01 February, 2016
Filed under CiviMail

I was fairly new to the world of email design when I began designing the content for the monthly CiviCRM newsletter in the fall of 2014. Marisa Porter had already done the difficult work of volunteering over 80 hours to create a completely responsive email newsletter template. Read about that process here.

The monthly CiviCRM newsletter BEFORE its responsive redesign: 

 

After: 

...

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08 July, 2015
Filed under CiviMail

Many organizations use MailChimp, SendGrid or SocketLabs email integrations to ensure their emails are delivered with whitelisting and lower load on their servers. Switching to Mandrill can dramatically reduce the cost of these services.

Mandrill is a service provided by MailChimp that uses the same email delivery infrastructure as their well-known service designed for delivery to newsletter subscriber lists. Mandrill's pricing is based entirely on number of emails sent, rather than a combination of subscribers and email volume. 

One of our clients experienced strong subscriber growth, going from just under 50,000 emails sent a month to a bit under 300,000 emails eight months later. Counting how many contacts were in their various Mailing groups yielded just under 100,000 'subscribers'. This would cost approximately $449 with SocketLabs, $475 with MailChimp, and...

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24 May, 2015

When preparing an email newsletter, one part of it that is time consuming is gathering together all the content that is needed. In my experience, virtually all the content already exists elsewhere, such as in the local CMS, in CiviCRM, or on a blog, or some other online source.    So I was thinking how can I make this process easier.  What I did: I created mail merge tokens for CiviCRM that autofill a list of recent blog posts, stories, or any other type or category of CMS content.  So the end-user sees a list of tokens, one for each content type, each term/category, each aggregator feed,  and for each date range. Such as "Content of type 'blog' created in the last 7 days" .  What is particulary powerful about this approach, is that if you are also using a CMS aggregator (such as the aggregator module in Drupal core) then virually any external RSS feed is turned into CMS content, which is now available as a CiviCRM token. (The original blog post about this extension is at:...

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09 January, 2015
By totten

If you've been following the CiviCRM blog, you probably noticed the reports from Google Summer of Code 2014: Siddhant Rajagopalan built a new CiviMail composition screen, and Aditya Nambiar built an A/B testing system. In late 2014, the core team extended this work (revising architecture, adding missing features, and fixing bugs), and 4.6.alpha1 is the first downloadable release to include the refreshed CiviMail. I want to give a quick tour of some of the UI's and changes.

Layouts

CiviMail is a powerful tool with a lot of options. Of course, options come at a cost -- they increase complexity and make an application harder to use. In designing the revised CiviMail UI, we want a...

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24 November, 2014

When preparing an email newsletter, one part of it that is time consuming is gathering together all the content that is needed. In my experience, virtually all the content already exists elsewhere, such as in the local CMS, in CiviCRM, or on a blog, or some other online source.    So I was thinking how can I make this process easier.  What I did: I created mail merge tokens for CiviCRM that autofill a list of recent blog posts, stories, or any other type of CMS content.  So the end-user sees a list of tokens, one for each content type, each term/category, each aggregator feed,  and for each date range. Such as "Content of type 'blog' created in the last 7 days" .  What is particulary powerful about this approach, is that if you are also using a CMS aggregator (such as the aggregator module in Drupal core) then virually any external RSS feed is turned into CMS content, which is now available as a CiviCRM token. 

Some examples of how this new extension may help your...

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15 October, 2014
By jamie
Filed under CiviMail

When generating mailing labels, CiviCRM users have the option of choosing the address to be used (e.g. you can select "Primary," "Home" or "Work") depending on where you want to reach your contacts.

CiviMail, however, does not provide this option. Instead, CiviMail automatically chooses the address for each contact - a process we can only control on a contact-by-contact basis by setting the "Bulk Mail" or "Primary" flags for each individual contact.

For many of us, the ability to only send to home or work email addresses has not been important because email addresses transcend location: we check our work email at home and our home email at work and have all made individual choices about which ones we are going to use regularly and which ones we selectively check.

However, there are use cases when choosing the right location is critical. At the Progressive Technology Project (PTP), one such use case arose in our work with the Vermont State Employees...

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01 September, 2014

There is a newly updated version of the native extension called "Fancy Tokens". This new version (2.1) includes enhancements suggested by the community. Specifically the request from Xavier to include tokens for individual event registration pages, where the event ID can be easily changed. 

Have you ever needed to send an email from CiviCRM that includes a list of upcoming events? Then you know how much fun the copy/paste effort this entails, especially if you want to use a checksum in the links to register. Plus you know you get to repeat the whole exciting process for the next newsletter the following week or month. Or if you have someone else you need to train on this task, try explaining to a non-technical person how to hand-edit the URL query string to include the checksum paramaters. (is the contact ID query string param name "cid=x" or "id=x", well that depends....)          And even if you do not deal with events, you can have the same fun teaching someone else to...

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01 July, 2014
Filed under CiviMail

Arete Imagine, Inc. is a creative services firm that is focused on understanding the dreams of our clients. Our vision is to be a leading authority on Branding, Design, and Promotion. We strive for excellence in creatively understanding and communicating the ideals and dreams of our customers.

Let me start by saying that when I took over the CiviCRM newsletter project I saw an opportunity to update the overall design of the newsletter. At Arete Imagine no matter what we create, whether it’s a website, printed marketing pieces, social media, whatever it is, it has to follow some basic rules. It has to be practical, beautiful, intuitive, and it has to respect the end user. For me there were a number of areas of the CiviCRM newsletter which didn’t meet these key requirements. It wasn’t responsive so it wasn’t practical or intuitive for a...

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16 February, 2014

Have you ever needed to send an email from CiviCRM that includes a list of upcoming events? Then you know how much fun the copy/paste effort this entails, especially if you want to use a checksum in the links to register. Plus you know you get to repeat the whole exciting process for the next newsletter the following week or month. Or if you have someone else you need to train on this task, try explaining to a non-technical person how to hand-edit the URL query string to include the checksum paramaters. (is the contact ID query string param name "cid=x" or "id=x", well that depends....)          And even if you do not deal with events, you can have the same fun teaching someone else to properly use checksums when you need to include a hyperlink to a contribution page or a stand-alone profile.  

If you want a much easier process for listing upcoming events with links to register, including links to contribution pages and stand-alone profiles, then try out the new extension...

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12 February, 2014
By Parvez
Filed under CiviMail

Wouldn't it be nice if Macilhimp was tightly integrated into CiviCRM?

Well, thanks to funding from Zing, work to better integrate CiviCRM to Mailchimp has begun.

We've put together the key functions we're aiming to deliver, taking on the existing https://civicrm.org/extensions/mailchimp-sync integration built by Derek Williams @ Science Gallery.

Please feedback on this wiki page.