A top-notch e-mail reputation to bring deliverability at the highest levels!

Domain Authentication: limits and developments

A new message!The authentication of the sender’s domain is increasingly important in the world of e-mail. Threats such as domain spoofing, phishing and spear phishing have encouraged the development of stronger authentication strategies for brands. Protocols such as SPF – Sender Policy Framework and DKIM – DomainKeys Identified Mail, have started showing some pitfalls. It becomes fundamental to think about adding new check methods, first of all DMARC.

 

Why DMARC?

Based on SPF and DKIM usage, DMARC extends their value:

  • to safeguard brand’s reputation and its customers
  • to protect the business
  • to enable the GDPR compliance

Furthermore DMARC brings benefits to deliverability. It is now clear that the adoption of DMARC with a restrictive policy positively influences the score of the major mailbox providers, starting from Gmail which explicitly suggests it in the bulk senders guidelines.

A restrictive DMARC policy is also necessary for the implementation of the BIMI – Brand Indicators for Message Identification – i.e. showing the official brand logo directly in the inbox. BIMI is actively adopted by Verizon (Yahoo !, AOL) and will be implemented in the coming months by Gmail and Microsoft.

SPF and DKIM

SPF is the e-mail authentication protocol based on the origin IP. SPF is a DNS record of the sending domain and contains the reference to all the IPs that are enabled to send e-mails. If the e-mail receiving service recognizes the IP as valid, the e-mail is forwarded to the recipient’s inbox. Otherwise, the communication is labeled as spam. In a nutshell, it certifies that a specific IP is really authorized to send e-mails and there has not been an inappropriate use. The SPF record is validated on the envelope from domain and not on the domain visible to the final customer.

DKIM signature is instead a cryptographic signature that guarantees the integrity of the message from the moment it is sent till the inbox. Brands can sign their e-mails with their domain name and guarantee the integrity of the content of the message. For example in Send, the default DKIM is contactlab.it. This ensures that all e-mails sent via Send are properly signed with a domain that has a good reputation.

SPF and DKIM are fundamental requirements to legitimize the sender domain but they may not be enough and sometimes can be subject to false positives. In some cases, the SPF and DKIM checks could highlight problems even in totally legitimate contexts. Think about when an e-mail is forwarded or conveyed through a maling list.

What happens in these cases? When the SPF or DKIM check fails, the receiver mailbox provider – MBP has the right to decide whether the message is legitimate and therefore harmless, or potentially harmful to the mailbox user.

And this is where DMARC – Domain Based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance comes into play, a protocol providing brand with the option to indicate to the mailbox provider how to distinguish false positives from spoofing and phishing threats and what actions to take in each possible scenario.

How DMARC works

DMARC is a notification system thanks to which the brand acquires visibility on the traffic of its domain. In fact, in addition to reporting the result of the check on SPF and DKIM, this method creates a link between the domain visible to the reader (header FROM – RFC 5322) and the technical domains (Envelope From domain RFC 5321 and DKIM domain).

If the visible domain – from – is the same as the SPF or DKIM domain, then the DMARC Alignment occurs and the e-mail is delivered correctly.

 

DKIMFig. 1: Contactlab applies a DKIM linked to the contactlab.com domain to its service e-mails

 

In the event that DMARC detects a misalignment between the domains, it is the brand that indicates to the mailbox provider receiver such as Gmail, Microsoft, Yahoo! …, how to manage the non-aligned e-mail. And it does it using a progressive severity logic which requires the MBP to:

  • p=none → do not apply any policies and do not take any actions with the e-mail in error
  • p=quarantine → mark the non-aligned e-mail as spam
  • p=reject → reject the e-mail

Note that the above policies also influence BIMI, in particular the requirements to activate it are:

  • Quarantine DMARC policy or reject.
  • DNS BIMI records and compatible logo.
  • Good domain reputation.

It appears immediate that with the spread of DMARC, the customization of the DKIM domain and its alignment with the sender’s domain or subdomain is increasingly required.

Said that, what does Send offer?

Send provides the tools to achieve full compliance with the DMARC requirements and enables you to take advantage of the benefits offered by its adoption.

In particular, it is possible to manage customized DKIMs on a domain basis within a single Send account, ensuring for each domain the alignment with the brand’s sending domains.

