Mailing list proxy manager

Posted on 2011-10-11
Last Modified: 2012-06-21

from time to time I restart my quest on finding the proper software for my needs. In short:
I need a kinda mixture between SMTP mail proxy and Mailing list manager.

With some more words:
Well, there are many mailing list management free and non-free solutions out there, but all they lack a few important features:
- none of them support INLINE / EMBEDDED images, which are MIME encoded into message itself. Instead all of them insert image as external link, so it is not displayed by default in Outlook or some other clients
- WYSIWYG editors are all more or less TinyMCE or like, so one cannot copy-paste images or screenshots into new message, nor can use any of nice OFFICE graphic features.

So for a good looking mail campaign an experienced user with at least minimum of HTML knowledge is required, and better off a designer should be involved.

So, my IDEA is to have a mail proxy with following features:
- it should receive message, sent from Outlook, for example
- recipient would be, for example, <>
- then this proxy would look into real-time database for all recipients, which are subscribed to LIST123
- and would send out one by one, with preset frequency, this mail to each recipient on the list

Such a principle would make it possible for all sales stuff to use OUTLOOK as their tool to design mailings, and on the other hand, list database would be managed via web page, so members could unsubscribe, subscribe or alter their subscriptions easily.

Does anybody know some program, which would do such things?

I have a dozen of Windows and Linux servers in production, with IIS6, IIS7, Apache, NginX web servers, MSSQL, MySQL databases, and MailEnable PRO, MS SMTP, Zimbra, Postfix, Sendmail mail servers, and also some Antispam filtering servers. So if anybody would have an IDEA, how should I approach, I can also code the solution myself.  

Ideas welcome!
Question by:Andrej Pirman
    LVL 11

    Expert Comment

    Actually you can create mails in Outlook and send them to lists.

    You can do it natively using the mail merge function.

    You can use a product like the one below to make it even easier.

    If you create the email in Outlook, embed the image and then send it - you get exactly what you are looking for - without all the proxies etc.
    LVL 18

    Author Comment

    by:Andrej Pirman
    thanx for the tip, but this is not the solution I want. The main problem with individual Outlook mailings are:
    - no central contacts database
    - no automated options for unsubscribe or change list preferences for recipients

    I was first into MAILMAN, but it is groupware, where all users can send mail to group, and also you cannot manage groups easily - only opt-in is supported, one-by-one.
    LVL 11

    Expert Comment

    OK Labsy,

    Here is another suggestion.
    Try out the new MailChimp sync for Outlook. Its a free program you can get here:

    It will let you use MailChimp for all the list management, but you can sync your list with Outlook and use the Outlook mailmerge function to get the message delivery you are looking for.

    LVL 18

    Author Comment

    by:Andrej Pirman
    Nice add-on for Outlook, this MailChimp, but still lacks some info or some features:
    - I do not trust entirely these should I know they don't use my outlook contacts and sell them?
    - There is no info anywhere, how pricing works. Is a "user" a mail sender, or a contact in my address book? 25 users for free? And unlimited contacts for free? Alarm ringing regarding previous alinea.
    - And most of all, still no web opt-in/opt-out options! It is local Outlook plugin, seems like it has no web unsubscribe options.
    - I went to forum....but hey, 0 posts, 0 views

    Nope, not good.

    BTW...I am searching for proper application, too.
    LVL 11

    Expert Comment

    Hi Labsy,

    1. MailChimp ( is a very popular web application with all the features you need for creating and sending mail lists, including web opt-in/opt out. It has nearly 1,000,000 subscribers and (imho) is trustworthy not to re-use your contacts.

    2. Your main issues seemed to be the ability to use a mailing list to send with inline pictures. By downloading your mailchimp contacts onto outlook - you get the best of both worlds. All the features of MailChimp's mailing lists with opt-in opt out etc. Ability to send to your mailing list from Outlook and use in-line pictures.

    3. MailChimp has a free option as well as paid options

    4. Davton's MailChimp add-in has a free option as well as paid options. It is only just launched so no posts in the forum. All it does is download your contacts from MailChimp to Outlook.

    Good luck on your search for Nirvana. I have given you a working solution ( that costs nothing ) to the problem you were trying to solve.
    LVL 18

    Accepted Solution

    Hi David,

    Nice try, but isn't is obvious that you are just promoting yourself? And btw, speaking about yourself in third person?
    It is kind of against EE rules, promoting your own products, isn't it? :)

    But regardless of being it your own promotion or not, MailChimp still does not satisfy my requests, and beyond nice design, is...well, who knows, maybe just another spammer or mailing list reseller... That's what I most probably will never trust.

    Anyways...AcyMailing add-on for Joomla! is just what I needed:
    - supports opt-in, opt-out, seting preferences by user, easy signout
    - list database is on my server under my control
    - supports inline/embedded images!!!
    - bounce processing
    - most of other *Chimp and MailListManagers features, like stats, multiple users etc...
    LVL 18

    Author Closing Comment

    by:Andrej Pirman
    Sorry David, after checking your profile I decided to NOT give you any points. Your comments were not so to help me, but to help you.
    No bad feelings and I hope you understand.

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