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PHP Script for mailing lists

Posted on 2011-03-16
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Does anyone know of a php script - open source preferred - that allows you to operate a site that sells businesses the ability to purchase "credits" to send emails? For example purchase 4000 emails credits to send their customers?
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Question by:Starquest321
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9 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:Loganathan Natarajan
ID: 35155148
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LVL 111

Expert Comment

by:Ray Paseur
ID: 35155889
What is the part you are looking for?  

Sending emails is not really rocket science any more.  PHP has this function (part of the Core) and the PHPMailer class is very well thought of.  Since these are free, I am scratching my head a little bit over the idea of purchasing credits to send mail.  
http://php.net/manual/en/function.mail.php
http://sourceforge.net/projects/phpmailer/

But that said, if you can replicate the services of Constant Contact (formatting, logging, anti-spam, legal compliance, etc.) you might be able to compete with them.
ConstantContact is where I usually direct my clients.  They use a subscription model - monthly billing.  You can set up a similar subscription with PayPal very easily.
http://www.constantcontact.com/index.jsp
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Author Comment

by:Starquest321
ID: 35160362
That is what I would like to do - find some script which allows me to replicate the services of Constant Contact and sell businesses the service. Having some script of who bought what and how many emails are left for them to send, etc. . . that's what I am looking for.
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LVL 111

Expert Comment

by:Ray Paseur
ID: 35161741
Well, ConstantContact is a bespoke application, so I doubt that you will find free or modestly low-cost scripts.  Constant Contact has been in business with a real payroll since 1998, and while their books are private, they have received at least $3.6 million in funding to build their apps and corporation.  You can learn more about them, and their 400,000 customers here (they have about 8-10 million hits per month).  If all of their customers were only at the "entry level" of $15/month, their revenues might reasonably be estimated to be $72MM P/A:
http://www.crunchbase.com/company/constant-contact

About a month ago, they spent $15,000,000 on an acquisition.  That, coupled with their SEC funding profile, would suggest that they generate millions of dollars in free cash flow each year.  Tough to compete against that unless you have many millions in start-up cash:
http://techcrunch.com/2011/02/16/constant-contact-buys-social-crm-startup-bantam-live-for-15-million-in-cash/

There are several competitors already: AWeber Communications, VerticalResponse, iContact, MailChimp, etc.

I do not mean to discourage your efforts, but trying to beat ConstantContact at their own game is like trying to invent the social network.  It's already been done and the answer is Facebook.  There might be another space where the competitors are fewer and less well entrenched.  I hope you find one and I wish you great success!

Best of luck with it, ~Ray
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Author Comment

by:Starquest321
ID: 35172951
I was looking for a phpscript to do somehting much much more simple.  A phpscript that allows people to purchase credits towards sending emails. Just like you can purchase phpscripts for "dating" sites. ..
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LVL 111

Expert Comment

by:Ray Paseur
ID: 35173434
OK, let me ask a different question.  Since I can send email for free, what is the reason I would purchase credits toward sending emails?  What is the business value proposition?
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Author Comment

by:Starquest321
ID: 35220877
Something internet - I was just asking if there was a ready script that I could purchase. That's all.
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LVL 111

Accepted Solution

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Ray Paseur earned 2000 total points
ID: 35222057
Sorry, I think the answer is, "No, there is no ready script available for purchase."  At least in my years of being both an email provider and a client of email providers I have never come across such a thing.  As ConstantContact has proven by their business success, it is a valuable "Software as a Service" application, but it what CC does also requires a great deal of hands-on human intervention and care.  

As a general matter, the notion of a script that allows you to operate a business is an interesting concept.  I will have to think more about how such a business model/value proposition might work.  Most such things do not come packaged as scripts, but as services (think eBay).
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Author Comment

by:Starquest321
ID: 35438320
Thanks!
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