Nov 19, 2015

Automation Improvements, RSS Campaign Updates, and More in Our Latest Release

In September, we expanded on our automation features by implementing several popular requests from users, including workflow queue management, individual email segmentation, and send time configuration. In our latest release, alongside some new MailChimp Pro features, we’ve made a few additional automation updates that were driven by your feedback. We also added 2 important new RSS campaign features, and a whole bunch of miscellaneous updates elsewhere in the app. A little update: we now have free marketing automation options.

Post-sending list actions for automation emails

In the Scheduling/Segmentation step of the email designer, you now have the option to designate a post-sending list action for all subscribers who’ve received that particular email. Post-sending actions can be added to any email within an automation workflow, and you can pick from Update Merge Field, Delete from List, Unsubscribe from List, Join Interest Group, Leave Interest Group, Add to Static Segment, and Remove from Static Segment.

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We think you’ll find this really useful. Let’s say you manage an online store and use automation to send your customers product suggestions after they’ve visited your website. You’ve set up several automation emails that are triggered and sent to subscribers who didn’t open or click the previous email in the series, encouraging them to reengage through special coupons and offers. If those subscribers remain inactive after several attempts, you could enable post-sending action on the final email in the series to automatically remove them from a group, segment, or even your entire list.

Here’s another example: Perhaps you use automation to send a series of educational courses to your students. After a student receives the final email in the series, post-sending actions will allow you to automatically add them into an "Alumni" group within your list. Later, you can easily target your Alumni group of students with "further learning" materials or additional course options.

Automation UI updates

The next time you go into MailChimp to set up an automation workflow, you’ll notice that the List and Workflow step now boasts a split-pane view and a new workflow filtering option. This should make it even easier to find exactly what you’re looking for. In the left pane, you’ll find the List selection menu and a series of 6 checkboxes so you can filter the available workflows by their type: List Activity, API, Campaign Activity, Integration, Date Based, or E-commerce. In the right pane, you’ll find all of the workflows that meet the filtering criteria. (If your list doesn’t meet the requirements for a workflow, that particular workflow will be grayed-out.)

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We’ve made some other minor automation UI tweaks, including:

  • The Add and Remove Subscribers button has been moved to the top of the screen on the Emails step of the campaign builder.
  • The Emails step will now load prior to your queue count being populated. This should help prevent the page timing out for users with large lists or a high number of emails in their queue.
  • Date Based automation emails will now show all upcoming queued subscribers instead of only the folks who are queued up for the next send.

Retry failed RSS campaign sends

If you’re a blogger or anyone else who frequently sends RSS-to-email campaigns, you know that RSS feeds can be temperamental. Sometimes, even when you’ve been careful to avoid all the common RSS pitfalls, a temporary connection-related issue will crop up just as you’re ready to send, preventing the delivery of your campaign. Bleh. We know that’s frustrating, so in this release, we’re introducing a feature to help ease some of the strain caused by intermittent connectivity problems. Now, when an RSS campaign fails to send due to a connection-related issue with the feed, we’ll attempt to send the campaign 3 additional times. The first retry attempt will occur immediately, followed by 2 subsequent attempts in 20-minute intervals.

Automatic resizing of RSS feed images

On the RSS Feed step of the campaign builder, you’ll now find a checkbox that allows you to automatically resize images that are pulled in through your RSS feed so they fit the width of your template without the need for any additional adjustments. This will apply to all images pulled into your campaign with the RSSITEM and FEEDITEM content merge tags. If you’re instead using a FEED merge tag to add RSS feed content directly into a regular MailChimp campaign, there’s a new automatic image constraint parameter available for you as well.

 

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Odds and ends

That’s all the big stuff, but the new release also includes a handful of other noteworthy updates:

  • Links that use merge tags in the domain/subdomain of the URL will now be tracked.
  • The Add-ons page has been removed from the Account > Extras menu. Social Profiles can now be purchased from the Monthly plans or buy credits page in your account’s Billing menu, and the Delete All eCommerce360 Data button is now located on the Account > Settings > Manage My Data page.
  • The Send and Send Now buttons in A/B testing and Multivariate campaigns are now labeled Schedule and Schedule Now.

We’ve also updated the icons for the Social Share merge tag, made a few changes to the sorting controls of the Templates page, added a new warning to the Pre-Delivery checklist to alert you if you’ve left any default text within the campaign, made a few minor interface tweaks, and updated a few more things behind the scenes.

Phew!

These features are now available for all MailChimp users. As always, we’ll be listening closely to your feedback, so let us know what you think.