Setting up a database
Copernica uses flexible, muiltidimensional databases that you can design in any way you like. You decide what fields your database contains and add layers to it. This gives you an enormous flexibility, but it also means you first need to create a model for it before you fill it with profiles. There are hardly any restrictions to database structure in Copernica. Whether you're looking for a simple names-and-addresses structure or a nested database with order history and abandoned shopping carts per profile, it's all good. In order to take off quickly, it's a good idea to start with a fairly simple database. It's always possible to add more fields and collections.
MarketingSuite or Publisher?
At this moment, it's only possible to manage databases from the Publisher. Our developers are working very hard to make database management possible in the MarketingSuite. As we speak, the databaseApp is in its last stage of development. For now, the slightly more complex Publisher environment will have to do. In Publisher, database management can be found under the tab 'Profiles'. Here, you can look into and edit all your profile data and manage databases and selections. The first time you open it, it will naturally be empty. You'll have to create a new database first.
Fields, interests and collections
Within a database we differentiate between fields, interests and collections. Fields and interests are easy: they contain single pieces of data. Interests are really just fields, only they can contain either yes” or “no”, and nothing else. In the case of a sports store, the fields used could be 'first name', 'last name', email field 'email address' and interests 'football', “tennis” and 'hockey'.
Collections are a bit more complicated. They form an extra layer in a database, a 'sub- database' of sorts. These collections are attached to a profile. A collection could be the order history of a profile, containing the product and all of its attributes, such as price, product number, brand, etc. as fields.
Like a database, the structure of a collection can also be configured any way you want. It's flexible in the way that you can add fields to your liking. Using collections makes Copernica more powerful, but also a bit more complicated.
Coeprnica has a built-in security system. We want to prevent someone from accidentally sending a mailing to their entire database instead of the selection they want to send to. Your database usually also contains profile information on people who have previously unsubscribed from your mailings, and those are the people you don't want to send to. This is why it's by default impossible to send to newly created databases (and selections, but we'll cover that later on).You explicitly need to state that your database is suitable for mailings. This is done using database intentions. In the profile management dashboard of the Publisher you'll find menu items to manage intentions for databases and selections.
After creating your database and added fields to it, it will obviously still be empty. Now, it is time to add some data to it. We call these database entries 'profiles'. They can be added through the profile module in Publisher. To test some things it is best to start out with one profile containing only your own data.
If you're using Copernica to design and write mailings, you can continually send test emails during this process. These test messages are sent to the test destination. This is one profile in the database that all test emails are sent to, usually your own.
Taking the next step
Once you've created and filled a database, it's time to create your first mailing and further discover the possibilites Copernica has to offer.