In 2010, I met Aamir Atta, founder of ProPakistani, who I think greatly helped me shape my mindset at that time. I was introduced to him by my friend Zeeshan Shafquat Malik aka ZSM, who was editor in chief for ProPakistani at that time.
When I met Aamir bhai, I realized that a large influence of ProPakistani at that time came through his email newsletters. I was already sending out daily RSS newsletter using feedburner, just like the one I send today. But Aamir bhai used to send a custom designed newsletter. Each issue of his newsletter was manually designed and had the most popular and engaging posts pertaining to that period.
To get this kind of flexibility, with no additional cost, it meant that he had to setup his own mailing server. I don’t know if there were other better ways to do this back then with no additional cost. But even if there were, I’m assuming neither me nor Aamir bhai knew about it or couldn’t afford it.
When I came home from the meeting, the first thing I did was setup my own mailing server and so I installed PHPMailer.
It took me some experiments to learn to use it but shortly I was sending out my own customized newsletters too.
A few weeks later though, I used PHPMailer for a completely different reason. It literally saved my business from an instant death. But I will write about that tomorrow, in a different post.