Kentico CMS 7: New E-mail Marketing Enhancements

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The Newsletter module got many new features in version 6 and we continue improving this module in version 7 to bring you better user experience, better performance and a brand new A/B testing for e-mails!

Newsletter UI redesign

Preparing a newsletter issue requires space so that you have a good overview of your work. In older versions, the workspace is quite limited and tends to lots of scrolling.

Firstly we moved main menu to the left so there is more space in vertical direction. This comes handy when you edit newsletter issues or templates.


The New issue wizard was completely redesigned to provide clear, effective and straight forward workspace. The first thing you will notice is that you can now select from several e-mail templates when creating a new issue. This is useful if you need to send campaigns that look differently than your regular newsletter:


The redesigned editing area is maximized and its dimensions are automatically adjusted to window size. All main actions and options are positioned at the top; additional options are hidden in advanced section. Attachment management was moved to a separate dialog. I will describe attachment management in more details later.


Existing issues are edited in the main window:

If there is not enough space for editing, then full screen button comes in handy.

As I mentioned before, the attachment management was also redesigned. There are two options how to work with attachments now. If you only need to attach files to the e-mail or simply paste an image without additional adjustments, you will use the Attachments dialog:


If you need to insert attached images into the e-mail body with some advanced settings, you can use the standard Insert Media dialog that now includes a new tab offering attached files:


Newsletter A/B testing

New important feature will enrich e-mail marketing abilities of Kentico CMS/EMS. Beside click-through tracking and open e-mail tracking which were introduced in version 6, we added newsletter A/B testing.

Newsletter A/B testing allows marketers testing any number of variants of the e-mail, so you’re not limited to just two versions! The variants may differ in subject, content, template or sender information which allows you to find out the version that leads to highest open or click-through rate.


You have plenty of options how to send the variants:

  • The testing group of subscribers can be comfortably selected by slider.
  • The mail-out of each variant may be scheduled to a different time.
  • The winner is automatically selected after specified time according to statistics from open e-mail tracking or click through tracking. Winner can be also selected manually.


Please note: we haven’t decided on the licensing yet, but it’s likely that the A/B testing functionality for Newsletters will only be available in Kentico EMS.


Performance and Stability Enhancements

I have mentioned the most significant changes in the Newsletter module but it is not all. There are also other enhancements – many of them under the hood - which provide better performance, stability or control of e-mail address uniqueness when sending a newsletter issue.

 

I will appreciate your opinions, suggestions or questions below in comments section.

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Zdenek Strach

Hi, I am technical leader of one of the development teams at Kentico. My team is responsible for e-mail engine and e-mail marketing, form engine, contact management, installation, localization and other smaller modules.

Comments

Zdenek Strach commented on

Hi Claire,
click through and open e-mail tracking features are available not only in EMS but also in CMS with Small Business and Base licenses. Please see the block post with licensing in version 6 - http://devnet.kentico.com/Blogs/Petr-Palas/July-2011/Kentico-CMS-6-0-Licensing.aspx

Claire commented on

Are there plans to allow click through and open tracking in the standard licence package rather than just the EMS? Clients who are using version 6 CMS want to use Kentico newsletters rather than other third party solutions but without an form of tracking it's not worth doing. We had expected tracking in the most basic version

tspring-allegra commented on

Thanks, though that workaround isn't very helpfully if the person I want to allow importing doesn't have a local install of Kentico on their computer.

Zdenek Strach commented on

Hi Tim,

As a workaround, you may use connection string for the remote server in your local project. It is necessary to clear the cache in the remote system after the import.

tspring-allegra commented on

Hi,

Is it possible to use the Import Toolkit remotely?

Launching the Import Toolkit from my desktop PC doesnt seam to have any options to connect to a remote server, as it does with the AD Import Utility.

Tim

Zdenek Strach commented on

Hi Bram,

thank you for your comment.

You can use general export functionality to export newsletter data to excel - http://devnet.kentico.com/docs/devguide/index.html?ui_data_export_overview.htm

The best way how to import data from different sources (csv, excel sheet, xml or other database) is to use our Import Toolkit - http://devnet.kentico.com/docs/devguide/index.html?import_toolkit_overview.htm

Bram den Boer commented on

Hi,

Will there also be import / export functionality from / to excel?