Creating or Editing Newsletters
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 check the checkbox at the list of newsletters in front of the desired newsletter and 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.
Tab General Information
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.
Since version 3.0.0 of BwPostman attachments are no longer stored as simple character strings with a semicolon as divider, but as a string of the format JSON. That simplifies the internal processing, but causes, that the usable all-over length of this string is reduced, because JSON needs some more characters to separate the attachments.
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! For this there is the charged plugin BwPostman TimeControl.
Right-hand you find further information 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 while storing as template of content and also does not appear, if You edit such a newsletter. That would not make sense for a template of content. Instead a message appears, that You are working with a content template. 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.
If a newsletter belongs to a campaign, the recipients are selected at the campaign and this section does not occur.
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!
Since the versions 4.1.1 and 3.2.1 of BwPostman there is the possibility to select an article of Joomla!® by a pop-up like for the attachments. This possibility appears before the list of selectable articles.
Click to the Select button at right. A pop-up opens. Here You may filter the list. The filter options are the same as Joomla!® offers at the list of articles. To select the desired Joomla! article from the list, click to its title. The pop-up disappears, the title of the Joomla!® article is displayed at the input field. If this is not the correct Joomla!® article, You can clear this input by clicking the Clear button at right. Click to the button left arrow directly beside left of the title. The selected Joomla!® article appears in the left selection box of the selected content at the bottom of the already selected Joomla!® articles and is deleted from the box below of the available content.
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.
Since the versions 4.1.1 and 3.2.1 of BwPostman it is possible to sort the selected articles. To do so, You select an article to move and click to the button arrow up or arrow down at the right side of the select list.
You can create a newsletter only based on articles from Joomla!®, you can enter a free text or mix both.
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 behavior 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.