Manage contacts for newsletters from Cronycle

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Cronycle allows you to prepare, format and send curated newsletters to your audience directly from your boards.

Publish
Our newsletter editor

How to add contacts?

We have 4 means of adding contacts for newsletters:

  • Add an email address and name manually (Quick entry)
  • Import a list using a CSV file which you probably exported from another tool
  • Connect to Mailchimp to import your contacts in Mailchimp
  • Connect to Google Contacts to import those contacts
Options to add contacts
Find your contacts and add more in your Account page.

In all cases, you need to make sure you have permissions before sending newsletter emails to your audience. More on this in the last section.

Formatting your CSV of contacts for newsletters

What are CSVs? A CSV is a file format which is a standard for storing structured text. “CSV is the shortened form of comma-separated values, which stores large amounts of tabular data (numbers and text) in plain-text form” (Source Leawo). You can recognize it by its extension: .CSV

“A CSV contact file typically consists of name, address, phone number, e-mail address, and other contact information, and it also supports custom fields, images, and other types of media. When you want to update your customer contacts information in batch, you can open the CSV file to edit, modify or add new contacts to the CSV file, which can then be imported to your phone Address Book.

Leawo

You can open and modify your CSV file in Microsoft Excel or Google Sheet for example. In both cases, you can sort by column – for example sorting alphabetically by name, or sorting by opt-in first. This way you can find those contacts that did not opt in. If that’s the case, you can then either ask them to opt in using the subscribe URL provided by Cronycle (in newsletter set up); or remove these contacts all-together. You should remove those who marked you as spam if you have this data point in the CSV. It is not good for your sending email address reputation to be sending to mailboxes where you are marked as spam.

Both Excel and Google Sheet will also allow you to export as CSV. Before you do that, you need to check that the format is:

  • 1st column: “email” – this is the only compulsory column
  • 2nd column: “first_name” – this is an optional column
  • 3rd column: “last_name” – this is also an optional column
An example of correctly formatted CSV: email column, first name column, last name column
Correctly formatted CSV opened in Google Sheet

Note that the titles must be exactly “email”, “first_name” and “last_name”. Other columns will be ignored. If there is a contact without an email address, it will not be added.

If you get errors, such as names missing or not displayed correctly, it is likely an issue with the way the text is encoded. We use Unicode, a standard method for representing a great variety of characters from many languages across the world. Alas, there are two versions, UTF-7 and UTF-8. We support UTF-8, which is the most common of the two and recommended for security reasons. If your CSV is encoded in UTF-7, accented letters and non latin alphabets will become unreadable by our contact list. To fix this, follow the following instructions:

Workaround #1 for Windows only: you can open your CSV file in Notepad in Windows, do a “Save As” setting the type to “All Files”, use the “.csv” file extension, and then select UTF-8. After doing that, you’ll see the characters which were not recognised by UTF-8. Once you fix those up, try to upload the new file to Cronycle and it should work a lot better.

Workaround #2 using Google Sheet: if you are not using a Windows machine, this is a good and simple alternative. Google Sheet automatically saves new files as UTF-8 when selecting to download as CSV. Read this simple step-by-step how to (promised, it is easy).

Importing contacts from other platforms

We have an integration that lets you import your contacts from Mailchimp or Google Contacts. In both cases, we complete your list in Cronycle with the new contacts from Mailchimp or Google. We do not synchronise the lists, which is for the best as subscribers may unsubscribe from one type of communication but not from another.

GDPR compliance & list clean up

GDPR is the European privacy regulation which requires you to ensure that all your subscribers in Europe have opted in to your email communication (among other things). It is your responsibility to ensure this is done properly for all your contacts for newsletters.

So when you switch from one tool to another, make sure you only export current subscribers who opted in. If that is not possible from your current tool, the exported CSV file should have a field (column when opened in a worksheet) for opt-in. Use it to identify and remove all contacts that have not opted in, save a new file and import in Cronycle. If you import from Mailchimp, you will be able to select the right list, just make sure your list is ready before connecting. Google is not as good at this, so thread carefully here!

Subscribe form URL
In your board, click on Newsletter, then on newsletter setup and Promote to get the URL to share to potential subscribers

Take this opportunity to do a spring clean and remove subscribers who marked you as spam (it happens…). This way, you will have a nice, clean and compliant subscriber list. Do a spring clean on a regular basis (hint: not only in the spring!), as it improves your and all Cronycle users’s email reputation.

After you have sent newsletter issues, you can check metrics by clicking on the publishing settings > Newsletter > Past Issues.

Analytics for newsletter past issues

Collaborate on content – now available on feeds

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Content curation is best done in teams – and Cronycle now has a new way to empower teams to collaborate on content with feeds.

