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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.

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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.

Blog Post

New Feature: Forward to a Friend Customization

Plenty of you guys have been taking advantage of our Forward to a Friend feature, so now we’ve made it even better! Now you’ve got the ability to completely customize the look of this page to match your clients branding. We’ve tried to keep this pretty simple, so it’s very similar to the current Client Report Access. On a per client basis you can add a header image, change the default font, give the page a new background color etc. So how do you get started? Jump into the ‘Manage Clients’ section, click on the client you want to update and you’ll see a new ‘Customize the Forward to a Friend page’ option. And if you couldn’t be bothered changing anything, don’t worry, we’ve made sure it still looks good for you too.

Blog Post

Update: New API Methods and a PHP Sample

The feedback keeps pouring in and the API continues to grow. We’ve just added a much requested PHP sample to get anyone familiar with PHP started, plus 4 new methods: Campaign.GetSummary Gets a statistical summary, including number of recipients and open count, for a given campaign. Campaign.GetUnsubscribes Gets a list of all subscribers who unsubscribed for a given campaign. Subscriber.AddAndResubscribe Adds a subscriber to an existing subscriber list, or re-subscribes one previously un-subscribed. Subscriber.AddAndResubscribeWithCustomFields Adds a subscriber to a subscriber list, or re-subscribes one previously un-subscribed, including adding custom field data from the subscriber.

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

New feature: Resubscribing an Unsubscriber

It’s now a much simpler process to resubscribe someone who has unsubscribed from your list. Up until now, the only way someone could get back into your list if they had previously unsubscribed was to resubscribe from your web site again. This process makes sense in the real world, but a lot of you guys have been testing the unsubscribe process for campaigns or had customers contacting you when they accidentally unsubscribed. Resubscribing someone is now a piece of cake. Just display the “Unsubscribers” on your “Manage Subscriber List” page and check anyone you want to set as active again. Once you change their status at the bottom of the page, you’ll need to confirm that you have the individual’s permission. Once that’s confirmed, the subscriber is active again and will receive your next campaign.

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