Better e-Newsletter documentation

The "Usage" information for e-Newsletter says "just click activate" -- but that's not true. I think the 3 plugin tabs (General, Outgoing Email, and Bounce Settings tabs) aren't exactly self-explanatory.

Here are my questions (that should be provided as default documentation, somewhere):
- Because the General tab says "Install" instead of "Save" -- I wonder if I choose SMTP today and want PHP mail tomorrow, am I unable to change that? I get the impression from an "Install" button that it's installing components based on my choices.
- Checkbox: "Yes, members will get confirmation email to subscribe to newsletters (only for not registered users)" -- Which one is it -- will "members" get confirmation or will "not registered users" get confirmation? Why doesn't the plugin use the terms "eNewsletter subscribers" or "WordPress users" or something else to be more clear?
- For SMTP settings, doesn't GMail limit outgoing mail to 500 messages (or is it 500 recipients) per day? 1) What are the exact GMail settings to enter? 2) How does a 500 or any other service's limit come into play? 3) If SMTP/PHP mail has issues sending, does the plugin email me or put a message in wp-admin to tell me that 0 of 600 went out or 500 of 600 went out?
- How do the CRON settings affect outgoing emails? For example, if I disable CRON (which is a plugin option), to me, it sounds like emails wouldn't go out at all. How do the CRON settings affect things for SMTP differently from PHPMail, if any differences?
- The last setting on the Email Settings tab relates to the last 2 questions above: If I know GMail limits to 500 and I put that setting at 450 per day (because I might use that email account manually too), does it email the other 150 of my 600 recipients tomorrow? I assume yes, but I don't want to assume anything when it comes to email.
- For Bounce tab, if I put in the same GMail address as I'm sending from, do I still need to enter the POP settings? I assume yes, but what if I don't enter POP settings at all, whether for GMail or another service? Does that mean the the wp-admin area won't log which emails were bounced? If I use emailaddress+bounce@gmail.com (the '+bounce' part is really emailaddress@gmail.com but allows me to create a filter in GMail to auto-archive and skip the Inbox), do the POP settings still work? I suppose I could click the "test connection" button (nice feature), but I don't want to start clicking buttons without knowing.

So, pretty much every setting could use some documentation help in my opinion -- more clarity at least.

Email is such a delicate thing. If I don't set things up right, it could mess up the email address' inbox or sent mail; it could make all the subscribers upset and say "who is this bum sending a bunch of wrong emails" or "that email didn't work right" or whatever.

Thank you for accepting my feedback, and I look forward to answers.

  • Timothy Bowers

    Hey Clifford.

    We are still working on documentation at the moment and hope to have everything up to speed soon.

    - Because the General tab says "Install" instead of "Save" -- I wonder if I choose SMTP today and want PHP mail tomorrow, am I unable to change that? I get the impression from an "Install" button that it's installing components based on my choices.

    You can change later. Just edit the settings page.

    - Checkbox: "Yes, members will get confirmation email to subscribe to newsletters (only for not registered users)" -- Which one is it -- will "members" get confirmation or will "not registered users" get confirmation? Why doesn't the plugin use the terms "eNewsletter subscribers" or "WordPress users" or something else to be more clear?

    Double Opt in is for non WordPress users that only signup for a newsletter.

    I shall ping cole to reword this.

    - For SMTP settings, doesn't GMail limit outgoing mail to 500 messages (or is it 500 recipients) per day?

    1) What are the exact GMail settings to enter?

    2) How does a 500 or any other service's limit come into play?

    3) If SMTP/PHP mail has issues sending, does the plugin email me or put a message in wp-admin to tell me that 0 of 600 went out or 500 of 600 went out?

    1. They should be the same as you would enter in your desktop mail client. There is an example on that page including the gmail port:

    ssl://smtp.gmail.com:465

    465 is the port number.

    http://support.google.com/mail/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=13287

    2. If they are restricting you to sending 500, then that is all you can send.

    There is an option in there to run through the WP cron, you can set the limit to run per cron and whether that is per hour, day or month.

    They are on the settings page

    Admin --> E-newsletter --> Settings --> Outgoing Mail Settings [TAB]

    /wp-admin/admin.php?page=newsletters-settings

    3. It will handle bounces.

    You can see from the newsletter page how many are sent and opened but it won't tell you if there was a connection issue for example. It should then try and process again I believe.

    You should be able to check your error logs if mails are not going.

    - How do the CRON settings affect outgoing emails? For example, if I disable CRON (which is a plugin option), to me, it sounds like emails wouldn't go out at all. How do the CRON settings affect things for SMTP differently from PHPMail, if any differences?

    Cron is used for sending batches of emails, when disabled the plugin will try and send them all in one go.

    That could result in server timeout issues with large subscriber lists.

    Enabling cron will process them in batches of however many you define and how often you define.

    - The last setting on the Email Settings tab relates to the last 2 questions above: If I know GMail limits to 500 and I put that setting at 450 per day (because I might use that email account manually too), does it email the other 150 of my 600 recipients tomorrow? I assume yes, but I don't want to assume anything when it comes to email.

    They will process the next day if you set the cron to run daily.

    - For Bounce tab, if I put in the same GMail address as I'm sending from, do I still need to enter the POP settings? I assume yes, but what if I don't enter POP settings at all, whether for GMail or another service? Does that mean the the wp-admin area won't log which emails were bounced? If I use emailaddress+bounce@gmail.com (the '+bounce' part is really emailaddress@gmail.com but allows me to create a filter in GMail to auto-archive and skip the Inbox), do the POP settings still work? I suppose I could click the "test connection" button (nice feature), but I don't want to start clicking buttons without knowing.

    You should create a separate pop account for that. All Bounce mail will then be handled by a different account and not crowd your main one.

    I believe if you don't use it then bounce feature would not work.

    The plugin will log in and see the pop email and I believe remove it as it confirms. It shouldn't be in another folder.

    Take care.