The Fontis Campaign Monitor extension for Magento has been one of our most popular projects, with over 10,000 downloads, and has been used by people all over the world to connect their Magento store with the Campaign Monitor mailing list service. In collaboration with Campaign Monitor we have overhauled the existing extension to be compatible with the latest versions of Magento 1 and the Campaign Monitor API. The extension now also has a new home, having been adopted as the official Campaign Monitor project rather than continuing on as our unofficial third-party solution.
A key aspect of this project was to take advantage of improvements to the Campaign Monitor API, including support for the recently launched transactional email functionality. Following is a brief overview of some of the exciting new extension features.
Expanded Custom Fields
Customer and address attributes are still available from the old extension and have been expanded to include additional attributes from more sources of data for the customer.
Basic information about products in the customer's wishlist (name, price, SKU) is also available, with the adminstrator able to set the number of products to include. Since each piece of data for each product is a separate custom field in Campaign Monitor, it would normally be best to limit the products transferred.
Importantly, you can also include purchasing data for the customer, to help segement them based on their buying habits or their total value as a customer. Purchasing data includes:
- Last order value
- Last order date
- Average order value
- Total order value
- Total number of orders
- Total number of products ordered
- First order date
All of these fields are configurable and can be added or removed as needed by updating the configuration in Magento. If you've added custom attributes on customers these fields will also be available for use.
Webhooks and Scheduled Sychronisation
Keeping the subscriber list in Magento sychronised with Campaign Monitor is the primary function of the extension and ensuring that the two sources are as up-to-date as possible is done through the use of webhooks and batched jobs. Webhooks trigger whenever a subscriber's status is updated in Campaign Monitor, either through the actions of a subscriber or the account admin, and will immediately send a message to Magento to make the same change. Similarly, Magento will send a notification to Campaign Monitor whenever actions are taken that will affect a subscriber, such as unsubscribing from the newsletter, changing address details, or placing an order.
In addition to webhooks the extension also adds scheduled jobs to Magento, using Magento's cron system, to run through all updates made in the last day (on both ends) and ensures the lists are in sync. When the extension is configured for the first time in Magento as special job will be run which synchronises the entire list from Magento, meaning you can get started straight away.
If you'd prefer not to use Magento's cron system, perhaps preferring the system's cron scheduler, we have catered for this with Magento shell scripts and simple configuration options in the admin panel.
Campaign Monitor allows for list subscribers to be split into segments based on the data contained in custom fields, allowing for extremely powerful targeting of marketing emails. With the extension now sending through custom field data for customers, marketers can make use of this feature to segment customers based on customer group, location, purchase history, registration date and many more.
To help get started the extension will set up several useful segments on the list, based on whether customers have spent over a certain amount, whether they've signed up but haven't purchased yet, and so on. Additional segments can then be set up in Campaign Monitor as needed.
Transactional email, such as order confirmations and password resets, can now be sent through Campaign Monitor's new transactional email service through the API. This is useful if you don't want to set up outgoing mail yourself, or would like to have greater visibility into the messages sent. The extension makes use of the Transactional Email API to display a list of recently sent emails, which also allows you to view detailed information including the time it was sent, whether it was opened and the contents of the email.
With the move to becoming an official extension, you can find more information about the release on the Campaign Monitor announcement post, and the updated extension can be downloaded from Magento Connect or GitHub. Support will now be handled by Campaign Monitor directly via their normal support channels.
As part of this change we will be updating our own extension download pages and GitHub repo to direct everyone to the new extension. We've been very proud to have developed the definitive Campaign Monitor extension for Magento since 2008 and we look forward to continuing to work with Campaign Monitor and the community to add even more Campaign Monitor email goodness in releases to come!