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Odyssey Overview

Odyssey – Omeda’s Marketing Automation Platform

Marketing Automation (MA) is a core business requirement for many of our customers, but most have unique needs when it comes to execution. We set out not to integrate with an infinite number of providers, but to work with the core companies most likely to help you drive your message forward in your efforts to grow audience and monetize data. This approach has led to a handful of powerful integrations that enable you to concentrate on your core channels across social platforms, email, and on-site (with more to come).

One important item to note – the Odyssey MA platform is built on top of our existing Email Builder product, meaning all of your sending IP’s/Domains and reports are still driven by the same core infrastructure that have supported your ESP needs for years. There are no plans to sunset Email Builder as it still plays a key role in a more operationally-driven, volume-based email sending capacity. While Email Builder is used for one-to-one efforts with lighter automation/splits, Odyssey is where marketers will start building out more significant, ongoing voyages to speak to their audiences in ways not previously possible. So let’s get started!

The Basics:

Odyssey can be found under the “Activate” channel in the top header and is available at no additional cost to our customers. You’ll still need to be a customer of the particular channel (such as email) or for the space that you buy (through Facebook Ads Manager), but there no additional charge to use Odyssey. Once you login, you can search existing voyages based on template, date range, status, or by keywords in the voyage name.

To start a new voyage, click on “+ Create New” in the top left-hand corner which will allow you to select from a starter template or from a blank canvas. Once you’ve created your own voyages, you can save these as a custom template and use again for future voyages.

If you select a starter template it will preload certain elements as part of a preset voyage. If you select a blank canvas you’ll need to drag different elements onto the canvas to get started.

Toolbox Elements:

The element tray on the left-hand side of the canvas displays all of the elements you can use within an Odyssey voyage.

This will be displayed by default, but to save space, you can also collapse the tray by clicking the panel icon at the top of the tray and un-checking ‘Show Element Tray’.

The same can be done with the Inspector panel on the right side of the screen, which also pops out and collapses automatically as you click individual elements.

Source Elements

  • Audience – There are two options when selecting the audience for your voyage, continuous and static. Selecting Continuous will allow you to run the voyage at a desired frequency, refreshing the audience query each time. Selecting Static will allow you to run a single voyage for a set audience.
    • Continuous Audience – Set the frequency between 1X (weekly) to 7X (daily) and select a saved Audience Builder query or Launch Audience Builder to create a new one. This voyage will run at that interval for anyone new to the query on a recurring basis, as specified. This is great for welcome series, re-engagement, and lead gen campaigns.
    • Static List – Select an Audience Builder query, an internal file, or an external file for single use. This is great for one-off promotions that have a singular start and end point.
    • If using an External File, the file should be in comma delimited format with headers. The Email Address column header can have any name as long as the string ‘email’ or ‘e-mail’ appears in it.
    • Output Criteria: When an Audience Builder query is selected as your audience source, you can also select a value for Output Criteria. The fields included in the Output Criteria, will be used to generate merge variables within your email content and the values will be available for review within your Deployment Reports. The Output Criteria can be created in Audience Builder by selecting Output Text file. Be sure to include the Customer Id and Email Address fields and any other fields that should be available within your deployment reports and as merge variables. After creating your Output Criteria and saving, the criteria can be reused within any of your voyages.
    • Filter Options
      • Under this section, the checkbox “Remove Internal Duplicates” is automatically selected. When checked, the audience emails will be de-duplicated. This will ensure that for each  email element present within the voyage, the duplicate email addresses within your audience list will be removed and recipients will only receive the message once. This is the same feature that you can find when building an email in Email Builder. NOTE: If an Email’s deployment type is an Audited Digital Deployment type, the Remove Internal duplicates will no longer appear because you cannot de-dupe that type of deployment.

