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Phplist Documentation

Message Functions

PHPlist allows you to send a message to list(s) of users (see 'What are lists and users?')
In addition to being a simple mailing list system, PHPlist allows you to send targeted messages using criteria. These criteria use the attributes and attribute values given by users (see 'What are attributes?' and 'what are values?')

You can include these values in the messages to make these messages more user-specific by using placeholders.

You can create templates for your future messages.

Once your messages are sent, you can view messages, view statistics on how many messages were sent, how many of them were opened by users, how many users clicked links provided in the messages, etc. (see Message Statistics)

Basic rules

To send a message using Phplist, there are a minimum of four rules to follow:
  1. You have to have a message to send: you can't send an empty message! So the Message Content tab must be appropriately filled in.
  2. You have to choose one or several lists you will send the message to. So you must choose at least one list in the Select Lists tab.
  3. Do not forget to click on Save changes when you go from one tab to the next.
  4. You have to process the message queue to actually send out the message.

At any point, you can send a test message to see what the actual message would look like. Note: whenever you send a test message, none of the rules above apply. It is highly recommended to send yourself test messages if you are unfamiliar with Phplist. Please note that a test message will not take into account any Criteria, but it will replace placeholders by the values of the file of the user specified in the address field.


  1. Always send yourself a test message before sending our your message. This is particularly true if you send out complex messages with placeholders and/or HTML formatting.
  2. Try using placeholders whenever you can. This is useful to make your emails more user-specific.
  3. Allow people to return to their personal file by adding a [PREFERENCES] placeholder somewhere in your message.
  4. Invite your newsletter readers to send a copy of the newsletter to someone they know might be interested by using the phpList's Forward feature.

Related pages

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