Update: Direct Mail 3.5.2 is now available to Mac App Store customers, as well.
We just released a bug-fix update to Direct Mail. Version 3.5.2 includes some important fixes for bugs and crashes, so we encourage you to update as soon as possible. If you’d like more information, please review the release notes.
Mac App Store customers will have to wait just a bit longer as Apple is still reviewing the update.
For a long time, we’ve offered our built-in templates in a variety of color schemes. But for a long time, we’ve felt that we could make those color schemes even better—which is why we’re excited to tell you about another new feature in Direct Mail 3.5: 100% customizable color schemes.
Selecting a Color Scheme
Most of our templates come in a variety of color schemes. You can identify templates with alternative color schemes by looking for the four-color icon in our template chooser.
Once you’ve chosen a template, you can select a color scheme from the popup menu at the bottom of the window.
Customizing a Color Scheme
Want to tweak the background to better match your logo? Want to use a different highlight color to really make your message pop? No problem. In templates that support customization, you’ll see one or more color wells show up next to the color scheme popup menu.
Each color well controls a different color (e.g. background color, link color, accent color, etc.) To change the color, simply click on the color well and pick from the palette that appears.
Templates With Brains
We wanted to make it easy to brand a newsletter with your colors while not getting bogged down tweaking every accent or text color to match. Our solution was to give our templates some smarts in picking complementary colors. You’ll notice that text, shadow, and accent colors will automatically be set to tints and shades that best complement the background and highlights colors you select. Direct Mail makes you look like a design pro!
Upgrading Direct Mail 3.4 and Older
If you’re upgrading to Direct Mail 3.5 from an older version, you’ll need to create a new message from the template chooser in order to enjoy these new features (and refreshed designs). Don’t worry, your existing messages will continue to display, edit, and send as before.
We think our new customizable color schemes will help you create even better looking newsletters. Try picking colors that complement your logo or brand—and, of course, try and avoid colors that might be a distraction. As always, we’d love to hear what you like (or don’t like) about these great new features. Feel free to sound off in the comments or send us an email.
P.S. For those power users out there, we’ve added a convenient hex color picker to the color panel. Look for it under the “#” icon.
In Direct Mail 3.5, we’ve made the Smart Groups feature even smarter. If you’re not familiar with Smart Groups, they work just like Smart Playlists in iTunes, Smart Albums in iPhoto, and Smart Folders in the Finder. Smart Groups give you an easy way to segment and filter your mailing lists according to a variety of criteria. Take a look at this help article to learn how to create a Smart Group.
So, what’s new? We’ve added the ability for Smart Groups to include addresses from more than one source group (in the past, it was either one source group or every source group). Now you can better customize your Smart Groups to include addresses from a variety of groups that meet your criteria.
In the above example, we are creating a Smart Group that pulls in addresses from two groups (“Direct Mail Monthly” and “From DM3 Announce”) and then filters those down to just the subscribers located in California. Other criteria that you can filter on include names, custom fields, open/click rates, subscribe dates, and more.
We hope you find these new improvements handy in creating targeted, meaningful campaigns for your subscribers! We welcome your feedback in the comments below or via email!
We rolled out an updated version of our WordPress plugin last night. We’ve modernized the code to make sure it works great on the latest WordPress installations, and added support for multiple subscribe form widgets on the same page.
If you have a WordPress blog, you can use our plugin to add a simple subscribe form widget that automatically syncs with Direct Mail. Install the plugin by logging in to your WordPress Dashboard, then choosing Plugins > Add New from the menu on the left. Search for “Direct Mail” and click Install.
Upgrading an Old Plugin
If you have an old version of the WordPress plugin installed, you can upgrade to the new version, but you will need to re-enter your subscribe form ID and mailing list name after upgrading. For information on how to find your subscribe form ID, please see this help article.
The just-released Direct Mail 3.5 update includes some changes to how Daylite syncing works. If you don’t use Daylite in conjunction with Direct Mail, then this blog post will probably not interest you. If you do, however, then you might be interested in what has changed.
Direct Mail now synchronizes unsubscribe information back to Daylite. Previously, if a contact was marked as “unsubscribed” in Direct Mail, that information would not appear anywhere in Daylite. Starting in version 3.5, when a contact is marked as “unsubscribed” in Direct Mail, the corresponding contact in Daylite will be moved to a group called “Unsubscribes” the next time you sync. The “Unsubscribes” group in Daylite is created for you automatically and will appear as a sub-group of the Daylite group you sync with.
Here’s an example. Let’s say you have synced Direct Mail to the “Mailing List” group in Daylite. Here’s what your group looks like in Daylite:
…and here’s what it looks like in Direct Mail:
Now let’s say that Victor Chan unsubscribes from our list:
The next time sync Direct Mail with Daylite, Victor Chan will be moved out of the “Mailing List” group and into the “Unsubscribes” group. Victor Chan will also disappear from your list in Direct Mail (as Victor is no longer in the “Mailing List” group that Direct Mail syncs with):
A Note on Performance
If you have a large number of unsubscribes that have not been synced over to Daylite yet, you may find that the syncing process takes a long time to complete. We are working with Marketcircle to improve sync performance in future versions of Daylite.
We hope you find this improvement to Daylite syncing useful in your day-to-day workflow. Please let us know if you have any questions—and please let your friends know about how easy it is to use Daylite with Direct Mail!