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BFF: Reports

Published: 25 Jul 2014
Author: AJ

We sure seem to have a lot of BFFs. That’s alright, though. We’re just a very caring organization. And, this week, we’re caring a whole lot about our updated Reports page in particular.

Unlike the old reports page, the new Reports page in BETA features only five key data points for each newsletter: The newsletter name as it appears in your archive, the number of recipients, the date and time on which it was sent, the opens reported from that send, and the clicks reported from that send.

Maybe that doesn’t sound like much of an “upgrade.” Maybe you’re worried that we canned all your favorite data returns (don’t worry, you can still access all your favorite data and more on the Report View page – but we’ll talk about that in a later edition of BFF). Well, we hear you, but let’s quickly discuss why we wanted to trim the principal data appearing on the main reports page.

When we redesigned MNB’s insides, we wanted to place a major premium on streamlining and efficiency. We want the most important elements of your account to really jump out and grab you. We want these utilities to be visible and very usable on mobile devices.

So, when it came time to update the Reports page, we decided to prioritize Open and Click returns. As you can see the new format allows you to easily compare the results of each send with Open and Click data displayed prominently as both whole numbers and percentages. Because this data is so critical to campaign assessment, we feel that this new arrangement should greatly benefit comprehensive evaluations of lengthy campaigns

Like before, all of the values displayed in (beautiful, if you ask us) blue are clickable, with each leading to a more detailed look at the returns. Again, we’ll touch more on those detailed reports in a future, but for now we want to focus strictly on the main Reports page.

Finally, at the top of the reports page, you’ll notice a search field labeled “Filter Newsletter By Name.” This search field operates just like the tool of the same name found in your Newsletter Archive, allowing you to enter whole or partial newsletter names, and immediately call up relevant reports. Give it a shot, and have yourself a little search party in Report town. It’s a lot of fun.

That about does it for this edition of BETA Feature Friday. We’ll be back in two weeks with a closer look at another exciting feature from the BETA version of MNB.

Addressing the Global Agenda

Published: 18 Jul 2014
Author: Melissa

And… we’re back on agendas. Today we’ll tackle the bigger topic of incorporating larger-scale agendas. As we wrap up our series on agendas, let us start by remembering how we defined the term. From our first post on the subject, we laid out these parameters:

For the sake of clarity, let us define agenda as an underlying plan or goal that drives action. An agenda may be tangible or ideological in nature; what matters is that you recognize that most everyone has one, and it influences everything they do on both a conscious and a subconscious level.

So, what do I mean by global agenda? Is it that I’m suggesting you can use your business to be a force of good in the world? Yes, yes I am. Whatever is important to you, so long as it is appropriate for the ethos of your business, can be brought into the fold as an occasional focus to help shine a light on the world’s issues. Whether you focus on social justice, environmentalism, education or something else, the point is that you have a platform for communicating. That platform (aka your email newsletters) can be carefully leveraged to focus on the greater good. It can also be abused, but let’s pretend that you’re all going to stay on topic and be very well-behaved email marketers, ok?

Before You Begin: Is It Appropriate?

Before you let your thoughts get any further, let’s back up to this really basic and hugely important detail. Whatever agenda you might have in mind, you must first run it through all the following filters to ensure that it is appropriate to include in your content.

Filter 1: Is anybody going to be offended? If the answer is obviously yes, don’t say a word. Just like there are things you don’t discuss at the dinner table with your extended family, not every topic is appropriate to broach with your subscribers. It’s called manners and respecting that we all have the right to differing opinions. If no, then jump ahead! (There’s no guarantee you won’t offend people, just don’t do something obviously stupid like forward PETA missives to cattle farmers or take on highly controversial topics when you know your readership is likely divided on the issue.)

Filter 2: Is there an action attached to your issue? It’s great that you want to save the rainforest or support a fair trade cooperative or stop the use of poisonous chemicals in your industry. However, if you’re going to talk about these things, your money better be where your mouth is. Leading by example is the best way to make a difference. Furthermore, consider what the point is in sharing with your readership. Can they make a difference too? If no, figure out what action you want to prompt. If yes, proceed to the next filter.

Filter 3: Does it make sense to include in your newsletter? This is the hardest to answer. However, relevancy is pretty important considering that you’re looking to uphold the promise of sending the content the reader signed up for. If your agenda is industry related, then it’s relevant, hurrah! If you have a connection via local, business or community ties, that’s a good sign. If you have no relevant reason to bring up the topic, you’re on your own in deciding how important it is to you/the company to address the issue.

Taking Action: Find the Right Time and Space  

When is is it the right time? There are plenty of ways to look at this. I’ll let you imagine your own examples for these…

It seems obvious that the best time would be a relevant time. Either you’ve taken action or some greater community or global event is trigger the need for action.

What if there is no relevant time because the action is a constant need in our world? Well, to avoid being annoying, how about your cleverly add something to your footer? A link, for example, or a button inviting others to join you in your cause. 

Alternatively, if you partner with another organization in this cause, you can use this partnership to jointly bring attention to your cause. It’s a great opportunity to send out a joint newsletter with a clear call to action that won’t interfere with your regularly scheduled newsletter content. 

A great option for those with something ongoing to say is the addition of a series that focuses on this agenda. Letting interested parties opt in gives you full permission to share to your heart’s content on the subject without the risk of alienating readers who don’t feel enthusiastic about your agenda.

Finally, if your email newsletter is the wrong place to do it, remember that social media is a whole world of sharing that’s available to you, and one where championing causes is a normal everyday activity. It might even be an activity that helps build a bond with subscribers who share these interests and agendas. Activating on and sharing these important issues gives customers and readers a bigger idea of who you are and helps to build relationships.

