Monday, January 23, 2012

Enhancements to recurring email campaigns

This weekend we simplified and enhanced how recurring email campaigns operate.

One of JangoMail's unique offerings has always been the ability to set emails to send on a recurring schedule.  For example, you can have an email campaign send every day, every month, or every four hours.  You can define any recurring schedule you like for your campaigns.  Recurring campaigns are useful in cases such as:
  • Sending a daily birthday email to members of your list whose birthday it is on the current day
  • Sending a daily email from a salesperson to everyone that has demoed your software in the last 24 hours
  • Sending a monthly email to your employees reminding them to submit their expense reports
In the past, the user interface for defining recurring campaigns was confusing, because of the misinterpretation of the "Start Date". The old interface looked like:

Old UI, old way of defining a recurring campaign

The first email would actually be sent at the defined frequency after the Start Date.  So if the Start Date was set to 1/1/12 2:00 PM, and the frequency was set to Daily, the very first email would be sent on 1/2/12 2:00 PM, not 1/1/12 2:00 PM.  Confusion around this led us to clarify the instructions on the pages setting recurring campaigns.

Now, you specify the date/time for which would like the first email to be sent, and then the interval for all subsequent sends.  The new instructions should eliminate confusion as to when the first email will be sent.  Both the old interface, and the new interface have been updated with this change.

Old UI showing new language

New UI showing new language

Additionally, the new User Interface allows you to define the frequency of email sends in minutes, in addition to hours, days, weeks, and months. Lastly, the new User Interface requires you to define recurring campaigns under Settings --> Recurring Schedules.  The old UI allowed you to define a recurring campaign either under Settings or on the Message composition page, and users found this confusing as well.  To simplify the new interface, recurring campaigns are controlled only from one area now, Settings.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Secure click-tracking with base-64 encoded URLs and MD-5 hashing

We have introduced two new settings that control how click-tracked URLs appear in your email campaigns.  The new settings, base-64 encoding and MD-5 hashing, make click-tracked links look more professional and operate more securely. When an email campaign has click tracking on, the URLs are converted into trackable URLs that typically look like this:
This URL is problematic because it exposes the destination URL and is subject to alteration by a malicious phisher.  We've introduced two new settings, the ability to base-64 encode the URL so that it doesn't reveal the destination URL and another to add an MD-5 hash, such that the redirect to the URL will fail unless the hash matches the URL.

A click-tracked URL that is both base-64 encoded and includes the MD-5 hash will look like this.  Notice the addition of the h= parameter and that the l= parameter is now a base-64 string:

A click-tracked URL that is NOT base-64 encoded but includes the MD-5 hash will look like this:

Base-64 encoded URLs look more professional and give recipients greater confidence when clicking. Un-encoded URLs clearly show one URL that has another URL as a parameter, and the appearance of this structure can prevent a recipient from clicking it. The addition of the MD-5 hash prevents tampering with the destination URL.  If the l= parameter is altered, and the link contains the hash, then the user will NOT be redirected to the destination URL.

To set click-track settings, go to Settings --> Tracking --> Click Tracking

Note that this setting applies to click-tracked links in both broadcast email campaigns and transactional email messages. Also note that in the examples above, a branded tracking-domain,, is used.  We recommend that all of our users setup a branded tracking-domain based on their organization's domain.  To read why, see this blog post on tracking domains.

All new JangoMail accounts will have both of these settings on by default.  We recommend that you enable both settings on your own, but in case you don't, all existing accounts will have these two settings enabled automatically over the next few weeks..

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

API Change: Timestamps returned from the Reports methods now in include time zone

In our latest update to the API, we decided to make a change in the way timestamps are returned. Previously, a call to Reports_Transactional_GetOpens_String for instance might return data like this:
Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; Intel Mac OS X 10.6; en-US;)
09/14/2011 4:26:00PM

That's OK... but what timezone is that? The time being returned is ambiguous. Is that in the user's local time? JangoMail time? Furthermore, the timestamp is formatted as per the custom in the US - not very good for our international customers.

Therefore, we've decided to fix the issues listed above. From now on you should now get back timestamps that include a timezone and are formatted in a manner useful for an international audience.