In this way, the brand can use different domains for different newsletters (product mailings, commercial communications, etc.), always comply with DMARC and ensure the highest level of deliverability.

To find out the requirements for multi-DKIM activation, contact Contactlab representative or our Customer Service. In addition, the Contactlab Deliverability Team is available to help you in the correct implementation of the DMARC policy, with technical and strategic suggestions.

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UI/UX series: Lights and shadows that illuminate the interface

Empty state, color, typography…slowly the mosaic is made up and we discover everything about the new design chosen for the Marketing Cloud platform. It is the turn of the elevation.

UX/UI series #4

Elevation

One of the principles of our visual language is to have a three-dimensional space, within which the elements can be inserted and moved. But just like in the physical world, the various elements have properties that must be respected.

They can be placed side by side, overlap or be positioned in a certain sequence, but they cannot pass through each other. For example, it is important to remember that objects cast shadows and reflect light. When choosing how to use them, keep in mind the effects they can produce and be careful that the result is not confusing and unclear.
In adopting these principles, we have decided to create a model that is known to users and consistently applicable throughout our system.

All precautions and principles that we have adopted in the re-design of the platform interface, imagining and creating a model that can be applied consistently throughout our system.

Elevation planes

The elevation is the relative depth, or distance, between two surfaces along the Z axis. If we take a screen as an example, the Z axis occupies the virtual space towards the front and back. The plane represented by the screen has an X,Y coordinate system, with 0,0 being at the top left. However, the Z elevation is represented by an imaginary line pointing towards the user, while -Z is the line in the opposite direction, behind the screen plane.

The elevation of an element is represented visually by a shadow, which is the only indicator that helps a user perceive the spatial elevation between multiple surfaces. Shadows provide important visual clues about the depth of objects and their movement.

The elevation of an object determines the appearance of its shadow.

Elevation Levels

Shadow

Each elevation level projects the same type of shadow on the plane below. This means that two elements on the same elevation plane will project shadows with the same characteristics.

We have defined the shadows for each elevation level, so they are distinguishable from each other and communicate a correct impression of depth, when compared with what we experience in the real world.

Shadow

How to use

Predefined elevations

Some elements have either a predefined or dynamic elevation level, which should not be altered in any way.

  • Do: If the interface component has a predefined elevation plane, this should not be changed at all. The snippets listed above should only be used in specific instances.
  • Don’t: Do not alter the elevation of components when it is already defined.

do_dont

Elements on the same level

Elements on the same elevation level cannot overlap. It is important to maintain an elevation hierarchy, within which the highest element is above the lower ones.

  • Do: When elevated elements overlap, the priorities must be managed so that the lower elevation level is displayed beneath the higher one.
  • Don’t: Do not overlap elements with a lower elevation level. These elements can be placed side by side, but not overlapped.

do_dont

Now

We could say much more and give many other examples on the topic of elevation and good practices. What emerges from this brief introduction and we want to emphasize is the importance of interpreting the principles of elevation and applying them without forgetting the impact they have on the user’s eye and navigation.

The position and movement options of the elements in the space on the screen contribute to enriching and facilitating the user experience in using our interface. We have created an orderly, clean and pleasant to navigate virtual place to make the use of the Marketing Cloud pleasant.

But it’s not over yet! We will further explore just why the new UI was designed and implemented as you see it today. Stay tuned!

 

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Empty States Colors Typo Elevators Structure
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CDP series: Activation

CDP series Activation

Have you already heard about Customer Activation Strategy? The most popular definition among experts offers interesting ideas for those who deal with marketing and must build and finalize communications aimed at customers to increase their engagement or overall sales.

It consists in using all the data made available by the CDP to identify the most effective marketing actions for each cluster and make customers more active towards the brand, with more frequent and higher value interactions – be they purchases, subscriptions , donations, …

Are you wondering why we talk about it right now? Because the heart of the Contactlab Marketing Cloud, that is the Customer Data Platform, can support you in carrying out these activities,

  • Integrating information in profiles.
  • Using and activating data.
  • Automating actions towards specific targets.
  • Generating a positive impact.
  • With execution and results in the shortest possible time.

Welcome then to the fifth round of the series on the Contactlab CDP.

Activation

We have seen together how to create and enrich profiles and the potential offered by advanced segmentation tools. Now we have to use these data. Let’s talk about Activation.

