E-mail marketing in Kentico CMS 6.0

New version Kentico CMS 6.0 will bring several new features and enhancements of the Newsletters module. In this blog post, I would like to introduce some of them.

The main focus of Kentico CMS 6.0 is on Online Marketing. A part of Online Marketing is also E-mail marketing. To let you start using Kentico CMS as a pure E-mail marketing tool, we will add several new features focused on this type of marketing activities.


1)    Subscription double opt-in

Double opt-in is a feature which provides activation/confirmation of a subscription. Using this feature, you can set that all subscribers have to confirm their subscription prior to becoming ordinary newsletter subscribers and you can very easily filter out possible “robots”.

This feature is configurable per each newsletter.

Double opt-in settings


2)    Open e-mail tracking

Using this feature, you will be able to track how many subscribers have already opened the e-mail, including a list of subscribers.

This feature is also configurable per each newsletter.

Open e-mail tracking list


3)    Click-through tracking

This feature monitors clicking on the links that are included in your newsletters. After that, you will see how many subscribers clicked at least one link in the newsletter, number of clicks per each link, including a list of clicking subscribers.

This feature is configurable per each newsletter as well.


Click through tracking list


4)    Bounced e-mails

Using Bounced e-mails, you can recognize invalid subscriber email addresses. This features is configurable in the settings per website and server.

Bounced e-mails setings


5)    Multiple SMTP servers

To support really huge mass e-mailing, it is necessary to provide you with an option how to send more e-mails in a time. So, in version 6.0, you will find support for multiple SMTP servers. These servers will be used in a “”round-robin circle” to deliver e-mails more quickly.


6)    External Services

The current e-mail delivering method uses working process of ASP.NET. This is fairly fine in the hosting environment, but to be honest, if we would like to deliver more e-mails independently on ASP.NET life-cycle, it’s necessary to use another approach.

With version 6.0, you will be able to install and start to use an external windows service, which will be running outside ASP.NET and thus will not have any impact on the website itself. This external service will provide e.g. e-mails/newsletters delivering, staging, synchronization and other services. And of course, these services are not running on the hosting environment as you need direct access to the server where you would like to use and configure these services.

These external services are not any replacement for the current services! It’s an option for you if you want to increase the performance of your website.


7)    Reports

The last but not least are new reports showing you the performance of your e-mail activities. You can use them to better measure efficiency of your e-mail marketing. This feature is under development, so I can’t provide you with any picture. But our plans are to provide reports that show the following information in a given time period:

-          No. of sent e-mails

-          No. of subscriptions/un-subscriptions

-          No. of opened e-mails

-          No. of bounced e-mails

-          No. of clicked e-mails

And you can choose from seeing values:

-          per whole server or

-          per particular newsletter or

-          per particular issue

The issue report will also provide side-by-side comparison of all measured values. So, you will see all measures in one chart and you can better recognize how efficient your e-mail marketing is.


The release date of version 6.0 is planned for late Q3/2011.


Please, let us know your thoughts about these new features. Especially recommendations for new reports are welcome!

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Brant commented on

This is really exciting stuff and I can see starting to migrate some of my clients into the built-in newsletter from their current 3rd-party solutions as these features come online.

However, is there some documentation that outlines exactly which enhancements to the newsletter module are included in the 6.0 version of the CMS, and which of them will require purchasing the additional license of the EMS?


Maarten commented on

Hi, looks great.

Is there also possibility to do A/B testing?
See how newsletter looks like in different browsers /email systems?
Can content be based on crm fields? (Like region / market)

Is Kentico planning to be a ESP in near future?

I'm really curious. Thanks!


Michal Neuwirth commented on

Hi José,

we are not planning such functionality for version 6.0. At this time you may consider using specialized services as wrote Petr Palase below.

José BM commented on

One question... Is there going to have an option where you can select the time interval to send the e-block, for example, sending 300 emails every half hour?

Rhino Car Hire commented on


Will we be able to upgrade to R6 from R5.5 or will we have to upgrade to 5.5R2 first ?


