Direct Mail now accepts PayPal

For many, PayPal needs no introduction. The online payment giant is now used by over 250 million people worldwide, and is a convenient and safe way to make online purchases. The new Direct Mail 5.5 update introduces full support for accepting payments via PayPal (in addition to credit card and the other payment methods already accepted). You can pay with your PayPal account when you create an account, purchase email credits, sign up for an Unlimited Plan, and more.

Your PayPal password and banking information are kept secure on PayPal’s website and are never seen by Direct Mail. When you choose to pay via PayPal, Direct Mail will automatically take you to a checkout page in your favorite web browser (e.g. Safari, Chrome, or Firefox) where you can complete the transaction. Upon completion, you are prompted to switch back to Direct Mail and continue on your way.

PayPal support is included in the latest update to Direct Mail. To update right away, simply choose “Direct Mail > Check for Software Update” from the menu bar at the top of your screen. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our support team.

Direct Mail is now available in German

Fantastisch! We are happy to announce that Direct Mail is now available in German. The app as well as online content like subscribe forms and the forward-to-a-friend features have all been translated. Our website and many of the most popular knowledge-base articles have been translated, as well. We hope this update makes Direct Mail even more accessible to our international audience and we look forward to rolling out additional languages in the future.

The German version of Direct Mail does not require a separate download. It is part of the Direct Mail 5.5 update, which can be obtained by choosing “Direct Mail > Check for Software Update” from the menu bar at the top of your screen. Customers who downloaded Direct Mail from the Mac App Store can obtain the update after it has been approved by Apple.

New email clients available for design testing

Direct Mail’s built-in “Design Test” feature shows you pixel-perfect previews of your email in a wide variety of popular email clients. It is a handy tool to verify that your design will look great in all of the email clients that your subscribers use to read their email: Gmail, Outlook, iOS Mail, Yahoo Mail, and more. We recently expanded the list of supported email clients to include:

  • Apple Mail 12 Dark Mode
  • iPhone Xs
  • iPhone XR
  • iPad Pro 10.5″
  • Samsung Mail
  • Outlook for Android and iOS
  • Outlook 2019 for Windows
  • Gmail App on iOS
  • T-Online.de

When you order a new design test, not all of these email clients are shown by default. To access the full list of email clients, click on the link titled “show more email clients”:

Retiring Sample Design Tests

In the past, a “sample” design test consisting of Outlook 2003 and Gmail was offered at no charge. In response to changes made by our design test service provider, we are discontinuing these sample tests.

If you’ve never used the design test feature and would like to see an example, check out the sample project that comes built-in to Direct Mail. Just choose “Help > Explore Sample Project” from the menu bar at the top of your screen. After the project opens, click the “Design Test” button in the toolbar, or choose “Window > Design Tests” from the menu bar.

Going beyond open and click rates

One of the traditional ways to measure the effectiveness of an email marketing campaign is to look at open and click-through rates. In this blog post, however, we take a look at another performance measurement that you might not have considered before: conversion rate.

What is a conversion rate?

When we talk here about conversion rates, we are talking about what percentage of your email subscribers have taken some kind of action that (1) can be tracked and (2) goes beyond opening or clicking a link in your email. Common examples might include:

  • what percentage of your email subscribers purchased something from your website, or
  • filled out a form or survey on your website, or
  • downloaded something from your website, or
  • scheduled an appointment with you, or
  • signed up for your event online

When one of those actions takes place, we say that the person has converted. You may have noticed that the above examples are all actions that take place on your website. If you use a website analytics service (like Google Analytics) you can collect data on how many of your visitors convert, and learn what brought those visitors to your site. By combining Direct Mail’s email reporting with your website analytics, you can find out how effective your email campaigns are at driving conversions on your website—in other words, what your email campaign’s conversion rate is.

Using Google Analytics

The rest of this blog will make two assumptions:

  1. You are using Google Analytics on your website
  2. You have already set up one or more conversion “goals” on your website that you’d like Google Analytics to track

If you haven’t done those things yet, we recommend taking a look at one of these great Intro to Google Analytics courses:

Tagging your campaigns

Let’s say one of your email campaign goals is to get subscribers to click on a link in your email that takes them to your website. Once they’ve landed on your website, one of your goals may be for them to take an action that will convert them into a paying customer (or a repeat customer). Google Analytics can show you what percentage of your website visitors have converted, and, with an extra 5 seconds of work on your part, it can also show you which email campaigns those website visitors came from.

To get these extra insights, you need to tell Direct Mail to “tag” the links in your email campaign. This is done by checking the “Tag for Google Analytics” checkbox that appears when you send a campaign. You can also optionally enter a custom campaign name (e.g. “Fall 2018”). If you do not enter a campaign name, it defaults to the subject line of your message. The campaign name will be shown in Google Analytics—it is not visible to your recipients.

