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.



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 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.

Read more

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.


Read more

Flow Series: And what if it’s an abandoned cart? (3/3)

Flow #3

Turn your shoppers into multi-channel customers

Do you know that brands in the consumer world, which have implemented marketing automation solutions, and rely on automated flows for the management of their communication activities, report significant and constantly increasing conversion rates for abandoned carts?

Abandoned CartIn previous articles (p.1; p.2), we have seen how to convert customers from in-store to online purchases as well, starting a new relationship as a result, then guide them to register your new app and complete a short survey. Now is the time to look towards people who have not fully completed an online purchase. Indeed, according to Statista, 69.53% of customers leave their cart abandoned.

And increasingly, research shows that time is the key factor in converting the undecided. Multiple studies have shown that if emails are sent within 20 minutes of abandoning a cart, average conversion rates are around 5%, whereas a delay of a day reduces this figure to about half.

As result, it’s easy to guess the role that can be played by automation: Automated emails can help you be in time.

And if on one hand, you can rely on Email Designer to create personalized, attractive and effective emails, you can trust Flow to generate automated journeys to deliver your message easily and just at the right time, on the other.

From abandoned cart to a new customer: Let’s retrieve Angela

Abandone cart conversionThe new season is going very well but, as sometimes happens, a few customers abandon their cart before completing an online order. Perhaps they were disturbed by something more urgent? Or maybe they were looking for more information before buying? Whatever the case, you should try to convert them into sales fast, while your e-commerce store is still fresh in their memory.

And, in addition to increasing sales, there may also be other reasons for you to follow up abandoned carts and act promptly:

  • You demonstrate a high level of customer service, for example, by asking them what you can do to help them.
  • It allows you to stay in touch with more customers and reassure them that you are interested in them.
  • It can give you information on why customers do not buy and suggest initiatives to reduce abandoned carts in future.

Rest assured, Flow can be at your side in this case as well. When customers like Angela spend time browsing your online store, adding products or services to their cart along the way, before failing to complete the purchase, they must immediately be inserted in a journey that will guide them through retrieving it and completing their purchase, perhaps adding new items as well… Always with the assurance that if a customer completes the order in the meantime, they will be automatically be removed from the journey.

The first thing to do about an abandoned cart is send an e-mail, with personalized content that is tailored exactly to the customer’s needs. You could, for example, insert a link to a short questionnaire, if you want to discover the reason for the abandoned cart. But if you believe the customer would be more receptive to continuing to buy by showing associated accessories or services, then there is no reason not to do so. And, of course, you could always encourage the customer to continue by reminding them of an unrepeatable special offer, or low stock levels of the items.


Option a: Has Angela completed the purchase?

After receiving your reminder, Angela completed the purchase, perhaps even adding other items along the way? Perfect, the goal is achieved, and an in-store customer has just entered the online world.  Now, her journey with you can continue by following experiences such as those already seen in the previous articles (p.1; p.2), starting from a thank you and an email to confirm the order.

Option b: Has Angela left an abandoned chart?

If nothing happens following your reminder, you can always send Angela a new message, for example, to remind her of the cart’s expiry date. One last attempt, before leaving Angela until she becomes part of her next journey.


And just how does Flow help you with Angela?

Here they are, Angela’s potential journeys, thanks to the Marketing Cloud platform.



And now?

Everything could just end here, but there are so many other happy experiences your contacts can have, thanks especially, to cutting-edge technological support. You are only at the beginning of the relationships with your multichannel customers, so don’t waste any more time… immediately create a new journey and options to keep them even more ENGAGED!


Flow Series: Coupon


Flow series: Survey


Flow series: Abandoned Cart



Read more

Flow Series: Receive multiple benefits from the App channel (2/3)

Flow series #2

Turn your shoppers into multi-channel customers

In the first article of the series, we saw how to guide an in-store shopper towards multi-channel experiences, thanks to Flow. In recent years there has been significant growth in the use of the mobile channel, which today has penetration rates of up to 90% (Deloitte 2019). And what’s more, recent Comscore research shows that 46% of customers are already cross-platform users and connect through desktops, smartphones and/or tablets daily.