Leverage the collective intelligence

Talking with our customers, we found that collaboration, and in particular leveraging a team’s or organization’s collective intelligence, is great for several reasons (that can happen simultaneously):

In all cases, having more eyes on the news is a good way to avoid blindspots.

Collaboration in Cronycle so far

Cronycle has always been about collaboration. So far, this mostly happened:

What’s new in Cronycle with collaborative feeds

Now, we also empower teams to collaborate on content with feeds:

Collaborate on your feeds: 
Invite contributors, 
Everyone can edit sources and filters,
Viewing preferences remain personal,
Only the feed owner can delete

To make a feed collaborative, you simply invite others to join you to an existing feed, using the “Collaborators” button on the feed itself.

It prompts you to add collaborators who are currently in your organization, or to invite new members by email (if you have the rights).

Invite others to collaborate on your feed

Now that I added Vishal to my feed, he can view the content, and also modify the keyword filters, collaborators and sources. As the feed owner, I am the only one to have the possibility to make this feed public and to delete it. Everything else is shared.

We can also decide on a common default board to pin to, as a team. This way, every content we save will automatically go to that common board in one click (exceptions are allowed). To do that, simply set a default board to pin to, and all feed contributors will get the same default. They will also be added as contributors to the board if they are not yet.

Setting a default board to pin to on a collaborative feed

As a result, you empower your team to collaborate on content with Cronycle feeds, as well as through the complete workflow of content discovery, curation, organization and publishing. The team members can collectively keep an eye on news, either sharing the load, or bringing their own judgement to the same content.

WordPress plugin update – great to boost your SEO

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If you are seeking visibility in search results, you are most likely engaged in Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Our WordPress plugin boosts your SEO with curated content, and we just updated it.

Our Cronycle Content plugin enables you to get the content you curate in your Cronycle boards onto your website, either as a news banner or as blog posts. Did you know that this latter option – board to posts – counts for SEO? You can even set up your tags in Cronycle and carry them across to WordPress automatically! Learn more on this by reading our tutorial.

Content from your board is sent to our WordPress plugin, ready to edit and publish as posts

Now, with Cronycle, you can build your reputation on social media, for SEO, and directly into your audience’s mail box (using newsletters) – all in one place! You can also publish internally via Slack or our own Curated Feeds.

Back to our WordPress plugin. We updated it recently to fix a few issues, mainly performance. You will notice a great improvement in terms of loading speed when collecting content from your board into WordPress. We also improved a few points here and there, to make it easier for you and more robust. So, if you are using the plugin, make sure you have the latest version.

You can try Cronycle and our WordPress plugin to boost your SEO, by creating a free account – no credit card required:

Start using Cronycle for free

Editable tag list to keep content organized

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Cronycle provides a full content curation workflow, that includes organizing curated content. We empower teams to control a tag list across their organisation. Such a system is necessary to keep a tight and meaningful taxonomy. We covered this point on a previous post about keeping tags organized. Now, you get an editable tag list to keep content organized.

Reminder of what is the organization tag list

If you are using Cronycle for content curation and have an Enterprise subscription, you may have noticed that admin users can set up the list of tags. When that is done, only those listed tags can be applied to content – across all boards within your organization.

What has changed?

Until recently, the list used could only be modified by adding a new CSV file. This option, which replaces with the new CSV, is still available. But now, you can also build and modify the tag list within the admin console interface. It is much easier to add a new tag, without having to juggle several tools. But it is not too easy either, ensuring your organization tag list continues to keep content curation organized.

A list of tags to organise educational content per course

What else can you do now to keep content organized?

Other options include:

  • Download the current list of tags as CSV – useful to take your list across to other tools, for example building your SEO tag list
  • Replace with a new list (CSV): in this case, the current list is deleted and replaced with the new one you upload. Tags already applied to content you curated will not be affected. But the available tags going forward have changed.
  • Select and batch delete, or delete single tags. Here as well, deletion impacts available tags going forward only, and does not remove tags already applied on content.

When adding new tags using a CSV, remember to follow the instructions on how to format tags. You find this information, and more, in the Q&A on the page:

Cronycle expects a CSV file containing the first column with the list of your tags. Other columns will be ignored. Remember that tags cannot contain spaces, special characters or more than 40 characters.

Language compatibility

We’ve also worked with one of our client on making sure it works in languages using characters such as French é, ç or à. We did a few updates to improve this aspect as well, making sure the editable tag list keeps content organized in many languages. Let us know if you spot something missing in your language!

Metrics on the tag list

What’s more, you can now see the total amount of instances for each tag: how many times has each one been applied across all the boards within your organization. In the example above, the imbalance between course tags is quite striking, corresponding to a lack of reference material for some courses. This is one of the first metrics we added, you will start to see more of these going forward, helping you fine tune your content curation process.

