This will be the final post in the series previewing features and technologies coming in Postmatic 2.
The final big reveal is Postmatic Digests
Digests let you send a periodic summaries of all posts published during a set time period. An example would be a weekly digest of all your content.
It’s been done before, but never like this:
Email marketing solutions like MailChimp or AWeber have had digest functionality for a few years now. They work by scraping your RSS feed, parsing it, and spitting the results out in a relatively bland template. A friend and early beta tester of Postmatic 2 put it this way:
I’d been using Mailchimp for my RSS newsletter for years, and due to its design limitations with RSS content, it was starting to feel like a costly embarrassment. Right out of the box, Postmatic’s RSS digests look clean and modern — I could never get my MailChimp RSS newsletters looking anything more than barely cobbled together.
Ariel Meadow Stallings | Offbeat Empire
Postmatic has an advantage: we are native to WordPress. That means we have access to your full posts, images, author bio info, comments, and the general pulse of your community.
How it works
Setting it up
You start by giving your digest a name. That’s pretty simple. Just below the name box is a wysiwyg area which lets you enter any content you want.
You can even use it to make your digest be quite a bit like a newsletter. If you have your digest scheduled for Sunday night, log in on Saturday to write a quick recap of the week. It supports shortcodes and widgets as well. Add a video, and RSS feed, or anything you want.
Choose from 5 amazing layouts
We are very proud to say that our automated digests are hands-down the best looking solution available to publishers. We build templates which are responsive not only when viewed on a variety of devices, but which also automatically adapt to your weekly content. No featured image on a post? No problem. Only two posts this week? We’ve got it covered.
The templates also of course adopt typography and colors from your active theme. Add in widgets in both the header and footer, and the sky’s the limit.
It’s the little details
Each template pulls in different kinds of information from your WordPress database. Some are more suited for news sites which may have a variety of authors and heavily use categories. Others are geared toward chatty communities. One feature they all share which we are particularly proud of is the comment context feature:
For each post which has comments we display not just the number of comments, but also highlight important community members involved in the conversation. This does a lot for getting more people engaged in the comments.
Add to my inbox. Awesome.
This is a special feature for those of us who live in our inbox. If enabled, each post within a digest will have a special little link that says Add to my inbox. Clicking that will package up the entire post along with all comments and mail them to the subscriber instantly. They can then read through the whole post and reply to each comment they’d like to. It’s a great way to read through a digest, pick the stories you like, and have them all queued up for reading later. During our beta tests I’ve quite fallen in love with it.
Choose a subject line. Keep it simple. Or make it smart.
Next you choose a subject line. There are two options:
- Name and date (Acme Daily Digest | May 11, 2016)
- Smart subjects based on post activity (How to Catch a Roadrunner + 3 more posts from Acme Daily Digest)
The smart subjects are particularly cool. They are automatically generated based on which post from the digest period has seen the most traction and popularity.
Set a schedule and off you go
Finally, you choose a schedule. First you decide how many days should go by between digests being mailed out. A daily digest would be 1. A weekly digest would be 7.
When the digest is mailed Postmatic will grab all of the posts that have happened in the last X days and package them up for mailing.
The last step is to choose when to start sending your first digest. There is a nifty calendar picker. Set it and you’re done.
I put together a video demonstration a few weeks back for a beta tester. It’s not production quality but still worth sharing. Have a look if you want to see how things actually work. You can see the video here.
A pile of gratitude
I’ll say it again. I love the team here at Postmatic. So many thanks to both Ankur and Dylan for making this happen. Digests was the #1 feature request for Postmatic 2. They both worked tirelessly to make it happen. It was a huge amount of work but very much worth it. We hope you love it.