May 27, 2014

File Manager Improvements, Segment by Purchase Activity and Account Pausing in v9.3

You might be thinking, "Didn’t MailChimp already do a release this month, and wasn’t the new File Manager one of the big changes?" Well, yes. But we decided to do another release to make some small-but-important enhancements to that new File Manager—and we threw in some also small-but-important bonus features while we were at it.

File Manager: now with fewer clicks!

Whenever we overhaul an existing part of MailChimp, we do our best to make sure all of the functionality remains intact. Sometimes, though, our improvements inadvertently make workflows more difficult. While most of you were as excited as we were about the new File Manager, we quickly heard that it took more clicks to get some things done. Most notably, replacing an existing image in a campaign via Import from URL went from 3 clicks to a whopping 6.

Wait, what?

Sigh, it’s true. Witness the pain: First you had to click Edit on the image you wanted to change, then Replace in the slide-out panel, then click the arrow on the Upload combo button (which many people didn’t notice) for other upload/import methods. Next you’d click Import from URL in that submenu, paste in your image URL and click Import, and then you still had to select the image once the import finished. I got exhausted just typing all that.

Realizing the needless complexity we’d accidentally introduced wasn’t our proudest moment. We don’t usually make changes between version releases, but within a day of v9.2, we pushed a tiny fix to separate the import functions from the upload button in the File Manager.

Import Upload

That eliminated step 3 above, but meant replacing an image by importing from a URL still took 5 clicks. In v9.3, we’ve eliminated another step by automatically selecting the image that you’ve uploaded or imported. You can also hit enter to submit the import URL, which technically brings us back down to 3 clicks. Phew.

File Manager: Replace

More images and less distraction in tile view

Even though the new File Manager is full-screen and responsive, we realized you still couldn’t see very many files at once. So we reduced the size of the thumbnails in both the tile and the list view, which you can access via the toggle below the Upload button. We also removed all of the extra file details (file size, dimensions, date changed) from the tile view. This allows us to show roughly twice as many images as before. You can, of course, still see all of the extra file details when you click over to list view.

File Manager: View Toggle

Segment by purchase activity

If you use MailChimp’s eCommerce360 feature, you’ll notice a new line in the segmentation options: Purchase Activity. This is a tiny change that hints at some big things to come.

Purchase Activity Segment

Now you can send campaigns and autoresponders based on whether a subscriber has or hasn’t purchased from you before. This was one of our most common e-commerce segmentation requests, and you can expect more improvements like this in the next release as well.

Account pausing

We hear from a lot of small business owners whose email sending needs are seasonal (think ski resorts, swimwear designers, dancing Santa wholesalers). For those customers, it’s hard to justify paying for a monthly plan that sits dormant for most of the year. To help these seasonal senders, we’ve added the ability for monthly plan holders to pause a MailChimp account up to twice per year. You can do this from Account settings > Pause or delete account.

Pause Account

To pause an account, you’ll have to pay for the part of the month you’ve used already. After that, you won’t be charged again until the account is restarted. While an account is paused, campaigns and autoresponders won’t send, but signup forms, lists, reports, template creation, and all other account functions will continue to work normally.

Onward and upward

Remember those "big things to come" I mentioned up there? Well, we’re already working on new features for v9.4 and let’s just say we’ll be providing some powerful new ways to send to your subscribers. We also have plans to let you add a featured image to a campaign and control how the archive link will look when your subscribers share it on Twitter or Facebook. We hope you enjoy the enhancements in 9.3—and, as always, we look forward to hearing what you think.