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Announcing… 3 new features to beef up your email marketing

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Today’s update beefs up your email marketing automation capabilities with these new features:

  • “Fixed Date” email autoresponders
  • Improved subscription management
  • Increased custom field size

“Fixed Date” email autoresponders

Up until now, the sending dates/times of email autoresponder templates in Relenta were relative. This means that the sending delay for each new email is specified relative to the previous email template. For example, a delay of “0” (zero) means instant delivery; delay “2” means two days after the previous template, and so on. The email sequence starts with the first template the moment you add a contact to the group, and then each consequent template is sent with the specified delay.

Now there’s another option in addition to these relative autoresponders – Fixed Date autoresponders.

With Fixed Date email autoresponders, you specify the exact sending date and time for each template in the series. On the scheduled date, the email template will be sent to all contacts who are in the group at that time. If you add contacts to the group in mid-sequence, they will not receive templates that went out prior, they will only receive templates scheduled for future delivery.

fixed-date-autoresponder

To add email autoresponders, go to Settings > Email Autoresponders, choose the group that will be receiving the email autoresponders and choose the desired autoresponder type – Relative Date or Fixed Date. That’s all there is to it!

Improved subscription management

In the good old days, to unsubscribe a contact from email sequence, you had to remove that contact from the corresponding group. That did the trick, however a valuable piece of information about the contact – its association with a group – was lost along with it.

manage-subscriptions

Now you can unsubscribe a contact from a group without removing it from that group. To do that, click to edit the contact and then click the Subscription Management link. Here you can see which groups the contact is assigned to and now also manage the subscription status to group emails. If the “Subscribed” box is unchecked, the contact remains in the group but will not receive any mass emails sent to it. Pretty neat, right?

Increased custom field size

Okay, so now you are thinking, what does this have to do with email marketing? Well, it could add a whole new dimension to the way you automate your mass email messaging. Here’s the low-down.

Before, the single choice custom field size was limited to 250 characters. The idea was that custom fields would be used to store short snippets of information such as the kind commonly found in web form fields (think T-shirt size: Small, Medium, Large, X-Large and so on).

Now we’ve increased the size of single choice custom fields so that they can accept large blocks of text.

So how is that useful? The implication is actually very interesting and far-reaching.

Let’s say you have multiple products or services, and different message templates for each. Before, your only option would have been to create multiple contact groups and different templates in the response library and a whole bunch of autoresponder campaigns.

Lots of moving parts, right?

Not anymore. Since now you can enter more data into each custom field, they can be used to store your email marketing copy, and you can insert them into your templates using merge tags to personalise your email marketing campaigns.

For example, you can have a custom field for “Product type.” Based on that entry, create other single-choice custom fields such as “Service description” and “Company description” with multiple variations of each. Then you create a single email template with merge tags for these custom fields. This way you only need to use one group and one autoresponder campaign.

To summarize: Now you can build a “messaging matrix” for all of your product types while keeping the number of moving parts used in the underlying setup to an absolute minimum – the Relenta style.

Thank you, Richard, for this interesting idea – we hope your email prospecting using this new feature bears much fruit.

What should we be working on next? Vote for and submit your own feature ideas here.

Until next time, stay relentlessly productive!

Written by Dmitri Eroshenko

October 4th, 2016 at 10:57 am

Posted in System Update

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Announcing… New item selector, group handling and more

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So the the days are already getting shorter as the summer rolls towards the end, but we here at Relenta continue to roll out new features just the same. Enjoy this latest batch of productivity and UI improvements – they will give you more hours in the day so you can hopefully take more time off while the weather is still good.

New and improved message/contact selector

Message selector

Our improved item selector and redesigned message toolbar give you four new key features:

  1. Select messages (or contacts) either on a given page, or in the entire folder (group).
  2. The selected item count is displayed along with the “Clear” control, while the entire selector is highlighted in green for better visual differentiation.
  3. Use the <shift> keyboard key to select range.
  4. Bulk mark as read/unread action for messages.

Also, when you select only Contacts or Companies in the dropdown, there is now a warning reminding you that some items may be hidden from display. This was done to avoid any potential confusion caused by mysteriously “disappearing” objects – we personally freaked out about this one more than once:

Warning hidden items

Improved assignment of contacts to groups

Include contacts within companies

We replaced the silly old-school group list for mass-assigning contacts to groups with a nеat multiple-select dropdown menu.