Channel Elements

  • Email – Dropping the Email element onto your canvas allows you to deploy an email send
    • Email Deployment Name: At the top of the tab, next to the blue email icon, there is a text box that will be prepopulated with the name “Email 1”. Use a unique email label to identify each of the email deployments in your voyage. This will help to identify the email in the Email Builder view and reports.
    • Deployment Type – Select the appropriate deployment type for the content that you are sending.  The unsubscribe link merge variable will populate with this deployment type and optouts are stored accordingly.  Odyssey will allow you to select a different deployment type for any of the subsequent sends in your journey.  If utilizing this functionality, please note that your original audience list query should contain those suppressions to avoid customers dropping from the sends.
    • Campaign ID – This allows you to assign your internal “ID” number/promo code/campaign ID to a Voyage and ultimately track it through reporting.
    • Subject – This is a required field, but will be pre-populated from the Email Builder default settings.
    • From – This is a required field, but will be pre-populated from the Email Builder default settings.
    • Mailbox – This is a required field, but will be pre-populated from the Email Builder default settings.  This is the verbiage that appears before the sending domain.
    • Reply To: This field allows you to enter an email address for recipients to reply to. If a Reply-to were provided in the Default Settings, this value will be populated if you opted to apply the default values. If no Reply To is provided and a recipient clicks ‘reply’, their response would not be sent.
    • Preheader: This field allows you to enter a Preheader for the deployment. The character limit is 100 characters. Depending on the recipient’s email client, the number of characters visible in their inbox may vary.
  • HTML – There are four ways to populate the HTML content for your Email
      • URL – Use the icon labeled “URL” to fetch content from a static URL.
      • Upload – Use the icon labeled “Upload” to upload an HTML file.
      • HTML – Build your HTML content via the HTML Editor or by copy and pasting HTML into the source code. Note: you must click Apply or Apply and Close to save.
      • Designer – Build your HTML content using the email designer which allows you to use saved templates and drag and drop functionality. Read more about this here.
    • Plain Text
      • Use the icon in the top left to auto-generate the text version from the HTML section.
      • Use the Expand icon on the top right to obtain a larger view of the text content box.  You can enter content here in one of 3 ways
        • Get from URL
        • Upload Content
        • Building via the Text Editor or by Cut/paste
      • Note: You must hit the Apply or Apply and Close buttons to save
    • Link Tracking
      • After a Voyage with an Email element is published, a Link Tracking pleat will display. Within this pleat you can launch a modal that will enable you to manage the tracking for links included within your email. The tracking settings will be populated from your Deployment Defaults, but users can enable or disable tracking for specific links, append a web tracking string, enable Olytics tracking for all applicable links, or set Categories, Tags, and Keywords that will be available in the Deployment reports.
    • Testers & Seeds
      • Select the gear in the top right to open the text box for entering Testers & Seeds
      • The Voyage creator will automatically be included as a seed and test name. Enter all other desired Seeds.  If the Seed should also be a Tester, be certain to check the Add Tester box.
      • Click Apply to save this data
    • Email Branching: After implementing an email element, you can create different branches of the voyage based on the recipients’ behavior. This is a multi-choice field and multiple elements can be driven by the same action
      • Opened + Clicked
      • Opened + Not Clicked
      • Opened + Clicked plus Opened + Not Clicked – it is a multi-choice option where you can select all openers, regardless of click activity
      • Not Opened
  • Personalization – Target your audience as they browse your website(s) via personalized popup modals
    • Within Odyssey, the Personalization tab has a several categories listed, which will be autofilled once you build your Personalization. To build your Personalization, select “Setup Personalization.” This will open the Personalization Modal where you can create the Personalization content, set the priority, specify the frequency and more. Read more about this here.
    • Once you are finished building your Personalization, click “Save and Apply”.
    • The details will now be autofilled in your Personalization details in the voyage.
  • Metering – This element will function similarly to Personalization, where audience members that reach this element in the voyage will be metered when they visit your site(s). Metering allows you to limit the amount of times a user can visit your site before registering or subscribing. Meters that have been previously built to target Odyssey audiences are available after selecting a site from the Olytics Site dropdown. New meters can be created by clicking “Manage Meters”. More information on Metering can be found here.
    • After selecting “Manage Meters,” you will be prompted to save your voyage before redirecting to the Metering builder.
    • Once you are finished building your Meter series, save the message and make sure it is in testing mode. Then click on “BACK TO ODYSSEY VOYAGE [NAME OF VOYAGE]”
    • On the Metering details panel, you can then choose which Olytics Site and Meter you want for this point in your voyage. You can also test any of the Meter steps that you have.

