Sending Email Automatically: An Introduction to Autoresponders

Mailboxes visually representing autoresponders

One of the many bonuses of an email marketing platform is how easy it can be to have it run itself. Incentives and offers are automatically sent to new subscribers, current subscribers being introduced to the other services, an email campaign used to systematically launch a new course or product. And all of this is taking place, running seamlessly, like a well oiled machine.

Sounds wonderful and ideal, right? Of course it does! And what if we told you that with a small amount of setup, you can be sending this out (and more) in no time? We’d be telling the truth, because you most definitely can and during the month of February we are not only going to show you how, but ways to maximize the process as well.

It’s time to discuss one of the FeedBlitz staff’s most prized tools and one of our Publisher’s most valued email marketing tactics: Autoresponders.

What is an Autoresponder?

An Autoresponder (AR for short) is an automatic email message sent to selected subscribers per rules designated by the publisher. It can contain any information desired by the publisher, be attached to particular email lists or act as a stand alone list. Different from an On Demand or Newsflash mailing, Autoresponders are sent automatically when a set action has been completed. Using specific tagging, a publisher decides which subscribers – old or new – will receive this correspondence and on what schedule.

What is the purpose of an Autoresponder?

There’s many reasons our publishers use Autoresponders. While the below list is far from all-inclusive, it does highlight many of the ways we have seen our publishers put Autoresponders to great use:

  • Welcome Emails – Sent automatically once a subscriber confirms their subscription.
  • Incentive Delivery – Publishers often use an Autoresponder to deliver an incentive offered for subscription.
  • Reader Rewards – Have a subscriber hit a milestone in their subscription to your site – 6 months, 1 year, etc.? Automatically send them a reward of your choice via email.
  • Email Courses – Free email courses are a great way to increase subscriber engagement or earn a passive income if fee-based.
  • Product Launches – Have a new launch coming up in the next few months? Increase interest by creating a new Autoresponder for interested parties. Automatically send out email correspondence leading up to the launch.
  • Outreach of Services – We can’t always write about everything at the same time on our website, therefore Autoresponders are a great tactic to employ when wanting to inform your subscribers of your services, past writings, and other offers in a strategic manner.

As you can see, there is a wide array of uses for Autoresponders. They have also shown to be greatly effective in re-engagement campaigns targeted towards lost or inactive readers during a list hygiene. Creativity, personalization, engagement, these are all reasons our Autoresponders are a favorite tool of publishers and FeedBlitz staff alike.

Homework:

Now that you are aware of the power an Autoresponder wields, it’s time to think about how you can use them to your advantage. The best way to maximize the effectiveness of an Autoresponder is to plan out its purpose and functionality. Your homework for this week is to:

  • Think of at least one Autoresponder (or series of AR emails) you can set up that would help increase your branding, offer an incentive, or introduce readers to another service offering.

or

  • Review your current Autoresponders and select at least one (or one series) that could use an update or TLC.

Once you have your ideas in place and text drafted, we’ll be back next week to walk you through the process of setting up your Autoresponders. A true set-it-and-forget-it email marketing tactic, once your Autoresponders are in place, they continue to work for your benefit with little to no management.

Have questions on where to find Autoresponders or any of our other FeedBlitz features? Send us an email at support@feedblitz.com, chat, check out our Help Forum, or give us a call at 1.877.692.5489. Our Support and Sales Desk is available Monday – Friday from 9 am to 5 pm EST.

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Easy enough for a blogger to set up in seconds, powerful enough for sophisticated corporate email campaigns, FeedBlitz is an RSS, Email and Social Automation Tool to take your email marketing to the next level. Visit us online to learn more or start your 30 Day Free Trial!

Growing Your List: Bonus Tips and Tricks

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Now that you have a solid framework in place including customized subscription forms, subscription process and email template, or are currently working to get things in line, we would like to share a few tips on fine tuning the process. Below are a few things our FeedBlitz Support Staff does to take our publisher’s to the next level and ensure streamlined and cohesive email marketing.

Mailing Schedule

FeedBlitz offers a variety of mailing schedules for your convenience as a publisher. Express is our most common setting as mailings are sent twice in one hour. We poll active feeds every 15 minutes and send new postings in the next available Express mailing with this schedule.  However if you post multiple times a day, it may be best to mail once daily with All New Posts to avoid over-sending emails to your subscribers. Adjust this schedule under your Mailing List’s Settings tab as seen below:

Newsletter Settings - FeedBlitz.png

Newsletter Settings - FeedBlitz (1).png

You can use these controls to adjust your mailings to what suits both your site and your subscribers.

