FAQs

Type a search term in the box below to filter the questions. If you don’t find an answer, head to the discuss section to ask other users of BEE Plugin!

General
  • What is the core value of BEE?

    BEE lets you avoid the high cost of engineering your own email and landing page editor. With BEE, you’ll get a high quality product that’s used by hundreds of thousands of users, continuously improved. And BEE will costs less money than hiring your own engineers whilst freeing up your engineering team to work on features that are more critical to your business.

  • Does BEE Plugin stores the emails?

    No, you will save them in your application. It’s entirely up to you how to save them. BEE Plugin makes “calls” to your application when users:

    1. Save a message
    2. Save a message as a template

    At that point the Plugin will pass to your application two versions of the message:

    • HTML file, which can be used when the email needs to be sent.
    • JSON file, which describes the message and can be passed back to the BEE editor when the message needs to be edited.
  • What doesn't BEE do?

    BEE isn’t a full email marketing application. That’s your application’s job! You’ll need to:

    • Save or send emails
    • Save templates
    • Manage lists
    • Manage unsubscribers
  • What's the difference between a message and a template?

    To the BEE editor, there is no difference between messages and templates.

    BEE receives a JSON file when the editor is initialized, and returns the updated JSON file and its HTML translation when the message is saved. So, to BEE, both a message and a template are just a JSON file that was “passed” to the editor.

    Of course, there is a difference between templates and messages in terms of the user experience in your application.

  • Is there a way to convert existing HTML messages/templates into BEE-compatible messages?

    The answer unfortunately is no.

    A bit of background to understand why.

    HTML is a mark-up language that does not enforce strict standards. When it comes to HTML email, this is particularly true as lack of support for modern HTML standards in many email clients is pushing email designers to use all kinds of tricks to try to get the message to render as they wish.

    The lack of strictly enforced standards means that there are no recognizable patterns in the HTML code.

    If standards are enforced, they are unfortunately enforced at the application level: your application may have applied specific HTML coding standards to your email design, but they may be very different from those chosen by another company.

    The combination of the issues above – in turn – makes it virtually impossible for us to create a conversion tool that will read the code, understand it, and turn it into the structured JSON document used by the BEE editor.

    The good news – although we understand that it is not ideal and not the answer you were looking for – is that creating new email templates with the BEE editor is easy and quick. We did so ourselves at MailUp when we introduced the BEE editor: there was no way for us to convert our own, “old” templates into BEE-ready messages, so we started from scratch and designed some new templates.

    Now, if you still believe that the only solution for your company is to build a tool that will take your existing messages and convert them so that they can be used by the BEE editor (i.e. you will generate the JSON file required by the BEE editor), let us know and we will try to help, if we can. For example, we can answer questions about the JSON structured used by BEE.

  • What are the use cases for creating multiple applications?

    In the BEE Plugin Developer Portal you can create multiple applications, i.e. multiple instances of the BEE editor that will be used for different purposes. Having multiple applications allows you to manage settings for those implementations of the BEE editor differently in the different environments in which you decide to use the editor.

    Some of the most common use cases are:

    1. Different environments: e.g. a staging vs. production environment, for which you wish to have different settings. For example, you may want to enable the Custom HTML content block in your staging environment before going live in your production environment. Enabling or disabling the Custom HTML content block is an application-level setting.
    2. Different products made available by your company.
    3. Different implementations of the editor within the same product. For example, in the MailUp marketing platform we are actually using the BEE editor to let users create landing pages too 🙂
  • Does BEE support dynamic images?

    A customer had asked…

    “If I enter a merge tag inside the URL for an image, it doesn’t seem to be taking that as a valid input. This is important for us because we send a lot of personalized emails, and having personalized pictures is critical for us.”

    This was a limitation in the BEE editor until May of 2017, when we introduced full support for dynamic images, precisely to meet that need.

    What are dynamic images used for? There are many use cases:

    • personalized Holiday or Birthday cards
    • personalized offers
    • countdown clocks
    • location-specific weather
    • dynamic email advertising
    • … and much more
  • Can I whitelabel BEE?

    Yes, for paid plans you can remove the BEE logo. You can even remove the toolbar and connect the plugin to your application UX.

    Here’s a complete feature comparison between paid plans.

  • Where is BEE hosted?

    The entire BEE Plugin infrastructure is hosted on Amazon Web Services (Ireland region), using multiple instances propagated inside multiple availability zones. The service has been built to scale and support a high number of concurrent sessions. This allows us to commit to plugin availability of at least 99.5%.

  • Can I host BEE on my own servers?

    The core value of BEE is based on the fact that it is frequently updated by the MailUp engineering team to keep up with changes in email clients, web browsers, and device profiles. At this time, BEE is only hosted on its own servers.

  • What is the uptime guarantee?

    Paid plans are guaranteed 99.5% uptime, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, not including scheduled maintenance windows. Over the past 12 months, it’s been higher with only a few minutes of downtime in January of 2016.

  • What happens if BEE goes out of business?

    BEE is very unlikely to go out of business. BEE is a project within the MailUp Group, which is a publicly traded company on the Italian stock exchange. MailUp, an email service provider that has been in business for over 10 years, has over 10,000 paying customers in over 50 countries.

    In fact, MailUp is the first and one of the heaviest users of the plugin. BEE is what MailUp uses to edit emails and landing pages, and that means it has all the organizational support of MailUp.

  • Is there a software escrow option?

    As you noted, if you need an additional level of insurance, we offer our customers the option to become a beneficiary of a software escrow account (what is software escrow?). The escrow agreement basically says that beneficiaries are given full access to the BEE system’s source code (not just the editor, but also the rest of the system: e.g. the JSON to HTML parser), in the very remote, unlikely circumstance in which the project is shut down (e.g. bankruptcy).

    More specifically, to answer your questions, the release triggers mentioned in the agreement are as follows: (i) MailUp ceases to pay its debts as they come due (becomes “Insolvent”) or ceases to carry on business; (ii) bankruptcy or similar proceeding of MailUp; and (iii) failure of MailUp to respect the SLA for a period of sixty (60) consecutive calendar days.

    The software source code deposited into the escrow account is updated regularly. There is a $5,000/year fee to become a beneficiary under this agreement, and we can provide more information if you are interested.

  • How do I contact support?

    You can email support@beefree.io. BEE replies on average within 12 business hours.

  • Can I have a test account?

    Yes, just create a Bee application for testing from https://developers.beefree.io/apps. You can also sign up for a free BEE plugin account to try the basic functionality.

  • Do you have a demo account? Can I see BEE in action?

    Yes, just use the BEE free editor.https://beefree.io/template-catalog/

     

    You can also sign up for the Pro account (it’s free) to use the editor in a simple web application. https://pro.beefree.io/login/

Billing
  • When is an account active?

    Your application accounts that don’t use BEE don’t cost anything. Only accounts that load BEE in a given month will be counted towards pricing.

  • Is there a pricing calculator?
  • if one month I have 150 active users and the next month only 50 active users how I will be charged ?

    Users are charged monthly, so you will pay for 150 users in the first month and for 50 in the second.
    For your reference, you can use a pricing calculator that we have prepared.

  • How do I change the credit card on file?

    If you are a subscriber of a BEE Plugin premium plan, follow the steps below to review and update your payment information. If you instead subscribe to the BEE Pro service, click here.

    1. Log into your account at https://developers.beefree.io/login
    2. Locate the application for which you have a paid subscription
    3. On the application details page, locate the “Billing information” link
    4. The billing portal will load: click on “Update payment method” in the subscription details area
    5. You will be update to update your credit card there.
  • How do I cancel my BEE Plugin subscription?

    To cancel your subscription, you can delete the application in the BEE Plugin development panel by accessing the application details page and clicking on the “Delete app” link.

    When you delete the app:

    1. Your instance of BEE Plugin can no longer be used
    2. The BEE editor will no longer work in the application where you had embedded it
    3. Your subscription will be canceled at the end of the billing period

    This action cannot be undone, so please be very careful.

    When you delete the application, the subscription is not automatically cancelled as the additional users (users that exceeds the number of users included in the plan) is billed at the end of the month.

    Instead of deleting the app, you may want to downgrade the subscription. Open a support ticket if you have any questions about this.

  • What do I get in a paid plan?

    Only paid plans have the following features:

    • White labelling (remove BEE logo)
    • Turn off BEE’s toolbar and use your own application buttons
    • Unlimited file storage
    • Use your own file storage
    • Custom HTML content blocks
    • Roles and permissions
    • Stock photos
    • Marketing automation features
      • Dynamic images
      • Conditional rows
    • Support
    • Uptime service level agreement

    Here’s a complete feature comparison between plans.

