As the marketer you have your hands full, working with most, if not all areas of the platform. You are responsible for getting contacts (and associated data) into the system, creating and sending batch and automated messages, and building reports and analytics. Your role most likely crosses over into the designer and developer roles as well, so it's good to become acquainted with their responsibilities too.
Below are some links to helpful articles to get you up to speed. You should also check out our Cordial Basics article for an overview of all things Cordial. We've also included a list of external links at the bottom that you might find helpful.
Tour the Platform
If you'd like to get an overview of the whole platform, we made a video for that.
Watch the platform overview video:
Working with Your Data
What Data is Available
We made a video about the different data types and how they are used in Cordial.
Watch the Data Overview video to learn more:
Before you can send any messages to contacts, you'll need to get them in your account. You can either import them one by one (might take a while) or import a CSV of all of them.
Watch the video on importing contacts:
Before importing contacts for the first time, it's always a good idea to take care of some list hygiene, as sending to bad addresses can affect your reputation or get you caught in SPAM traps. Check out the following deliverability articles for more info:
Searching and Segmenting Your Data
Once data is flowing into your account, you are able to search and segment it using audience rules. The audience builder is a feature that you'll see throughout the platform when creating, saving and recalling audiences for use in sending messages and filtering reports.
Once your contacts are in your account, you're ready to start sending messages. There are two main message types, batch messages and automated messages.
Batch messages, are used for one-time sends, either immediately or scheduled for a future date. Check out the following articles to learn about batch messages:
- Batch Message Overview
- Build an audience
- Scheduling and throttling a batch message
- Batch message performance
Watch the Batch Messages video:
Automated messages are used for triggered message sends. They can be triggered by an event, an API call or a recurring schedule. Check out the following links to learn about automated messages:
Or if you'd like to sit back and learn it all in one video:
Watch the Automated Messages video:
Create Messages Using the Sculpt Editor
When creating message content for both Batch and Automated messages, you can use either the HTML editor, for working with raw HTML code, or Sculpt, a no-code editor that allows you to drag content blocks into templates and edit using intuitive form controls.
Note that in order to use the Sculpt editor for message creation, you must have at least one Sculpt template and some associated Sculpt blocks present in your account. Once these templates and blocks are created by either you or your designer, you will be able to select the Sculpt editor as an option during message crteation.
Watch the Sculpt Message Editor video:
Personalization is often overlooked, but it is a powerful tool within Cordial. It's often used for simple tasks such as rendering a name or an address, but using Cordial's template syntax (Smarty), you are able to access all of your data and render it using conditional logic all within a message!
When a message is sent, it processes the code and is able to change and personalize content for each contact uniquely. This makes it possible to display products recently purchased or browsed, items currently in a cart, different languages, or even external content such as blog articles or Instagram feeds.
While it can be a little overwhelming for some non-technical users, as the marketer it's good to know the basics of variable replacement, link functions and conditional logic and leave the heavy lifting to your designer or developer.
The following articles will get you started with personalization using Cordial's Template Syntax, or how we like to call it, Smarty.
Reporting and Analytics
Now that you've got some messages out the door, learn how to build some analytics reports to check their performance. You can view build custom dashboards filled with charts, track audience populations over time, or download message performance reports. Check the following links to learn more:
You should have a good start on using the Cordial platform after reading the recommended articles above. Our support team is always here to help, so if you get stuck, reach out by submitting a ticket or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other Helpful Resources
We've also put together some links below that should be useful when creating and testing your messages:
- Email boilerplate - The folks at Litmus have put together several responsive email templates to get you started building email code.
- CSS inliner tool - To make sure your HTML and CSS are email friendly, use this CSS inliner tool from Zurb.
- Character converter - If you use special characters in your messages they may need to be converted to their respective HTML entities. This HTML Character Converter will do it for you.
- Rendering tests - Both Litmus and Email on Acid provide great tools to test email rendering.
- Smarty Documentation - smarty.net/docs/en is the official guide for Smarty. Keep in mind that not all functions and modifiers are supported in Cordial. Check out our full list of supported functions and modifiers here.
- JSON validator - JSONLint is an awesome tool for checking your JSON for errors when making API calls. Sometimes it's just a comma causing the problem!
- HTML, JS and JSON beautifier - jsbeautifier.org will beautify your code and make it easier to read.