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Dada Mail v6.6.0 Released - Three Main Features:

 
From: "Dada Mail Announcement List" <justin@dadamailproject.com>
Subject: Dada Mail v6.6.0 Released - Three Main Features:
Date: September 4th 2013
Dada Mail 6.3.0 Released

Dada Mail SIX SIX ZERO Released

Dada Mail is a Contemporary Mailing List Manager, enabling you to easily run a verified mailing list that your subscribers can trust, right on your own website. v6.6.0 is our latest, stable release.

v6.6.0 is a Pretty Big Release! D.I.Y. Install or Let Us Do It For You.

The redesigned Membership Admin Screen makes it easy to add/update/remove a member from your mailing list, as well as view/export their subscriber history, mailing list activity, as well as work with their individual Dada Mail Profile.

For this release, we've focused on Three Main Features:

Keep reading below for the complete changelog for this release,

Pricing Notice!

On Monday, September 16th, 2013, our prices for Pro Dada Purchases, and Pro Dada Installations will increase. Please take advantage of the current prices and Purchase Pro Dada, or Request an Installation, before 9/16/13.

Pro Dada Forever

Purchase Pro Dada ($64.95) for a lifetime of access to the Dada Mail User Manual, as well as Pro Dada.

The Pro Dada Manual has a chapter dedicated to every screen in the list control panel, to provide help right where you need it.

Read a Sample Chapter (or two (or three!))

Pro Dada comes without a footer back to our support site and without mailing list or subscriber size quotas. The best part? Access to Pro Dada and the Dada Mail Manual is yours, for the life of the Dada Mail Project.

A huge thanks goes to everyone that has been supporting Dada Mail through it's amazing 13+ year run of development by purchasing Pro Dada!

Pro Dada Installations

Pro Dada installations start at only $24.95 for one-time install/upgrade.

Order Your Own Install/Upgrade of Pro Dada v6.6.0

Demo Dada Mail

v6.6.0 Complete Changelog:

Mass Mailing Enhancements: Sending Error Detection and Reporting

Dada Mail has enhanced its sending error detection during mass mailings. Due to how many messages go out during a mass mailing and how fast you may be sending out these messages, problems with mail sending could potentially happen. Historically, Dada Mail has been less than bright than it could be when handling and reporting these problems.

Dada Mail is now tuned to catch addresses causing problems and perform some intelligent tasks:

Problems?! Try again.

If a message to an address is not sending out correctly, Dada Mail will now wait a small period of time (a few seconds), and try sending twice more. This should help with any very temporary problems dealing with your mail system itself (your own MTA, an outside SMTP server, or service like Amazon SES). Hey, things happen, every once in awhile. The idea is that brief hiccups on your end, shouldn't mean a subscriber misses receiving an important message from you.

Still having problems? Give it a rest and try again, one more time

If, after three tries sending the message, the message still doesn't get sent, Dada Mail will now temporarily stop it's entire mass mailing process and start again, after a slightly longer amount of time (a few minutes). This is to make sure there isn't a problem with Dada Mail itself - the resources its taking on the server, or any other very strange, very fringe problems.

After this wait, Dada Mail will start its mass mailing process at the address that was having the delivery problems and try for another round of three more times - just to make sure. If this is successful, great! Business as usual. If the address fails in sending, the address is logged, and skipped over and the next address is then sent to.

Sending Error? Log and Report.

This is a marked improvement over what Dada Mail has done in the past: basically do nothing very intelligent when an address fails during sending. Addresses that fail are now reported, using the Tracker plugin, which allows you to see exactly which addresses are causing problems (this data can be exported as a .csv file, as well!) and what percentage of your total mailing list is having problems with sending errors.

Now that you know this information, you can then take some action to fix it. The majority of problems on cheap, shared hosting platforms are related to mass mailing speed: you're sending too fast.

This is also the eaisest types of problem sto fix, as Dada Mail supports changing how fast a mass mailing goes out, through it's batch sending system. For more complicated problems, you can then look in Dada Mail's error logs for more details - Dada Mail's Log Viewer plugin also makes this easy.

