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More on Autoresponders

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Now that's interesting. Everyone who's used our new autoresponder features in the last 24 hours or so did exactly the same thing - and, interestingly enough, that was just enough to have the feature not work as you all expected.

So ... we've updated the autoresponder wizard to work much more like the way you think (and a lot less the way I do). Now, when you create a new autoresponder via the new autoresponder facility, it will automatically create your first article based on the title and name of your autoresponder. The wizard will also drop you into the article management page at the end of the setup process, clarifying what you've done and any remaining next steps, such as linking your new autoresponder to a newsletter.

Finally, for Newsletters and Autoresponders that are "traditional" (i.e. not RSS or blog-based), the article management pages have been updated to allow you to edit the article dates / delivery timing. A new option has also added to let you return a published article back to draft.

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New Autoresponder Features

Monday, March 24, 2008

Boy it's been quiet around here, huh? Well, time to make a little noise. I'm delighted to announce that FeedBlitz's autoresponder capabilities have been dramatically upgraded and simplified, so now every FeedBlitz publisher can engage in multi-step automated email marketing to their subscribers.

What is an Autoresponder?

An autoresponder is basically one or more emails that are sent to a subscriber in a predefined sequence at a predefined time. An autoresponder can be event driven, such as subscribing to a newsletter, or they can be sophisticated multi-step processes lasting days weeks or even months. Either way, as a publisher you get to deliver consistent, relevant messaging to your subscribers - automatically.

A simple autoresponder would send a "Thank You for Subscribing" email to your subscriber once they activate a subscription. You can embed some other content in that response too, such as a free download (a white paper, audio file, recipe, design - up to you!), which you can use to incent subscribers to sign up in the first place.

Another example of an autoresponder might be a "Top 10 Tips" - send a tip a day to new subscribers of your newsletter. Or you can invite subscribers to sign up for the top 10 tips directly. (And, yes, you could attach an autoresponder to that, too).

Or you can even make the autoresponder send a book, chapter by chapter, to your readers, in order - no matter when they sign up.

So What's New?

There's a new Autoresponder Center, available from the menus and the Newsletter Center (and, where appropriate, other screens as well). There's an easy wizard to set up a new autoresponder, and you now have the ability to write and edit your autoresponder's messages and schedule all within FeedBlitz (previously you had to set up an entire new blog and figure out timestamps by hand - yucky).

Like our newsletters, you can brand an autoresponder, track opens and click throughs, collect subscriber demographics, manage subscribers, and more. You can make them private (for your "thank you" messages) or public (for your multi-step programs). You can manipulate them programmatically using the API. Like newsletters, there are ads in the footer for users of our free services, and not for paid upgrades.

A single autoresponder can be attached to multiple newsletters, so you can write your "Thank You" message once and have any subscriber activating a subscription to any of your newsletters receive it.

Better Features, Easier to Use.

With these new features FeedBlitz offers a suite of comprehensive online publisher services:

  • Automatically generated newsletters from your blog or RSS feed;
  • Traditional email newsletters (which create RSS feeds, IMs and web archives for you);
  • Email blasts (without a newsletter article) to all your subscribers or just a segment;
  • Subscriber demographic capture, segmentation and personalization;
  • Single or multi-step autoresponders;
  • Multi-media (mail, web, RSS, IM and social media) distribution;
  • Comprehensive activity tracking and analytics;
  • Massively customizable;
  • Free (ad-funded) or paid (ad-free) versions.

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Blogger 403 Forbidden

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Apparently last night some Blogger / Blogspot blogs returned "403 Forbidden" errors instead of the publisher's content. It's Blogger's issue, not ours, but if you were affected by this go to the Newsletter Center for your blog, switch to manual distribution and then send the posts you want via our on demand feature. Then change back to automated distribution (and let's hope that whatever ailed Blogger last night is now working again).

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