Mobile compatible layouts now available

MNB is now rolling out initial support for mobile compatible (also referred to as responsive) layouts for Genie newsletters. Newsletters made with these new layouts will automatically tailor layout blocks when displayed on small format devices such as mobile phones in order to provide a more pleasant viewing experience for your audience. (No more squinting and zooming all over the place!)

This system, though rigorously tested, is still unvetted by our most discerning resource available - you, our users! We invite you to use a mobile compatible layout for your next newsletter (especially if you find that you have a large mobile audience) and let us know what you think of them. We’re offering a subset of our current layouts and will expand the offering and create an even more flexible layout selection going forward.

Segment Your Lists!

MNB is excited to offer list segmentation from report metrics. Getting started with segmenting your lists is really simple!


1. There is now a Segment option from the Subscriber Lists page.

Create a new segment

2. Clicking Segment will bring up a dialog for creating a new Segment.

Here you can select which lists you’d like to include in your segment as well as configure options offered by segmentation.
Name of New List: The first time you segment a list or set of lists a new list will be created. You can customize the name of that list here.
Segment Type: Currently you can select from two reporting metrics to segment with: opens or clicks.
Opens/Clicks in the Last: This lets you select how far back you’d like to get subscribers from your reports.
Automatically Update: If this is checked when you create the segment then the new list will be periodically updated to include new subscribers. Old subscribers that haven’t been active with your sends will eventually be removed from your segment based upon the “Opens/Clicks in the Last” option.

Segmentation management dialog

3. That’s it!
It can take a few minutes for your new segmented list to be made, but you can check the status of it under “Batch Activity” on the Subscriber Lists page.

Finished!

Alternatively…
You can bring the Action options down from an individual list and create a segment with that list already selected.

Alternative

Critical changes to the way we send emails

Edited: October 15, 2015

We made some changes to the way we send email. We are doing this to improve our reputation, authentication, and overall deliverability.

1. MNB.EMAIL

The first change is that we are changing the domain for our sending servers. If you have our domain white-listed, have MNB in your SPF record, or want to have MNB in your SPF record, you need to know that our sending domain is now mnb.email.

ASIDE: we recommend (now) that you do add MNB to your SPF record. You can google how to do it but the gist of it looks like this:
v=spf1 include:mnb.email ?all

2. DMARC compliance revisted

The second change - which is also now live - is that we are adding DMARC compliance back to our platform. We highly recommend using our DMARC compliant sending domain (mnb.email) for your newsletters. Very recently, Yahoo has made changes to their platform that require nearly all emails to be DMARC compliant (sending or receiving).

By default, the FROM EMAIL address in your newsletters are [now] DMARC compliant. You can change them if you like; we don’t recommend it. The display and format of the email address will “show” your email address at our domain.

For example, the FROM EMAIL address for my MNB account would look like this: steve+gomnb.com@mnb.email.

Please note, your FROM NAME, REPLY TO NAME, and REPLY TO EMAIL address will not change (unless you change them).

Further, if you do use our DMARC compliant address (@mnb.email), you do not need to concern yourself with SPF (from 1 above).

Thanks for your patience and understanding whilst we improve our systems and sending.

The Migration Plan

It is time to upgrade; our latest and greatest version of MNB (v6 for those that care to know) is fully featured and ready to handle the workload (easier and faster). If you haven’t had the chance to play around in it, you will soon. We will be moving all accounts to the new version using the schedule below.

If you don’t know if you are using the latest and greatest version - there is an easy way to tell.

  • If the nav bar is light and the logo is on the top left - you are using the new version
  • If the nav bars are dark and “MNB” is on the top right - you are using the old version

February 20th
All Enterprise Accounts and their Sub-Accounts
All Content clients - we use the enterprise to distribute content
(if you are uncertain if you fall into this category, just ask support)

February 27th
Username starts with letters A-F

March 6th
Username starts with letters G-L

March 13th
Username starts with letters M-R

March 20th
Username starts with letters S-Z

One last note: we will still provide access to the old version of MNB for a few months. You will be able to switch back and forth UNLESS you fall into the first group of accounts that are being moved. Limitations to our enterprise system REQUIRE all enterprise and sub-accounts be on the same version of MNB.


Helpful Links:
Review the new system
The New Dashboard
Newsletters
Reports
Subscribers Search

Down to the Wire: Marketing at the Last Minute

At the time of publishing, we’re less than two days away from the end of the biggest gift giving season of the year (time flies!). That means that the success of your pre-holiday marketing efforts has largely been determined by now – but not entirely. There’s actually still plenty of time to make a big end-of-year marketing impact.

For example, there will be a surprising number of people still shopping for holiday gifts on the 24th. That’s just the way it goes. If your organization has a brick and mortar retail location or offers gift certificates, gifts requiring electronic delivery, or redeemable services, an email blast issued before 7AM EST tomorrow could net some very favorable returns. Those shoppers who’ve procrastinated or had planned gifts fall through will be in need of something great and thoughtful. Your business could be the lifeline they need.

But perhaps more importantly, we’ve got a little secret about the holiday shopping season: it doesn’t really end on the 25th. Between cash, gift cards, and the need to find accessories for the big ticket gifts they just received, customers are often eager to do a little self-splurging in the wake of so much giving. This is why many organizations like to send out a retail-focused newsletters early on the 26th or 27th. It’s a tactic that’s usually beneficial for businesses trading both online and in-store.

Plus, there are plenty of individuals who attend holiday gatherings through year’s end. That means another group of eager buyers with an extended gift-buying calendar. Many of these shoppers will wait to buy gifts until after the holidays end, hoping that they can capitalize on post-season steals (more on that in a minute).

Finally, many charitable organizations we work with have found the last days of the holiday season to be an excellent time to reach out for donations. Some people are in a very giving mood this time of year, and a last-minute email could prompt a quick donation made for the sake of holiday spirit or one to be given as a thoughtful gift.

Building Your Newsletter

Now, when crating an email newsletter for immediately before or immediately after the holidays, it’s important to keep your content extra slim. Things like news, informative articles, and recipes are best kept for blasts sent through the rest of the year. This is crunch time, so try to keep your newsletter focused on the most relevant products or services your organization offers.

If possible, build your blast around clean, crisp photos of products and supplement them with brief descriptions and links to buy. For added impact, you can even switch from a text link to a “Buy Now” button. That will ensure that every reader knows exactly where to click to take advantage of your offer.

Otherwise, keep those newsletters short, focused, and to-the-point. That will likely net the best returns.

To Deal or Not to Deal

Many retailers are reluctant to offer deals or discounts so close to the holiday as they’re relying on customers’ increased need to shop. When you’re down to the last minute, however, you might be able to grab a little extra traction by offering modest savings on holiday-worthy products.

The same is not true after the holidays though. Most retailers smash pre-season prices hoping they might create one more rush to boost fourth quarter profits. That makes the last week of the year a difficult time for mid-level marketers and below to make an impact. Inboxes are stuffed with promotions carefully catered to the needs of the recovering shopper.

But that doesn’t mean there’s no hope. To make your products or services more enticing during the year-end glut, try to focus your newsletters on those aspects of your business that are exclusive to you. Maybe it’s excellent customer service. Maybe it’s an uncommon knowledge of the field. Maybe it’s hand-made goods that just aren’t available anywhere else. Use whatever makes your business special to attract those retail-fatigued eyeballs. It could be the difference between closing 2014 with a bang or just a whimper.