The Email Manager Root In Detail

EXM Manager Root Continued

Yesterday, we left off with a quick introduction to the EXM Manager Root. Today’s focus is going to be describing the Manager Root in detail and highlighting all of the sections in it. 

The Email Manager Root, by default is a child of the /sitecore/Content item. However, the root can be moved anywhere and nested under other items. If your Sitecore install does not have an Email Manager Root under Content, it’s possible that Sitecore has not generated it, as the initial Email manager root is not added until you open up the Email Experience Manager application from Sitecore’s Launchpad.


Adding Additional Manager Roots

Multiple Manager Roots can be added where ever one prefers. Logically, especially if using Sitecore SXA, you may wish to keep your Email Manager Roots contained under the “Tenant” item.

Using the Branch Template

There are no insert options for EXM Manager Roots. Instead, you’ll want to create/insert a new item based on an existing template.

Once you select this, drill down to through the Branch templates and look for the Manager Root branch template under the System branch templates.

Give it a name, and you have successfully created a new EXM Manager Root.

Do Not Copy Manager Roots

Manager Roots also include ALL of the Email Messages sent from that Manager Root. Copying an existing Manager Root Item will copy all of the messages sent from that root, which can bloat the messages that show up in EXM. Instead, if you need to create a new manager root, use the Branch Template creation process above.

Root List Setting in EXM

When EXM Manager roots are created, Sitecore EXM maintains a Multilist Field in EXM Settings where Roots are stored. This helps EXM quickly build the Root List drop down in the Email Experience Manager application quickly.

The system should automatically curate the Root List items’ Manager Root field automatically. However, if you do have problems with a root list showing up in the drop down, give the Root List item a check and validate that your roots are created.  This is nested deep in the System items, so you might need a Sitecore Administrator or Developer to assist.


Exploring the Manager Root

Message Generation

Message generation section of the Manager Root is where general settings for EXM are located. These settings include: 

Base Url is the URL base that links should start with for purposes of creating the encrypted email links that will provide the link and open tracking. 

Preview Base Url is the URL base that the message preview uses. This is common when the link doesn’t need to be encrypted and the desire is to test and ensure the links are correct.

Hostname Mapper

There are additional configurations that modify how URL’s and links are augmented out of EXM. These configurations come from a feature setting called Hostname Mapper. We’ll cover this in detail on the December 16th post.

Embed Images check box embeds images in emails instead of calling back to the website for download. This increases the size of messages but is more reliable in making sure that images display properly in email clients.

Track Message Open provides control over whether Sitecore will track if someone opens a message. 

Renderer User, as it says in the help text, renders an email in the context of a chosen Sitecore user. Important to note that this is a Sitecore User, not a Sitecore contact.

Subscription Control

When using the EXM Client API or when the Unsubscribe.aspx, UnsubscribeFromAll.aspx, or the ConfirmSubscription.aspx pages in sent emails, these functions perform a Redirect to the appropriate Item page.  Out of the box, these fields are empty and so the redirect is to the base site URL.

By filling out the fields shown above for various “Pages” this provides the marketer to choose which page items to use for these functions. This also means that the marketer can make use of standard Experience Editing capabilities and layout settings.

These settings are also how Sitecore’s EXM is capable of supporting a double opt-in subscription process. Sitecore has documentation that further explains the double opt-in process and these fields.

Global Opt-Out List: This field maps to the List Manager list that will contain the contacts that have globally opted out for all messages from the selected Email Manager Root. Each Manager Root has their own defined Global Op-Out List. However, depending on business requirements, multiple Manager Roots can also share the same Global Opt-Out List. This is helpful when there is a business need to have multiple manager roots, but the option for opting out of all manager roots for a given tenant.

Undelivered Max: Sitecore has functionality to detect when a message is undeliverable. When the maximum number of messages to a contact have failed or shown to be undeliverable has been reached, the contact is excluded from future sends.  When using the Sitecore Email Delivery Cloud Service, tracking of undelivered messages is automatic.  However, when using the CustomSMTP provider, collection of delivery status notifications need to be setup using a POP3 Email Server that EXM will check periodically. See the next section for how to configure this setup.

Delivery Status Notifications

When using the CustomSMTP provider, delivery status notifications (such as bounces and failed to deliver messages need to be collected. This is enabled by having a email box setup that will collect these status messages. However, Sitecore needs to retrieve them, and thus using a POP3 connection, Sitecore EXM can automatically check this box for failures for tracking. 

Out of the boxes these settings are disabled (obviously). Thus, Sitecore EXM will not track bounces using the CustomSMTP configuration. Sitecore’s documentation site has a good explanation for each of the Delivery Status Notification fields.

Default Message Header

Sitecore EXM’s default message header settings are pretty straight forward. These setup the From Name and From Address that emails generated by the EXM Manager Root will send with. The Reply-To field allows an alternate reply address, as needed.

Developers: When using Sitecore’s Email Delivery Cloud Service, The From Address domain is validated ensuring that proper DKIM keys are present on the DNS settings for the domain. To set this up, the domain needs to be added to the Domain section of the Sitecore Email cloud. Sitecore has documentation on how to set up EXM Domains for Email Cloud.

Send Limits (New for 9.1!)

As previewed in the Sitecore 9.1 EXM Changes on Day 1, Sitecore has added sending limits to EXM. The sending limits are set at the manager root and apply to all contacts, if enabled. There are no individual settings per contact. However, limits are tracked on the contact basis. Once a limit has been reached, the contact will not receive any more messages from that Manager Root, unless the message itself has been specifically classified as a Service Message.

Unsubscribe Handling (New for 9.1!)

  • Send unsubscribe confirmations
    • This provides functionality to turn off the automatic service message for Unsubscribe Confirmations. This is helpful if you have a more customized solution where maybe Marketing Automation is sending unsubscribe notices.
  • Add List-Unsubscribe header to emails (CustomSMTP mode only)
    • When using the CustomSMTP provider, selecting this option adds headers to the email message on unsubscribe messages to add a List-Unsubscribe header. This functionality allows email clients like Gmail to display an Unsubscribe link to automatically unsubscribe from that message campaign.

Branding (New for 9.1!)

The Branding section, which is new for Sitecore 9.1 begins to tell the story about how each Manager Root has the potential to have more out of the box white-labeled user screens in future versions of Sitecore. These fields setup branching on an individual manage root. You can see an example of this branching being utilized on the Marketing Preference Center, described below.

Marketing Categories (New for 9.1!)

Supporting the new Marketing Preference Center (below), is the ability to have marketing categories. Marketing categories are combined together in Marketing Category Groups. The group(s) are assigned on the Manager Root level on this field. Additional categories can be added by marketers, however, in Sitecore 9.1, out of the box, “Email types” are assigned. 

You can adjust Marketing categories in the Marketing Control Panel portion of the Sitecore Settings.

Preference Center (New for 9.1!)

As previewed on Day 1, the Marketing Preference Center for EXM, which is configured on a per Manager Root Item basis, is how the Preference Center look-and-feel is configured. We’ll dive deeper into the Preference Center on Day 19 of our 25 Days of Sitecore EXM and show how this can be used as part of your strategy for managing the unsubscribe.


This conclude’s Day 3 of 25 Days of Sitecore EXM! Tomorrow, we’ll cover how to configure the CustomSMTP provider.

To see EXM in action, be sure to register for the EXM Live! webinar on December 13th! 


Register for EXM Live! Webinar


To register for this webinar, visit https://dx.connectivedx.com/2018-exm-webinar

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