Direct Mail 3.3.1 now available in the App Store!

Great news for our App Store customers! Apple has just approved the 3.3.1 update to Direct Mail. To update, just open the App Store and click the Updates tab.

If you downloaded Direct Mail directly from our website (i.e. not from the App Store), then you don’t need to worry—you likely already have version 3.3.1, which was released for direct download a few weeks ago.

Note to App Store customers: You may notice that your message attachments are missing after upgrading to 3.3.1. This is an unfortunate side-effect of the App Store’s new sandboxing policy. Please see this help article for more information.

View Direct Mail in the App Store

New: Share Your Campaign on Facebook!

Those of you who have upgraded to the latest version of OS X (released yesterday) may have noticed that your copy of Direct Mail just gained a new feature overnight, totally for free! Now you can share your email campaigns to Facebook without ever leaving Direct Mail!

Share your email campaigns to Facebook by clicking the Share Message button in the toolbar

To enable this feature, make sure you’re running the latest version of Direct Mail, and OS X 10.8.2 or newer. You’ll need to sign in to your Facebook account by choosing  > System Preferences > Mail, Contacts, & Calendars, and then following the on-screen instructions.

To share, head back to the Direct Mail app and click the Share Message button in the toolbar (make sure you’ve selected the sent email campaign you want to share). You can add a brief message, select the friends you want to share it with, then click Post. That’s it!

Add a comment and click Post to share your campaign

We love this easy integration with Facebook. Try sharing your next email campaign on Facebook to broaden the reach of your newsletter, promotion, or announcement. As always, let us know what you think in the comments!

Direct Mail 3.3 Brings New Templates, Facebook Integration, Notifications, and More!

A brand new update for Direct Mail is out today and it features some great new improvements that we’re excited to tell you about. It’s been a busy month or so since our last update, and today we’ve got a double whammy: Direct Mail 3.3 and Stamps for iPhone 1.1. Read on for highlights of what’s new, check out the release notes for the nitty gritty, or download the update.

New Templates

We love seeing the sharp-looking emails that you put together using our professionally-designed templates. Direct Mail 3.3 introduces over 20 new templates in three families: Skyline, Storesletter, and Versatile. We think you’ll appreciate the additional options these templates provide. For in-depth tips on using our templates,  check out last week’s post on Top Template Tips to Try!

Skyline
Storesletter
Versatile

Facebook Integration

Growing your mailing list is a key part of email marketing, and a great way to grow your list is by including a subscribe form on your website. This latest version of Direct Mail comes with an all-new subscribe form builder that makes it easy to:

  • Create professional looking subscribe forms with custom logos, colors, and form fields. We’ll host it for you for free!
  • Create an embeddable subscribe form that you can paste directly into your website
  • Add your subscribe form to your organization’s Facebook Page with one click!

Take a look at our Facebook Page (click Newsletter Signup) to see how nicely our forms integrate into Facebook. Now you can add a form to your Facebook page in seconds.

Notifications

People love getting notifications on their iPhone and, new in Mountain Lion, on their Mac. We’ve upgraded Direct Mail and our Stamps app to send you notifications when your email campaign finishes sending, and when design tests complete (Mac only):

Receive notifications on your iPhone when your campaign is sent

You’ll want to make sure and update Stamps to version 1.1 (just open the App Store app). Never heard of Stamps? Check out this blog post for an introduction.

And More!

This blog post just scratches the surface of what’s new. Other improvements include a great Preview on iPhone feature, significant performance improvements, expanded printing support, Twitter sharing support (Mountain Lion only), and more. Take a look at the release notes for details, and be sure and watch our Twitter or Facebook feeds for new blog posts on the changes.

How to Upgrade

If you downloaded Direct Mail from our website, just choose Direct Mail > Check for Software Update from the menu bar. Direct Mail will automatically download and update itself. If you downloaded Direct Mail from the Mac App Store, you’ll have to exercise some patience while Apple reviews and approves the update. We’ll post to our blog, Facebook, and Twitter feeds when Apple approves the update.

As always, we welcome your feedback and look forward to going in-depth on some of these changes in future blog posts.

Update: Direct Mail 3.3.1 is now available in the App Store, as well.

August Newsletter is Here!

We’ve just published our August newsletter! Take a look inside for tips on using our templates more effectively, segmenting your mailing list, keeping your email content fresh, and improving your website calls to action.

If you’re not a member of our mailing list, you can subscribe at the bottom of this page.

Top Template Tips to Try!

Great-looking email designs help your business project a professional, polished image and can win you the confidence of your subscribers. With its intuitive editor and great selection of templates, Direct Mail can help you get up and running with a great looking email in no time. In this blog post, we want to share a few tips to help you get your designs looking just the way you want.

Adding, Moving, and Deleting Sections

Many of our templates come with sections that you can duplicate, move, or remove. Use this flexibility to lengthen or shorten the newsletter to fit your content—instead of forcing your content to fit the newsletter. You can identify these flexible sections by hovering your mouse over various sections of the template and looking for the following toolbar to appear:

Here’s what each of those icons mean, from left-to-right:

  • Delete. Deletes the section
  • Duplicate. Makes a copy of the section
  • Move Up. Moves the section up one slot
  • Move Down. Moves the section down one slot

In the following example, I’ve taken the “Sidebar (Right)” template and duplicated the Headline One section to make a Headline Two section:

Use the “Duplicate” button to expand your template.

Use these flexible sections to adjust the template to fit your content. You might also be interested in these helpful tips to keep your email content fresh.

Working With Images

Text Descriptions

Nowadays, nearly all email clients default to not loading images contained in the message body. The recipient can choose to load them if they want, but most do not. That being the case, it’s important to make sure your email looks good (and is understandable) even when the images aren’t loaded. One great way to do that is to make sure that you provide text descriptions for any image you add. For example, here’s a newsletter with an image of a car at the race track:

To add a text description, just click it and fill out the field labeled “Description”:

That’s it! Now when your message is sent, the recipients will see a helpful text description instead of a big, blank box:

As a bonus, text descriptions are a huge help to sight-impaired readers, as most computers and smartphones can read those descriptions aloud.

Composite Images

As you already know, it’s easy to add images to your email. Just drag and drop them into the message body (or copy and paste). Some templates, however, provide special placeholders called composite images. Composite images automatically apply great looking effects like drop shadows, borders, and overlays to any photo or image you drop on them. You can identify composite images by hovering your mouse over them and watching as the image darkens, like this image from the Air Mail template:

To add your own image, just drop a photo into the placeholder position, like this photo of a company outing:

Looks good, but we can’t see anyone’s face! Click the image to pop up an editing panel. Drag the Size slider to the right to zoom in the photo. Drag the image itself to get the faces centered just right (the cursor will turn to a hand icon to let you know you can pan the image). Much better:

Use the zoom and pan controls to get your photos looking just right!

Composite images are an easy way to add a professional touch to your messages. Use the zoom and pan controls to get your photos looking just right!

Conclusion

A great-looking email design will help boost your open and click numbers, as well as project a professional image to your readers. Try using Direct Mail’s streamlined templates, flexible sections, and image tools to get your emails looking just the way you want, and stay tuned to our blog for more great tips. Thanks for reading!

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