All posts in “Email”

Gmail’s right-click menu just got a ton of new options

Right clickers, rejoice!
Right clickers, rejoice!

Image: Fabian Sommer/picture alliance via Getty Images

Have you ever tried right-clicking on a message in your Gmail inbox? Even if you have, you may not be using the resulting menu much, as it currently only offers three options: archive, mark as unread, and delete. 

But this is changing in a big way. Google announced on Monday that it’s added a lot more functionality into Gmail’s right click menu. 

The new Gmail right click menu will have a total of 12 options: reply, reply all, forward, archive, delete, mark as unread, snooze, move to, label as, mute, find emails from same sender, and open in new window. Additionally, if conversation view is turned off, you’ll also be able to search for all emails with the same subject. 

Image: Google

For someone whose workflow includes a lot of right clicking, this could be very useful, as Google has crammed pretty much everything you might need into that menu. Say you want to mass-move several emails into a certain category, or open two emails in new windows for a side-by-side comparison — it’s now one right-click away. 

Of course, you already have all those options, in Gmail’s top menu (some are hidden behind the additional, three-dot menu, though) and you can also access them via keyboard shortcuts. But if you’re the right-clicking type, the new menu will probably be preferable. 

The new feature will be on by default and has started rolling out to G Suite users on Monday — the rollout is gradual, so don’t worry if you’re not seeing it yet. It’s unclear when the feature will come to all Gmail users; we’ve asked Google and will update this article when we hear from them. 

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Gmail on mobile gets a fresh coat of Material Design paint

Gmail on mobile will soon get a new look. Google today announced that its mobile email apps for iOS and Android are getting a redesign that is in line with the company’s recent Material Design updates to Gmail, Drive, Calendar and Docs and Site. Indeed, the new UI will look familiar to anybody who has ever used the Gmail web app, including that versions ability to select three different density styles. You’ll also see some new fonts and other visual tweaks. In terms of functionality, the mobile app is also getting a few new features that put it on par with the web version.

Like on the desktop, you can now choose between the default view, as well as a comfortable and compact style.  The default view features a generous amount of white space and the same attachment chips underneath the email preview as the web version. The comfortable view does away with those chips and the compact view removes a lot of the space between messages to show you more emails at a glance.

I’ve been testing the new app for a bit and quickly settled on the comfortable view since I never found the attachment chips all that useful in day-to-day use.

In line with Google’s Material Design guidelines, all the styles feature relatively subtle but welcome animations that don’t take a lot of time but give you a couple of extra visual cues about what’s going on as you work your way to Inbox Zero.

Google also notes that the new design makes it a bit easier to switch between accounts. I’m not sure I agree (I definitely find the implementation of this in Inbox, which is sadly going away soon, easier to use), but if you regularly use this feature, it’s still easy enough to use. The switcher is now part of the search bar, though, which is a bit confusing and took me a moment to find.

One nice addition to the mobile app is that the large red phishing and scam warning box from the web version now also appears in the mobile app.

How to automate your email marketing campaigns on the cheap

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You've got mail — and a way to optimize your email marketing campaigns for less than $50.
You’ve got mail — and a way to optimize your email marketing campaigns for less than $50.

Image: Pexels

Talk of advancements in automation tends to scare people because it conjures mental images of a robot apocalypse. But in the world of email marketing, it’s a very welcome trend.

You see, automating emails makes it super easy to personalize messages for specific prospects and customers without sorting through your contact list person by person. This personalized approach totally pays off, too: It results in wayyy higher click rates than tedious traditional broadcasting emails — 119% higher click rates, according to one estimate — which involve sending an individual message to everyone on your list.

It’s easy to start automating your own emails with a lifetime subscription to Stackmails, a tool that lets you create and schedule custom campaigns from the comfort of your own Gmail account(s). And for a limited time, it’s also quite affordable: Our readers can save 97% on a Stackmails Unlimited Plan when they sign up within the next few days.

With Stackmails, you’ll use custom mail merge fields to send personalized emails to up to 2,000 different recipients. Prospects can be added on the regular using Stackmails’ .csv and MySQL integration features, which can pull leads from your website or online store.

From there, you’ll be able to monitor said emails’ performance with analytics and tracking tools that examine your delivery, open, click, reply, and bounce rates. Plus, you can easily set up trigger-based email follow-ups and drip campaigns based on whether an email is opened, replied to, or otherwise. 

A $2,280 value, you can sign up for a Stackmails Email Automation Unlimited Plan for just $49 when you visit the Mashable Shop today.

Review: The Helm personal email server puts you in control of your data

Recent days have not been good to your private data. Scandals follow data breaches, which are followed by yet additional scandals, as the big tech companies continue to worm their way even deeper into our lives. It has become increasingly clear that almost every action you take — be it online or off — is collected, categorized, and sold by entities that never had your best interests at heart. 

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Or, at least not to that same troubling degree. Services like Tor, Signal, and ProtonMail offer real alternatives to the data collection that has become the norm. And, now, we can add one more offering to the mix. Say hello the the Helm personal email server. 

Super simple setup • Sleek design • You own your own data • Easy to expand storage capacity • Encrypted backups
Smartphone required for setup
This is a great product that’s intuitive to use, and puts you in control of your own data.

Mashable Score4.5

The device, a sleek looking triangle that could be confused for a modern-art inspired paper weight, is a personal email server for your home. Once properly set up, it allows the user to send and receive email as they might normally — from their smartphone or computer — with an important bonus: the data is stored in your home or office (there is an encrypted offsite backup for those worried about losing all their email in a house fire). That’s right, with Helm you both own and control your emails. 