Auto-Posting to Social Channels

FeedBlitz publishers are able to link their Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts to their feeds for automatic posting to these social channels. Doing so in the Site Dashboard, at the left hand menu, this takes out the extra step of manually posting their content. Social updates are posted within 30 minutes of publishing a new post, not on the same schedule as email notifications. We recommend using this feature to broaden the reach of your content and reach possible new subscribers across all social channels.

Color Matching to Your Site

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Matching your FeedBlitz materials to your site’s branding is even easier with the color matching plugin for Google Chrome called Eye Dropper. Our Support Team uses this tool frequently to match colors for our publishers. We’ve found it to be a quick, reliable tool to enhance branding cohesiveness between a publisher’s website and their FeedBlitz mailings.

Subscription Options – Daily or Weekly Updates

If you post multiple times a day, even multiple times a week, we recommend offering subscription options to your readers. This allows your reader to choose how frequently they hear from you and has shown to be very effective in subscriber retention (more on that below).

Did you know? The most common reason we see for unsubscription is due to too many updates. As a publisher, it can be difficult to determine the exact amount of mailings each subscriber would prefer. Offering varying subscription options allows your readers to choose the frequency that suits them best.

To create this option, start with separate mailing lists for each possible mailing, i.e. On Demand, Daily, or Weekly. Once these lists are in place, follow along the steps in this video from our FeedBlitz Support YouTube Channel to create subscription forms with new options. 

Trouble viewing this video? Please click here.

The Unsubscribe Page

When someone unsubscribes from your list they are taken first to a page to confirm their request, then redirected to a default FeedBlitz page announcing their request is complete. This second page is where you can step in and redirect them to a new landing page. Here you can offer an incentive for staying, an option to subscribe to fewer updates from you, mention you are sorry to see them go, or even invite them to stay in touch on various social networks. Our publishers with multiple subscription options have found redirecting users to a page offering a new delivery option can be quite effective in retaining subscribers.

To redirect this URL, visit the orange Settings tab of your Mailing List, and under Subscriber Interaction, Activation and Notification, click the standard FeedBlitz opt-out page, then enter the new URL here:

Activation Link Boxes - Opt Out Redirect.png

Opt-In Offers

If you are really interested in driving the growth of your list, an opt-in offer, or incentive for subscribing, is one of the best tactics you can employ. Make this offer the focus of your subscription pop up to grab a reader’s attention or add it to your post footer subscription boxes to incentivize readers to join your list. Your opt-in offer can be anything your readers would find of value – a free PDF download, access to an archived webinar or podcast not available on your site, a checklist of sorts. The options here are plenty, with the focus on providing a solution to your readers’ problems, peaking their interest into joining your list to receive the free material not readily available to others who visit your site.

Welcome Emails

A welcome email completes the fully customized subscription process. Sent as an Autoresponder, these emails are automatically delivered to new subscribers once they confirm their subscription. This is a great way to deliver any incentive or opt-in you offered for new subscribers, as well as a surprise bonus coupon, downloadable or webinar. It brings the subscription process full circle and further engages your new subscriber.

Both the Opt-In Offers and Welcome Emails lead us into our February focus which is on our Autoresponder feature. Autoresponders are one of our favorite tools at FeedBlitz and one which our publishers have really put to great use. We’re very excited to be diving into them more in depth over these upcoming weeks! Used for a variety of reasons including increasing engagement, establishing re-engagement, marketing campaigns, online courses and more, Autoresponders are the next area of focus for publishers once they have the framework of their account up and running.

Have questions on the tips mentioned above or any of our FeedBlitz features? Send us an email at support@feedblitz.com, chat, check out our Help Forum, or give us a call at 1.877.692.5489. Our Support and Sales Desk is available Monday – Friday from 9 am to 5 pm EST.

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Easy enough for a blogger to set up in seconds, powerful enough for sophisticated corporate email campaigns, FeedBlitz is an RSS, Email and Social Automation Tool to take your email marketing to the next level. Visit us online to learn more or start your 30 Day Free Trial!

