Delivery best practices

This document will introduce you to the best practices related to delivery design and sending with Adobe Campaign.

Optimize delivery

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

Topics covered:

  • Avoiding platform performance degradation (slowing)
  • Checking network configuration
  • Deliverability management
  • Quarantine management
  • Double opt-in mechanism
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Use templates

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

Topics covered:

  • Linking a brand to a template
  • Defining the sender address
  • Choosing the correct typology rules

See also: Details for creating a template are outlined in the detailed documentation.

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Design and personalize

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

Topics covered:

  • Personalizing the content
  • Checking formatting is correct
  • Avoiding common design errors

See also: Overall recommendations can be found in the Design content in Adobe Campaign section.

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Aim straight

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

Topics covered:

  • Selecting the correct target mapping
  • Sending newsletters to your subscribers only
  • Using proofs to validate your messages and test profiles to validate your targets
  • Avoiding duplicate addresses

See also: Details for defining the main target are detailed in the Selecting an audience in a message section.

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Get it right

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

Topics covered:

  • Using email rendering capabilities to view how the message will display
  • Sending proofs of the message before sending to the main target
  • Setting up A/B testing deliveries to send the most relevant content
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Track and monitor

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

Topics covered:

  • Monitoring deliveries
  • Tracking
  • Using BCC to keep a copy of sent emails
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Get off to the right start

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Get off to the right start

Before even starting to create deliveries, you can take several actions to secure and optimize the sending process upstream.

  • Why? To avoid common issues when delivering
  • Use cases: Tips/Tricks for configuring outbound messaging in Adobe Campaign

Platform performance

Several factors can directly impact server performance and slow the platform:

  • The number and type of personalization elements

    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.

  • The server load

    When the marketing server is handling many different tasks at the same time, it can slow down performance.

    Why? Because the 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.

  • The size and frequency of deliveries

    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.

Checking network configuration

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 hotel@paris.valentino.com.

Deliverability management

To reach your recipients' inbox without bouncing or being marked as spam, you need to improve the deliverability rate of your messages.

Tips:

  1. What is deliverability? It refers to the factors of an email that determine its ability to be accepted by a recipient’s server. ISPs (Internet Service Providers) filter out emails that they identify as SPAM, or they block images from downloading. If they determine that a certain domain is sending too many emails, they will set a limit on the number of emails that they will accept from that sender. When checking your email for deliverability, you want to focus on four main categories: data quality, message and content, sending infrastructure, and reputation.
  2. Apply the recommendations detailed in the Adobe Campaign v7 Managing deliverability step-by-step guide.
  3. Contact your Adobe Campaign administrator for assistance.

Quarantine management

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.

Tips:

  • The recipients whose addresses are quarantined are excluded by default during the delivery analysis: they are not targeted. An email address can be quarantined for example when the inbox is full or if the address does not exist.
  • Adobe Campaign manages erroneous addresses according to the type of error returned. For more on this, see Error management. The criteria why messages are placed in quarantine are detailed in the List of delivery failure reasons section.
  • More information on the Adobe Campaign Quarantines management is available in our documentation.

Double opt-in mechanism

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.

Tips:

  • Adobe recommends the sending of a post-subscription confirmation request, to create a double opt-in. The subscription is effective once the user clicks the link included in the confirmation message.
  • Details for implementing this process are outlined in the Setting up a double opt-in process section.

Use the power of templates

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Use the power of templates

  • Why? To save time and standardize deliveries when needed
  • Use cases: Tips/Tricks for pre-configuring specific parameters in a delivery template

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.

Link a brand to a template

The parameters of sent emails related to a brand's identity (such as the brand logo or the sender address) are centrally managed in Adobe Campaign. You can create one or several brands and link them to delivery templates.

For more on using and configuring brands in Adobe Campaign, see Branding.

To display or change the brand assigned to a delivery template, select the template's Edit properties button and navigate to the brand's detail.

For more on linking a brand to a template, see Assigning a brand to an email.

Note: To create and configure brands, Adobe recommends contacting an Adobe Campaign technical administrator.

Configure the sender address and name

In the Advanced parameters section of an email template's properties, the From (email address) field corresponds to the sender's address.

The address domain must be the same as the sub-domain that you delegated to Adobe.

Tips:

  • The sender's address is mandatory to allow an email to be sent.
  • Some ISPs (Internet Service Providers) check the validity of the sender address before accepting messages. A badly formed address may result in it being rejected by the receiving server. You must make sure a correct address is given.
  • Adobe Campaign checks the syntax of email addresses entered.
  • The address must explicitly identify the sender. The domain must be owned by and registered to the sender.
  • Adobe recommends creating email accounts that correspond to the addresses specified for deliveries and replies. Check with your messaging system administrator.

The Reply to fields correspond to the email address and name used for replies.

Tip: 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.

To define the name of the sender which will appear in the header of messages sent, click the Content block in a delivery template. The From (name) field allows you to enter the sender name.

To increase the opening rate of your deliveries, Adobe recommends using a name that is easily identifiable by the recipients, such as your brand's name.

Tip: To further improve the recipient's experience, you can add a person's name, for example "Emma from Megastore".

For more on personalizing the sender name, see Email sender.

Personalize the SMS sender name

In the Advanced parameters section of an SMS template's properties, the From option allows you to personalize the name of the SMS message sender using a string of characters. This is the name that will appear as the sender name of the SMS message on the recipient's mobile telephone.

If this field is empty, then it will be the source number provided in the external account that will be used. If no source number is provided, it will be the short code that will be used. For more on this, see SMS configuration.