Using the example above, you'll now see this:
Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; Intel Mac OS X 10.6; en-US;)

That's much better! It's clear that this timestamp is in UTC, and it's in a much more internationally friendly Year-Month-Day format.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Interview with Robin Sukhadia: artist, musician, and JangoMail customer

We recently had the pleasure of catching up with longtime JangoMail customer Robin Sukhadia, a musician, artist and the man behind Robin has used JangoMail to send monthly newsletters to his audiences for the past six years and shared some great ideas for using email campaigns to build strong relationships and create personal communication that distinguishes you from the noise and impersonality of online spaces. Here's what Robin had to say about his experiences using JangoMail.

Tabla Lessons, Manav Sadhna, Ahmedabad, Gujarat
Photo by Neelanjana Banerjee. Learn more about Robin at

JangoMail: You've been using JangoMail to market your music and art. Could you tell me a little about yourself and your work?

Robin: I am a musician and an educator, focused primarily on tabla, a percussive art form that evolved on the Indian subcontinent over thousands of years. In addition to performing and teaching in India and the United States, I also travel internationally to set up and monitor innovative music education programs for poor children around the world. Most recently, I spent a year in India on a Fulbright Senior Research Fellowship, to research the impact of music education on the lives of street children. Music is simply an evolved form of communication… one that reaches the heart of a human being and can empower and heal in profound ways. I love seeing the impact that music has on the process of healing and learning, especially the underserved.

Photo by Neelanjana Banerjee. Learn more about Robin at

JangoMail: Your blog and website are both really interesting. How do you use email marketing to promote your work and complement those sites?

Robin: For the past 6 years, I have been using Jangomail to compose a monthly HTML newsletter that reaches 1000+ of my supporters/fans/students. I use email marketing to update them on the progress of my international music education work, inform them about upcoming concerts, and to share images and video from my travels. Because music can be abstract, and my work is culturally different than Western musical traditions, I rely on vibrant HTML emails to make the music more concrete and more engaging to my fans. I also use email to draw people back to my website, Twitter, and Facebook accounts. Information gets easily buried on my website, because so much is going on each month. But an HTML newsletter helps keep my message fresh and relevant and directs my fanbase towards what is most current in my work.

I design the emails myself, which always feature original photography and perspectives on how music in empowering communities worldwide. The emails usually result in loving and engaging personal responses from recipients, and it helps build traffic back to my website, Many new opportunities for work and collaboration have resulted from this consistent HTML email strategy. I can’t count the number of times that I have been able to secure a performance or lecture opportunity because someone has forwarded my HTML newsletter on to a decision-maker.

Photo by Siddharth Stathelkar. Learn more about Robin at

JangoMail: You've been a JangoMail client for several years, and it sounds like you've been traveling around the world for performances for a good bit of that time. Can you tell us about your experiences using JangoMail over the last few years?

Robin: I've been using JangoMail for over five years, and my email list has been growing steadily over that time. JangoMail’s intuitive interface and tools have also evolved over that period of time. The HTML editor and image hosting capabilities make it easy for me construct an email and rapidly get it out to my lists. I just copy my most recent campaign, which contains a header and format, and then just upload new pictures and text, swapping it for the old. Within an hour or so, I can craft, preview, test and finally send out an email to my list of 1000+ recipients. I can do this from any computer or mobile device in the world, which has been a blessing for me as I travel quite a bit. The reporting tools help me see how many of emails get opened, what the impact has been, and how my list is growing. The latest UI update is a major improvement over the existing interface. I love the new search feature, which helps me filter and manage my email subscribers. I can see duplicates and add notes, and then filter lists by city. It is very easy to create customized lists for just a particular city like Los Angeles, for example.

JangoMail: What do you see as the benefits of using email newsletters to market your music? What has helped you to be successful?

Robin: I think that understanding that audiences want to stay in touch with an artist is critical for success. They want a personal communication, and they want to have insight into an artists’ creative process and development. They want to know that you are still evolving, that you are still active. While this can be done through Facebook and Twitter, an HTML newsletter can actually be more personal, more engaging and vibrant in today’s noisy digital environment. For me, I have stuck to a monthly communication schedule. No matter what happens, I try to always stick to a consistent schedule. I try to make each HTML newsletter a work of art, one that gives the reader something deeper to think about, a perspective that might not come from anywhere else… It might be through my writing, my photography, or a link to a related piece of music or news. I want to reward my supporters with a newsletter that is worth reading. Lastly, I always respond to anyone that writes to me after receiving an email from me. I do it in a timely and genuine way, because I value each and every person that reads my newsletter. I want them to feel lucky to be on my list, and hopefully share it with others because they value being on it. I want them to know that I am accessible.

Photo by Neelanjana Banerjee. Learn more about Robin at

JangoMail: Is there anything else you'd like to tell us and other JangoMail clients about?

