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New Feature: Personalize Your Confirmation Emails

This has been a heavily requested feature for a while now and it’s great to get it out the door. From today, you can easily personalize your subscribe confirmation emails. If you’re using a single opt-in list, you can add your subscriber’s first name, last name, full name or email address to their optional confirmation emails. If you’re using a double opt-in list, you can personalize both the initial verification email (where the subscriber needs to click a link) as well as the optional confirmation email. Verification and especially confirmation emails can be very effective in getting off on the right foot with your new subscribers. Here are a few ideas you can try: Start by welcoming your new subscribers (by name if possible) and encourage them to add your sending email address to their address book. This can dramatically increase the chances of it being delivered and displaying as intended. A great way to encourage new people to join your list is by offering a free white-paper or other resource. By sending a confirmation email, you can qualify their email address and send them the link to their reward from the confirmation email. Develop that relationship a little further. Remind each subscriber why they signed up and let them know they should be looking forward to when they receive your next newsletter. As usual, you can also provide fallback terms if we don’t have your subscriber’s name on file.

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Update: Support for Those Tricky Email Addresses

Just a quick one. A few customers have had problems recently trying to import rare email addresses that have strange characters, such as the plus (+) and forward slash (/). After running a few tests to ensure these characters are widely supported, we’ve just updated our email address filters to allow both of these kinds of addresses to be imported.

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Update: Create More Advanced Subscribe Forms

Now that you can set pre-defined options for your custom fields and create segments based on those options, the next logical step is to make it easy for you guys to create subscribe forms to capture this data. When you create a subscribe form with pre-defined custom fields, you now have the option of specifying which type of form element you’d like to use. If a subscriber can select more than one option, such as their interests or their email format preference, you can use either checkboxes or a multiple-select list. If a subscriber can only select one option, like star sign or state, you can use either a single-select list or radio buttons. As usual, we still generate 3 types of HTML code for you – basic, CSS based and tabled based formatting options.

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Update: Exporting Custom Fields

As part of our recent segmentation and custom field update, we’ve just updated the subscriber exporting tool. From today, you can now easily export all your custom field information for each subscriber, including custom fields with multiple values. We have separated each of the multiple values by a comma, so it should be very easy to re-import this data into another application or database.

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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.

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Update: Manually Adding Subscribers Limit

When selecting the recipients for a campaign, you used to have the option either selecting your subscriber lists, or manually adding the recipients. Our main motivation behind this option was to make it really easy to sample Campaign Monitor without the need for creating a subscriber list. The downside of this is that there are so many benefits of sending from a subscriber list as opposed to just copying and pasting your recipients. Unsubscribes and bounces are remembered, you can customize the subscribe and unsubscribe process, you can track subscriber activity, the list goes on. As of today, you can no longer manually add more than 10 recipients for a campaign. If you want to send to more recipients, you’ll need to create a subscriber list first. This still makes it easy to try Campaign Monitor without creating a list, but encourages customers to create a list for larger campaigns once they get going. Of course, providing you’ve got permission you can still copy and paste as many recipients as you like into the subscriber list, you’ll just have to do that before sending the campaign.

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Update: Custom Fields Containing Commas

Firstly, I want to thank everyone for their fantastic suggestions and feedback over the last week since we launched segmentation. You guys have had some great ideas, a few of which we’ll be looking at adding soon. Keep them coming! A few customers also let us know they wanted to use custom field values that contained commas. For example, for State, they wanted “New York, NY”. That one was pushed out the door this morning.

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Update: Custom Fields Overhaul

To compliment our list segmentation update, we also overhauled the process of creating custom fields. If you didn’t already know, custom fields allow you to capture extra info on each of your subscribers. This can be anything you like. Zip code, interests, sock color – whatever you need to capture so you can better target or personalize your campaigns. It’s now super easy to create custom fields with pre-defined options. For example, you can create a custom field for Interests, with pre-defined options like Surfing, Skiing and Reading. You can also control whether a subscriber can choose multiple options, or just one. This makes it very easy to match up your user preferences when you create segments and ensures better data integrity for each subscriber. We’ve also made the conscious decision to limit the number of custom fields to five (plus name and email address). There are a few reasons behind this one: Campaign Monitor is an email marketing tool, not a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool. We provide many ways to synchronize your subscriber lists with another database. After reviewing tons of sent campaigns, we confirmed that people aren’t personalizing their campaigns with any more than 2 or 3 custom fields, max. The less we store the faster, simpler and more scalable we can keep things.

Blog Post

New Feature: List Segmentation Is Here

We didn’t quite make your Christmas stockings, but list segmentation is finally here. This has consistently been the most requested feature over the last 12 months, so we’re really pleased to get this update out. Now it’s a piece of cake to target your emails at specific groups of subscribers based on their custom fields or past campaign behavior. Below is a screenshot from a sample list where we’ve created a segment containing the male drummers in our list who have opened a campaign in the past. We hope you like the approach we took for creating segments, but we’d love your feedback on what we can improve to make it even easier to use. We’ve also made some subtle changes around creating custom fields and subscribe forms that make it easy to store and capture extra information on each of your subscribers. We’ll go into a little more details about these changes in the next few days. Enjoy.

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Update: Multilingual Campaign Improvements

Over the past few weeks we’ve been spending a heap of time on making sure multilingual campaigns are being imported and sent correctly through Campaign Monitor. We’ve made plenty of small tweaks, including the ability to use the character encoding value you set in your Meta tag. We spent a large portion of this time testing, but if you notice any quirks sending non-English campaigns please make sure you let us know.

Blog Post

Update: No More Nasty Word Characters

Ever created a really nice looking campaign with hip and snappy copy, sent it out and for some bizarre reason there are a bunch of weird square looking characters scattered throughout the content? What the hell!! I’m sure I didn’t put those in…did I? No, you didn’t, Microsoft Word took the liberty of inserting them for you. When you copy and paste from Word, a whole lot of crap comes with it. Pasting it into a text editor usually strips everything out, but some characters, like smart quotes, still hang around. There are HTML values for smart quotes, but if you’re like us you can’t always remember what these are, let alone remember to double check your copy for any invalid smart quote characters. So we’ve made things a little easier. If you accidentally paste one of these smart quotes into your campaign content, don’t worry, we’ll replace it with the HTML equivalent for you. And if it’s a text email your sending, we’ll roll back your smart quotes to dumb quotes to make sure they still look fine in all email clients.

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