In Adobe Campaign Classic, the MTA (Message Transfer Agent) is the module that distributes emails. It resides on the mid-sourcing (delivery server) and handles the sending of the messages to the MX (mail transfer) server at the remote site. Optimal configuration is key to successful operations.
- During configuration, Adobe will provide an appropriate number of IP addresses designed to support the number of profiles in your database. Depending on the volume and sending frequency, Adobe generally recommends using at least two IP addresses. This in turn defines the number of MTAs required. For more on the recommended infrastructure resources, see the Adobe Campaign product description.
- Adobe recommends delegating a dedicated sub-domain that is specific to email campaigns sent from the Adobe Campaign instance.
- Adobe recommends assigning one sub-domain per brand and per country. In this case, if issues arise, deliverability in other countries or for other brands is not impacted and the problem is better isolated.
- Adobe recommends assigning one MTA per delivery type (email, SMS, push notification...). This allows to be less impacted by network issues associated with a specific channel. Moreover, if an issue arises, the problem can be tracked and solved more easily. (Most of the time tests are performed separately for each channel.)
- To improve sending performance, your Adobe Campaign Classic administrator may decide to:
- Increase the number of MTAs or MTACHILDs.
- Increase the available RAM for each MTA (from default 512MB to 1024MB).
When the marketing server is handling many different tasks at the same time, it can slow down performance.
Why? Because the marketing server needs to coordinate all of the incoming and outgoing data for all of the deliveries to ensure that the data is correct and on time.
Tip: To avoid this, coordinate the scheduling of deliveries with the other members of your team to ensure the best performance.
Why? The size of an email delivery generates a certain amount of volume in the sending servers. Large deliveries, such as deliveries to over one million recipients, need space in the sending queues. This alone is not an issue for the server, but when combined with dozens of other large deliveries all going out at the same time, it can introduce a sending delay.
Tip: To minimize the impact of sending large deliveries, coordinate the sending of the deliveries so that their start times are staggered.
Learn more about optimizing your Campaign Classic platform's performance in this document.
To optimize delivery when handling emails in large volumes and avoid being mistaken for a spammer, make sure that you have a legitimate network configuration that does not try to hide the identity of the server.
Why? Spammers attempt to conceal their real identities and usually make their mail servers difficult to identify.
Tip: Use a transparent sender address corresponding to your brand's website. For example, the Neotrip company manages the Valentino hotel chain. Its owns the valentino.com domain for its website. To promote the Valentino hotel in Paris, it uses the paris.valentino.com sub-domain. Therefore, a relevant sender address can be email@example.com.
To reach your recipients' inbox without bouncing or being marked as spam, you need to improve the deliverability rate of your messages.
What is deliverability?
- It refers to the factors of an email that determine its ability to be accepted by a recipient’s server. ISPs (Internet Service Providers) filter out emails that they identify as SPAM, or they block images from downloading. If they determine that a certain domain is sending too many emails, they will set a limit on the number of emails that they will accept from that sender.
- When checking your email for deliverability, you want to focus on four main categories: data quality, message and content, sending infrastructure, and reputation. For a deeper dive on this topic, see About deliverability in Campaign Classic.
When starting to send emails on a new platform, you may use a list of addresses that are not fully qualified. If you send to invalid addresses or to honeypot addresses (mailboxes only created to trick spammers), this will start to diminish the reputation of your platform. Good quarantine management processes help to: maintain address quality; avoid blacklisting by internet access providers; and reduce your error rate, speeding up deliveries and throughput.
- If you have a list of invalid addresses in Campaign Classic, Adobe recommends importing it to the quarantine table (Administration > Campaign Management > Non deliverables Management > Non deliverables and addresses).
- The recipients whose addresses are quarantined are excluded by default during the delivery analysis: they are not targeted. An email address can be quarantined for example when the inbox is full or if the address does not exist.