Timing

  • Schedule – Select the date and time for the next element in the voyage to occur. If running a continuous voyage, each instance of the voyage will run at the specified time of day and day of the week.   Schedule Screenshot
  • End Date/Time – The Schedule element allows you to designate when you would like to end your voyage. After selecting and End Date/Time, you have two options for how you’d like to stop your voyage:

    • Graceful – No new customers will enter a voyage at the designated date, but existing customers will continue the voyage until they reach the end.
    • Immediate Stop – No new customers will enter a voyage at the designated date, and existing customers on the voyage will stop where they are.

Pathing

  • Split – The Split element will randomly assign the audience into two or more different paths depending on the percentage designated to each path. For example, you can choose 50% of your audience to go down one branch of the voyage and 50% of your audience to go down the other.
    • To set it up, make sure you have at least two different elements coming off the split. You can then click on the Split element to change the percentages if you’d like. By changing the top one, the tool will auto-populate the bottom percentage for the remainder.
           

Modifiers

  • Filter – The Filter element allows users to set up criteria that the voyage passengers can either meet or not meet to continue within the voyage. If they meet the criteria, then the filter will route them to one branch of the voyage and if they don’t meet the criteria, they can be routed to a different branch. This element is incredibly helpful because it allows users to create goal conditions that can be assessed at many points within the voyage. Audience members that meet these conditions can be excluded from future voyage elements.
  • NOTE: The Filter element does not work for voyages with an uploaded list. The element uses an audience members Customer ID to identify whether they meet the filter criteria and because external lists don’t require customer IDs, audience members from external lists cannot “meet” criteria.
    • When selecting your audience for your filter, you have two options.
      • Option 1 is to select an existing query from the “Select Saved Criteria” bar. This will open a list of all your saved queries to choose from:

      • Option 2 is to click on “Select Filter Criteria.” This will create a pop-in window of the Audience Builder platform within your voyage so you can edit any query or build a new one in order to have the exact query you’d like for your filter. Edit or build your query just as you would in Audience Builder. For more information on how to do so, go to our Audience Builder overview page.

    • Once you have selected or created the query for your filter, it will appear in the white bar with the query name.
  • Form Submit – This element incorporates your Form Builder forms and submissions from those forms.  This element can be used to differentiate between audience members who have submitted a form and those who have not, and create subsequent branches. This might be used in lieu of a Filter element where the audience data must be processed and available in the database.
    • Under Source, you can select a form or site that already exists OR you can choose to “Open Form Builder” to create a new form.  If you choose this option, it will take you into the Form Builder tool to create a new form.
    • After the Form Submit Element, you need to add a Wait Element.  The minimum time for a Wait Element is 15 minutes.
    • You will be given 2 options after Form Submit, On Submit or No Filter.
      • On Submit:  You can choose to End Trigger On X number of days after the start date of the voyage or on a specific date. By choosing this option, the Form Submit will check if any audience members in your voyage have submitted the form at any point until the end date. After submitting, the audience member will move to the proceeding Wait element.
    • No Filter: This option lets you choose the filter of Submitted or Not Submitted after your Wait Element. By choosing this option, the submit action will only be checked after the Wait period has elapsed.
    • NOTE:  If you choose the On Submit filter after the Form Submit Element, you will not have the Submitted/Non Submitted choices after the following Wait Element.
  • Export – This element allows users to export a list of audience members at any point in the voyage (following the Wait element). This can be helpful if you wish to export certain audience behaviors that occurred during the voyage for lead generation or integrations with client CRM’s. 
    • File Details – This will show the file name as well as give you the option to modify what the fields the output file will contain. If you click on “Select/Create Output Criteria,” a pop-in window will appear that has options for what the file will contain. You can learn more about what each of these output options mean here.