We also added an option to mass-assign contacts within companies, instead of going through each one individually.

Likewise, when you change group assignment from the Edit Company screen, you are now presented with an option to apply the change to all contacts within that company:

Groups to company contacts

That’s it for today. As always, you can suggest and vote for new features ideas here.

Until next time, stay relentlessly productive!

Written by Dmitri Eroshenko

August 6th, 2016 at 7:55 am

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Announcing… new API and other goodies

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Happy summer! If you are in the US, we hope you enjoyed your Memorial Day weekend. For us, long weekends are always a great opportunity to get some rest and catch up with work. We hope you’re going to enjoy the latest things we’ve been working on at Relenta.

Developer API v3.0

Our new API is built on the principles of REST. The URLs are resource-oriented, so that they are easily guessable and are designed to be easy to explore and use.

http://www.relenta.com/support/developer-api-v3

The older version of XML-based API v2 is now deprecated. While it is no longer being developed, you can continue using it as before, and we will continue to support it until further notice. We do encourage you to switch to v3, however. Shout if you need any help or further explanation.

Improved calendar export

The calendar export now allows you to export the current view as specified in the “Display Activity Types” dropdown menu. This way you can mix and match the exact types of items that you want to import to other apps. For example, if you want to export only events assigned to you (and not your colleagues events) or only ‘Followup’ events, no problem – simply check the boxes in the dropdown and then hit export.

Export calendar

Please remember also that in addition to this calendar export feature there are two other ways to sync your Relenta calendar with other apps:

  1. New version of the API (see above)
  2. Our integration with Zapier

“My Emails” folder

To improve the functionality of the My Emails folder we’ve added a dropdown menu which lets you specify exactly which emails should show up in your very own My Emails folder. Before this, the folder displayed all emails for each identity a user has access to, which presented a problem for those teams who share many identities.

The dropdown menu now allows you to select emails sent to specific addresses from the list of available identities. This way you can easily choose which emails you see and use the My emails folder as your own personal inbox.

My Emails filter

Oh and one other thing while we are on the subject of UI personalization… did you know that each user can drag-and-drop email folders and groups to rearrange the display order to their liking? Just making sure 🙂

Got feature ideas?

What should we focus on next? Submit your feature ideas and help us prioritize our development schedule by voting for existing feature requests here:

http://relenta.uservoice.com

Until next time, stay relentlessly productive!

Written by Kuroi

May 31st, 2016 at 8:31 am

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System update: Connect Relenta with hundreds of apps with Zapier

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With our new Zapier integration, you can connect Relenta with hundreds of useful apps to automate your workflows and save precious time.

How it works

Zapier is an impressive platform that integrates the apps you use, helping you automate tasks and get more out of your data.

A connection between two Zapier-enabled apps is called a “Zap.” Each Zap is an instance of automation created using Triggers and Actions.

Triggers are defined as an event in one app, for example, creating a new contact or activity in Relenta. This event triggers an Action in another app, such as adding a corresponding record in Google Contacts or event in Google Calendar.

No coding is required. All you need to set it up is a Zapier account, a game plan, and the burning desire to invest a little time now to save tons of time later on.

Adding a Zap with Relenta

Currently the Relenta app on Zapier is in invite-only mode and you will need this invite link:

https://zapier.com/developer/invite/33455/b56b334e18dcb46bac1aeee6c1462602/

Click the “Accept Invite and Go To Dashboard” button.

Once you’re in your Zapier dashboard, click the “Make a New Zap” button.

Relenta can be a Trigger app or an Action app, depending on your game plan. The instructions below are for Relenta as a Trigger app.

First, search for and select “Relenta CRM” as your trigger app.

Now select one of the trigger actions – New Activity or New Contact.

After you click the “Save + Continue” button, you will be prompted to connect your Relenta account. To do that, you will need your Relenta Account Name and Department Key which you can obtain from your Relenta Account Dashboard > API tab:

NB! Make sure you use the appropriate Department Key and not the API key.

Follow Zapier’s on-screen instructions for testing the new connection. When satisfied with the results, click “Continue”.

You will be prompted to choose your Action app, then define the actions and map the data fields. The specifics will differ from one Action app to another – refer to the Zapier help portal for further information.

