Tuesday 14 December 2010

More updates

We've done some optimisations on some of our critical pages. You should now find the mailings page is around 500% faster for those of you with large numbers of mailshots! You should also see a big speed boost to the templates and reports pages.
All that plus the usual round of bug fixes and cleanups.
More to come of course!

Wednesday 4 August 2010

System update

We're pleased to announce a set of improvements to the smartmessages.net service.
  • Upgraded to the latest CKEditor 3.3 on the send page, CKFinder 2.0 on the files page
  • Link to our downloadable user manual from the home page
  • Message generator engine tuning should mean better performance on smaller mailshots
  • Faster report generation and viewing
  • Added downloads of opens and clicks in CSV format from reports
  • Downloadable lists of per-mailshot unsubscribes
  • Added timestamps to bounce list downloads
  • Better HTML validation
  • More detail on list upload results
  • The usual round of internal bugfixes and minor improvements
Hope you like it!

    Monday 2 August 2010

    Unexpected outage

    We're currently investigating an outage at our ISP. While we have a fair amount of redundancy, it appears that four of our servers have gone offline at once, suggesting a network or power problem. Though our site is currently not accessible, any scheduled mailshots should proceed as normal. We're chasing our ISP, and will update here when we know more.

    Update: There has been a power failure at our ISP. They are investigating.

    Update 21:37: Power is restored, all is working again.

    Friday 7 May 2010

    IE bugs fixed

    We've added workarounds so that https (secure) downloads now work properly in Internet Explorer (which is horribly broken in this area). We also fixed a couple of mixed-security mode alerts that were only reported in IE.

    Thursday 6 May 2010

    Updated API documentation

    Our API has been evolving over time, and while our PHP example code is up to date, our API documentation wasn't keeping up.  It's now been updated to cover the more recent changes, such as campaign creation, template uploads, and the big one - sending mailshots.
    Of course there's more to come too...

    Monday 26 April 2010

    New reporting page, bounce processing

    You may have noticed already, but we've rolled out some new features today:

    • New report page with clearer graphs, more stats, more detail, more downloads
    • Our new bounce processor is now working, so you should see much better classification and clearer bounce reports
    • The home page has a feed of updates to this blog, and also a list of your 5 most recent mailshots, so you can go straight to your latest info
    • The usual round of bug fixes and minor tweaks
    We hope you like the new features, and as always, let us know if there's anything you'd like to see.

    Friday 12 March 2010

    Performance improvements

    Last night we rolled out some changes and upgrades to our distributed file system. The general result is that file loading performance is improved across the board. This is particularly noticeable in our files tab (especially for those with thousands of uploaded images), but will also help improve performance for recipients when opening messages with lots of images. Plenty more performance improvements in the pipeline!

    Monday 8 March 2010

    Report downloads

    A new feature that's been eagerly awaited by some of our customers is now live: downloadable reports. When viewing a report, you can now choose from Excel 2007, Excel 5, PDF and CSV downloads of the report data. No more copy and paste required! You'll also find that the Excel spreadsheets use nicely named ranges and formulae to give you easier integration with your own models and more transparent, easy-to-read calculations.

    DNS Update

    Further to the problems we experienced with our DNS provider back in January, we're happy to announce we have now successfully switched smartmessages.net to our usual registrar, gandi.net. At the same time, we've renewed our SSL certificate for another couple of years, also with Gandi.

    Wednesday 24 February 2010

    Workflow improvements

    We've rolled out a few new features to improve responsiveness and reduce clutter in smartmessages accounts. A while ago we rolled out a change to the mailings page that hid older mailings - this has made a massive difference to customers that sends hundreds of mailshots a month. We've extended that further by providing a sliding scale of visibility and reduced the default to 1 month (down from 2). Similarly, the reporting page now only shows recent mailshots in the menu at the top of the page, and this should provide big speedups for those with large numbers of mailshots.
    The templates page suffered similar response problems simply because of the volume of entries in some accounts. This could be mitigated by deleting templates, however, that would also delete any mailshots that used them, and our users were not keen on losing data. To remedy this we've introduced a new feature: template archiving. When you edit a template you'll see a new 'Archived' checkbox. Select it and save the template, and it will be removed from the list of templates, and also from the templates shown on the send page template selector. You can always show hidden templates by clicing the 'Show all templates' link at the bottom of the template list. This should go a long way towards improving page load performance and keeping menu contents relevant for out bigger accounts.

    Wednesday 27 January 2010

    A few new features

    A few new features have been rolled out oer the last couple of days:

    • API now supports creation, updating and deleting mailing lists and campaign folders - demo code and PHP client class updated to match
    • Mailshots can now be moved between campaign folders on the report page
    • Minor speedups site-wide

    More features are in the pipeline...

    Tuesday 12 January 2010

    New template tags

    A small addition to our template editor. There are four new tags available:

    • [[mailshot_id]] - Our internal ID of the mailshot, useful for generating mailshot-unique URLs.
    • [[campaign_id]] - The internal ID for the campaign the mailshot is stored in, useful for agregating stats across multiple related mailshots.
    • [[mailshot_timestamp]] - The time (as a unix timestamp) this particular mailshot was sent - will be the same for all messages in a given mailshot.
    • [[message_timestamp]] - The time (as a unix timestamp) that an individual message was sent. Note that this will not be unique as we send several hundred messages per second.
    If you're using tags like these for generating URLs for analytics purposes, remember that we have built-in Google analytics support which will automatically populate appopriate URL parameters without you having to do anything.

    Monday 11 January 2010

    DNS trouble

    Some of you have reported that it looks like our site is down - including this page! The DNS provider (enom.com) that hosts the smartmessages.net domain has been having intermittent problems with their name servers. The site is actually fine, but the DNS just isn't telling your browser how to get there. They don't have an estimated time to fix and no status page. Needless to say we will be switching providers as soon as possible.