Content management system(CMS) provides a user-friendly business interface that allows them to add, remove and edit content using a blueprint(template) and components. This template design means that all your communications from all channels online and offline will adhere to brand guidelines.This allows the business users to focus on the personalized message, rather than having to deal with unwieldy HTML or CSS.

For any email sent by Campaign — whether a manually created delivery or triggered by a workflow or Message Centre — it is necessary to provide the complete HTML and text markup, with code blocks for rendering personalized content. Whereas it is likely that only developers will be setting up deliveries triggered by workflows and Message Centre, on our platform non-technical users need to be able to send one-off deliveries. However, a non-technical user will not themselves be able to generate markup, or even reliably modify an existing markup template with new content — and thus they would have to commission a third party to create the markup.

This is where content management comes to the rescue. A system which allows a user to input content into fields in a form, and then generates the markup by inserting this content into a template, will necessarily allow a non-technical user to create the markup for their delivery themselves, without requiring a third party.

Reasons to use CMS with Adobe Campaign

  • You can update your emails templates or EDM on your terms.
  • Don’t know how HTML or CSS work? No problem!
  • Redesigning your email templates will not require a complete rework or update in all models.
  • Ensure all emails are branded and following your brand guidelines. You can use a single template file as the source of the markup for every email sent by the entire system. So if for example, terms & conditions change, or change in header footer in a re-branding exercise, you only need to make changes in one single file.

Configuration for content management System

You can go through the Official Adobe documentation to Learn about technical details to configure content management system in Adobe Campaign. I am not duplicating everything here; rather I’m going to write how can you use that to create emails if you are not using AEM to create email templates.

Basic steps to create a structure of Template and components for Emails: 

  1. Install Content Manager package in Adobe campaign which will provide you ncm: content in your system.
  2. Identify all your components that you are going to use in your Email Content Management System. This will be similar to the process you would have used with AEM or any other CMS. This is really critical because you have to divide your emails into small enough units so that you can create an email if you have all of the components.
  3. Create a content Schema to store your materials for all the elements in any email, refer to the following screen for help.

    Content management System: Schema Creation

    Content management System: Schema Creation

  4. Create Child Schema elements in your central Schema for every component. In this schema, you can define all your fields that you want to configure the component, i.e., images, link, and more. You can refer to the following screen to learn how to create a child Schema with a Schema.
  5. Create a notebook type input forms(xtk: form) for above schema and create conditional component blocks in the forms to cater for every component, which will be enabled if you have selected a type using a drop down, refer to the screen below. This will be a bit complicated, but you can refer to this documentation from Adobe.
  6. Create two JavaScript templates(xtk:jst), one to generate HTML part of email and second to produce text part of the email.
  7. Create a publication model (ncm:publishing) using JavaScript option for HTML and TEXT JavaScript templates created above. Refer to below screen for reference.

Campaign Management System Publishing Flow

There are two basic steps in the publishing flow:

  1. Combining content with the template defined by the publication model to generate markup.
  2. Personalizing the markup.

The first step produces the same Markup as, if not using content management, you would need to paste into the source HTML or source text field of delivery. Although this is not generally visible in the UI once you have assigned a publication model to delivery, you can see it by just removing the Publication model from the field at Properties > Advanced > Content template > Model.

This explains why it is not possible to directly reference recipient properties in the JavaScript template: at the stage in the publishing flow where the JavaScript template is combined with the content, there is no recipient or other personalization data involved. The markup generated by this step is generic, used for all Recipients, and personalized for the individual recipient in a separate step later.

It is important to be aware that this markup is only generated when the delivery is opened, and then the content edited, in the user interface (UI). It is not by default created at any other stage — for example when a work flow creates a delivery from a delivery template. If you are updating the JavaScript template, you shall then need to manually open up and resave the delivery template in the UI for the workflow triggered delivery to include the latest changes in the model. Alternatively, You can write a work flow to do this using a trigger after every JavaScript Template update operation.

The Content Management system in Action

Email Content templates can be referenced and employed in deliveries directly. To use content templates in the deliveries edit delivery properties and selected the publishing model created in this article, Refer to the following Screen for reference.

After saving the template, You can modify, and you will be presented with the input form to enter content. You can choose as many components as you need for your emails. Ensure that you are using a correct order because in your JavaScript template you will be using a for loop to generate the Markup.

The JavaScript template will be able to create HTML layout automatically based on the selected settings. To preview you can select the HTML preview (or Text preview) and select a recipient to test personalization elements.

In an ideal world, where most client already has a Content management system to build email templates, but This is not the case. Some of my clients would get a lot of value out of this implementation. If you have a serious development team, then you can build a custom APP outside of Adobe Campaign with only the functionality needed by the end users.  You can use this simpler and more friendly UI to communicate with Campaign through SOAP/REST services. In the constraints of the real world though, Using Content Module can solve some many problems with EDM development with Adobe Campaign.

Amit Kumar

Results driven Adobe Certified Architect with extensive experience managing and implementing marketing Strategies to drive business growth. Enjoy optimizing the customer experience through the use of data, futuristic thinking + channel mixing – e.g., using creative combinations of traditional methods + shiny new toys like automation platforms.

1 Comment

Sangram · August 29, 2017 at 12:59 pm

You’re Genius !

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