But the most interesting data came from Comscore, in a study at the end of 2018, in which it emerged that 90% of those who prefer the mobile channel, consistently use apps. It also forecasts that by 2020, expected revenue deriving from using consumer apps will be around $189 billion.

Mobile app So, in this second article, we’ll cover customers who have already started a relationship with you online, by understanding just how the marketing automation functionality of the platform can once again support you to make the most of the opportunity that the market provides.

But we must be careful… The number of apps downloaded last year is huge, but the churn risk in the first 90 days is around 70% (Statistics 2019). The app is therefore positioned as a valid communication channel, but it is up to you to convey messages and content that are always up to expectations – personalized and timely, and that demonstrate the value of using your app.

Okay, let’s go step by step once more…

The new collection went particularly well in your e-commerce store, thanks in part to the incentive that you offered to those who subscribed to your newsletter on your site. It is now time to learn about the customer’s overall purchasing experience through a short survey and, at the same time, continue with your initial goal of having more multi-channel clients. You also now want to encourage more people to try the new app too.

From the buying something on the e-commerce site to the to discovering the app: Angela becomes more and more multi-channel

But why encourage downloading the app, when customers are already active in-store and online? Well, besides the reasons mentioned above, because, for example:

  • It opens a new relationship channel with your customers, which reaches them everywhere.
  • It provides more opportunities to vary the customers’ experiences with your brand.
  • It enables you to collect better data about your customers’ habits and behavior.

Always trust in Flow

Online purchaseAngela has bought something online and, whether she has used the discount or not, it is a good idea to thank her for her order and the choice she made, by email. Your customers need to know that after they click to pay for goods or services, the order arrives without any problems. Afterwards, send Angela a short message to begin a new journey, which will lead to her downloading and registering the app.

Always remember that thanks to the Email Designer HTML editor, you can quickly design eye-catching communications. You can, for example, create templates that not only thanks the customer for a purchase, but also recommends the new app as a valuable means of keeping in touch to always be up-to-date about the news, events, promotions, offers and special discounts reserved just for them. Personalization is increasingly the key to success: The messages, the timing, and the appropriate channel… in short, the very personal relationship with your customers.

Option a: Angela receives the invitation and downloads the app.

Wow, first goal’s been achieved: A new multi-channel customer is on board! Now you can go on with the next step of your project, and send a push notification with a link to the post-purchase survey, explaining the importance of their opinion for you. Pamper Angela a little and let her know how interested you are in her suggestions.

Leave her a few days to fill in the survey, but If Angela still ignores your request, you can make one more attempt, by sending her a new push notification as reminder.

If, on the other hand, you discover that she has filled in the questionnaire, do not fail to thank her for her feedback.

By creating consistency between the messages on the different channels, you show that you are really paying attention to her. You’re not using multiple channels in an uncoordinated way, but are creating a lasting and valuable relationship for both of you. Maybe you can reward her again with a coupon off the next purchase – this time in-store – or perhaps with payback points. Whatever you choose, the focus should be Angela.

Option b: Angela doesn’t download your app after your email.

If she doesn’t download the app, even after a few days, try once more with an email to remind Angela of the app availability, and the benefits it can provide. Perhaps she’s just busy and can’t find time. But after your second message, maybe Angela registers the app and completes the survey. Bingo: A new multi-channel customer is on board! Start using the push channel immediately, and thank Angela for her trust by rewarding her with, for example, discount coupons or invitations to special events … here, the only difficulty is choice.

If instead, Angela is keen to let you know her opinion by filling out the survey, but does not wish to download the app, you still need to show her that you appreciate her contribution. A thank you e-mail or SMS, including a reward, will show the importance of her feedback to you.

And if, despite everything, Angela doesn’t download the app or fill out the survey, don’t lose heart. Bide your time and respect Angela’s space. She could decide to download the app at a later time. In which case, you have everything in place to send a push notification and remind her of the survey again. But if she decides not to register the app, her journey ends for now. There is certain to be future opportunities, perhaps on other communication channels, to try and encourage Angela to download your app again.

