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PHP Autoresponder script for peeps too cheapskate for Aweber

March 18th, 2011

I’ve got a ton on mini-scripts that I’ve written for various side projects, or helper tasks, I thought that I’d start posting them here. This first script is an autoresponder email sequence script, that enables you to send a fan/subscriber friend a set of emails. Basically, its a cheapskate’s AWeber. Think of the possibilities:

  • As an email marketer you can pound a person daily with offers related to a niche
  • As a website owner you can remind people to tell their friends, colleagues, dogs about your site
  • As an app owner you can remind them that the limited time offer is only valid for 5 days, 4, days, 3, days, 2 days, too late!
  • As a person that is dying of some incurable disease you can send messages from when you are too weak to type and from beyond the grave
  • The possibilities are endless…

>> download the php autoresponder script here

You’ll need hosting with..

  • PHP
  • A MYSQL database
  • PHPMYADMIN or similar database management tool
  • Cron

If you don’t know what any of the above are, then probably best to go to aweber instead.

How to set up

1) CREATE THE DATABASE TABLE: open sql.txt copy the create table code chunk and paste it into phpmyadmin or similar

2) CONFIGURE READY FOR DATABASE: open config.php enter your database user/pass/dbname/host & email from/email name settings here


add an extra $send_date[] row for each email in your sequence.

Time is calculated in MINUTES from sign up, so: 60=hour, 1440=day, 10080=week

The following sets up the time for 3 emails:

$send_date[] = 30; // 30 mins from adding email address
$send_date[] = 1491; // just over 24 hrs from adding email address
$send_date[] = 2910; // just over 48 hrs from adding email address


Edit config.php, it comes with 3 emails in the sequence. Edit the $title and $body for each.

Ensure that you have as many email $titles & $body as matching the number of $send_date[] s.

Don’t use ” quote marks in your email , as this will break the script, single quotes are okay.

If you want to add personalisation {name} {spare} and these will be replaced inline

HTML is okay in the email $body. E.g. use <br/> for line breaks


Setup cron to run file cron.php at ideally 1 min intervals if not possible,  1hr intervals should be fine. To run cron add a command similar to this command to run:

*/60 * * * * php -f  /var/www/vhosts/yourdomain.com/httpdocs/emailsend/cron.php

ensure the patch to cron.php is correct and matches your server path, if you don’t know your server path run <? phpinfo(); ?> to see.


Visit www.yoursite.com/emailsend/ and scroll down to fill in the test  section with your email address/name

7) USE IT!

You can either add emaill addresses manually,

or alternately view the source of index.php and take the form out and use it in the frontend of a website.

8) You probably should password protect your /emailsequence/ directory too, to ensure no one snoops.


Obviously, I provide this script free to use and modify as you see fit. But don’t come crying to me if it doesn’t work as you expect.

marketing, Scripts

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