tip at the select list, if you create a newsletter.
This preview image is not identically to the preview at editing a template! The preview while editing is dynamically and can be refreshed again and again, while the thumbnail is a static image, in example created with a screenshot.
This preview image is not created automatically by BwPostman! You can create such a preview image, if you take a screenshot of the newsletter. You quite may take the screenshot from the preview while editing the template. BwPostman looks for preview images in the folder <Joomla-installation-directory>/images/bw_postman. Here you have to upload the saved image. Uploading you can do with Media Manager if Joomla!®, which you will find at Content → Media Manager.
Free Templates for newsletter are exactly that what the name says: Free! Free in positioning of the elements, free in the look of the elements. However this freedom has its price: There are no predefined sections, that you may adjust fast and easy only by clicking with the mouse. Here all is “hand made”. There are provided samples for each HTML and text templates. The title begins with Sample / Beispiel.
Because there are no predefined sections, there only are three (HTML Templates) or two (text templates) Tabs.
Here, too, counts: In the left you make your settings, in the right you see a preview of the template, that will be refreshed and updated by clicking to Refresh preview or saving the template.
Here you enter a name and a description for the template and you can select a little image, a so called thumbnail. This image will be shown in the list of the templates and in tool-tip at the selection list while creating a newsletter.
Then you set, if the author and/or the creation date of the article shall be shown and if there shall be a button Readon.