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

Our WordPress Plugin

Reading Time: 1 minute

We recently did a total update of our plugin in WordPress. If you still have the old one, we recommend you read this detailed post and update it in WordPress. If you are new to this, please read on…

The Cronycle Content Plugin enables you to create news feeds on your website, using the content you curate on your Cronycle boards. Curated content includes articles, videos, Twitter conversations and Story Arcs (grouped content), with or without your commentary.

Our plugin has two features:

Board Content as Banner – Provide functionalities to generate a newsfeed banner on your website with certain Cronycle board content. It applies your default font.

Board Content as Draft post – Provide functionalities to fetch Cronycle board content and insert into the WordPress as draft post which can be edited and published to your website.

Create a free Cronycle account today to try it out, and follow our dedicated WordPress plugin guide.

Start using Cronycle for free

Publish content from your Cronycle boards onto your website

Reading Time: 4 minutes

The Cronycle Content Plugin enables you to create news feeds on your website, using the content you curate on your Cronycle boards. It publishes to WordPress your curated content, includes articles, videos, Twitter conversations and Story Arcs (grouped content), with or without your commentary.

Plugin has two features:

  • Board Content as Banner – Provide functionalities to generate a newsfeed banner on your website with certain Cronycle board content.
  • Board Content as Draft post – Provide functionalities to fetch Cronycle board content and insert into the WordPress as draft post which can be edited and published to your website.

Installation


  • Download, install, and activate Cronycle Content plugin from WordPress plugin store. You need a version of PHP of v7.2.8 or higher. If you have a free account on WordPress.com, you need to upgrade to business in order to install plugins, or transfer to WordPress.org. See how to do that here.
  • Login to your Cronycle account. Create board and pin content to it.
  • Then, click on Publish near the top of that board.
  • Switch on Publish to WordPress.
  • It will ask you to connect and generate a token. Copy the token.
  • Now, in WordPress, go to Settings / Cronycle Content, paste the token in the input field and press Save Token to connect the account.
  • Now you will be able to see your board content in WordPress (continue reading “How to Use?” below).
  • Back in Cronycle, on the Board Publish panel, you can adjust the type(s) of content you want to go through to WordPress, per board.
  • If you want to copy your token again, go to your profile page, in the Integrations section.
  • To send the content from several boards, you will need to switch on WordPress for each board, in its publishing settings.
  • When disconnecting, we recommend disconnecting from the WordPress Plugin Settings page.

How to use?


Board Content as a newsfeed banner 

This enables you to include a newsfeed banner on your website, with content from one of your boards. To do so, you can generate a shortcode from the banner shortcode generation options under the Banner tab in the plugin settings. Make sure you have switched on Publish to WordPress for the corresponding board in Cronycle.

Copy the shortcode and paste it into your page content.

You can also use menu options in the Classic editor block to generate and embed shortcode on to your page content.

Here are few examples of generated banners on our website. The banner is responsive, adapting to small screen sizes.

Board Content as Draft post

This feature allows you to pick board items and add them as draft blog posts. In WordPress admin dashboard, you can find your Cronycle board(s) content as draft posts under the ‘Cronycle Content’ menu option. From there you can edit and/or publish any type of board content as a regular WordPress post. You can retrieve content from all the boards you have switched on in Cronycle, in the boards publishing settings.

From the draft post tab in the plugin settings page, you can assign default categories for the content from each board, and turn on & off the transfer of tags used on your boards.

Note that the content from your Cronycle boards is imported only once to the WordPress plugin. If you modify the content on your boards (e.g. add an article to a Story Arc, or edit a summary), the modifications will not appear in WordPress. This is why we recommend using “editor approved” to filter content ready to publish. It lets you collect and refine your content on your board in Cronycle before sending to the WordPress plugin (or other publishing methods). To use it, you need:

  • A Pro or Enterprise account
  • To tick the Editor Approved box when the content is ready
  • To use editor approved as a filter in the publishing settings.

Troubleshooting

I get error messages on the WordPress login page

Although rare, it happens that there is an error following an update and interplay with other plugins. The solution is to:

  • Deactivate the Cronycle Plugin
  • Uninstall the Cronycle Plugin
  • Reinstall the Cronycle Plugin
  • Reconnect the plugin with the token provided in your Cronycle account
  • Set up again your preferences in Settings (default categories, tags, and / or banner shortcode)

Publishing with Buffer

Reading Time: 2 minutesWe’re very excited about this new partnership integration which we have launched today with Buffer. For those of you know who don’t know Buffer is a social media management platform trusted by 6M+ people worldwide. We listened to our customers feedback about having scheduling content feature built in, but we thought we should link up with experts in their fields. Buffer was also the favourite choice amongst our customers so we didn’t need to look elsewhere.

By publishing and scheduling your content through Buffer, you are able to to do to so on the following social platforms:

  • Twitter
  • Facebook (Profile/ page/ group)
  • Linkedin (Profile/ page)
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • G+ (Profile/ page)

Another speciality of Buffer which is close to our heart and values is, Buffer will only let you publish new content which you know absolutely what our mission as a platform by cutting through the noise and improving the way organisations discover, manage and distribute information and analysis. 

To get discovering, you can find this new feature within your board Publishing settings – Once you have connected your Buffer account, then you can easily manage what you would like to publish, whether it be articles, story arcs or editor approved only. The content will then be automatically added to your queue within Buffer and you can schedule as you normally would.

Feature_Buffer

Please note the feature mentioned above are only available with our Pro plan – to find out more about the pricing packages you can see further information here. In addition, your queued content may vary depending on which Buffer account you have.