Growing Your List: Send Something Worth Reading

You have an excited, interested new subscriber who has completed the full customized subscription process, and just a few hours or days later, they receive the first post from you and are filled with a great sense of underwhelm. They skim the article, scroll to the bottom and click unsubscribe.

Not the scenario we’re all hoping for, right? This can easily happen to a publisher who doesn’t pay much attention to how their content is being delivered. In today’s post we are going to introduce the EZ Template Editor available to FeedBlitz publishers and point out a few, simple ways you can maximize its offerings to create aesthetically appealing, clean and reader-friendly emails for your subscribers.

Why should I care about my email template?

Looks aren’t everything, but when you’re talking about online marketing (emails included) and you only have an estimated 8 seconds to capture someone’s attention, looks matter a lot more than you’d think. It’s true your subscribers follow you because they’re interested in the content, however the delivery of that content holds a near equal value.

Before we get started, pull up your current email template and ask yourself these questions:

  • Is it aesthetically appealing?
  • Does it look like it came from my website?
  • If you’re sending multiple posts, are you sending the full posts or short summaries?
  • IS IT MOBILE RESPONSIVE? *Bolded and capitalized to hit the importance of that one detail, of course.
  • Can I easily pinpoint the focus of my email?
  • Does it give clear options for forwarding to friends, unsubscribing, reading past issues, and more?
  • Are my social links highlighted?
  • And possibly the most important question: Is there room for improvement here?

If your answer is NO to any of the above questions, keep reading. If your answers are all YES to the above, keep reading still as there’s always something new you could learn.

How do I get started editing my template?

This is a very common question our support team gets on a regular basis, and so we created the below video from our FeedBlitz Support YouTube channel which walks you through the steps of setting up a new design with our EZ Template Editor.

Having trouble viewing this video? Click here.

Interested in checking out more great videos from our Support team? Head over to our YouTube channel  for tutorials and introductions to help maximize your FeedBlitz publishing experience!

While this video walks you through only the beginning stages of creating and editing your email template, you can see it leaves room for heightened customization to your liking. Sharing as much or as little information as you’d like, color matching to your website’s branding, incorporating your social accounts for added visual bonus, and adjusting your content layout to your liking are all features you have control over in your template.

Feature Highlight: All email templates created with our EZ Template Editor are fully responsive! Considering 53% of email is opened and read on a mobile device, this is one less thing for you to worry about.

You can always preview your template or access prior drafts when working in the template editor. Once you have a near finished  product, we suggest checking your template through the orange Troubleshoot button on your Mailing List dashboard. Here you can select either a Preview which will open in a new browser window, or send a Test Email which gives a stronger idea of what your subscribers will be receiving.

Pro Tip: Check your email template on multiple browsers (Chrome, Firefox, etc.) and multiple devices (computer, phone, tablet), as well as multiple email clients (Gmail, AOL, Outlook, Yahoo, etc.) if possible. This will let you see how a variety of clients and browsers register your email and will assist you in double checking margins, image widths, post truncation, gauge responsiveness and much more.

For those of you who are satisfied with their EZ Template design and are looking to take things a step further, we offer the Advanced Template Editor (ATE). Working in the ATE does require basic coding knowledge, but it offers the opportunity to incorporate custom fields, forms and multiple RSS channels in one email. To learn more about the ATE editor, please contact our Support Team for further assistance.

Coming up next week on the FeedBlitz blog, we’ll be adding in a few bonus tips and tricks from our Support Team. You have the basics in place and now it’s time to fine tune the process to position you for growth now and for the rest of the year.

Love the EZ Template Editor but find yourself questioning how you can improve your template? Contact our Support Team support@feedblitz.com for a basic template review and we’ll send you a few ideas to enhance your template design!

If you have any questions on any of our FeedBlitz features, send us an email at support@feedblitz.com, check out our Help Forum, chat with us online or give us a call at 1.877.692.5498.  Our Support and Sales Desk is available Monday – Friday from 9 am to 5 pm EST.

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Easy enough for a blogger to set up in seconds, powerful enough for sophisticated corporate email campaigns, FeedBlitz is an RSS, Email and Social Automation Tool to take your email marketing to the next level. Visit us online to learn more or start your 30 Day Free Trial!

Growing Your List: Customize the Full Experience

Last week we explored how using SmartForms can help grow your list, (need a reminder? Check our parts one and two! ) this week we’re taking you through why and how to customize what happens after a person hits Subscribe.