For those of us who deal with CDP, Activation consists of starting from the segments to design and execute marketing campaigns. Campaigns that base their success to some components on which the marketeer has to act, considering his own goal but also the customer needs and expectations. You have to personalize them.

And these variables in the activation phase are basically three:

MessageContent: a tailored message on customer desires, preferences, socio-demographic data, hits the mark more than a generalist and impersonal communication. The content is not only word – or substance – but also form. An email with all the elements and spaces distributed and used correctly, or with attractive images and videos, invites the customer to click, to get to the heart of the relationship and start his adventure for example on the ecommerce portal.

 

TimingTiming: an email received at the right time has higher openings and click rates. Time can be the instant of the day or in the customer’s life cycle. The first is simple, let’s see the second. If I have purchased infant formula for months, my son will probably no longer use it after one year. How do I react if the brand continues to send me communications regarding a product I no longer need? Knowing the customer means understanding that it’s time to promote other products that follow him, and that follow his changed needs.

 

Channel Channel: nowadays the importance of multiplatform and multichannel communication is a fact. To be successful, a brand must plan to interact on all the contact channels, choosing the preferred ones for each single customer. And as some of them may be active on several different fronts simultaneously, it is necessary to harmonize the activities on the various channels to ensure consistency in the messages and in order to propose an integrated offer and successful marketing plans.

 

Contactlab supports the brands with a combination of services and technologies able of managing the personalization of content, timing and channels.

 

Content, timing, channels

When you talk about content, you meanly deal with creating communications and goes hand in hand with the contact channels.

> To reach your customers you can rely on the SMS which, according to recent research, is still a very effective channel with opening rates above 98%. In 90% of these cases, they are open within three minutes (source Forbes) and 74% of those who read it, then interact with the brand (source SMS Advantage Report). It therefore continues to be a valid option both as a one-shot delivery and inserted in a more complex contact plan. Choose concatenated SMS to not limit the length of the text or use the special UCS-2 characters to convey your messages in many modern languages. Plan delivery to punctual segments or use this channel in customer journeys. The choice is wide, relying on professionals can help not to leave any road unexplored.

> When it comes to email, the choice of the HTML editor must be made by balancing the creative need towards the ease of use. It is necessary to evaluate what the specific needs are in order to create attractive and successful emails. In most situations, privileging the creative area means collaborating with a team of experts – often external companies – which provides more sophisticated tools that require in-depth technical knowledge not found within the organization. On the other hand, if you prefer the usability so desired and desired by the brands over the years to increase their autonomy, you put the attention on drag and drop and simplicity which more often do not require specific skills. In any case, whatever the preferred solution, the added value comes from platforms equipped with an integrated editor so that HTML can be called from within the application and it is not necessary to open anything else externally to proceed. In addition of course to the possibility of using the communication obtained both for one-shot delivery and for selected audiences or at the appropriate time, in predefined automations.

> Then there are push notifications. Thanks to webhooks that facilitate the exchange of information, it is now possible to interact with software designed specifically for this type of delivery. When an event is logged, a notification is sent to the external system in a completely transparent way and the communication sent automatically.

In short, the list goes on. You have to be clear from the beginning what you want to achieve in order to understand what you need to build and adopt a platforms that can follow you on your path.

Timing. A focus on timing arises from the fact that the customer is increasingly sophisticated today, has high expectations regarding the quality of the relationship that the brand wants to create and maintain with him. He has many different opportunities with the brands and he must understand where to invest his resources. And this is where the topic of marketing automation comes into play. As we said in a previous article in the series, the era of mass mailing has now ended – or rather, it is no longer the only one and certainly the most appropriate choice for every situation, without distinction. It is necessary to create journeys for your customers in which you anticipate and follow their needs, actions, preferences to always be able to capture their attention. Because it is precisely to the individual that you can turn to and this the customer perceives it. To do this, the availability of data in unique profiles becomes vital, where you collect all the information concerning him updated in real-time, also managing to predict behavior or trends.

All this can be found in the Customer Data Platform signed Contactlab.

 

The benefits from activation with the Contactlab Marketing Cloud

  • Create communications simply and independently.
  • Design differentiated and tailored journeys.
  • Communicate in real-time, automatically and in the most suitable moment.
  • Establish lasting individual relationships.
  • Improve the customer experience.
  • Increase the engagement.

