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Edit Just the HTML or Text Version, Not Both

We recently made an update to reduce anxiety, but this one is aimed purely at reducing frustration. Previously, when making changes to either the HTML or text component of your email creative from the Campaign Snapshot, you’d be forced to go through the update steps for both. This became all the more frustrating when you wanted to make a small tweak to the text component of your email, but were forced to re-import your HTML version first. Today I’m pleased to say this annoyance has been removed and as per the screenshot below, you can now make quick changes to either your HTML or text versions in a single click. This was one of those annoyances that kept getting delayed for bigger updates, but enough was enough!

Blog Post

Campaign Monitor and Drupal Start Hanging Out

Since we released the Campaign Monitor API way back in July 2005 we’ve seen it used in ways we never anticipated. On top of the way you guys have been using it, we’ve also been incredibly lucky to have many customers put together API kits in their language of preference (such as Ruby on Rails, PHP, .NET and Flash). For those of you familiar with the incredibly popular Drupal content management system, Campaign Monitor customer Alexis Bellido recently put together a free Drupal module that makes it easy to integrate Campaign Monitor into any form on a Drupal managed site. Install the module then drop in your API key and List ID and you’re done. Judging by the comments, a number of further improvements to the module are in the works, so if anything eventuates we’ll be sure to post about it here. A huge thanks to Alexis for putting this module together, we’re looking forward to seeing where he takes it from here.

Blog Post

Reducing Send Button Anxiety

I don’t care who you are or how many emails you’ve sent in your time, you’re not human if you don’t get that horrible anxious feeling in your stomach right before pressing the “Send” button on a big campaign. Wait! Let me just triple check the creative one more time! Is this definitely the right subscriber list? Maybe I’ll get the boss to give it one last look over. You know the drill. This anxious feeling is only compounded when the software you’re using doesn’t make the final sending process crystal clear. I’ve used plenty of email apps in my time where you’re never really sure which button or screen would actually start the send process. It’s always been a priority of ours to make this step as clear as possible and take any surprises out of the process. Even so, there’s always room for improvement. We just pushed a number of small tweaks to the create/send process live. Among other things, I’d like to introduce the “Big Green Button”… Hopefully this and a range of other small tweaks can take the old anxiety dial down a few more notches when sending your Campaign Monitor campaigns. We just pushed the same updates live in MailBuild too, which should help those nervous clients of yours when sending their own campaigns.

Blog Post

The “Define Campaign” Screen Just Got Smarter

Each time you send a campaign, it’s important to keep the from name and sending email address consistent for each issue. This helps receivers recognize you and also reduces any filtering/image blocking issues if you’re in their address book. To make this process easier from now on, we just pushed a nice little update to the first step in the Create/Send process live. Here’s the new layout, followed by an explanation of each change. So what’s new? The “Choose your client…” option has been moved up to it’s logical home at the top of the screen. As soon as you select a client, we automatically display the last subject you used for that client. This is especially helpful if you’re sending a series of emails or use a consistent subject for most campaigns. e.g. ABC Widgets November Newsletter. We realize many of you mix up your subjects for each issue, so instead of pre-populating the field, we just display the previous subject above it. As well as pulling out the last used subject, we also pre-populate the last from name, from email address and reply-to address you last used for that client. No more guess work required. This update wasn’t so much based on customer requests as more of a common sense decision. From personal experience sending the Campaign Monitor and MailBuild newsletters, I always used the “Edit and Resend” feature to ensure I used the same sender details for each campaign. This update wipes out that step and encourages those already not taking this approach to stick to best practice.

Blog Post

Update: Improved Multilingual Support in the Subject Line

In a continued push to support as many languages as possible, we’ve just pushed a small update live that improves our support for foreign characters in your campaign subject line. This update ensures all Asian character sets like Chinese, Japanese and Korean are fully supported. As usual, we’re using UTF-8 encoding for both the subject and campaign content. As you can imagine, it can be difficult to test all the different language variations out there, so if you ever spot a discrepancy, please let us know and we’ll continue making tweaks and improvements to make sure everyone’s covered.

Blog Post

New Feature: Keep Track of Your Unconfirmed Subscribers

If you’re using double opt-in for your subscriber list (which we recommend), you’ve now got the option of seeing which subscribers have completed your subscribe form, but haven’t actually clicked the verification link. Unlike single opt in, double opt in requires your subscribers to validate their email address before being added to your subscriber list. When a new subscriber completes the subscribe form on a web site, an email is immediately sent to the supplied address containing a verification link. To complete their subscription, that person must click the verification link. From today, you can quickly see if any potential subscribers have failed to take that final step and click their verification link. This is handy for spotting potential form entry errors like a mis-typed email address. This feature also helps to identify any potential delivery issues with your confirmation email. We allow you guys to specify your own from name, from address and email content for the verification email. Make sure you always use valid from details and avoid potentially spammy words in your email content.