Congratulations! They hit Subscribe! Now what happens?

Once a reader presses the magical button to send their email address to your list, you might think the process is finished, however that’s not the case. There’s a few more steps in the subscription process before they have officially joined your list.

  1. Reader enters his or her information and hits Subscribe.
  2. Reader is notified to check their email to complete the subscription.
  3. An email arrives in the reader’s inbox with a link to activate their subscription.
  4. The new subscriber is redirected to a welcome page.

When you begin a mailing list in FeedBlitz, this process is automatically generated with default information. While the default information is great, think about the goldmine of branding possibilities in these small, but very important, steps.

What are the benefits of customizing the subscription process?

Publishers can have many reasons for wanting to customize the subscription process, however these are our top three benefits we’ve identified throughout our clients:

  1. Consistent branding of your site. One of the oldest marketing concepts (The Rule of 7) stands behind the principle of a person needing to be touched by a message 7 times before it begins to resonate. These touches can be through any medium, which includes the placement of  your logo or branding through all steps of the subscription process.

  2. Showing your personality. Editing the text to show your site’s personality, be it professional, conversational, strategic or familiar, gives the reader an additional sense of who you are as a publisher or company. These small details can have a great impact in increasing an individual’s know, like and trust factor.

  3. Guide your reader exactly where you want. Walk your readers through the subscription process to increase the likelihood of clicking the activation link, as well as sticking around on your site once the process is completed.

How do I customize the full subscription process?

To begin editing these steps, log into your FeedBlitz account and you will find this under your mailing list settings as shown below:

Mailing List – Orange Settings Button – Third Tab: Subscriber Interaction, Activation and Notification

Let’s take a look a closer look at each step and how we can customize it:

  • Default activation reminder page: This directs the reader to check their email to complete the activation process. To customize, simply add a new page to your website (check out this example here) which offers this information. Back in your mailing list settings, select the highlighted text “the FeedBlitz default activation reminder page” and entering the URL for your new page in the top blank:

  • Default activation email: This is the email sent to your reader with the activation link. Simple tips to customize include adding your logo to the top, editing the text to mimic the voice of your blog, and replacing “Thank you, The FeedBlitz Team” with your closing and name. There’s a lot of possibilities here to customize, test a few and see what works.

Pro Tip: Less is more with this email! The primary focus is for the reader to click the activation link and confirm their subscription. Too much clutter can distract from the main purpose of the email.

  • Default landing page: If you only customize one of the steps, let it be this one! When the activation link is clicked, this will be the page your new subscriber sees. You can redirect them to your homepage, create a new “Thank you for subscribing!” page, or even list your most popular blog posts. It’s much easier to keep a reader on your site then it is for them to return to your site on their own. Redirect this page  by clicking on the highlighted text “the FeedBlitz default landing page” and entering the desired URL in the second blank:

*Note: We will be covering how to customize the Opt Out Completion page in a future post!

Now that you know how to customize your subscription path, take a look below at an example of a blog which is set to at the default and another that has customized each step of the process:

Default

Customized

Pretty big difference, wouldn’t you agree? Both sets accomplish the same task, but which do you prefer visually? Which set would you want your reader to see?

Time to Take Action:

  • Pick at least one of the three steps and decide how to customize it.
  • Log into your FeedBlitz account and customize the step you chose.

You can knock out all three, of course, but if that seems a bit much, pick one and go from there.  Remember you will only need to edit this once and then you’re set.

Next week in our list growing email series, it’s Template Design 101 time. We’ll be showing you how to take your email template up a notch to keep readers visually engaged and send emails they’ll want to pass along to friends.

Do you have questions on the subscription process discussed above or any of our FeedBlitz features? Send us an email at support@feedblitz.com, chat, check out our Help Forum, or give us a call at 1.877.692.5489. Our Support and Sales Desk is available Monday – Friday from 9 am to 5 pm EST.

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Easy enough for a blogger to set up in seconds, powerful enough for sophisticated corporate email campaigns, FeedBlitz is an RSS, Email and Social Automation Tool to take your email marketing to the next level. Visit us online to learn more or start your 30 Day Free Trial!

Growing Your List: Enhancing Your Subscription Forms Part 2


On our mission to help you grow your list of subscribers, we covered in greater depth the value of customized subscription forms in our earlier post this week. (Need a refresher? Check it out here). Your homework from Tuesday’s post was to start creating a new (or reevaluate your current) SmartForm. Now that you’ve worked with our editing program and are on your way to creating a sleek, customized SmartForm subscription form to capture new readers, today we are going to talk about the various ways you can add your forms to your site.

