You know what’s great about Slack? How easy it is to develop and customize it. The API is helpful, it’s developer-friendly, and it’s just fun to use. At LaunchPad Lab we’ve used Slack to help out with a lot of tasks around the office, like listening for the door buzzer or monitoring Twitter for mentions.

If those sound like small wins that’s because they are! Development time is quick enough with Slack that it’s easy to make a custom bot for simple tasks. When you can get a custom command up in less than an hour no problem is too small.

At LaunchPad we recently had a problem that at first seemed out of Slack’s realm: how can we share helpful development and design content with our followers? I mean, a bot can’t gather content and mail it out, right?

It can and it does! By using both the Slack and MailChimp APIs we’ve built a bot that helps us send out a weekly newsletter with content pulled from a Slack channel.

We do a ton of reading on all things related to product development, like new programming languages, design tips and products we’re excited about. We love reading that stuff and we think other people do, too.

Rather than gather up those links each week and manually add them to a newsletter, we use our custom bot to poll the channel for links we’ve shared with each other. When someone in the company wants to send the mailer, they use the slash command /mailer and click the link shown above.

From there it’s as simple as choosing the links they want to include and which mailing list they want to send them to. The Slackmailer app takes care of adding the links to the MailChimp template and delivering it.

Pretty neat, right? All in all it looks a little something like this.

Whether you use chat in your workplace or not, Slack has a lot of value as the office workhorse. In the case of Slackmailer, we now have a bot that helps us curate and distribute a weekly newsletter. It takes content we’re already posting internally and makes it easy to add it to a MailChimp newsletter we can share with the masses.

If you’re interested in signing up for that weekly mailer you can do so here. If you want to see what other stuff we’re working on over at LaunchPad, head over to SPACE.

 

Wade Novak

Developer

Wade likes to make things, be it music, buckets or web apps. He got into software development to build meaningful apps that solve actual problems and he's continuing to do that at LaunchPad. When he's not pounding away at the keyboard he's usually playing the drums, playing basketball or taking pictures with his camera that's far too nice for him.

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