When you create your email, you can set up external content retrieval areas. When you are ready to send an email, it retrieves the HTML or text from an external URL source. It inserts the content into the email, converts links to be tracked, and sends the email to the appropriate contacts.
External content can be contained in multiple emails, and content formatting can be standardized for all emails that contain the content.
One of the advantages of using external content is that it can be changed. You can change external content as often as you like. For example, you can prepare a number of ads ahead of an email. Then, you can quickly change the specials that are advertised in the content when stock runs low or the advertised item does not sell. The content is changed on your server or uploaded to the FTP directory, and no change to organization settings is required.
When you use external content in an email, you can view the external content scrape to verify your results. For external content scraping, ensure that the content on your website is available via HTTPS in order to render in the latest version of Google Chrome. For more information, go to Acoustic Campaign: HTTPS protocol for hosting images and content. You can also edit and delete a previously created external content placeholder within the email template.
You can add content to your email from an external source, either from a remote file (URL) or by using FTP.
Note: External content retrieval (ECR) must be enabled by the client support team. To enable this feature for several organizations, list each organization separately. If you want to use FTP, you must contact client support to set up an FTP account. After your FTP account is set up, you can transfer your HTML file into the upload folder. You can use whatever FTP file transfer software you choose.
Add external content
To add external content to your email, complete the following steps:
- Open an email.
- Place the cursor where you want the external content to appear.
- In the menu, click the Insert External Content icon. The Insert External Content dialog box opens.
- Complete the fields and click OK.
- To reference an external (remote) URL:
- Select the Remote File (URL) option.
- Type the remote URL in the URL field.
- To use FTP:
- Select FTP Directory and click Import from FTP.
- Select the file and then click Select.
- Click OK.
The system places the external content icon within the email body when you send it. The web content displays within this area. Review the email to make sure the external content is displayed correctly.
External content scrape shows as a placeholder in the editor and in the side-by-side preview. The fully rendered preview shows the external content.
The following example shows the external content scrape in an HTML editor:
%%_SP_CONTENT_SCRAPE xt_cslocationref="www.yourcompany.com" xt_cslocationtype="HTTP" xt_cstracklinks="true" xt_csname="Demo ED" %%
The following example shows the external content scrape in a text editor:
%%_SP_CONTENT_SCRAPE xt_csname="Text EC" xt_cstracklinks="true" xt_cslocationtype="HTTP" xt_cslocationref="www.yourcompany.com" %%
- Click the placeholder to open the External Content Options dialog box.
- To change the external content, click Edit .
- To delete the external content, click Remove.
When you are satisfied with the results, you can send the email.
Tip: You can use delivery optimization, such as throttling or send time optimization (STO), to deliver an email that contains external content that might change as the send progresses. The contacts who receive the email after the initial send receive the same content within the "scrape" section as contacts who were sent the email first. Campaign retains the page as it was scraped when the send started. After a send starts, the content on the web page can be changed as needed without adversely affecting a send in progress.
- The system can retrieve up to 1 MB of content per retrieval area, even if you have more than one content retrieval in an email.
- Dynamic content cannot be embedded within the content that is retrieved.
- When you preview email templates that use external content, the retrieval URL is displayed instead of the content.
- External content can be used within dynamic content and in the static portion of the email. Dynamic content cannot be embedded within the external content.
External content retrieval is not supported in autoresponders, programs, or Transact, but it can be used in an automated message group.
Troubleshooting: When you add links to your emails through external content retrieval with tracking enabled, the links added to your integrations append string and email specific parameter. These values are defined in the send experience for normal tests. If you experience issues with tracking or the append string, make sure that external links don't contain special attributes such as
name='*'. If this solution doesn't resolve your issue, contact support.
If you experience a 403 error or missing content when attempting to use the content scraper for external content retrieval, you can:
- Allow requests without cookies - Ensure that your client web server is configured to allow requests from machines that do not have cookies enabled.
- Whitelist the IP address of the content scraper - the following IP addresses are valid for the content scrapes on Pods 0 through 9 and Pod A. On your web server, you can whitelist the appropriate IP address.
Pod 1-5: 18.104.22.168
Pod 6: 22.214.171.124
Pod 7: 126.96.36.199
Pod 8: 188.8.131.52
Pod 9: 184.108.40.206
Pod A: 220.127.116.11
Pod B: 18.104.22.168
Allow requests without cookies
Ensure that your client web server is configured to allow requests from machines that do not have cookies enabled.
Support by existing features
- Supported by: web compose, locked templates, dynamic content rulesets, and automated message groups.
- Error reporting: for retrieval errors, the system sends a notification to the organization's notification email address and the email owner's notification email address.
- Not supported by: locked templates editable areas.
- Not supported within the external content: forward message, embedded forms, dynamic content, images, the use of personalization within the external content URL and HTML validation.
- External content scrape within an email is not supported by autoresponders, programs, or Transact and is not displayed to the recipient as expected.