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Postmark product update: October 2016

It’s time for another product update to let you know what we’ve been working on. The past few weeks have been exciting as we launched quite a few major features that we know our users will find extremely valuable. So let’s dive right into what we’ve been working on (and, of course, what’s coming up).

Recent releases #

Domain Verification #

This one of our bigger releases of the year. You can now verify the domains you send from with by adding a couple of DNS records to those domains. This will not only provide better authentication for your emails (which results in better deliverability), it also allows you to send from any email address on those domains. This means that you won’t have to verify each email address you want to send from individually, which makes it an especially helpful feature for agencies or companies who send from many domains and addresses.

For much more detail on the feature and how it can be useful for your situation, check out the announcement blog post.

Link Tracking #

You’ve been able to track Opens on your emails for a long time, and as of last week you can now also track link clicks within emails. This is a feature we didn’t have for a long time because in the early days of transactional email it was less important to customers, but we’re excited about adding it now. Setting up link tracking in Postmark is really easy — all you have to do is flip the switch on your main stats page. We have some additional options available through the UI and the API, but for most people you wouldn’t even have to do anything else. Just turn it on, and watch the stats come in.

For more detail on how link tracking works (and some geeky details on how we implemented it), head over to the announcement blog post.

New Templates #

Within the next few days we’re going to take some major steps to further improve templates. First, in addition to our recently added guides on Gmail inbox actions and our transactional email best practices, we’ve already added six new best practices guides for some common transactional email templates.

Second, we’ve followed our own advice and created starter templates that correspond with those guides. This will bring our available templates from 3 up to 9 when it launches. Not only will you be able to use these in Postmark, but we’re going to make the templates open source as well so you can use them anywhere. 

And finally, we built a tool to help us manage templates so that we can update and add new templates to Postmark. It’s been key in making it easy for us to maintain a set of consistent and well-tested templates for Postmark. So we’re going to release this as well in case you want to fully customize your templates or even add your own to the mix. We’re calling it MailMason, and we’ll share more details about it very soon.

Performance improvements #

Reliability and performance remains our first priority, and over the past few weeks we took another big step forward for the stability of our products by upgrading our RabbitMQ instance to v3.

Over the past few months we’ve had several occasions of delayed messages. While they were mostly brief, it’s not acceptable. We identified most of the issues around our RabbitMQ clusters, which were running on an older version and required some more resources to handle the growth. Along with the upgrade to v3, we were able to double the resources on the cluster and conduct a new round of performance testing to tune the services for our use case. We learned a lot and it has boosted response times in many areas of the application. We’re currently working on another pass to move this cluster to bare metal hardware, giving us even more capacity for future growth.

Bug Fixes and Internal Tools #

Last month we also addressed some important bugs, such as issues with inline images in Apple’s, tracking pixel display issues in Gmail, and some irregularities with long attachment names. We also continue to improve the internal admin tools we use to keep Postmark running smoothly.

Coming up #

We finished our planning for Q4 a couple of weeks ago, and we again plan to release some features that many customers have been asking for. On the top of the list is advanced permissions, 2-factor authentication, and adding those new templates I mentioned above. We’re also planning to make some important enhancements to bounce webhooks, and (rejoice, emoji-lovers) start supporting emoji in email subject lines. We might not get to all of it, but those are the main features we’re planning for this quarter.

As always, I’d love to hear your feedback on all of this. So, if you’d like to suggest a feature, draw attention to an issue you’re having, or just want to talk about how Postmark fits into your email world, get in touch!

Happy sending!
Product Manager, Postmark 

Rian van der Merwe

Rian van der Merwe

Product person. Lover of family, coffee, and vinyl records.