Over the last few days I launched the Beta 1 for Audience and I sent the first few newsletters.

You can read more about that in the last post Let me tell you about Audience

In this post I am going to break into what comes next and should be going into Beta 2

Email Providers

Beta 1 has support for Mail Gun, For Beta 2 I'm going to add in the AWS SES and Send grid support.

Plus I'll do some clean up around the email sending code to make sure I have a bit more logging around it.

Subscriber Management

I need to give myself the ability to unsubscribe a user from inside the app. I want to be able to edit a subscribers details and change the list (segment) they are on.

At the moment when a user signs up they are on for example the "Wait List" From both the API and in app, I want to be able to move them to a another list like "Users".

Webhook Support

Mailgun, AWS Ses and Send grid all have webhooks for events, delivered, rejected, bounced.

So in Audience I'm going to build an endpoint to collect these web hooks. This will then update the email history with the different events.

The current email history just knows that an email has been sent.

Email History

Once we have webhook support added in, we can then have a nice big check box if it delivered and if it bounced we could just show a different icon, if it hasn't delivered we would show something different too.

This will give the email history more of a full life cycle for the email. We can also use the web hooks to get opens / clicks if you enable that on the email provider.

And this then opens up other functionality that I can explore later, but this would set a foundation to build on.

Newsletter Creating

This is likely were a lot of the time and energy will go into for Beta 2. I want to create a really good experience for creating newsletters. I have some really interesting ideas I want to try out.

The current screen I have created for sending a newsletter is likely to be changed completely, I want to make it easy to send a newsletter but also keep a consistent theme in the emails.

To give you a bit of an idea of what I'm thinking, take this post for an example I'm using Ghost for this blog, the Ghost editor IS the reason many people myself included use Ghost for our blog. It gives us a really great writing experience.

Ghost in Action

So I want to aim for something similar.

  • Open Audience, Click create Newsletter
  • Write up the newsletter
  • Schedule / Publish To all Audience or a segment.

That's it newsletter is done. You as a user have been able to focus just on writing the newsletter and connecting with your audience.

The more I've thought about this the more I think that creating a newsletter and sending it has got to be the killer feature of Audience and that's why such a large focus of Beta 2 is going to be on this aspect. It gives me a base to work from.

Yes it's a great feature that it works with your email providers, yes it will be more affordable as you build and grow you audience. You will be able to focus more on connecting with your audience, producing content instead of trying to sell something to pay for your email newsletter.

Newsletter V1

So this will really be V1 of the newsletter, the screen I put together for Beta 1 was always a temporary screen for testing.

The theme for the newsletter will be a simple single column theme, more of a 1 size fits all.

I want to be able to add test (of course) Bold or Italic the text, add some links

Add in images. For images support to work really well I'm planning on building out a CDN under audience. So when you attach an image to an email it gets handled right and the links a routed back to the CDN that way they are being cached and delivered. So to really support images in the emails I need to build some core functions around the uploads.

The UI will need a way to select the Audience segment (All Audience, Wait list, Trial users, etc) and schedule it or publish now.

Saving a newsletter as a draft would be also be a really handy feature in V1.  

Again as always, thank you for reading. I'll be sharing more of my thinking and features on Audience in the next while. As I build in new features and work to tune the current features. If you want to get on the wait list for Audience you can check it out here