All of this while being fully compliant with GDPR.

 

And now?

Contact us to know our CDP. Contactlab can become your partner from the analysis and the shaping of your customer activation campaigns to execution and monitoring. To learn from your activities, to learn from tour customers.

 

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CDP series 1 Data Collection CDP Series CDP series 3 CDP series 4 CDP series 5 CDP series 6
LIVE LIVE LIVE LIVE LIVE
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UI/UX series: A pleasant view, thanks to the typography

Following the empty state and color , we now move on to typography and using a modular scale. The Typographic composition of different pages means presenting all the text-based elements in a clear, attractive and readable way, in a word… Harmonic.

As a result, we have paid special attention to these aspects in the re-design of the Marketing Cloud UI, always keeping the goal of creating an effective and successful user experience in mind.

 

Typography and a Modular scale

mytype UI/UX series #3

Text elements and typography generally play a very important role, representing one of the main ways of conveying information from one point to another. As a result, we decided to shape user experience down to this level.

As often happens, the main challenge in our case was to be able to establish how to use them early on. Each element can communicate different messages and emotions, based on how it is used. We need to know how much we want to take advantage of these aspects from a design point of view. After all, they could represent up to 85-90% of any screen and in our case, in some areas, it is exactly like this.

Typography is often one of the foundation components that you will want to get right, as it will need to work harmoniously with other elements, like icons and UI controls. Your line-heights, for example, may even influence many other structural elements, like spacing and grids. Here are a few key areas you need to pay attention to.

 

Choosing typefaces

There’s lots to consider when choosing typefaces, especially if they are intended for use on the web and on-screen. You may also need to work cross-functionally with marketing teams, to fit your brand’s typefaces into your system.

In fact, typefaces can easily become a unique focal point and recognition factor, helping to subtly convey the right tone and personality throughout the users’ digital experiences. You may want to pair a display font with a more readable typeface for the bulk of the text. But if performance is a critical goal, many design systems will often leverage system/native font-stacks for different platforms, to avoid loading web fonts.

There are many things, or better priorities, to factor into your decision, but it’s a good idea to find the right balance between:

  • Personality.
  • Performance.
  • On-screen legibility.

Our visual language uses the modern sans-serif Montserrat typeface.

 

We love the geometric simplicity of the letters, especially the capitals. It really shines for short pieces in all caps. In lowercase, Montserrat is still a pretty strong font, with a nice large x-height, and in our opinion, it has a lot more character than Arial or Helvetica.

Importantly, Montserrat is released under the SIL Open Font License, making it free software according to the Free Software Foundation.

 

Modular scale

Using modular scales in designs, is a way to make conscious and important decisions regarding measurements on the web. Modular scales are an effective tool to use in responsive design and in grid-based systems, not in contrast to them.

In our project, they provide us with an alternative way of building our creations, and help us achieve a visual harmony, which cannot be found in compositions that use arbitrary, conventional or easily divisible numbers.

For example, you will need at least six levels of heading (h1 to h6), whether you will use them all or not.

UX/UI series #3

Modular scales are based on a set of numbers that combine with each other in a harmonious relationship. In a Fibonacci series, for instance, each number is a result of two previous numbers added together. If your base size is 16px and you want to choose your headings according to the golden section, the scale of sizes is made up of 16, 26, 42, 68, 110, 178, and so on.

 

And the result is…

It is easy to understand the impact of typefaces on a user’s eye. A well-organized page, with all the elements conceived and distributed in a proportional and orderly manner, becomes enjoyable to navigate. The possibility of the user leaving the session due to lack of clarity, for example, is reduced considerably.

In upcoming articles, we will further explore just why the new UI was designed and implemented as you see it today. Stay tuned!

 

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Empty States Colors Typo Elevators Structure
EMPTY STATES COLOR TYPOGRAPHY
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The best for the Marketing Cloud in 2019

2019 has just ended, and it’s time to look at the results. We’ve tried very hard to select the platform’s key innovations, but there have been so many releases and awards, it’s not been a simple choice. Let’s look at an arbitrary selection together.

By the way, if you too want to immediately take advantage of all this and much more, why not contact us and we will explore together how technology and Contactlab experts can be the key to success for your business!

