December 2013

Exciting Improvements Arrive in Direct Mail 3.6

Direct Mail version 3.6

We’re happy today to take the wraps off a special holiday present for all our fantastic  Direct Mail customers. Direct Mail version 3.6—available today—includes a host of bug fixes and improvements, including one new feature, in particular, that we’d like to tell you about.

A Whole New Way to Work with Templates

A primary focus of this update was improving the template editor experience. We want Direct Mail to be the easiest way to put together the best looking emails out there. With that goal in mind, here are a few of the improvements we made in version 3.6.

Revamped Template Gallery

Our templates now come in a wider variety of ready-made layouts: one-column, two-column, image-ready, text-only, and more. The new template and layout chooser do a great job of showing off the available designs and also make it much easier to find the style and particular layout that you want for your newsletter:

Fully Customizable Layouts

Our templates now come with 100% editable layouts. For example, after choosing a template, you may find yourself wanting to add another paragraph of text, include a sidebar, or add a gallery of images. These types of changes are now as easy as clicking the “+” button and selecting the type of section you want to add. Take a look:

These new flexible layouts make it incredibly easy to put together the perfect layout in just seconds.

Automatic Translation

Automatic Localization in Direct Mail 3.6

To support our customers around the globe, we’ve translated key portions of our templates (like unsubscribe links, view online links, company name, etc.) into German, Spanish, French, Swedish, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese, Russian, and Japanese. When you select a template in the editor, you’ll see the translated version appear automatically. Direct Mail references your OS X language settings when choosing which language to present.

Enhanced Typography, Appearance, and Compatibility

As you browse through our collection of templates, we hope you’ll notice the refined typography and better selection of built-in color schemes (which you can always customize to match your favorite colors). After you send your newsletter, your recipients will notice how much better they look in their email client. We’ve gone through each template and made a host of changes to ensure they are easier to edit and are more compatible with the most popular email clients.

Where To Find The New Templates

The features described above are available in the templates that come built in to Direct Mail. If you’re already using a template from an older version of Direct Mail, you’ll need to create a new message and choose the updated version of the template from the template chooser. In other words, editing or duplicating an existing message won’t give you access to the aforementioned new template features.

Other Improvements

Templates aren’t the only thing we’ve changed in this update. We’ve fixed a plethora of bugs and spent many hours enhancing and refining the features you already love. If you like, you can view the release notes or just jump right in and download the update.

Thanks for all your feedback and suggestions. We look forward to unveiling the next generation of Direct Mail in the New Year. From all of us here at e3 Software, we wish you a wonderful holiday season with family and friends and a Happy New Year!

Update: Direct Mail 3.6 is now also available in the Mac App Store!


How Gmail’s Recent Update Affects Campaign Reports

Google is in the process of rolling out an update to Gmail that changes how images are displayed in the body of an email. There has been a lot of discussion (and confusion) on the Internet lately over how these changes will impact email campaign reports. The short answer is “you won’t notice much of a difference in your reports”, but if you’d like more information, read on.

What Changed in Gmail?

It used to be that Gmail blocked images by default and would only display them if the recipient clicked to turn them back on. When the recipient turned on image loading, their browser would load the images directly from the source. Starting this month, Gmail now has image loading turned on by default, but instead loads the images through a proxy (instead of straight from the source) for privacy reasons.

Why Does this Matter?

Email open tracking works by embedding in the email an image that is unique to each recipient. When that image is loaded, Direct Mail can report that “open” back to you and give you additional information, such as the recipient’s geolocation, email client, etc. Since Gmail has traditionally blocked images by default, your email campaign report has typically not be able to determine with great accuracy how many Gmail users opened your email (unless they turned on image loading or clicked a link).

With these new changes (image loading on by default), you may notice that more Gmail opens are showing up in your report. Remember, this doesn’t mean that more people are reading your emails now, it just means that we are able to collect somewhat more accurate data from Gmail. There are a couple downsides, however:

  • Since images are loaded via a proxy now, Direct Mail cannot obtain accurate geolocation data.
  • Since images are cached by Google, Direct Mail cannot obtain a 100% accurate account of how many times an email was opened by the same user. The number of unique opens will still be correct, however.

Note that these changes only affect people reading their Gmail via a web browser (on desktop or mobile). Folks reading their Gmail via Apple Mail, iOS Mail, Outlook, or other email clients are not affected.


Google’s recent change to Gmail image loading means your email campaign reports will no longer contain geolocation data for Gmail users, but, on the flip side, might have more accurate open tracking numbers. The Gmail web interface presently accounts for only 3% of email opens worldwide, so the impact on your campaign reports will likely be hard to detect.

It remains to be seen if the other webmail heavyweights (e.g. AOL, Outlook, Yahoo) implement similar changes. If so, we’ll be sure to keep you up to date here. Have a great weekend!