The newest release of the Rainmaker Platform was rolled out today, and we’re excited for you to get your hands on it. This release focused heavily on RainMail, as well as a handful of Rainmaker Labs features that have graduated from Labs and are now fully integrated into the Platform.
Our dev team is now at work on the 2.8 release, which will continue the evolution of RainMail while also providing important updates to other existing features — many of which are being driven directly by requests from smart customers like you.
As always, we welcome your continued feedback about the Platform. It’s one of the primary ways we make Rainmaker better!
If you ever have a question, come across a bug, or identify a feature you think would improve the Platform, drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re eager to help and we greatly value your contributions.
RainMail is Ready
We were excited to push RainMail out of Labs a few weeks back.
But as Brian and I used it on our personal sites, we realized that it was still one more release away from being truly ready for prime time.
For example, when I was setting up RainMail for The Assembly Call, I did not like that the opt-in confirmation email had Rainmaker Platform branding instead of my Assembly Call logo. For obvious reasons.
That’s not a problem anymore. Lists created from now on will reflect the correct branding for your site (and you can go back and refresh the branding on your existing lists too).
Small but important issues like this were the reason Brian decided to email all Rainmaker customers and suggested you wait until this 2.7 release to fully rely on RainMail for your email marketing.
It wasn’t a red light; it was yellow.
Now you have the green light. 🙂
The updates in this 2.7 release fill in most of the major gaps we identified after the last release and have us confident using it on our sites — which means we’re comfortable suggesting you do the same.
There are still many, many RainMail enhancements to come — some as soon as the next release — but the core elements that you need for modern email marketing are now in place.
The updates include …
Email list settings
First, you’ll be able to assign subscribers to a specific autoresponder.
I ran into this roadblock on my own site — noticing that currently only site members could be automatically added to autoresponders via Marketing Automation. Now when editing list settings you can specify an autoresponder for subscribers to be added to when they subscribe to your list, regardless if they are logged in or not.
Second, you can now redirect your visitors to a specific page once they confirm their subscription to a list or after they unsubscribe from a list.
A best practice would be to choose a thank you page that includes instructions for what to expect next or a farewell page that offers an alternative to the subscription they just canceled.
Third, you can turn a list into a feed broadcast, so that when you publish a post it is automatically sent out via email.
Broadcast email metrics
When you send an email, you need to know how your audience responded to it. Now you’ll know for Broadcast Emails (and we’re working on metrics for Autoresponders).
Here’s what the RainMail broadcast metrics will look like:
Broadcast email inclusion and suppression by list and tag
Sometimes you only want to send a message to people with a particular tag. Or, you may want to suppress a message from people with a particular tag.
With Rainmaker, you could already tag your subscribers based on certain actions. Now you can tailor which subscribers from your chosen list get your Broadcast Emails, based on tags.
For instructions on how to set up tags, just search “RainMail tags” in the Knowledge Base and you will find detailed instructions.
You can also include or suppress by list. You may want to send the same email to three different prospect lists, but suppress everyone on the customer list. Simple checkboxes allow you to do this easily, and with no confusion.
Conditional autoresponder logic
You can also use tags to determine who gets particular autoresponder messages, and who doesn’t.
Here is an example:
This autoresponder message will only be sent to subscribers who are on the list “Test” and who have the tag “firstname.” If a subscriber doesn’t meet both criteria, they won’t get sent this autoresponder message.
And there are a couple of other ways you can tailor your message to your individual subscribers.
You will be able to include each recipient’s first name in the email if you have been collecting this information at opt-in.
You may be thinking: What happens if I include the first name merge tag, but I don’t have that particular person’s first name? You can define a default substitute (like “Friend” or “Subscriber”) that will appear in emails to these subscribers.
You can also use tags to personalize the emails. For example, ‘As a member, you realize …’
Show to/Hide from in emails
Using Rainmaker’s On the other hand, you would not see the text included here. It would be hidden from everyone with the “rainmaker” tag, while everyone else would see it.
As I mentioned in a previous email, Brian is already using this with his Unemployable email list. He has a freelancer tag and an entrepreneur tag, which allows him to show/hide certain sections of the weekly newsletter based on what is appropriate for each segment.
Take some time to consider how can you use Show to/Hide from to adapt your email content to each subscriber’s needs. It’s an important step to making each prospect’s experience more relevant and meaningful.
That’s everything in this release. We’re already working on better email list settings management, additional templates, and much more for the 2.8 release. Details to come.
More Features Out of Labs
Here are the features that have passed every test and are now graduating from Labs:
- Rainmaker Quizzes
- LMS Navigation Widget
- LMS Dashboard Shortcode
- Rainmaker Custom 404 Module
- Constant Contact Integration
Each feature has a detailed section in the Knowledge Base to help get you moving forward.
And speaking of the Knowledge Base, we now have an option at the top and bottom of each article that allows you to provide feedback.
Let us know which articles provide useful insight and instructions, and which ones don’t. You’ll be helping us make the Knowledge Base an even more valuable resource for yourself and all Rainmaker customers.