“[Everything] we do is designed to know as little about you as possible.”

Importantly, Helm doesn’t scan the content of your emails for advertising purposes. According to the company, the entire device and service is designed with privacy in mind. 

“From state-of-the-art encryption to secure checkout processes, everything we do is designed to know as little about you as possible,” explains Helm. 

The Helm ships with 128GB of storage — significantly more than a free Gmail account offers — and gives you the option to add an additional 5TB of storage at a later date via a slide-in tray. If you want to go really bonkers, you can even stack entire “expansion units” for additional storage and performance.  

In other words, this thing is designed to last. 

The Set Up

Getting your Helm up and running is straightforward — well, as straightforward as setting up an email server could ever possibly be. 

The first step is to take the thing out of the box and plug it into a power outlet (my review unit looks quite nice on a shelf next to my records). You can either plug the Helm directly into your router with the included ethernet cable — which Helm recommends — or later use your wireless network to get things up and running. I went with the direct plugin, but knowing that if I wanted to I could set it up at a physical distance from my router was a comfort. 

The back side.

Image: Zlata Ivleva / mashable

Next, download the Helm app (available on both the App Store and Google Play) on your smartphone and make sure your phone’s Bluetooth is turned on. As soon as the Helm’s power button starts blinking, which it should do shortly after you plug it in, you’re ready to launch the app. 

Screenshots from the Helm setup.

Image: screenshots / helm app

Working your way through the setup app is quick, and with the activation code that comes with your purchase you can send and receiving emails shortly after unboxing. You’ll want to take a moment to “warm-up your email,” however, to ensure that the Gmail and Outlook filters of the world don’t mistake your digital missives for spam.

The Helm’s plug-and-play simplicity means that even a less-than-tech-literature individual can get things up and running in no time. Which is great. Privacy shouldn’t be limited to those with specialized technical capabilities.  

Backups 

You would be forgiven for pointing out the obvious fact that storing all your emails in a physical device on your desk could, well, backfire. What if, heaven forbid, your house burned down or was burglarized? 

Thankfully, Helm has your data covered. The $99 annual subscription fee (at the time of this writing, the first year is offered free of charge) doesn’t just ensure your emails are sent and a domain registration. It also protects your data with an offsite encrypted backup.

“Encryption keys are created on each Helm Personal Server and are only accessible to you,” explains the company. “Keys for encrypting backups are stored on an included USB drive and your phone.”

The USB key.

Image: ZLATA IVLEVA / MASHABLE

As long as you have the encryption key, you can restore your data to a new Helm in case of a device-destroying mishap. 

Security

Helm says it takes the security of your email seriously. After all, what’s the point of having a private email server if any hacker who feels like it can take a peek at your data?

“Your device includes full-disk encryption, secure boot, and encrypted backups,” explains the company. “Each Helm uses certificates from the Let’s Encrypt Project to secure connections to and from your custom domain.”

The company promises it will also push all the necessary security updates to your device. And, as an extra bonus, Helm is asking for help from the larger infosec community. 

“We hire hackers to try to break into our product and will soon announce a bug bounty—a cash reward—to anybody who’s able to detect vulnerabilities in the device,” notes Helm.

Sure, nothing online is unhackable, and if you are really concerned about being specifically targeted by cybercriminals than something like Google Advanced Protection Program might be for you. However, if you’re just an average Joe attempting to slow the constant erosion of your privacy then the Helm is worth a look.

The takeaway

The Helm does many things right, both philosophically and technically. The practically plug-and-play email server makes it not only possible, but relatively easy, to take back control of your email — and, by extension, your digital life — in a real way. The $299 cost and annual subscription fee, while nothing to sneeze at, comes across as reasonable when you look at everything that comes with it. 

With large data breaches becoming a more common part of everyday life, and trust in major tech companies like Facebook declining, Helm could not have chosen a better time to release an easy-to-use private email server. If you’re ever find yourself thinking that it’s past time you take back control of your data, Helm might just be the right place to start. 

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Campaign Monitor acquires email enterprise services Sailthru and Liveclicker

CM Group, the organization behind email-centric services like Campaign Monitor and Emma, today announced that it has acquired marketing automation firm Sailthru and the email personalization service Liveclicker. The group did not disclose the acquisition price but noted that the acquisition would bring in about $60 million in additional revenue and 540 new customers, including Bloomberg and Samsung. Both of these acquisitions quietly closed in 2018.

Compared to Sailthru, which had raised a total of about $250 million in venture funding before the acquisition, Liveclicker is a relatively small company that was bootstrapped and never raised any outside funding. Still, Liveclicker managed to attract customers like AT&T, Quicken Loans and TJX Companies by offering them the ability to personalize their email messages and tailor them to their customers.

Sailthru’s product portfolio is also quite a bit broader and includes similar email marketing tools, but also services to personalize mobile and web experiences, as well as tools to predict churn and make other retail-focused predictions.

“Sailthru and Liveclicker are extraordinary technologies capable of solving important marketing problems, and we will be making additional investments in the businesses to further accelerate their growth,” writes Wellford Dillard, CEO of CM Group. “Bringing these brands together makes it possible for us to provide marketers with the ideal solution for their needs as they navigate the complex and rapidly changing environments in which they operate.”

With this acquisition, the CM Group now has 500 employees and 300,000 customers.