Quick Tips: Changing Language in the ATE

The language of your mailings is ultimately determined by the browser settings of your viewers, however, should you wish to manually set the language of your mailings you can do so using the Advanced Template Editor.

Select your mailing list – choose I want to… Change… Template Design and ensure you have switched your template to the Advanced Template Editor.
From here you will be able to easily change the language of your newsletter as well as whether the text reads Left to Right or Right to Left by working with the below buttons:
Screenshot of Advanced Template Editor and Icons to change Language
If you have any questions, simply send an email to support@feedblitz.com, or you can chat or give us a call 1.877.692.5489 Monday – Friday, 9 am to 5 pm EST. We also have plenty of great support available 24/7 in our online Help Forum and YouTube channel!

For the Fallen – We Will Remember Them

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

From “For the Fallen” by Robert Laurence Binyon

For the benefit of my mostly US audience, in the UK and many other countries we buy paper poppies around the 11th to commemorate those who served and those who fell during the World Wars. The poppies specifically memorialize the killing fields in France and Belgium during WWI where the “lions led by donkeys” on both sides killed each other in unimaginable numbers. Day in, day out. Only the Spanish Flu of 1918 outkilled the machine guns, mustard gas and barbed wire.

Today, then, is a noteworthy day in Europe, where the slaughter of the horribly misnamed “Great War” mostly took place between 1914 and 1918. Today, entire countries largely fall silent at 11am on November 11th to remember the wars, their dead, the valor of those who served and the bravery those who still do. It’s a day of respect, retrospect and introspection.

In churches and schools, at services, memorials and cenotaphs in the cities, towns and villages, the stanza from Binyon’s poem, quoted above, is often spoken as part of memorial services and readings. The focus back in Britain is markedly different today – a day that’s somber, one of mourning not celebration – than Veteran’s Day is here in the US, my adopted home. It has always been this way: Armistice Day has never been a celebratory day off. It’s not a day to celebrate the military like it is here in the States (which is not to say it is necessarily better; it’s just a different perspective).

In that spirit then, no matter what your politics, no matter where you live today, no matter what else you are doing or celebrating this November 11th, I would ask only this: Please take a moment today to remember the Fallen and their sacrifices, no matter where they fell nor for what cause.

Let us make it so that, for today at least, we will remember them.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

Guest Post: Getting Smart with SmartForms

Creating products and features to help our publishers thrive is our mission here at FeedBlitz HQ. After being contacted by today’s guest blogger and told of her great success using our SmartForms, we were more than happy to feature her on the FeedBlitz Blog. Read on for how this publisher used our SmartForm Subscription Forms to increase her signups and her sales!

I’ve been a FeedBlitz client for about 8 years, and while my business as a full-time author and writing coach has changed drastically since I first read Phil Hollows’ Listbuilding for Bloggers and signed on, it’s been awesome to discover that each time I need a new feature, FeedBlitz already has it in place.

Coincidentally, FeedBlitz’s recent “Growing Your List” blog post series launched around the time I hired a consulting firm to restructure my business and redesign my website. While the firm’s professionals worked behind the scenes on tech details far outside the bounds of my skill set, I was able to keep pace on a parallel track using FeedBlitz’s blog to grow my list and increase accessibility to my blog, seasonal newsletters, and income-generating autoresponders.
When restructuring my business first began, it was hard not to feel overwhelmed – I confess to getting lost down the rabbit hole of business webinars, lunch hour online chats about IT features beyond my understanding, and even enrolling in a few e-courses that just weren’t right for my business needs at the time. But one take-away from all that self-guided learning was that everyone seemed in agreement about at least one thing: getting a person’s email address via a pop-up form on your website would be essential for continued, successful online marketing and engagement.
Cue, Feedblitz’s blog post on SmartForms, which I’d been aware of for quite some time but hadn’t yet made time to understand. Within minutes of creating the form, I had a customized template set to my liking, and within hours, new subscribers were signing on. Thanks to additional blog posts in FeedBlitz’s series, I also understood I ought to offer an incentive to folks for sharing their email address, and thanks to pro tips from folks like Janelle at Zen Courses, I was finally starting to understand that my archive of over 2,000 blog posts in 10 years was a gold mine waiting to be upgraded, shared, re-linked, and properly tagged.
So I customized my SmartForm to match my new branding, then tied it to a brief autoresponder that starts with a free downloadable PDF titled “Top 5 Tools that Changed My Life as a Self-Employed Writer.” My list doubled in two months and continues to passively grow every week, slow and steady. Some of these subscribers were readers who had followed my blog for years, and had simply never seen or opted to enter their email address into the sidebar widget I used for subscriptions. Now—they’ll never miss a post, AND I can assure they get “first dibs” on discounts or limited time offers I only make available to this select group.

