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Why should you choose Sitecore as your emailing solution?

By Marie Perchey – Technical consultant

Why should you choose Sitecore as your emailing solution?

 

Even though there are more and more marketing channels and ways to segment and target your audience, emailing still remains one of the most effective ways of reaching your audience - the first most effective channel being the website itself.

 

Sitecore is not only a CMS but aims to be a fully integrated platform. Sitecore is actually being marketed as a Digital Experience Platform. So, it has included a native emailing solution since Sitecore 9, which is also available as a Sitecore add-on for previous versions.

 

Whether you have no emailing solution as yet or are thinking of migrating your platform to Sitecore and changing your emailing tool at the same time, you may want to consider using Sitecore Email Experience Manager (EXM) for your email marketing.

 

EXM enables the creation of all types of emails: marketing communications (newsletters, welcome emails…) and transactional emails (order confirmation emails, reset password emails...).

 

The main apparent benefit for using EXM comes from having all the data from your website leveraged directly in the Sitecore List Manager tool and Sitecore emailing tool, without having to transition the data between multiple parties.

 

EXM also comes with all the tools that make Sitecore so powerful:

  • List Manager (with segmented lists and contact lists)
  • Email personalization
  • Email A/B testing
  • Marketing automation
  • SXA: Sitecore Experience Accelerator

 

Let’s look at these Sitecore tools one by one and see how they make it easier to handle email marketing.

 

[1] Source: https://neilpatel.com/blog/marketing-channels/

 

 

Easily target your audience


The first step to sending emails is to collect your prospects’ email addresses and create lists. Sitecore List Manager allows you to create contacts from leads captured on your website, but you can also import contacts from CSV files, or even from external tools such as your CRM program.


Segment your contacts to address the people you want to talk to


With Sitecore Segmented Lists, you can target a specific segment of your audience, with no development required.
The Sitecore Ruleset Editor lets you easily define conditions and rules to assign your users to those segmented lists. The rules can target information that you have about the contacts themselves, as well as interactions during their past visits, either on your website or during past email campaigns.


Sitecore Ruleset Editor
Sitecore Ruleset Editor


Composing your email campaigns


Create email campaigns without having to edit HTML code


Usually, your content author creates the content on your website for you, but you need a webmaster or an integrator to create the HTML of any emails, before being able to insert them into your emailing tool.

 

What if your content authors could build emails by themselves, in exactly the same way that they build the other content?

 

Sitecore makes this possible with SXA, the experience editor that helps you build content in a WYSIWYG way, with pre-built components to help you create your pages and (as in this example) your emails in a way that’s user-friendly for your content authors.

 

The components to build pages or content on your website are also available for your emails, ready to be used to create emailing in a friendly drag-and-drop way that any content author can manage, even without any knowledge of HTML.

 

Test and learn even in emails


If you don’t test, you’ll never learn. There’s no need to demonstrate the necessity and value of A/B testing here, as this topic has been omnipresent in the marketing sector for a few years now. Data is everything, and every marketing action should be data-centric - or should not happen.

 

With EXM, you can A/B test your emails in exactly the same way as A/B testing on your website. The emailing tool is fully integrated on Sitecore, it relies on the same modules, including personalization and A/B testing. You can A/B test (and multivariate test) a component of your email in a couple of clicks.

 

The results of email A/B tests are visible in Sitecore Analytics, in just the same way as you would analyze any other A/B tests you perform on Sitecore.

 

Combined with the marketing automation tool, you can easily adjust your campaigns as you learn.


Tailor your communication


You have no doubt already heard of personalization, the buzzword that everyone in the marketing technology world has been talking about for the last few years. Personalization is the ideal tool to deliver the right message to the right person, depending on their profiling or their website behavior, or even to recommend content or products to similar users, based on your target users’ performances

 

In traditional emailing, if you want to deliver a specific message to a specific group of users, you create a targeted list and deliver different emails to different users. But if you want to differentiate communications in different sections of the email, you quickly end up having 10+ lists and 10+ emails to create each day/week/month, which requires a lot of investment from your team.

 

Personalization makes it easier as it lets you customize a given component of your email and then combine different personalization rules for different components in one single email. To define your personalization rules, you use the same ruleset editor presented in the previous section, where you can target your consumer from a wide pool of rules and conditions.



Example of personalized newsletter

 

Dispatching emails


You can either send your message right away, or set it up to be sent automatically, at a given date and time.
You can also plan a recurring campaign, for the email to be sent daily, weekly or even monthly.

 

You can easily create a recurring newsletter to be sent automatically every week, with a personalization rule to automatically insert your 2 or 4 most recent articles and your newest (or best-performing, or highest-rated...) product. The possibilities are endless!)
This way, your regular communication with your audience is automated and you don’t need to manage it manually each week.


Analyze your emailing performance


As Sitecore Analytics is fully integrated on the whole Sitecore platform, it delivers data about emailing campaign performances in the same way as it does for website pages.

 

You can see your best-performing campaigns, in terms of opening rate and clicks, as well as your recipients’ activity, at a glance from the EXM dashboard.



EXM dashboard - overview of campaign performances

 

You can access a detailed report for each campaign, where the data doesn’t stop at clicks within the email itself but includes engagement on your website when coming from the email campaign. That’s the advantage of having an integrated platform, you can more easily track data for the whole user journey and across channels.

 

Communicate with your audience based on their actions on your website

 

On top of the classic newsletter emails that are regularly sent to your audience, Sitecore can also trigger emails from user actions. Using the Sitecore Marketing Automation tool, it is really easy to configure transactional emails, or a welcome cycle, without any coding.

 

You can trigger an email when a user reaches a goal - you can attach Sitecore goals to user actions on the website - or add conditions, listeners, and even delay, which is really useful to easily create a welcome cycle or a reactivation cycle.

 


Example of cart reminder automation plan

 


Example of welcome cycle automation plan

 

In a nutshell, EXM is not simply an emailing tool but a part of the whole Sitecore Digital Experience Platform ecosystem. As one element of digital communication, emailing should be fully integrated within the rest of a communication strategy, and EXM is the ideal tool to help you do this.