Improvements: The Action Widget Gets ‘Em
Now when configuring an Action Widget, the IFs and WHENs are now configured in separate sections – this should make it a bit more clear that they serve different purposes. We’ve also added in some actions that can apply to the entire campaign: Refresh, Redirect campaign, and Wait. Add an Action Widget to your campaign today and check it out!
More Voting/Action Widget Updates
The wording in the Voting Restrictions section of the Entry Display Widget was changed to help alleviate some confusion. We replaced only with add an interval and disable interval. In the Action Widget, to help folks avoid misconfiguring things during setup, we now provide warnings when we detect anti-patterns (a.k.a. bad practices). At the moment, only one anti-pattern is detected: Submitting a form and hiding it in the same Action Widget. This is a bad practice because it will hide any server-side messages (such as a failed reCaptcha or failing the entry restrictions).
Need to upload a list? Do it yourself!
We’ve added a do-it-yourself list import feature for folks on Enterprise plans. If you have access to this feature, you’ll see a new dialogue when clicking the Import List button in the Lists Manager. You can only import into a new list (so no adding to existing lists), but you can name and tag the new list when you are uploading your CSV file. Once you agree to the terms, the file will be processed and entries imported – you’ll receive an in-app notification when it’s finished (or if there was an error).
New Entry Filters? Yes, please.
A few new filters have been added to the Entries Manager. You can now filter entries by City, State/Province, and Zip/Postal Code – as long as that information was collected as part of the form where the entry was submitted.
Entries Manager Part II – Bulk Actions!
New bulk actions are now available in the Entries Manager! These changes will apply to all entries matching the current filter set in the Entries Manager. These new action items are available for you in the Actions drop-down menu in the top-right of the manager screen.
Entries Manager – Select All!
The way to select/deselect mass quantities of entries in the Entries Manager has been given a powerful little tweak. Now, instead of a Select/Unselect All button, we have a checkbox that you can use to toggle through selection states. Select some entries, and you’ll see it list the number of selected entries. Click the same checkbox once to deselect all currently selected entries. To select all currently showing entries, just click the checkbox again and it’ll update appropriately.
Widget Visibility and Validation Tweak
Previously, if a Field Widget was hidden via that widget’s timed visibility settings, we would still try to validate it on our server. Now, when a form is submitted to our server, we won’t attempt to validate such widgets.
Suspending Twitter/X Hashtag Feeds
We have indefinitely suspended Twitter hashtag feeds and Retweet feeds. As you may have heard, Elon Musk recently announced new API pricing for Twitter/X, which has made it considerably more expensive to use the Twitter/X API for our business. After careful consideration, we decided that the added cost was too high–the level of access we need starts at $42K a month–and we don’t want to pass that cost on to our customers. Additionally, the new Twitter/X API won’t provide the same functionality as the current version, which limits our ability to offer the same quality of service you rely on. We know many customers use Twitter/X hashtag and Retweet feeds for contests planned well in advance, and this change may be frustrating. We apologize for any inconvenience it may cause, and we’re happy to work with you to get these contests over the finish line.
Builder Form Messages Made Clear(er)
In a normal Form Container Widget, the default Submit button and the sending/error messages appear at the bottom of the widget, so they always appear together. To help prevent any potential confusion when building complex forms, the Sending and Error messages now appear in the Builder. They only appear in Build mode; in Preview mode they will disappear.
ReCAPTCHA Gets New Features
Rather than outright rejecting entries with low reCaptcha scores–which can prevent legitimate entries as well as make it easier for bots to fine-tune their submissions to bypass reCaptcha–we wanted to make it easier to accept entries with lower scores, but reject them for Instant Win or when picking winners after the campaign is over. You can find these new tweaks in the reCaptcha settings.
Forms With Hidden Submit Buttons
You can now submit forms with a hidden submit button by pressing the Enter/Return key. In order for this to work though, the Action Widget responsible for submitting the form must have a visible fields are valid trigger. This is the trigger we commonly use to advance to the next set of fields in multi-step forms.
