PoMMo: Best Open Source E-Mail Marketing Software

pommo PoMMo: Best Open Source E Mail Marketing SoftwareRecently 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:

http://github.com/soonick/poMMo/wiki

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

 PoMMo: Best Open Source E Mail Marketing Software

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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  • clisun
    Sep 10th, 2010 at 09:14 | #1

    Unfortunately, the Pommo project has been stopped.

    • Mark8t Staff
      Sep 10th, 2010 at 10:24 | #2

      Yes as noted in the article Pommo development has stopped, but if you have the time and the will, it gives a great basis to having you own email marketing software.

  • Sep 10th, 2010 at 16:07 | #3

    Personally, i think pommo remains the best free email maarketing software but one of its drawback which i know has also been a nightmare for thousands of pommo lovers is the Click Tracking. Can you please offer us a solution to this. Thanks.

    • Mark8t Staff
      Sep 10th, 2010 at 16:29 | #4

      We used Google Analytics to tag links. Any good Analytics package will have this ability.

  • Sep 24th, 2010 at 01:34 | #5

    I like Pommo, better than PHP List.

    PhP list is pain in the ass. Can’t configure the confirm email notifaction, but POMMO works right away.

    unfortunately, pommo forum is shut down too. I can’t access it anymore.

    Anybody know how to personalize the POMMO?
    How can I send a message with the name?

    Dear Gert,

    How to use the variable in the message?

  • mnchurchmouse
    Dec 18th, 2010 at 11:09 | #7

    I must agree with the previous comments. POMMO is a nifty little mailing list manager.

    I have been using it for several years in conjunction with a website I developed. My web hosting company, Hostmonster.com, still offters POMMO as mailing list script option. And, after having looked at programs such as Dada Mail, PHPlist, etc., POMMO is, by far, more aesthetically pleasing and easier to use. It just rocks. Also, I have had virtually no troubles with this script.

    But, I, too, am concerned that the original project and its forums have been discontinued. A great big THANK YOU to of you who have taken it upon yourselves to continue working with this project and provide helpful tips. I encourage you (who are smarter than myself) to keep up the good work! And, obviously, praise and adoration go to Brice Burgess for spearheading this project!

  • mnchurchmouse
    Dec 18th, 2010 at 11:59 | #8

    @chiarticle

    When composing an email from within Pommo, located directly underneath the WYSIWYG editor, there should be a tab (or button) that says, “Add Personalization.” Click that button, and a pop-up window will allow you to add customization, such as “Dear” [fieldname], where the fieldname represents one of the information fields that you collected from your subscriber, such as a first name, or last name, etc. There should also be a default option, so that if a subscriber did not provide the information in the field name, the default information will replace the missing field information.

    There is not much for instructions, but if you play around with the personalization by trial and error, sending sample emails, you should be able to something close to a desired outcome.

    Hope this helps!

  • Sep 17th, 2011 at 23:06 | #9

    Hi, from the comments above i’ve started to like this software. Please tell me how can i give an option at the bottom of my email for the subscription and to unsubscribe automatically? I don’t seem to find the unsubscribe option up till now.

    • Sep 18th, 2011 at 09:05 | #10

      @Jehangir, I do not offer support for the original Pommo as it was abadonned by the developer, but the info is still on the site as follows:

      How do subscribers unsubscribe or update their information
      This feature is often overlooked in poMMo, as there is no default “footer” attached to sent messages…. YET! If a user visits http://www.yoursite.com/path_to_pommo/user/login.php they will be prompted for their email to login to the system. I recommend you append a “footer” to each of your messages providing your contact information and the URL the user can log in to to update their records or unsubscribe. For instance;

      Your Company, Your Address
      To unsubscribe or update your records, visit; http://www.yoursite.com/pommo/user/login.php?Email=Email

      If you are considering pursuing to use Pommo, I would suggest you look at Soonick’s work. He is one of the people who have taken on the development.

  • Sep 18th, 2011 at 09:14 | #11

    I should also add, there are other free solutions, users may consider, but YMMV.

    http://www.sendblaster.com/email-marketing-software-mailing-software

    http://www.openemm.org/

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