There’s been a lot going on behind-the-scenes at Campaign Monitor as of late.
While the vast majority of changes to the app go largely unnoticed – such as UI tweaks and updates to our sending infrastructure – there are always things that make a visible difference to either a few folk, or everyone.

Today, it’s worth mentioning some of these things – namely, changes to our custom field limits and templates. Also, if you’re in or around San Francisco, CA, read on – we have some news for you.

Custom fields – you can never have too many!

When I first started at Campaign Monitor all those moons ago, it was possible to include 12 custom fields in your subscriber lists. In a moment reminiscent of Bill Gates’ “640kb is enough for anyone” gaff, we thought this would be sufficient… For a time. In 2010, we lifted this limit to 20 custom fields and yet, this still wasn’t enough for many of our customers. So today, we’re pleased to announce that you can now include up to 50 custom fields in your subscriber lists.

For folks syncing their CRM apps with us (or building integrations, for that matter), this raise should be a significant improvement. With more custom fields comes more opportunities for better list segmentation and campaign personalization, not to mention, less constraints on what data you can share between your apps. Of course, if you need more custom fields, be sure to let us know – we’re not going to fall into the trap of saying that 50 custom fields is enough…!

Better font stacks for Outlook, template importing

In response to a rather unexpected issue, we’ve improved the Helvetica Neue and Lucida Grande font stacks featured in templates created via our builder. These improvements should not only prevent these font families from failing spectacularly in Outlook 2007+, but provide a guideline for designers hoping to use these fonts in their home-grown templates.

In essence, if a font name in a CSS font stack has two words (like font-family: ‘Helvetica Neue’, Helvetica, sans-serif;), then Outlook will sometimes ignore all fonts declared in the stack. As a result, a few customers saw “Times New Roman” being displayed instead of the Helvetica Neue, Lucida Grande, or whatever they had manually defined in their email campaigns.

This was quite a disruptive issue. However, after a significant amount of testing, we found that making small alterations to the font stacks used could improve their reliability. As a result, you’ll now see that templates now feature the following:

font-family:'Lucida Grande', 'Lucida Sans Unicode', sans-serif;

/* or */

font-family:HelveticaNeue, sans-serif;

While there is the possibility that some subscribers may continue to experience the occasional font stack issue, we’re pretty confident that this update will ensure that email templates aren’t nearly as prone to this rather strange glitch in Outlook.

Talking about template reliability, we now give the heads up when someone tries to import an an email template with the <unsubscribe> tag nested in our other template tags – like a <multiline>, or similar. Our new, helpful alert should come in especially useful for folks who are getting up to speed with our template language – but will likely benefit everyone at some point, too.

See you at our San Francisco meetup this Wednesday?

As mentioned earlier, this is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to improvements. To find out the full story for yourself, why not join our team at the first ever San Francisco customer meetup, this Wednesday, 16th October at Azúcar Lounge in SoMA? That’s right, a fair few of our crew are in town for Userconf, so if you’re in the Bay Area, come join us for a drink, not to mention, the chance to let us know what you’d like to see in the app. RSVP here for a spot at the meetup – and we’ll see you on Wednesday night!

Our first SF customer meetup is a bit of an experiment; if all goes swimmingly, we might make more of a thing of it. So over to you – which city/country would you like to see us visit? Let us know in the comments below.

  • Bart

    Great news! Quick question, is the max length of a custom field still 250 chars? Would be great if this could be extended as well.

  • Greg Strutton

    Hey Bart! Yes, the limit is still set at 250 characters. I’ll add your vote for increasing this in our feature request list.

  • Ros Hodgekiss

    Another thing, Bart – have you seen dynamic content yet? There’s a good chance that you can customize you email campaigns as desired using conditional content blocks, instead of storing a lot of information in your subscriber lists. Check it out and let us know if there’s anything we can help with here :)

Want to improve your email marketing? Subscribe to get tips on improving your email marketing delivered to your inbox.

Join 150,000 companies around the world that use Campaign Monitor to run email marketing campaigns that deliver results for their business.

Get started for free