Track it.

Since sending errors are now reported, the reports created by the Tracker plugin can now be more accurate. Message opens, bounce rates, etc. percentages now do not count addresses that failed to even be sent out by Dada Mail, giving you a better idea on how many messages were interacted with, compared to how many were sent out, correctly (rather than the full total).

Feedback Welcome!

We're sure we'll be getting a lot of feedback from users that are just noticing that they may be having problems on their end with sending. We're hoping that armed with this new data, that deliverability will increase.

Tracker plugin enhancements: Sending Errors

Along with logged Sending Errors, the Tracker plugin has been updated to report those errors in a easy-to-digest way:

"The Basics" Pie Chart

Sending Errors are first shown reported, per message, in the first Pie Chart at the top of the screen. The pie chart is composed of Delivered Messages, Hand/Soft Bounces, as well as addresses that had Sending Errors.

Sending Errors are also reported in the right-hand table, under, Sending Errors as both the total number of Sending Errors, and the percentage compared to how many addresses were sent to.

"Sending Errors" tab

Sending Errors also has its own tab, underneith, The Basics. This tab will both list the addresses where Sending Errors happened, as well as a pie chart, broken down by domain. There's also an option to export these addresses as a .csv file.

Other Tracker changes: more accurate report percentages

The Tracker plugin now shows percentages to the nearest tenth of a percent, rather than rounding up numbers to the nearest whole number. This helps in getting a better picture of what's happening with your mailing list: things like Sender Errors, Bounces and Unsubscribes could be a very small amount of activity, when compared to how large your mailing list is.

Working with Subscribers: More Powerful Tools

List Owners now have much more powerful tools to work with individual subscribers of their mailing lists, as well as the ability to work across different mailing lists. The completely rewritten Membership screen now has four separate tabs to work with your mailing list member: Membership, Subscriber History, Mailing List Activity, Profile.

Membership

The Membership tab allows you to work with the email address of one of your mailing list members. Here, you may Add, Update or Remove the address for your mailing list. A Dada Mail mailing list is actually composed of many different sublist types. So, for example, when you send a mass mailing out, you're sending a message out to your Subscribers sublist.

But, Dada Mail has other sublists that provide different roles. For example, Dada Mail's Black List allows you to have a list of addresses that aren't allowed to join your list. This is also known as a, Suppression List

The, Authorized Senders sublist is a list of addresses that are allowed to send out a message from their own mail reader, without having to log into Dada Mail, that then gets delivered to your Subscribers (this is done with the Bridge plugin, which is bundled with Dada Mail)

The Membership tab allows you to Add/Update/Remove addresses across these sublists. If you're logged into a mailing list with the Dada Mail Root Password, you'll also be able to do all things things, across all your mailing lists.

Dada Mail is smart when allowing you to work with the addresses that make up your mailing list, as these addresses are the most valuable asset of the whole system. Checks are done to make sure you're not going to mess up subscriptions, and all these functions only happen after Dada Mail validates your request and you confirm the changes.

Listed in the Membership tab will be all the sublists an individual email address is a member of, for the Mailing List you're currently logged into. Be aware that one address may be a member of multiple sublists.

For example, an address may be both a Subscriber (Subscribers receive mass mailings sent to the mailing list), an Authorized Sender (Authorized Senders are able to send messages via Bridge, as well as moderate messages sent via Bridge to a mailing list set up as a discussion list), as well as being on the White List (Only White Listed members are allowed to subscribe to a mailing list).

An address could also be simply on the Black List, with no permission to be a member of your Subscribers, until they're first removed from the Black List and added to the Subscribers sublist.

If an address is currently on the Subscription Requests sublist, they will be awaiting approval from the List Owner to join the Subscribers sublist. You may Approve or Deny this request on this screen as well.

