Kentico CMS 6.0 Developer's Guide

On-line marketing

On-line marketing

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On-line marketing

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When using newsletters for e-mail marketing campaigns, it is important to determine the overall effectiveness by tracking e-mails and the reactions of recipients. Kentico CMS offers several features that provide feedback and statistics about how successful your newsletters are and which actions subscribers take when reading issues.


Please note that the features described below are only available if the Enable on-line marketing setting is enabled in Site Manager -> Settings -> On-line marketing.


Bounced e-mail monitoring


When an e-mail cannot be delivered successfully for some reason, an automatic reply informing about the problem is returned (bounced) back to the sender. Tracking bounced e-mails allows the system to identify addresses that do not correctly receive newsletter issues. Removing invalid addresses from your mailing lists saves bandwidth and improves the accuracy of your subscription statistics.


To enable this feature, go to Site Manager -> Settings -> On‑line marketing -> Newsletters and check the Monitor bounced e-mails box. It is also necessary to properly fill in the remaining settings in the Bounced e-mails and POP3 settings categories (more information about individual fields is given in the Settings topic).


Once this is done, the Check bounced e‑mails scheduled task periodically checks the specified mailbox for newsletter e‑mail bounces, analyzes them and increases the bounce counter of subscribers as necessary. Once a bounced e-mail is processed, it is deleted from the mailbox. By default, this task is executed once per hour. Some mail servers may be configured to store e‑mails even after they are downloaded, which causes bounces to be counted multiple times (every time the scheduled task is executed), so please adjust the settings of the e-mail server if you experience issues of this type.


If the amount of bounces from a subscriber reaches the Bounced e-mail limit, the system will automatically block the address from receiving any further newsletter issues.


Bounce statistics can be viewed in various parts of the CMS Desk -> Tools -> Newsletters interface. On the Subscribers tab, the amount of bounces associated with individual subscribers is displayed.




The Blocked filter may be used to display only blocked or active subscribers. The Block (BlockSubscriber) or Unblock (UnblockSubscriber) actions may be used to manually change the status of subscribers. When a subscriber is unblocked, their bounce counter is reset to zero. To perform these actions for individual subscribers assigned through a role or contact group, edit (Edit) the given role or contact group and switch to the Users or Contacts tab respectively.


The same options are also available when viewing the subscribers of a specific newsletter at Newsletters -> edit (Edit) newsletter -> Subscribers. The bounce count of a subscriber is shared for all newsletters on the given site.


On the Issues tab of a newsletter, the total amount of bounces per issue is tracked. The amount of sent e-mails can be viewed and compared with the number of bounces.






Monitoring bounced e-mails under medium trust


If your application is running in a medium trust environment, the bounced e-mails feature will not be functional by default.


For more details and a possible solution, please refer to Configuration for Medium Trust environment.


E-mail tracking


Monitoring of the e-mails that deliver individual issues to subscribers can be enabled for a newsletter by editing it on the Configuration tab:


Track opened e-mails - if enabled, the e-mails used to send out the issues of the newsletter will be tracked and statistics will be kept about the amount of e‑mails that are opened by subscribers.

Track clicked links - if enabled, statistics will be kept about the amount of clicks subscribers perform on hyperlinks placed in the e‑mail issues of the newsletter.




Please note that tracking cannot be done retroactively for e-mails that have already been sent before the appropriate settings were enabled. Also, since draft e-mails are intended only for testing purposes, they are not included in tracking statistics (only the e-mails sent to actual subscribers are measured).




Logging newsletter actions as activities


You can also decide if you want the actions related to a specific newsletter to be included in the site's on‑line marketing activity statistics. This is done by setting the Log newsletter actions as on‑line marketing activities property on the Configuration tab.


Activities include the following types of events: Subscription, Unsubscription, E‑mail opening, Link clickthrough.


You can then keep track of the logged activities in the CMS Desk -> On‑line marketing -> Activities interface.


Opened e-mails


This feature allows you to monitor how many newsletter e-mails are actually opened by subscribers. Open rate is one of the key metrics for judging an e-mail campaign's success.


Tracking of this type is achieved by embedding a small, invisible image into the content of e-mails. When this image is requested from the server for the first time, the system marks the e-mail as received and opened for the given subscriber. As a result, mails will only be counted as opened if the e-mail client of the subscriber allows the loading of images. Alternatively, if the recipient clicks on a link contained in the e-mail and Track clicked links is enabled for the newsletter, the e-mail will be recognized as opened even if images are blocked. Because of these factors, the indicated number of opened e-mails may be slightly lower than the actual amount.


When tracking is enabled, the statistics of newsletter issues can be viewed when editing a specific newsletter on the Issues tab. The amount of e-mails that were received and opened by subscribers can be compared side by side with the total number of sent e-mails.




If the number is greater than zero, it can be clicked to display a dialog containing a detailed list of all subscribers who opened the e-mail.




The subscribers can be filtered according to their name, e-mail address or the time interval during which they opened the e-mail.


Clicked links


Another way to measure the effectiveness of an e-mail campaign is to track which links are clicked by the recipients and how many times, also known as the clickthrough rate.


When this type of tracking is enabled, all links in newsletter issues are converted to tracking links when they are sent out and the information is stored. This applies to both template based and dynamic newsletters. Link statistics of individual newsletter issues can be viewed when editing a specific newsletter on the Issues tab. The View tracking statistics (ViewTrackingStatistics) action is available for all issues that contain tracked hyperlinks.




When clicked, this action opens a modal dialog that lists all links in the given issue and displays the following information about them:


Unique clicks - shows how many different subscribers clicked on the link.

Total clicks - indicates how many times the link was clicked, including multiple clicks from the same user.

Click rate (%) - displays the clickthrough rate of the link as a percentage. Calculated as the number of unique clicks divided by the total amount of sent e-mails.




Further details can be displayed for each link by using the View participating subscribers (Manageroles) action. The action opens another dialog containing the names and addresses of the subscribers that used the given link and their respective click count.






Links excluded from tracking


The newsletter unsubscription links generated by the {%UnsubscribeLink%} expression are not tracked. Links to local anchors within the content of the e-mail are also excluded.


The tracking of any link in a newsletter issue may be manually disabled by editing the source and inserting the tracking="false" attribute into the <a> tag of the given hyperlink, for example:


<a href="" tracking="false">Kentico CMS</a>


When editing the content of a newsletter issue, you can easily switch to its source using the Source button on the toolbar of the WYSIWYG editor.