Email newsletter subscriptions

Micro.blog can now manage letting readers subscribe to your blog and receive emails for new blog posts. I’ve posted an announcement and overview over on my blog.

Other details to know about how Micro.blog email newsletters work:

When you first enable this feature, Micro.blog will create a “Subscribe” page on your blog with an HTML form for readers to subscribe with their email address. You can rename this page or delete it and copy the HTML to other pages or blog templates. Micro.blog will always email subscribers to confirm their email address.

For the weekly and monthly options, emails are created around 9am in your local time zone. Monthly emails are sent on the 1st of the month. If you disable and then re-enable the feature, Micro.blog will reset when it thinks the next email should go out, which might mean sending an additional email even if a week or month hadn’t passed yet. Try to avoid changing the settings often.

Micro.blog keeps track of which posts have been collected into an email. It won’t include the same post twice even if you edit it or change the date.

  1. your video guide was good on the M.b side, but would be useful to see preview of what email actually looks like, especially for ‘Collection’ emails. Is it just a list of linked titles? or OG cards?

  2. Am I right in thinking you can only have 1 list of subscribers, and you can only send them on a single type of schedule?
    In future, it would be helpful for me to build 2 lists to send out my Arts & Tech Categories separately. Understand you wanna start simple though. Also importing subscriber lists from e.g. MailChimp, though I’m aware you wanna avoid people abusing for spam.

  3. Assuming it’s possible to hack “collect all short & long blog posts into monthly email”, by creating an All Posts category.

Since the emails don’t include the audio embed, emails for podcast episodes may be confusing.

Here’s a screenshot from my homepage, where it’s obvious there’s an audio embed.

And here’s a screenshot from my email, where it’s not so obvious.

Users may want to state the latest post is a podcast to avoid confusion.

I wonder if the audio embeds is a limitation in email clients… Micro.blog should be including the audio in the HTML, but if email clients are ignoring it, we could change it to always link to the MP3.

That’s correct about only having 1 list of subscribers. We’ll consider expanding this… I don’t want to add too much complexity, but I can see the value in having 2-3 lists. If the content is completely different, though, a separate blog might also be a good work-around today.

For an “All Posts” category, that should be possible automatically using the Filters feature to assign categories.

I had this same problem with newsletters on write.as. Here’s a link if you’re interested in Matt Baer’s quick thoughts on it.

I’m using Fastmail; maybe the problem is provider-specific.

Edit:

I just took a look using the Mail app on my Mac, and the audio is embedded. (See below.)

So my mistake: The problem is on my end.

We’ve improved the emails so it’s possible to customize the CSS. Details here: Manton Reece - Styling newsletters in Micro.blog

ngl was a little disappointed that by default the entire Article is displayed (remember mine only send Articles, so it makes more sense to just include previews & links).
Is it the case that the same trick you describe to condense Articles on home page would work on email newsletter @manton?
Going further, would it be possible to exploit the og tags in the Open Graph plugin to make those display in the email?

Hi @manton!
I switched my m.b. plan to the Newsletter one this week because I’m trying to add this to my blog.

Is there a way to only send long-form posts on a weekly basis, without the short-form ones? That option is not available and would be my preferred one. Any other ideas I could handle this? different feed/category or something like this?

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Unfortunately that isn’t possible on a blog with mixed posts. You’d have to only publish long-form posts.

Other people have also asked for greater flexibility with the filters, as well as allowing multiple options at once and then giving the reader the choice from which to choose via frequency, type, and so on.

Thanks for clarification. So this means for my content I publish, that I can’t use the M.B. newsletter feature and might have to chose an external service that pulls in the RSS/JSON feed from a category or even copy&paste the content in there that I want to have in a weekly newsletter.

Yes, that’s correct. I do this at the minute and it’s definitely quite difficult; apart from anything else you have to wait for the newsletter to be generated by Micro.blog, make sure your settings are correct for it to wait the maximum time before publishing (currently 3 hours), and then make your edits in time.

At this point I’d say the feature is an opinionated, lightweight automated newsletter companion to your blog.

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Did you figure this out or get an answer? I am also looking to see if it is possible to have a preview to articles followed by links to the main article, in a newsletter.

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Nope as the aboves said we’re hoping that @manton will build!
Tbh I don’t think it’s high-priority until subscriber bulk-import is allowed. I for one don’t have them going out to anyone yet just with on-site signup!

I think micro.blog’s email newsletters width is too wide by default:

It might be a good idea to limit to some reasonable width by default. In the interim, how do I do it myself via CSS? I tried the following and it didn’t work.

.microblog_email {
    max-width: 650px;
}

Your CSS is right. Unfortunately, Gmail tosses out the CSS. You should see your change in another mail client.

Hey David, I just saw your latest newsletter. It somehow got buried. I love your masthead!

To truncate a post, just copy the link from the permalink that follows the post contents and then make a markdown link with some text like “Read more…” and chop off the text you don’t want. That’s how I did it for a long article in my latest newsletter. It was super easy.

Ah. Is there any solution for gmail? Majority of the people use Gmail, unfortunately.

Yeah, almost half of my subscribers are using Gmail.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a solution, at this point. The Gmail experience has been improved (it used to be that you had to scroll side to side to read the email). I think the next step is that newsletter templates will be introduced at some time in the future.

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This is one of the reasons why it’ll be good to have a version of the newsletters stored on your site.

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