Create a Product Recommendations for Email Experience

Follow these steps to create a Product Recommendations for Email experience.

  1. Click EXPERIENCES in the top navigation bar, and then select Web.

    Callout of the Web option in the EXPERIENCES top navigation menu

  2. Click the drop-down arrow to the right of CREATE EXPERIENCE, and then select Product Recommendations for Email.

    Callout of the 'Product Recommendations for Email' option in the menu available from the 'CREATE EXPERIENCE' button

  3. Click the pencil icon, enter a name for the experience, and then click the green checkmark icon to save the name.

    Animated demonstration of a user clicking the pencil icon beside the experience name field, typing a name, and then clicking the green checkmark icon

  4. Click WHAT and then click ADD ACTION.

    Callout of the WHAT settings and the ADD ACTION button

  5. Click Product Recommendations for Email on the Action Type panel.

    Callout of the 'Product Recommendations for Email' option on the Action Type panel

  6. Click the action template that you want to use.

    Example of the action templates available on the 'Product Recommendations for Email' panel

  7. Configure the required recommendations-related inputs for the action.
    1. Select up to four recommendation strategies to populate the recommendations.

      Callout of the four Recommendation Strategy selectors on the Product Recommendations for Email action template

    2. Set the number of times the action displays recommendations from one strategy before displaying recommendations from the next strategy. For example, an action using recommendation strategies A, B, and C with a set sequence of 2 would pull from result in recommendations pulled in the following order: A, A, B, B, C, C, A, A….

      Callout of the 'Recommendation Strategy Sequence' field

    3. Set the minimum number of products the action must display before a fallback recommendation fires.

      Setting Minimum Items to zero prevents the fallback strategy or strategies from firing and email recipients from seeing any recommendations.

      Callout of the Minimum Items field

    4. Set the maximum number of products the action can recommend.

      Callout of the Maximum Items field

    5. Optionally, input into Pinned Products the product IDs for any items that you want to always appear at the beginning of the recommendations.

      Any products that you pin using this field appear before any products that might be pinned as a result of one or more recommendation strategies that you may have selected that are configured with Item group ID(s) in run-time parameter (for email) with Pin products in run-time parameter to front of recommendation results enabled.

      Callout of the Pinned Products field

    6. Optionally, select a product catalog attribute on which duplicate recommended products are removed from the results.

      Ensure that the attribute that you select is present in the product catalog configured within each recommendation strategy that you selected in step 7a. This requirement doesn't apply to any fallback recommendation strategy that you select because the Remove duplicate products based on setting doesn't apply to fallback recommendation strategies.

      Callout of the 'Remove duplicate products based on' selector

  8. Optionally, select one or two fallback recommendation strategies.

    If the action has not met the minimum number of products after depleting its ability to draw recommendations from the strategies you selected in step 6a and then still failed to meet the required minimum number of items using the first fallback strategy, then it uses the second fallback strategy to fill out what remains, if possible. If the action cannot meet the minimum products threshold using the primary or fallback strategies, then the action doesn't fire.

    The Fallback Strategy 1 and Fallback Strategy 2 selectors

  9. As necessary, modify the HTML code for the recommendation item template.

    The Recommendation Item template HTML editor

  10. Optionally, add dynamic text to the HTML by selecting an option from the selector and then pasting the snippet into the HTML code editor.

    Callout of the Dynamic Text selector for the Recommendation Item template

  11. As necessary, adjust the size of the image container.

    Callout of the Width field and Height field

  12. Click SAVE.

    Callout of the SAVE button on the action template configuration panel


    Callout of the 'GENERATE EMAIL HTML' button

  14. Click COPY TO CLIPBOARD and then paste the HTML into your ESP email template.

    Callout of the 'COPY TO CLIPBOARD' button in the 'Generate Email HTML' modal

  15. Replace the $customer_id placeholder and, as necessary, the placeholders for any run-time parameters in the generated HTML, with their respective values. See Preparing the Generated HTML in Run-Time Context for Recommendations Email Experiences for more information.

    Callouts of the customer_id value placeholder that must be replaced in the generated HTML code

Unlike Web experiences, a Product Recommendations for Email experience requires no activation because you send it to customers using your ESP.

Previewing the Email Experience

Follow these steps to preview a Product Recommendations for Email experience complete with the context of a customer ID.

  1. Click PREVIEW on the Experience Editor page.

    Callout of the PREVIEW button on the Experience Editor page

  2. Enter a customer ID value in the Preview modal.

    This identifier is equivalent to the one used by your ESP to identify users. If you enter a valid customer ID, then the preview represents the experience seen by that customer. If you enter an invalid or imaginary customer ID, then the preview appears as if it would for an email recipient with no history.

    Callout of the 'Customer ID' field on the Preview modal

If the preview appears blank, a likely culprit is a syntax error in the template. Another possibility is a lack of returned recommended items due to either an empty catalog or the configurations of the recommendation strategies selected in the WHAT action.