Once you have ordered PHPAutoResponder from www.phpautoresponder.com, a link with the necessary login information will be mailed to the e-mail address specified by you at the time of ordering.

Login to this link, and download the phpautoresponder.zip file.

Note:Many of the steps detailed below such as creating a new folder in your website, using FTP software to upload files and setting up a MySQL Database are very specific to the Web Hosting company. Please contact your Web Hosting company for step-by-step instructions if you are not familiar with them.

Unzip the phpautoresponder.zip file that you downloaded.

Upload the phpautoresponder files to the main directory of your website; (or to a sub-folder, if you so wish; in this case, you will have to create a sub-folder under your main directory)

In the FTP client, change the permissions on “inc\config.php” file from “0644” to “0777”. For changing the permission, right click on “Config.php”->Select Properties-> Replace the value “0644” with “0777”.

Next, set up your MYSQL database:
  • Please go to http://www.yourdomainname.com/phpmyadmin/ or get the url of phpmyadmin from the host company.
  • Enter the database name in the “Create Database” textbox and click the “Go” button.
  • In most cases, you would not have access to phpmyadmin -Get the help of your web hosting company to create a database in such a case.

Open your browser and point it to:

  • http://www.yourdomainname.com/install.php - if the PHPAutoResponder files were installed in the main directory.

  • http://www.yourdomainname.com/<sub-folder>/install.php -if you chose to install the files in a sub-folder.

Database Settings Information

The following details about the database need to be filled in:
  • Database Host- is mostly localhost. Can be found in the PHPMyAdmin Control Panel. If not, please get it from your webhosting company.
  • Database User – The user name for the database that you created.
  • Database Password – The password for the database.
  • Database Name – The name of the new database that you created.
  • Database Tables Prefix The database prefix - this is a compulsory user-defined value. The default value here can be “phpautoresponder”.

Administration settings information

You can set own user name and password here.

Once the Database settings and Administration settings are filled in, click the “Proceed” button.

If everything goes well, PHP Autoresponder will tell you it was installed successfully.

After the installation process is successfully completed, delete the install.php file.

Go to http://www.yourdomainname.com/admin/login.php and login using the Admin username and password that you created. (This admin page can also be accessed from the successful installation notification page.)

Click on Configuration to view/edit the various settings.

Admin Panel -> Configuration Settings

  • General Settings:
    • Date Directory Path
      • Location of template.If you store templates in the “data” folder, leave the default path as it is. Else, you would have to modify the path to point to the location of the files.

    • Dashboard Pagination
      • No. of mails to be displayed in a tabular format per page. 50 is the default here.

  • Email Settings
    • From Name
      • Default is “Admin”. Change it to the name that you would like mails to go out from.

    • From Email
      • Sender Email Address (Your Email Address or Admin Email Address)
      • Batch # of Emails
        • No. of emails to be sent at a time.Default value is 50. (A value between 5 and 120 should suffice)

      • Email Method
        • The mailing method that you would like to use. You can choose between PHP Mail (default), Sendmail and SMTP.

  • Verification
    • Subscribers Verification
      • If you choose “Yes” here, a mail will be sent to subscribers for verification when they subscribe. They would be required to click on the verification link in the mail for their account to get activated. A useful measure to minimize spam account creation.

    • Verification Script URL
      • Location of verification script file. If you change the location, update the path or else the default path will suffice.

    • Verification Success URL
      • Location of verification success script file. If you change the location, update the path or else the default path will suffice.

    • Verification Failure URL
    • Location of verification failure script file. If you change the location, update the path or else the default path will suffice.

  • Subscription URLs

These specify the URLs for the various subscription notifications.

  • Subscription Script
    • The URL that points to the subscription page.

  • After Successful Subscribing
    • After a successful subscription, an email containing this link will be sent to the subscriber automatically.

  • After Unsubscribing
    • If the subscriber wishes to unsubscribe from the list, clicking on this link will remove the subscriber name and email id from the database.

  • If Already Subscribed
    • This will check if the subscriber is an existing subscriber by validating their e-mail address.

  • If Name Is Missing
    • If the subscriber leaves the name textbox blank, it will be conveyed as a warning.

  • If Email Is Invalid
    • If the subscriber enters a wrong email address or leaves this field blank, it will be conveyed as a warning.

  • Notification Settings
    • Admin Email

    • The e-mail address of the Administrator.

    • Receive Notifications

    • If you enable this option, you will receive a notification mail everytime a new subscriber signs-up.

Once all these settings are according to your preference, click on the Save button.