Embedded Campaign Query Parameters
All query parameters in the parent page URL are now passed to embedded campaigns and can be used in Action Widgets exactly the same as if those parameters were part of the campaign URL.
New Email Filters
Follow-up and autoresponder emails now have a new State/Province filter. When enabled, you can choose to include or exclude entries where the State/Province value is in the list of values you can enter. Follow-up emails now have access to the same Instant Win filter that was previously made available to autoresponders. Follow-up emails also have a new setting that will allow you to include duplicate entries. The default behavior is to exclude duplicates, which is great when you only want to target a specific email only one time; but when you want to target each entry regardless of if it’s a dupe or not, this setting solves that problem.
Entry IP Addresses – Exposed
We’ve added an option for the Form Container Widget to allow collecting an entry’s full (non-anonymized) IP address. This is only for users/campaigns that are not obligated to fulfill GDPR requirements. Since this feature itself is not GDPR-compliant, ShortStack will display a warning when the setting is enabled. This setting can be found in the Advanced tab, and is available for folks on Brand or Enterprise plans.
Handy Filters Now Available in the Entry Display Widget
You can now filter entries using one or more entry labels in the Entry Display Widget. This makes it very easy to use as a “Winner Widget” for displaying your contest winners!
Need An Address? Look It Up!
We now have an address lookup feature, courtesy of Google Maps! It does require the Entry Profiles feature, meaning that you’ll need to be on an Pro Plan or higher to have access. This is something that requires an API key, which you would need to purchase from Google – then you’d just add the key when configuring the integration in your Form Container.
Autoresponders Get More Love
The humble autoresponder email now has a few new settings! There is a new checkbox on the Company Profile step of the wizard for disabling the CAN-SPAM “Unsubscribe” footer – this is only available if you’re on the Enterprise Plan. Available to everyone are new filters for autoresponders; these are accessible in the Summary step of the wizard. These include the abilities to exclude repeat entries and include only instant winners.
List Fields Get a Simple New Layout
The List type of custom field now has a new layout option: Text. This displays the field as a regular input field – not a drop-down. The input provided by the entrant must match a value in your list, or they’ll get an error message (and yes, the message is able to be customized).
A New Trigger for the Form Container
A new trigger has been added to the Action Widget; it allows you to connect a Buttons Widget that moves an entrant to the next step in a multi-step form – and it also prevents moving to the next step if any of the fields in the current step are incomplete or invalid.
City, State, and Zip Split Up
The combined City/State/Zip field has been removed from the Field Widget options. In its place, you can now find individual City, State/Province, and Zip/Postal Code field types! This allows for further customization and flexibility with the design of your form, as well as the data you can collect.
Knowing Your Business = Better Help, More Templates
We want to help you the best we can when it comes to providing support and new kinds of templates for whatever campaigns you’re building, of all types. For this reason, we now collect your Company Name as part of our new account sign-up process.
Getting More Specific About Names
You may notice something slightly different when signing up for a new ShortStack account – you’ll now be asked to provide your first and last name in separate fields, whereas before there was a single “name” field. This allows us to keep slightly better/more accurate user records – thanks!
The Action Widget Gets More Actions
We’ve added support for a couple of new actions in the Action Widget. First – “Close Pop-Up” allows you to close a popped-up widget; of course, this is limited to widgets with pop-up visibility. “Change Page” will let you load your campaign to a particular page of your choice in the Paging Widget – not to be too redundant, but this is obviously limited to the Paging Widget.
Embedded Pop-Ups Are Looking SO Much Nicer
Embedded pop-ups used to be a little finicky regarding borders and extra whitespace. No more! Now, embedded pop-ups will render without any border or whitespace at all, and will also automatically resize themselves as the content inside them (your campaign) changes. The close button has also been moved to the upper-right corner of the screen. If you’re currently using an embedded pop-up on your site, you’ll need to go into your Campaign Builder and click “Publish Changes” to see the new behavior.
