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Scaling JoomMarketing for Large Lists

JoomMarketing is a game changer. You already know that. Install our extension on one website, sign up for a free Mandrill or Sparkpost account and you’re ready to start building world-class sales funnels!
But as your business grows – or if you have a substantial client list already – there are two numbers you’ve got to know:

  • how many emails your plan lets you send and
  • how much traffic your website can handle.

Here’s how you can plan for an excellent user experience while your business expands.

Email Capacity

The first number you need to know is how many emails your plan allows each month. As of this writing, the free plan with Sparkpost is a huge 100,000 emails (capped at 25,000 emails per day)!
Let’s put those numbers in perspective.

If you’re using the Digital Marketer approach to marketing, you’re probably sending

  • An indoctrination or welcome series of one to three emails offering value and building rapport.
  • A Gain Logic Fear style set of three emails, usually over three to five days.
  • Broadcast emails once a week pointing to your blog to everyone in a particular campaign.

So, over the course of two weeks you would be sending four to six emails to each new contact plus probably a broadcast to everyone in a campaign.

If you have a list of 1,000 people in a campaign and are acquiring 50 new opt-ins a week, that is

  • 4,000 broadcast emails (every week to 1,000 people), and
  • 1,000 opt-in series (50 opt-ins per week times four weeks times five emails per opt in)
  • That’s a total of 5,000 emails just on broadcasts and indoctrinations. It does not count those in an engagement series.

Now, let’s say that 30% of your list is in an engagement series. That’s 300 customers. Let’s say the series is three emails long. That’s another 900 emails a week, or 3600 a month.

So now you’re at 8,600 emails a month. Still well below the free threshold at Sparkpost, but you can see how quickly you’re going to hit that free account limit if you have well-crafted funnels.

Just to summarize this particular configuration, as sort of a benchmark: 1,000 customers, adding 50 new opt-ins a week, 30% in an engagement series, and weekly broadcasts to your entire list.

Things that make this not entirely accurate:

  • not accounting for those who opt out
  • not adding the 200 new customers to the broadcast campaign numbers
  • not allowing for a segmentation series at all.

You can see that sending a segmentation series to your unengaged 700 customers is quickly going to quickly push you towards your email limit with your free account.

But don’t panic! If you’re running a decent funnel, your value per customer should average out at least $1/month/customer, so that will more than fund an upgrade (see last section on how to scale)!

Now that we know what size of customer base JoomMarketing can handle without scaling, let’s talk about the limitations and what to do about them specifically. But first, we need to understand how emails are sent and what cron is.

A Bit About The Two Ways Emails Are Sent

JoomMarketing lets you send emails in two different ways:

  • As part of a automatically sent autoresponder sequence, using the cron function, or
  • As a broadcast, using the Create Mail button in the Campaign (or using a batch send option in lead manager)

What’s a cron function?

It’s a Unix job scheduler that runs a command at a given interval to perform a set of tasks.

Every so often, the cron function takes a look at your leads and their tags and compares it to your autoresponder setup. It gathers up a batch of emails that ought to be sent out and sends them. Fifteen minutes later (or at a specified interval) it grabs the next set of emails that ought to be sent.

Cron keeps your website from hogging the shared server. Otherwise, if you had a thousand people register in one minute, your server would run the mail function one thousand times in that minute. Cron batches up emails that ought to go out and the server only has to act once per batch.

BUT - your broadcast emails, i.e. the ones you send using the Create Mail button in Campaign view, do not use the cron fuction. You press send, JoomMarketing heads to the process queue section and then sends those emails out right then and there while you wait for the progress bar to complete.

Cron is a function of and limitation of your server. There’s another limiting factor to consider as well. Your email service may limit how many emails you can send in an hour.

For example, Mandrill may limit you to 100 emails per hour. So a broadcast to a list of 1,000 would take 10 hours to complete.

  • BAD: a problem if your offer is time sensitive, perhaps a flash sale.
  • GOOD: spreads out the number of visits in one hour to your website and keeps it from crashing. (We’ll talk more about this in the section on website limitations).

Note that JoomMarketing will 'queue' items, so if you hit limit and the email send is rejected, JoomMarketing will hold that email in the queue and keep trying to send out every fifteen minutes or so.

So – once you have a larger list and are sending more emails, you need to consider the cron limitations as well as the limitations for your email server

That brings us to the next issue, one that may come up with a new ad campaign launch and with your broadcast emails.

Website Visit Limitations

The next number you should know is how many visits to your website your hosting plan gives you.

You probably are using a shared host and these hosts have limitations on resource usage, which limits traffic use. Providers like allow an approximate 100,000 visits per month on their GoGeek plan.

Suppose you’re doing what a lot of us do and are running two or more websites inside one hosting account, probably through separate installs in folders. The traffic limit applies to the whole hosting account, not for each website within that one hosting account.

Here’s how fast this adds up – if you send an email with an image, every time someone opens your emails, the image is called from and loaded from your server and uses resources. Each time someone clicks a link in the email and goes to a page, it counts as a visit and uses resources.

So suppose you’re on Siteground in the GoGeek plan and can offer 100,000 visits per month. Let’s be conservative and cut that in half (because we have two websites on that hosting plan, and we need to allow some visits for user edits, cron jobs, and other resource usage).

Now do the math: 50,000 / 30 days = 1500 visits per day. Divide that by 24 hours in a day and that equals 140 visits per hour that server will allow.

Now, suppose you send a broadcast email to your campaign of 1,000 people – and remember, this bypasses cron, so the only limitation is whatever limitation your email server has. You’ve just told 1,000 people to go to your website. If even 20% of them click on the link and head to your website, your server may crash, slow down, or not render pages during that timeframe.

Fortunately, there are some answers!

Scaling JoomMarketing

Upgrade your hosting and email accounts

So let’s say you have an engaged list of 10,000 customers. If you only send ten emails a month to 10,000 customers, that’s 100,000 emails a month. You’d need something like this:

  • Siteground server with automatic scaling
  • Sparkpost 100,000 email plan

The fact of the matter is, if you are sending this many emails, and getting this many visitors, you should be making some serious money, if not, then you really should look at re-evaluating your marketing strategy.

In addition to that, with JoomMarketing, you get an all-in-one tool, so you’re not constantly logging in and out of different applications. Your data is all on your own server. And by scaling in this way, you markedly improve your website’s overall stability under increased traffic and during special promotions (nothing worse than running a killer campaign and having your website down!)

Configuring JoomMarketing Options

Here’s what you’ll need to do with your JoomMarketing installation:

  • Set your 'batch sending' in JoomMarketing options to 100 (most servers can handle this number). Tip: do what Digital Marketer does and do NOT sent attachments with your emails. Instead, send a download link. This will improve deliverability and resource usage, and prevent your email address being marked as spam by email servers!!!
  • Setup a cron to run every 5 minutes in your host. This would send out a batch of emails every 5 minutes – theoretically, you could be sending out 1,200 emails an hour using this timed cron, which would equate to 28,800 emails per day (note this exceeds the default daily cap limit of SparkPost, remember to upgrade your SparkPost account if you wish to send more than this!)

Finally, one last thing you ought to make sure you do with your JoomMarketing installation.

  • Rename htaccess.txt to .htaccess (it’s a file in the root directory of your Joomla install).
  • In Joomla’s global configuration area, turn on “Use URL Rewriting”.


I hope that helps explain how you can use this powerful all-in-one system to scale up from a start-up business into a powerful enterprise-level marketing machine!

There is no reason you shouldn’t be able to send up to 25,000+ emails per day using this method (as long as you have the allocation with your mail delivery provider).

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