  • Cleanup Subscribers Database
    • Remove Unsubscribed Users
      • Check this option if you would like to remove unsubscribed users from the database.

    • Remove Unverified Users
      • Check this option if you want to remove unverified (most probably, spam) users from the database.

Based on the options chosen, clicking the Cleanup button will update the database by removing Unsubscribed/Unverified users.

Using the Email Templates

PHP Autoresponder is unique because it doesn't store the emails in the database. If you can write a text file, PHP Autoresponder can send it!

There are already example email templates in the data folder that you unzipped. Feel free to open those up to see the format used.

All templates must use lower-case characters. All templates must be uploaded to the data folder.

Text based emails can be written using text, regular spacing and line breaks. HTML based emails MUST start with <html> code in the second line (first line of the body) in order for them to be recognized as HTML. Be sure to use absolute paths (the full URL) if you are linking to images. Otherwise, the images will be broken in the recipient's email.

Please look in the included "data" folder for examples of templates that you can use or learn from.

Note: The first line of the template file will be the Subject of the email. Everything below that will be the body of the email.

Template Formats

PHP Autoresponder can read several different types of templates, but they need to be named and formatted correctly. The templates below are the only types that can be used:

  • They MUST be lowercase.
  • The first line of the template is the EMAIL SUBJECT.
  • The second line and everything below is the BODY of the email.
  • If the email is HTML based, the second line MUST start with <html> in lowercase.

admin.txt - This template is used to send a notification to the admin that a new user has subscribed or verified their email address. It will only be sent to the email address that was entered in the configuration section of the admin.

verify.txt - If you choose to have your users verify their email address (double opt-in), this is the template that is sent to them. Be sure to use the %%VERIFY_URL%% variable. This variable will generate the verification URL that is required for the user to click on, to subscribe.

###.txt - This template will be sent the number of days after the user subscribes or verifies their email address. Use this format to send follow-up emails or online courses sent sequentially.


1.txt - Will be sent 1 day after subscribing.
5.txt - Will be sent 5 days after subscribing.
30.txt - Will be sent 30 days after subscribing.

Note: 0.txt will be sent immediately after subscribing.

###r.txt - This template is a recurring template. Placing an "r" after the number will send that template every # of days.


1r.txt - Will be sent 1 day after subscribing and every day after.
5r.txt - Will be sent 5 days after subscribing and then every 5th day after.
30r.txt - Will be sent 30 days after subscribing and then every 30th day after.
weekday.txt - This template will be sent on the actual day of the week. This format is great for sending daily reminders.


monday.txt - Will be sent every Monday.
thursday.txt - Will be sent every Thursday.
saturday.txt - Will be sent every Saturday.
annual-day.txt - This template will be sent on that day of every year.


1-1.txt - Will be sent on January 1st of every year.
7-4.txt - Will be sent July 4th of every year.
12-25.txt - Will be sent on December 25th of every year.

specific-date.txt - This template will be sent on a specific date and year. This template can be used for upcoming newsletters or announcements that only need to be sent once.


2-14-2008.txt - Will be sent on February 14th, 2008 only.
4-1-2007.txt - Will be sent on April 1st, 2007 only.

Template Variables

Subscriber's Name: %%SUBSCRIBER_NAME%%
Subscriber's Email Address %%SUBSCRIBER_EMAIL%%
Unsubscribe URL: %%UNSUBSCRIBE_URL%%
Verification URL: %%VERIFY_URL%% (Only used in verify.txt)

Setting Up Your Cron Jobs

Cron is used by PHP Autoresponder to automatically queue and send the email templates to your subscribers.

There are two files that run in order to send out the templates.

  • The queue_generation.php file checks the data folder and subscriber list and queues all of the emails that are due to be sent.
  • The queue_processing.php file processes and sends the queue at intervals set by the Batch # of Emails in the Admin Configuration.

Use the following commands to run each file.

queue_generation.php - this should run at midnight.
Enter the following command (using your own domain name):
GET http://www.yourdomainame.com/cron/queue_generation.php
queue_processing.php - this should run every X minutes depending on the size of your subscriber list.

Enter the following command (using your own domain name):
GET http://www.yourdomainame.com/cron/queue_processing.php
Note: Each time this runs, it will send out the number of emails entered in the Batch # of Emails in the Admin Configuration. The default number is 50. So, if you set this to run every minute, it will send out 50 emails each minute until all emails are sent.

IMPORTANT!!: Don't set the Batch # of Emails too high or it could crash the mail program on your server or overload it with requests. This could cause emails to not be sent or your host could suspend your account.