- Adobe Campaign manages erroneous addresses according to the type of error returned. For more on this, see Delivery failure types and reason in Campaign Classic and Understanding delivery failures in Campaign Standard. There are 10 criteria why messages are placed in quarantine:
- not defined
- user unknown
- invalid domain
- blacklisted address
- error ignored
- account disabled
- mailbox full
- not connected
To avoid sending messages to invalid addresses, limit improper communications and improve sender reputation, Adobe recommends implementing a double opt-in mechanism for post-subscription confirmation. This helps ensure a recipient subscribed intentionally.
- Adobe recommends the sending of a post-subscription confirmation request, to create a double opt-in. The subscription is effective once the user clicks the link included in the confirmation message.
- Details for implementing this process are outlined in the Campaign Classic Create a subscription with double opt-in and Campaign Standard Setting up a double opt-in process sections.
- Why? To save time and standardize deliveries when needed
- Use cases: Tips/Tricks for pre-configuring specific parameters in a delivery template
A delivery template enables you to define once a set of technical and functional properties that suit your needs and that can be reused for future deliveries.
Usually, you create one delivery template for each sub-domain that you delegated to Adobe.
When you manage several brands in Adobe Campaign, Adobe recommends having one sub-domain per brand. For example, a bank can have several sub-domains corresponding to each of its regional agencies. If a bank owns the bluebank.com domain, its sub-domains can be @ny.bluebank.com, @ma.bluebank.com, @ca.bluebank.com, etc. Having one delivery template per sub-domain enables you to always use the right pre-configured parameters for each of your brand, which avoids errors and saves you time.
- The sender's address is mandatory to allow an email to be sent.
- Some ISPs (Internet Service Providers) check the validity of the sender address before accepting messages. A badly formed address may result in it being rejected by the receiving server. You must make sure a correct address is given.
- Adobe Campaign checks the syntax of email addresses entered.
- The address must explicitly identify the sender. The domain must be owned by and registered to the sender.
- Adobe recommends creating email accounts that correspond to the addresses specified for deliveries and replies. Check with your messaging system administrator.
In the delivery template, click the From link. In the Email header parameters window, fill in the following fields:
- Sender address: The address domain must be the same as the sub-domain that you delegated to Adobe. You can change the part preceding the '@' but not the domain address.
- From: To increase the opening rate of your deliveries, Adobe recommends using a name that is easily identifiable by the recipients, such as your brand's name.
Tip: To further improve the recipient's experience, you can add a person's name, for example "Emma from Megastore".
- Reply address text: By default, the sender's address is used for replies.
Tip: However, Adobe recommends using an existing real address such as your brand's customer care. In this case, if a recipient sends a reply, the customer care will be able to handle it.
- In the Advanced parameters section of an email template's properties, the From (email address) field corresponds to the sender's address.
- The Reply to fields correspond to the email address and name used for replies.
Tip: Adobe recommends using an existing real address such as your brand's customer care. In this case, if a recipient sends a reply, the customer care will be able to handle it.
- To change the name of the sender which will appear in the header of messages sent, go the Properties tab of the Email Designer home page (accessible through the home icon) and click the Default sender name block.
To increase the opening rate of your deliveries, Adobe recommends using a name that is easily identifiable by the recipients, such as your brand's name.
Tip: To further improve the recipient's experience, you can add a person's name, for example "Emma from Megastore".
For more on personalizing the sender name, see Email sender.
Once the delivery is sent, you can compare the behavior of the excluded recipients with the recipients who did receive the delivery.
Why? This step enables you to measure the efficiency of your campaigns.
In Campaign Classic, click the To link. In the Select target window, select the Control group tab. You can extract a portion of the target, for example a 5% random sample.
In Campaign Standard, you can build a workflow to exclude some profiles from your target so that they will not receive a given message. For more on this, see Building a control group.
You can choose where the delivery template is stored in the Adobe Campaign navigation hierarchy, and where deliveries based on this template will be stored.
- In the General tab of the template's properties, you can change the locations selected in the Execution folder and Folder drop-down menus.
