Affino 8.0.21 - the Ad Sales and Sales Reporting Release

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Ad Sales and Sales Reporting

We are right in the middle of the Covid-19 crisis, so this release is focused on supporting our community with more scale and faster performance following the 100% increase in traffic and messages being sent which we have seen these past couple of months. There is also a focus on smoothing and improving the sales process, at a time where all revenues are increasingly precious, and we have rolled out a number of innovations to better support working from home.

 

This release sees two major sales innovations in Affino: the first is the ability to set the delivery date, or issue for each and every pro forma and order line item. This way you can now report on sales delivery for any given edition / issue / magazine / publication, and for any date range, all crucial for ad sales and other complex annual contracts with multiple deliveries at different times. We have updated all the related sales reports to support delivery dates and editions.

 

The second key innovation is the introduction of sales targets. It is now possible to set up sales targets for all key parts of your business. Affino’s ability to deliver the sales-related intelligence your business needs has been transformed, when coupled with the host of additional sales and finance reporting improvements in this release.

 

We have included some key new features in response to the current Covid-19 crisis, including for the first time being able to exclude admin views by group membership, as well as IP Addresses. Crucially given the average of over 100% increase in the amount of site traffic and messages being sent in the past two months we have focused on optimising Affino to minimise the need for additional investment in scaling the hosting.

 

We have invested heavily in this release to standardise all the viewing, usage and financial reports across Affino, and as a result, it is much easier to cross reference different reports for the same time frame and cohort. This makes for improved account management and account-based selling, and improved insight on the audience and overall business.

 

This release is also a major performance and stability release. There are dozens of key optimisations, not least major display optimisations on all the key templates and design elements. We have also updated all the key design elements to use primarily CSS layouts, this will greatly improve the page rendering time.

 

This release sees the release of a number of messaging updates (all in beta) which include a new message template preview, improved mailing list intel, and simple ad creative embeds.

 

We have also been scouring the error logs and making a lot of low level fixes (these bugs are primarily generated through bots which make up 95% of the traffic on each website). There are also a host of subscription updates and fixes following on from the last major release, making this an essential release for subscription and membership management.

 

Key Enhancements

 

Ad Sales - Sales Edition and Delivery Dates

The single biggest step forward for this release is the introduction of delivery dates and editions for order line items (and pro forma order line items). This means that Affino has taken a solid step forwards on servicing complex sales management, including annual advertising sales contracts which include multiple deliverables over the course of the year.

 

Simply select the edition or the delivery date when you are editing the line items on the pro forma orders and these will be carried right through the workflow. When an edition is selected Affino automatically calculates the date range for that edition and updates accordingly with the publishing schedule.

 

Sales Reports

All the key sales reports and exports can now be filtered by edition and / or deliver date range, and have the option to display the additional edition and delivery date columns. This means that the support, admin, production and finance teams can now all track sales against edition and date ranges, which is crucial when it comes to complex annual or packaged sales.

 

Sales Target Dashboards (beta)

The second major innovation is the introduction of Sales Targets. These are advanced sales target dashboards where you and your team can track all the live sales targets across teams, subscriptions, ads, editions, events, indeed all the key criteria. Each target has its own dashboard showing a totaliser, the trend line (including all the sub targets, e.g. for events) and target graph, and each individual sale made against the target with details on who sold what and when, and the ability to sort these by a number of criteria.

 

Note that if a Catalogue Item, Product Line, Product Category, Edition or Subscription are included in any sales target they can no longer be deleted.

 

Analytics

We have standardised all the Analytics in Affino wherever possible in this release. Previously many of the analysis components were developed individually, at different points, for specific focuses and timeframes. In the meantime the platform has evolved extensively, meaning that these needed a thorough review. In this release we have worked through each of the statistical views and standardised wherever possible, removing options which are no longer available, and using the same underlying dataset wherever possible to ensure as much consistency as we can throughout Affino.

 

Message Ad Creatives (beta)

We are introducing in this release the beta for quickly adding in ad creatives into message templates. Simply select where you want it to appear in the message, click the Ad Creative button on the editor menu and select the creative you wish to embed. This embed code can then be moved as needed in the message template.

 

Upgrade Guidance

 

This is primarily a core functionality, performance and bug fix release, so we strongly recommend everyone updates to it at the earliest opportunity. It is important to liaise with the support team to schedule in an update window where they can be on hand to support with the update.

 

Note - It is important to note that we have changed the formatting of all the placeholders so that they have gone from: {{Firstname}} to: [_Firstname_] . Whilst we have scripted to change the placeholder formatting in the update, we strongly recommend that you test your message campaigns when you update to this release.

 

It is essential that you run through the complete update process starting with the Affino Updater, followed by the sequence of the system and design updates laid out on the Control > Update screen.

