The dashboard in MarketingSuite allows you to configure feedback loops. Feedback loops are processes that are triggered whenever a certain event happens, such as a click or an open, and report it to the user in real time via HTTP POST.
You could use this if you want to update data in your own application upon certain events Copernica picks up. To achieve this, place a script on your own server that executes upon Copernica's calls, and in the MarketingSuite dashboard, set the triggers. That is all!
The good thing about feedback loops is that the data Copernica sends you is a lot richer than the data Copernica receives in the first place. All Copernica sees when receiving a click or open is the IP addresss and HTTP headers of the incoming request. To that, we add the e-mail address, profile data and the linked tags and send it to you. This way, your script receives the data that makes it easy to link the data to data in your own system.
Microsoft's, Gmail's and Yahoo's feedback loops
If you've been around for a while in the email marketing business, you might know about the feedback loops ESP's like Microsoft and Gmail offer. These, however, are different feedback loops than the ones described in this article.
Feedback loops from ESP's are used to notify senders (like Copernica) when users hit the "this is spam"-button or interact with the email otherwise. These loops send feedback from the ESP to us, whereas the feedback loops we offer are from us to you. Contrary to the ESP feedback loops, ours are non-aggregated and sent in real-time.
Before you set up a feedback loop, please do make sure that your server is capable of handling the load. Especially the feedback loop that is called when someone opens a mail receives huge numbers of calls.
If you're not sure whether your server can handle the load, or when you do not need realtime feedback, you better use the general statistics.
Setting up a feedback loop
Setting up a feedback loop happens from the Marketing Suite dashboard. In the configuration menu, you can fill in the address the HTTP POST call is sent to. It's pretty self explanatory: select the events you're interested in and provide the location of your script.
The following feedback loops can be used:
- Feedback loops for bounces
- Feedback loops for failures
- Feedback loops for clicks
- Feedback loops for opens
- Feedback loops for profile creations
- Feedback loops for profile updates
- Feedback loops for profile deletions
Before calls are made to your URL, the web address first has to be validated. The Marketing Suite does this to prevent that users accidentally instruct us to send confidential information to a wrong server. During the validation procedure you are asked to copy a small text file to your webserver, so that we can see that the server really belongs to you.
The name and contents of the text file is unique for each feedback loop, and can be fetched from the dashboard. You must copy it to one of two possible locations: to the root of your webserver, or to the same directory where your feedback script is located. Thus: if you've set up "https://domain.com/dir/script.php" as your feedback script, you must copy the "smtpeter-xxxxx.txt" file to your webserver so that it becomes accessible via either "https://domain.com/dir/smtpeter-xxxxx.txt" or "https://domain.com/smtpeter-xxxxx.txt".
You can remove the text file from your server after the address has been validated.
Testing the feedback loop
The dashboard comes with a useful tool to test your feedback loop. You can enter the post data that you want to send to your feedback loop, and send it right away.