Jan 7, 2013

Upgrades Going Live This Week (v7.9)

Every month, we launch new features. This one is a relatively light release because of last month’s holiday break. Still, we’ve got some nice improvements to talk about here. Keep in mind it’ll take until Wednesday for these new features to propagate to all 2.5 million user accounts.

 

1. My Campaigns and Favorites

In our new drag and drop editor, whenever you create a new campaign, you’ll now begin with these options:

my-templates

Basic Templates gives you the basic layout options that were there before. "My Campaigns" will show you past campaigns you’ve sent, so that you can easily replicate them and build new campaigns (essentially, use a sent campaign as a "template" for a new one).

Within "My Campaigns" you’ll notice these cute little heart icons:

heart

 

After you mark a campaign with a heart, it will appear under "Favorites." 

This was all designed to help people who tend to re-purpose the same campaign as a template for new ones.

Tip: The thumbnails under "My Campaigns" and "Favorites" have little magnifying glasses next to them. Hover over that icon to quickly preview a campaign:

hover

 

People who like to "read between the lines" will notice a lot of these changes we’re making will help MailChimp work better on mobile devices (things are starting to look a little more tap-friendly). We’re making gradual, calculated investments in mobile. First, we wanted to make certain functionality inside MailChimp and Mandrill available to different users as native apps. As smartphones became more prevalent, we worked to make your campaigns as mobile friendly as possible for your subscribers. Now, we’re working to make MailChimp usable on tablets (specifically, mini tablets). We’ve still got some underlying code to change before we get there, but that’s the ultimate goal.

 

2. New Drag and Drop Modules

We’ve added two new content block types to the drag and drop editor: Footer, and Image Card.

The Image Card is basically a container around an image, with a customizable background color and a caption. Here are two in action:

image-cards

The Footer block is what you expect: it’s the footer. Previously, footers were hard-wired into our drag and drop layouts. Now, we’ve made the footer a separate element that can be moved around. So instead of the footer being locked at the very bottom of the template, you can move it up and drop text blocks underneath it (you know, for those wonderful 10 paragraph disclaimers that people love to read).

In addition to that, we added the ability to split text blocks into columns. Go to a text block’s settings, then choose the column split type you want:

column-splitting

 

 

Remember the Social blocks we added in v7.8?  We made it easy to add links to Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, etc. In this release, we added the option for linking an icon to an email address:

email-social-follow

3. Advanced Search Filters

We added a big search box to the Dashboard a little while back. We started with the goal of making it easier to find subscribers. Then we made it super easy to search for campaigns. Now, we’ve added powerful search filters so you can quickly find that campaign you sent last summer with the word "cat" in the subject line:

subject-cat

Type "ctrl+h" on the Dashboard to see the cheat sheet of all your search options:

ctrl-h

 

4. Setting subscriber language, new language merge tags

There’s a feature in MailChimp that auto-detects when your subscriber’s browser is set to a default language. The idea is to allow you to send targeted campaigns by language (details here). Many people have asked for the ability to manually override and set a member’s language, so we’ve added that. Go to a member’s profile, then you’ll see their Language settings in the side column:

language

 

Along with this new language setting, we’ve introduced some new Language Merge Tags.

MC_LANGUAGE can be used to dynamically change content based on language. My favorite example from one of our tech support experts:

if-german

 

The other merge tag is MC_LANGUAGE_LABEL. This is a way to display the current language setting for each recipient. As in:

language-label

 

4. Miscellaneous Release Notes

In addition to those big features, we’ve also made the following improvements behind the scenes and in our API.

  • A little while ago, we removed "back and next" buttons from our bottom navigation during campaign creation. That frustrated the heck out of a lot of people. So we added them back.
  • Updated "sent" activity in subscriber profiles to include campaign type, A/B Split + Autoresponder campaigns, A/B Split group, RSS parent campaign info, multiple auto-sends if we have them, note about 100 more recent events.
  • Mobile tab/options will appear for user-uploaded templates (when applicable) and they’ll get a little "mobile" icon/badge.
  • API timestamps: added GMT notation to existing times displayed and the ability to hover and see the time in account default.
  • PHP date formatting can now be added to *|RSSITEM:DATE|* and merge tags.
  • Added an extra $category parameter in FEEDITEMS merge tags.
  • Relabeled the "greater than/less than" options when segmenting by custom date field. Will now show "is after" or "is before" instead.
  • More visibility into API error codes in user accounts (hover over the error code to get an explanation)