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New Features in Critical Impact 8

We’re very excited to bring you the latest version of Critical Impact.  Carefully read the Getting Started Guide to become acquainted with the updated screens and processes.  This new release includes many exciting and powerful enhancements including:

How are images, messages, lists, and other information transferred to the new system?

All of your data will be in your account when you log into the new system: your account data is shared in real-time between your current account and the CI 8 account. For example, if you change a message in one account, that change will be reflected in both systems.

However, not all changes made in your CI 8 account will be reflected in your current CI account. Specifically:

  • Any dynamic lists created in CI 8 will only work in CI 8.
  • Any desktop/Mobile hybrid emails will only work in CI 8.
  • Any images uploaded into CI 8 will only exist in CI 8.
  • Any new features that are unique to CI 8 will only exist in CI 8.

Welcome Screen and Send Calendar

The first screen that you'll see in the new system is a calendar of recent email activity.  The calendar shows all of the account's scheduled email sends.  Simply click on a send to see the Job Message Details.  This makes it easy to collaborate with other users in the account as well as make sure that your audience is not overwhelmed with too many emails. 

Another great feature is a search bar at the top of the welcome screen.  Just start typing in a keyword, and it will link you to tools in the system as well as to some related wiki articles.

Updated Message Editor

The message editor is designed to simplify email message creation.  Messages created in V7 will still be editable in V8.  In addition to all of the previously existing tools, there are also new tools such as new image editing options, template blocks, and more social sharing buttons

Mobile Message

With the increasing popularity of smart phones and tablets, email rendering on mobile devices has become a crucial part of email marketing success.  In Version 8,  you'll have the ability to create a mobile version of your message that will be seen only on mobile devices.  If you choose to use this option, simply create a mobile-only version in the Mobile Message Tab

By taking advantage of the Mobile Message tab in Version 8, the desktop and mobile-friendly versions will be combined and sent as one message.  The system will automatically add the media queries needed to hide and show the desktop or mobile version, depending on the device that opens the message. In other words, the desktop or mobile version will show automatically depending on which device opens the message. 

Note: Leave the Mobile Tab blank and the same desktop HTML Message will show on desktop and mobile devices.  Only use the Mobile Message tab if you want to create a unique, different mobile version of the message.

For help creating a mobile version of your message, please read our best practices and known issues

Also, make sure to thoroughly test on desktop and mobile devices or run an Inbox Preview before making a live send.

New Image Editor

Resize, edit, and save images using the new image editor.  Using this editing tool to resize the image can reduce the time it will take readers to download the message, since the file size will be smaller.  Whereas if you only type in the width and height in the image properties window, the file size will remain the same.

Preview & Test Message

The updated message editor also includes more preview options that allow you to choose whether or not to include the header and/or footer. The view as webpage header and company footer will be populated with the account's default header/footer.

When sending test emails from the message editor, the test emails can be sent to up to 5 people.  There's also an option to add a comment to the top of the test emails.

Learn more about the Message Editor Special Features in Version 8.

Updated List Import

The updated list import guides you seamlessly through uploading your contacts into the system.  The list import still involves uploading a CSV file to a new or an existing list, but the updated import screens make the process more intuitive. 

To learn more, please read the Importing a List wiki article.

Enhanced Dynamic Lists

There are two types of lists: static and dynamic.  A static list is a list that you upload and members of that list can only be added/deleted by importing additional records into that specific list. Dynamic lists, however, do not require that any data be uploaded into the specific dynamic list. Instead, you simply define rules which determine which subscribers should be included in the list.  Then the list is built "dynamically" based upon those rules, updating automatically with subscriber changes.

The updated dynamic list allows you to create lists based on much more detailed criteria. 

  1. Custom Fields: select subscribers based on a value saved in a specific custom field
  2. Subscriber Interactions: select subscribers that are on selected lists or those who clicked a link
  3. Subscriber Interactions by Job: select subscribers who opened or clicked a specific message
  4. Subscriber Interactions by List: select subscribers who opened and clicked a message who are on a specific list

Dynamic lists are used as the basis for other tools such as Dynamic Content, where message content is dynamically selected based on the list(s) that subscribers are on.

More Send Options

Like on Version 7, it is easy to send a message to one or more subscriber lists.  In addition, there are a few more advanced options added to the send program: Reply-to address, A/B testing, and other advanced send options.

Reply-To Address

You can now create From Addresses that can have a different reply-to address.  The reply-to address is the address that will show when a subscriber sends an email by clicking Reply.  The reply-to address will automatically be the from address unless specified differently in this field.

Advanced Send Options

One of the advanced options is the ability to change the footer on a send by send basis.

Another advanced option is the Google Analytics Link Tracking where you can enter a campaign name.  Clicks from your campaign will actually show up in your Google Analytics Tracking data as the campaign name entered there.

A/B Testing

Another advanced sending option is to send an A/B Test.  A/B testing is when you send two versions of your communication to two random test groups of subscribers. The A/B test tracks which version receives either the highest click-through rate or highest unique open rate.  You can then choose to automatically send the winner to the rest of the subscribers on the list after the winner is selected.

Test A and Test B can compare one of the following options:

  1. Message content
  2. Subject line
  3. Message and subject line
  4. From name
  5. Send date/time

An example A/B Test Send would be: send Subject A to 5% of the main list, send Subject B to 5% of the main list, wait 6 hours to calculate the winner, then send the winning test to the remaining 90% of the main list.

Expanded Custom Reports

Email Tracking and other custom reports are carried over from Version 7.  In addition, we also added more reports so that you can view more detailed information about opens, clicks, bounces, subscriber lists, etc. 

The custom reports landing page is also redesigned so that you can easily search for a custom report.  For example, you can type "list" to see all of the reports pertaining to subscriber lists.  Click once on the report to view its description on the right hand panel. 

To learn more about custom reports, please read our Custom Reports wiki article.

Easier Way to Add Users and Edit User Permissions

Account administrators in Version 8 can now add or edit users in the account, via the Edit/Add Users section in the Account folder. 

As an extra layer of security protection, administrators can edit security permissions for all users in the account or sub account from the Edit/Add Users page.  Drag and drop the security groups from the Disabled column to the Enabled column to grant user access.  This allows you the ability to create users who can only view reports and not edit messages, for example. 

If you cannot access certain tools or reports, please ask your account administrator to update the user permissions in your account. 

Customizable Profile Center

Account administrators can easily custom the Profile Center CSS.  The Profile Center is the page where subscribers will edit their subscription information.  Subscribers can access this page by clicking the "Profile Center" link in your email footers.  You can modify the text, change the background color, or add your company's logo. 


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