Jul 22, 2009

Trick: Hiding content from email archives

Doing some updates to my MailChimp newsletter template, and thought I’d share some new features with you. First, check out this archive of my latest newsletter. In the side column, notice there’s a little link for people who may have received a copy of my newsletter from a friend:

subscribe-here

It’s a handy link, because people do occasionally write me and tell me "my friend sent me your newsletter, and I want to signup too—but where?" Granted, this doesn’t happen on a daily basis, but it’s happened enough times to make me find the merge tag allowing me to include that little signup link.

Anyway, I want that link to disappear when the campaign is viewed as an archive. Luckily, there’s a merge tag for that…

So I log in to MailChimp and click on the "my templates" link:

my-templates

Then I see all my saved templates for the different newsletters I send. I click on "edit template:"

select-template

Then I click on the right column:

forward-this-to-you

Which opens up the content editor.

Then I click the "Source" button in the toolbar, to switch to code view:

source-mode

Now, I can never remember the exact merge tag code (there are so many!) so I call up MailChimp’s merge tag cheatsheet, which is located at:

mailchimp.com/merge

It’s got all the merge tags you can use, plus a few code samples.

Anyway, the one I want is this one:

merge-tag-code

So I grab that code, and use it in my content editor:

hide-this-stuff

Now, when I send my next email newsletter, that link to "subscribe" will be hidden on my campaign archives.

You might be wondering, "Um, don’t you still want people to subscribe to your email newsletter, even if they’re looking at the campaign archive?" And the answer to that is of course.

I’d also like them to be able to magically translate that newsletter archive into just about any language, view all my past issues, share it with their friends, or even access all my newsletters via RSS.

But c’mon our programmers aren’t magicians here.

Oh wait, yes they are. They created the Campaign Archive Toolbar!

archive-toolbar

When activated in your list settings, the archive toolbar shows up at the top of all your campaign archives, and gives these really handy tools for all your readers (like "subscribe to this list").

So that’s why I don’t need that big link in my side column.

While I was in there editing my template, I also went into my footer source code and made my contact information and unsubscribe link disappear. They’re required by law for emails, but can be hidden when viewed as a campaign archive.