- You can also create, for example, a folder per month at the location specified in the General tab. This folder will contain all the deliveries created every month. To do this, check the Compute the execution folder during delivery analysis box and select Add current date from the Folder drop-down list.
Details for assigning rights to Adobe Campaign's folders are outlined in the Folder access management section.
In the Analysis tab of the template's properties, you can check the Compute the label during delivery analysis box. In the Label drop-down list that is displayed, select Add current date and select the date format of your choice. The current date will be added to the label of each delivery based on this template.
The parameters of sent emails related to a brand's identity (such as the brand logo or the sender address) are centrally managed in Adobe Campaign. You can create one or several brands and link them to delivery templates.
For more on using and configuring brands in Adobe Campaign, see Branding.
To display or change the brand assigned to a delivery template, select the template's Edit properties button and navigate to the brand's detail.
For more on linking a brand to a template, see Assigning a brand to an email.
Note: To create and configure brands, Adobe recommends contacting an Adobe Campaign technical administrator.
In the Advanced parameters section of an SMS template's properties, the From option allows you to personalize the name of the SMS message sender using a string of characters. This is the name that will appear as the sender name of the SMS message on the recipient's mobile telephone.
If this field is empty, then it will be the source number provided in the external account that will be used. If no source number is provided, it will be the short code that will be used. For more on this, see Configuring SMS properties.
Tip: Check the legislation in your country regarding modifying the sender address. You should also check with your SMS service provider to see whether they offer this functionality.
A typology contains checking rules that are applied during the analysis phase, before sending any message.
Why? To approve the message's content and configuration
Tip: In the Typology tab of the template's properties (Campaign Classic) or in the Advanced parameters section of an email template's properties (Campaign Standard), change the default typology according to your needs.
For example, to better control the outbound traffic, you can define which IP addresses can be used by defining one affinity per sub-domain and creating one typology per affinity. The affinities are defined in the instance's configuration file. Contact your Adobe Campaign administrator.
- Why? To avoid common issues that could prevent you from executing your delivery and to improve your recipients' experience, Adobe Campaign enables you to personalize your messages.
- Use cases: Tips/Tricks for designing your message content
- Personalize the content as much as you can when designing your message.
- Use recipients' data stored in the Adobe Campaign database, or collected through tracking, landing pages, subscriptions, etc.
Make sure your message content is properly designed to avoid any errors, which are generally related to personalization.
- In personalization fields coming from external files provided by third-party vendors, external HTML content can be wrong. To avoid this, check syntax, use of tags, characters, etc. For example, an Adobe Campaign personalization tag always has the following form: <%=table.field%>. For more on this, see Data sources.
var brand = "xxx"
Dynamic content can be manually added to display different content to your recipients according to conditions defined in the expression editor. When adding dynamic content, you must always leave a default variant for recipients who do not meet the selected conditions. For more on this, refer to this section.
Tips: Preview your email with different test profiles to make sure that your dynamic content has been correctly configured.
The unsubscription link is essential. It must be visible and valid, and the form must be functional. By default, when the message is analyzed, a typology rule checks whether an opt-out link has been included and generates a warning if it is missing.
Tip: Because human error is always possible, check that the opt-out link works correctly before each time you send. For example, when sending the proof, make sure the link is valid, that the form is on-line and that the No longer contact this recipient field is changed to Yes (Campaign Classic).
The list of valid characters for email addresses is defined in the "XtkEmail_Characters" option. To correctly handle special characters, Adobe Campaign needs to be installed in Unicode. You must coordinate with your Adobe administrator or get assistance from Adobe consultants. For more on this, see Switching to Unicode.
Make sure that the email headers contain the DKIM signature.
Why? DKIM (Domain Keys Identified Mail) authentication allows the receiving email server to verify that a message was indeed sent by the person or entity it claims it was sent by, and whether the message content was altered in between the time it was originally sent (and DKIM "signed") and the time it was received. This standard typically uses the domain in the From or Sender header. For more on this, see DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM).
