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New Feature: Subscribe Confirmation Emails

We’ve finally added support for the middle man between single and double opt-in subscriber lists. Known as ‘confirmed opt-in’, you can now send a confirmation email to any of your new subscribers when they join your list. Doesn’t sound all that exciting does it, but this little email can be a great way to get off on the right foot or encourage more subscribers. Here’s a few ideas you can try: Start by welcoming your new subscribers 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 using confirmed opt-in, 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. It’s also a good idea to show each new subcriber how much you respect their privacy by linking to an unsubscribe form where they can remove themselves from the list. You’ll find that hardly any will ever use this option and it builds confidence in how you manage their details.

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Optimizing CSS Presentation in HTML Emails

This article is a sequel to one that appeared on A List Apart shortly after…

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New Feature: Track Your Subscriber Growth with RSS

You guys have been after this one for a while. Today, we’re wrapped to announce the ability to keep track of your subscriber growth by RSS. To subscribe to any of your lists, head in to Manage Subscribers, select the list you want to keep track of and then copy and paste the feed URL provided at the bottom of the page into your favourite reader. Each subscriber list you create has it’s very own feed. To make sure you’re seeing the latest, we update your stats in real-time whenever you hit refresh in your RSS reader (as long as your reader or aggregator supports this). Now you can stay on top of your list growth without ever needing to open Campaign Monitor. Of course, you could always use our API to get these stats, or even import your latest subscribers into your own software. Enjoy – and please let us know if you think anything could be improved.

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Update: Single-Click Unsubscribe Now Required for All Campaigns

To ensure all your campaigns are CAN-SPAM compliant and follow best practice, a single-click unsubscribe link is now required for any emails sent with Campaign Monitor. Luckily for you, this doesn’t mean any extra work if you’ve been a naughty designer and haven’t been using them. As of today, we automatically insert an unsubscribe link at the bottom of all HTML and text emails automatically. Don’t worry, you still have complete design control over the format of your unsubscribe link if you so desire. As always just use the usual unsubscribe tags ([unsubscribe] or <unsubscribe>your text here</unsubscribe>) and we’ll convert them into personalized unsubscribe links for all recipients.

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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!

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Quick Tip: Getting Additional Information from Your Subscribers

For a lot of our customers, placing your subscribe form on the front page of your site (or on every page for that matter) is an important method for encouraging as many people as possible to sign up. The only problem is, you don’t want to overload these pages with a bulky form, so you end up only asking for a name and email address. For a lot of you guys, this is enough. But if your interested in a quick and easy way to capture additional info and still keep a small form on your main pages, then read on. If you want to capture the extra details for every new subscriber, then you should change the subscribe form on the front page to submit to a second page on your site. This will then pass the subscribers name and email address in to the real subscribe form where you can capture all details. To make this work, you would pass the subscribers name and email address into hidden fields on the second subscribe page. This page would then use the supplied Campaign Monitor subscribe code (just change the name and email fields to <input type="hidden") and capture all the extra details for your subscribers. Once submitted, the user would then be redirected to your own custom confirmation page. It’s important to remember that unless the subscribers completes the second form, they won’t be added to your list.

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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.

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Update: Keeping Your Subscribe Forms up to Date

We’ve been noticing a few customer subscribe forms haven’t been behaving as intended of late. On further investigation we realized that they had changed their subscriber list custom fields and not reflected that change in their subscribe form. It’s an easy mistake to make that’s for sure, and we’ve all got enough to remember as it is. From today, every time you make a change to your custom fields and it affects your subscribe form, we’ll let you know and provide the new subscribe code to drop straight into your page. Remembering sucks.

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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.

Blog Post

Using Flash in Email Newsletters

I’m sure a few of you have come across this scenario before – you’re putting together a newsletter for a client and they want to jazz it up by adding some flash to the email. You might be left wondering, is that going to work?

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Using Forms in HTML Emails

Sometimes it can be very handy to include a HTML form in an email campaign. Whether it’s a quick customer survey or a subscribe form for another list, they can be a good way to interact with a recipient right there in their email client. We even use them occasionally to get feedback off you guys. While they can be useful, there are a number of precautions you need to consider before using them.

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