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EXM 3.5 brings substantial feature and performance improvements

By Ben Burns , Tuesday, October 10, 2017

With the launch of Email Experience Manager (EXM) 3.5, Sitecore allows marketers to create, test, and send personalized emails with a more refined, efficient, and robust system. Just as marketers are looking to provide the best experience for their recipients, we’re always looking to improve the experience for users of EXM. So for seasoned users, we hope you find the refinements and additions help you to achieve your goals quicker than ever. If you’re looking into the Sitecore® Experience Platform™ for the first time, we think you’ll enjoy using EXM to establish and grow your email strategy.

Some highlights of the latest version include:

  • Microsoft Azure deployment. We are excited to share that EXM can now be deployed on Microsoft Azure Web App. Installation and configuration across scaled environments is now fully automated using PowerShell, getting you up and running quickly and reliably.
  • New information in the reporting dashboard. For marketers looking to share results quickly and have Key Performance Indicators at their fingertips, in EXM 3.5 you will now be able to see your top-level Sent, Delivered, Open, and Click Metrics in the top left pane of the dashboard as standard. See a spike in results and want to drill down further? With the dashboard filters, slice your top-level stats by date and time range. Furthermore, with the “Top 5” report, you can now jump directly into the detailed report for an email with a single click:

(Click to expand.) Top-level KPIs are now visible at a glance, and filters make more detail easily accessible.

  • Invalid recipients reporting and handling improvements. The best marketing campaign cannot be effective if it never reaches its target. One of the most vital elements in deliverability is the use of clean data, and EXM 3.5 now has campaign-level reporting on volume and percentage of invalid recipients for each send. Through configuration, invalid recipients can be skipped over during the dispatch process to ensure you are no longer attempting to send to these contacts. So your reputation will be protected for these inboxes, but your campaigns will move to the sent state and failed recipients will be reported, giving the marketer control over what to do next.
  • Use custom tokens for better personalization. With the options for personalization, email marketing teams can tap into the power of the Experience Platform to tailor key parts of the message to the recipient. Now in EXM 3.5, marketers will be able to use custom tokens via the client API. This can be used to personalize or create dynamic content within emails, which opens up a new world of possibilities for triggering messages tailored to the recipient, and a new avenue for surprising and delighting your customers.
  • Central configuration for multiple sites or languages. Organizations running multiple sites or languages through the Sitecore Experience Platform now have improved click handler support to ensure recipients are directed to the correct landing page. EXM 3.5 provides central configuration for Hostname Mapping to connect multiple sites and languages.

In addition to the key features above, we have made myriad improvements to EXM’s stability and performance. Dispatch performance, load times, and reporting have all been optimized to make the creation and sending of your next campaign faster and more effective than ever.

Note that as part of improvements to performance and reporting, EXM 3.5 removes the use of Engagement Plans from email campaign creation.

With the launch of EXM 3.5, now is a great time to power your customer-facing communications with personalized email campaigns and routine split testing. EXM works with the Sitecore Experience Platform to provide an efficient way to create, send, and report on campaigns that empowers teams to continually improve the way they communicate with their audience.

And, keep in mind Email Experience Manager’s core capabilities:

  • Segmented lists – target your customers and prospects based on their profile and engagement data to reach the right audience for your messages.
  • Personalization and dynamic content – display appropriate wording and imagery for your recipients to ensure they are getting the most relevant, engaging content.
  • Share results and identify areas for optimization – at-a-glance reporting dashboards allow you to view your engagement and deliverability metrics over time across campaigns, geographies, browsers, and devices.
  • Drill into your campaigns to see what’s working and where you can improve – using in-depth reporting, see hour-by-hour timelines of when and how your recipients opened and clicked. With hard bounce, unsubscribe, and complaint rate statistics, you can identify areas of focus to boost your deliverability.
  • Take care of your pre-send QA checklist with our built-in toolkit – including quick test message sending, inbox preview rendering reports, and spam checks – all from within the campaign creation process.
  • Optimize your campaigns with highly extensible A/B/n testing – configure your variants using a base template, then define different subject lines, message copy, call to action, and imagery to see what works best for your audience.

With the improvements from this latest upgrade to EXM, Sitecore Experience Platform’s email marketing solution more fully takes advantage of the rich data collected from all of your marketing activities.

Ben Burns is Sitecore Email Experience Manager Product Manager at Sitecore.