Update: The 3.4.2 update is now available for Mac App Store customers, as well.
Eagle-eyed customers may have noticed that we released another update to Direct Mail today, a mere seven days after our last update. While we don’t normally like to release updates so close together, we felt the improvements contained in today’s software update were important enough to justify getting it into your hands as soon as possible. The primary improvements are fixes to bugs that were causing intermittent crashes for about 7% of our users. More information can be found in the release notes.
It’s important to us that your experience with Direct Mail be as seamless as possible. We hope these fixes contribute to a better experience and look forward to rolling out additional improvements in the coming months.
The first newsletter of the new year is out! Read this month’s issue for tips on how to use mail-merge tags more effectively, news about recent software updates, a chance to win a free iPad mini, and information about e3 Software at Macworld!
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Using mail-merge tags is an easy way to personalize your message for each recipient. You can personalize your emails with information like the recipient’s name, company name, or up to 15 other fields of your choosing. However, long-time and first-time users of Direct Mail may not be aware of some of the more powerful mail-merge features that were added in Direct Mail 3. In this blog post, we’ll talk about two ways to make your emails more dynamic and more personal.
Let’s start with a simple example. Here’s a mail-merge tag being used in the greeting of a message:
But what if your mailing list doesn’t contain a first name for every recipient? That would mean that some people would see “Hello” and then just blank space where the name was supposed to go. We can use fallback values to remedy this situation. Try this instead:
Now regardless of whether or not you have first name data for all the recipients in your list, the results will look great. Your recipients will either see “Hello Jonathan” (if that’s what you had listed as their first name in your mailing list) or “Hello Friend” (if you didn’t have their first name in your mailing list).
This technique works with all the mail-merge tags available in Direct Mail. We recommend using the Preview window to see ahead of time what your final, merged message will look like for each recipient in your list.
Conditionals take mail-merge tags one step further. They allow you to use if-else logic to create messages whose content changes depending on the recipient. For example, let’s imagine that I am sending out a reminder for an upcoming event where lunch will be served. I have already collected meal preferences for everyone on my mailing list and stored them in my mailing list under the column Custom 1. Here’s how I could use conditionals to include a special paragraph in my email for only those folks that prefer vegetarian meals:
Now only the recipients that have the word “Vegetarian” in the Custom 1 column in your mailing list will see the paragraph about the vegetarian meals. If you need even more advanced logic, you can use if/else-if logic as well as other equality operators (=, !=, >=, <=, >, and <). Please see our support article for more information.
Conditional mail-merge tags are available under the “Conditionals” section of the mail-merge tag menu. As with fallback values, we recommend using the Preview window to see what the results of your mail-merge will look like for each recipient in your list.
We hope the above examples have been helpful in understanding how mail-merge tag fallback values and conditionals can improve your emails. We have found that email campaigns that are personalized to the recipient tend to have far better open and click rates. For more information, please see the following two support articles:
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We took the wraps off of the first software update of 2013 just a few moments ago. You can run software update right now to get the changes. Mac App Store customers will have to wait a few more days for Apple to approve the update (we’ll update this blog, Twitter, and Facebook when they do).
Here is some of what’s new:
The “History” tab has been renamed to “Reports”
The first-run experience for new users of Direct Mail has been streamlined and otherwise improved
Several crashing bugs were fixed
The image editor has been improved to allow fine-grained adjustments to image sizes and to stop blurry upscaling of small images.
Added support for importing additional Daylite attributes (Salutation and Suffix)