We all know and love the Sitecore Experience Platform and its capabilities with personalization. With the introduction of Sitecore 8 and MongoDB, the analytic insights are even more powerful. EXM is natively integrated into the Sitecore Experience Platform as a “one-stop shop” email service. By leveraging EXM within the Sitecore Experience Platform, you can gain so much more detailed insight – so why aren’t you using it?
Here are two reasons why you should be using EXM:
1. ANALYTICS - THE COMPLETE VIEW
Analytics are critical to the success of your campaigns, giving you very specific clues to what you may be doing wrong. While there are many email marketing technologies that can track click and open rates of an email campaign, the metrics end when the user leaves the page and critical information is lost. EXM follows the user to the landing page or website that they visit after leaving the actual email. This gives marketers more information on visitors, which they can use to help sales and to alter and enhance other email marketing campaigns. The sheer amount of behavioral data you can gather with Sitecore is pretty impressive.
EXM delivers you a picture of the entire customer journey, beginning with email open and click-through to website behavior and engagement, to goals and conversions. Bottom line: If you’re already using the Sitecore Experience Platform, you should absolutely be leveraging EXM to gain more detailed insight.
The EXM dashboard, gives you an overview of the performance and analytics of the entire email channel. For more details, check out this article on Sitecore’s documentation site.
2. AUTOMATIC ENGAGEMENT PLANS
When you create a new email campaign in the Email Experience Manager (EXM), a default engagement plan is automatically created for the email campaign as well. This creates valuable insight into the effect that each email campaign has on your website. With the engagement plan, the various states that your recipients move through are tracked so that you can see which recipients opened your email campaign, which ones clicked on a link, and whether they generated any value or activated any goals on your website.
The Engagement Plan Monitor, pictured below, gives you an overview of the performance of your email campaign from when you send the email campaign until the last recipient ends their last visit to your website. It monitors the delivery and response of the email campaign, as well as the recipient’s behavior on your website – which pages they hit, which goals and events they triggered, and so on.
The best part: all of this information is continuously updated, meaning you will always have the most up-to-date information about how your email campaign is performing.
The Engament Plan Monitor gives you a complete overview of your email campaigns.
If that isn’t enough to convince you, here are four other advantages of EXM that you’re missing out on.
When you use personalization, you increase the content relevancy and timeliness of your email campaign for each of your customers. With Sitecore’s personalization strengths, EXM takes advantage of all the features that the Experience Platform offers to create highly customizable email campaigns and make them both personal and relevant to your customers. EXM allows you to use your customer data to personalize and send emails dynamically across customer segments.
SEPARATE DESIGN LAYER
Just like your web pages, your emails can have a separate presentation layer allowing for countless designs to reinforce your message. With the Experience Editor, you can add or remove components or change the layout details of a template. This allows you to control the look and feel of your email campaign, while being able to reuse templates and layouts from previous campaigns. With EXM, you can even create an email template based on an existing Sitecore webpage.
EXM lets you test every single component of a campaign to establish and optimize customer engagement. With EXM, you can preview your message, quickly send a test of the email campaign and run a spam check to see which spam filters might cause problems so you can avoid them before you send it to all your recipients. The A/B testing functionality allows you to create two or more variations of the same email campaign and test which one receives the best response from the recipients. These features ensure that you always send well-tested campaigns that generate the most value for your business.
In addition to your newsletter and promotional emails, you likely send automated emails in the form of welcome messages, invoices, and notifications. There are many scenarios where content can add valuable context to these emails.
Automated emails are actually a great way to get readers engaged in your best work. Because they are triggered as a result of action — subscribing to your newsletter, making a purchase, downloading a pdf, etc. — they can become a key traffic source and a valuable resource for your customers. If your site visitors are abandoning shopping carts or landing pages, you can use your email marketing in this way to remind them they have some unfinished business on your website.
The Sitecore Email Experience Manager (EXM) supports a fundamentally different approach to email marketing, not only because of its feature set, but also because of the Sitecore Experience Platform that supports it. If you’re ready to drive better conversions and yield real business results, start using EXM today.