 

A strengthened identity, with a new design system

TopTen Design Recognizability, identity and consistency are all words that have guided the redesign of the platform. The visual appearance is part of good communication and is an extremely important variable. After all, the design is the first thing the user interacts with, when accessing the platform. Seeing any screen, they must immediately recognize it, associate it with the brand and understand it. As a result, we have worked hard to strengthen the concept of a unique identity, which is clear and common to every element used.

 

A new UI, focused on usability

Analysts assert that four out of five users are not satisfied with the experience that brands offer them. But our goal is to give customers the best possible interaction experience while using the platform. As a result, the new Marketing Cloud interface was born. A unique and mobile-responsive work environment, which improves integration between the various functions, and facilitates navigation with a simple-to-use sidebar menu.

 

More flexibly organized data, to create the best possible customer view, ready for marketing activities

TopTen CDP

At the heart of the Marketing Cloud is what Gartner calls a Customer Data Platform. A technology that is capable of enabling brands to integrate contact data from different channels, into unique and individual profiles based on the brand’s needs. Demographic, behavioral and predictive data that produces a single 360​​° view of each customer, which is ready to be elaborate, analyze and activate – even when teams independently manage distinct or separate customer bases. And the arrival of the aggregate node allows you to overcome data silos and create even more personalized campaigns, with precise timelines and effective targeting.

 

It is no longer enough to read the data, you need to analyze and correlate it

TopTen Analysis&ReportsOften, data tells you stories that you can’t see at first sight. We need to explore and correlate it to discover new meanings and information… to know your customers better, monitor campaigns more closely and improve the results, and make increasingly accurate strategic decisions. For example, you can find out which activity has most influenced your business, or which segment has performed better. You can even rely on our data intelligence experts to help you understand how to transform your data into unexpected and very meaningful information.

 

Creating emails has become child’s play with Email Designer

The platform has been enhanced with a new editor for creating emails, which is even more intuitive and quick… and now it’s available to all platform users completely free. You can begin from one of the templates in the library, or start from scratch. You can share templates across your brands and use them in your plans, or customer journeys. You can do everything by yourself or take advantage of our experts. The key word is simplicity. Access Send and start designing mobile ready responsive-designed templates, taking full advantage of all the simplicity that drag & drop offers.

TopTen: ED


Intense customer journey customization: Multichannel, in real-time, using individual content. In a nutshell: One-to-One

TopTen: Marketing AutomationThe key to success with customer engagement, is the unforgettable experience that can be achieved, thanks to increasingly contextual and personal marketing activities. Relying on in-depth knowledge of each contact, Contactlab Marketing Automation allows you to orchestrate individual journey steps in a simple and speedy way. Decide who to address, on which channel and how, for example, to customize dynamic fields, then enrich their profile with new information, gathered during your trip together.

 

Integrate your systems with the Marketing Cloud, in a few clicks

TopTen integrazioni

Managing customer data in different environments, does not mean they cannot be encouraged to talk to each other. Thanks to APIs, SDKs and plug-ins, you can easily and quickly connect your systems with the Marketing Cloud and, as a result, enhance the features of both technologies.

 

And 2020 will be even more electrifying!

We have many news for the year that has just begun. We know that the real challenge for brands is to communicate with their customers in a truly personalized way. Follow them on all channels without compromising their experience, collect the mountain of information about their behavior and preferences, in real-time and make them actionable for building trusted and long-lasting relationships. Contactlab can be by your side with a combination of technology and services that can make a difference in customer engagement! Contact us now.

 

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End an automation with the same event condition as it was started – Flow UI Release v. 2.17.0

Now with Flow v. 2.17.0, you can configure a contact to leave an automation, with exactly the same event condition that was used to insert them.

Of course, the same functionality is available in the Automations section of the Marketing Cloud UI.

What does this release enable you to do?

Imagine a contact is added to a Real-time source when they purchase something worth more than €100, and so trigger a Completed order insertion event with the associated condition. As a result, the automation sends an email, or perhaps an SMS, to encourage them to make a further purchase. When they do, the customer completes the automation’s aim and so triggers the Removing event, which is also Completed order.

