Flexible comment subscriptions and inbox previews come to Postmatic in version 2.1

We continue our march to being a comment notification system for sites of any size with the release of Postmatic 2.1.

This release sees the addition of two new models for how comments should be delivered to subscribers as well as improvements to email previews in Gmail and most email applications.

Replies-only mode for the busiest conversations

By default Postmatic uses a smooth combination of comment frequency and machine learning to decide which comments are worth emailing to subscribers.

  1. Comments are checked for reading level, length, and relevance. Only the best are deemed worthy of an email.
  2. If a post gets too chatty in a short period of time we withhold new comments and save them up for a daily digest. Direct replies are still sent immediately to the person being replied to.

This system works very well for posts with hundreds of comments, but what if you are subscribed to dozens of posts? Even under the best circumstances you would still be getting dozens of comment digests in your inbox each day. For large sites this is a problem.

The new Replies-only mode solves it. In the Configured Comments tab of the Postmatic dashboard there is a new toggle which enables it. Once enabled, subscribers will only receive direct replies to their own comments. It’s a good solution for certain kinds of sites.

How to enable replies-only mode in Postmatic 2.1

The risk of going replies-only

Danny Brown says it best in a comment on our Spring Postmatic Update:

I’m not too keen on the Direct Replies Only option – for me, it’s essentially reverting blog conversations to siloed conversations, which benefits no-one. A number of times I’ve had extra conversations spring up after a comment digest has gone out shows the value of open conversations.

That is a fair word of warning, but which brought us to our next idea…

Replies-only + Daily Digest mode!

As a kind of middle ground between replies-only mode and the default behaviour we’ve made it possible to send direct replies to comment subscribers, but also keep them in the loop at the end of the day with everything else they missed in the conversation. We’ll probably make a tidy checkbox to enable this in the future, but for now all you need to do is set the trigger for Comment Digests to 1. That will do the trick.

By setting Comment digests to 1 you can send replies-only but also deliver a daily digest of new comment activity to each subscriber.

Inbox previews for increased open rates

We made some crafty improvement to the way Postmatic emails display in your inbox. Most modern email clients display a list of your emails and prominently show who the email is from, when it was sent, what the subject is, and the first 2 or 3 lines of the message contents – which is handy for seeing if a message is worth opening.

In Postmatic 2.1 we take advantage of message previews to display the post excerpt or, in the case of a comment notification, the first few lines of the comment. It’s a small tweak that should make things easier for those of you who live in your inbox. It looks like this in Gmail. Notice where the excerpt is showing up:

Message previews now display the post excerpt from the inbox view in all major email clients. Gmail is pictured here.

These improvements will be making their way to Replyable later in the week. Use that new replies-only mode wisely 🙂

Photo credit: Rusty Russ Under the Boardwalk via photopin (license)

A Spring Postmatic Update

The sun is finally out here in Vermont! I hope the snow has melted wherever you are. Here is a quick update about everything going on in the Postmatic world.

Replyable launches – affordable two-way commenting to all WordPress sites

After our fall retreat in Michigan we spent the early part of the winter developing Replyable – the mini version of Postmatic which starts at $3/month. It’s been nice to have a lower-end and simplified product out in the wild. Replyable seems to offer immediate value to any site which installs it – and the simplicity has kept support requests at a minimum.

If you use Postmatic just for comment notifications and need something cheaper and simpler to manage definitely check out Replyable.

We started a new blog to focus on WordPress commenting

With Replyable’s focus on just commenting we thought we would take a lot of the ideas we have on the subject and write about them over on replyable.com. We launched a new blog there and post weekly about the comment scene, new plugins (ours and others), and best practices. Danny Brown has been doing much of that heavy lifting. While he has long been our #1 evangelist it’s great to officially have him on board via his new venture: Social Media for Your Business. I’m increasingly convinced that nobody has their thumb on the WordPress commenting space more than Danny.

Here are a few posts from the Replyable blog you might want to check out:

Updates to Postmatic

With Replyable in the wild we can now shift our focus back to Postmatic. We will be working throughout the summer to build features aimed at content delivery and publishing. Last week we pushed a quick update which introduced some filters for better customizing category-based digests. Apologies for the rapid succession of releases. It was our first update to Postmatic with a new package control system (that feeds both Replyable and Postmatic) and we hit a few snags. That shouldn’t happen again.

Next up will be a new replies-only mode for comment subscriptions in both Postmatic and Replyable. Users can subscribe to comments and receive only direct replies via email. I’m not crazy about the idea but it’s been such a huge request for so long we ought to make it happen. I like to think that our comment intelligence and daily digests are the best solution for healthy conversations.

After replies-only we’ll be getting to work on incoming webhooks for better integration with other services – especially optin packages like OptinMonster (and our new favorite, ConvertPlug (seriously, worth checking out).

Postmatic Press supports a healthy democracy

Our initiative to offer free services to journalists has wrapped up the first round of applications and implementations. We’re excited that the first Postmatic Press sites will be rolling out in the next few weeks. Expect an announcement here. We have more capacity in that program so please, spread the word to your news organization friends:

Does your newsroom run WordPress? Get free content delivery and commenting services from @gopostmaticClick To Tweet

 

We’ll see you at WordCamp US 2016

We’ll be in Philly later this week for WordCamp US 2016 and hope to see you there. If you’re in the northeast, don’t have plans this weekend, and love WordPress as much as we do… then come meet us!

it's a secret!Say hello and hear about our new product

Look for Jason in a Postmatic t-shirt. He’ll be handing out early invites for something new we’ve been working on. It has a logo which looks a lot like what you see here. 🙂

Oh! Tacos and beer!

On thursday night we’ll be co-hosting the first annual WordCamp US Taco Club. We’ve teamed up with CalderaWP to put on a laid-back and non-exclusive event for fellow WordPress enthusiasts to talk shop, dream up products, and maybe even hack a bit. You can RSVP if you think you’d like to join us.

Help us test our new blog monetization platform

We’re about to launch a zero-configuration monetization platform built on Postmatic.

It works by inserting contextually appropriate ads in the header and footer areas of your Postmatic emails – For posts, newsletters, digests, and comment notifications. The ads are tailored to both your content and your subscribers – ensuring an experience that is smooth, makes sense, and generates revenue.

The goal is to make you money while giving you free Postmatic service.

We’re calling it Postmatic Pays.

Interested in trying it out? If you have a WordPress-based site with an active commenting community and subscriber list of at least 500 email addresses get in touch. The beta is open now.

Join the beta