What form will your subscription form take?

FeedBlitz SmartForms offer a variety of display options. We walk you through these below:

  • Sidebar Widget - Arguably the most popular placement for a subscription form, the sidebar widget can be as simple or complex depending on what you desire for your site.

 

Fun SmartForm Fact: Our SmartForms automatically sense who’s a subscriber and who’s not. That means the sidebar widgets collapse and the popups do not appear to those who are already subscribed.

  • Subscription Page - A separate subscription page is ideal for those interested in adding additional text such as your company’s Terms and Conditions or Privacy Policy, additional fields (date of birth, company, website, etc.), or you would prefer to have a subscription page link.

  • Popup - You determine how many page views and how many seconds (20-30 seconds is average) before the Popup appears, as well as the number of days the popup appears again to non-subscribers. This form option is also great for opt in offers or grabbing a reader’s attention.

  • Post footer - How many times have you read a blog post and at the end you notice a line or a box that reads something along the lines of: Like what you read above? Subscribe to get our updates direct to your inbox! Imagine someone who hasn’t been to your site stumbles upon your post. If they make it all the way to the end, odds are high they’re interested and wouldn’t mind hearing a bit more. A subscription form in the footer of your post is an ideal place to capitalize on new readers and capture their information.

Choose as many or as few forms as you’d like and create them to be as simple or complex as your site requires. The most important step is having at least one customized subscription form that fits your branding, that’s easily visible for your readers to use. This one step is incredibly valuable in establishing the tools to grow your list over the coming months.

Next week we’ll show you how to fully optimize what happens after a reader enters their email address and hits Subscribe. Hint: It’s a goldmine of customization points which many don’t apply!

As always, if you have any questions on the above or on any of our FeedBlitz features, you can email us at support@feedblitz.com, chat, check out our Help Forum, or give us a call at 1.877.692.5489. Our Support and Sales Desk is available Monday – Friday from 9 am to 5 pm EST.

Do you have a SmartForm Success Story? Send us an email support@feedblitz.com, we’d love to hear more about it and your site may even be featured on the FeedBlitz blog!

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Easy enough for a blogger to set up in seconds, powerful enough for sophisticated corporate email campaigns, FeedBlitz is an RSS, Email and Social Automation Tool to take your email marketing to the next level. Visit us online to learn more or start your 30 Day Free Trial!

Growing Your List: Enhancing Your Subscription Forms Part 1

It’s no secret we here at FeedBlitz love the start of a new year and the excitement it brings. Many publishers see this as a time to set new goals, create new editorial calendars, and determine how they can have a greater impact with their website. It’s all very exhilarating, and we enjoy seeing our clients light up with fresh eyes for the new year.

A common goal for many of our publishers is to grow their list, widening their net of readers and prospective clients. (We wholeheartedly agree as this goal is a Top 5 FeedBlitz priority as well!) We’re all too familiar with how frustrating it can be trying to grow your list. Common questions we often hear include:

Should I blog more? Email more or less often?
Do I Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest enough?
Offer a contest? Join a course? Go on a business retreat?

Hit pause. Before you become overwhelmed, we’re here to help. We are dedicating the month of January to helping you grow your list, using the free tools available through your FeedBlitz publisher account. Our goal over these next few weeks is for you to set yourself in a prime position grow your list; not only now, but for the rest of the year.

This week’s focus is enhancing your subscription forms to encourage readers to submit their email addresses. For a majority of publishers, their subscription form is the most important Call to Action (CTA) their site has, so it’s the best place to start in maximizing your list growth potential.

Why should I customize my subscription forms?

Simple answer: To increase brand consistency, user experience and highlight your primary CTA.

Your site should offer readers a personalized experience, unique only to you. Going the extra step in creating customized subscription forms allows you the opportunity for brand expression when shaping that experience. Think of the personal touches certain hotel chains offer, the branded shipping some retailers use as opposed to bare boxes. These small details help create a full experience package.

As your subscription form is most likely the premier CTA on your site, the question isn’t “Why should I customize?” but rather “Why am I not customizing my subscription forms?”

