Enhance your email marketing, part 3: Take your newsletter automation to the next level

Enhance your email marketing, part 3: Take your newsletter automation to the next level

Mar 10, 2020
Enhance your email marketing, part 3: Take your newsletter automation to the next level

When contacts subscribe to your newsletter, it’s a big thing. They say they want to stay in touch. They agree to hear from you regularly. And they express it in a very personal way: by giving you access to their email inboxes. It’s up to you now to live up to their expectations! How can Kentico help you with that?

There are many things to consider when creating a successful newsletter, and saying “thank you” for trusting you with their email address should be the first thing to do. To step up your game, why not send them your latest newsletter, as well?

This option doesn’t come with Kentico out of the box, but with a few customization, your marketing automation can take care of it. Don’t feel like customizing? We’ve got you covered — just read on!

Understanding Kentico newsletter subscribers

Before we move onto the automation, let’s take a look at some technicalities. In Kentico, all visitors — both anonymous visitors and registered users — are considered contacts. Your contacts can subscribe to your marketing emails or newsletters (or neither).

Though newsletters and marketing emails seem like the same thing to the untrained eye, they have their differences in the Kentico world when it comes to recipients. For a marketing email, you specify recipients for each email even within one email feed. This helps you aim your marketing emails at the most fitting contact groups.

Newsletters are different. All newsletter emails within an email feed have the same recipients. This means that when you send a newsletter, you don’t have to specify contact groups — all active subscribers receive your newsletter automatically.

You can see who’s receiving your newsletters in the Recipients tab in the Email Marketing application.

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You can also check this information the other way around: from the perspective of each contact. All the newsletters that a contact has subscribed to are listed on that contact’s profile page in the Contact Management application. Their profile gives you another vital piece of information: whether the selected contact receives marketing emails, or whether they opted out.

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Keep in mind that Kentico assigns the Receives marketing emails badge to contacts when they’ve shared their email address with you. To make your marketing experience flawless, you need to ensure you’re sending marketing emails only to people who gave you their consent by, for example, creating a dynamic contact group using conditions.

Automate your newsletter subscriptions

When your contacts subscribe to your newsletter, thank them for their interest in your content. You can do so either by redirecting them to a “thank you” page or by sending an email. In our scenario, let’s thank them via email.

An email gives you a great opportunity not only to express your appreciation but also to set expectations for your subscribers. In this email, you may want to say how often your newsletter will land in their inbox, as well as its usual content.

This email should be sent shortly after your contact subscribes to the newsletter, ideally no later than a few hours. Also, it would be great if your new subscriber also received your latest newsletter to see it was worth subscribing! Sounds like too much work? Automate it, then!

Kentico Marketing Automation can easily take care of these emails — it just needs a little customization (which you can steal from this article).

In this scenario, the automation process is triggered by a newsletter subscription. When a contact subscribes and confirms through double opt-in, they are automatically added to the automation.

Here’s how the process works. The automation sends a simple “thank you” email to your contacts using the Send transaction email step. Then, it gives your recipients some time with the Wait step. And at the perfect time of your choosing, it sends your subscribers your awesome newsletter.

How?

With our custom macro, it’s super easy! All you need to do is add a Send marketing email step and insert the ready-to-use macro into the Email field.

{%
issues = AllSites.YOURWEBSITE.DataContext.SiteObjects.Newsletters.YOURNEWSLETTER.Issues;
SentStatus = 5;
IssueToSend;
if (issues.Count > 0) {
    foreach (issue in issues) {
        if (issue.IssueStatus == SentStatus) {
               IssueToSend = issue.IssueGUID;
        } else {
                       return IssueToSend;
               }
    }
}
%}

Sound interesting? Feel free to use the macro in your processes! Before saving your changes, make the following small adjustment:

  • Instead of YOURWEBSITE, insert the code name of your website (you can ask your developers if you’re not sure)
  • Replace YOURNEWSLETTER with the code name of your newsletter (you can find this information in the Configuration tab of your newsletter email feed in the Email Marketing application)

 

There are also a few conditions your newsletters need to meet for this custom macro to work:

  1. At least one newsletter in your email feed must be sent. The macro then detects the last sent email, which is sent automatically to your new subscribers.
  2. The names of your email in the email feeds must start with a number in ascending order. In our case, monthly newsletter emails are called 1_January, 2_February, etc. The order of emails listed in the Kentico UI is not important, as the system always checks the number at the beginning.

 

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…And that’s it!

Your new subscribers will now receive not only the “thank you” email but also the latest newsletter from the feed they’re subscribed to. And when it’s time to send the next newsletter, they will receive it just like the rest of your subscribers.

Check the reports

Your job is done here because Kentico takes care of the rest for you. Check the reports and see how many subscribers you delighted with your newsletter in the Report tab in the Marketing Automation application.

The report shows how many people finished your marketing automation and how many people are still in the waiting steps.

 

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So now you know how simple it is to use Kentico’s Marketing Automation — and to take your newsletter subscription to the next level! You saw how to customize your newsletter subscription and check the reports of your automation process. Customize these steps in any way necessary, add steps that fit your business, and target your contacts in the best way possible. If you’d like, you can download this process and adjust it so that both you and your contacts can benefit from it.

Hands-on: Add an existing Marketing Automation

Do you want to experience the types of emails we discussed in this article?

  1. Sign up for a trial version of Kentico.
  2. Go to the Sites application and use the Import sites or objects button.
  3. Use the default values in the Wizard and import the whole marketing automation into your trial website (make sure DancingGoatMvc is selected in step 2).
  4. In the Marketing Automation application, check the structure of the automation, and feel free to experiment with anything you like.

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