Templating Checklist

WhatCounts templates are intended to be used for multiple emails in multiple campaigns, and thus are quite flexible. This does however mean that they require extra care in testing. Because of this, we have compiled a checklist of items to test after creating a template. We recommend working through this checklist before using any new template.

1. Make sure that templates support a variable number of products

Due to the nature of our algorithms, when WhatCounts campaigns provide product recommendations to emails, they don't always provide the same number of products. For recent-behavior-driven campaigns, such as Cart Recovery, the number of products included might depend on the number of products in the users shopping cart or in their most recent order. Even if the email is designed to show a specified set of featured products, we may exclude some products if they are out-of-stock or otherwise no longer available. To test that your template supports between 0 and 6 products, you can click the "Send Test Emails" button in the template editor, and then choose to send all combinations of products. That will send emails with each supported number of products so that you can see how your template renders them.

2. Allow users to set email-specific copy

The template editor is primarily intended to create templates that can be re-used across multiple emails and different campaigns. That is why it is important to add editable content areas that the user can adjust on an email-by-email basis. This means including variables like {{body_text}} and {{title}} that will cause text inputs to be available when setting up the campaign.

3. Make sure all hard-coded and custom field links have the |add_tracking_codes filter

WhatCounts Campaigns enhance links with additional URL parameters in order to facilitate analytics and customer behavior tracking. In order to take advantage of this, it's important to annotate any links you include with the template. To do this, any hard-coded links that are used in a template need to be in braces with single quote and pipe with "add_tracking_codes" attached. For example: <a href="{{ '' | add_tracking_codes }}">.  The same should be done for custom fields that are expected to be links, like <a href="{{ WCCF_user_profile_link | add_tracking_codes }}">.  These are just referenced as variables, and should not be inside quotes.

4. Test in Redirect mode before putting your first template live

The test sends in the email editor allow you to exercise email sends with different number of products and see your changes with test products and copy. But when you're first starting to use the template, it's best to run your first campaign using it in redirect mode for a while in order to see the emails that would actually be sent to real users and look for problems that might not have shown up against a more static set of tests. Review 5-10 of each email and ensure that everything works as intended.

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