PhP E-mail Newsletter Help

Hi, so here’s my deal. I know HTML, but I am a quick learner and can edit PHP where needed. Given this, I’d appreciate any kind of step by step help I can get.

So here’s what I have:

  1. A newsletter made of HTML text, tables, and images (the body of my e-mail newsletter)
  2. A bunch of e-mails listed in an excel table
  3. A dreamhost account

I keep being referred to this announcement list thing by support, but it doesn’t seem to be what I need. I have about 100 email addresses I want to send my email out to. I was told I needed to use PHP to put my HTML into the body of the email. If someone could tell me step by step where I need to go and even a code snippet of where I need to edit and whatnot to successfully send my HTML inside of an email to 100 people it would really help me out. I don’t need people to subscribe to anything, they already do that through my site. Thanks!

I am assuming, since you have discussed this with support, that you realize what you are proposing to do is very likely in violation of DreamHost’s bulk emailing policies and can result in the loss of your account, without refund.

I’m just wondering why you would choose to proceed in the face of that rather than working to comply with the opt-in confirmation requirements. It would also seem that publicly seek assistance in doing so is just going to result in bringing attention to your actions.

If you have questions about the bulk email policies, or are still confused, I respectfully suggest that your goals are better served by seeking clarification of those policies, and how can comply with them, than by seeking assistance with the purely technical aspects of what you are trying to do (which is the least problematic aspect of your situation).

–DreamHost Tech Support

As I stated in my post, I am already confused as to how to do this. I am not a spammer, nor am I going to spam anyone. I have a thing on my site that lets people sign up for a newsletter email. Because of this, I have about 100 people that want these e-mails, and that’s who I intend to send to. I’m not trying to avoid dreamhost ways of doing this, all I’m trying to do is get this email newsletter done. I worked very hard on it.

I contacted dreamhost more than once asking how to do this, all they said was look at the announcement list, they also said they don’t offer support for it. So here I am, confused as to what it even does. I even looked online on dreamhost wikipedia, and I don’t understand what it’s used for. So no, I am not avoiding dreamhost’s policies. I know spamming results in suspension. That’s why I’m on a dreamhost forum, asking for help the dreamhost way.

However, I appreciate not being attacked. I didn’t do anything wrong and I don’t intend to do anything harmful to anyone, or violate any policies. So, rather than worry about me losing my membership when I won’t violate any policies, how about you worry about losing a dedicated dreamhost customer.

If anyone can tell me how to use the announcement list to send my subscribers a newsletter e-mail with PHP or any way that will work without violating any rules, it would really go a long way. Like I said, I’ve worked hard on it and just have one step left! Thanks,


I think you have significantly misunderstood what I was trying to tell you in my post, so I will try again - even at the risk of being misunderstood once again :wink:

To send these emails, from DreamHost, and not be considered a spammer, is more involved than having a thing on your site where anyone who wants to can put any email address they want to into a form and thinking that means that the person who owns the email address entered wants to receive your newsletter.

That is a start at complying with our policies, but only a start. In order to be compliant with our policies, to insure only those who want your newsletter get it, and avoid newletters sent to those addresses being considered as “spam”, you have to confirm the validity of that “signup” (and you have to log certain information about that confirmation (so that you can prove you did this).

There are several reasons for this, the most obvious of which is to prevent “BIll” from putting “Peter’s” email address into “the thing” on your site (which would cause you to email your newsletter to Peter without him having asked for it - in other words, “spamming” Peter). If you bulk email without that step, a single misdirected email makes you a spammer by definition.

The next thing that happens is that Peter complains, you can’t show the opt-in confirmation, and your account is terminated for spamming. Hopefully, this clarifies things for you a bit.

I am not trying to attack you here, but if you can’t differentiate the help you are being offered from an attack, or understand what the policies are and how they differ from what you indicate you intend to do, you probably shouldn’t be attempting to bulk email from your DreamHost account - nothing good is likely to come of that.

The announcement list is, as you were told, by far the easiest way to do this without getting your account in trouble or having to push the limits of your programming abilities. No one should have told you they do not offer support for the Announcement List feature we offer, as that is just not correct.

We do not offer support for any other bulk mailing software, but we provide the Announcement List precisely so that users not familiar with the esoterica of responsible bulk emailing can do what you are trying to do with your newsletter, and we do offer support for that.

My response to you was absolutely the result of my worrying about losing a dedicated DreamHost customer. I would hate to see you get your account closed because you just didn’t get it when it come to opt-in confirmation.

Please re-read my initial post. No one here has said you are doing anything wrong, but I was cautioning you about something you appeared to not understand so that you would not inadvertently do something that would jeopardize your account. Please be clear here - bulk mailing a newsletter to 100 recipients whose addresses were collected via a website, but not confirmed, would seriously jeopardize your account. Guaranteed. What is happening here is not an attack, but an attempt to save you from yourself.

Is the DreamHost wiki article that you looked at the one about using the Announcement List feature? That has a step by step question and answer format of how to use that software. If you have questions about that, many here, and all DreamHost tech support staff are willing to help you with it - and if you do use it, you will have no compliance issues and you can send your 100, or 1,000, or 10,000 newsletters without issue or programming at all. :slight_smile:

And finally … lighten up! If you snap at the hand that is offered to help you, people will quit offering the hand and just leave you to your own mistakes. There is nothing wrong with not understanding something, but deciding to go your own way in areas foreign to you can be an awfully hard way to travel. Use the guides that pop up along the way instead of assuming the worst - you’ll get a lot more help that way.

–DreamHost Tech Support