And just how does Flow help you with Angela?

Here they are, Angela’s potential journeys, thanks to the Marketing Cloud platform.


And now?

Everything could just end here, but you haven’t really dealt with a very important target among your customers. In the first article, a new digital relationship was born with your retail shoppers. But it is not everyone, even after registering on your e-commerce site, who will buy something. They could, for example, have browsed online and chosen something, but not actually completed the purchase. But don’t neglect those who have an abandoned cart, they too have started on the path to become multi-channel customers, so let’s follow them! In the next article, we’ll see how an automation in Flow can continue to keep them even more ENGAGED!


Flow Series: Coupon


Flow series: Survey


Flow series: Abandoned Cart



Read more

Flow Series: From in-store to online purchases (1/3)


Turn your shoppers into multi-channel customers

The new season’s begun, and it couldn’t get off to a better start! The in-store staff have collected the phone numbers and email addresses from almost everyone that has bought something, while every online customer has been encouraged to download the new app. Why?

Business ManBecause now it’s time to move up a gear and take advantage of the enormous potential that a multi-channel communications strategy offers you. A study by Contactlab experts in collaboration with Exane BNP Paribas, highlighted the importance of digital customers to a company’s total profits. Customers that can be reached digitally, spend a lot, even in-store… producing 27% of the store revenue and 73% when it comes to e-commerce.

The study further highlights the importance of harmonizing the activities of various sales and contact channels, in order to integrate offers and deliver successful marketing campaigns.

This is the first in a series of three articles, which explore the subject in further detail. In particular, we’ll show how easy it is to use Flow to create automated, precisely targeted, yet still individually tailored communication activities, which are intended to increase customer enthusiasm for the brand, generate contact opportunities and support sales.

Ready? Then let’s get started…

From buying in-store to the first online purchase: Let’s follow Angela…

Sales AssociateWhen she bought something from the latest range in-store, Angela registered her phone number and email details for marketing purposes. As a reward, she can now receive a 5% discount off her next online purchase, if she subscribes to your e-commerce newsletter. By attracting in-store customers to subscribe in this way, you can, for example:

  • Create integrated profiles of your previously offline clients, follow them and know them better.
  • Improve the quality of your customer base and monitor the behavior of more customers.
  • Give them access to an easy way to become cross-channel clients, with enormous advantages for you both!

But where do you start? Let’s do it with Flow – the marketing automation module of the Contactlab Marketing Cloud.
When Angela concludes a purchase in-store, she joins the automaton in Flow and begins the journey that you have designed and built for her.

Let’s go through the steps…

Angela completes the purchase in-store and because of this, she was automatically added to the journey. Now the first thing to do, is to wait and see if she follows your sales associate’s request and completes the online subscription. You decide to wait half a day, then check if Angela has actually subscribed.


Option a: Angela hasn’t subscribed?

Send an SMS to remind her of the chance to receive the discount. Thanks to the Marketing Cloud, you can easily overcome SMS length limitations by using concatenated SMS.

If she continues to ignore your reminders, end the activity for now. Maybe she prefers to remain a ‘retail’ client and has no interest in the offers on your e-commerce site. Maybe you can try again later.

If, on the other hand, she subscribes to your newsletter following your SMS, you can welcome her by sending an email with a discount coupon off her next online purchase. Thanks to the new Email Designer HTML editor, it is easier than ever to create the right template and design the content just for her.


Option b: Angela subscribed to your newsletter after buying something in-store?

Don’t wait any longer. Send her the welcome email with the discount code immediately.


But the Angela’s journey with your brand does not end here.
If she has received the coupon, let’s watch her next actions.

  1. It could be that everything goes according to plan and Angela uses the discount for her first online purchase. If so, the goal is achieved. You can say hello for now and close your journey.
  2. Or perhaps you discover that Angela actually bought on your site without using the coupon. If that’s the case, you could send an additional email to remind her that the coupon is still there, and the expiry date.
  3. But you also have to consider another option. Angela doesn’t buy, and consequently, she doesn’t take advantage of the coupon. In this case, you could decide to make one last attempt, and send her a new email reminding her of the 5% discount off the first online purchase. Afterwards, close this first flow.


