Product Update

Let’s talk tech: What’s new at Cordial this month

By June 11, 2020 No Comments

Though we’ve all been at home these last few months, that hasn’t slowed down our technology team. We’ve released some new improvements to the Cordial platform. And to keep the momentum going, we’ll be compiling all of our latest features and product enhancements on a monthly basis. Even though non-techies may not fully appreciate everything here, for those that love tech and love Cordial, let’s get started.

Includes for Data Transformations

With Includes for Data Transformations enabled in your account, your developer now has the ability to implement code in an Include, which will “include” the code in many data transformations. 

What is an Include?

Let’s start at the basics. The most basic Include is HTML. For example, you can build an Include with header information, and you might have an additional Include for the footer. All of the emails that you send would then use the exact same Include for the header and the footer of each email. The benefits of this functionality are: 

  • Consistency in your branding
  • Allows you to QA a content block one time (not every single message)
  • HTML Includes allow you to reuse code over and over again

When we created Includes for Data Transformations, we wanted it to behave like a natural extension of the HTML Includes—with the same client benefits. For example, below is an HTML Include for “trending”. Say you have an email that goes out on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so you can choose to add the trending HTML Include on one day versus the other. This feature is flexible and adaptable to your business and customer needs.

Why we built the feature

Because Cordial already offers the ability to write code once and then reference it many times in our popular Message Automations, we were able to seamlessly extend this capability to Data Transformations. Now, you can:

  • Write code once and include it in many Data Transformations
  • With advanced code, use Includes in both Data Transformations and Message Automations
  • Use metadata to reveal when code is executing in preview mode, as well as identify whether it’s a Data Transformation or Message Automation

The value and benefits of Includes

An immediate benefit of this enhancement is that it will cut down on human error when copying and pasting code between automations by offering reusable code objects. For example, say you’re running five different Data Transformations, and each one uses a specific business/data operation. Assuming these jobs all have a common requirement, like pinging an external feed to gather relevant career recommendation links for a contact. This single operation can now be saved as an Include and referenced across all five Data Transformations, saving the developer from duplicating code, as well as QA. Another benefit is that any updates (fixes or enhancements) made to that include will cascade across all of the places the code is employed.

Client example: Talroo

Before we built Data Transformations, we tested the waters by having our client, Talroo, use a Message Automation to organize data without sending a message.

This optimal situation allowed us to test without building all the infrastructure of Data Automations. Because Talroo has been organizing their code with HTML Includes, this approach allowed them to change the code in one HTML Include and impact 20+ Message Automations, saving countless hours while preventing errors.

Going forward, Talroo will break up their sophisticated message scripts into multiple parts (as Includes) to manage logic, moving some of the “scripting” out of the message process and into a Data Transformation. The result: they’ll continue to use Includes in the same way they are today, which will serve both Message Automation and Data Transformation rendering.

Global Link Append

Our latest enhancement, the Global Link Append feature, allows you to set up default URL parameters that can be appended to every link in their messages. 

What is Global Link Append?

The Global Link Append feature streamlines the process of appending parameters to all links by allowing you to set default parameters on either the account level, or on a per-message basis. This automatically appends the preconfigured parameters to every link in an email (unless you specify links to be excluded). 

Adding parameters to every link is especially useful when analyzing your campaign data in a system like Google Analytics. For more technical information on the feature, please visit our Support Center article here.

Why we built the feature

A number of clients were looking for a systematic way to append predefined parameters to all links. Before Global Link Append, they could do so inline on a per-link basis (a manual process), or store parameters in a variable that’s appended to every link, but both of these methods required the user to code HTML. As aforementioned, tagged links are integral to tracking campaign data effectively. 

The value and benefits of Global Link Append

As for competitive advantage, indeed, most ESPs offer something fairly comparable but our feature is extremely flexible. Our personalization scripting can be used to add parameters or override message-level defaults within just a section of a template, and the attribute plays nicely with our Sculpt editor. With Global Link Append, you can:

  • Set default parameters on an account level
  • Set default parameters on a message level, which will override the account default settings
  • Add to the set of appended parameters as the message renders (using Smarty)
  • Exclude links from being appended to if tracking is not required

For example, let’s say you’d like to construct messages in Sculpt and auto-append UTM parameters to all the links in each message: 

utm_campaign={$message.name}&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter

The campaign name corresponds to the name of the email in Cordial, and will update with each message. Using the Global Link Append feature, you can set the above string as the message default and eliminate manual entry at the message level forever! 

Enhancing mobile app messaging with custom data

Custom Keys allow you to send extra information with mobile app messages (push or in-app notifications) that can be used inside other applications or systems. Custom keys can be data, such as campaign identifiers for analytics tracking, user information, or to customize the look-and-feel of the application for brand guidelines. This is the architecture of a mobile app message with a custom key. 

Why we built the feature

Since the Cordial vision has consistently focused on flexibility, it made perfect sense for us to create a flexible way for clients to control app experiences and messaging. The Custom Keys feature allows you to customize almost anything they can think of, and it fits well into our existing platform architecture.

The value and benefits of Custom Keys 

The Custom Keys feature is Smarty-enabled, which increases its flexibility when customizing the user experience and improving customer engagement. You can also set up custom keys and default values per channel, which will show up when creating, for example, a mobile app message. The default values will be filled in, but will also be editable. Lastly, you can also add extra one-time key+value pairs, as needed. If a value field is deleted and/or empty, the Cordial platform will not send that specific key.

And that’s a wrap on Includes for Data Transformations, Global Link Append, and enhancements to mobile app messaging with Custom Keys! Each month, we’ll share a selection of our newest features and enhancements to the Cordial platform. If you’d like to learn more about enabling one of these features in your account, contact your Client Success Manager—and if you’d like to learn more about Cordial, connect with an expert today.