10 of my dotmailer golden nuggets

A couple of months ago I shared some of dotmailer’s hidden gems. Now it’s time to give you the golden nuggets!

Below are 10 features that didn’t get a shout out in my last blog, either because they didn’t make the cut or they weren’t yet built. Enjoy!

dotmailer Roadmap

Ever wondered what new platform features are in the pipeline? Or whether that feature you suggested actually made the cut? Well, we have just the ticket: our customer-facing product roadmap.

Here, you can vote for and comment on your favourite future features and follow the development of in-progress projects features; just check out the ‘Roadmap’ tab.

To get to the product roadmap, just go to Account Menu >> What we are working on

RSS campaigns

This is actually a tool that’s been available for a long time now, but is really underused; probably because most people don’t know it’s there until it’s pointed out. The RSS feed tool populates a web page with all of your latest campaigns, and you can also filter this feed using your campaign tags.

Here’s an example of why you might want to use this feature:

You can place the feed below your newsletter sign-up form and this’ll produce previews of the lovely emails you’ve sent. This is a great way to encourage people to hand over their email addresses and set expectations of what they’ll receive.

Another example of how you can use the RSS is if you’re sending out a series of important emails and you’d like the recipient to be able to access all them in one simple click; you can just pop the RSS feed onto your website.

Suppressed contacts’ activity

This feature is one of our newer additions which is only a small change but in my opinion, a super useful one! Previously, suppressing a contact would mean that you’d lose the activity report, preventing you from seeing what they’d been sent and what they’d opened.

Now you’re able to go into the contact record in the suppressed contact area and see the programs they were enrolled into, the address books and segments they sat in, as well as what they were sent and whether they engaged with the emails.

My little tip here is make sure you filter the date (I often select ‘all time’); by default, it will only show 30 days. If they have been suppressed for a while, it means things will show as blank in a few of the tabs.

Bulk update contacts

This is a random little feature, but when it’s needed my goodness does it make life easier!

Every now and then you may need to find a group of contacts that you wish to target in a specific way, whether that be through automation or personalization. But to do this, you need a specific data field to make it work.

Many clients will manually export the list, sort the data in excel and then upload it again – very long-winded and not necessary!

Once you find your list of contacts in the segments area, you can simply bulk update the field. For example, update the field ‘VIP’ to YES for all contacts in this segment.

You’ll find this feature in the segments area; just select the segment in question, go to ‘more actions’ and click on ‘bulk update contacts’.

Contact upload options

For those of you who are manually uploading contacts via a CSV, you may or may not have noticed that there are options as to how this data is imported into your account.

Sometimes you may have blanks and you may or may not want these to overwrite the existing data. Off the back of this, you have the opportunity to change the upload options:

  • Update all existing fields
  • Don’t update existing fields with blanks
  • Merge data, keeping existing values

To access these options once you’ve uploaded the CSV, simply select ‘show advanced options’ when you’re viewing the data mapping screen.

Seed list

In many businesses, there are people who are keen to monitor an account’s activity, yet they do not directly use dotmailer or need to be involved in the testing or approvals process.

The seed list in dotmailer allows you to add up to 25 contacts who’d like to be included in all sends to oversee/receive what’s being delivered. Seed list contacts will only receive emails which are being sent to more than 2,000 contacts, not including any triggered sends or transactional messages. This will stop them from being spammed if you’re doing test sends!

Seed list sends don’t count towards your send allowance, which is a bonus, nor will they feature in any reporting, so they will not skew your results.

Please note: sends to a seed list work in the same way as test sends and the same limitations apply, meaning external dynamic content will not display.

Default auto responder

Default auto responder should be set up in EVERY account. It’s an email that’s sent out instantly to anyone who replies to one of your campaigns.

Most people monitor replies in some way, so what you can do is acknowledge the email and set expectations around the response they will get. For example, “Thanks for your email, someone will get back to you within 48 hours”.

If you’d like to channel all enquiries elsewhere then you can state this in the email: “Please note that this inbox is unmanned. We don’t want your email to go unanswered so please contact us on ….”

You create this message as a triggered email. Just go to Automation >> Default auto responder and simply select your campaign.

Desktop and mobile-only blocks

It can always be tricky to make sure your campaigns render as you’d like them to across all devices; it’s the Bain of every marketer’s life.

What you can now do is change the display options on the blocks featured in your campaigns – i.e. you can make the block visible only on desktops or visible only on mobile devices. This feature means you can place two blocks in your campaign, both with the same content, but built differently to enhance the user experience. One block will be set to display on mobile and one to show on desktops.

As always, ensure you test on different devices to ensure the blocks are displaying to the desired effect.

Encoding

Some of our customers are sending campaigns to people all across the globe and in many different languages.

If the email is going out using symbols and characters not in the English alphabet, you’ll need to change your default encoding settings. This will ensure the email renders properly once it reaches the inbox and is not missing any characters/there are no replacement characters.

To change your default encoding when you’re in the campaign creation stage (the part when you define subject line), navigate to campaign settings and select the relevant option.

Domains

We now have a tab which gives you the details of the domains you have in your account and enables you to manage them.

Head to Account Settings >> Domain names

In this screen you’ll see what domains you own, when you registered it, view and edit registrants, and see if you have set it to auto renew or not, with the option to edit the settings. This tool is great as it means you can ensure the right person gets notified when the domain needs renewing, or you can set it to run automatically in the background.

Thanks for reading my dotmailer golden nuggets. If you’d like more details on these features then please visit our knowledge base and/or speak to your Account Manager.

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