 

When you send your message, Direct Mail appends some extra information to the links in your email. When someone clicks a link in your email, this extra information tells Google Analytics that the visitor came from your email campaign. This is what allows Google Analytics to attribute that visitor’s conversion (if they convert) to your email campaign.

Viewing the results in Google Analytics

After you have sent your email campaign, you can view open and click reports in Direct Mail like normal. To access the extra Google Analytics conversion data, you’ll want to sign in to your Google Analytics account in your browser.

Once you’ve signed in, click on the “Acquisition” link on the left-hand side, then click “Campaigns”, then click “All Campaigns”

You will see a list of all of the campaigns that Google Analytics is tracking. These campaigns include not only email campaigns sent by Direct Mail, but also other ad campaigns that you may be running to drive traffic to your site (like Google AdWords, Facebook ads, etc.). Find and click on the email campaign that you sent with Direct Mail—remember to look for the “campaign name” that you used above when clicking the “Tag for Google Analytics” button.

Viewing the columns left-to-right, you can see the metrics that Google Analytics is tracking: number of users, bounce rate, session duration, etc. The right-most group of columns may be the most interesting. These columns show the performance for the selected goal.

In this screenshot, we can see that the “Fall 2018” campaign resulted in 27 conversions for “Goal 1: Purchase”. This means that 27 people who received my “Fall 2018” email campaign clicked a link in the email and eventually went on to purchase something from my website—either right away or several days later. I originally sent this email campaign to 950 subscribers, so that makes my conversion rate 27 ÷ 950 = 2.8%. Nice!

If you want to see the combined conversion rate for all of your Direct Mail campaigns (instead of just one of them), click on “Acquisition”, then “Campaigns”, then “All Campaigns”, then click on “Source”. A list of all the campaign sources will appear—look for the one labeled “directmailmac”.

Conclusion

Open and click-through rates are not the only way to track campaign performance. Taking a look at conversion rates can yield additional insight. Direct Mail’s “Tag for Google Analytics” feature can help you uncover additional insights into how effective your campaigns are at converting leads into customers. If you have any questions about anything discussed in this blog post, or want to give feedback, please let us know!

Tip: Sharing your project with other users

Putting together an email campaign is often more than just a one-person job. The responsibilities of writing content, creating graphics, editing, analyzing reports, and more may be shared across an entire team of people. In these situations, Direct Mail’s cloud sharing features can really come in handy. In this blog post, we’ll show you how easy it is to share your Direct Mail project with other people.

Step 1 of 1

To share your Direct Mail project with other people, all you need to do is choose “File > Share…” from the menu bar at the top of your screen.

If you haven’t already, you’ll be prompted to first move your project into the Direct Mail Cloud. This is a necessary step because project sharing is built on top of Direct Mail’s cloud features.

After you choose “File > Share…” from the menu bar, you’ll see a list of people that are allowed to access your project.

To allow new people to access your project, click the “+” button and enter their email address. After you’ve entered their email address, pick what level of access (i.e. permission) you’d like to give them:

  • View: The person can view, but not edit your project
  • Edit: The person can view and edit your project
  • Edit & Send: The person can view and edit your project, and can send email campaigns from the project
  • Owner: The person can do all of the above, plus edit these sharing settings or remove the project from the cloud. Email campaigns sent from this project are billed to the owner’s Direct Mail pricing plan.

When you’re all done, click OK.

What happens next?

A notification email will be sent to the people that you added to your sharing list. The notification email tells them how they can open the project that you’ve shared with them. If the person doesn’t yet have Direct Mail installed on their Mac, the email will tell them how they can download and set up a free account.

If someone has shared their Direct Mail project with you, you can open it by choosing “File > Open from Cloud…” from the menu bar at the top of your screen.

Live editing

 

As you (or the other people you’ve shared with) make changes to your project, Direct Mail automatically keeps everyone up-to-date. Changes are synced across the Internet in real time. If two people change the same piece of data (e.g. a message, an address, etc.), the most recent change wins.

Change your mind?

You can change who has access to your project at any time. To do so, just choose “File > Share…” from the menu bar again. You can remove people from your project, change permission levels, or add new people. If you remove someone from the list, then Direct Mail will automatically remove your project from their computer.

Just for fun: updating your profile photo

By default, Direct Mail shows a generic “profile photo” next to each person’s name. You can add some fun to Direct Mail by updating your profile photo. Your photo will show up in the sharing window when other people share their Direct Mail projects with you. To update your photo, choose “Direct Mail > Direct Mail Account” from the menu bar at the top of the screen, then click on “Name & Picture”.

Conclusion

Whether it’s authoring content, proofreading, or building a list, email marketing campaigns often require the talents of a whole team working together. Direct Mail’s sharing features can make it easier to work together in real time—without resorting to workarounds like Dropbox or file servers. We hope you take a look at what’s possible, and please let us know what you think.

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