We were tasked with building a custom newsletter creation & broadcast tool with an editorial workflow that would save editors time & the company money in comparison to the limited manual process previously in use.
To make the life of an incredibly busy newsletter editor much easier, whilst answering the requests of the newsletter recipients to have more control over the types of articles their newsletter contains.
The newsletter editor must be able to easily manage users, editorial process, subject areas, newsletter creation and broadcast
This project was a prime example of why Drupal is a great platform to build on in terms of flexibility. The core of this system is a tool to manage a workflow for multi-user publishing. The tricky part was how to go about creating an easy-to-use interface for HTML email newsletter creation and broadcast. Especially when every recipients newsletter is, in effect, a unique combination of articles to them.
Using Drupal's workflow modules, we were able to create and customise a simple workflow to help editors and authors quickly create and review content. Email notifications pass between authors and editors when articles are moved between draft and review, with a final confirmation email on article approval.
One of the challenging aspects to any email broadcast tool is measuring the broadcast data. For the launch of the product, we took advantage of Mandrill to broadcast and collate statistics. This allowed us to build and launch quickly.
By using open source & integrating with external services, we were able to deliver a tool that not only provided a dramatic time saving experience for users, we also saved ongoing budget for newsletter creation when compared to the previous system the client was using.
By using Drupal, we are able to take the project in any number of new directions. New features can be added, newsletters can be changed for content strategy and all without being locked into a proprietary system where the functional ability is locked to what that software does.