Of course, the automation can be far more complex, but this simple example serves to illustrate just one of the many possibilities. A summary of the steps is:

  1. Select a Real-time source for a new automation.
  2. As a Triggering event, select Completed order.
  3. Under Event rules, select amount – revenue, followed by Equal to or greater than and 100.
  4. Under Removing event, choose Completed order, then select the checkbox to force removing the customer if both events are satisfied.
  5. Define the required automation, with the appropriate Action steps and similar.

For further details, see the Flow guide.

What does this mean in everyday use?

Now, contacts can be removed from a flow after completing the desired activity, even when the triggering and removing events appear to be exactly the same… while in reality, the removing event takes place as the result of completing one or more automation steps.

 

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Choose the contact attributes you export – Plan UI Release v. 1.21.13

Think how useful it would be to export exactly the customer attributes you need, when you download a segment contact list… Well, with the new Plan version 1.21.13, you can!

Of course, the same functionality is available in the Plans section of the Marketing Cloud UI.

 

What does this release enable you to do?

If you have the appropriate permissions, simply locate the appropriate segment and open the Edit segment page, then click the Download list icon at the bottom of the Segment Summary panel, to display the Download CSV page. Then, you just select the fields you require. The only limitations are a maximum of 10 fields, and no more than one million contacts in the download.

Once you’ve chosen your fields, simply click Download CSV and you’re done.

Of course, if you require more fields or contacts, we have a solution for that too. See the Plan guide for more details.

 

What does this mean in everyday use?

Now, instead of just downloading the contacts’ email addresses, you have the option of choosing exactly which attributes you require.

 

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An interface that focuses on usability… out with modules, IN with sections

Just a few days ago, we introduced the latest version of the new Marketing Cloud UI. But rest assured, work has not stopped and will continue throughout the Christmas period!

To welcome in the new year, Contactlab will introduce several new features that will make the platform a truly enhanced and unique experience. And since we can’t wait, here’s a preview.

The usability interface

One reason we decided to rethink the design of the Marketing Cloud, is to make the navigation between various modules easier. The first version of the new interface – the one you are using now – has already moved in this direction, standing out through several important elements, which make it very intuitive and particularly easy to use:

  • A sidebar menu that is always available, making sure there is no need to open new windows.
  • A company that follows the user, enabling you to jump from one module to another, while continuing to use the same company.
  • Optimized for use on tablets, dynamically adapting its components to different formats – making it easier to manage campaigns, even while you are on the move.
  • An environment dedicated to you, with a single point of reference to manage your account.
  • Supporting messages in a fresh and modern graphic style, to guide you through your journey in the cloud.
  • The settings of all modules in one place.

A lot of ingredients that already make the interface something special. And the next releases will continue to have a huge impact on your browsing experience within the platform. An evolution that will promote the Marketing Cloud to even higher levels, with enormous benefits for those like you, who use it every day.

Out with modules, in with sections

How do we make something that is already intuitive even more so? By deciding to change the navigation menu and replace the names of the modules with something more immediate – something that recalls what they actually allow you to do.

UI - new releaseAnd that’s how we came up with the sections:

  • Customers: To learn more about your customer base and any changes, as well as new and removed profiles… right down to the details of each individual contact.
  • Algorithms: To discover the KPIs and behavioral forecasts that enrich your contact profiles.
  • Segments: To go deeper and create audiences for your campaigns that promote a one-to-one, individual and personalized relationship with your customers.
  • Plans: To optimally manage and send your communications, in exactly the same place that you create your target audience.
  • Automations: To build automated flows that follow your customers on their journey with your brand, in real-time.

You’ll always have everything you a looking for about your company’s activities, in one place  – easily accessible and even easier to use.

If you already use some modules of the Marketing Cloud, but still haven’t accessed the new interface, don’t wait any longer. Contact us, and together, we will make it possible for you.

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UI/UX series: Even color plays its part

Today, we again look at a subject close to our hearts, the new Marketing Cloud interface. Why is it so important? Because it is the first thing the user interacts with, when accessing the Contactlab platform.

The previous article covered the Empty State, which introduced the value of design in creating an effective and successful customer experience. Now, we continue the series with another extremely relevant component, which contributes to the unique and clear identity of an interface: The color.

 

The color

Colors

Color is a very important means of communication in any visual language. It represents one of the most effective ways of transposing one or more concepts from one place to another. Supported by colors, you can indicate which elements are interactive, how they relate to others and their level of prominence: The most important elements should stand out the most.

