Marketing Text Improvements Free Gift Chooser, Free Gift Spender for Zen Cart

The Zen Cart Free Gift Chooser Marketing Text and Zen Cart Free Gift Spender Marketing Text have both been improved. In the old format, they would simply indicate the category and product IDs, as is done in the admin panel. This wasn’t very customer friendly, so I updated them to use links instead.

So now, instead of

Spend $50.00 in any category, Get 1 Comedy (CAT 12) free.
Free Gift Spender marketing text looks like this:

Spend $50.00 in any category, Get 1 Comedy free.

and instead of

Buy 1 from category DVD Movies (CAT 3) , Get 1 from category DVD Movies (CAT 3) free.
Free Gift Chooser marketing text looks like this:

Buy 1 from category DVD Movies, Get 1 from category DVD Movies free.

Capturing and Filtering on Interests in Mailchimp

If you are willing to send multiple newsletters every month (I think the minimum cadence should be monthly), and you want to do some market segmentation, you may want to try this technique.   It assumes you have already installed my Mailchimp Integration for Zen Cart.

  1. Login to Mailchimp and click the Lists menu at the top.  Then on the right, click the Stats dropdown and select Signup forms.
  2. Click the Select button on Embedded Forms.
  3. Under Manage Contacts, click Groups.
  4. Click the Create Groups button, and add Checkboxes and Radio buttons as need be.  You can add many Groups, so don’t be afraid to partition your questions.
  5. Click Signup Forms and Embedded Forms again.  The code for the form shown in the preview is right below the preview window.  Copy this code and paste it into a new page (or sidebox) on your site.

You can read more about creating groups on the Mailchimp Getting Started with Groups page.

So after a while you’ll (hopefully!) have some newsletter signups, with people identifying as being part of one group or another. How do you utilize this data?

  1. Select Campaigns, name the campaign and make it a regular campaign.
  2. You will be prompted to select Recipients.  Select Group or New Segment.
  3. Use the query-by-example form to select the target group for your campaign.

You can read more about this on the Mailchimp Sending to Groups page.

As a convincer, see the email signup form we are using on keylessentrylocks.com:

Static Site Generators and Github Pages

I told you a while ago about my experience building a static site with Hugo.  I was updating the page to show a few changes (notably to my book group website, but also to update the year in the footer).  I stumbled upon a small bug in Hugo’s date reporting, but the real issue that caused me to waste a ton of time was that in my aggravation, I wound up deleting the public folder to ensure a clean start.  But in a Github Pages based site, the public folder should really be a separate Github repo pointing to your target site!

So now I do a quick check in my deployment script to make sure I haven’t accidentally done this again.  Be sure you do something similar!

Note: If you are using Jekyll instead of Hugo, the same advice applies, but you’ll want to check _site instead of public.

Updating my book group website COMPLETE!

So I decided to go with Jekyll, a Ruby based static site generator. I created a new website for my book group, using a gem that makes it easy to autogenerate Amazon affiliate URLs with the Product Advertising API.

I open sourced the project in case anyone else wants to build a book club website, or any other type of website that uses Amazon affiliate links.

Updating my book group website

My beloved book group website is getting the dreaded “not mobile-friendly” warning from Google.  That’s because the site was built when “RWD” meant  “rear-wheel drive,” not “responsive web design!”  But challenge accepted – I will rework the site, and its 17 years of book choices – to be compatible with the modern web.  And you, dear reader, will be lucky enough to follow my adventure!