List management in Sitecore Send
Recently, I wrote an article explaining the differences between Sitecore Experience Manager (EXM) and Sitecore Send, and which of those two email solutions could be the best fit for your organization. Because Sitecore Send is the latest tool of those two solutions, I would like to go a bit deeper into the functionality of Sitecore Send and how it compares to EXM. I’m planning to write a series of articles going over what the product has to offer. In this article, I will be diving deeper into list management and contact segmentation.
One of the must-have features of any email solution is the ability to create, manage and export contact lists. Within Sitecore Send, that works pretty much the same as it does in EXM, but there are some notable differences.
Everything to do with contacts are located underneath the “audience” section of the menu.
There are two options accessible from the dropdown menu: either create an email list or create a segment. When we open the audience menu, we are greeted by an overview of all existing lists. Right off the bat, there are some differences compared to EXM. Other than just displaying the number of contacts within a list and when it was created, it also shows the number of contacts that have unsubscribed from the list, something that’s missing from EXM. This makes it a lot more convenient to get an indication of how many contacts you would actually send an email to.
Other than displaying the total number of active subscribers across all lists, it’s also possible to add labels and choose whether a list uses a single opt-in, a soft double opt-in, or a strong double opt-in. The differences between a strong and soft double opt-in are that not only does a contact need to click on a verification email before being added to a list, but the contact also needs to be part of the members list. This feature is a must-have when dealing with sensitive contact information like billing information.
The labels are used to categorize the different lists with the system and it’s easy to create additional labels right from the audience overview.
When opening an existing list, or by creating a new list, the starting point will be the dashboard. Within this dashboard, information is being shown hos the list has been preforming over time. This is a feature that is not available within EXM.
For every report, there is an option to export the data in either an CSV file or as a PDF. The members overview displays all members within a list and gives some additional information about the number of active members, unsubscribed members, bounced and archived contacts.
It’s also possible to get the details of each individual member of the lists and copy individual members to different lists or remove them from lists. By looking at the personal activities of a member, an overview will display how the member has interacted with emails sent in the past, and when Sitecore Send is integrated within the website, it will also show the interactions with the website. Even though this information is also accessible within EXM, within Send it’s more focused on the email channel, as you would expect.
Within the bulk actions overview are the options to import members from a CSV, text file or Excel files. There is also the option to link your Google Contacts and integrate directly from Salesforce via a plugin.
Perhaps the most versatile functionality is to have the option to create custom fields right from the list. This makes it possible to store captured form field information within a list and use that data in emails. Within EXM, it’s also possible to extend the standard fields; however, not on the fly and it would require someone with technical knowledge.
Lastly, within lists, it’s possible to create segments based on the members stored within the system. The number of rules is limited but they cover most if not all user scenario’s. The segments are build by using easy to understand if/than statements.
This quick overview should give you an idea of how Sitecore Send manages contacts and what the different options are within the system. Next time, I will go deeper into the other functionalities within Sitecore Send. In the meantime, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out by sending me an email!