If you want to know more about the editable tag list and how to keep content organized, or what our Enterprise plan offers, check our pricing page and contact us.

3 ways to share curated content to social media, from Cronycle

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Cronycle is a one-stop shop for all your content discovery, organization and publishing. This means that you can share curated content to social media – whether from your feeds, or your boards. Content can be posted to Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook and the likes.

We’ve just added a new tutorial describing three ways to share your best content to Social Media. It covers three options:

  • Share each individual pieces of content (manual)
  • Publish your board to social media via Buffer (recommended)
  • Publish your board to social media via RSS (universal)

Read how each one works here!

Ever more collaboration on content from your boards

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We recently did some updates to how you can do collaboration on content from your Cronycle boards.

A new tutorial

For one, we wrote a complete tutorial on board collaboration, including invites, actions on the boards, and publishing. If you are new to Cronycle, you probably find everything you need here.

Board contributor rights

If you are already familiar with Cronycle, here is a bit of explanation of what changed. Board contributors can now do everything the board owner can do, except:

  • Delete the board
  • Publish to Slack and Buffer (because they require personal authentication to those services).

This means that all board contributors can delete and modify content, change board name and description, publish to the other four alternatives (newsletters, RSS, WordPress and Curated Feed).

Board ownership transfer

Another addition to collaboration on content from your boards is board ownership transfer. You will find it in the board settings panel (click on the cog wheel to open it). Expand the information section: by the name of the board owner, there is now a button to transfer ownership.

Transfer board ownership from the settings panel

Note that the transfer can only be done towards another board contributor. So remember to add the relevant contributor before, by clicking on the people icon, just left of the cog wheel.

And also copying across boards

We also did a few updates related to how content is copied across boards. This is very useful in teams who do collaboration on content from their boards: the same content or story arc can be relevant to several collaborators.

First, know that you can copy content across from one board to another. To do that, click on the … at the top of the board tile, and select Copy to Other Board. You will then be directed to select the board to add this content to. Note that the original content stays on the original board.

We changed two things in relation to this feature:

  • we allow the same article to be in several story arcs (ie groups) when some have been copied across
  • we let you decide whether or not to copy the tags and summary to the new board

Don’t hesitate to provide feedback on how boards work (or don’t) for you from our contact form!

Keep up to date with news from our content curation platform

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You have several options to follow news and tricks about Cronycle – your content curation tool:

As a matter of fact, all these options are available within Cronycle! Receive newsletter subscriptions, and follow Curated Feeds, RSS feeds and Twitter links – all within your feeds (click on Create Feed).

Our Product Newsletter

Curate Google Alerts in Cronycle

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Cronycle lets you integrate the widest range of sources, including Google Alerts into feeds.

Feeds are used as a starting point for your information workflow. Other sources you can use to create feeds include RSS feeds, Twitter handles, newsletters, and our own automated Topics. (Note that you can also also add files on boards.)

This posts explains how to create a Google Alert and add it to Cronycle.

Step 1 – Create a Google Alert

First, in Google Alerts, create an alert for the subject you are interested in. You will see it in your list of alerts, such as Artificial Intelligence Ethics in this example:

You can use common syntax elements to shape these alerts, such as + to include content with several words, – to do exclusions, “or” to have several options, “quotes” for specific expressions, etc. Read more about more tricks to optimise your Alert here.

Step 2 – Generate an RSS link from your Google Alert

Click on the pen of the Google Alert you want to follow to show the settings. Select RSS feed in the last option to deliver the alert to.

Save to update the alert. Now, when you hide the options, you will see an RSS icon by the alert. Right click to copy the destination link – a fully working RSS feed URL.

Step 3 – Add the Google Alert in Cronycle

Now, you are ready to add this RSS link to Cronycle. In Feeds, click on Manage All Sources (bottom left).

Paste the link in the input field to add new sources: as soon as the alert is loaded, press on the + icon to save it to your source library. It appears in the list of sources, at the top.

Paste the Google Alert RSS URL in the Add new sources field and add

Next, you probably want to create a feed to see content flowing in from that Google Alert. You can select one or several sources, of different kinds if you want (Twitter handles, RSS, Google Alerts, Topics). Click on “Create Feed” to build your own custom feed.

Select the Google Alert(s) and any other source to group into a feed

You can also start adding keywords to further refine your feed. From there, you can pin interesting content to boards and continue the workflow all the way to publishing.

The resulting feed. A keywords adds more relevance.

Step 4 – Try a smart alternative: Cronycle Topics

While you can do the above to use your current set up, know that we have an alternative to Google Alerts, which we call Cronycle Topics. Our mission is to help you gain time by surfacing relevant content. You can search and preview Topics easily in the Discovery section in Cronycle, or from Add/Create Feeds.