Tip: Check the legislation in your country regarding modifying the sender address. You should also check with your SMS service provider to see whether they offer this functionality.

Apply filters or control rules through typologies

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 Advanced parameters section of an email 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. The affinities are defined in the instance's configuration file. To do this, contact your Adobe Campaign administrator.

See also: For more on typologies, see Managing typologies.

Personalize users' experience

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Personalize users' experience

  • Why? To avoid common issues that could prevent you from executing your delivery and to improve your recipients' experience, Adobe Campaign enables you to personalize your messages.
  • Use cases: Tips/Tricks for designing your message content

Tips:

  1. Personalize the content as much as you can when designing your message.
  2. Use recipients' data stored in the Adobe Campaign database, or collected through tracking, landing pages, subscriptions, etc.

See also: Personalization basics are presented in the Personalizing content section.

Formatting and content

To avoid common formatting and design errors, check the following elements:

  • Customized unsubscription link

    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 and that the form is on-line.

  • SMS length

    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.

    Tips:

    • To keep all of the characters in your SMS messages as they are, to not alter proper names for example, do not enable transliteration.
    • However, if your SMS messages contain a lot of characters that are not taken into account by the GSM standard, enable transliteration to limit the costs of sending your messages.

    For more on this, see SMPP encoding, length and transliteration.

Message preview

Adobe recommends previewing your message to check its personalization and how your recipients will see your delivery. To do so, use the Preview button located in the action bar.

Tips:

  • To check your delivery layout on different devices, select a type of device in the top action bar.
  • For emails, an automatic anti-spam checking is performed during each preview. Click the Show anti-spam analysis button to find out more about the warning.

Target the right recipients

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Target the right recipients

When you have your content ready, you need to carefully define who will receive your message.

  • Why? To make your delivery successful, you want to send the most relevant personalized content to the right recipients. Adobe Campaign enables you to build the most accurate target: you can select recipients according to their age, localization, what they bought, if they clicked a link in a previous delivery, etc. With Adobe Campaign, you can also define test profiles and send proofs to make sure your target is correct.
  • Use cases: Tips/Tricks for building appropriate and matching targets

Why a target mapping?

You can create audiences from different resources available in Adobe Campaign. Targeting dimensions are defined in target mappings and stored under Administration > Application settings > Target mappings, accessible from the Adobe Campaign logo. You can change the target mapping for your deliveries 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.

For more on this, see Targeting dimension.

Deliver to subscribers of a newsletter

To deliver to the subscribers of a newsletter, you can directly target the subscribers to the corresponding information service.

Tip: Create a List audience which targets the subscribers to your newsletter using a workflow. You can then select this audience in a delivery. For more on this, see Creating list audiences.

Proofs and test profiles

To test your delivery, use proofs before sending to the main target.

Tip: Make sure you select appropriate proof recipients, because they validate the format and the content of the message. Test profiles 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 About test profiles section.

Deduplicate addresses

It is important to avoid having duplicate email addresses, because this can have an impact on your target:

  • The same message can be sent more than once when a target is split.
  • If a recipient unsubscribes after receiving a message, their duplicate profile will still receive future messages.

Deduplicating addresses protects your sending reputation and ensures good quarantine management.

Validation is key

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Validation is key

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.

  • Why? This step enables you to detect possible errors and fix them before delivering to your main target.
  • Use cases: Tips/Tricks to validate your delivery content and format

Email rendering

Email rendering enables you to preview your messages on major email clients, scan content and reputation, discover how recipients are reading messages.

Tips:

  • You can view the sent message in the different contexts in which it may be received: webmail, message service, mobile, etc.
  • Email rendering capabilities are crucial to identifying whether your email campaigns successfully make it past the filters of major ISPs (Internet Service Providers) and webmail services. Such tools send a pre-flight copy of an email to a network of test inboxes, so you can see how the message will display, or render, across these services. They may also include reports and code correction options that help you quickly identify and make fixes that improve deliverability.

For more on this, see Email rendering.

Proof messages

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.

More information on Managing test profiles and sending proofs can be found in the Adobe Campaign documentation.

Set up A/B testing deliveries

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.

Tips:

  1. Send the different versions to some of your recipients.
  2. Select the one with the highest success rate and send it to the rest of your target.

Details are outlined in the Creating an A/B test section.

What happens after sending?

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What happens after sending?

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.

  • Why? To improve future sending and optimize your next campaigns
  • Use cases: Tips/Tricks to follow-up on your deliveries

Monitoring deliveries

To control your campaigns, you must ensure that the message has indeed been delivered to your recipients.

Tips:

  • You can control the status of the messages in the delivery logs.
  • To keep track of delivery successes or failures, Adobe Campaign provides an email alerting system that sends notifications to inform users of important system activities.

  • From the message dashboard, you can access several reports for this specific message.

For more this, see Monitoring a delivery.

Tracking

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 logs tab of the delivery.

Why? Tracking can be used to improve your future sending.

Tip: Message tracking is enabled by default.

For more on this, refer to the Tracking messages section.

Email BCC

Email BCC 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. This can also be used as evidence for customer care or in case of disagreement.

Tips: Emails sent by Adobe Campaign can be archived on an external system (such as an SMTP email server) through BCC. It consists in adding a BCC email address to the message target.

Note: To configure this feature, contact your Adobe Campaign administrator.

Email BCC is activated in the delivery or in the delivery template, through a dedicated option. Details are outlined in the Adobe Campaign documentation.