Michal Neuwirth commented on

Hi paul,

version 6.0 will be released in Q3/2011.

paul sideridis commented on

Thanks Petr,

Given no real enhancements have been applied to ecommerce since our introduction to the product in late 2009, when do you plan to release the much needed update?

Petr Palas commented on

To Paul: we actually keep working on the E-commerce module and there will many significant improvements in 6.0. The Newsletter module is an important part of our on-line marketing features and it's actually developed by a different team than the E-commerce module or Intranet Solution. Once we have more to show, we will make a similar post on the new E-commerce features.

paul commented on

This may be the wrong area to state this, however, given the current environemnt and projected growth in online shopping I cannot believe that intranet and newslettter improvements have taken priority over eccomerce.

We have been waiting for Kentico to improve its ecommerce features since late 2009. Kentico is a great CMS, however it is very weak when it comes to out of the box ecommerce features as doesnt include features many would argue should be included in any base ecommerce offering.

We have used lesser products that leave Kentico for dead when it comes to ecommerce. To say that you can custom code your own bits isnt really a response we should be hearing either.

I hope Kentico puts some serious investment into this sooner rather than later, as this does impact sales when you are up againts the cheaper products that have more out of the box features!

Petr Palas commented on

To Rhino Car Hire: the deliverability of e-mails is rather complex issue and requires knowledge of particular e-mail services and relationships with ISPs. You may consider using specialized services, such as SendLabs SmartMTA. It works like SMTP server (so you only change the SMTP settings in Kentico CMS), but they actually take care of your e-mails being delivered and not banned. More details here: http://www.sendlabs.com/email-marketing-enterprise/SMTP-Email-Service.aspx

Petr Palas, Kentico

Rhino Car Hire commented on


What would be really nice is to throttle smtp traffic to certain domains like yahoo and Gmail. We tend to get a 24hr ban on sending mail to these domains when we send a newsleter out to 100k subscribers. We could probably do this at the mail server end but not everybody has this option.

Also, will bounced emails me flagged in the subscriber table so we can remove them.

Other than that the newletter function works pretty well for us ;-)

Michal Neuwirth commented on

Hi Michael,

thanks for your comment. Regarding the enterprise level features of ecommerce modules, I'm just preparing blog post about ecommerce features, as we are still developing them.

But our plans are - separation of all ecommerce information per sites, localization in ecommerce, product types like paid membership or donation, taxes per states & zip, new customization API etc.

If you are looking for a specific ecommerce feature, please let me know.

ralph commented on

Michael, while I totally understand why you won't switch your clients over to use this built in newsletter function, I am still excited to see this feature coming.

There is a huge different of a mailing-only tool and a mailing-tool-built-into-a-CMS!

What is the biggest challenge getting HTML newsletter out? Coding the HTML so it works on all e-mail clients. With CM you need to hand-code your pages and you need a HTML coder to do this.

Within a CMS, you can connect some custom document types to your mass mailing, that fills in the content into your template. Clean separation between content and representation. That is something CM does not offer.

Michael commented on

Like Raplh mentions above, campaign monitor is the benchmark and due to it's vast functionality, ease of use for clients, ability to raise revenue, rebrand etc, I can't see many designers/agencies who currently use CM for their clients switching to using this. While it's a good feature to start developing within Kentico, personally I can't see us ever using it. Please don't take this wrong (because we think Kentico is the best CMS available) but it seems you are trying to do a lot of things ok, instead of focusing on a few things and doing them brilliantly (developing ecommerce modules to an enterprise level etc) - but maybe you are and we just don't know about them yet :)

ralph commented on

Great Stuff!

I guess the benchmark for email marketing is campaign monitor. If you are looking for inspiration it's the place to go. They also make a difference between hard and soft bounce (e-mail does not exist versus mailbox full) and they have a really nice chart over time to see the effectiveness of your campaign.

Also, the way they present the campaign results is convincing.

This said, seeing most of these features inside my CMS versus in an external service is worth a lot.