 

Other Enhancements

 

Account - we have extensively improved the Analysis tab to standardise the analytics across Affino.

 

Account Report - we have standardised the Account Report so that the results and filtering options are now consistent with other reports

 

Analysis / Admin Groups - till now it has only been possible to restrict view logging from specific IP Addresses, and has been the means of excluding team views from the site stats. This release makes it possible to select a group to exclude from the stats as well, and is an essential update where almost everyone is now working remotely / from home.

 

Analyse Centre - we have standardised the Analyse Centre so that the results and filtering options are now consistent with other reports

 

Article Export - we have added the Seminar Speakers and Moderators to the article export as an additional option. For each export Affino appends the contact information in the following column format: ModeratorName1 | ModeratorEmail1 | ModeratorJobTitle1 | ModeratorCompany1 | ModeratorBio1 | ModeratorName2 | ModeratorEmail2 | ModeratorJobTitle2 | ModeratorCompany2 | ModeratorBio2 | .......etc

 

Articles Report - we have standardised the Articles Report so that the results and filtering options are now consistent with other reports

 

Audit - we have added new Control Audit links to Channels, Sections and Articles (immediately below the existing Audit links). It means it’s now possible to one-click view the audit trail on the key publishing elements for the past 30 days.

 

Catalogue Items - we now display the catalogue groups that the catalogue item is in on the view screen.

 

Commerce Analysis - we have standardised the Commerce Analysis so that the results and filtering options are now consistent with other reports. Have added Last Month timeframe for monthly reporting.

 

Commerce Centre - we have standardised the Commerce Centre so that the results and filtering options are now consistent with other reports

 

Contact - we have extensively improved the Analysis tab to standardise the analytics across Affino. We have also changed Add Badge to be Assign Conversion Event and updated the selector and lookup to be far more user friendly. It is now also possible to manually assign conversion events multiple times to each contact.

 

Contact Lists / Contact List Groups - we are introducing a new way of grouping contact lists into groups. Simply create the Contact List Groups and assign the contact lists accordingly. It is now possible to filter and sort contact lists by these groups.

 

We have updated the logic on auto-assigning users to contact lists based on topics and permissions both being present. The new option means that you can set whether it’s AND or OR logic so the user either has to have one or both to be assigned.

 

Contact Notes - changed the default on contact notes to be outbound rather than inbound.

 

Countries - we are introducing the ability to have priority countries listed at the top of the country selector, this release sees the introduction of the setting, which will be rolled out over the next couple of releases in the various address / country drop-downs both on the display and control side.

 

Customer Ladder Analysis - we have standardised the Customer Ladder Analysis so that the results and filtering options are now consistent with other reports. We have also extended the capabilities so that it is now possible to filter most screens by one or more account. We have also updated the data displayed to be more contemporary and to better match the recent CRM updates. Have added Last Month time frame for monthly reporting.

 

Design Elements - reworked all primary design elements to greatly reduce need for JavaScript for layout purposes, instead primarily using CSS for all formatting. Greatly speeds up page loading.

 

Editions - extensive updates to how subscriptions are calculated for each edition, taking on board all the new subscription and payment statuses. Direct link to export the subscribers from each edition. We also now provide indicators for when the circulation is being calculated, and in the event that someone is attempting an export on an edition’s circulation which is actively being calculated an alert is shown. A notification is also sent once the circulation calculation is complete.

 

Error Log Fixes - we have been scanning all the error logs with the goal to remove any errors which are actively being logged. There are dozens of low level issues resolved in this release, and potential security holes blocked off.

 

Events - we’ve added the ability to upload ICS files for seminars and events, these will then be displayed alongside the events and seminars in the next release, note that it is only possible at this point to upload the files.

 

FAQs - we have improved the styling and layout on the FAQs and made them more usable when viewing long FAQs

 

Forums - we have enhanced the auto thread closing and improved the usability when using the functionality

 

Job Application Analysis - we have standardised the Job Application Analysis so that the results and filtering options are now consistent with other reports. Have added Last Month time frame for monthly reporting.

 

Mailing Lists - more intel on the mailing list listing screen, including: the number of live subscribers, unsubscribes, trend (30 days) and associated subscription plans. We have also made it possible to sort by each of these criteria.

 

Metering - we’ve made a global update so that the padlock / premium content icon can be optionally hidden when they are logged in until they hit the metering gate limit.

 

Message Campaign - now only shows the latest 100 unsubscribes with overall unsubscribe count on the message campaign detail.

 

Message Template - new message template preview (beta). It is important to note that we have changed the formatting of all the placeholders so that they have gone from: {{Firstname}} to: [_Firstname_] . Whilst we have scripted to change the placeholder formatting in the update, we strongly recommend that you test your message campaigns when you update to this release.

 

My Account - critical subscription cancellation updates in this release, both with security and workflow areas, making this a critical update for self service subscriptions.