      • Output Details – This section designates where you would like the file to be sent.
        • File delivery method – There are two options, where you can choose either or both:
          • Email the List: The list of audience members at the point in the voyage where the Export element is placed will be emailed to a designated group of emails that were provided when setting up the voyage.
          • FTP/SFTP Location: The list of audience members at the point in the voyage where the Export element is placed will be dropped as a file to an SFTP location.
        • File name: Name the file to be sent – make sure you follow the criteria outlined by the “i” icon
        • Append Date to File: This will attach the date to your file name as well so you know when it is from
        • Recipient email(s): If you select “Add another,” an additional white box will appear to input another email address
        • FTP/SFTP Location: The location of your secure file sharing location. Make sure the protocol is supported by checking with the criteria listed in the “i” icon
        • User Name and Password: The login information to this file sharing location
      • Timing Details – This section is for choosing the frequency and timing of when the list will be sent to either the FTP/SFTP location or email addresses.
  • Pathfinder – The Pathfinder element can be used to make the audience members that have reached the pathfinder available to query in Audience Builder. The path must be given a specific name to link to Audience Builder. Wherever the element is placed on the voyage, all passengers who pass through that element will be gathered into a query that will then appear in Audience Builder under the specific voyage and path name. The list will be comprised of the customer IDs of voyagers along the path. The only setup requirement is placing a Wait element before the Pathfinder element and naming the path (changing “Pathfinder 1” to whatever you’d like). Once that is done, the list will automatically be sent to Audience Builder when instructed to.
     

Marketplace

  • Facebook Ad Manager – Send your audience directly into Facebook Ads Manager (or Business Manager) to target directly with ads on Facebook and/or Instagram using custom audiences.
    • Facebook Event Manager – This integration works with the FB Pixel and syncs known/unknown audiences to Facebook for targeted advertisement. You’ll need to name this pixel event (this is the name that will appear in Facebook), and include the Pixel Code.
  • CRM Audience (AdRoll) – This programatic option gives you the chance to target your known audience across additional extension networks through your own AdRoll account – used for records with an email address
    • Event Based Audience (AdRoll) – AdRoll Event Based Audiences require an AdRoll Pixel installed on your website(s). We will sync both known and anonymous voyagers that visit your site to AdRoll under the Audience Sync Name you specify in the setup:
  • Google Ads Manager – Target your audience with display ads through Google Ad Manager (previously DFP). The set up is the same as the integration – it sends a key/value pair to DFP and assigns that key/value pair to the Customers from the Odyssey Audience Builder selection.

Additional Element/Voyage Functionality:

  • Clone/Delete an element: To clone (duplicate) or delete an element once it is on your canvas, simply right click and select ‘Clone’ or ‘Delete’ from the dropdown.
    • Pause an element: If an element within a Voyage has been paused, an alert will be visible on the search screen to inform you that not all elements are running.
    • Archive your Voyage: Older or non-used Voyages can be archived in order to keep them from the general search results (they can also be restored if you find the need to use a voyage again)
    • Edit email content: For Static Voyages, you can continue to edit email content even after the Voyage has started.
  • Connections can be created to merge the passengers from multiple branches or paths into another. Read more about our merging paths functionality here.

Coming Soon:

  • SMS Text – An integration with a SMS market leader will let you send one-off text messages as part of a voyage
    • Telemarketing – Adding a phone call through a 3rd party telemarketing firm provides a high-touch option for higher-value products and conversions
    • Print On Demand – The ability to mail a customized direct mail piece can help close conversions on longer sales cycles

Sample Voyage:

Odyssey voyages are only limited by your creativity and the amount of marketing materials that you have at your fingertips. Below is a sample voyage, but we encourage you to build your own and send your favorites to ClientSuccess@omeda.com.

Saving and Scheduling Voyages:

When first creating a voyage, on the Search page you will have a couple different options:

  1. “Create New”
    1. “My Saved Templates” – you can choose from previous templates you have saved

Regardless of which you choose, they will both display a new voyage layout for you to build out. Clicking “Save” in this window will open a pop up.