Feature: Display Conditions
  • What if the feature is turned OFF in the server-side settings?

    If Display conditions is turned OFF in your application’s server-side settings, then the editor will behave exactly as it did when this feature did not exist.

  • Can the image and text displayed be dynamic?

    Sure, it’s entirely up to you what the content in the row is. So you can certainly use merge tags and dynamic images.

  • What syntax/characters can be used in the conditional statements?

    BEE is agnostic to the language used in the conditional statements. The editor will simply add the syntax that you provide before and after the selected row in the HTML document that it will generate when the message is saved. The editor will not perform any validation on the provided syntax.

Custom file storage
BEE Plugin embedding
  • How does the UID parameter work?

    Properties

    The UID parameter:

    • is an alphanumeric string passed to BEE Plugin in the editor configuration file.
    • has a minimum length of 3 characters.
    • can contain letters from a to z (uppercase or lowercase), numbers and the special characters “_” (underscore) and “-” (dash).
    • make sure that you pass a string, not a numeric value. So even if your UID is a number, pass "12345" and not 12345.

    Unique identifier

    It uniquely identifies a user of the Plugin. When we say “uniquely”, we mean that:

    1. It will be counted as a unique user for monthly billing purposes.
    2. Images (and other files) used by the user when creating and editing messages will be associated with it and not visible to other users (when using the default storage).
  • Does BEE Plugin send emails?

    No, the plugin simply allows you to embed the BEE editor (the editor that you can use at beefree.io) into your application.

  • Does BEE Plugin stores the emails?

    No, the credentials mentioned here (Cliend ID and Client Secret) refer to your application: you, as the hosting application, need credentials to authenticate yourself as an authorized user of BEE Plugin (e.g. a CRM system that wants to offer a good email editor to its users).

    Once the plugin has been embedded into your application, users of your application will access the BEE editor seamlessly.

  • Can I use the sample code "as is"?

    Not the client-side sample: it’s not safe for a production environment. It was conceived as a quick way for you to test the Plugin. Someone could steal your credentials easily (just viewing the source code of the page). To keep them safe, authorization must be managed sever-side, as the .NET sample does.

  • How do I implement email preview?

    BEE has preview for desktop and mobile profiles built in. If you disable the toolbar, you can call beeInstance.preview() to turn on preview mode.

  • How do I save emails?

    You’ll get an HTML file and a JSON file from the onSave(jsonFile, htmlFile) callback. The JSON file is what you’ll need to send back to BEE as the template parameter when you reload it.

  • How do I send emails?

    Once you get the HTML from the onSend(htmlFile) callback, you will have to do one more step to replace the Merge Tags and Merge Content with your application specific content using a simple search and replace.

    Then sending the HTML is up to your implementation. You can use whatever email service like Sendgrid, Amazon SES, Mandrill you prefer.

  • The editor loads slowly at times. What can I do to load the editor faster?

    The editor is a pretty complicated JavaScript application, and it loads only when needed. To make it appear to load faster, load the editor off screen in a div and then only show the div when it is needed.

    
    <!doctype html>
    <html>
    <head></head>
    <body>
    <script>
    BeePlugin.create(token, beeConfig, function(beePluginInstance) {
        bee = beePluginInstance;
        bee.start();
        var div = document.getElementById('bee-plugin-container');
        div.bee = bee;
    });
    
    /* 
        INSERT SOMETHING TO LOAD THE TEMPLATE 
        div.template = template;
    */
    
    function showEditor() {
      var div = document.getElementById('bee-plugin-container');
      // Stall until Bee loaded
      if( !div.bee || !div.template ) 
        return window.setTimeout(showEditor, 10);
      div.bee.load(div.template);
      div.style.display='block';
      div.style.left='5px';
      return false;
    }
    </script>
    
    <style type="text/css">
      #bee-plugin-container {
        position: absolute;
        top:5px;
        bottom:30px;
        left:-99999px;
        right:5px;
        display:none;
      }
    </style>
    
    <div id="bee-plugin-container"></div>
    <h2><a href="#" onclick="showEditor(); return false">Show editor</a></h2>
    </body>
    </html>