New Codes Based upon an Existing Pattern
Too Many Daves (and not enough Dougs)
A decade ago, I delivered what I believe was the first-ever class on SAINT. It was early days at Omniture, and I was the seventh Account Manager to be hired. Back then the AM team did all the support as well as the training for SiteCatalyst, long before Client Care existed or the two Dougs took over the Omniture University program.
I started the class by reading, in its entirety, the Dr. Seuss poem, “Too Many Daves.” I wasn’t trying to warm up the crowd; I really felt that Mrs McCave’s predicament was central to the concept of classifying key values. If you’re not familiar with the poem, the point is that Mrs McCave made the unwise decision to give all of her 23 boys the same name: Dave.
And that wasn’t a smart thing to do.
You see, when she wants one and calls out, “Yoo-Hoo!
Come into the house, Dave!” she doesn’t get one.
All twenty-three Daves of hers come on the run!
Naming Conventions Have Already Evolved within your Business
To avoid Mrs McCave’s crisis, companies typically develop naming systems for their tracking codes. Most likely, the company you work for already has a such a structure in place, and our bet is that, if you line up all the tracking codes you’ve ever deployed in alphabetical order, those patterns will quickly become apparent.
Say you’re about to launch a Halloween Specials email. Imagine that, when you scroll through the list of past codes you see a bunch that looks like this:
EM20120804:Back to school:Generic Button
EM20120804:Back to school:Logo
EM20120804:Back to school:Lunch boxes
EM20120804:Back to school:Pencils and Erasers
EM20120804:Back to school:Unsubscribe
From this group, you can immediately tell that your company has been capturing channel, date, campaign name and link name in recent email tracking codes.
Create a Pattern you Can Re-use
Claravine’s Configure step is where you boil that structure down to a re-usable pattern, which you can use today and in the future with ease.
I could do it like this:
EM20121021:Halloween Specials:[Custom Text]
And in the table on the next step I would enter a different [Custom Text] value distinguishing each of the links in the email. But this is *not* the best solution, because it isn’t a pattern you can ever re-use in the future, when the date and campaign name will be different.
The trick to making a good pattern is to hard-code the pieces that are always consistent, and replace the rest with Dynamic Elements.
I would recommend this pattern instead:
EM[Custom Text]:[Custom Text]:[Custom Text]
It looks confusing, but those [Custom Text] pieces act like wildcards, allowing our tool to recognize the same patterns you’ve used in the past, and follow the same rules for the ones you’re about to create.
Here are screenshots of what the Classification Table would look like in Claravine after applying each of these two patterns. Notice how the first one is very similar to a blank SAINT file, where you don’t have any hints on how to fill out the document.
Creating a tracking code structure is a balancing act. Choose something too generic, then you have Mrs McCave’s problem of not being able to tell one from the next. But I’ve also seen vastly over-engineered codes that hold too much segment information, and, besides being a beast to manage, it sort of defeats the purpose of using SAINT classifications in the first place.
We recommend that you start with the patterns that have already been employed in your organization. You can add new varieties if you want, but sticking to what has worked in the past will open the door to a variety of Claravine features that help you carry on the torch that has lit the way for others before you.