During the re-design of the platform, we used cold color palettes, because they can help users assimilate a technical interface visually. We also think this choice enhances the characteristics of all the components of the platform and reinforces the individuality of our brand. We could not achieve the same results with warm color palettes.

Because of these colors, we have enhanced the readability text, icons and similar, compared with their appearance on different backgrounds. We focused mainly on the simplicity, speed and ease of use of the Marketing Cloud – ensuring this applied to any type of screen and device –  especially given that multichannel is an important aspect that we did not want to leave out.

 

Color palettes

The system we used to apply color to the UI involves a so-called organized approach:

  • A primary color, or accent.
  • A secondary color, also known as the base.

For the design of the interface and all the visual elements, we adopted color palettes comprising of nine shades each, which are in turn composed of four lighter and four darker tints.

In this way, dark and light variants of each color can be applied to a UI in different combinations.

We preferred the Accent color for elements such as a Call-To-Action (CTA) which have to be highly recognizable.

The Base color on the other hand, gives us many ways to accent and distinguish selected parts of the UI. Having a further base color is optional and should be applied sparingly to accent selected parts of the UI.

Pallettes

Feedback & neutral colors

Feedback and neutral colors are supporting colors. They  are used to supplement the principal palettes and are mainly used to display status messages or alerts.

For example, the Warning color is intended to be used for important but non-blocking notifications. Conversely, the Error color is only to be used for error messages that require direct intervention by the user.

Pallettes #2

Combining colors

We have chosen a cold color scheme, because it allows greater flexibility in use. By not having overly strong colors, the possibility of using them increases, while the risk of low contrast effects is reduced. The colors used must, however, follow precise contrast mapping criteria.

 

White, black and combinations

Our palette allows you to use white and black as foreground colors. From 100 to 500 the black foreground is accessibleWCAG AA. The same goes for the white foreground from 500 to 900.

Combining colors

Beyond black and white text, our palette provides a range of accessible combinations. Subtracting the foreground color grade from the background color grade (or vice versa), helps you determine whether that color combination successfully meets the WCAG AA contrast ratio criteria.

If the difference between two grades is ≤ 400, the colors are accessible. Anything below a difference of 400 fails accessibility standards and requires attention.

 

Color in use

The significance of colors

The supporting palette is designed to be used with particular types of notification and in specific situations. Colors should only be used in these circumstances:

  • Do: Use the appropriate colors to identify status, alert and confirmation messages to the user.
  • Don’t: Use the Warning and Error supporting colors to accompany information unrelated to the color’s purpose.

How to use

Contrasts

All colors should only be combined according to the contrast map provided.

  • Do: Use colors that are not difficult for the user to assimilate, in accordance with the contrast map.
  • Don’t: Overlay colors that do not pass the contrast validation result, as displayed in the contrast map.

Contrast

Now…

One thing is certain. Color transmits emotions and has a huge impact on the user. Paying attention to color means taking care of those who use the platform. The choice of one or other determines the user experience, its effects on satisfaction and the success of the platform.

In the upcoming articles, we will continue to discover why the new UI was designed and implemented as you see it today. Stay tuned!

 

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Discover the UX/UI Marketing Cloud series!

Empty States Colors Typo Elevators Structure
EMPTY STATES COLOR TYPOGRAPHY
ELEVATION
STRUCTURE

 

 

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CDP series: Advanced Segmentation

CDP series #4

Here is the fourth article about the features of a CDP, to discover together how the heart of the Contactlab Marketing Cloud is a data management platform. Now, it’s time to talk about Advanced Segmentation.

You have collected your contact details in real-time from all your sources, and automatically integrated them into individual profiles. You’ve collated and organized them, are keeping them up to date, and you are elaborating and enriching the data to foresee future behavior. Now let’s start looking at segmenting your contacts for marketing activities.

Choose who talk to and what to tell them

Once upon a time there were mailing lists… an indistinct set of email addresses. The greatest dream of a marketing manager was to be able to get the email addresses of their customers and prospects, mainly to send generic messages at any time of the day. Undifferentiated communications, fast and immediate, which had the advantage of reaching very large audiences while limiting costs. And still today, it is a valid marketing lever, both alone and included in a mix of activities, which is aimed at reaching the market… above all, relying on, for example, new channels such as the web and social media.

Advanced segmentationBut your contacts are not all the same. For sure they are all valuable, but they do not have the same characteristics, or the same needs, or even recognize your brand in the same way. To get straight to their hearts, you have to raise engagement to a personal level and talk to each one individually.

You decide who to address and how. Choose the filters you prefer to apply to any data set, and in just a few clicks, tell them exactly what they want to hear. The more you narrow down the segment, or the more you refine it, the more effective your activities will be. In this way, customer satisfaction increases and with it, the perception of your brand’s interest, competence and reliability.

Starting from the profiles you have created, segmentation helps you optimize the individual communication activities, leading to a higher ROI and perhaps, in the quickest possible way.

Obviously, such an approach – one-to-one – is not always required. The situation, timing, methods and requirements of every occasion determine its real need. But when your goal is the customer, their care and engagement in the first person, the choice must fall on advanced segmentation.

Advanced Segmentation

Many analysts say that a positive customer experience has become the real competitive advantage, and that this human factor is the variable brands should always keep under control.

Segmentation tools provide valid support to live tailored experiences. But they must be ready for use, intuitive, simple, immediate and:

  • Deliver results in real-time.
  • Do not need any technical ability.
  • Be integrated with the customer base that is being worked on.
  • Allow immediate use of the data, including by external systems.

In this way, it is possible to start from the characteristics and needs of each contact, then combine them with the aims of your brand to build customer plans or journeys, which in turn become lasting and profitable relationships for both.

When it comes to campaign audiences, the options that are typically open to a marketeer include:

Socio-DemoBasic segmentation: Mainly focused on socio-demographic variables such as age, country, level of education, sex and date of birth, or on data relating to a newsletter subscription, the frequency of deliveries and similar. This information is easily available through, for example, profiling forms or preference choices, typically given in exchange for a gift or a discount to the customer.

BehavioralBehavioral segmentation: Comes from the actions carried out, or not, by customers and the brand. You need to listen, pick up the signals, constantly monitor the points of contact and make sure you don’t miss anything. Attention can be paid to email openings and clicks, site navigation, store presence … to discover new needs and define strategies.

Segmentazione predittivaPredictive segmentation: By applying algorithms and KPIs, you arrive at information that helps you understand the value of customers to your brand. Knowing if a customer is at risk of churn, or if they will continue to be a top spender, is particularly useful in, for example, remarketing campaigns. You can identify clusters to whom to target timely actions, including automatic ones.

 

As you move from basic to predictive segmentation:

  • The level of content customization, timing and channel choice significantly increase in importance.
  • The opportunities to create effective experiences or journeys increase.
  • The satisfaction of your customers explodes, opening the doors to new business opportunities.

Segmentation does not only mean creating a target

Many brands insist that refined segmentation tools are also useful for exploring their contact base. Before you even create communication segments, you can take advantage of what you have – data, technology and industry knowledge – to discover your customers. By adopting new filters to the results, combining existing segments or temporally correlating events, you can obtain valuable information incredibly quickly – to decide upon the activities to be undertaken and positively influence the future of your business.

The opportunities offered by micro-segmentation can be endless. Let’s think about distribution policies, for example. Apparently, they have little to do with customers but, understanding where major purchases take place, which products are the most sought after and when interest in your brand is at its maximum, allows you to organize distribution in a more accurate and informed way, in the points of sale and on various channels. And this is just one example.

Obviously, the segmentation tools are not magic. For results to be valid, the data that you query must be correct, up to date and of high quality, whatever the objective.

 

The benefits from advanced segmentation

  • Design differentiated and tailored campaigns.
  • Improve the customer experience.
  • Create engagement, trust and loyalty.
  • Establish lasting individual relationships.
  • Discover your customer base.
  • Make more informed business decisions.

All of this while being fully compliant with GDPR.

 

And now?

Contact us. Contactlab can provide you with the best experts. Experts who understand how to use the tools you are looking for, to address your contacts with activities designed just for them, in the most targeted and valuable way you have ever considered.

 

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Discover the CDP series!

CDP series 1 Data Collection CDP Series CDP series 3 CDP series 4 CDP series 5 CDP series 6
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