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A Django app for sending newsletter by email to a contact list.

Project description

The problematic was :

How to couple a contact base to a mailing list and sending newsletters throught Django ?

Imagine that we have an application containing some kind of profiles or something like the django.contrib.auth and you want to send newsletters to them and tracking the activity.


More than a long speech, here the list of the main features :

  • Coupling capacities with another django model.

  • Variables can be used in the newsletter’s templates.

  • Mailing list managements (merging, importing…).

  • Import/Export of the contact in VCard 3.0.

  • Configurable SMTP servers with flow limit management.

  • Working groups.

  • Can send newsletter previews.

  • Subscriptions and unsubscriptions to mailing list.

  • Attachments in newsletters.

  • Unique urls for an user.

  • Tracking statistics.


At the level of the application architecture, we can see 2 originalities who need to be explained.

Content types

The content types application is used to link any Contact model instance to another model instance. This allow you to create different kinds of contact linked to differents application, and retrieve the association at anytime.

This is particulary usefull with the templates variables if certain informations are located in the model instance linked.


The emencia.django.newsletter application will never send the newsletters registered in the site until you launch the send_newsletter command.

$ python send_newsletter

This command will launch the newsletters who need to be launched accordingly to the credits of the SMTP server of the newsletter. That’s mean that not all newsletters will be expedied at the end of the command because if you use a public SMTP server you can be banished temporarly if you reach the sending limit. To avoid banishment all the newsletters are not sended in the same time and immediately.

So it is recommanded to create a cronjob for launching this command every hours for example.


You could retrieve the last sources from and running the installation script

$ python install

or use pip

$ pip install -e git://

For the latest stable version use easy_install

$ easy_install emencia.django.newsletter


Then register emencia.django.newsletter, admin, contenttypes and tagging in the INSTALLED_APPS section of your project’s settings.

  # Your favorites apps

Template Context Processors

Add these following template context processors if not already present.



In your project adding this following line to include the newsletter’s urls for serving the newsletters in HTML.

url(r'^newsletters/', include('emencia.django.newsletter.urls')),

Note this urlset is provided for convenient usage, but you can do something like that if you want to customize your urls :

url(r'^newsletters/', include('emencia.django.newsletter.urls.newsletter')),
url(r'^mailing/', include('emencia.django.newsletter.urls.mailing_list')),
url(r'^tracking/', include('emencia.django.newsletter.urls.tracking')),
url(r'^statistics/', include('emencia.django.newsletter.urls.statistics')),

Media Files

You have to make a symbolic link from emencia/django/newsletter/media/ directory to your media directory or make a copy named edn, but if want to change this value, define NEWSLETTER_MEDIA_URL in the as appropriate.

Don’t forget to serve this url.


Now you can run a syncdb for installing the models into your database.

DBMS considerations

It’s not recommended to use SQLite for production use. Because is limited to 999 variables into a SQL query, you can not create a Mailing List greater than this limitations in the Django’s admin modules. Prefer MySQL ou PgSQL.

HOWTO use TinyMCE for editing the newsletters

It can be usefull for the end user to have a WYSIWYG editor for the creation of the newsletter. The choice of the WYSIWYG editor is free and the described method can be applied for anything, but we will focus on TinyMCE because he has many features and a usefull plugin for loading templates within it.

First of all install the django-tinymce application into your project.

Now you will write a module called into the root directory of your project. This module will override the NewsletterAdmin class provided by emencia.django.newsletter with the TinyMCE editor and register the overrided class into the admin site.

from django import forms
from django.contrib import admin

from tinymce.widgets import TinyMCE
from emencia.django.newsletter.models import Newsletter
from emencia.django.newsletter.admin import NewsletterAdmin

class NewsletterTinyMCEForm(forms.ModelForm):
    content = forms.CharField(widget=TinyMCE(attrs={'cols': 150, 'rows': 80}))

    class Meta:
        model = Newsletter

class NewsletterTinyMCEAdmin(NewsletterAdmin):
    form = NewsletterTinyMCEForm, NewsletterTinyMCEAdmin)

The last step is to make a call to your module to load the code. A good solution is to import the module in the file of your project.

import yourproject.admin

Enjoy !

HOWTO couple your profile application with emencia.django.newsletter

If you wan to quickly import your contacts into a mailing list for example, you can write an admin’s action for your model.

We suppose that we have the fields email, first_name and last_name in a models name Profile.

In his AdminModel definition add this method and register it into the actions property.

class ProfileAdmin(admin.ModelAdmin):

    def make_mailing_list(self, request, queryset):
        from emencia.django.newsletter.models import Contact
        from emencia.django.newsletter.models import MailingList

        subscribers = []
        for profile in queryset:
          contact, created = Contact.objects.get_or_create(email=profile.mail,
                                                           defaults={'first_name': profile.first_name,
                                                                     'last_name': profile.last_name,
                                                                     'content_object': profile})
        new_mailing = MailingList(name='New mailing list',
                                  description='New mailing list created from admin/profile')
        self.message_user(request, '%s succesfully created.' % new_mailing)
    make_mailing_list.short_description = 'Create a mailing list'

    actions = ['make_mailing_list',]

This action will create or retrieve all the Contact instances needed for the mailing list creation.

After this you can send a newsletter to this mailing list.


A Buildout script is provided to properly initialize the project for anybody who wants to contribute.

First of all, please use VirtualEnv to protect your system.

Follow these steps to start the development :

$ git clone git://
$ virtualenv --no-site-packages emencia-django-newsletter
$ cd emencia-django-newsletter
$ source ./bin/activate
$ python
$ ./bin/buildout

The buildout script will resolve all the dependancies needed to develop the application.

Once these operations are done, you are ready to develop on the project.

Run this command to launch the tests.

$ ./bin/test

Pretty easy no ?

Database Representation


0.1dev (unreleased)

  • Initial release

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