And just how does Flow help you with Angela?

Here they are, Angela’s potential journeys, thanks to the Marketing Cloud platform.

Flow#1 EN

And now?

Everything could just end here, but a new digital relationship has just been born, and you can’t ignore it. Perhaps not all your in-store shoppers have started the journey yet, but those who have made their first online purchase, are well on the way to becoming multi-channel customers!

And in the next article, we’ll see how the newly built automation can continue with Flow to keep Angela and all the others even more ENGAGED!



Flow Series: Coupon


Flow series: Survey


Flow series: Abandoned Cart





Read more

Track the links in your emails to know more about your contacts! – Plan UI Release v. 1.21.3

From September 12th, 2019, a new version of Plan is available.

What does this release enable you to do?

FLOW: Tracking linkWhenever you create an email delivery in Plan, you can choose to track the links in your HTML, or not. The feature is available, whether the links are imported from the Pagebuilder or Email Designer editors, or uploaded in an externally generated HTML to the platform.

All trackable links in the HTML are highlighted by default. You can decide whether you want to track them all, just a few, or none at all.

Afterwards, you continue to create the delivery as usual.

What does this mean in everyday use?

You have the option of selecting links to track for further analysis. Enrich your post-delivery statistics with information about what happened, once the email arrived in the contact’s inbox. You can discover their behavior to navigational suggestions that are external to the message and know their interests and habits better. You can also evaluate the effectiveness of the links in the email text.






Read more

Compare segments for the complete picture and check which one performs better!

From July 31st, 2019, a new Plan version is available.

What does this release enable you to do?

With just a few clicks, you can open a new dashboard to compare both the demographic and events data from two segments, side by side. It’s as easy as this:





Sign in to Plan, then on the Segments tab, locate and click the first segment you want to compare.

In the Segment Summary panel of the Edit Segment page, click the Analytics icon to open the dashboard.










Under Compare with another segment, select the second segment.
After a short delay, the demographic charts for both segments display.

Click Events, if required, to see the relevant details for both segments.









That’s all you have to do!

What does this mean in everyday use?

You can better understand, for example:

  • Who the contacts in your segments are.
    You can then choose the one that more accurately reflects your ideal audience.
  • The segment that performs best, following deliveries.

As you can see, this new feature can be especially useful both before and after the segments are used, to:

  • Monitor results.
  • Identify the best performing one.
  • Fine tune your target selection criteria.









Read more

Email Designer Series: Use the templates in your emails (4/4)


We’ve reached the last in this series of articles about the new Email Designer. Together, we have seen:

Now, you just need to use the resultant HTML for your emails. And you can do it without any limits! Email Designer is now available in Send for deliveries, Flow for automations and Plan for your plans. Of course, you can always retrieve the HTML you have created and saved with the editor, modify it as you wish, then send the result to your audience.

Don’t have access to Email Designer yet? Ask for it now and join us on this journey today.









Use it





Read more

Use Email Designer templates in your plans – Plan Release v. 1.21.0

From July 31st, 2019, a new Plan version is available.
The release is planned between 2.15 pm and 3.15 pm CEST.


What does this release enable you to do?

You can now use HTML created with Email Designer in Plan

Email Designer is the platform’s new drag & drop email editor, which enables you to create responsive design-based emails intuitively, quickly and easily, without any HTML knowledge. Thanks to this release, you can now use templates created with the new editor in your plans, in just a few easy steps.


ED in Plan #1


ED in Plan #2


ED in Plan #3


ED IN Plan #5


ED in Plan #6


ED in Plan #7


ED in Plan #8


ED in Plan #9









Read more

Email Designer Series: Personalize your emails with just a few clicks (3/4)



Create personalized emails without any HTML knowledge. You can decide whether to create your own template, modify one of those made available for free in the library, or rely on the creativity of Contactlab experts.

Whichever starting point you choose, your journey with Email Designer will be simple and fast, and the result will be attractive and effective email communications, like never before. Where to start? Let’s see together.

Don’t have access to Email Designer yet? Ask for it now.








Read more