  • Voyage Name – this must be a unique name
    • Description – not required, verbiage that is entered here is not currently viewable when the voyage is reopened

Saving your voyage will move it from “New” to “Created.” Within the voyage window, you can begin to customize the Odyssey voyage that you want, adding elements and specific details from start to finish. Once you have completed the setup of your Voyage (all elements are flagged with the green check),  follow these steps to Test and Activate

  • Moving from “Create” to “Published:
    • When saving after the initial creation of your voyage, the ‘Create’ process will run in the background. One of two things can happen:
      • If successful, the voyage will now be in a “Published” status.  This may take a few minutes to complete.
        • If not successful, error messages will be presented (in the UI and also sent to you in an email)
    • Return to Search to view the status. All of the status settings are defined here.
    • Once in the Published status, you can reopen your Voyage in order to send tests for any of the Email elements.  Click on the Email icon(s) and scroll to the bottom of the right hand panel.  You will see the testing options.
    • You are able to make any needed edits to content and the Voyage flow.
    • Save for Later – click this option after your edits if you are not ready to schedule the Voyage
    • Schedule – click this option to place the Voyage into the sending queue.
      • Note:  please verify the date and time in the Schedule element(s) prior to selecting this.  The Schedule link does not present an opportunity to review the scheduled time.
    • Export your Odyssey Canvas to a PDF file for easy printing and sharing.

Graceful Shutdown:

  • Within each Voyage you also have the ability to select an Audience segment that you no longer want to participate.  Your Voyage can continue for those that are already in it, but new people within the designated audience can be left off. This graceful shutdown allows you to target Audience segments in a new way in a separate Voyage while neatly wrapping up those who are currently in progress.

Duplicating a Voyage:

  • When you are on the Voyage list page you can select an existing voyage to duplicate. This will make a copy of the entire voyage and retain creatives and wait times for all elements with the exception of:
    • Google Ad Manager
      • Meters
      • Personalization
    • To duplicate a voyage, hover over the voyage name and click the … button and select ‘Duplicate’
  • A popout will appear allowing you to change the name (optional) and then you can select ‘Submit’ to create the duplicate.
    • Once you duplicate a voyage, you will need to select an audience and schedule the initial start

Saving a Template:

  •  If you would like to set up templates there is a ‘Save as Template’ option within the Odyssey canvas that will save the element flow without retaining any of the content (creatives, wait times, etc.)
    • Click the … button in the upper right-hand corner of the canvas and then ‘Save as Template’
  • The newly saved template will appear in the ‘My Saved Templates’ drop-down in the main Voyage list.

Using Profiles in Odyssey:

If your company has profiles set up, you have the ability to save Odyssey Voyages within specific profiles. This will limit them to the profile in which they were created (and the Master Universe Profile).

  1. To use this feature, select the profile that you want to associate the Odyssey Voyage with.

Note: This must be selected before you begin to create the voyage.

2. Create and save your voyage as normal. The profile that this voyage is associated with will appear in a new ‘Profile’ column on the Odyssey search page.

The master profile will list all of the Odyssey voyages:

When you are within a certain profile, only the associated voyages will appear:

Querying Odyssey Elements in Audience Builder:

Within Audience Builder, you will have the ability to query each of the Elements used within a Voyage.  Previously, only the Audience and Pathfinder elements were available to query on.  Now, all elements used with the voyage can be queried.  Under the Odyssey Folder in Audience Builder, you can search for your voyage name.  Once you select the voyage from the drop down based on your search, you’ll find names of each of the elements used within that voyage.

When creating your voyage, it is important to give each element name some thought as this is what you will see in the Element List in Audience Builder as shown below.  You can choose to Include, Exclude and/or select a Visit Start Date for each element.  At this time you can only select on element at a time.  To query on multiple elements, you can create a new group and choose your next element.

Sample Use Cases:

  • Welcome Series – Target new users to your audience database with a gradual introduction to other products and services
    • Reengagement Campaign – Target names that have stopped responding to emails or telemarketing via other channels like social, display, or on-site targeting
    • Renewal/Requals for Paid Expires – Coordinate and automate your efforts across multiple channels
    • Cross-Promotions – Automatically deploy additional campaigns when audience members fall into the right combo of products, demographics, and behaviors
    • Lead Generation for Advertisers – Enhance your advertiser’s lead funnel with automated efforts to their target audience

Future

Long-term, we’ll continue to add enhancements and additional channels.

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