“My list doubled in two months and continues to passively grow every week, slow and steady.”

More importantly, new visitors to my site get to meet me first and foremost through the positive experience of a free PDF. They opt-in, so there’s nothing SPAM-like about it, and after a few messages from me about what I do, plus links to several free trials, the autoresponder finishes. They don’t hear from me again until my seasonal newsletter goes out, and click-through rates on those have also doubled.

How does it all add up, you might wonder? SmartForms helped me expand my audience, first and foremost, and that’s priceless. They also help me gather key information about my clients and audience, via custom fields. But more than all of that, this self-running feature helps me generate income.

Because of the positive experience folks are having getting a free PDF and a tasteful, SPAM-free set of emails linking them to free trials they’re interested in, eventually a handful of those subscribers become paying clients. And it all started with the SmartForm…

Katey Schultz is an author, writing coach, and founder of Maximum Impact: Precision Courses for Writers, Artists, & Trailblazers. Learn more at www.kateyschultz.com.

Thank you, Katey, for taking the time to talk about your experience with FeedBlitz SmartForm Subscription Forms. If you are a FeedBlitz Publisher and would like to share your experience and possibly be featured on the blog as a Case Study or Guest Post, please send us an email and let’s get the conversation started.

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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!

Quick Tips: Demystifying Your Sending Schedule

Hand placing mail in a mailbox.With your automated RSS-to-Email mailings you are able to set a specific sending schedule. This will affect what time your subscribers receive their emails as well as how many emails are including in your mailings, should you post multiple times a day or week.

To help clarify the differences in our various scheduling dates and times, we created the below list with detail on expected delivery and article inclusion:

Once a Day: You will be able to select which 3-hour time block in which you would your mailing to be sent. This mailing will include all new posts since the previous sending window.

Weekly: Select the day of the week and the time of day you would like your automatic mailing to be sent. This will include all new posts since the previous sending window.

Pro Tip: If you post often and offer a daily mailing, it is also a great idea to offer a weekly version for those who prefer to receive all updates in one email as opposed to multiple emails.

Monthly: Similar to Weekly Schedule, however, you will be able to select the exact day of the month an update is sent.

Express: Expect an email to be sent within 30-45 minutes of a new post going live on your site and being detected by our system. This is ideal if you do not post multiple times a day, on a regular daily schedule, or if updates are time-sensitive.

ASAP: Posts will send immediately. In order for this sending schedule to be activated, your must have PubSubHubbub enabled in your feed.

On Demand: This is a manual sending schedule and no automatic mailings will be sent to your subscribers.

Many publishers test their sending schedules to see the impact on their open rates. Should you alter your schedule to test open rates, we recommend only doing so every 3-4 weeks or so to gather proper metric data as well as to not alarm your subscribers with frequent changes.

If you have any questions, simply send our team an email at support@feedblitz.com, or you can chat or give us a call 1.877.692.5489 Monday – Friday, 9 am to 5 pm EST. We also have plenty of great support available 24/7 in our online Help Forum and YouTube channel!

Quick Tips: Audience Segmentation

Here at FeedBlitz we know not all emails are created equally, and not all emails are created to be sent to everyone. With this in mind, we offer Audience Segmentation for your Newsflash mailings.

To begin, create your Newsflash. From the text editor, you can select the Audience Inclusion tab or the Audience Suppression tab as shown below:

No matter which mailing list started the Newsflash, these tabs allow you to include and exclude subscribers from all of your lists, as well as working with Segments (such as those who have not opened for a certain period of time, for example) or any groups you may have in place.

Bonus tip: Using Groups to segment your list can help you further shape your audience should you have Custom Field-Specific Groups in place.

If you have any questions, simply send our Support Team an email at support@feedblitz.com, or you can chat or give us a call 1.877.692.5489 Monday – Friday, 9 am to 5 pm EST. We also have plenty of great support available 24/7 in our online Help Forum and YouTube channel!

