FeedBlitz is an email and social media subscription automation service for blogs and social media, and the premium FeedBurner alternative.
     

Get free email updates:


Preview | By FeedBlitz

top
bottom
 
 
FeedBlitz News

  
Subscribe to the FeedBlitz Blog for news, customer service and feature updates by mail or RSS.

 

FeedBlitz 3.0

Monday, November 03, 2008

Today we introduced the first significant FeedBlitz facelift in over two years. We’ve changed three core aspects of the service:

  • Redesigned user interface (UI);
  • New enterprise private label features for corporate email marketers;
  • Surveys.

With these changes, FeedBlitz is not only easy enough to be set up quickly by bloggers, but also powerful enough to handle the most sophisticated email marketing campaigns.

All new features are available via the new UI, but if you had bookmarked older URLs, fret not – they’ll still work. They may do something a little different now, but then if that’s the case you’ll be able to get where you need to very quickly thanks to the new UI.

A quick look, then, at these new changes in a little more detail.

Upgraded User Interface

One of the most common themes in the comments we received from the publisher survey is that, while FeedBlitz is easy to use once it’s set up, navigating the web site was hard, or confusing, and, well, it was just tough to figure out where to go if you had to do something.

Message received. Our user interface (U.I.) goals were simple:

  • Make it much easier to navigate around;
  • Make some of the richness of FeedBlitz more visible while reducing confusion;
  • Keep everything still FeedBlitz-y.

Done, done and done. The UI is now a much more traditional tab- or folder-based interface, with simple options to pick from under each tab. The pop-up menus are gone, baby, gone, which has the additional benefit of making the site much more approachable for the visually impaired, whose screen-readers sometimes struggled with the script and style-based menu system.

So, for example, the “Newsletter Center” is simply the “Newsletters” tab. Easy – no hunting around the popup menus and or hunting around the dashboard for the link. Pretty obvious where to go, and the internal navigation is, I think, much better too. The tabs allow us to elevate FeedBlitz’s autoresponder capabilities, and to finally separate out our advertising and earnings features.

Enterprise Private Label Features

Corporate marketers looking for the simpler, easy to manage approach FeedBlitz uniquely brings, now get a section to themselves. FeedBlitz now offers dedicated email servers, compliance footer customization, the ability to send subscriber notification data to online scripts, and more. The combination of these features means that corporate clients can create a private label (or white label) version of FeedBlitz, ensuring that their brand is all that’s seen but can still take advantage of our excellent deliverability, automated distribution, custom branding and self-service subscriber management.

This feature set evolved out of some custom development work that we did earlier this year for an online media service. So we’re also making our professional services available for custom feature additions and integration as part of our Enterprise feature set.

Surveys

Well, voting is very much on everyone’s mind this week, and so the other new capability we’ve added is (are?) surveys. Basically, we’ve extended the existing custom field / registration features into standalone polls. You can ask your visitors to vote - or complete a survey for more in-depth research – without their having to subscribe to your list.

For bloggers, we have the “Quick Poll” – just type in your question, type in the answer you’ll allow, and you’re done! You get a poll, the links and widgets to add to email or your web site, and in seconds you’re up and running.

Like custom fields, surveys feature:

  • Required and optional fields;
  • Free form and constrained data;
  • Multiple user-interface elements.

In addition, surveys add multiple privacy elements. You can make the survey public – so anyone can participate – through various privacy settings so that only your subscribers can take the survey (so your survey can be a tool to encourage subscription). You can even make it secret, so only the people you choose to send it to know it’s there.

The results of a survey also have controllable privacy – you can have a public poll but limit the results to subscribers, or a private poll but make the results public. Lots of flexibility and it’s entirely up to you how you use it.

No matter what the privacy settings, the results are only available in summary form to other people. Only the survey owner can see the detail, such as the subscriber’s address and what they actually answered for each question. And that's the beauty of integrating the survey with your database - you get detailed results, not just on what the results are, but on who gave the response (assuming FeedBlitz can tell). You can then market to and communicate with them based on their response.

So... here's a quick poll for you! Tell us what you think.



