We’re adding auto-responder and mailing list to the list of services we offer.
While we like to develop everything in-house, sometimes its just great to start a package that has everything.
After a few searches on the Internet, I ended up with two most likely contenders – both commercial applications.
One is Mailing List Manager Pro, a reasonably priced open-source package that has most of the features we’d be looking for and sports a professional-looking user interface.
The other one is Oempro, a somewhat more aggressively priced package (though still quite reasonable) that has just about all the features I could ever want. Drawbacks? The user interface is a bit odd – through light-years ahead of most free open-source solutions available. Biggest drawback: closed source (using IonCube/like technologies).
It really is standstill – one is opened, but lacks a few features (proper support of multi-client architecture), the other one has it all, but cuts off from customizing the software ourselves (something that we often get asked).
I have a soft spot for the open-sourcedness of Mailing List Manager pro – they seem to be actively looking for new features to add. If the software grows in the direction we are going for, we might be willing to start with less features.
So, basically, it boils down to the health of both project – Mailing List Manager Pro lacks a visible forum/community to allow us to see if the project is still alive. Its competitor, Oempro, has it all, and shows us traces activity.
I resorted to communicate with both companies – their support will most likely dictate our decision.
3 days gone and still waiting for an answer on both accounts…
If any of you know of a solution we should be looking at, feel free to comment (we’ll be making our decision this week).
We’re looking for:
- A solution that we can host ourselves (open source and PHP are plusses)
- Pro-grade user interface
- Auto responder / mailing
- Per-client configuration
- Per-client templates (global templates a plus)
- Client service plans (number of mailings allowed per month, etc.)
- Import / export group list
- Custom subscription forms
- Anti-spam features
- Statistics (of course)