Jun 26, 2012

v7.3: Cleaner, Mobile-friendly Campaign Archives, More Mobile Templates

In v7.2, we unveiled a ton of new mobile friendly email templates and mobile email testing tools.

This week, we’re launching v7.3, where we’ve totally redesigned our campaign archive bars to be cleaner and more mobile friendly.

But first, make a note of this. We’ve added a little icon inside our template gallery to show you which templates  in MailChimp are mobile friendly:

New icon tells you which templates are mobile friendly

That little icon’s important, because you’ll start to see it in more places throughout the app in the near future. Okay, let’s talk about that new archive bar.

Previously, the archive bar looked like this:


See all the buttons across the top? Years ago, we added the "translate" option, and the RSS option. That was pretty innovative, imho. And I’m pretty sure we were the first email marketing service to add the Facebook "Like" button to campaigns in this way (fun trip down memory lane here). After we did that, it seemed like all the other major email services started to add it to their archives pretty darn fast. Well, we’re going to be the first to remove ours. There are just too many buttons up there! Plus, we get the feeling people are starting to tire of all the social badges. (Interesting read: Sweep the Sleaze from iA. Also see their list of reactions to that article.)


Broken archive bar on mobile:

And I cringe to even show you this, but here’s what that same archive bar looked like on a mobile device:




Buttons overlapped, and the width of the bar caused the entire screen to scale way down so that it was difficult to read. Double tapping didn’t make the bar much more readable, either.


The Redesign

So this is the new design of the archive bar, on a large display:


Aaah. Much cleaner. You’ll notice we dropped the social share badges, and replaced them with one simple "Share" button.

When you click that "Share" button, it opens to reveal this:

As you can see, the social sharing options are still there, but a little less shiny and distracting. And over to the right, we included the "eepurl" for the email, so that your social-button-hating subscribers can simply copy-paste the short URL. For those who don’t know, "eepurl" is MailChimp’s custom URL shortener that we use for campaigns (we built it in 2009 so that we could provide a better Twitter sharing experience – ah, the memories).

TIP: In your MailChimp campaign reports, go to "social stats" and scroll down. You’ll see that we’ve added referrer tracking on top of eepurl, so you can see which websites are sending the most traffic to your email archive:

So that’s what the new archive bar looks like on large displays, like your desktop PC or laptop. What about on smartphones?


Mobile Archive Bar

Now, if one of your readers taps the "view in browser" link from their mobile email client, it’ll open up with this custom archive bar at the top:



As you can see, we whittled it down to three simple buttons:

  1. Subscribe
  2. Share
  3. Read Later

"Subscribe" takes you to your list’s MailChimp-hosted signup form. Duh. By the way, MailChimp signup forms were optimized for mobile devices in 2010, so we’ve already got that covered for you.

The "Share" button gives these options:


Save to Instapaper

Finally, there’s a "Read Later" button. We added that because people are overwhelmed by all the email they get on their smartphones. In our own email usability studies, we’ve observed some users marking important messages "as unread" and some  even forwarded the email to another address (there goes your inbox zero). With this button, if your reader thinks your newsletter is interesting, they can save it to their Instapaper to read later. It’s a concept we discussed in our Mobile Email Research Report.


15 new mobile templates

We’ve added 15 more responsive, mobile-friendly email templates. Fabio will post details as usual, but basically the mobile friendly templates are spreading out to all the template categories: Newsletter, Restaurants, RSS, and more.


Other Changes in v7.3

There are other changes worth mentioning.

  • We’ve changed the way we handle our account security questions. Basically, if we feel something just isn’t right about you, we’ll stop and make you answer these questions. Just like at a bank or something. Depending on a number of factors, you may be asked to answer those questions again shortly. Heads up.
  • We’ve completed our SOC2 audit. Yay for acronyms! If you have no idea what SOC2 is (formerly SSAE16, formerly SAS70), consider yourself lucky and just move on. If you know what SOC2 is, and you’d like to check out our awesome badge, go here and scroll down. It was quite an experience, so I plan to blog about that later.