Keeping your users/customers informed has never been easier with phpList. phpList is a one-way mail delivery system, perfect for distributing newsletters and events to a broad spectrum of users. It’s ability to manage users and distribute custom content to those users from a variety of systems is quite impressive and painstakingly simple.
Like most books, the first few chapters are on how to install and configure the application. The author assumes you’ll be doing this on Linux, but the examples worked just fine under Mac using MAMP.
From there, you begin creating subscription forms, managing users, and creating newsletters that you can send out not only to a list of users, but users under that list who meet a certain criteria obtained through attributes (for example, a list of global customers that you wish only to contact those in the US). Also you learn how to create custom templates that pull from these attributes to create custom (albeit canned) responses and deliver them to your customers.
Probably the most impressive and useful chapters of this book is how to implement this in several key systems—such as Drupal, Wordpress, and Facebook. The author goes over step-by-step instructions on how to install, configure, and utilize the system from within these applications.
On a final note, it’s nice to see the chapters on security and how to hack and secure phpList. Normally we’re in too much of a hurry to implement that we quickly dismiss a critical point such as this. All in all, phpList 2 Email Campaign Manager was a great book for utilizing a mailing distribution system. The content was good, although there were a few screenshots and wording issues that caused some confusion, but were easily worked through.