Open Source Email Marketing




Looking to see if any of you could recommend an open source e-mail marketing solution that you have successfully deployed to your dreamhost website.

Looking at PHPList or OpenEMM.

Thanks for your thoughts,


I can not stress this strongly enough. DON’T DO IT! Dreamhost is extremely lenient when it comes to filespace and throughput, but they are strict when it comes to anything that could be considering spam.

If you are sure that you want to use email marketing from here, make sure to read the TOS very carefully and do everything that is mentioned. I had a client using a 3rd party marketing system to send mails through a mailserver not hosted here that directed traffic to an affiliate site that isn’t hosted here either. The fact that he had a banner hotlinked in the mail that was hosted here was enough to get DH looking into the issue.

I like the service here so much that I chose to let him take his site and go, rather than run the risk of losing my account. Keep in mind that there are also pretty restrictive limits placed on the amount of mail that can be sent through your DH account too.


I have to agree with pangea33. This is not the place to do mass-marketing using email lists like PHPlist. Here’s why:

A. You’re limited 200 emails per hour over any venue.
B. A list of 700 people will take three plus hours to send at 200 per hour.
C. If your list is well documented and you have proof that everyone on it has subscribed themselves, Dreamhost will sometimes allow you to bump it to 500 per hour, if you’re lucky. But you have to have irrefutable proof, such as subscription history logs.
D. Suppose you’re sending something at 200 emails per hour. You send the first 200 at 1:00pm. Now you want to send an email to Mom from your Outlook? You have to wait an hour.

If you are accused of sending spam and can’t prove that the accuser subscribed himself, you’re likely going to get in trouble with Dreamhost.

I’ve got a non-profit list that I send out on PHPList. There are 700 people on the list. I have PHPList set to send out from a browser to 10 email addresses at a time every 240 seconds, giving me a rate of 150 emails per hour. That way I can still send out an occasional email to my friends, but at this rate, my browser will busy for four and two-thirds hours, so long as I don’t close the browser.

It may be slow, but it’s cheap - something non-profits like. It used to take longer to fax a press release over a modem when people still did that, so ‘slow and cheap’ is nothing new to non-profits.

This may be entirely inappropriate for mass marketing, though.


I appreciate both of your responses and input. Looks like I’ll stay away from trying to host a e-mail marketing program with my DH account. I definitely want to avoid getting “turned off” - I’ll start sourcing out some companies that do that specifically.

Thanks again for your insight. DH has a great user base and I always get the answer I’m looking for when I post!



There are a lot of companies that offer that sort of service. It’s a hassle, but I just remember the pants-shi**ing terror of the prospect of losing all the stuff I’ve spent so much time setting up.