Subscriber History

Dada Mail logs the subscriber history of an address: when the address was added/updated/removed from one of your mailing lists and their underlying sublists. This, "paper trail" helps out when painting a picture of how this address has become a part of your mailing list. Information recorded includes the time of the add/update/removal, IP address of the request, and what exactly was done with the address.

This information can also be exported in a .csv format, to be opened and worked with, in any application that understand this format - things like Excel or other spreadsheet applications.

If you have logged into your mailing list with the Dada Mail Root Password, you may view the history for the mailing list you're currently logged into, as well as all mailing lists - the latter can also be exported to .csv format.

Mailing List Activity

The, Mailing List Activity tab shows you how the subscriber has interacted with the mass mailings you've sent. Things like, Opens, Clickthroughs, Unsubscriptions, Sending errors, Hard/Soft Bounces are tracked for each message you send out. This information is shown for each recent mass mailing that's sent.

Like the Subscriber History, this data can also be exported in .csv format, to be opened up in an outside application. Data that's exported includes the data and time of the activity, what type of activity this was, if it was a clickthrough, what URL was clicked through, the message id of the message, as well as the IP address the subscriber was coming from.

Profile

The Profile tab allows you to work with the Subscriber's Profile. Dada Mail's Profile system allows you to save additional information, other than an email address, that's association with your subscriber. These fields are pretty free-form, so you can add whatever you'd like: First Name, Last Name, City, State, Favorite Color, etc.

These fields can be edited by the user themselves, as well as in this tab. You may also change the password used by your user to access their own information.

RESTful Subscription Interface EXPERIMENTAL

Dada Mail has a new EXPERIMENTAL RESTful interface to its mailing list subscription system, which should allow you to use it as a service in another app of yours. For more information, see the Subscription Cookbook docs:

http://dadamailproject.com/d/COOKBOOK-subscriptions.pod.html

Examples of how to use this API are included, written in JavaScript and Perl. A fully-functioning demo, complete with all the trimmings is also included in this release, that you may use to explore the service.

Earlier REST and SOAP experimental client/server scripts, located in the dada/extras/scripts/subscribe have now been removed. For this new RESTful interface, no additional scripts are needed to be installed.

Administration Screen changes

Changes have been made to the, Administration screen - if you are already logged into a mailing list, you'll be redirected to the default list control panel screen (usually, Send a Message), rather than to the Administration screen, that simply tells you you're logged in and provides a link to go this same screen.

Black/White List Definition Changes

The Black List can currently hold email addresses,

user@example.com

or parts of email addresses, like this:

user@
@example.com

It wasn't entirely clear what was meant by, "part" of an address, so this has been clarified:

The part of an email address must include the, @ symbol, to remove the ambiguity of if you want to Black List the user or domain part of the address and something like this doesn't happen:

example.com@someotherdomain.com

So the following are now not valid Black List (or White List) entries:

user
example.com

If you do have entries like this in your current Black List/White List, they simply won't do much of anything.

Installer

Enable Debugging Options

The included Dada Mail Installer now allows you to enabled Debugging Options for Dada Mail. These debugging options add extra log information in Dada Mail's own error log, and includes both modules that make up Dada Mail, as well as bundled CPAN Perl modules. This option is located under the, Advanced Configuration (Optional) heading, and is available in our Pro Dada distribution.

JSON module installed if needed

The JSON CPAN modules are used heavily in Dada Mail, but is not installed by default on many hosting platforms. To make things easier, the Dada Mail Installer will look to see if they're already installed system-wide and if they're not, it will move a bundled Pure-Perl version of the modules into its own perllib, thus making it available to be used. This saves some time from having to manually doing this same thing yourself, every time an upgrade is done.

It's still suggested to install the JSON Perl module yourself to get the XS-version for speed, either manually, or using cpan/cpanmin

Changes

The Dada Mail Manual

The Dada Mail Manual has been updated to reflect the major overhaul fo the Membership list control panel screen.

The, Using Tracker chapter has also been updated to reflect the new features in this released (logging and reporting Sending Errors)

The, Mailing Sending - Options screen has also been updated to reflect the current options available.