 

Order Line Item Report - new edition and delivery date filters and columns.

 

Orders - it is now possible to filter by Catalogue Groups. We have also introduced the editions and delivery dates columns

 

Pro Forma Orders - new ability to set the delivery date, or edition for each order line item. Also the ability to filter and display the delivery dates and editions for each pro forma order.

 

Promotions Report - new export available for the promotions report.

 

Referral Analysis - we have standardised the Referral Analysis so that the results and filtering options are now consistent with other reports

 

Search - now works with Target Section options, so if set on the Smart Prime Content DE then the topic links on the articles will redirect to the target section.

 

Seminars - we’ve added the ability to upload ICS files for seminars and events, these will then be displayed alongside the events and seminars in the next release, note that it is only possible at this point to upload the files. We have also improved the seminar and itinerary display to be more graceful when essential details are missing, such as what stream they’re in.

 

Site Analysis - we have standardised the Site Analysis so that the results and filtering options are now consistent with other reports. Have added Last Month time frame for monthly reporting.

 

Social Centre - we have standardised the Social Centre so that the results and filtering options are now consistent with other reports

 

Stop Code Report - new export available for the stop code report.

 

Subscriber Export - significant updates to better support gifted subscriptions and updated columns with more subscriber and subscription details. This is a major v2 essential upgrade which addresses all the issues raised from the v1 introduction in the last release.

 

Subscriptions - multiple improvements across the board with the subscription automation, especially when it comes to handling complex auto renewals. We have also introduced a new Subscriptions Export so that it is possible to export the filtered subscriptions. We have added the Subscription ID column

 

Top Visits Report - we have standardised the Top Visits Report so that the results and filtering options are now consistent with other reports

 

Fixes and Minor Enhancements

 

Fixes are elements which didn’t work as well as they should, and have now been made to work better. Minor enhancements provide subtle improvements that most people won’t notice (some will love), but which nonetheless improve on the overall Affino experience.

 

Account (now shows cancelled pro formas)

 

Account Report (no longer includes accounts with zero contacts)

 

Active Tasks

 

Article Attributes (dates)

 

Article Carousel DE

 

Article Feature Scroller

 

Article Listing DE (layout, comment sort, topics, filtering, more)

 

Audience Analysis (optimised)

 

Auto Archive (no longer archives users marked for archiving if turned off, numerous other fixes)

 

Avatars (upload)

 

Blog DE (formatting)

 

Checkout (formatting, 100% discount, error notices, address refinements)

 

Channels (displaying thumbnails, copy)

 

Comments and Ratings (posting, avatars)

 

Contact (now show cancelled pro formas, addresses, email search)

 

Discounts / Zero Value Orders

 

Email Notifications

 

Events (layout, and more)

 

Forum (edit, thread posting, moderation, showing poster / poster security, closed / answered status, layout, styling)

 

Influencers

 

Mailing List DE

 

Members (layout)

 

Media Upload (optimised)

 

Message Campaign

 

Messages (placeholders)

 

My Account (subscriptions, order history)

 

Order Confirmation (mobile layout)

 

Order Line Item Report (export)

 

Order Receipt (removed duplicate items)

 

Previous Orders

 

Product Detail (essential display fixes)

 

Product Listing (multiple layout)

 

Promotions (formatting & layout)

 

Public Profile (articles)

 

Referral Analysis (optimised)

 

Search DE (formatting)

 

Sales Invoice Export (coupons)

 

Section (copy)

 

Section Feature Scroller (multiple layout and content fixes)

 

Seminars (multiple)

 

Smart Event Listing DE

 

Skins (generation)

 

Subscriptions (multiple)

 

Subscription Expiry Report (optimised)

 

User Merge (can no longer select same record)

 

Wysiwyg - (copy / paste on Android)

 

Removed

 

The following elements were removed from Affino in this release:

 

Catalogue Item Trial Periods - these have in effect been replaced by having the option to set a different renewal catalogue item option on each catalogue item, e.g. a short trial catalogue item followed by the full subscription catalogue item

 

Gravatar Integration - we have removed Gravatar integration in this release as with the advent of GDPR and similar legislation users are increasingly concerned and indeed confused when they see the Gravatar avatars pulled in on their profiles.

 

Zone Secured Domains - no longer needed

 

Integration Updates

 

We have added two key integrations to this release:

 

Stripe - multiple integration enhancements and fixes

 

GoCardless - multiple integration enhancements and fixes

 

Component Changes

 

Affino benefits from using some great frameworks, here are the updates we’ve rolled out for these frameworks in this release:

 

JQuery updated to - updated to v3.5.0

 

JQueryUI updated to - no change

 

FontAwesome - no change

 

HighCharts updated to - no change

 

TinyMCE updated to - updated to v5.2.2

 

Video.js updated to - no change

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