- Responsive email design ensures that an email renders optimally for the device on which it is opened.
- Use responsive email HTML rather than web HTML.
- Use the preview mode and send proofs to test the rendering on as much devices as possible.
- The Adobe Campaign Classic Digital Content Editor (DCE) module includes some responsive design formatted templates for mobile available via Resources > Templates > Content templates. For more on this, see Responsive Email Design 101.
The recommended maximum size of an email is about 35KB.
Why? For performance and deliverability reasons
To check the message size, go the Preview tab and choose a test profile. Once generated, the message size will be displayed in the top right corner.
To keep your email under the limit, consider the following:
- Removing redundant or unused styles
- Moving some of the email content to a landing page
- Minifying your code
Make sure to test any changes before the final sending.
By default, the number of characters in an SMS meets the GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) standards. SMS messages using GSM encoding are limited to 160 characters, or 153 characters per SMS for messages sent in multiple parts.
Transliteration consists of replacing one character of an SMS by another when that character is not taken into account by the GSM standard. Note that inserting personalization fields into the content of your SMS message may introduce characters that are not taken into account by the GSM encoding. You can authorize character transliteration by checking the corresponding box in the SMPP channel settings tab of the corresponding External account.
- To keep all of the characters in your SMS messages as they are, to not alter proper names for example, do not enable transliteration.
- However, if your SMS messages contain a lot of characters that are not taken into account by the GSM standard, enable transliteration to limit the costs of sending your messages.
Some email clients block images by default, and some users change their settings to block images for saving on data usage. Therefore, if images are not downloaded, the whole message can be lost. To avoid this:
- Balance your content with image and text. Avoid entirely image-based emails.
- If text must be contained in an image, use alt and title text to make sure your message gets across. Style your alt/title text to improve its appearance.
- Avoid the use of background images as they are not supported by some email clients.
To be seen from the outside, the images used in emails and public resources linked to campaigns must be present on an externally accessible server.
Tips (Campaign Classic):
- You can check if the instance configuration enables public resource management. See Managing public resources in Campaign Classic.
- From the delivery wizard, you can import an HTML page containing images or insert images directly using the HTML editor via the Image icon. For more on this, see Adding images in Campaign Classic.
- If images are not displayed, check that the images are available on the server. To do this, click the Source tab from your delivery. Find your images and copy-paste each image's URL in a web browser. If the images are not displayed, contact your IT administrator or the third-party vendor providing your delivery content.
Adobe recommends previewing your message to check its personalization and how your recipients will see your delivery. To do so, use the Preview button located in the action bar.
- To check your delivery layout on different devices, select a type of device in the top action bar.
- For emails, an automatic anti-spam checking is performed during each preview. Click the Show anti-spam analysis button to find out more about the warning.
- For Campaign Classic, use SpamAssassin in the Preview tab to check the email spam scoring. Before doing so, make sure SpamAssassin is correctly installed and configured on the Adobe Campaign application server (see this section).
You'll learn: How to make sure you send personalized and relevant messages
See also: Details for defining the main target are detailed in the Defining the target population in Campaign Classic and Selecting an audience in a message in Campaign Standard sections.
Target audience: Business users
- Selecting the correct target mapping
- Using recipients stored in the database or in an external file - Campaign Classic
- Sending newsletters to your subscribers only
- Using proofs to validate your messages and seed addresses or test profiles to validate your targets
- Avoiding duplicate addresses
- Indexing email addresses for better performance - Campaign Classic
When you have your content ready, you need to carefully define who will receive your message.
- Why? To make your delivery successful, you want to send the most relevant personalized content to the right recipients. Adobe Campaign enables you to build the most accurate target: you can select recipients according to their age, localization, what they bought, if they clicked a link in a previous delivery, etc. With Adobe Campaign, you can also define test profiles, control groups and seed addresses to make sure your target is correct.
- Use cases: Tips/Tricks for building appropriate and matching targets
In Campaign Classic, by default, delivery templates target Recipients. Adobe Campaign offers other target mappings for your deliveries, that you can change based on your needs.
