25 Days of Sitecore EXM!
Getting Personal with Email Campaigns
25 Days of Sitecore EXM gets personal with a review of the various ways that Sitecore Email Experience Manager messages can be personalized to your target audience. Welcome to Day 14!
The easiest form of personalization is what is called token personalization. This is the act of using placeholder text (or in the Word world, Form Fields) that will be replaced with data from the Contact record receiving the message at Dispatch time. Out of the box, token personalization is done by specifying the token symbols, flanking the keyword.
As an example: $firstname$ is what a token looks like. The Dollar Sign is the token identifier and firstname is the keyword that the process will look for to replace. You can access a list of available tokens in the system by clicking on the Insert token menu item under Message Content.
The list of available tokens is shown in the window that pops up.
If your keyboard cursor is in a spot where text can be entered (like the Subject line), you can click on one of these tokens and it will insert it inline to where the cursor is at. You’ll also note that the EXM UI will remove the dollar signs when you click off of that field. They will reappear when you go to edit that field.
Experience Editor Rich Text
You can include tokens in Rich Text Editor Fields without any problem. The one note though is that there is no list of available tokens available out of the box when in the Rich Text box. So you will have to know the token ahead of time and then enter it in the Rich Text Editor using the appropriate syntax.
SnippetsYou could add a list of tokens manually by adding RTE Snippets to the editor. There are a number of blogs that detail this, but 2018 Sitecore MVP Gopikrishna Gujjula has a great blog that covers creating snippets that you can check out.
Where Does the Token Get Data for Replacement?
When Sitecore EXM dispatches a message, it scans the message content for references to the tokens. If found, it uses a built-in mapper process that will fetch data from a specific Contact Facet. The mapping process can be extended to create additional custom tokens for personalization.
Creating Custom Personalization TokensVisit Sitecore’s Documentation Site: https://doc.sitecore.com/developers/exm/90/email-experience-manager/en/creating-a-custom-personalization-token.html
The second way to personalize emails sent from Sitecore EXM is to create component based personalization within the Experience Editor using the Rules Engine. A good example of seeing this in action is in my Corewarts.com demo site. Once you are selected to a house, I personalize the header image with that of the logo of the house that you belong to.
In this example, there are 5 layers of personalization. The default layer plus the 4 layers of personalization for each of the 4 houses. You can use any of the Conditional Rules in the Rules Engine in EXM messages.
When EXM dispatches emails, it runs Sitecore’s presentation engine to resolve all of the conditional personalization rules just like it does when Sitecore renders web pages. In doing so, it also impersonates each contact, so that the Contact profile is available for use just like it is in the Tracker.
New Rules in Sitecore 9.1 specific to EXM
There were a number of new rules added to the rules engine, as it relates to EXM. These EXM rules allow you to drive personalization and automation based on interactions Contacts are doing within emails.
In the next few days, we’ll take a look at List Manager and it’s role within EXM and Sitecore, as well as the Hostname Mapper, which is Sitecore’s solution for complicated environment and multi-site setups.
Additionally, I’m preparing for the next major mini-series coming up Managing the Unsubscribe which is one of the most important pieces of managing a successful Sitecore EXM implementation.
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