Blog Post

Fix: Japanese Characters in the Subject Line

A few customers were recently having a problem using Japanese in the subject line of their campaigns. Testing for problems with a language you don’t speak is always going to be a little tricky, so I want to give a big thanks to Jeremy Hedley who’s been extremely helpful in nailing a few issues with Japanese campaigns (even going as far as testing the results across multiple platforms and email clients). So, thanks to Jeremy’s help, subjects with Japanese characters should work fine now – but please be cautious, a number of email clients won’t handle the characters properly. Based on the results of our tests using default settings, the following email clients DO NOT display Japanese correctly in the subject line: Outlook Outlook Express Hotmail (basic US account) Yahoo! Mail (basic US account) Eudora (PC version only) Lotus Notes The following email clients DO support Japanese characters in the subject line: Gmail Mac Mail Eudora (Mac only) Microsoft Entourage Mozilla Thunderbird Unfortunately the problem isn’t going to go away for good until support for these characters is added to many of the popular email platforms.

Blog Post

New Feature: Linking to a Web Version of Your Campaign

While the majority of web based email environments are slowly improving their HTML rendering skills, some are still pretty far behind. I’m talking to you Hotmail and Gmail. Because of this, it can be a good idea to include a having trouble reading this email, click here link in the header of your email. If you’re sending really long newsletters, this is also a good option. Some of your recipients might prefer the screen real estate afforded by a web browser as opposed to an email client. Up until now, you had to create your own web based version and link to it manually. Well, not any more. Introducing the <webversion> tag From today, you can use a simple tag to generate a personalized link to a web based version of your campaign for every recipient. This means that even if they’re viewing the web version, we still track how many times they checked it out, what links they clicked on, etc. In your HTML code, just use the tag <webversion> and </webversion> and we’ll do the rest. For example: Having trouble reading this email, <webversion>click here</webversion>. If you’re sending a multi-part email and you’d like to include a link to the HTML version in your text version, you can use the [webversion] tag. For example: Click the link below to read this email in your browser: [webversion] The link will be to our server but will use your personalized subdomain. We’ll also be tracking the clicks on all web version links, so if you’re recipients aren’t using them, you know it’s safe to remove them.

Blog Post

The Campaign Monitor API – Get Your Hands Dirty!

Today, after loads of testing and feedback from some dedicated early adopters, we’re excited to announce the release of the Campaign Monitor API. It’s now all too easy to integrate your Campaign Monitor account into another application. You might want to: Integrate Campaign Monitor with your favorite CRM software, automating the process of adding new customers to your subscriber lists. Drop an opt-in checkbox for any of your lists into an existing form on any web site. Put together a dashboard widget to get real-time updates on how many people have subscribed to your list today. We’ve put together plenty of documentation on each method as well as a quick overview on getting the required details from your own account. We’ll be launching a few more methods real soon, plus a few sample wrappers for different languages. What are you waiting for? Dig in and get your hands dirty, then tell us all about it!

Blog Post

Update: Synchronize Unsubscribes with Your Own Database

A few customers have contacted us asking how they can access the email address of someone the minute they unsubscribe from a list. This is usually for customers who want to synchronize a local database with their Campaign Monitor subscriber list. We’re launching a big upgrade to our API in the coming days, but this is a great solution for those less familiar with web services. This is now as easy as adding a single [email] tag to your unsubscribe confirmation URL (the address your subscribers get redirected to when unsubscribing from a form or an email). For example, you could change your unsubscribe URL to: www.mysite.com/goodbye.php?emailaddress=[email] The email address of the individual who unsubscribes will then passed into the query string of that page. For example, the subscriber johnsmith@aol.com will now be redirected to: http://www.mysite.com/goodbye.php?emailaddress=johnsmith@aol.com This technique will work for anyone who unsubscribes via a campaign or an unsubscribe form.

Blog Post

Update: Recommended Width for Text Emails

Based on Mark Brownlow’s recommendations for formatting plain text emails, we have added a recommended width background to the textarea you guys use to enter the text content for each campaign. This makes it much easier to keep each line under the recommended 65 characters, ensuring your newsletter is easy to read in the majority of email environments. Unfortunately background images for form elements are not supported in Safari, but it has been tested successfully in Firefox, IE and Opera on the PC and Firefox on the Mac.

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