In Campaign Standard, you can create audiences from different resources available in Adobe Campaign. Targeting dimensions are defined in target mappings and stored under Administration > Application settings > Target mappings, accessible from the Adobe Campaign logo. You can change the target mapping for your deliveries based on your needs.
Tip: For example, you can deliver to visitors whose profiles have been collected via social networks or to visitors who are subscribed to an information service.
You can deliver to recipients who are stored in an external file rather than saved in the database. For more on this, see Selecting external recipients.
To deliver to the subscribers of a newsletter, you can directly target the subscribers to the corresponding information service.
For more on this in Campaign Classic, see Delivering to the subscribers of a service.
Tip: In Campaign Standard, create a List audience which targets the subscribers to your newsletter using a workflow. You can then select this audience in a delivery. For more on this, see Creating list audiences.
To test your delivery, use proofs before sending to the main target.
Tip: Make sure you select appropriate proof recipients, because they validate the form and the content of the message. The steps for defining the proof recipients are presented in the Selecting the proof target section.
Seed addresses are used to target recipients who do not match the defined target criteria in order to test a delivery before sending to the main target. They are presented in the About seed addresses section.
To test your delivery, use proofs before sending to the main target.
Tip: Make sure you select appropriate proof recipients, because they validate the format and the content of the message. Test profiles are used to target recipients who do not match the defined target criteria in order to test a delivery before sending to the main target. They are presented in the About test profiles section.
It is important to avoid having duplicate email addresses, because this can have an impact on your target:
- The same message can be sent more than once when a target is split.
- If a recipient unsubscribes after receiving a message, their duplicate profile will still receive future messages.
Deduplicating addresses protects your sending reputation and ensures good quarantine management.
To optimize the performance of the SQL queries used in the application, an index can be declared from the main element of the data schema.
Tip: The steps for adding an index to the email address are presented in the Indexed fields section.
- Using inbox rendering capabilities to view how the message will display
- Sending proofs of the message before sending to the main target
- Setting up A/B testing deliveries to send the most relevant content
- Fine-tuning your message and checking that all approvals have been carried out - Campaign Classic
Before sending a delivery, you need to ensure that your recipients will receive the message that you really want to send them. To do this, you need to validate the message content and delivery parameters.
- Why? This step enables you to detect possible errors and fix them before delivering to your main target.
- Use cases: Tips/Tricks to validate your delivery content and format
Inbox rendering (Campaign Classic) and email rendering (Campaign Standard) enable you to preview your messages on major email clients, scan content and reputation, discover how recipients are reading messages.
- You can view the sent message in the different contexts in which it may be received: webmail, message service, mobile, etc.
- Inbox rendering capabilities are crucial to identifying whether your email campaigns successfully make it past the filters of major ISPs (Internet Service Providers) and webmail services. Such tools send a pre-flight copy of an email to a network of test inboxes, so you can see how the message will display, or render, across these services. They may also include reports and code correction options that help you quickly identify and make fixes that improve deliverability.
Sending proofs enables you to check the opt-out link, mirror page and any other links, validate the message, verify that images are displayed, detect possible errors, etc. You may also want to check your design and rendering on different devices.
More information on Sending a proof can be found in the the Campaign Classic documentation.
More information on Managing test profiles and sending proofs can be found in the Campaign Standard documentation.
If you have several contents for an email delivery, you can use A/B testing to find out which version will have the biggest impact on the targeted population.
- Send the different versions to some of your recipients.
- Select the one with the highest success rate and send it to the rest of your target.
As a final step, maximize your chances and leverage the power of Adobe Campaign Classic to ensure that your message will be indeed delivered to the relevant recipients.
- Why? To make delivering relevant and successful
- Use cases: Tips/Tricks to increase the odds and hit your target
You can define a full validation process, involving Adobe Campaign operators and groups, to validate both the target and the message content.