Robin: Consistent and clean design is critical to building a strong email newsletter that results in growing your list. Good photography and quality graphic design is essential. It doesn’t have to be extravagant or expensive; it just needs to be clean and have space. Adhere to style guides for your newsletter, so that over a period of time, your audience recognizes your identity through your masthead, your fonts, and design aesthetic. It helps them see you as more grounded, more clear in your message. JangoMail makes it easy to do all of this. Create a simple template and formula for your design, replicate it, and integrate valuable information each time making your HTML newsletter a joy to read!

JangoMail: Thanks for the great ideas, Robin! Your newsletters really are a joy and we enjoyed getting to catch up with you!

Thanks to Robin for sharing his time and thoughts about music, email marketing, and how newsletters can help you build and strengthen a fan or customer base. If you'd like to learn more about Robin's work, visit his website: We hope you enjoyed hearing what he had to say - and remember that we always love to hear from our customers. If you have an interesting story about using JangoMail, let us know!

Friday, January 06, 2012

We are Hiring! We are Looking for a Rockstar Sales/Support Rep (Work from Home).

Are you a highly motivated email marketing expert looking to work from home and delight your customers? JangoMail is seeking a detail-oriented and experienced rockstar Sales and Support Rep to join our tight-knit, nimble, unique, and fun team. If you enjoy and excel at customer service, understand email marketing concepts, have a solid sales foundation with both prospective and existing clients, and are proud of your web savviness, we want to hear from you!

My name is Ajay, and I'm the founder and CEO of JangoMail, a small but quickly growing web-based email marketing plaform. What is JangoMail? JangoMail is a highly profitable, rapidly growing and successful web-based email marketing system that allows businesses to create, send, and track email campaigns. JangoMail was launched in 2001 and has over 4,000 customers worldwide in a variety of sizes and industries. JangoMail is strictly opt-in and does not allow the use of purchased, rented or harvested lists with our system. We offer two services: and You would assist customers with both services.


As our resident rockstar Sales and Support Rep, you would be responsible for helping us grow our client base by developing great customer relationships and turning prospects into customers. At JangoMail, we use a customer-initiated sales approach so we're not looking for someone to just coldcall prospects and see who bites - we want someone who has the trifecta of sales experience, customer service excellence, and tech support ability to answer product and pricing questions from prospective clients, demo the product and explain how our features meet their technical needs, and get a trial user confident enough to convert to a paying client. Prospects come to us with interest and questions: you close the sales. Though you don't necessarily need a tech support background, you must be an exceptionally skilled user who can explain the product to new non-geek users, answer questions about technical specs, and help clients understand how our software meets their needs. Our ideal candidate would also have the solid sales background to help guide and improve JangoMail's sales strategies. You can be located anywhere in the country provided you have a suitable home office from which to work.


*Answer customer sales inquiries via phone call and email.

*Explain features of JangoMail to interested parties and proactively demonstrate product value to potential and current customers.

*Develop good customer relationships and increasing brand loyalty.

*Help new customers gain confidence in product use and work to move trial users to paying customers.

*Proactively reach out to current clients about deeper product features to improve their experience and develop product loyalty.

*Identify new potential product features and developments based on customer needs.

*Manage customer requests for upgrades, product pricing, and product overviews.


*Superior written communication. (This is one of the most important qualities when I hire.  You must have a strong command of the English language.)

*Experience using email marketing products and knowledge of email marketing concepts like "open-tracking," "click-tracking," and "deliverability."

*Excellent customer service skills. You can't just be a sales whiz; you also need to genuinely enjoy helping customers and have the knowledge and personality to teach the technology.

*A mastery of Windows and Microsoft Office, especially Word, Excel, and Access.

*The more technical and web savvy you are, the better. You need to know the client side of email marketing and have some background in SaaS applications, HTML, and software support or sales. You get the point: non-geek sales people need not apply.

*Amazing multitasking skills paired with incredible organization and attention to detail.

*The ability to lead and carry out tasks independently from a home office. JangoMail is based in Dayton, Ohio, but this particular associate can work from anywhere in the country provided a proper home office environment is available.

To apply, please email your application to sales-search at (Replace at with an @ sign.). Your cover letter should be the body of the email message, and you should attach your resume in .rtf (Rich Text Format) format. I love detail -- the more detail you convey about yourself in your cover letter, the better!

Afraid you're seeing this posting too late? Check the status of the job here: