New interface and lots of features for the Marketing Automation – MC Release v.7.11.1

Here we are, another important step forward to offer you the Marketing Cloud of the future already today.
As of December 12th, 2022, a new version of the platform’s marketing automation is available.
The release is scheduled from 11:00 am to 11:30 am CET.

What can you do with this release?

Lots of new features in a revamped look and feel that will allow you to have an amazing user experience and get the most out of your journeys! Let’s take a look together at some of the new features we have planned for both the process of creating new automations and modifying existing ones. Enter the platform now and experience them all directly:

  • The Automations > Marketing Automation section where you can search and browse your automations has been streamlined.
    With this release the tabs have been reorganized and now ready automations are available in the list of active ones with the status clearly indicated.
    As you may remember, in this area were also available in the Templates tab, a number of preconfigured journeys from which you could start to create customized HTML according to your needs and desires. With the new version, you will find these templates directly when creating a new journey in the Templates tab.

 

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  • If you wish to look up automations in a particular status, in the list available under Automations > Marketing Automation you can click on the funnel symbol and choose for which field to filter: one or more than one at the same time.

 

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  • You can decide which fields to display in your journey list: some fields are set as a default, instead you can choose others to add by going into Automations > Marketing Automation > desired tab > Configure Table.

 

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  • Always remember to click Apply after each change to the section. This is another great new feature of the next release: if you forget to apply, your changes will be lost. Keep in mind, however, that changes in the field display are not saved permanently, but in case you want them, you have to make them as needed.
  • The visualization of your flows has also improved with this release. When you open an automation, you see a new graphic, which is fresher, cleaner, simpler, and where the new distribution of elements has prioritized intuitiveness.
    You can see the entire flow and decide where to click to get the relevant details.
    Thanks to the zoom buttons available immediately to its left, you can decide to consult the step you want.
    For easy access and reading of statistics, you find the data by simply clicking the step: delivery, bounces, openings, etc. at the click of a button.

 

 

  • When you create a new automation, by clicking Proceed, it is automatically saved as a draft and you can find it in the correct tab.
  • To edit an automation, if before you would have had to click on the pencil symbol next to the name, now select the automation from the list and enter Settings. Remember that you cannot edit automations that are running.

 

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  • Inserting a wizard for customizing a flow: once, for example, you have chosen the source and you want to continue designing of the journey, by clicking on the + symbol, the platform accompanies you through this activity. In fact, all the options available to allow you to identify the various steps and define their characteristics appear in the right part of the screen.

 

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  • Opening the Email Editor takes you to a larger window and retrieving the desired template, you will have both the HTML code and the preview on the same screen without having to switch tabs and exit.

 

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What does this mean?

Those proposed are just some of the many interesting improvements made to the Marketing Automation area of the platform. Each single intervention is aimed at optimizing your business and the time invested, and giving you the tools to create your campaigns in simplicity and speed, while still guaranteeing a successful result!

 

 

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News coming soon for your personal profile team management. AccountCentral UI Release v.3.0.0

From November, 30th 2022, a new version of the platform is available.
The release is planned from 11:15 am to 11:30 am CET.

What can you do with this release?

Logging into the platform

By logging into the platform, you can view the new Marketing Cloud interface and in the revamped environment you have direct access to the features available for your account.

Managing your personal profile

You can edit your personal profile by opening the dropdown in the top right-hand corner and clicking on Profile. Here you will find the area where you can keep your credentials up to date and ensure the highest levels of security when accessing your environment.

Team management

Finally, if you have an Admin role, you can manage your Team, from the Settings area of the Marketing Cloud Unified UI available in the bottom left-hand side menu

 

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What it means

With a goal to improving the user experience for platform users, we are working to optimise the navigation and layout of elements and functionalities within the platform, to make it more intuitive, user-friendly and up-to-date.

 

 

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Facilitates access to the platform, activates the External Identity Provider

Yes, we can confirm this, it is not an error what you read on the login page of the Contactlab platform.

 

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A few days ago we opened the possibility to request activation of access to the platform via External Identity Provider.

What can you do with this release?

This new feature allows you to independently manage your company’s users within the Contactlab platform, both in terms of authentication and authorisation, through federation with your domains.

In simpler words, the same credentials provided to your users to access the resources of your domain can be used to enter the Contactlab platform, completely transparent to the user.

It is therefore not necessary to create an account with specific credentials and access permissions, directly on the Contactlab platform.

For users with the appropriate rights, when logging onto the Contactlab platform the domain is recognised as federated and redirected to your Identity Provider for the authentication and authorisation steps. Once recognition is confirmed, access to the platform is granted in real-time.

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Benefits

  • Simplicity and operational savings: no need to create a new account on the Marketing Cloud or Send platform for each of your users. You become completely autonomous in managing users directly on your systems, increasing your control over access, reducing your operational user management needs, and those of your users who are relieved of the burden of managing an additional account.
  • Security: more attention is paid to the authentication phase, the user is asked to remember only one credential. Opportunities for confidential data to be exchanged are reduced, as well as the likelihood that the passwords chosen are more robust due to not having to memorise a set of different passwords as it only happens once and not each time a new resource is accessed.
  • Scalability: your brand will be able to provide access to as many users as needed without any constraints on the number of users that can be served.

Now

Contact our Customer Service to work out together which is the best solution for your needs. Although it is a platform functionality, activation is required.

Given the presence on the market of different modalities for federating users, all technical aspects need to be defined, starting with sharing the Identity Provider and the protocols you currently use, for the appropriate feasibility checks.

Don’t wait any longer, new opportunities are waiting for you!

 

 

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Work in progress for the Marketing Cloud UI

We will never tire of working to make the platform interface more and more user friendly! When we talk about the UI, our goal remains to create a user experience that is simple, intuitive and allows you to create successful campaigns in the shortest possible time.

What can you do with this release?

The releases of the last few days go in this direction. We have revised and updated some sections, making them more streamlined and easier to navigate.

HOME PAGE

  • A renewed distribution of elements with the availability of immediate access to the different features where permissions exist and by clicking on the Go to button.
  • The opportunity to stay up-to-date on news, latest releases and in-depth articles supporting the adoption of the platform.
  • A section containing all direct links to documentation, developer material and our customer care.

 

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USER PROFILE

In the drop-down menu in the top right-hand corner, you can access Profile, a section where changes have been made with a view to lightening the individual pages, speeding up the search for necessary information, simplifying consultation and improving visualisation.

Among the main ones, we would like to mention the pin and password management functions, which have been brought back into one place, within the Security Center tab.

SETTINGS

Several activities have been carried out in this area so far:

  • Team: a new tab Integration Accounts was created, available only to authorised users, where it is possible to know all not human users.
  • Users: it is now possible to manage the assignment of read or read/write permissions directly from the UI.
  • Retention Policy: some users with privileged permissions can intervene here to change the retention period of the data collected in the platform.

What does this mean?

We are in the midst of a continuous renewal process that we are committed to following in order to offer not only a complete and feature-rich platform, but one that is easy to use by anyone, with no need for specific technical skills, intuitive and that offers a user experience that is always at the highest level.

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DKIM: Better sign your emails and increase deliverability

Domain spoofing, phishing and spear phishing are now the order of the day, forcing more and more companies to equip themselves with email authentication systems in order to secure the best delivery rates, maintain a high reputation and get through spam filters.

In the recent past, we have had the opportunity to report how, alongside the historical SPF and DKIM methods, the use of DMARC has also become firmly established in recent years.

DMARC is based precisely on SPF and DKIM and helps those who send – the sender and often the brand, and those who receive – the receiver or mailbox provider, to determine whether a message has been sent legitimately.

For this reason, Send‘s functionality has long since been enhanced to provide the tools to achieve full adherence to the requirements that the DMARC protocol imposes and allow the full benefits of its adoption to be reaped.

In this article, we will look together at how the ways of selecting the DKIM to sign emails on Send ensure an increasingly effective DMARC alignment.

DKIM, DMARC and DMARC alignment

What is the DKIM protocol

DomainKeys Identified Mail is an email authentication standard that allows you to digitally sign messages and offer those who receive them, the ability to check:

  • The authenticity and thus that you are really authorised to send those emails.
  • The integrity, i.e. that the content has not been modify during the delivery.

How? When the email is received and before delivering the message, the recipient’s server verifies, thanks to an encrypted authentication, that the key in the header is the one associated with the sender’s domain. If so, the email ends up in the inbox.

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📣 In particular, Send allows you to manage on a single account, customised DKIMs on a domain-by-domain basis, guaranteeing their alignment with your sender domains, in the terms summarised below, talking about DMARC.

You can thus use different domains for different newsletters such as product mailings or commercial communications, and always be DMARC compliant and ensure maximum deliverability.

In addition, Send offers the possibility of setting 2048-bit keys for your account, confirming Contactlab as one of the first ESPs to propose such high security services at no extra cost.

How DMARC works

DMARC is a notification system that allows you to can gain visibility into the traffic of your domain as the sender. In addition to reporting the result of the check on SPF and DKIM, the implementation of this method creates a link between the domain visible to the sender (header FROM – RFC 5322) and the technical domains (Envelope From domain RFC 5321 and DKIM domain).

If the visible from domain is equal to the SPF or DKIM domain, then DMARC alignment occurs, or better the alignment condition that allows the email to be delivered correctly.

 

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In the event, however, that DMARC detects a misalignment between domains, it is you the sender who tells the receiver mailbox provider – Gmail, Microsoft, Yahoo! – how to handle the misaligned email. And you can do this by using a progressive severity logic in which you request the mailbox provider to:

  • not to apply policies and thus take no specific action on the mismatched email: p=none
  • put the unaligned email in spam: p=quarantine
  • reject the email: p=reject

It is immediately apparent that as DMARC spreads, the customisation of the DKIM domain and its alignment with your sender domain becomes more and more necessary.

New ways of selecting DKIM on Send

To simplify, DMARC alignment occurs when the from domain and DKIM domain are identical.

In reality, however, the rule may require more articulation. Two domains lead to DMARC alignment when their organisational domains coincide, in which case we speak of relaxed alignment. The organisational domain is the main part of a domain.

Taking mail.domain.com as an example, the organisational domain is domain.com. The organisational domain is normally the corporate domain, or brand domain.

If we therefore consider this extended version of the rule, it is possible to have DMARC alignment, certainly in cases of perfect coincidence between domains, but also in other situations.

Example 1
From: mybrand.com
DKIM: news.mybrand.com
DKIM: bulk.mybrand.com

Example 2
From: info.mybrand.com
DKIM: news.mybrand.com
DKIM: bulk.mybrand.com
DKIM: subs.mybrand.com

This opens up the possibility for you to set up a From whose domain does not necessarily coincide with one of the signed DKIM domains, but which nonetheless shares the organisational domain.

The recent innovations introduced in Send have considered the opportunity to adopt relaxed alignment when choosing the DKIM in order to meet your real needs, first and foremost, the desire to set the corporate domain in the From, without necessarily having to define a DKIM signature on it, with the need to delegate the top-level domain to Contactlab.

Concluding

DMARC is becoming increasingly popular because it guarantees reputation and good visibility, also thanks to BIMI support, and because it prevents domain spoofing. To take full advantage of it, however, the alignment of the sender and signed domains must always be ensured when choosing the DKIM.

Thanks to the revised DKIM selection criteria on Send, you can fully guarantee compliance with this requirement, benefiting from:

  • Greater flexibility in using different domains for different newsletters.
  • No delegation to Contactlab of top-level domains.
  • Full compliance with DMARC and improved service provided by SPF and DKIM.
  • Highest levels of deliverability and reputation preservation.
  • Protection of your business.
  • GDPR compliance.
  • Openness to possible security developments.

 

 

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Email Designer did not go on holiday, new features already available on the platform!

Why do we invest a lot of resources in the constant and continuous evolution of the editor Email Designer? Often the relationship with your customers starts with an email. Being able to design and create attention-grabbing, navigable, easily usable emails, even on mobile, are the key to immediately bringing consumers on board and accompanying them in their choice of your products and services.

A great email template can become the key to increasing your conversions and invigorating your business.

What can you do with this release?

Vertical alignment

Columns within a single row can now be aligned along a vertical axis. To offer better email readability and visualisation, this release gives you more control over the layout of elements in multi-column templates, while improving your user experience.

The new feature supports the creation of your html when the content is not evenly distributed in the rows. You can choose between top, middle or bottom alignment options to align the content of any single row containing two or more columns.

 

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What does this mean?

Imagine a row with two columns: in the first you decide to use an image, in the second you insert text. You may have rows with different heights, ending up with a lot of space under the column with less content.

The entire row will always inherit the height of the tallest column. If the image is not as high as the text in the other column, the text content will occupy the entire row height and the image will be at the top of the row, with a lot of white space below it.

With this new function, you can decide the alignment, e.g. central, to create an equal amount of space above and below the image.  If you prefer the image to be displayed at the bottom edge of the row instead, you can select the bottom alignment.

 

 

 

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More news for the UI of the customer profile area! – Hub & Marketing Cloud 7.3.0 Release

News continues for the Customer area of the platform.
The next release is scheduled for August, 31st, 2022, from 12:00 pm to 12:30 pm CEST.

What can you do with this release?

Thanks to summary dashboards, you will be able to access data:

  • On overall purchases, ecommerce and retail.
  • On the detail of the ecommerce world.
  • On the web context.

You will be able to see, for example, the total value of revenue and the same data for each individual context, average revenue per customer and per order, number of orders, total page views, etc.

You will have at a glance the opportunity to get a snapshot of the KPIs in one place selecting the desired timeframe, either a split snapshot for each context or an aggregated snapshot.

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Concluding

By dashboarding and navigating data on your customer base and their buying and web behaviours, we can offer additional analysis tools to build on the knowledge of the past and build the future based on data.

Contact us and with the support of our data analysts you can also set up activities to maximise the value of all the information you collect, process it and increase the value of each individual customer profile.

So much work has been done, but keep following us. We are already doing a lot of new developments for the platform, for your digital marketing activities, for you, for your business.

 

 

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New features for the Email Designer editor

Several studies confirm that around 70% of email openings take place from mobile, a behavior that leads us to constantly invest in the quality of emails visualisation from these devices, but also to optimise the way we design emails.

Email Designer thus provides some interesting features precisely to facilitate your intervention when creating email templates.

What can you do with this release?

An improved mobile design mode

To reduce customisation time of email campaigns, ensuring responsive templates, and improving usability from mobile devices, you can now control individual elements of your emails directly in the mobile viewport with just a few clicks and without affecting the desktop design.

By clicking the Mobile icon of a content property while in mobile design mode, you can:

  • Centre or align multi-column content on mobile.
  • Set a different padding value for mobile than for desktop.
  • Change the font size.

The changes made are only applied to the mobile output.

 

 

 

What does this mean?

Until now, the only way to differentiate or separate content between mobile and desktop was to use of Hide on Mobile. It was necessary to duplicate the content and then hide it in the desktop view to make it available only from the mobile device: an investment of resources and energy that was not always optimal. We worked for you and your business.

Borders and rounded corners

Borders

With this release you can set a border at row or column level directly in the sidebar, in the Rows tab, in both desktop and mobile versions.

The border characteristics you can set are:

  • Type: solid, dotted, dashed
  • Thickness
  • Colour

An important tip we would like to give you is not to exceed a border width of 8 pixels in case rendering on MS Outlook is a relevant aspect for your campaigns as this email client does not support larger sizes.

What does this mean?

Since borders help to organise and relate the elements of a template, this feature allows you to distribute content in a more usable and readable manner by row or column instead of by block.

Rounded corners

 

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To create a modern and elegant design in just a few minutes, you can apply rounded corners in the content area at row level, both in the desktop and mobile version.

You can change the characteristics of the corners in the sidebar, on the Rows tab, by adjusting the radius of all four corners or check individual corners by clicking on More Options.

Tip: Since most MS Outlook email clients do not support rounded corners, consider this limitation when using the feature.

What does this mean?

Studies show that rounded corners offer certain advantages for the design and thus the reading of an email including:

  • They appear less bright and present a less fatiguing image for the eyes to view.
  • Human eyes see rounded corners as safer.
  • Our eyes process information in bubbles more effectively than in boxes.

 

 

 

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Rendering in real time available for iPhone 13 and iOS15

Great news for the real-time rendering feature. As of today, it is enriched and it becomes possible to view email previews for:

– iPhone 12 Mini iOS 15
– iPhone 13 Mini iOS 15
– Office 365 macOS 12
– Gmail Windows 10

 

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The in-platform integration of the email preview tool makes it possible to access previews without any need for test deliveries or software external to Send. In fact, it is possible to visualise in a few seconds from the interface how the email will be displayed by the various mail clients, desktop or mobile, and by the most popular webmail, for the different operating systems.

If you are running out of free previews available for your company, contact your Contactlab contact or our Customer Service.

 

 

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You choose the behavior of your automations each time you suspend and reactivate deliveries – Flow API v.2.28.0-289 UI v.2.45.0 Release

From May, 25th, 2022 a new version of the Marketing Automation of the Contactlab platform will be available, the functionality that allows you to design your customer journeys and activate marketing communication campaigns with content, channels and timing tailored to each individual contact. The release is scheduled from 3:30 pm to 4:00 pm CEST.

What can you do with this release?

alert messageWith a view to optimising dispatch, ensuring maximum efficiency of your automation and improving the operability of both processes and user activities, you can decide whether to remove or keep users within an automation if the status changes from paused to active, if the set condition is no longer valid and there are contacts in the queue waiting.

What this means exactly. Let us suppose that within a flow an email is scheduled to be sent after a one-week check, for example on the opening of an ecommerce page. If the automation was paused between the customer’s online activity and the communication delivery – so let’s say within the week’s wait, and the automation was only re-activated after a month, it would probably no longer make sense to send to the contacts in the queue.

Every time you find yourself re-activating a flow, you see a message in which the platform asks what to do. The question is not asked if there are no queues, i.e. there are no users waiting because they have fulfilled the set condition.

What it means

With this release you can decide how the journey should behave in the situation of a change of status and in the presence of dispatch queues. Choosing how to handle the restarted flow after a pause means:

  • Ensure that the delivery schedule is maintained despite the pause.
  • Always provide relevant content.
  • Maintain the conditions set on automation.
  • Reducing dispatch queues.
  • Maximise sending power and effectiveness.

 

 

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