Getting Started with FeedBlitz SmartForms

Since the release date in early March of 2015, our SmartForms subscription forms have taken a variety of shapes and sizes. Once our publishers began working with them, we’ve really seen great examples of flexibility and customization. Getting started with SmartForms is easy and we walk you through the steps here in this quick, 4:32 minute video:

Having trouble viewing this video? Click here.

Did you know we have a FeedBlitz Support YouTube channel with tons of videos like this one? Check it out here and see how you can up the ante with your email marketing!

It really is that simple to create a sleek, customized subscription form to match the branding. Mimic the colors of your site, pull in your logo for the header, change your font, the size of your boxes and more, all while being able to Save and Preview before it ever goes live on your site.

Pro Tip: When you’re designing your SmartForm, add a Classic Form to your page to capture potential subscribers. No need to miss anyone while you’re debating on whether the Sky Blue or Ocean Blue subscribe button will be most effective!

Worried about having your form be responsive? No need to think twice (unless you have a separate template for your mobile site). Our SmartForms are set to max-width and are naturally responsive for all screen sizes.

Now that we’ve gone through the process of why and how to set up a customized SmartForm for your site, we’d like to send you off with a bit of homework:

  • Log in to your FeedBlitz account and test out setting up and customizing a new SmartForm subscription form for your site.
  • If you already have one in place, examine it to make sure your form still fits your site’s message and branding.

Later this week we’ll be back with the different format options and placements you can use for your SmartForms. As always, if you have any questions on the above or on any of our FeedBlitz features, you can email us at support@feedblitz.com, chat, check out our Help Forum, or give us a call at 1.877.692.5489. Our Support and Sales Desk is available Monday – Friday from 9 am to 5 pm EST.

Do you have a SmartForm Success Story? Send us an email support@feedblitz.com, we’d love to hear more about it and your site may even be featured on the FeedBlitz blog!

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Easy enough for a blogger to set up in seconds, powerful enough for sophisticated corporate email campaigns, FeedBlitz is an RSS, Email and Social Automation Tool to take your email marketing to the next level. Visit us online to learn more or start your 30 Day Free Trial!

Twas the Email Before Christmas…

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
No systems were mailing, not even in-house;
The inboxes were logged by the admins with care,
In hopes that no spam soon would be there.

The users were nestled all snug in their beds;
While visions of no unreads danced in their heads;
And my boss in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled the servers for a long winter’s nap,

When out on the router there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my cube to see what was the matter.
Away to the laptop I flew like a flash,
Tore open the login, and pulled up the dash.

The page on the browser of the new-opened window
Gave a ten thousand foot view of the systems below,
When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer,

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment he must be St Nick.
More rapid than eagles his emails they came,
And he whistled and shouted and called them by name.

Now Mail From! Now, Sender! Now Reply-To and IP!
On, SPF! On DMARC! On Sender ID!
To the top of the inbox, the most important of all!
Now send away, bounce away, forward away, all!

As segments that before the wild RBL fly,
When they meet with a filter, reroute far and wide,
So up to the server the missives they flew
With news of Star Wars, TFA, R2D2.

And then in a twinkling, I heard on the disk
The content filter evaluate each message’s risk.
As I reviewed all the logs to see what was found
Down the network St Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in code, from header to footer,
And his HTML code styled, responsive do-gooder,
A bundle of attachments he had flung on his back,
And he looked slightly compressed as he unzipped his pack.

His GIFs, how they twinkled! His stylesheets, so merry!
His colors were like roses, his headlines in cherry!
His droll little logo was drawn like a bow,
And his background – so legible – was white as the snow.

The stump of a certificate, he held in his teeth,
And the authentication, it encircled his header like a wreath,
A good reputation, servers whitelisted by many,
His sender score high, to other vendors’ green envy.

Base 64 encoded, plump, with reference to “self”
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself.
A DNS lookup, checks based on the head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread,

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the inboxes, then turned with a jerk,
And laying a finger aside of his nose,
Giving a nod, back delivered receipt rose.

He sprang to the packet, to his bytes gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he pinged out of sight
“Happy Christmas to All and to All a Good Night!”


From all of us here at FeedBlitz, we wish you the very best for a joyful holiday.

Phil

Subscribe By Text / SMS Now Available for Your Lists – And You’ll Love the Price

Every FeedBlitz email publisher now has access to a free, configurable, subscribe-by-text capability.

