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Archives 07/2012

Postmaster, the definitive email solution for ExpressionEngine

ExpressionEngine is generally an extremely versatile platform, but there are a few exceptions ‐ and one of those is email. For a long time we sat idle listening to the needs of clients and the common theme was always, "can we receive this by email?" Some clients had simple contact forms using Safecracker, while others had robust application that used EE a platform more than a CMS.

Every client has drastically different needs, with varying levels of sophistication. For months we gathered use cases and feedback from our clients, beta testers, and followers on Twitter. We needed a solution that would solve all of these problems, and save the developer loads of time in the process. Without further ado, we introduce Postmaster.

What is Postmaster?

Postmaster is the definitive solution for emailing channel entries within ExpressionEngine. Create beautiful email templates using the live preview, and impose extremely fine levels of control to send emails exactly when you want. Whether it be from the publish entries page in the control, to Safecracker on the front-end, or in a custom application using the channel entries API, Postmaster is the perfect for almost any application.

Overview

These are just a few features worth mentioning. For a full description of features, check out the feature page.

Template Editor

Use a powerful code editor to quickly create templates that can render your HTML, CSS, and ExpressionEngine tags in real-time. No need to refresh your browser or send test emails to preview your template, rather just watch the preview window update as you type. This really saves developers a ton of time and takes some of the monatony out of building email templates.

Parcels

Create any number of configurations by creating Parcels. Parcels allow you to define when an email will be sent, who sends/receives it, and which service sends it. Parcels are highly configurable and built around a central API, so it's open to custom integrations. You can even duplicate existing parcels to avoid tedious copying and pasting.

Built-in Documentation

Rather spend a lot of time on the documentation on our site, we felt it would be better to build an API that allowed us to better inform our users. We felt a huge disconnect from EE's control panel to our site that would inevitably throw a newcomer to EE off track. We value the user experience above everything, so we want access to the docs to be reliable, relevant, and not dependent on our server.

Third-Party Compatibility

  • MailChimp
  • Campaign Monitor
  • SendGrid
  • Postmark
  • PostageApp
  • Looking for a service that isn't on list? .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) and let us know what you are looking for.

We are not affiliated in any way with these services, we simply integrated their API's.

Going Beyond Emails

Postmaster does so much more than just email. Postmaster has a robust set of utilities that allow developers to add custom tags and advanced functionality using the API. We have even rolled out a utility for the launch to help clients manage email campaign subscribers from the front-end of their website. This means stand-alone campaign subscription forms and tags ‐ along with unsubscribe and even get subscribers. Postmaster provides a single set of tags that work with all the compatible services.

For Developers

We build our applications starting with a common API that can be used by anyone. Everything in Postmaster is designed to be extendible and customizable. Developers can create their own new template tags without hacking the core. All the email services are unified under a single API that allows for virtually any custom integration.

In the coming weeks we will be providing documentation and opening the source for many of the libraries and API's that make Postmaster possible. We are really excited about the new libraries we have created, and sincerely hope the entire community can benefit.

It's important to note that there are a lot add-ons that send email, but none of them provide a comprehensive enough set of tools and email services to fit the needs of all of our client needs. Postmaster is built to be integrated with advanced applications, thus needs to be extremely open and versatile. We don't think you will be disappointed.

Conclusion

We spent over six months developing Postmaster, and we couldn't be happier with the results. We hope the ExpressionEngine community enjoys this product as much as we do. Development doesn't stop here, we have a full roadmap ahead.

So what's in the roadmap?

  • CartThrob Integration
  • More Email Services
  • More Hooks/Triggers (going beyond channel entries)

Additional Resources

It's impossible to build good products without honest feedback. We would love to hear your thoughts. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) by email or by using the contact form below, or contact us on Twitter @objectivehtml.

Purchase

For a limited time only, Postmaster is available at 50% off the regular price.
So be sure to grab your 50% off copies starting July 18, 2012 - Aug 1, 2012.

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