Kentico’s Email Marketing module offers seamless integration with your Kentico CMS, allowing you to dynamically link emails to website content and easily leverage customer data within the CMS. This article addresses some of the more common questions we hear from our clients – and have faced ourselves – in dealing with Email Marketing in Kentico*.
These FAQs cover the following areas:
*The instructions and terminology referred to here relate to Kentico 10. For assistance with earlier versions of Kentico, please refer to Kentico’s official documentation or contact a certified Kentico partner agency.
Setting up emails in Kentico
When should I use a page-based email versus a template-based email?
In Kentico’s Online Marketing Solution, there are two ways to create marketing emails: page-based (previously referred to as ‘dynamic’) and template-based. Page-based emails draw content directly from your website (based on a specified source page URL), whereas the content of template-based emails is manually created within Kentico’s email marketing application.
Page-based emails can be automatically generated by Kentico and scheduled to be sent periodically to your recipients, saving the time and effort of manually creating and sending emails. A page-based newsletter may be useful where you want to create a newsletter based on a section of your website that has regularly changing content – such as your blog, or a featured/discounted products section if you have an e-commerce site.
Template-based emails contain content that is specifically created for an email. This is the most commonly used type of email for things like company news, or dedicated marketing campaigns. Template-based emails allow you to easily attach UTM parameters so you can monitor and evaluate campaigns. You can also use A/B testing and the previewing function in campaigns. These features are not readily available for page-based emails.
How do I control the preview text on my email?
By default, preview text in Kentico emails is taken from the first few lines of the email. There is currently no specific field for entering preview text. However, you can get around this in template-based emails by adding some hidden html code. You can do this either at the template level, or directly into an individual email. (If you are considering upgrading to Kentico 11, due for release in November 2017, it's worth noting that that these workarounds will not be necessary as K11 will include a preview text field.)
Adding preview text to a template:
Navigate to the relevant template in the Email Marketing application. In the template, you will see a field called ‘Header(HTML)’. At the bottom of this field, enter the following html code:
<span class=”preheader” style=”font-size:1px;color:ffffff;display:none;”>Enter your preview text here.</span>
Replace ‘Enter your preview text’ with your own message. The text will be hidden in the email because the display tag is set to none (i.e. display:none); however Kentico will still treat it as the first line in the email, so it will appear as the preview text.
Adding preview text directly into an email:
In this case, the code needs to be added to the body of the email because you do not have access to the Header field if you are not working in a template. First, navigate to the email you want to work with. In the Content tab, click on the Source button to view the html code. Add the code and your chosen preview text to the body of your email: <span class=”preheader” style=”font-size:1px;color:ffffff;display:none;”>Enter your preview text here.</span> Note: As you are working with an individual email here, rather than a template, you will need to repeat this process for each email you send.
What is the best way to add images to my emails?
Best practice for adding images into your Kentico emails is to add them into a media library first and then insert them from the media library. This way your image will be treated as a link rather than as an attachment. If you add an image directly into your email, it may cause the file size of your email to blow out, which can adversely affect the time it takes to send and increases the risk of the email being rejected by the recipient’s mail server.
Is there a limit to the file size of emails I can send?
No, Kentico does not place any limitations on the file size of emails. However, there may be file size limitations imposed by your SMTP server on the size of emails that can be sent out. As a general rule, it is advisable to keep email sizes below 20MB. For larger files, it’s better to send recipients a link to a file stored elsewhere. It’s also worth bearing in mind that the smaller the size of the email, the better overall sending performance, especially when sending large numbers of emails at once.
Can I preview a page-based email?
The previewing function that applies to template-based emails does not apply to page-based emails. You can send a draft of a page-based email to your test recipients, but this will not allow you to properly test any personalisation macros you may have in your email (as the preview function on template-based emails allows you to do). To get around this, clone the email (via the drop-down menu under the three dots) and send it to your test recipients to verify that the email and any macros within it are rendering correctly. Then, make any required changes to the original and send.
Using email feeds
Do emails under one email feed have to share the same template?
No, you can have as many templates as you want under one email feed. First, go to the Configuration tab and set up your main template. Then, in the Templates tab, specify your other templates through Add Templates. When you go to create a new email as part of the campaign, simply select the desired template (in Advanced Options).
Step 1: Set up your main template under the Configuration tab.
Step 2: Under the Templates tab, add additional templates as required.
Can emails be duplicated?
Yes, you can duplicate an email by cloning it. To do this, go into the email you want to clone and click on the three dots and select ‘Clone’. When the ‘Clone Email’ window pops up, rename the clone in the ‘New object display name’ field. If you don’t do this when setting up the email, the subject line will end up with a (1) at the end.
Manually adding and unsubscribing recipients
Can I import email contacts into Kentico manually?
Yes, you can add contacts to an email campaign manually using the Contact Management application. First, you will need to create a CSV file with the contacts’ details. At a minimum, your CSV file must contain first names and email addresses. The first row of the file must have the name of each of the column.
In the Contact Management application, click on the ‘Import contacts’ button and select your CSV file. Kentico will then prompt you to map each column of your CSV file to the corresponding Kentico field (e.g. Firstname and Email). At this point you will also be able to choose whether to import your contacts into a new or existing contact group. Any duplicate contacts will be updated and assigned to the specified group. Click the ‘Import contacts’ button to complete the process.
How do I manually unsubscribe email recipients?
In some situations, you may want to manually unsubscribe someone from your email database (for example if you receive a bounceback when someone moves on from their company). There are three options here - you can either block someone from receiving all of your marketing emails by adding them to your opt-out list, unsubscribe them from a specific email feed, or – if you were sending your emails to a particular contact group – you can remove them from the relevant contact group.
- Adding a contact to your opt-out list: Go to the Email Marketing Application and select the ‘Opt-out list’ tab. Click on the ‘Opt-out email address’ button, enter the relevant email address and save.
- Unsubscribing a contact from a specific email feed: To do this, navigate to the relevant email feed and go to Recipients. Search for the relevant contact name and click on the bin icon next to the name.
- Removing a contact from a contact group: Go into the Contact Groups application and select the contact group. Click on the ‘Contacts’ tab, then search for and delete the relevant contact. Note that this option is not appropriate where you have a contact group based on dynamic conditions that may result in the contact being added back into the group by fulfilling the condition of the contact group again. If this is a possibility, it’s better to add the contact to your opt-out list or unsubscribe them from the email feed.
Can I automatically block a bounced email address from a campaign?
Yes, you can automatically block email addresses from a campaign list if they bounce. Firstly, you need to make sure you are monitoring bounced email addresses. To do this, go into the Settings application, select On-line marketing, and then Email marketing. Go to the ‘Bounced emails’ section and and click the ‘Monitor bounced emails’ checkbox. (Note that you will need to have your POP3 server configured first.) You then select the number of bounced emails you are prepared to accept before a recipient is blocked (in the example below, the ‘Bounced email limit’ is set to 5). If you have multiple sites under the same Kentico instance, selecting the Block subscribers globally’ will count bounces for all of your sites.
A/B testing emails in Kentico
Can I apply an A/B test to a page-based email?
No, A/B testing is not an option for page-based emails. You must use a template-based (static) email to use the A/B testing functionality.
Can I do a test send of a particular variant of an A/B tested email?
You can test each variant separately, based on which one you have selected with the slider. When you click ‘send draft’, the variant you’re on with the slider will be sent to the specified recipient/s. In the example below, the original email (version 1 of 2) will be sent.
Can I test an email with an A/B test without affecting the results?
If you send an A/B tested email in draft mode this will not affect the results of the A/B test.