Custom Fields Can Again Be Hidden!
Back in the old times, right before we launched Field Widgets, we had removed the ability to make a custom field hidden after the Field Widget was created and saved – you could only hide a custom field when initially creating it. The ability to hide/unhide a custom field after it’s been saved has been restored! This option will show in the bottom-right corner of the Field Widget’s settings (a handy lil’ checkbox) for all custom field types.
Making Merges Easier Than Ever (In ShortStack, Not Driving)
If you’ve ever created an email in ShortStack or used one of our gamified templates, you know that merge codes can be very handy – but sometimes it isn’t super clear what merge code needs to be used where, or what merge code is even needed. A new change has been put in place to add some clarity and ease – the text editor in our Rich Text Widgets now includes a button named “Add Merge Code.” Click this button to include any merge codes relevant to the Field Widgets in your campaign (without having to memorize a dang thing)!
Filter, Then Delete
A small change, but powerful! You can now delete entries from the Entries Manager based on all the filters that have. been set – this was only previously allowed if you were filtered to a single list. Jump into your entries and give it a try!
Entry Profiles (for Exporting)
New to the site: entry profiles! These are lists of field mappings that give you control over what fields are selected, in what order they appear, and how they are named. These have been integrated into our export feature (and will roll out elsewhere on the site soon) – this allows you to control what information is included with your entries when you export them. This allows you to set what info is included with the entry export – even down to what the columns are named and in which order they appear in the spreadsheet.
Spin the wheel!
The new templates keep on coming – now introducing the Fortune Wheel template! If you’re looking to run a campaign that captures the essence of that popular wheel-based game show (that we won’t mention by name), this is the template for you! For an up-close demonstration of how the wheel works, check out our YouTube tutorial.
Easily Move Your Campaigns from S1 to S2
At long last, we have a tool that allows you to convert S1 campaigns to S2! You’ll now see an “Upgrade campaign to S1” option in the drop-down menu for your S1 campaigns. Clicking it opens a new tab that explains what’s going to happen, and gives you the same options you’d normally have when copying a campaign. Do note: themes and custom CSS will not be carried over to the copy, and any widgets no longer supported in S2 will not be copied to the new campaign.
We’ve got a massive, awesome update regarding campaign accessibility – buckle in! The following improvements have been made to improve the campaign experience for visually-impaired users who use screen readers:
- When an error occurs in a form, we scroll to the first error (we’ve always done this) and focus the control (this is new).
- Error messages and field instructions are now associated (via the aria-describedby attribute) with the control. This helps screen readers understand when to read these messages when they appear.
- The status messages that appear above the Submit button (e.g., “Sending, please wait…”) are rendered using an output HTML tag instead of a div. Again, this is for the benefit of screen readers.
- The CSS Classes section shown in most widget config dialogs has been renamed to Advanced HTML. (The one exception is the Rich Text Widget, which will be updated soon.)
- In the Advanced HTML section, there is a new Main Tag setting available in most widgets (form and form containers always use the form tag, which can’t be changed) where you can change the HTML tag rendered for that widget. The default is the div tag, which is what we’ve always used in the past, but this new option lets you change it to tags like header, footer, main, section, etc. This helps users who need to create accessible campaigns to use semantic markup. For example, header should be used when creating the header for a campaign, footer for the footer section and main for the main content area.
- When you change the order of date parts (year, month, day) in a Custom Date field, the tab order will be correct. Previously, it wouldn’t necessarily correspond to the visual arrangement of the date parts.
- The Upload field can have it’s focus style changed in the style panel). This makes it easier to style the Upload field so it looks the same as the other fields when you use the Tab key to navigate between fields.
Page View Allowances are NO MORE!
All of our plans now get UNLIMITED page views. This is reflected in the Account Summary page in your ShortStack account. This means that the branded header (that provided a reminder of remaining page views in the allowance) for campaigns built on free trial accounts has been removed – but the branded footer will still appear.