Profile Fields

In previous versions of Dada Mail, the app had a curious, if not downright broken behavior when it come to Profile Fields:

If a subscriber was a member of one mailing list, and was then subscribed to another mailing list, any saved Profile Fields tied to that address would be lost - even if that new subscription didn't have any new Profile Fields passed to Dada Mail.

This behavior has now changed:

If an address, that has saved Profile Field information, and is subscribed to a mailing list, that original information will now be preserved. If an address is subscribed, but had no profile field information saved, any new information would then be saved.

It's unclear yet what to do with a subscriber, that has saved Profile Field information that's subscribed to another mailing list, along with new Profile Field information - should the new information be used instead? Should the old information be kept? Shoudl some sort of sophisticated folding of data happen? Should it be a pref. somewhere? (per mass import, in the list control panel?)

We're not sure yet, but we encourage feedback.

uncompress_dada.cgi script

The helper script named, uncompress_dada.cgi is kept intentionally simple, so as to be super-quick to download, and easy to read along, if little niggling changes need to be made for your environment. We've changed a few things to make things more flexible:

Some people moving from Basic Dada Mail, to Pro Dada mail noticed that if BOTH the dada-6_x_y.tar.gz distro and pro_dada-6_x_y distro are present in your installing directory, the dada-6_x_y.tar.gz will be used, causing confusion. uncompress_dada.cgi will now explicitly look for the pro_dada-6_x_y first.

Bugfixes 6.6.0

"Your Request For Subscription is Complete" HTML screen completely missing

https://github.com/justingit/dada-mail/issues/398

""Welcome" Message to Addresses Subscribed in the List Control Panel" does not provide unsub link, warning in the list control panel

https://github.com/justingit/dada-mail/issues/395

Mass Mailings sometime Reload, without end - browser says, "Reloading Mailing..."

https://github.com/justingit/dada-mail/issues/399

Dada Mail!

Dada Mail helps you with managing an email mailing list, offering complete support for safe, closed-loop opt-in subscriptions, sending out mass mailings, keeping message archives and allowing you to share your messages in lots of neat ways.

You run Dada Mail on your own web hosting account, giving you complete control over your valuable mailing lists. Do It Yourself - Dada Mail is designed for small businesses in mind, to provide an economical and extremely flexible solution to reach out to your customers, fans, friends, business partners and clients. There's no monthly fee to use Dada Mail, based on sending amount or otherwise.

Interact with Dada Mail through your web browser, making Dada Mail available anywhere you have a connection to the Internet, your business computer, your smart phone, your iPad, or any other computer, while on the go.

Dada Mail is rich with features, but tries to Keep It Simple. Dada Mail is designed to favor flexibility, extensibility and ease-of-use over core speed or extremely flashy but hard-to-use features. We ship Dada Mail with sane default mailing list preferences, so you can start using Dada Mail, without causing a faux pas and keeping your subscribers happy.

Dada Mail is designed to be installed, setup and understood by regular people who have websites, but packs enough advanced features to entice more proficient users. If you've installed a bulletin board or web blog software, you can install Dada Mail.

Dada Mail can scale. Install Dada Mail on most any basic hosting account and start sending out messages right away. Mailing List growing? Switch to sending with a more powerful third-party system, like Amazon SES, where there's potentially no limit on the number of emails you may send - all without having to change mailing list mangement systems or your hosting.

Dada Mail is free software that you're able to use, modify, share and enhance under the terms of the GNU General Public License. Dada Mail is written in Perl because we love Perl. Open Source software is easier to keep current, bug free and working great and our development is open for anyone to check out or even help out.

Dada Mail is named after the Dada Art Movement, comprised of in part of an incredibly creative pocket of free thinkers that expressed themselves without boundaries during the horrific time of WWI. Dada defies actual definition (by design!) and we'd like to be surprised and delighted to learn how you use Dada Mail!

Justin J
Lead Dadaist
The Dada Mail Project

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