Quick Tips: Increasing Video Click Through

Watching Video on a Table

Video is an incredible tool to have on your site as well as use with your email marketing. If your email is set to send automatic RSS-to-email notifications and your post contains a video, our system will show the video’s placement in the post, linked to the embedded post on your site.

However, if you are sending a Newsflash email there is a simple and highly effective technique to increase video click throughs to your site or to the video on a platform like YouTube. As opposed  to sharing a “See the video now!” link, insert a screenshot image of your video with a faux play button added to the center.

Screenshot of a video showing the play button.

If interested, your reader will attempt to press the play button on instinct. With this image hyperlinked correctly – be it to the post on your site, a different site or video sharing channel – your subscriber will have completed the action you desired for them to take. You’ve just created a visual, video-specific call to action for your Newsflash emails.

If you have any questions, simply send our team an email at support@feedblitz.com, or you can chat or give us a call 1.877.692.5489 Monday – Friday, 9 am to 5 pm EST. We also have plenty of great support available 24/7 in our online Help Forum and YouTube channel!

Quick Tips: Removing Instagram Captions in Your Mailings

Image of a vintage camera

Your FeedBlitz template is capable of pulling the three most recent Instagram photos for your subscribers to see. This is a great way to cross promote your brand, while broadening the views of your photos, without the hassle or worry about algorithm changes within the Instagram app.

With your three most recent photos, the template also pulls the captions of these photos. If you tend to post longer captions or use multiple hashtags in your captions, this can take up an increased amount of space in your template.

To easily remove Instagram photo captions in your email template, you will need to remove the <$BlogItemTitle$> element located in the Instagram section of the template. To do this your template will need to be in the Advanced Template Editor.

In the ATE, scroll down in the template to your Instagram box. This is where you will remove the tag  <$BlogItemTitle$> to remove the captions of your photos:

This will remove the captions while leaving the photos visible and still linked to your Instagram account. You can easily apply this to captions on your other social channels as well, should you wish to remove captions for your Pinterest, YouTube, Etsy, or Shopify feeds.

If you have any questions, simply send our team an email at support@feedblitz.com, or you can chat or give us a call 1.877.692.5489 Monday – Friday, 9 am to 5 pm EST. We also have plenty of great support available 24/7 in our online Help Forum and YouTube channel!

Making Your Emails Social

Man and woman looking at a tablet and sharing a laugh.

When integrating your email marketing into your overall marketing plan, it is essential to consider the intersection of social marketing and your emails. At FeedBlitz, there are three main areas to integrate your social media marketing with your email marketing. You can work with all three or simply focus on one at a time, whichever suits your audience best.

Autopost to Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn

All publishers have the ability to autopost new updates to Twitter, Facebook and/or LinkedIn.  This feature can be enabled by selecting your site from the site dashboard and choosing: I Want To…Set Up a New…Social media posting. You will be able to select which channel you would like to initiate or edit from here.

Pro Tip: With Twitter, you can automatically add hashtags to each post. This is a great feature if you post with one major focus, i.e. #emailmarketing, #DIY, #glutenfree, etc.

Not only does autoposting reduce the need to manually post new updates to each individual channel, it can add to the frequency of  your posting when used in conjunction with manual posts in order to reach a broader audience.

A few important notes on autoposting:

  • Within the publisher dashboard, you can only connect one account from each channel. If you would like to add a second account to autopost updates, check out the steps in this Quick Tip on how to do that!

  • Autoposting is not on the same schedule as your automatic mailings. Posts are sent to social channels once it is picked up in your RSS feed, so within 30-45 minutes of the post going live on your site.

  • When your social accounts are linked to your FeedBlitz account, the number of followers are counted in your total audience found on your site dashboard. You are not charged for these followers, only unique, active email subscribers.

Add your Social Icons

When we  talk about adding social icons to your email template, there are two different ways you can do this.

  1. Make your posts shareable by adding social sharing icons to each post. Your posts now are incredibly simple for your readers to instantaneously share without needing to visit your website first. You can able social sharing icons to your posts through your FeedBlitz RSS feed. Select your RSS feed then choose I Want To…Change…Per-post Sharing as seen below:      Screenshot of How to Add Social Sharing to RSS Posts

  2. Add your social icons within your email template. Our EZ Template Editor is designed to easily add your social channels as well as change the icons themselves if preferred. *Note: We recommend changing the icons to match those on your website for branding consistency! The location of your icons can determine the response of your readers. If your focus is to increase your social audience, place the icons towards the top of your template will increase this likelihood, however, if this is not a priority, you can add these icons to the bottom of your template.