Support for Mailchimp Tags
Mailchimp users – we got you. Mailchimp has a tagging system that allows its users to add tags to any of their contacts… and now our Mailchimp integration supports this. You’ll see a “Tags” option in the Standard Fields section of the integration’s configuration dialog, where you can map a form field to collect the tags. Just make sure to set up a Field Widget to add a default tag value (or values) to each collected entry.
Twitter Cards – Appearing Like Magic
Now when sharing a ShortStack campaign to Twitter, it will share as a Twitter card – as long as you have a share image in place. This will share the same image that would appear if shared to Facebook or LinkedIn; just set it up in the Share section of your Campaign Settings.
Our IPs Are Going Worldwide
We have an additional IP address (22.214.171.124) that can be used for S2 custom domains. It’s located in Australia – so if you’re in that part of the world you will benefit from using that IP address for custom domains, as campaigns will load a bit faster. The Publishing Wizard will show all available IP addresses and recommend one based on your location (we test the response times to each IP address from your browser and recommend the one with the shortest time). However, you’re free to choose any IP address – it doesn’t have to be the recommended one. For example, an Australian agency configuring a campaign for a USA customer would still want to use the N. Virginia (USA) IP address. Domain validation is instantaneous and will notify you if your domain doesn’t resolve to one of our IP addresses.
Our Newest (and now default) Domain: campgn.page
We now have a new domain available for use in publishing your campaigns! campgn.page will be the default domain shown to users on paid plans when first installing a campaign. lndg.page and shortstack.page are still available, if you prefer to use those instead.
Downloadable QR Codes – They’re Back!
Back by popular demand, you can download your campaign’s QR code by clicking on it in the Publication Panel! It downloads as a 600 x 600px png image. Note that this is different from the mobile preview QR code, which is for previewing your campaign on your phone while designing (and won’t work to share).
Getting Nerdy with Query String Parameters
Are you looking to auto-fill a field (or fields) on your ShortStack form based on parameters you’ve set in a modified version of your campaign URL? We’ve got you covered (and if you have no idea what that all means – don’t worry about it)! We’ve added a new action in the Action Widget that allows you to set a field’s value using a query string parameter.
Time Zones, Round 2: Analytics
When viewing the analytics for campaigns or emails, you now have the option to select the time zone in which the data will be viewed. Another blow to potential time zone-based confusion!
Time Zone Selector Added to Entries Manager
The title really says it all – a time zone selector has now been added to the Entries Manager, so that you can view entry data based on the time zone you’ve selected. By default, the time zone will be set to the one selected in your account settings. Take that, potential time zone-based confusion!
Archiving Fields in Batches
We’ve added a batch action for archiving custom fields in the Field Library to be more consistent with our other resource manager views that support archiving. Unlike other similar resources, it has an interactive prompt to warn that archiving can’t be reversed for custom fields.
Press Play For Action
Sometimes updates aren’t massive – sometimes tiny tweaks deserve mentioning. This time: The play icon for the Action Widget will now only appear in the Edit Widgets Panel when in Preview mode.
The Entry Display Widget Gets a Makeover
The Entry Display Widget has a new look, so don’t be alarmed when you edit one and it looks different! It’s been updated to use our newer UI framework. No new functionality and all the same settings are still there, just in a different presentation. The sole exception is a new preview pane that reflects your settings such as enabling/disabling voting, showing/hiding certain fields, and other similar options.
Entry Exports – Now 4.8% Clearer
In the never-ending fight against time zone-based confusion, we’ve tweaked entry exports so that the “created_at” time listed in the export is using the time zone selected by you in the Entries Manager.
The Template Gallery Gets Its Own Space
The Template Gallery will no appear in a pop-up (instead of redirecting you to the Campaign Builder) when you click any of the following:
- The Campaign button from the Getting Started dialog
- The Campaign button on the Dashboard
- The New Campaign button and Legacy Templates link in both the Campaigns Manager and the Templates Manager
The Template Gallery now also uses more of your available screen real estate, so you can see those preview images nice and clear!
