25 Days of Sitecore EXM!
Shameless Plug First Today!
Don’t forget to register for my Sitecore EXM webinar on December 13 EXM Live! An Email Automation Experience!
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Sending Your First Email Continued
Day 6 brings us Part 2 of the mini-series in the 25 Days of Sitecore EXM. Sending Your First Email which is designed to be a short, step by step guide for creating your first Sitecore Email Experience Manager message. Today we’re focusing on creating recipient lists for EXM and the role of List Manager. We ended Part 1 creating a test email called Hello EXM World.
Today, we’re continuing that message, moving from the General tab to the Recipients tab. However, before we do that, let’s have a quick look at List Manager.
Creating a Contact List
As much as I want to go into detail about all the various methods that you can create lists in List Manager, I really am trying hard to keep the focus on this series contained to EXM. There are plenty of resources (including some of my past blog posts) about how to import CSV files into List Manager for the purpose of creating contacts. But today, I want to keep it to the basics.
At the heart of everything, all List Manager’s does is provide list management of Sitecore xDB Contacts. In Sitecore 9+, the Contact actually resides in xConnect and List Manager simply uses the xConnect API to fetch Contact information. That also means that Contacts created from List Manager need to have an Identification Source and Identifier. By default, the Source is “ListManager” and the Identification is the email address.
Contacts can be on multiple lists, and a list by itself does nothing in Sitecore. Lists can be managed manually through the UI (like we’ll do today), through API, and through Marketing Automation. We’re going to start by clicking on the big blue Create button and choosing an Empty Contact List.
We’re using an empty Contact List simply out of simplicity of this post. However you create a list is completely up to you, your process, and business requirements.
This will open up the list editor screen. Give the new list a name. Feel free to also give it a description, but not required.
Owner field is imply for choosing a user that created the list for the marketers reference.
Once you have your list named, click the Save button.
Clicking Save Is ImportantUntil the Save button is clicked for the first time, the List is not actually created. Therefore, you can’t edit any of the other options on this screen until the Save button is clicked the first time.
Once you click save, the list is created, the screen is refreshed, and you get the blue information bar at the top. At this point, we can now manually add a Contact.
Scroll down to the Contact section and click the down arrow to open the action drop down box for Contact. You’ll note that there is one option available, and that is to Create and add a new contact. Give it a click.
This opens up the Add New Contact dialogue box. Pretty straight forward. Email address, First Name, and Last Name.
Top CheckboxesNote the top check boxes. They give you control over modifying the Identifier and Identifier Sources. For this example, leave them unchecked.
Fill out the details and click the blue Save button. That closes and you’re presented with a new blue information bar saying that the contact has been added and will be indexed. It’s very possible that the Contact you added will NOT be shown in the Contacts section at this point.
Refresh the browser window, and that will refresh the list at which point the blue information bar will have gone away and the newly create Contact will show up in the Contact list.
Congratulations, you’ve just created your first List Manager list! Let’s turn the focus back to EXM!
Head Back To EXM
Heading back to the EXM application, we need to retrieve the list that we started to create yesterday. So, we’re going to click on Drafts from the left navigation menu.
Find our email that we created and click on it.
Click on the Recipients Tab
This displays two selection boxes as well as the campaign information on the right side. Take note that there are currently 0 included recipients.
This is a list of selected List Manager lists that will be utilized to select contacts from. You can selected multiple different lists in the Include lists. Additionally, you can include any type of list: Contact or Segmented. All lists will be combined and duplicates (if contacts are on multiple lists) will automatically be removed.
Exactly like Include Lists, this provides a selection of lists that can be used to EXCLUDE contacts that might be included in the Include Lists lists. This acts like an opt-out functionality specifically for this message. Any Contact that shows up in lists on this side, will NOT receive the email being dispatched.
Additionally, lists chosen in the Include Lists are not available to be selected in Exclude Lists and vice versa.
Subscribe and Unsubscribe ConsiderationsLater on, in 25 Days of Sitecore EXM, we’ll discuss the EXM API as well as the Unsubscribe functionality. Some of this functionality has limitations if JUST segmented lists are used for sending emails. So it is a Best Practice, that if using Segmented Lists to select contacts, that you also include at least one Contact List as well so that the Subscribe and Unsubscribe functions of the Sitecore EXM API have access to modify Contacts outside of the Segmented list. This applies to both Include and Excluded List selections on the Recipients Tab.
To continue with this tutorial, we’re going to select the list we created in the first part of this blog post.
Once the list is selected, you’ll see it added to the Include Lists. Additionally, you’ll note that on the right side, the total number of included recipients have increased by 1.
Protip: Global Opt-OutGlobally Excluded recipients are Contacts that have been added to the Global Opt-Out list which is defined on the EXM Manager Root. This list does not need to be included in the Exclude Lists because EXM automatically excludes this list on every email.
Congratulations, we have added a list to our message!
This completes Part 2 of Sending Your First Email and Day 6 of 25 Days of Sitecore EXM! We’ll continue tomorrow with Part 3, as we dive into editing a message using the EXM Experience Editor!