PoMMo: Best Open Source E-Mail Marketing Software

Recently we were working on a project where we needed an email marketing software. The goal was for something we could totally configure and customize, and not incur extra costs for a license or hosting. In our research, we came across PoMMo (also known as the post modern Mass Mailer), which in our view, one of the most underrated and missed gems of the open-source movement. We do add the caveat, that work by the principal developer Brice Burgess has seemed to have stopped (no release of new version since late 2008) so you’re basically on your own. Nevertheless, the bulk of work Brice and team has left behind, can get you started to having a great email marketing software of your own. This is not a project for the faint of heart, but with some time to tweak the code, you will have a very robust system.

One freebie from us, is when you start, explore themes/shared/css/default.admin.css. Some changes need to be made. Mostly for ease of use. Trust us, when we tell you, change line 24 to the following:

#content {
    /* display: inline-block; */
    margin-left: 200px;
    padding: 5px 15px;
    background: #FFF;

You’ll also want to play around in themes folder in general to make it more your style. Its really not hard though, as PoMMo uses SMARTY templates, so changes can be made quickly.

The main reason we are high on PoMMo are the features already present in the software. You can read the full feature list here, but these are the highlights:

  • Simple 2 minute web based installation — no “CRON”
  • Per Page Support Documentation with user contributed notes
  • Easy creation of subscriber groups
  • Quickly Import and Export your subscriber base
  • WYSIWYG HTML Mailing Creation
  • Compatible with all common web hosts
  • Flexible collection of subscriber data through user defined “fields”
  • Easily match the look of the subscription form to your website, or embed it in a existing page
  • Themeable, Brandable
  • Personalize Mailings — e.g. Say “Dear Susan” vs. “Dear Subscriber”
  • Subscribers can unsubscribe themselves or update their own information (including email address)
  • Fast lightweight framework — tiny session footprint, minimal file inclusions and parsing overhead
  • Index optimizations result in lightning fast queries — even during complicated group filtering on large (70,000+) lists

As you can see PoMMo is a very powerful software. We were able to get ours up and running to satisfaction within a week. If you have basic PHP/MYSQL knowledge and Dreamweaver, you should be able to do it yourself as well. Its too bad development has been stopped on this software, but in all honesty, what has been left behind really does a superb job. As well, thankfully, there is active forum, with users contributing tips and workarounds. There is a working demo here, so you can check it out for yourself.

***New Development September 2010***

Apparently, there is now a new fork here:


We have not tried it, but an attempt at continuing development is now being made.

Adrian Speyer

About The Author: Adrian has over 12 years experience in Digital Marketing and Analytics. He currently works as a Marketing Manager at Vanilla Forums, a modern forum software platform that allows clients to connect and engage their communities and customers. He lives and works in Montreal.

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