Show Me The Original!
We’ve added a new option in the Entry Display Widget – to see it, open the settings for the widget and go to the Default Fields section. From there, click. the arrow next to Photo/Video(s). The default setting is “Open zoomed image in same window.” This opens a version of the entry image that is scaled to fit in a 2000 x 2000px box. If you change the setting to “Open original image in new window,” clicking an entry image in the pop-up will open the original, non-scaled image in a new browser window! Most browsers will scale this image to fit the window, but clicking on it will show it in its full, original size – including scroll bars, if needed.
Viewing Entries by Time Zone
A new drop-down has been added to the Entries Manager that allows you to change what time zone the entries are displayed in – this should help folks running contests in multiple time zones, or agencies running contests in a different time zone from where they are located.
A New Help Menu? Don’t Mind If We Do!
The Help menu option at the top of the Dashboard and Campaign Builder has been updated for everyone! Instead of showing a drop-down menu with links, it now opens a pop-up with more in-depth explanations and options for your various support channels. Find the question mark and give it a click to check it out.
Custom Field Entry Filters
You can now filter entries in the Entries Manager based on custom field values (as long as you are using Form Containers and Field Widgets and not the old Form Widget). To get started, you’d simply click the “Choose Custom Filters” link at the bottom of the Filters section in the Entries Manager, then use the resource picker dialog to page through and pick the custom fields you’d like to use for your filtering.
Following Up Hourly
We’ve added the ability to schedule follow-up emails by hours, in addition to days! If you choose hours, then entries in your attached list will be checked every hour (disregarding how often the emails are sent out – the list will still be checked each hour to make sure none are missed). If you choose days, the entries will be checked once daily, just as they were before.
Deleting Notifications, One by One
When viewing a notification message from ShortStack, there’s now a trash can icon available to delete just that single message. You can also delete individual messages from the drop-down at the top of the Dashboard.
LOCK IT DOWN (Widget Position, That Is)
When you hover over a widget in the Edit Widgets Panel (or in the preview area of the Builder), you can now lock a widget’s position using the padlock icon. This will keep the widget from being accidentally moved up or down in the campaign.
The Random Entry Picker Gets Tweaked
A bundle of changes have been made to the Random Entry Picker to make it more reliable and easier to use. The “The same entry can be chosen more than once” option has been removed, and the algorithm for picking entries has been updated. The picker will now show an estimated time for how long the system will take to select the random entries. The default number of entries to pick has been changed from 3 to 1. Also, the “Give extra weight…” checkbox is now selected by default, and now you cannot submit the picker unless at least 1 entry is being picked, and one label has been added.
Help Gets Context-Sensitive
An update to the platform has been pushed to show context-sensitive help icons – just look for the question mark bubbles around the site and Campaign Builder. These icons, when clicked, will open a pop-up showing support videos and documentation specific to the area of the site you have open. We’re doing all we can to make support easier for you to find!
New Field Triggers & Integration/Alert Settings
An update has been made to the Action Widget that allows users to trigger actions based on field values, opening up a whole new world of potential form logic! Some updates to the Form Container have been made as well. Advanced Points for Actions was moved into the “Advanced” tab, where integrations will now also be found. An “Alert” settings tab was added, too!
Submit Form (Container) is now an action!
We’ve added “Submit form” as an action in the Action Widget. (The recent Buttons, Image, and Navbar Widget updates have been completed to help get this feature rolling.) You can now use this wherever you can configure an action. Do note that this is only available for the Form Container, and not for existing Form Widgets.
Widget Design Refresh
You’ll notice that some S2 versions of our widgets are getting a visual refresh – they’ve been updated in the Builder to use our newer UI framework. While light on functional changes, these widgets will have a bit of a new look and some small quality of life improvements. Check out the Buttons, Image, and Navbar Widgets to see the differences!
Custom File Types? You bet!
