If your business requires you to send high volume, event-triggered, personalized emails requiring top-level security, Transact is the solution that will suit your needs. It is designed for sending large loads of one-off messages, such as:
- Order confirmations
- Shipping confirmations
- Password reset information
- Alert messages
- Customer service messages
Transact assembles the email body, personalization, and content, by using a highly customizable transaction email template that you create in Acoustic Campaign. The messages in Transact are sent immediately.
Security and transparency
An important component of Transact involves its security features: detailed tracking, round-trip reporting, and high level of deliverability, and IP level validation. Transact only sends messages requested from a previously specified IP address.
The duplicate sending feature enables one or more users (or an assigned mailbox) to receive a single copy of all mailings sent from Transact.
You can also add information to a database even if it is not used in the mailing, which is particularly useful for Analytics reports.
Transact's queuing system captures all incoming requests even if it is unable to send immediately, e.g. during system maintenance. If messages cannot be delivered to a contact immediately, Transact will retry sending every 15 minutes for 24 hours. Messages that can't get delivered within 24h are returned to Engage as undeliverable, on a per contact basis.
How it works
The following steps present how Transact works in the simplest terms.
- An action causes email messages to originate on your system.
- Your system communicates with Acoustic Campaign through the transfer of XML or SMTP data.
- Acoustic Campaign receives the data and responds with the appropriate status codes.
- Messages are mapped to the appropriate templates.
- Emails are populated and sent out in real time.
- Data is written into the database for reporting purposes.
- Contact actions are tracked and are viewable in reporting.
Transact SMTP or XML, or Acoustic Campaign API?
Although Transact and Acoustic Campaign are independent operating programs and use different servers, Transact uses some features from Acoustic Campaign:
- Email templates
You have a variety of options to send high volumes of emails in Acoustic Campaign. To choose the best tool for you, start by determining the actual number of emails you send on average. If you need to send more than 10,000 transactional messages per day, use Transact rather than the Acoustic Campaign API. There is a limit of 10,000 SendMailing API calls per day for an organization.
Acoustic Campaign API offers more options if you want to use email and non-email key databases and leverage as many Acoustic Campaign features as possible, including seed lists, dynamic content, send time optimization, social sharing, and more.
When comparing Transact XML to Transact SMTP, you will notice that only Transact XML offers the click to view message option (limited) while only Transact SMTP provides the x-header identification.
All the features available in each sending method are listed in the table below.
Capability comparison: Acoustic Campaign API, Transact XML, and Transact SMTP
|Method||Acoustic Campaign API||Transact XML||Transact SMTP|
|Link opened tracking||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Unique key identifier||Email or non-email key||Non-email key||Non-email key|
|Personalization added at send time||Yes||Yes||No|
|Click to view message||Yes||Yes, with limitations||No|
|Forward to a friend||Yes||No||No|
|Suppression||Full||FCC, domain system||FCC, domain system|
|Dynamic content rule sets||Yes||No||No|
|Share to social||Yes||No||No|
|Send time optimization||Yes||No||No|
|Custom domain required||No||Yes||Yes|
Before you begin
The system administrator from our support team completes the following tasks during setup:
- Enables Transact for your account.
- Configures FTP/SFTP settings, if applicable (such as the submit-to IP address and response directory).
- Configures the HTTP and HTTPS settings, if applicable (such as the response address).
After the system administrator completes the initial setup for the account, your organization administrator continues by following the steps below.
Configure the org admin settings
- On the Settings > Org admin menu, go to Settings > User profile.
- In the Notification email field, enter the email address for sending Transact error notifications.
- Click Save.
- On the Settings > Org admin menu, go to Settings > User profile.
- Under Time zone, select the time zone from which you will typically submit your email messages.
- Click Save.
When you communicate with Transact XML or Transact SMTP, there are no login credentials as there are in an Acoustic Campaign organization. Transact access is controlled by the specified IP address.
Set the IP address for Transact sends
The IP address that you use for testing, and the IP address used by your system in production, must be set in Acoustic Campaign or Transact SMTP will reject the submission.
Note: You cannot use an IP range with Transact. If you use multiple IP addresses, you must enter them individually.
The Transact server responds to XML submit documents that are sent over HTTP with a response document back to the same IP address. When you test, you receive this document in your browser.
The Transact API has IP restrictions at the organization level, which is pulled from the Campaign user interface. If you access a Campaign Transact organization through the user interface, the system recognizes both the organization security settings access restrictions and user IP restrictions.
Note: Users who do not have a dedicated IP address can use the OAuth security method in place of IP address restrictions to send Transact mailings. See Application Account Access for details on setting up OAuth.
To set the submission IP address, the org admin must complete the following steps.
- Select Settings > Security settings.
- Expand Access restrictions.
- Click Add new IP address.
- Enter the IP address in quad/dot notation and click Add. (Ignore the user and API settings).
- Confirm by clicking OK.
- Allow 10 minutes for the settings to take effect. After that, Transact recognizes the IP address.
After you enable Transact SMTP, you can set up an Acoustic Campaign database, email templates, and transactional message groups.
Create a Transact database
Transact XML and SMTP can use either a restricted or flexible database. The database can be keyed on a unique identifier, another field or have no key at all. Org admins and standard users with permission can create databases specifically for Transact sends.
The initial Transact database is empty – your system dynamically generates the contact name and information. Because this database is the contact source for your Transact sends and is not a permanent collection of data, contact details remain active for 60 days but are available in aggregate reports beyond that time frame.
- Go to Data > Database > Create and select the database type.
- Click Select and choose a Shared folder as your save location.
Note: The database that you create must be in a shared folder (you can create it in a private folder and move it to a shared folder).
- Decide if you want to use a flexible or restricted database and click Next to display the Create database/List add fields page. If you are using a flexible database, you do not have to use a unique identifier. If you choose a restricted database, create the Transact UID field by following these steps:
- Click Add field and enter a database-specific name in the Field name.
- Click Edit unique identifiers, clear the email field, and place a check mark next to the field that is your Transact UID field.
- Click Save. It is possible to use a different field so long as it would only contain a data element that would never be used again, such as a transaction_id.
- Add any other fields to the database that you require.
- Click Create.
Data synchronization between Transact and Acoustic Campaign
The information must be synchronized between the two programs. If you make a change in Acoustic Campaign, such as adding a list, changing a template, creating a campaign, or adding an IP address, Transact will need 10-20 minutes to update. After you submit information through the XML Submit Document, allow up to one minute to sync with Acoustic Campaign.
If you are working with APIs, ensure that you apply robust and well thought out retry logic where applicable in your API process to correctly identify and filter out potential transient network disruptions.
Note: If a contact receives an email and clicks on a link before synchronization has occurred, the link works but might not be tracked by Acoustic Campaign.