BFF: Streamlined Dashboard

Published: 11 Jul 2014
Author: AJ

So far, our BFF (BETA Feature Fridays) series has focused on new search tools that we’ve included to help you find materials faster. For this week’s edition, we’re taking a step back to take a look at the brand new, streamlined Dashboard.

The MNB Dashboard is the central navigation hub for your entire account. The original Dashboard was loaded with information and links to get you where you wanted to go faster, but the new BETA Dashboard is stripped down for ideal efficiency. We put all your critical campaign info front-and-center, and shifted additional navigation options to the tabbed top menu (which we’ll touch on in a later post).

Before we break down what’s included in your new Dashboard, let’s (excuse the self-back-patting here) talk about why it’s so great. The new, ultra-slim Dashboard is not only easier to navigate and loaded with essential information, but it’s also better suited to view on multiple platforms. The new MNB features a reactive design that automatically resizes to best fit the device on which it’s being viewed.

That’s one of the other reasons we wanted to pare down the Dashboard utilities. Trimming to include only those most critical elements makes mobile navigation even easier, allowing you to handle your email marketing biz no matter where you are.

Alright, let’s take a quick look at what your new Dashboard includes.

The first thing you’ll notice is that we’ve prioritized the report data from your most-recent newsletter send. Every time you log-in, you’ll be immediately greeted with the basic information about the last newsletter issued from your account (Newsletter Name, Subject, and Send Date), along with two bar graphs displaying Open and Click percentages (with full numbers below). In the bottom-right corner of the Recent Send module, you’ll see a View Report button which will take you directly to a more detailed look at the data collected from that send.

Immediately below that, you’ll find the Current Plan module. This includes basic details about your MNB billing plan to keep you updated on the status of your account.

Now, there’s one more feature we want to point out: nestled in the top-right corner of the Dashboard, you’ll see a Build Newsletter button. Clicking that button will take you directly to the Choose Layout screen in Genie, allowing you to jump right into the newsletter creation process with a single click.

And, that’s it! You’ll find the rest of your regular navigation utilities neatly packed in the top menu, arranged in (what we think is) an even more intuitive order than ever before.

Coming soon (enough): there will also be a summary module of your subscriber list to include to numbers and growth (positive or negative). Stay tuned.

As always, feel free to contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) if you have any questions about the new MNB BETA or your service in general.

Promoting Your Own Agenda

Published: 03 Jul 2014
Author: Melissa

Recently, we talked about the importance of promoting your subscribers’ agenda. Nothing we say today should come before the supreme importance of having your content be about your subscribers and not about yourself. However, there is room for your own agenda, if you remember to approach things correctly. Let’s talk about that…

Talk about your agenda as if others are involved. There’s a big difference between saying “my company will save the world,” and “together, we can save the world,” and that difference is inclusion. When you use inclusive language, you bring others along with you. And of course, you don’t have to be saving the world. Whatever it is that you do, other people are necessary (even if all they do is buy what you sell).

Invite people to join you. My background is in writing first and foremost, so I tend to think about marketing language a lot. Extending an invitation is cordial and welcoming; this stands apart from communication telling people what to do. At the very least, disguise your efforts to tell people what to do by being polite and thoughtful. At the other end of that is a genuine offer to partner in forwarding mutual agendas.

Extend your vision beyond yourself. How does your vision fit into a larger vision? We’ll talk about this in an altruistic sense in a couple of weeks, but that doesn’t have to be your focus. Consider how your business fits into a larger world, whether that is a location-based community, a field of business, etc. In other words, paint your agenda as being part of the bigger picture.

Can I write this article without saying something super cheesy like “make their agenda your agenda?” Well, if you thought I could, I guess you are wrong. If you’ve done your background research on what your subscribers’ agendas are, then you can do the following: look for commonalities between their agenda and your agenda. Direct your focus there. By starting on common ground, you can then branch out in both directions: the direction your subscribers are hoping you’ll go, and the direction you’d like to lead your subscribers.

BFF: Search Lists by Subscriber

Published: 27 Jun 2014
Author: AJ

Get your flashlights, y’all, because this search party won’t stop! Last week, we introduced you to our BFF (Beta Feature Friday) series with a look at the Filter by Newsletter Name function. This week, we’re continuing the search party by breaking down the Search Lists by Subscriber tool.

Using the Search Lists by Subscriber feature, you can search your entire subscriber data base for a particular subscriber or keyword. Simply click on the Subscribers tab in the top menu, and enter the terms of your search into the Search Lists by Subscriber field. When you click the magnifying glass to complete your search, the system will return a new page with all the subscriber email addresses that match your query.

On that return page, you’ll see the full email addresses of each return, their first and last names (if entered), the date on which they subscribed, and their confirmation status. You’ll also see a toggle box to the left of each email address. By clicking that toggle, you can elect to send a confirmation message to, copy, export, move, remove, or delete the selected subscriber(s).

Additionally, you can click the hyperlinked email address for a pop-up with more details about the subscriber. In that pop up window, you can add or edit the subscriber information for that individual, view any lists in which that subscriber is included, and unsubscribe or delete the user entirely.

One of the really nice features about the Search Lists by Subscriber feature is that you don’t need to enter the entire email address of the subscriber you’re looking for. For example, if you’re looking for .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), you can simply enter “John,” and the system will return a list of all emails containing that character series.

This can be particularly helpful when searching for a group of subscribers as well. Say you’d like to add new information for a group of subscribers who all work for the same company. If they share a host domain (like, simply pop that into the search field, and you’ll get a list of all the subscribers you have who use that domain.