In the Field Widget version of the Upload field, there is now a “Custom file extensions” field. This will allow any file with the given extension(s) to be uploaded via the form. These files won’t be displayed in the Entry Display Widget, but they can be individually downloaded in the Entries Manager and they will be included when exporting entries to a .zip file.
The Code Widget Gets a Facelift
If you’re ever looking to add custom code to a campaign, the Code Widget has you covered. Now, the Code Widget looks and operates even better than ever! When adding a Code Widget to your campaign, you’ll now start in the Library section of the settings – this allows you to more easily start with one of our public snippets, or a private one that you’ve saved. In addition, the text editor now has a handy menu bar that makes commands (and their keyboard shortcuts) way more accessible.
ShortStack For Teams: Invites Get a Smoother Flow
Jumping into a ShortStack team is now a smoother process, in a few different ways! First; if you click on an expired Accept Invite link, you’ll now get a clearer error message letting you know what needs to be done to move forward. When you click a valid link, you’ll now see the team name you’re being invited to and your email address will be pre-populated – alleviating any possible confusion. Then, once the sign-up process is completed, the new team member will automatically be logged in to the team account (instead of having to switch teams). We hope you enjoy the new, less headache-inducing process!
Points For Actions Goes Advanced…
Our new Advanced Points for Actions feature (APfA) tracks actions/points across multiple entries to the same list, using the same email address. Our existing Points for Actions feature will heretofore be known as “Basic Points for Actions (BPfA).” Currently, entrants can only earn points for a particular action once per email address, no matter how many times they enter. The only change to BPfA is that we no longer support recording actions *before* a form entry is submitted. A form entry must be submitted first for Points for Actions to work. If you’re interested in adding APfA to your plan, just reach out to our wonderful sales staff.
The Style Panel: Reorganized!
The Style Panel has been reorganized to put more emphasis on styling individual widgets in your campaign. When you select a widget in the Campaign Builder, the This tab will be displayed in the Style Panel. Almost all the settings that are available in the All tabs are available now in the This tabs. There is also a new link that appears at the bottom (if any changes have been made) that allows you to clear all the settings for a particular widget. The All tabs have been consolidated with the General tab into a single Theme tab. When you click on the Theme tab, there is a blue dropdown for changing which widget type you want to work with. For more help navigating the “new” Style Panel, check out this handy video!
Making It Snappy! (The Campaign Builder, that is…)
An attempt has been made to ease some pain points for larger campaigns, or campaigns where multiple folks are editing at once – trying to reduce the lag or wait times when loading or changing campaigns. It will be most noticeable when two (or more) people are working on a large campaign. Before, they’d notice heavy lag times when someone else updated the same campaign, and it would just pause with no indication of what was happening. Now, this pause will be much shorter and hopefully less painful; in addition, if a pause does end up being longer, a loading screen will display to let you know what’s happening.
A New Tool in the Action Widget’s Arsenal
The Action Widget has been updated to include a new action: You can now show or hide an Entry Display Widget’s voting button through an action! This will not allow a user to get a vote through using an Entry Display Widget that doesn’t have voting enabled, or when voting is enabled but it’s currently outside of the date range; we’ve added a handy tooltip to remind you of that when you set it up.
Travel Zones Less Confusing
We’ve now simplified how the Campaign Builder handles time zones in a campaign! (*wild applause*) For all new campaigns, a new campaign time zone will be configured automatically. The ability to change a specific widget’s time zone has been removed, and in its place is now the ability to change the campaign’s time zone. When editing the time zone in an existing widget, you will see the time change in the Builder in real time. This should remove any doubt on what time a Container Widget shows/hides, or when an Entry Display Widget starts/stops their voting process.
Note: The Instant Win feature is unaffected by these changes and will still have the ability to change its time zones separately from the campaign. This will be updated at some point in the future.
Social Importing: Get Specific-er
ShortStack’s social importing feature now has the option to grab only comments submitted during a specific date range! This is for comments only (Facebook doesn’t provide timestamps for reactions), and setting a specific date range won’t be a required part of the process – just a nice new option.