Manage contacts for newsletters from Cronycle

Reading Time: 4 minutes

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

Receive your favourite newsletters in Cronycle

Reading Time: 2 minutes

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

Reading Time: 2 minutes

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.

Story arc and publishing

Reading Time: 3 minutesWe mentioned a couple of weeks ago on our blog about our Daily Digest feature rollout that we are introducing new features to help our clients with their enhanced curation needs. This release is packed full of three new features:

1. Adding summary to articles

This is an evolution of a feature that we had. Before you were able to add comments to articles, now you have the ability to add an intro summary to the article of up to 1,000 characters (screenshot below as an example). You will also notice a few other tweaks including up and downvoting change of icons, plus engagement scoring of articles symbolized by ∑.

 

2.  Ability to group articles and create a Story arc

Story arc (defined by Dictionary.com) The principal plot of an ongoing storyline in the episodes of a narrative; thecontinuous progression or line of development in a story

To us, a story arc is a way of grouping together articles/content which create their own theme or story. You can add summary descriptions to these arcs and have several arcs within the same board. We wanted to ensure you as a user, have a more enhanced and customizable experience with the content you have curated and selected. You can easily add to an existing arc or create several new arcs within the same board. In addition, if you want to remove an arc, you can simply delete it and the articles will remain as before on your board.

 

 

3. Publishing modes

Now for the publishing part of the feature – Once you have your story, we developed several different ways for you to get your voice heard:

a) Editor approved publishing mode

You may be working in a team whether it be with a Manager or as collaborators, where other people will have input as to what content you use or publish. This easy way with “editor approval” means the nominated person can approve the content with the tick boxes, which means you can publish the content only, which has been approved.

b) Content-type publishing mode

A different way of thinking about the content you are publishing, you can choose to publish editor approved only or from (and not limited to one) story arcs, articles, uploaded files. This applies for both the purposes of a curated channel and of a curated source.

c) Publishing a Board as a public feed

You may have a company newsletter or professional blog where you would like to have a stream of content for your audience to read. You can share this link wherever you like for external accesses. Articles only will be visible. The same applies, where you can allow your board to be visible to your organisation/ team as a feed, therefore, people will not have edit writes to change anything on your board but have “viewing” rights as such.

Please note some of these features mentioned above are only available with our Pro plan – to find out more about the pricing packages you can see further information here.

Daily Digest

Reading Time: 2 minutes

I introduce to you, Cronycle Daily Digest.

Our daily digest may not seem like something revolutionary and new to you, however, this is the start of things to come with new features for us. Previously to this, our Curation team had been pinning articles every day for us to send our daily newsletters, which means although the articles were of interest, they were not dedicated to your subject matter.

DailyDigest

We have worked through and found, what we like to think to be, the perfect combination. Your daily digest will arrive in your inbox around late lunch time (GMT) and will contain the top reads scanned from your feeds that you have within Cronycle. You will receive a daily digest, every working day, so that’s Monday to Friday. We are still working on further customization for the newsletter so please do provide us with any feedback and thoughts you have.

For now, if you choose to opt out of receiving the daily digest or are on a business account and would like to opt in to receive these – you can do so from your profile account settings – “Cronycle Daily Digest“.

Cronycle_AccountSettings

Not to worry, we haven’t made everything machine learning, as we still keeping our weekly Curators Club email, we have just changed the day we send it out, so now you will receive it on a Sunday and renamed it to “Sunday’s best” – little afternoon read with a cup of tea – Hand picked reads from the week from our Curation Team.

If you already have an account with Cronycle then you will automatically receive this (unless you have opted out), if you do not have an account with Cronycle and would like to subscribe, then you can do so here on our website.

SundayBest_Subscribe
On our homepage, you can subscribe to our Curators Sunday Best email

As mentioned, this is the start of email/ newsletter features that we have in the pipeline so be sure to watch our for future updates in the next coming months. In addition, we will be sending out comms in the next few weeks to manage your preferences (if you are currently subscribed) inline with e-Privacy and GDPR.