When looking at your overall marketing strategy, the goal for most marketers is to create personalized experiences. And when considering your customers and crafting online experiences for them, consistency becomes the key.
In a typical cross-channel marketing program, brands often have multiple versions of paid and organic social campaigns, as well as several emails sent to customers throughout the month and even more content being share on a website.
That means your customers could be interacting with targeted content that drives them to a landing page, which is great. From there, however, the connection falls apart.
To extend the experience, you can use a powerful, yet often-overlooked tool: campaign codes.
How to use campaign codes
Leveraging a tool like Sitecore as the digital experience platform for a website, we’re able to take something as simple as a campaign code and turn it into a connected customer experience. From paid and organic social ads to email marketing efforts, we can make website content react to a customer’s activity.
Natively, Sitecore offers the ability to generate a unique campaign code that can be appended to any URL. These campaign codes allow us to create a personalization rule using the out-of-the-box rules editor.
To set this up, you’ll first need to create the campaign and generate the campaign code. After that code is generated, append your outbound campaign with this code. Your URL should look something like domain.com/?SC_campaign<unique id>. From there, you can apply the rule below to the areas of your site you want to personalize.
In this example, I created a test campaign and am looking for any users who have visited the site or are visiting the site now. This will display the new targeted content to customers associated with your campaign. It also allows you to personalize the customer experience on the website beyond the initial landing page and ensure their entire journey through the website is relevant to that individual.
A real-world scenario might look at targeting customers who are being driven to the site from a paid media campaign focused on a specific service or product offering. These users would be directed to a targeted campaign landing page, and each subsequent page that they visit—based on configurations—will display relevant messaging based on this service or product offering.
The next step to leveraging campaign codes within Sitecore is creating marketing automation journeys to help facilitate these experiences.
Each marketing automation journey starts with a filter. For example, who should be included in this journey? In this scenario, we want to include anyone who has triggered the campaign in our example. Below is a look at the entry rule that will look for customers who have triggered our campaign (or anyone entering the site with the appended campaign code in their URL).
The filter rule is highlighted in the images.
At this point, the extent of the journey you set up is fully customizable. You can change profile values, if you have profiles and personas defined. You can trigger emails to be sent, add users to lists, move customers to different campaigns, or trigger any custom actions that have been set up.
Extending a personalized experience
To create a fully personalized experience, we would want to create a custom action that triggers an email with appropriate content based on web activity. Creating the action requires some custom development, but when planning accordingly, it can be created once and re-used on future campaigns.
The automation journey adds customers to a journey based on the campaign code we created. From there, we’re updating their profile score and listening to their activity for the next 30 days.
If a customer’s profile score doesn’t exceed the threshold we set, we end their journey. If it does exceed our set threshold, we’ll send an email to that customer and move them into a new campaign. The new campaign will be an extension of their email journey experience thus far.
A recap on campaign codes
We’ve now configured our customer experience to tailor the online experience based on an ad clicked to enter the website. The data from this entry point is used to create a relevant experience as the customer navigates beyond the initial entry point.
From there, we’re leveraging the campaign code to enable a cross-channel journey extending to the email marketing platform. The campaign code enters customers into the journey and then based on a customer’s site activity, they are entered into an email journey after they exceed a profile score threshold.
It is one consistent experience, all tied together through campaign codes.
Innovative customer experience expertise
As a Sitecore Solutions partner, DEG blends impactful marketing strategy and top-of-the-line engineering to customize, integrate, and tailor Sitecore to your marketing needs. Our full-service strategic services lend a hand in crafting your cross-channel marketing journeys, blending the technical know-how with creative thinking and design to improve customer engagement with your brand.