This document will introduce you to the best practices related to delivery design and sending with Adobe Campaign Classic.
Last update: 2019-05-30
The following section outlines best practices and recommended procedures for the optimal configuration of Adobe Campaign. Following these practices will minimize issues that you might face downstream.
Target audience: Admin users
You'll learn: How to optimize outbound email distribution
Delivery templates allow for increased efficiency by providing ready-made scenarios for most common types of activities. With templates, marketers can deploy new campaigns with minimal customization in a shorter amount of time.
Target audience: Content designers
You'll learn: How to create new delivery templates to suit your needs
See also: Details for creating a template are outlined in the detailed documentation.Read More
When designing your message content, try to avoid common issues that could prevent you from executing your delivery. Most of the time, possible errors are linked to personalization, formatting and images.
Target audience: Content designers
You'll learn: How to make sure your content is good to go
See also: Overall recommendations can be found in the Defining the content section.Read More
Targeted population is key: build your lists carefully, test your emails on popular email clients and mobile devices, and ensure that your email lists are up-to-date (with no unknown or obsolete addresses). You can also send proofs that help set up a complete validation cycle.
Target audience: Business users
You'll learn: How to make sure you send personalized and relevant messages
See also: Details for defining the main target are detailed in the Selecting the target population section.Read More
Once your message is ready, make sure its content is displayed correctly, on all devices, and does not contain any errors such as wrong personalization or broken links.
Target audience: Business users
You'll learn: How to make sure your message is ready to go
Before sending your message, ensure that the parameters and configuration are consistent with the delivery.
Target audience: Business users
You'll learn: How to fine-tune your delivery
You clicked the Send button? Let's see what happens.
Target audience: Business users
You'll learn: How to track the sent messages and monitor your recipients' behavior
Before even starting creating deliveries, you can take several actions to secure and optimize the sending process upstream.
In Adobe Campaign, the MTA (Message Transfer Agent) is the module that distributes emails. It resides on the mid-sourcing (delivery server) and handles the sending of the messages to the MX (mail transfer) server at the remote site. Optimal configuration is key to successful operations.
Several factors can directly impact server performance and slow the platform:
Why? Personalization in emails pulls data out of the database for each recipient. If there are many personalization elements, that increases the amount of data needed to prepare the delivery. However, personalization alone rarely causes performance issues.
When the marketing server is handling many different tasks at the same time, it can slow down performance.
Why? Because the marketing server needs to coordinate all of the incoming and outgoing data for all of the deliveries to ensure that the data is correct and on time.
Tip: To avoid this, coordinate the scheduling of deliveries with the other members of your team to ensure the best performance.
Why? The size of an email delivery generates a certain amount of volume in the sending servers. Large deliveries, such as deliveries to over one million recipients, need space in the sending queues. This alone is not an issue for the server, but when combined with dozens of other large deliveries all going out at the same time, it can introduce a sending delay.
Tip: To minimize the impact of sending large deliveries, coordinate the sending of the deliveries so that their start times are staggered.
Learn more about optimizing your platform's performance in this document.
To optimize delivery when handling emails in large volumes and avoid being mistaken for a spammer, make sure that you have a legitimate network configuration that does not try to hide the identity of the server.
Why? Spammers attempt to conceal their real identities and usually make their mail servers difficult to identify.
Tip: Use a transparent sender address corresponding to your brand's website. For example, the Neotrip company manages the Valentino hotel chain. Its owns the valentino.com domain for its website. To promote the Valentino hotel in Paris, it uses the paris.valentino.com sub-domain. Therefore, a relevant sender address can be email@example.com.
To reach your recipients' inbox without bouncing or being marked as spam, you need to improve the deliverability rate of your messages.
It is in your best interest to maintain good quarantine management processes.
Why? When starting to send emails on a new platform, you may use a list of addresses that are not fully qualified. If you send to invalid addresses or to honeypot addresses (mailboxes only created to trick spammers), this will start to diminish the reputation of your platform. Good quarantine management processes help to: maintain address quality; avoid blacklisting by internet access providers; and reduce your error rate, speeding up deliveries and throughput.
To avoid sending messages to invalid addresses, limit improper communications and improve sender reputation, Adobe recommends implementing a double opt-in mechanism for post-subscription confirmation. This helps ensure a recipient subscribed intentionally.
A delivery template enables you to define once a set of technical and functional properties that suit your needs and that can be reused for future deliveries.
Usually, you create one delivery template for each sub-domain that you delegated to Adobe.
Why? When you manage several brands in Adobe Campaign, Adobe recommends having one sub-domain per brand. For example, a bank can have several sub-domains corresponding to each of its regional agencies. If a bank owns the bluebank.com domain, its sub-domains can be @ny.bluebank.com, @ma.bluebank.com, @ca.bluebank.com, etc. Having one delivery template per sub-domain enables you to always use the right pre-configured parameters for each of your brand, which avoids errors and saves you time.
