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December News

Ahh, December. We have only been open to the public for a couple of short months and our expectations are by far exceeded; we are humbled by the response we are getting! At the moment we are treading a bit carefully to make sure that we don't get too overwhelmed (we don't overwhelm easily, but...). Very exciting times. All thanks to you!

That said, onwards to the purpose of this message; the news...

Signup forms

Forms in SendCastle just got a look-over and is greatly improved when it comes to customization. You also have the choice of hosting the form with us, so changes to it in the dashboard will be on your website automagically (of course, you still have to do this procedure once).

Branding

Right next to the overhaul of forms you can now customize the look of the double opt-in mail, subscribed page and of course the form itself. There are a few more buttons in the "Sign-up forms" section now, but creating an easy form is still exactly the same: Create it, add the fields, copy the code to your website. The differences are that you can now get previews of everything and, at your disposal, you have all the functionality needed to make the form look in any way you want, for instance with your logotype and house style.

Unsubscribe footer

In the Campaign View under the messages tab there is a new component called "Unsubscribe". What it does? It lets you set language of the unsubscribe links in the footer of your mail. And oh, you can also hide it altogether. Like any other component, it can be dragged onto your segments. Do note that you are not able to send if you don't have an unsubscribe link in your message. If you do hide the unsubscribe link in the footer, please make sure that your customized unsubscribe link is easy to find. You really don't want to annoy or waste the time of recipients that want to unsubscribe from your list.

HTML Editor

Here at Sendcastle we are a bit allergic to introducing new buttons, dropdowns and pages since it gets overwhelming (just look at MailChimp!). That said, we did sneak in another button in the Message Editor last week... This button says "HTML" and its there to give you the ability to modify the HTML of the template that is on this very segment. Modifying it will only affect that segment (not even the original template is changed). You could do something like this before, but it was a bit cumbersome (and you would repeat yourself) since it involved editing the original template and a lot of dragging and dropping. So, life should now be easier!
 
 
Screenshot displaying the "HTML" button for a segment

 
Speaking of which, if you have ideas on how to make your life even easier, let us know (hi@sendcastle.com)!
 
Tip: You can double-click on the items on the left-side (messages, templates, datasources, filters) in your campaign view for further options and actions!

Invisible changes

SendCastle literally gets updated several times per day, without you noticing, hopefully! So there's always a lot of minor changes (and polishing) that does not necessarily introduce something visibly new.

A lot of time is, for instance, spent on seeing to that operations are running and implementing improvements to internal tools that make sure that we can run these operations with as little human maintenance as possible. Which is great and all, the only downside is that changes in this area rarely become visible in the actual dashboard. But let us assure you that we are not slacking by any mean. What I'm trying to say here is really: If you think that we are ignoring a feature that you have requested, worry not, we will get there!

Canvas

A tiny request for suggestions... We pride ourselves with having an open sandbox where you design your campaign. We don't want to force you to work in a certain order dictated by the user interface, likewise, we don't want you to repeat yourself or make context switches. But, for quite a while now we have referred to the "Campaign View" (the page you spend most of your time on) as "Canvas". Chances are you have never seen it referred to that and that is because we are not convinced it's a great name. We did pick it because it was a blank canvas when you first come into your campaign and the fact that you can make of it whatever you want. But! Before we start spreading the word (the name) we'd like to hear if you have any better ideas on how to name it? So, please, we'd love to hear from you if you have any ideas!


The canvas (with the component section on the left side)


So, what's next on the radar?

A lot. But one exciting thing is something geeky: opening the API (Application Programming Interface). The SendCastle dashboard is utilizing this API and we want you to have access to all of it. In short this means that developers will be able to do everything that can be done in the dashboard in their own applications (think Wordpress, CRM's, etc). It is in place, we just need to finalize some things.


Until next time,
Joakim, SendCastle.
Joakim Romland
Tags: signup forms, branding, unsubscribing, html editor, canvas, api