To add Relenta as an Action app, you will need go through the above process in reverse, meaning choose and connect to your Trigger app first, then select Relenta as an Action app and map the data fields – you get the idea.

From our experience, Zapier is a powerful platform with an enormous amount of options. As such, mastering it may take more than a little tweaking, especially if this is your first time. It is simple, but not necessarily easy. Don’t be shy and email us with any questions, we are always here for you.

Written by Dmitri Eroshenko

March 10th, 2016 at 9:00 am

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System update: Email open/click tracking

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We can’t believe the winter is almost over. Time just flies when you’re working on something exciting. In our case we’ve been working on the #1 feature request of all time: tracking of email opens and clicks. Without further ado, here’s how it works in three easy steps.

Step 1

Sign up for a free account with our partner SendGrid, a leader in email deliverability. The free account includes up to 12,000 monthly emails. Scroll to the bottom of their pricing page and click the “Try it free” button on the right. If your sending volume exceeds the limit, their paying plans start at just $9.95/mo for 40,000 emails.

Step 2

In your Relenta account, go to Settings > Add-ons and activate SendGrid. You will need your SendGrid username and password:

Click “Save” — this will create an outgoing email account called SendGrid SMTP. All other SMTP accounts will be automatically disabled, because email tracking in Relenta requires that you use SendGrid’s SMTP to send personal and mass-emails.

Relenta will also automatically create an email folder aptly called Email Events – more on that below.

Step 3

Continue using Relenta to send personal and mass-emails exactly as you have been before, except now every time a recipient opens your email or clicks on a link, these events will be displayed in the Email Events folder and the appropriate Contact Timeline, like so:

Need to look under the hood? More details in the support article.

That’s it! We go back to work for now. Send us your feedback.

Written by Dmitri Eroshenko

March 1st, 2016 at 2:00 am

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System update: Brand new rich text editor and other cool stuff

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Here’s what we have for you:

  • New and improved rich text editor
  • Ability to link one email to multiple contacts
  • Attach files to email from Dropbox
  • Persistent “all day” calendar event setting
  • Miscellaneous improvements and fixes

New and improved rich text editor

Now you can enjoy a faster and more versatile rich text editor. We’ve added extra formatting functionality and organized the controls into two sections to keep the interface smoothly uncluttered.

The new rich text editor capabilities include:

  1. Bulleted and numbered lists
  2. Increased and decreased indents
  3. Insert and format tables

We’ve also changed two icons as follows:

  • Clear formatting: from “eraser” to “Tx”
  • Show source: from “HTML” to “< >”

To toggle between one- and two-bar views, click the “more/less” button as shown on the screenshot.

The new rich text editor also solves the inconsistent formatting issues and the “Delete” key slowdown problem caused by accumulation of quoted message history.

Ability to link an email to multiple contacts

Here’s a tiny little feature that will have a massive impact on your filing and organizational prowess. It used to be that in order to assign an email to a different contact, you had to unlink it first. In other words, the relationship between emails and contacts used to be 1-to-1. Not anymore. Now any email can be linked to any number of contacts, in a 1-to-many fashion. Simply choose the “Link to contact” option from the “Actions” dropdown and let your imagination run wild about the new possibilities to keep related stuff where it belongs – together.

Attach files to email from Dropbox

In addition to uploading files from your local drive or a shared library in Relenta, you can now use your Dropbox account. When composing a message, simply click the Dropbox link, enter your login credentials and pick your files. Simple as that.

Persistent “all day” calendar event state

Now when you create a new event, the system automatically remembers your last choice for the “all day” checkbox. This means that if you usually enter the exact time for events, you no longer have to make that nagging extra click every time.

Thank you Lee Walsh for this idea. To suggest other ways to reduce the number of clicks to perform routine daily tasks, drop us an email at .

Miscellaneous improvements and fixes

These include infrastructure upgrades that result in faster page loading times; many bug fixes and updates to the mobile version; bug fixes related to display of “My emails”; and overall reliability and performance.

Written by Kuroi

September 7th, 2015 at 1:55 pm

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System update: Mobile version and more

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Here are the three new features that will make your everyday work life even more productive and enjoyable:

  • Relenta mobile
  • «My Emails» folder
  • Automatic BCC preset

Relenta Mobile

Behold the crown jewel of this update – the mobile version of Relenta. It is browser-based and will work on any device. Just point your mobile browser to http://account-name.relenta.com and login as usual. Relenta mobile lets you to do most of the things you normally do in Relenta on your desktop and certainly all of the important things.

