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Welcome to Cordial

Overview

In this article, we'll explain how Cordial works and provide links to detailed articles on each topic. To get up to speed on our terminology, check out our glossary.

If you want to explore topics specific to your role, we have you covered.

  • I'm a marketer: I manage contacts, build campaigns, and analyze reports.
  • I'm a designer: I code HTML templates with advanced personalization.
  • I'm a developer: I set up API calls and implement JavaScript Listeners.

What Cordial does

Cordial is a powerful real-time data platform for marketing teams and technologists to deliver personal, relevant, and emotionally intelligent messages across any channel. You can leverage up-to-the-second customer data as well as complex business data, regardless of its structure or schema.

Cordial Dashboard

When you log into Cordial, you'll be greeted with the Cordial Dashboard, where you can see Channel Performance and Audience Trends data at a glance and access the platform's powerful tools.

Left navigation

Click the buttons on the left to explore what Cordial can do.

Settings

Click the Settings button in the upper right to manage your account settings, password, add users, and more.

Get your data flowing into Cordial

The first step to start using Cordial is to get your data flowing into the platform.

Cordial makes it easy to import all your data so you can build relevant, engaging content that updates in real time. Data flows in and out of Cordial via the user interface (UI), API, or JavaScript Listeners embedded on your website.

Via the UI

You can leverage our intuitive UI to easily create powerful Data Jobs to import contacts and supplements; export contacts, events, orders, and supplements; and sync your contacts with Facebook and Google Ads. Cordial's user interface streamlines these processes into simple workflows, offering no-code solutions.

Via API

Cordial was built with developers in mind, which is why we went with an API-first approach that allows you to access most of the platform's functionality using a wide variety of API calls.

Via JavaScript Listeners

To help you send timely communications to your customers, we provide JavaScript Listeners that you can configure and embed on your site to stream relevant data to your account. This makes it easy to create and send messages based on browse behavior, shopping behavior, and virtually any other type of site behavior you can imagine.

Our JavaScript Listeners also capture the behaviors of anonymous site visitors. Once visitors become known contacts, previously anonymous data is transferred to their profile.

How Cordial stores data

It's important to understand how Cordial stores data because you'll utilize that data to build audiences, personalize message content, and create analytics reports. Cordial's database is document-based and search-based, which means it's highly flexible and very fast to query, empowering you to utilize impactful data in real time.

Regardless of how your data ends up in Cordial (we give you lots of options), it's all normalized and stored in one of the following data collections:

In addition to using the above data collections, you can leverage external data such as RSS feed, Instagram feed, weather, and data from any other source. That data can then be used to personalize message content, segment contacts with audience rules, trigger message sends, create or filter analytics reports, and much more. 

Email sending sub-domain

Before you can send email messages through Cordial, you need to set up a sub-domain based on your parent domain. So if your brand's domain is example.com, you'd create a subdomain such as email.example.com. You then need to delegate the sub-domain to Cordial by configuring NS (nameserver) records with your domain manager.

Audience segmentation

Once your data is flowing into Cordial, you can search and segment that data in real time by creating audiences. An audience can be made up of multiple rules that include and/or exclude contacts based on contact attributes, list membership, events, orders, or other relevant information.

Audience rules are used throughout the platform when sending messages, building analytics reports, and exporting data. They can be saved in the audience rule library and then recalled when and where you need them.

Audiences are dynamic in nature, meaning they change over time depending on available data. If you want to create a static audience, add the desired contacts to a list and create an audience of contacts who are on that list.

List membership is specific to each contact and doesn't change until a contact is added or removed from the list.

Build and send dynamic messages

Once you know how to build audiences of contacts based on your real-time data, you can send communications through any channel using our batch or automated sending methods. Available channels include email, mobile, SMS/MMS, and the API channel for web or custom use cases. 

Regardless of message type, each message is compiled and sent to every individual contact of the specified audience, enabling you to personalize message content for each contact.

Keep in mind that a powerful campaign strategy leverages segmentation and personalization to deliver the right message to the right person at the right time.

Batch messages

Batch messages are used for sending one-time promotional content. They can be sent immediately or at a scheduled date in the future. Large message campaigns can also be throttled and sent in batches according to a specified schedule.

Automated messages

Automated messages are triggered by a determined sending method. The available sending methods are:

  • An event: Message is triggered according to a change to a contact attribute, list membership, or a custom-named event.
  • An API call: Message is triggered via the POST/v1/automationtemplates/{key}/send method.
  • A recurring schedule: Message is triggered according to a specific schedule.

Any of the above sending methods can be filtered by audience rules at the time of sending. This allows you to include or exclude contacts that match specified conditions.

Using these sending methods, you can create lifecycle campaigns such as a welcome series, a cart abandon series, a browse abandon series, a win-back series, order confirmations, and much more.

Sculpt

When creating message content for batch and automated messages, you can work with raw HTML code in our HTML editor—or you can use Sculpt, a no-code editor that allows you to drag content Blocks into Templates and edit them using intuitive controls.

Personalize message content

Each message sent from Cordial is built individually for each contact at the time of sending. This allows for powerful personalization based on up-to-the-second data. While segmentation specifies who receives a message, personalization allows for greater control over what each contact sees when they open the message.

By taking advantage of Cordial's template syntax, each recipient of a single message could see completely different content based on their profile, purchase history, website behavior, or any other relevant variables. This saves you from having to build out multiple messages and complicated segmentation to satisfy all content variations.

Personalization can go far beyond simple merge tags like [first_name]. For example, you can pull store location data into a message, loop through it, and find the store nearest to the contact and display the address. This is just the beginning of what you can do to personalize message content in Cordial.

Store images and HTML

Image library

The image library makes it easy to upload, tag, and search images—then use that content in your messages. You can find and replace all the relative image paths when building out your HTML on your local drive.

HTML content

Cordial has a separate library to store HTML code snippets (includes) and dynamically pull them into messages using our template syntax. This is highly useful for repeatable layout elements such as headers and footers.

Once you become an expert in experiments and advanced personalization, HTML includes enable you to leverage your code across multiple content pieces. Bottom line: cleaner code, less headaches. 

Test with experiments and machine learning

Message experiments help ensure that you're delivering the most engaging content to your customers. Cordial message experiments make it easy to create tests, analyze results, and adjust for better performance.

Build reports and analyze performance

Reports empower you to fully understand how your hard work is paying off. Not only can you view how a message is performing according to opens, clicks, revenue, and other KPIs—you can also compare that performance with other events over a specified period of time.

Event Dashboards

Using Event Dashboards, you can create multiple custom charts that visualize message and contact activity behaviors on your website.

Audience Trends

You can use Audience Trends to visualize how your audiences change over time. Want to track how many females over the age of 30 who bought neon socks in the past week also clicked on the promotion for fuchsia suede stilettos? You can do that and much more with Audience Trend reports.

Export message and event reports

If you have an external reporting tool, you can easily export all your message and event data.

Release notes

We're constantly adding new features and functionality, and we publish release notes on a monthly basis. You can find our release notes here. Click the Follow button to get an email when our monthly release notes go out.

Explore further

This article only scratches the surface of what Cordial can do. Explore our documentation to learn more about how Cordial can push your business to the next level.

If you get stuck, reach out to one of our support staff by submitting a ticket or sending an email to support@cordial.com.

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