The integrated solution of SmartFocus and Optimove helps increase customer engagement and spend by using predictive customer modeling to personalize retention campaigns.

Marketers use Optimove to plan their customer marketing campaigns based on the advanced customer segmentation available in the product. Using Optimove’s customer modeling system, marketers are able to easily define and discover interesting groups of customers to target – groups that the company’s marketers wouldn’t have been able to identify and target otherwise.

The next step is for the marketing team to develop the particular campaigns (offers or incentives) they want to send each target group of customers.

Every night, the Optimove software generates the specific lists of customer IDs to receive each pre-planned marketing campaign – along with the SmartFocus email message ID and scheduled send time. Optimove pushes the lists to SmartFocus via API and then SmartFocus sends out each personalized campaign at the specified time.

During and after the campaign’s execution, Optimove reports on the financial success metrics of each campaign (compared to a pre-selected control group), or the winner of an A/B campaign test, and incorporates email delivery, open and click metrics acquired via SmartFocus’s API.

To summarize, the Optimove software connects to SmartFocus via API for two purposes:

  1. To instruct SmartFocus to send out a particular email message to a specified segment of customer IDs
  2. To receive email campaign metrics (delivery rate, open rate, click rate and unsubscribe rate) from SmartFocus

How it Works

1. Prepare Customer List in SmartFocus

Once the marketer has opened the SmartFocus account, the first step is to export the required customer data from the company’s database and import it into SmartFocus. At a minimum, this data will include customer ID, first name, last name and email address. Since SmartFocus’s default is to use the email address as the primary key, it is necessary to ask them to add a new Customer ID field in the account which will be used by Optimove to identify customers. Note that the Customer ID field must be textual (not numeric).

It is important that the freshness of this data be maintained on a daily basis, e.g., when new customers join, their information must be promptly updated in the appropriate SmartFocus List.

Who does it: the marketer, with support from SmartFocus.

2. Prepare Customer Data for Import into Optimove

The marketer, usually with assistance from internal IT staff, prepares the company’s raw data into specific formats required by Optimove. These customer profile tables, which describe each customer's attributes, will be imported daily by Optimove. Optimove uses this data to segment customers into a variety of dimensions (lifecycle stages, micro-segments, etc.) and to track the behavior of customers and target groups over time.

Who does it: the marketer, with support from internal IT staff and Optimove integration staff. If necessary, Optimove staff can take a leading role in this stage.

3. Connecting Optimove to the SmartFocus API

In order for Optimove to connect to the SmartFocus API, it needs to receive login credentials to the client’s API instance (user name, password and secured key).

All communication between the Optimove and SmartFocus servers is via the HTTP POST method (WebService). (For the technically inclined, SmartFocus’s API guide is available here.)

Who does it: Optimove sets this up in the software, using the credentials provided by the marketer.

4. Using the Joint Optimove-SmartFocus Solution to Create and Send Customer Campaigns

Retrieving the List of Email Messages

When the marketer sets up an email campaign in Optimove to be sent via SmartFocus, the software retrieves a list of all available email messages via the SmartFocus API. The user can choose the desired message for the campaign from a drop-down list and can also view a preview of the email itself from within Optimove.

Important note: in order to be accessible by Optimove, the email messages defined in SmartFocus must be named optimove_<message-name> (e.g., optimove_holiday_campaign_3).

Sending an Email Campaign

Each time Optimove actually sends an email campaign via SmartFocus, Optimove connects to the SmartFocus API and performs the following steps:

  1. Optimove creates a SmartFocus “segment” – this segment contains the list of customer IDs to receive the email. Notes:

    • This customer list is generated by Optimove according to the current target group segmentation defined within Optimove.
    • Optimove does not store actual customer addresses in its database. Rather, the customer IDs used by the client to identify each customer are used by both Optimove and SmartFocus.
  2. Optimove instructs SmartFocus to send the email by providing the following parameters:

    • The subscribers selected by the relevant segment
    • The ID of the email message to use, as selected by the user in Optimove’s Run Campaign wizard (shown as “Email template”). As mentioned above, Optimove will only show messages named optimove_<message-name>. Optimove will clone the message for each campaign (because SmartFocus limits the usage of each message to a single campaign).
    • The date and time of day when SmartFocus should deliver the email (this is also specified by the user in the Run Campaign wizard).

Retrieving Email Campaign Metrics

Once each day, for a period of one week following the sending of each SmartFocus mailing, Optimove connects to the API in order to retrieve delivery, open, click and unsubscribe metrics for the campaign. These metrics are displayed within Optimove’s Campaign Analysis page for each executed campaign.