“My Emails” folder

The “My Emails” folder is, well, precisely what it sounds like. It’s a virtual folder that automatically includes all emails addressed to you (as determined by the email identities that you are assigned to use). For example, if you have access to you@yourcompany.com and sales@yourcompany.com identities, your folder will contain all messages sent to these two email addresses. This feature essentially eliminates the need for personal email folders, and solves a few problems that have been associated with them. Thank you, Nathan, for the inspiration.

Automatic BCC preset

Now you can automatically keep a sent email archive in an email account outside of Relenta. Go to Settings > Department, enter the email address to which you would like a copy of each 1-on-1 email message Bcc’ed to, and voilà, you’re done.

Written by Dmitri Eroshenko

April 30th, 2015 at 8:30 am

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System update: Calendar sync and recurring events

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New Year’s is our favorite holiday. Not because a few weeks leading up to it is our most productive time of the year. Not because of the best parties. We love New Year because it offers the possibility of change and transformation.

You’re gonna love this update especially if your New Year’s resolutions include things like “become more productive” and “get things done.” They do, right? So now you have fewer excuses.

Go to your Relenta calendar, click Export button, then right-click on Subscription link and copy the webcal:// link:

Then open your calendar program. We use Google in this example – other apps all work along the same lines. From “Other calendars” in Google Calendar menu choose “Add by URL” and paste your webcal:// link, like so:

That’s all there is to it.

It will be good for you to know that the sync frequency depends on the calendar program you use. Google seems to be updating external calendar feeds every few hours. Also note that this is a one-way sync. You can view your Relenta calendar events in other calendars, but you need to create and edit them in Relenta.

Next comes another feature that you’ve been asking for since the beginning of time: the ability to create recurring events. Not much to write about here other than “now you can.” Just check Repeat box on edit event screen and set the recurrence rules:

That’s it for the first system update this year. We hope you like.

Enjoy and stay tuned!

Written by Dmitri Eroshenko

January 17th, 2014 at 2:26 am

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System update: The Company Object

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Ever wished you could organize your contacts by company? Bang! Done.

To create a company from an existing contact, all you have to do is click on company name and confirm:

Once the company is created, click on its Timeline to view the combined activity stream from all of its contacts. To view the list of all people who belong to the company, click on Contacts tab:

The contact list now has a “Display contact type” dropdown which does just that. To add a company from scratch, click on +Company:

If you’d like to know, we are really proud of this long overdue functionality. It just radiates the elegance of a major new feature with the least possible interface changes. Go on, pat us on our geeky backs.

Written by Dmitri Eroshenko

October 29th, 2013 at 2:33 pm

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System update: The Labor Day release

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Without doubt, machinery has greatly increased the number of well-to-do idlers.— Karl Marx

Here is our modest contribution to your well-being.

Great news: More storage!

We’ve optimized our file storage architecture and passed on the savings to you. Starting today, you will enjoy up to 70% savings on storage space. Put another way, you get 2-3 times more storage for the same amount of money.

New features

Calendar export

Click and you shall receive. Your activities in iCalendar format, that is.

Send and archive

Check this option to automatically archive the original message to which you are replying.

Popular wishes come true

  • Sort groups on contact edit screen in the same order as left vertical Groups tab
  • Sort items in the response library in alphabetical order
  • Open Draft, Outbox emails in compose mode, instead of preview, to avoid an extra click

All kinds of improvements and fixes

  • Made URLs in comment section clickable
  • Reorganized the display of date range for events with various start and end dates and times on Agenda view
  • Added “Do not mass email” column to CSV contact export file
  • Improved folder name truncation method to prevent text wrapping to the next line
  • Fixed bug that allowed saving response library items without title
  • Redirect to contact view instead of edit after merging of two contacts

Have a productive Labor Day!

Written by Dmitri Eroshenko

September 2nd, 2013 at 12:39 pm

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Introducing Deals (beta)

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You’ve been asking for this feature since the beginning of time, and here it is: Sales deals management.

Here’s how it works.

A Deal is a type of activity. It represents something you want to sell, and has a money value attached to it. Deals at various stages of the sales process together form a sales deal pipeline, also known as sales funnel.

