Content in Sailthru

In order to display the right content to the right users in the right context, it is essential to plan how you will sync that content with Sailthru, and what content/metadata to provide.

Content Metadata

Think about how your current templates display content. What information do you display? Item titles/names? Brief descriptions/summaries? Category names?

Also consider how you differentiate among content types, if any. Do you have one ‘fashion’ newsletter and one ‘sports’ newsletter? Do you have a special content type that you only show in a sidebar, like your latest blog posts? Content items of each type will need to be identified as such.

Aspects of your content to consider when planning what metadata to sync with Sailthru:

  • Content to display: We’ll at least need titles, URLs, descriptions, and any other text that you will be displaying directly to users or otherwise including in the code when those items are displayed.
  • Additional metadata, including
    • Interest tags – Required for all clients, these tags will be attributed to users when they view your items or purchase your products (for e-commerce clients). This data will power future personalization. You will also be able to filter a Sailthru-produced feed of your content by tag, if needed. You may reuse your existing content “keywords” for this purpose. Your Sailthru implementation team can help evaluate whether any existing tags or keywords will work for building interest profiles and enabling personalization.
    • Custom fields (a.k.a. vars) – These may differ for each client and you may add any vars you want–any additional information will you want to display or utilize for later filtering, which does not already have a default field in Sailthru.
      • Typically, a top-level content category (or ‘vertical’) is included in order to filter on your content and use different types of content in different places, as previously described.
      • Typically, a content ID is also included to tie the item back to its ID in your primary content database.

Note that when we discuss syncing your ‘content’ with Sailthru, we mean the content metadata that you choose to send to support your marketing strategies.

Typical Content Model

Field Type
Title Default (Required)
URL Default (Required)*
Description Default (Recommended)
Date Default (Recommended)
Tags Default (Required)
Author Default (Media Only)
Price Default (E-Commerce Only)
Qty (Inventory) Default (E-Commerce Only)
SKU Default (E-Commerce Only)
Vars > Category Custom (Recommended)
Vars > Content ID Custom (Recommended)
Vars > [Other] Custom

*Note that each content item must have a single URL in the Sailthru Content Library. If you are also using the Purchase API endpoint or sending cart/purchase data using the Sailthru JavaScript, ensure that you are submitting this unique URL to represent the associated product.

Importing Content Into Sailthru

You will select one of two ways to import content: the Sailthru API or the Spider offered by Sailthru’s JavaScript on your site. In either case, any existing content will be sent, as well as newly created content/pages on your site, on an ongoing basis. Typically, the API is recommended, so that you can ensure you are sending the data exactly as you need it in Sailthru and are able to update it immediately if and when any existing content is changed.

You’ll need to ensure you’re only sending or spidering the right kinds of content pages. Typically, one canonical URL each for every article or product page–anything you may want Sailthru to provide to users as recommendations or as the latest items in a feed. You may also include additional content types if you’ll want to display them to users, for example, a set of author or brand bios. Be sure to tag these in a unique way so that you can later filter them out from article/product displays. Typically, you will not include other kinds of pages like landing pages, admin pages, etc., and should ensure these are excluded.

If you’re using the Sailthru spider, before you add the JavaScript on site, ensure you’ve added “include rules” and “exclude rules” in your Settings to specify which URLs should be sent. If you’re using the Content API exclusively, you have full control of what items to send; just ensure that you have asked your Sailthru implementation team to turn spidering off completely for your account.

Before you add the Sailthru JavaScript or begin sending content through the API, you’ll also want to ensure that you’re including meaningful tags on your content, which Sailthru will use to build interest profiles on your users.

Additional notes specific to JS Spidering or Content API implementation are below.

Note: Certain pre-built integrations between Sailthru and other content management systems (for example, your Magento or WordPress instance) automatically sync content with Sailthru, requiring no further configuration using the API or Spider.

API

  • Perform your initial bulk update of existing content with the job API endpoint’s content_update method.
  • Configure your systems to sync new, future content and any future edits to existing content using the content API endpoint.
  • Ensure that Sailthru has turned off JS spidering for your account. However, after this has been done, also ensure that the Sailthru JavaScript is included on your site, as it will be used to track user activity and potentially used for site personalization. (If you subscribe to SPM, use these JavaScript configuration instructions.)
  • Confirm your content updates are successful by browsing the Content Library in My Sailthru and/or performing content API GET calls.
  • If you inadvertently sync content incorrectly, you may delete individual content items using the content API endpoint, or delete all content–or all content with a publish date in a certain date range–using the job API endpoint’s delete_content method.

JavaScript Spider

  • Ensure that the Sailthru JavaScript is included and configured on your site. (If you subscribe to SPM, use these JavaScript configuration instructions instead.) Per the instructions on that page, you will need to do the following before adding the JavaScript to your site:
    • Ensure that content has proper META tags that include the data you will need in your content library, such as interest tags.
    • Ensure that you have added Include Rules and/or Exclude Rules in your Settings to specify which URLs should and should not be included in the Content Library.
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