Below are a few recommendations to correctly configure a delivery template.
Tip: To avoid configuration errors, we recommend that you duplicate a native template and alter its properties rather than create a new template.
In the delivery template, click the From link.
In the Email header parameters window, fill in the following fields:
Tip: To further improve the recipient's experience, you can add a person's name, for example "Emma from Megastore".
Tip: However, Adobe recommends using an existing real address such as your brand's customer care. In this case, if a recipient sends a reply, the customer care will be able to handle it.
Once the delivery is sent, you can compare the behavior of the excluded recipients with the recipients who did receive the delivery.
Why? This step enables you to measure the efficiency of your campaigns.
Tip: Click the To link. In the Select target window, select the Control group tab. You can extract a portion of the target, for example a 5% random sample.
Change folders: You can choose where the delivery template is stored in the Adobe Campaign navigation hierarchy, and where deliveries based on this template will be stored.
Why? You will then be able to access them easily and, if needed, configure permissions on these folders.
See also: Details for assigning rights to Adobe Campaign's folders are outlined in the Folders and views section.
Customize names: In the Analysis tab of the template's properties, you can check the Compute the label during delivery analysis box. In the Label drop-down list that is displayed, select Add current date and select the date format of your choice. The current date will be added to the label of each delivery based on this template.
A typology contains checking rules that are applied during the analysis phase, before sending any message.
Why? To approve the message's content and configuration
Tip: In the Typology tab of the template's properties, change the default typology according to your needs.
For example, to better control the outbound traffic, you can define which IP addresses can be used by defining one affinity per sub-domain and creating one typology per affinity.
See also: For more on typologies, see Campaign typologies.
See also: Personalization basics are presented in the Personalization fields section.
Make sure your message content is properly designed to avoid any errors, which are generally related to personalization.
var brand = "xxx"
The recommended maximum size of an email is about 35KB.
Why? For performance and deliverability reasons
To avoid common formatting and design errors, check the following elements:
The list of valid characters for email addresses is defined in the "XtkEmail_Characters" option. To correctly handle special characters, Adobe Campaign needs to be installed in Unicode. You must coordinate with your Adobe administrator or get assistance from Adobe consultants. For more on this, see Switching to Unicode.
The unsubscription link is essential. It must be visible and valid, and the form must be functional. By default, when the message is analyzed, a typology rule checks whether an opt-out link has been included and generates a warning if it is missing.
Tip: Because human error is always possible, check that the opt-out link works correctly before each time you send. For example, when sending the proof, make sure the link is valid, that the form is on-line and that the No longer contact this recipient field is changed to Yes.
Make sure that the email headers contain the DKIM signature.
Why? DKIM (Domain Keys Identified Mail) authentication allows the receiving email server to verify that a message was indeed sent by the person or entity it claims it was sent by, and whether the message content was altered in between the time it was originally sent (and DKIM "signed") and the time it was received. This standard typically uses the domain in the From or Sender header. For more on this, see DKIM.
Responsive email design ensures that an email renders optimally for the device on which it is opened. The Adobe Campaign Digital Content Editor (DCE) module includes some responsive design formatted templates available via Resources > Templates > Content templates. For more on this, see Responsive Email Design 101.
By default, the number of characters in an SMS meets the GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) standards. SMS messages using GSM encoding are limited to 160 characters, or 153 characters per SMS for messages sent in multiple parts.
Transliteration consists of replacing one character of an SMS by another when that character is not taken into account by the GSM standard. Note that inserting personalization fields into the content of your SMS message may introduce characters that are not taken into account by the GSM encoding. You can authorize character transliteration by checking the corresponding box in the SMPP channel settings tab of the corresponding External account.
For more on this, see About character transliteration .
To be seen from the outside, the images used in emails and public resources linked to campaigns must be present on an externally accessible server.
When you have your content ready, you need to carefully define who will receive your message.
By default, delivery templates target Recipients. Adobe Campaign offers other target mappings for your deliveries, that you can change based on your needs.
Tip: For example, you can deliver to visitors whose profiles have been collected via social networks or to visitors who are subscribed to an information service.
These mappings are presented in the Selecting a target mapping section.
You can also create and use a customized target mapping. For more on this, see Target mapping.
You can deliver to recipients who are stored in an external file rather than saved in the database. For more on this, see External deliveries.
To deliver to the subscribers of a newsletter, you can directly target the subscribers to the corresponding information service. For more on this, see Delivering to the subscribers of an information service.
To test your delivery, use proofs before sending to the main target.
Tip: Make sure you select appropriate proof recipients, because they validate the form and the content of the message. The steps for defining the proof recipients are presented in the Proof target section.
