Maktoub (meaning letter in Arabic), is a Rails newsletter engine & gem that we are open-sourcing and sharing on github.

The story

Our user base is growing really fast, and with that growth we are seeing increased costs. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining; this is a great problem to have! We are so very happy with the growth. But we still need to manage our costs. One of our increased costs was due to using the excellent Mailchimp service to manage our newsletter. After a fruitless search for an open-source replacement to Mailchimp, we decided to build our own. Hence, we're introducing Maktoub, a simple rails engine to send newsletters.

Features & Capabilities

  • Provides a default layout for authoring your newsletter
  • Uses regular Rails view partials to write the content
  • Has rake tasks for delivering the newsletter
  • Provides controller and routes to view the newsletter in a browser
  • Has easy initialization of emails, subscribers, facebook, and twitter pages
  • Sends emails in multipart text/html
  • Appends parameters for Google Analytics source, campaign and medium tracking
  • Leverages ActionMailer

What's missing

  • Generator for initializers
  • Web editor interface
  • Email open tracking
  • Management of multiple subscriber lists

If you like the gem and need any of these missing features, you are welcome to contribute.


Thanks to the Ruby and Rails communities for providing all the awesome open source tools. Also thanks to MailChimp for sharing their excellent email templates.