Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Email campaign automation in C4C

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could create campaigns, send outbound emails, track and analyse customer click behaviour and define automated follow up actions to trigger your account managers, all from one single system? If this sounds as the perfect scenario for you, setting up the extended marketing functions in SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer is the way to go, in this blog I will explain how to do this.


The extended marketing functionality as described in the introduction is available as part of the SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer advanced user option license. So although the functionality is standard available in each Cloud for Customer system (you need to activate it via Scoping), you will need to pay an additional license fee for it. 

When you’re considering implementing the functionality in C4C it’s good to know that the same, and much more functions and features, are available in SAP Hybris Marketing which is another solution in the SAP Hybris suite (see this blog from my colleague Ellery). A decision for specific tooling should always be made based on your current requirements and future marketing roadmap/vision. The extended marketing features in C4C will cover a lot of requirements but if you’re looking for a full blown marketing solution the SAP Hybris Marketing solution is probably more appropriate.

Step 1 – Scope activation  

The extended marketing features need to be activated with the project scoping, questions are not applicable. 

When you have activated the functionality, additional options become available in different workcenters in C4C. Also the webservices are made available which are used to track and analyse customer click behaviour in C4C.

Step 2 – Create email template

There are some prerequisites before executing an email campaign from C4C, you will need to create a target group with customers applicable for your campaign and you need to create an email template. The creation of a target group is pretty straightforward in C4C so I will not cover that in this blog, for creating an email template there are some tips & tricks.

The creation of your email template should be done in an external editor, SAP advises to use Microsoft Expression Web (download it here) but basically every html editor can be used. There are some conditions applicable for your email template to be able to upload it in C4C:
  • An unsubscribe link is mandatory, format should be like: <a>href="http://{/FormCampaignExecutionPlaceholder/SubscriptionLink/SubscriptionURI}">link</a>
  • Encoding html document should be UTF-8, open the template in Notepad, select Save as and select Encoding UTF-8. 
  • To be able to edit text blocks in your email template in C4C the tag <div class="editable"> should be used
  • All links added with the tag “href” in your template will be available to use as campaign automation conditions.

Upload of the template is done via the workcenter Marketing, submenu Content. If the unsubscribe link is not available or your template is not encoded in UTF-8 you will receive an error message.  When all prerequisites are there upload will be successful and you can edit the template in C4C:

If you would like it’s possible to use variables like customer name, these can be added with the selection “Insert placeholders” and format will be like “#AccountName#”. 

In this example I have added 3 links to website locations at which additional info on the topics in the newsletter is available. These links will be used later on when setting up the campaign automation and will be available for reporting as well. The links I used are named “Mobile app features”, “Team performance” and “Devices overview”.

Another cool feature is to add a Satsifaction survey, which you create in C4C workcenter Surveys, as a link into your email template. When the customer clicks the link in the email template he will be presented with the survey questions and once completed, the results will be available in C4C to analyse / report upon.

Step 3 – Create campaign

Next step is creating the campaign, you will be guided through a multiple step wizard of which the second step “Build” is the most important. In this step you define your campaign automation. In the first step you select your target group and select Action “Send email” after which you will be able to select your email template.

When you click “Apply” the triggers “Email interaction” and “Clicked link” become available. You can add these triggers and define the automatic actions which should be applicable for them. The trigger “Email interaction” has 4 different options:

So for example, when a customer opens/reads the email the trigger “Opened” is send to C4C by a webservice call and this will result in an automatic action in C4C. There are several automatic actions you can use: Send email, Create lead, Notify, Create activity and Update target group. Let’s use the action “Create activity” in combination with the trigger “Opened”, this will result in the creation of a Task in C4C assigned to the employee responsible for this customer. 

When using the trigger “Clicked link” you can define actions in case one of the links in the email template is clicked (there’s also an event “not clicked” so you can also trigger an action when a link is not clicked while the email is opened). In the selection the 3 links which are used in the email template are automatically available. 

The same Actions as described before are available. In this case you could for example define the Action “Create lead” when one of the links is opened, as a result a lead will be created and assigned in C4C to the employee responsible.

After setting up your campaign automation steps you are ready to execute the campaign. Use the Action – Activate to trigger the email campaign so that emails are send to the customers in your target group. Next step is monitoring of your campaign.

Step 4 – Track responses

Now the really interesting phase starts, monitoring the success of your campaign. And the good thing is you can track it realtime in C4C! There is no additional setup or configuration needed for this, it’s available out of the box. From the campaign the menu options “Respondents” and “Results” are available to track your campaign. So in below example you can see that out of the target group of 5 customers, 4 customers have actually read the email and triggered an interaction.

More details are available in the result tab, this is like a dashboard in which all the important metrics applicable for you campaign are presented. You can customize this yourself by adding report views. For example the main metrics like “Number of send emails”, “Number of opened emails” and “Total number of clicks” are available.

The clicks are tracked for each link in the email template. So the total number of clicks per link as well as the total number of unique clicks per link is tracked. It’s possible to navigate from the graph to a table view in which you can display the same data and add for example customer details to get real insight in the click behaviour of your specific customers. 

Another metric example is the “reaction time” in which you can display the time between receiving the email and opening/reading it. Like mentioned, this dashboard is customizable so it makes sense to determine what kind of metrics you will be needing to monitor campaign success so that these can be added to the dashboard.

Step 5 – Follow up actions

As a result of the trigger/action setup in your campaign, your employees will be triggered to take action by for example a lead or task which is assigned automatically to them. These transactions are linked to the Campaign, this link can be used to track the conversion rate of your campaign, monitoring lead and possible follow ups like opportunities, quotes and orders all linked to specific campaign. 


Once you have setup your first campaign you will agree with my conclusion that it’s actually very simple to do so. Your first email template could take some time but once you have a basis you can use it in new campaigns so setting up is basically a matter of minutes. The seamless setup of the scenario and the possibilities to trigger automatic actions on clicking behaviour is really impressive and will meet requirements of customers looking for a basic scenario of sending email campaigns and tracking responses.