Seed addresses are used to target recipients who do not match the defined target criteria in order to test a delivery before sending to the main target. They are presented in the Using seed addresses section.
It is important to avoid having duplicate email addresses, because this can have an impact on your target:
Deduplicating addresses protects your sending reputation and ensures good quarantine management.
To optimize the performance of the SQL queries used in the application, an index can be declared from the main element of the data schema.
Tip: The steps for adding an index to the email address are presented in the Indexed fields section.
Before sending a delivery, you need to ensure that your recipients will receive the message that you really want to send them. To do this, you need to validate the message content and delivery parameters.
Inbox rendering enables you to preview your messages on major email clients, scan content and reputation, discover how recipients are reading messages.
For more on this, see Inbox rendering.
Sending proofs enables you to check the opt-out link, mirror page and any other links, validate the message, verify that images are displayed, detect possible errors, etc. You may also want to check your design and rendering on different devices.
Note: To create these profiles, you may contact your IT administrator for assistance.
More information on Sending a proof can be found in the Adobe Campaign documentation.
If you have several contents for an email delivery, you can use A/B testing to find out which version will have the biggest impact on the targeted population.
Details are outlined in the A/B testing section.
You can define a full validation process, involving Adobe Campaign operators and groups, to validate both the target and the message content.
Why? To ensure full monitoring and control of the various processes of the campaign: targeting, content, budget, extraction, and sending a proof.
How? Depending on their permissions, users will be notified, receive proofs and be able to validate or reject the message.
The approval modes and samples are described in the Approval process section.
As a final step, maximize your chances and leverage the power of Adobe Campaign to ensure that your message will be indeed delivered to the relevant recipients.
You can progressively increase the volume sent using waves.
Why? To avoid being marked as spam or when you want to restrict the number of messages per day.
Tip: Using waves you can divide deliveries into several batches instead of sending high volumes of messages at the same time.
Details for using this feature are outlined in Sending using waves.
You can set the sending order for your deliveries by stating the priority level.
Why? This lets you prioritize the order for certain, more urgent deliveries over others.
Details for implementing this process are outlined in Delivery priority.
Note: However, it is not possible to define the order of sending messages from within a delivery.
To better control the outbound SMTP traffic, you can manage affinities by defining which specific IP addresses can be used for each affinity.
Why? This lets you restrict the number of emails for specific deliveries towards machines or output addresses.
For example, you can use one affinity per country or sub-domain. You can then create one typology per country and link each affinity to the corresponding typology.
Note: Most of these steps can only be performed by an expert user.
You can use typology rules to exclude part of the target based on specific criteria.
Why? This guarantees that the messages sent best meet the needs and expectations of customers, in keeping with company communication policies.
Tip: For example, you can filter the recipients who are underage from the target of your newsletter. This example is detailed in the Creating a filtering rule section.
Why? Attachments remain one of the most common vectors for the proliferation of malware, most especially when they are sent in bulk.
Tip: Include a secure link to the document instead of attaching it. This ensures an additional layer of security to prevent unintended redistribution, and vastly reduces the chances that the message will be rejected at inbound email gateways for message size or security reasons.
Once the delivery is sent, Adobe Campaign enables you to keep track of the sent messages and discover how your recipients react to your delivery.
To control your campaigns, you must ensure that the message has indeed been delivered to your recipients.
For more this, see Delivery dashboard.
What if the deliveries are not being sent and their status remains Pending?
Tip: Check that your mta@<instance> modules are launched on your MTA servers and start the MTA module if necessary. For more on this, see Administration.
Tip: Check the configuration of traffic management (IP affinity). For more on this, see Control outgoing SMTP traffic.
Note: These steps can only be performed by an expert user.
To better know the behavior of your recipients, you can track how they react to a delivery: reception, opening, clicks on links, unsubscriptions, etc. This information is displayed in the Tracking tab of the recipients targeted by the delivery and in the Tracking tab of the delivery.
Why? Tracking can be used to improve your future sending.
Tip: Message tracking is enabled by default. To configure URLs, select the Display URLs option in the lower section of the delivery wizard. For each URL of the message, you can choose whether to activate tracking.
To measure the speed at which the messages are delivered, you can control the delivery throughput. The criteria are the number of messages sent per hour and the size of the messages (in bits per second). For more on this, see Delivery throughput.
Archiving allows you to keep a raw copy of sent emails.
Why? Sent emails are often kept for legal reasons, as this is a requirement for financial services. Archiving can also be used as evidence for customer care or in case of disagreement.
Note: To configure archiving, contact your Adobe Campaign administrator.
Email archiving is activated in the delivery or in the delivery template, through a dedicated option. Details are outlined in the Archiving emails section.