Email templates

Email templates define the structure and content of marketing emails that you send to customers using an email or dialog activity.

Email templates can contain placeholders for content, such as e-Marketing Spots, links, unique promotion codes, and the customer's first and last name. When it is time to deliver the email, the server replaces the placeholders with actual content.

Options for creating email templates

There are two ways to create email templates:

  1. Use the email template editor in the Marketing tool: The Marketing tool provides an editor into which you can type and format the text of your email, and insert placeholders. After you save the template, you can use it in email and dialog activities.
  2. Create a custom email template JSP file: A store developer can create a custom email template as a JSP file and then register that JSP file in the database. As a result, the custom email template is added to the list of available templates in the Marketing tool so that you can use the template in email and dialog activities.

Placeholders in the email template editor

When creating an email template in the template editor, you can you can insert the following placeholders for content:
Customer's first and last name
Insert name placeholders to address the email to each recipient by name.
Insert link placeholders to add links from the email to catalog pages or to a custom URL you specify. You can also add links with click actions that add a specific SKU to the customer's shopping cart or wish list, or that allow the customer to unsubscribe to email marketing.
E-Marketing Spots
Insert e-Marketing Spot placeholders to display marketing information in an e-Marketing Spot in the email, for example, an advertisement or product recommendation. You can create e-Marketing Spots specifically for your email template, or use e-Marketing Spots that exist on your storefront. When used in an email template, an e-Marketing Spot will expand horizontally in the email to accommodate the marketing content you specify for display.

At the send time for the email, the server determines what to display in the customer's email according to the web activities or default content scheduled for the e-Marketing Spot. In this way, the e-Marketing Spot works the same way in an email template as it does on a store page.

If the web activity scheduled for the e-Marketing Spot includes targets, then the server will evaluate customers against the targets before sending the email. Here is an example:
  • You want to send a bulk email to all registered customers about a shoe sale.
  • You have a web activity running in an e-Marketing Spot that includes targets that work like this:
    • If the customer is in the Females customer segment, the e-Marketing Spot displays an ad for women's shoes.
    • If the customer is in the Males customer segment, the e-Marketing Spot displays an ad for men's shoes.
    • If the customer is in neither of these customer segments, the e-Marketing Spot displays a generic shoe ad.
  • In your email template, you insert an e-Marketing Spot placeholder pointing to this e-Marketing Spot. At the send time for the email, the server will evaluate each registered customer in the distribution list and insert the correct shoe ad according to the customer's membership in the Females or Males customer segments.
Promotion codes
Insert a promotion code placeholder in an email template to automatically include a unique promotion code in each email that is sent using the template. When the customer receives the email, he or she can use the unique promotion code to receive a promotion when checking out on your store. Before inserting this placeholder, you must create and activate a promotion that uses:
  • Simple or advanced system-generated unique promotion codes, or
  • Imported promotion codes

If the promotion uses public promotion codes, you do not need to use this placeholder; instead, type the public promotion code into the email as text, since all customers use the same code.

Email templates and extended sites

In an extended site model, the extended store's email template list displays the email activity templates created in the extended store and its asset stores. This allows asset stores to define email templates that can be used by any extended site, helping to ensure a consistent look and feel for email activities sent by the extended sites. For example, if an email template named ET1 is created in the asset store, it is listed in the extended store's email template list, and available for use as the basis of an email activity. If the email template belongs to the asset store, you can change the email template from the extended store only if your user ID has access to the asset store; otherwise, the email template is read-only.

If your store has enabled workspaces, email templates may be managed using workspaces and inherit the benefits from that feature. Specifically, your email templates become managed assets, and are subject to your workflow.