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Custom subject lines, from addresses now available in FeedBlitz emails

Thursday, January 05, 2006

The customization capabilities of FeedBlitz Pro have been extended to give "Pro" publishers the ability to modify both whom the mail appears to come from and its subject line. You can now make your email updates look like they really come from you (if you wish), have replies come directly to you, and to tailor the subject lines more towards what your users are expecting. Examples might include (using made up names):

  • There are three sewing tips from the "Stitch Hints" newsletter.
  • Yet more insights from your favorite financial guru.
  • [Peanuts] There is one article in "Smooth or Crunchy - You Decide"
  • [HaHa] Joke of the day for 2005/2/12

You get the idea. The following image shows the part of the screen that defines the new capabilities:

  • The "From Name" shows the "friendly" name that typically shows up in the "From" column in user's inboxes.
  • The "From Email" is where replies will go if the user hits "reply" - this means that replies will actually get to you instead of FeedBlitz, which is what your recipients expect.
  • Under the covers, we use the Internet mail protocols to forward bounces back to FeedBlitz, so users of this facility should not have to deal with too many bounce messages, and FeedBlitz's automated bounce processing will still work.
  • The "prefix" allows you to put in a short, well, prefix (such as "[FeedBlitz]"). You can use this to let your readers know what the email is about.
  • The single post entry is used when only one new entry is in the feed, the multi-post subject for more than one.
  • These fields are also used to populate the <$BlogDescription$> variable in the email template, which is why the HTML in them matters.
  • A new variable, <$Date$> has been made available; it only works in email subject lines and represents the US east coast date when the mail is generated, not any time stamp in the underlying feed.

In addition, index variables have been added for the main template. These allow you to easily construct a table of contents at the top of your mail to guide readers to the most applicable article for them. Visit the "Pro" page and look at the legend under the editor. You can construct a table of contents by sandwiching variables between <$BlogIndex$> tags before the first <$BlogPosting$> tag. The HTML you want might look something like this:

<li><a href="#<BlogItemNumber>"><$BlogItemTitle$></a>

It is a little tricky, but for new Pro users the code is automatically inserted into the template when you fire up the editor for the first time, just to help get you started. If you have any questions, obviously, contact support.

How do you reach all these new capabilities? The editor for "Pro" is selected by clicking this icon for your feed from http://www.feedblitz.com/f/f.fbz?Lists and then checking the box to instruct FeedBlitz to use the template. (Do preview before you save and test afterwards to make sure that you are getting what you expected.)

At only 16c daily, "Pro" adds these customization capabilities as well as enabling you to import users from other systems. Now there is no real reason not to give it a try - so have at it!



Blogger Martin Kelley said...

Hey guys, it looks great. I just set it up and look forward to tomorrow's email to see how it looks. I will say I'm very happy with the Pro features, they make the service look much more professional.

12:32 PM, January 10, 2006  

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