The approval modes and samples are described in the Approval process section.
Details for using this feature are outlined in Sending using multiple waves.
To better control the outbound SMTP traffic, you can manage affinities by defining which specific IP addresses can be used for each affinity.
In the typology of your choice, use the Managing affinities with IP addresses field to link deliveries to the delivery server (MTA) which manages the said affinity. For more on this, see Control outgoing SMTP traffic.
Once the delivery is sent, Adobe Campaign enables you to keep track of the sent messages and discover how your recipients react to your delivery.
- Why? To improve future sending and optimize your next campaigns
- Use cases: Tips/Tricks to follow-up on your deliveries
To control your campaigns, you must ensure that the message has indeed been delivered to your recipients.
- From the delivery dashboard, you can check the processed messages and delivery audit logs.
- You can also control the status of the messages in the delivery logs.
For more this, see Delivery dashboard.
- The execution process is waiting on the availability of some resources. The MTA may have not been started.
Tip: Check that your mta@<instance> modules are launched on your MTA servers and start the MTA module if necessary. For more on this, see Administration.
- The delivery may be using an affinity that has not been configured on the sending instance.
Tip: Check the configuration of traffic management (IP affinity). For more on this, see Control outgoing SMTP traffic.
Note: These steps can only be performed by an expert user.
To control your campaigns, you must ensure that the message has indeed been delivered to your recipients.
- You can control the status of the messages in the delivery logs.
To keep track of delivery successes or failures, Adobe Campaign provides an email alerting system that sends notifications to inform users of important system activities.
From the message dashboard, you can access several reports for this specific message.
For more this, see Monitoring a delivery.
To better know the behavior of your recipients, you can track how they react to a delivery: reception, opening, clicks on links, unsubscriptions, etc. In Campaign Classic, this information is displayed in the Tracking tab of the recipients targeted by the delivery and in the Tracking tab of the delivery. In Campaign Standard, it is displayed in the Tracking logs tab of the delivery.
Why? Tracking can be used to improve your future sending.
Tip: Message tracking is enabled by default. To configure URLs in Campaign Classic, select the Display URLs option in the lower section of the delivery wizard. For each URL of the message, you can choose whether to activate tracking.
To measure the speed at which the messages are delivered, you can control the delivery throughput. The criteria are the number of messages sent per hour and the size of the messages (in bits per second). For more on this, see Delivery throughput.
- Do not keep deliveries in failed state on the instance, as this maintains temporary tables and impacts the performance.
- Remove deliveries which are no longer needed and inactive recipients from the database to maintain address quality.
- Do no try to schedule large deliveries together. Please note that it can take 5 to 10 minutes to spread the load uniformly over the system.
Dynamic reports allow you to create fully customizable and real-time reports to monitor your campaigns.
Why? Dimensions, metrics and visualizations let you measure the impact and success of your campaigns on recipients.
Tips: Out-of-the-box reports are available for you to monitor your campaigns but these reports can also be customized by drag and dropping any metrics or dimensions to your report.
For more on this, refer to the Reporting guide.
The Hot clicks functionality presents the message content (HTML and/or text) with the percentage of clicks on each link.
Why? By displaying the percentage of clicks on each dynamic content, you can measure which content most appeals to the recipients.
For more on this, refer to the Hot clicks page.
Archiving (Email BBC in Campaign Standard) allows you to keep a raw copy of sent emails.
Why? Sent emails are often kept for legal reasons, as this is a requirement for financial services. This can also be used as evidence for customer care or in case of disagreement.
- Sent emails can be stored locally as raw data (.eml files) or as compressed archives.
- Emails sent by Adobe Campaign can be archived on an external system (such as an SMTP email server) through BCC. It consists in adding a BCC email address to the message target.
Note: To configure this feature, contact your Adobe Campaign administrator.
Email archiving is activated in the delivery or in the delivery template, through a dedicated option. Details are outlined in the Archiving emails in Campaign Classic and Archiving emails in Campaign Standard sections.