Automated email newsletters

eLife is an open-access journal that publishes research in the life and biomedical sciences. As well as promoting open access, they invest in open-source tools to support their work.

We worked with eLife to write various extensions that support their communications with subscribers, and to publish these extensions so they are available to the CivICRM community.

eLife use CiviCRM to manage their subscribers and send them regular updates and newsletters. They came to us looking for help to automate the process of sending these regular emails. In helping them to do so, we were keen to ensure as much as possible of our work could be open sourced for the benefit of others in the CiviCRM community. To support this aim, we organised the project into:

  • generic extensions suitable for the wider CIviCRM community
  • specific extensions meeting eLife's need that built on the generic extensions

Work that we've publised as part of this project includes:

  • Inky Compose - create newsletters in CiviCRM using the Inky templating language
  • Recurring mail - allowing for the creation and sending of CiviMails on a regular schedule (weekly, monthly etc.)
  • Civinky - a microservice for creating Inky based mails and snippets

We then built an extension specifically for eLife that generates customised newsletter content for their subscribers based on their interests.

Putting it all together, eLife can now send personalised emails to their subscribers that look great across all major desktop and mobile email clients at the click of a button.