One of the greatest challenges for a political campaign is to use bulk email effectively. We have all been on that small campaign that tries to use an Outlook program to email a bunch of contributors or volunteers and being almost embarrassed by the way the emails look.
One of my friends in London introduced me to Active Campaign and their suite of tools for site operators to handle marketing and customer management. Of these tools, my favorite is 1-2-All, AC's own email management software. Equipped with all of the features that come with some of the more expensive hosted services, I was easily able to install the software onto a virtual server hosted at my local hosting company. One suggestion they gave was to install Zend, the free PHP optimizer for my machine. Once it was installed, the admin process was simply a breeze.