Yeah, we did that. Because we love to see our publishers be successful and grow. Because we want using this to be a no-brainer.

With many publishers doing in-person events, seminars, streaming videos, webcasts and more, we wanted to find a way to simplify the subscription process and make it more immediate. Rather than ask people to subscribe to a URL, you can simply have them text a code you define to the FeedBlitz subscribe by text number, and they can subscribe from their phones. It’s easy to start, fast to finish, and a fabulous call to action for any slide, periscope or talk you give.

And yes: It’s completely free to anyone with a FeedBlitz list. Other standalone services charge $19 a month for just this text subscription service. You get it here at FeedBlitz as part of the package, even if you’re a legacy user, or paying us our $1.49 minimum, or in a trial.

Easy Setup

We’ve already created a set of default codes for every list in FeedBlitz, to get you started.

To see them, click into the Subscribe-By-Text Builder on your list or autoresponder’s dashboard. You’ll see something like the screen below:

Free Subscribe By Text

There’s one numeric code – that is your list ID; you can’t edit that. Otherwise, you can change the codes already assigned to you by editing them here. You might want to make them make more sense from a human perspective, for example; add punctuation, better reflect your brand, or reflect a specific campaign / event. You can tell if they’re OK by the little icon.

You can also add as many new codes as you like, too. When one you want is available, click the “Add New Code” button; it goes live when the whole form is saved. So in the screenshot above, I’m trying to add “AVC” – but that code’s already taken.

You can even customize the text message FeedBlitz first sends to people texting in your codes.

Try Subscribe-by-Text Today

Super simple, easy to set up, instant gratification for you and your audience. What’s not to like? Give it a try!

P.S. It also works internationally!

Don’t Fear the Gmail Reaper. Or, A Word About the Winnowing

If your list got a little smaller recently and gmail accounts are the ones that are AWOL, you’re in good company – and there’s no need to panic. Gmail has been cleaning house, tidying up and removing idle accounts, or ones that are used in spam farms. They’re doing everyone a favor, and there’s no need to fret, because the accounts they’re removing were junk anyway.

All of us in the email ecosystem – recipients, mailbox hosts, publishers, ESPs (email service providers) like FeedBlitz – have a vested interest in keeping spam and junk out, and ensuring that email that ends up in an inbox is legit. We all have our responsibilities. The inbox hosts – e.g. Gmail, Yahoo, AOL – have theirs too. Most of the time, one would imagine that much of their focus is on filtering inbound spam out. That was the goal behind Yahoo’s and AOL’s DMARC policy changes a year and a half ago.

But they also worry about email that they send, and spam emails that ask for replies which go to accounts on their systems. What some spammers do is use cheap labor to create many free accounts on these systems, then sign up for mailing lists using dual opt-in to legitimize them, because look, a human did this! … and then they use these accounts to email junk, or as the inboxes where you’re invited to send your social security number, claim your Nigerian windfall, etc. You get the idea.

These accounts are otherwise typically idle and don’t behave like real people. The inbox hosts periodically remove them as they show up in their anti-abuse scans. So yes, they were dual opted-in by a human to make them seem real; but in fact they’re not real, weren’t paying attention to you mailings, and weren’t clicking through to read your content. They’re just online chaff, and it’s good to have them winnowed out.

When an ISP does this, they’re making the Internet a safer place by removing opportunities to run email scams; they’re saving you money by reducing the size of your list automatically (assuming, like FeedBlitz, you’re not charged for deleted subscribers); and generally making everyone’s lives better by increasing the quality of the mail streams we send.

ISPs taking responsibility for spam accounts on their systems is a Good Thing and should be welcomed, even if we subconsciously calibrate our online ego by the size of our mailing lists (don’t, BTW; open rate is a much better metric).

Panic not, then. And if you have concerns about a particular address on your list, please do drop a note over to FeedBlitz support. We’re happy to tell you about a subscriber’s activity, verify their deliverability and much more. We’ve earned our Sender Scores (96-99, thank you very much), after all.

Happy Labor Day! Support resumes Tuesday, 8 September

In observance of the U.S. federal holiday (and our need to cook with fire and slather things with barbecue sauce), FeedBlitz’s offices are closed today, Monday, September 7th. We’ll be back, bright eyed and bushy tailed (and possibly a little heavier) tomorrow morning. If you have a support question today, please email support@feedblitz.com – we’ll get to you first thing tomorrow.