Sitecore has been named a leader for the second time in a row by Gartner’s 2016 Magic Quadrant for Web Content Management. This indeed is great news for all companies using the Sitecore CMS environment to showcase and manage their content. And, it isn’t just about managing content – using Sitecore, companies can also compile valuable customer information that can be in turn used to create personalized experiences for marketing across different channels.
To ensure an omni-channel marketing and personalized experience, Sitecore has introduced multiple modules – the most prominent of them is the Email Experience Manager (EXM 3.4).
Are you familiar with marketing automation tools such as Marketo, Pardot or Eloqua? Well, you would find Sitecore EXM standing on the same lines, only that this is simpler and maintains strong ties with Sitecore modules such as engagement plans and XDB for delivering an integrated experience. If you are already on the Sitecore platform and wish to deliver a contextual experience across a multitude of channels – the best way to explore the benefits of the platform would be to add EXM to the existing Sitecore environment.
Below are some pointers reiterating why Email Experience Manager (EXM) is just the right tool for your business:
Regular and automated email campaigns
Sitecore EXM has a robust interface that allows you to perform regular ‘batch and blast’ email campaigns along with the flexibility to design and customize email campaigns based on business logic.
Almost every email marketing platform is set with an A/B testing feature. However, Sitecore EXM has an A/B testing feature with added intelligence – it allows you to set up an expiration time of an A/B test message. Furthermore, the winning message can be implemented in the production mode, while the test is still running.
Adding to the list of functionality, Sitecore EXM supports multi-language deployment. Enabling one checkbox on the Email Experience Manager allows you to deliver a message to recipients in their preferred language.
Integrated Litmus and spam checker
Testing of emails is always a high priority task.
As multi-device usage and mobile view continues to increase on modern browsers, this task becomes even more complex without testing tools. EXM has the built-in Litmus tool, which provides the actual screenshot (not a simulator version) of the emails across different platforms. This ensures high quality of visual look for all your emails. The spam checker ensures that there are no words, used in the content, to land your email in the junk/spam folder. This enhances your deliverability.
Create and manage recipient lists
We can create the recipient list in EXM or in the List Manager (LM). Once a list is created using either application, the list is available at both places – this gives you the freedom to choose an application as per your requirement.
Create & manage suppression list
Suppression lists play a key role in keeping your bounce rate and spam complaint rate low. Sitecore EXM automatically ensures that a contact is added to the suppression list, right when she marks a mail you sent her as spam, or if it bounced. All users of Sitecore Email Cloud can enjoy the auto sync advantage of the suppression list. Since it synchronizes every hour, you don’t have to bother doing it manually.
Detailed analytics report It is important that detailed analysis is done of all email campaigns you’ve initiated using the EXM. Therefore, Sitecore has set it up with tools that help you fetch reports so you can gauge the performance of your emails. Basis the results, you can devise better email marketing strategies and take corrective measures to fix issues.
The EXM dashboard offers performance reports of entire email channels, based on recipient activity, value and visits, top campaigns, landing pages, location and technology, and so on.
Interactions created in xDB by EXM
Every email campaign creates an interaction in the Sitecore Experience Database (xDB) for each of the following email events. These can be used to identify the efficiency or performance of a deployed campaign.
Empowering your clients and prospects with the ability to manage what they receive is important. Sitecore EXM has a dedicated module with functionalities like automated global opt-out lists and double opt-in processes. The subscription management feature provides a single platform for recipients to manage their email interests & the frequency of email they prefer. This transfer of control to the hands of recipients eventually facilitate an increase in engagement.
New high performing mail server
Sitecore EXM previously had the Dyn email server. However, in the latest version, EXM 3.4, Dyn has been replaced with SparkPost, a high performing mail server. SparkPost, powered by state-of-the-art technology, offers one of the best inbox placement records.
In a nutshell, Sitecore EXM is an evolving platform in the genre of marketing automation, which provides powerful features along with an easy to use interface. Also, Sitecore EXM 3.4 has been closely integrated with Sitecore WCM, which enhances the overall usability of the platform.