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Subscriber Management Improvements for FeedBlitz Mailing Lists

Friday, April 22, 2011

As part of the changes that are going into the FeedBlitz v4 beta, we're not only changing overall navigation but also the way certain individual pages work as well. Some of these changes are sufficiently useful that they merit porting back to the current version.

The following changes should reduce a lot of the more common complaints we get about some of the things that FeedBlitz does!

Hope you like 'em :)

Easier resubscribes

Subscribers who used a site's subscription form to start subscribing after their subscription had lapsed used to have to log in to FeedBlitz to complete the task - a complex and confusing process for some subscribers. This is no longer true; a standard dual opt-in activation email is sent instead. One click there and they're back on the list.

Simpler dual opt-in activation emails

The default activation email (which list owners can change via Newsletters - Settings - Custom Confirmation Email) used to be verbose, and included the subscriber's email address in the activation link. This could create two problems:
  1. The chattiness of the text confused some would-be subscribers, and
  2. The email address confused some email apps, some of which erroneously converted the email address to a mailto: link.
If the subscriber had this second problem and clicked on the email address to activate their subscription, their app would instead fire up their email editor as if they were composing an email to themselves. Not a FeedBlitz bug, but something we can help change.

So, the text has now been dramatically reduced to improve clarity, and the email address in the copy moved outside the activation link, so users who are confirming their subscription won't be tempted to click that part of the text as they do so.

Direct subscriber change of address

List owners, when requested to change a subscriber's address, used the screens to create a request that was sent to the new subscriber to activate. A publisher-initiated dual opt-in, in effect. This was tedious and, since we know our publishers are made of the right stuff, largely unnecessary.

As of now, changing a subscriber's address via Newsletters - Subscribers - Change Subscriber Email Address will usually change the relevant email address immediately, sending a notification email that the change has been made to both the current and new addresses. No need for any activation clicks any more.

Rarely, the old "opt-in" method will still be used, depending on the status of the new address in the FeedBlitz database. This happens if something's up with the desired new address only.

Subscriber screens clarified

Some of the icons on the subscriber screens could be confusing to list managers; these have been replaced with labeled buttons instead. Much clearer.

Subscription audit data visible

A subscriber or a list manager can now access a subscription's audit data - creating IP address and referring page - in case the subscription was maliciously created. Drill down from the subscriptions page or the subscriber pages to view the data.

Clearer account merging

Finally, instructions on how to merge two accounts have been clarified. Sometimes users would feel stuck in a loop because they weren't logged in to the correct account as they tried to complete the merge.

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