Deals are organized by stages of the sales process. Each stage has a name and probability of closing. The default stages are:

  • Lost 0%
  • Lead 10%
  • Qualified 30%
  • Proposal 80%
  • Won 100%

You can edit these stages and probabilities in Settings > Deals.

The total value of your sales pipeline with an estimated closing date that falls within a certain time period is calculated based on the number of deals at each stage multiplied by the probability of closing.

Changing the stage of the deal will also set its probability of closing to the default value for the new stage. You can change the probability of closing without changing the stage.

You can filter deals by stages and who’s responsible by clicking on the Filter Deals dropdown.

Your sales deal pipeline is characterized by these key metrics:

  • Number of deals
  • Average deal size
  • Percentage of closed (won) deals
  • Average time to closing

Deal attributes include name, description, stage, probability of closing and expected closing date. Like with any type of activity, you can associate contacts and users with a deal, add comments and attach files to it.

By default, Deals in your Relenta account are not enabled. You can turn this feature on and off in Settings > Department. When enabled, the Deals tab appears under the top Activities tab.

Written by Dmitri Eroshenko

August 1st, 2013 at 9:27 am

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System update: Over 12 improvements, tweaks and fixes

with 3 comments

Here’s what’s new and exciting in today’s release:

Calendar event date range

  • Improved usability of event date and time range selectors (from/to)
  • Added date range to line items on the contact timeline, agenda and activity search results views

Email marketing

Renamed email marketing features to bring it up-to-date with modern conventions and end the naming legacy that was dating back to 2005:

  • Email Marketing → Autoresponders
  • Former Autoresponders → Auto-replies
  • Mail to group → Newsletters

Email folder usability

  • Display folders which contain unread messages in bold
  • Added count display to Draft folder that shows the number of messages regardless of the read/unread status

User menu

Changed the layout and added links to New features, Feature suggestions and Documentation (click on your name in the upper right corner).

Compose screen

To avoid mis-clicking, moved “Save as draft” button to the right, along with “Delete”

Contact and message view in Inbox

  • Added “Edit” link and date created
  • Renamed generic “Add tags” labels to “Tag email,” “Tag contact,” and “Tag activity”

Activities tab

For each of the sub-tabs, replaced generic page header “Activities” with “My Agenda,” “Daily,” “Weekly,” “Monthly,” and “Deals.”

UI redesign

And finally, we’ve restyled some parts of the user interface:

  • Department settings screen
  • Alerts and confirmations
  • Contact import screen
  • Edit contact groups screen
  • Autoresponders (formerly Email Marketing)

Written by Dmitri Eroshenko

July 31st, 2013 at 7:39 am

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System update: Over 15 new features, tweaks and fixes

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Seriously! Here are this month’s new features and some of the tweaks and fixes:

“Mail to group” email controls

  • View sending status in “Mail to group” email folder
  • Cancel group emails scheduled for the future time

Categories and groups

These settings are per user, so you can adjust preferences independently from the rest of your team:

  • Drag-and-drop to sort and reorder categories and groups in the left navigation bar
  • Keep open/collapse category status persistent across sessions

Undo actions

  • Click to undo actions such as delete, archive, move messages
  • Removed confirmation popup for actions that can be undone

“Do not email” contact status

  • If checked, mass emails will not be sent to contact
  • You can still send manual one-on-one emails

Message read/unread status

  • Click on received/replied/forwarded arrows to toggle message read/unread status

View timeline during edit

  • Display contact’s timeline (formerly “Activity stream”) while contact is being edited

Sorting of events in Agenda view

  • Changed sorting of “Agenda: Later” line-items to soonest on top

Email duplicate checking

  • Check for existing email duplicates when creating contact from email

Miscellaneous tweaks and fixes

  • Restored “Action” button for messages with multiple assigned contacts
  • Fixed missing attachments bug
  • Tweaked the look and feel of left vertical sidebar navigation items
  • Assign forwarded message to the original recipient when sending from folder view
  • Stopped reloading folder view after replying to message (keep open messages open after sending)
  • Fixed folder message count bug
  • Fixed file rename bug
  • Fixed comment counter update bug

What’s next?

Suggest and vote for new feature ideas.

Written by Dmitri Eroshenko

April 1st, 2013 at 1:01 am

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Video: New in Relenta

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Here’s what’s coming on December 30. Dig.

Written by Dmitri Eroshenko

December 27th, 2012 at 12:16 pm

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