   

7 Comments:

Blogger Jennifer Mattern said...

It's suddenly much more difficult to get into a newsletter and send an on-demand distribution. Why, after selecting an individual newsletter, is the page still displaying general account setting options (like setting up a new newsletter)? Shouldn't it be giving you the option there to send your newsletter, change the schedule, update the template, etc. without making is dig for those things even further? Not terribly intuitive, so I hope that part was an oversight and it's just displaying the wrong info at the moment for some reason.

Other than that, looks good so far.

4:24 PM, November 05, 2008  
Blogger Phil Hollows said...

Hi Jennifer:

Once you pick a newsletter from the drop down the page refreshes with that sleection enabled. Just click mailings and on demand and you're sorted. Alternatively, you can go to mailinsg on demand first and then pick from the drop down.

Phil

6:22 PM, November 05, 2008  
Blogger Jennifer Mattern said...

Thanks Phil. I was able to eventually find it earlier. The problem is that it's completely un-user-friendly in its current state.

Rather than one click to get to the newsletter center, we now have two - my account, and then dashboard. Making that link available from the homepage would be ideal.

It would also be nice if the dropdown to choose the newsletter were available from not only the newsletters, but anywhere when we're logged in (my account page, dashboard, etc.). Taking time to browse around for the right page is frustrating from the user perspective.

Before, I could click on newsletter center, choose the newsletter from the list, and then click to send an on-demand distribution when starting from the homepage.

Those three clicks are now four (newsletters, then the dropdown, then mailings, then the on-demand option). While it doesn't sound like a lot, every click counts to users. The four clicks wouldn't be so bad though if things were easier to find. Logic says when I click on "my account" or "dashboard" I should be able to access my newsletter info, but it isn't happening that way.

Not complaining just to complain - you guys offer a great service. :) Just pointing out some usability issues with some of the changes that wouldn't be terribly intuitive to the average user.

6:34 PM, November 05, 2008  
Blogger Phil Hollows said...

hi Jennifer: What you need to do is take advantage of the new UI.

It's exactly *one* click to the newsletter center (click the "Newsletters" tab, and voila, there you are). No need to go via the dashboard at all. Raising the Newsetter Center to be permanently visible (as a tab) makes it much easier to reach without having to bop bacvk to the dashboad or wait for a menu to appear.

The drop down varies depending on where you are becuase the context is different: on the subscriptions tab, foir example, it holds your subscriptions; it would be counterintuitive for it to have newsletters there.

All you have to do is click the Newsetter Tab, Mailings, then on demand and - at some point - choose the newsletter from the drop down. So after log in you have 4 clicks - newsletter tab, mailings, drop down, on demand. In the old UI you had the same thing: dashboard \ newsletter center \ drop down \ on demand. But now the newsletter center is always a single click away, no matter where you are, which wasn't true before.

6:44 PM, November 05, 2008  
Blogger Phil Hollows said...

Sorry for all the typos too :-)

6:44 PM, November 05, 2008  
Blogger Jennifer Mattern said...

I know I'm being a pain, but it was definitely 3 clicks before. ;) There was no "mailings" click, which is what makes this setup a bit less user-friendly in that sense other than the confusing navigation (although I'll admit it was a bit confusing previously - I'd just finally gotten used to it). It used to be just the newsletter center, the drop-down, and then the option to send an on-demand newsletter was right there for you.

I certainly don't expect anything's going to change - just figured it was worth highlighting in case anyone else found themselves frustrated trying to find the same things.

6:54 PM, November 05, 2008  
Blogger Phil Hollows said...

No, feedback is good! We made a small change ogver the weekend such that if you have just one list it's automatically pre-selected in the relevant screens.

One other thing worth noting - you can get there in just ONE click. Navigate to the page and then save it as a bookmark / favorite. Then you can simply jump right there using your browser next time.

2:23 PM, November 10, 2008  

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home


© FeedBlitz - Blog and RSS Email Solutions | www.feedblitz.com | info@feedblitz.com | Privacy | Terms of Service

Related Posts with Thumbnails Quantcast