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.