We identify thought leaders, or influencers, per Topic. They are ranked in terms of influence within the community of the Topic, so we are confident they bring value to the discussion. We look at what these influencers share about the topic on Twitter to surface important and relevant content. You can read more about how this works on this post from Vishal, our CEO.

Explore Topics, here with the list of influencers

You can add one to five Topics per feed, and add keywords within Cronycle to you can get content at the intersection of some of our 50k Topics and another dimension.

Feed with 1 Topic (Artificial Intelligence) and ethics / ethical as keyword filters

You can also limit the influencers to take in consideration, by deactivating them individually, and/or by selecting a range.

In feed settings, filter by influencers

To try all this, create an account for free, which gives you all the power of a pro account for 28 days. No credit card required!

Start to curate in Cronycle: import OPML

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You can easily start to curate content using Cronycle: we let you import the standard file (OPML) from feed aggregators, import your Twitter contacts (Pro Trial, Pro & Enterprise plans only), get suggestions based on your Twitter activity and/or search for RSS feeds, Twitter handles and our automatically curated feeds on 50k Topics. We even have a Chrome and Safari extension to save single pieces of content or to grab RSS. This is an important start in our end-to-end workflow, to let you curate, organize and publish content.

This post is about importing OPML.

How to import sources using an OPML file

RSS aggregators let you export sources as an OPML file. This is a standard file format that consists of a list with structure and links. In the case of Feedly, the OPML file groups sources together, by feed.

In Cronycle, we have a source library to import and manage sources (in Feeds, find “Manage all sources” to the bottom left).

When you import an OPML file, you will see that all the sources appear in a list. Also, if you want to keep the same feed structure as in Feedly, you can filter sources by folder, select all, and click on Create Feed.

Then, you can name the feed, add or remove sources, and even start to add keyword filters. Save, and your feed is ready to check through!

A little work about source pooling…

Our Enterprise plan includes a unique functionality: the ability to pool sources across your organisation. All curators and admins within the organisation can see the same sources and build feeds.

We’ll soon have more news on this space, as we’ll make it more collaborative…

Receive your favourite newsletters in Cronycle

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We have some news in Feeds! You can now curate newsletters too.

Cronycle Feeds already lets you curate content from RSS feeds, Twitter handles and our own Cronycle Topics – Dynamic relevant feeds across 50k topics automatically curated from top influencers.

Now, you can receive all your newsletter subscriptions in a dedicated feed, so all your content can be collected in the same tool, ready to be filtered, selected, organised, enriched and published.

How does it work?

First, in Cronycle, go to Feeds. Click on Add Feeds. Near the bottom of the pop-up window, you will see a section called “Subscribe to newsletters”. Click on “Start Now”.

Simply copy the email address provided and use it to subscribe to your newsletters. You can close the pop-up.

As soon as the first email will be received, you will see a new feed in your feed list, named “Newsletters”. Note that this can take a couple of days, depending on the pace of your subscriptions. This is where all your issues will be collected, as well as address confirmation emails (so don’t forget to check it out!).

As an alternative, for subscriptions you already have, you can also auto-forward to the email address we provide from most email applications.

Currently, if you want to curate a link from a newsletter issue, you need to open the original content. From there, you can use our Content Clipper extension (available on Chrome and Safari) to save it to a board, where you can organise, enrich and publish.

Did you know? You can also easily create and send your own newsletters from your curated content, within Cronycle. Learn more here.

Newsletters made simple, by Cronycle

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In an age of exponential content production and social sharing, finding relevant content can feel like painstaking work. Among the options available for your audience to navigate information, curation has grown and is now standing out. Most people trust a few hand-picked curators to do at least some of the work for them. If you are reading this post, you are probably a curator (or a curator-to-be). And that’s what Cronycle can help you achieve, alone or with your team.

In this post, we’ll look at newsletters.

Newsletters are powerful tools to raise awareness of your brand and expertise. But until recently, connecting a myriad of tools to select, create and distribute issues made it a time consuming task many of you could not afford. And any change with one tool made this card castle crumble.

But this has changed, Cronycle made it simple – mostly because we integrate discovery, curation, organization and publishing in our integrated workflow.

Choose Topics of interest from over 50k Topics (and many more sources) and create feeds

Filter feeds with keywords to only get what is potentially relevant within the feeds

Pin content from the feed onto boards, or clip to your board from anywhere on the web using our Content Clipper extensions

Collaborate with your team to enrich the best content on your boards

Drag & drop the best articles within custom sections into our newsletter templates

Import & manage your newsletter distribution list, then send or schedule your issues.

Use the same board content to publish to your WordPress website, social media (via Buffer), RSS, Cronycle Curated feed, or to Slack.

Give it a try! You can sign up for free and you will get 28 days free pro trial to curate, assemble and send newsletters.