Incorporate Your Social Content

Our publishers spoke, and our development team listened! Within all email templates is the ability to incorporate your Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Etsy and/or Shopify accounts. Doing so will pull the three most recent posts of these channels and display them in your mailings. There are many different possible benefits and reasons to do this, so we listed just a few:

  • Increase revenue within your Etsy or Shopify accounts by always having your newest products on display for your subscribers.
  • No more worrying about algorithm changes within Instagram when your subscribers can easily see what you’ve been posting.
  • Expand your audiences on these channels by introducing the content to your readers.
  • Link to a specific Pinterest board associated with your blog or product launch.
  • Capture audiences with your latest YouTube videos, enhancing your connection by incorporating visual and audible messages from you and your team.

It is important to know that pulling the three most recent posts from these channels also brings in the captions of these posts. If you would like to truncate or remove the captions of these images, send our Support Team a request, and we will walk you through the steps on how to do this.

Pro Tip: Do you find incorporating your social channels into your template creates too much content? Consider creating an automatic weekly newsletter with only your social updates! Think of it as a “What we’ve been up to around the Web!” update. Our team can work with you on setting this up as it is a great way to keep readers in the know, without overloading individual emails.

Working with all of the above are merely suggestions on how easily it is to integrate your email marketing with your social media marketing. It is our goal here at FeedBlitz HQ to make this integration as simple as possible.

While there is a fine line between over-socializing and under-socializing your newsletters, you will be able to determine the appropriate amount of social integration based on your unique audience. Spend some time testing what works best for you and your audience to find the ideal combination of social sharing, posting and integration.

If you would like for our team to take a look and offer suggestions on how to make your emails more social, just let us know! We’re here to help as the success of your email marketing is at the top of our priority list.

Questions on anything in today’s post or on any of our FeedBlitz features? Send our support team an email to support@feedblitz.com. You can also 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!

Quick Tips: Image Sizes and Your Mailings

Woman looking at computer editing photo

All FeedBlitz EZ templates are responsive which accommodates a variety of image sizes. However, should you notice your images bleed outside the borders of your template, there is a simple solution to avoid this in future mailings.

Best practices encourage the use of images no larger than 600 px wide in your posts. Following this guideline  will ensure your images are transmitted correctly to your email template.

Be advised, however, that some email clients will show the original image size, regardless of the adjusted dimensions specified by your template or blog post. The best method is to adjust the images in an editor before uploading them to your post or email template in order for the desired image size to be shown no matter which email application is used.

If you have any questions, simply send an email to support@feedblitz.com, or you can chat or give us a call 1.877.692.5489 Monday – Friday, 9 am to 5 pm EST. We also have plenty of great support available 24/7 in our online Help Forum and YouTube channel!

Quick Tips: Adding a First Name to Your Emails

Typewriter typing Dear Sir or Madame

If you’re looking to create a personal touch to your emails, adding the subscriber’s first name is a great place to start.

Before beginning we recommend brushing up on your Custom Field Knowledge and working in our Advanced Template Editor.

In order  to add  a subscriber’s first name to an email, you will need to have the custom field identified and switch your email template to the ATE.

In the ATE switch to the Custom Fields tab. Copy the Template Tag for your Custom Field to add to the template, above the <$BlogPosting$> tag as shown below:

FeedBlitz Dashboard showing how to add a first name

Should you only have Custom Field information for a portion of your subscribers, but plan to gather it for everyone moving forward, you can still include a greeting, with their name, while having an alternative should the field be blank. To do this, use the following line of information:

<$if FirstName$>Good morning, <$FirstName$>!<$else$>Good morning!<$endif$>

This is using an “if this, then that” scenario that if a First Name is present, it will be shown, however, if no value is assigned to the field, you are listing an alternative.

FeedBlitz Dashboard showing the inserted code for a conditional first name field

Using this condition works to prevent this from happening:

Email preview showing what appears when a first name field is entered without a condition.

A quick, simple way to personalize your mailings, you are able to add Custom Field information to your mailings as you see fit.

If you have any questions, simply send us an email at support@feedblitz.com, or you can chat or give us a call 1.877.692.5489 Monday – Friday, 9 am to 5 pm EST. We also have plenty of great support available 24/7 in our online Help Forum and YouTube channel!