Marketing & CRM

This module is your tool to efficiently acquire customers and to strengthen customer loyalty by using forms, campaigns, surveys and polls



A backlist contains email addresses from internal and external users, who are not supposed to get the campaign. Recipients, whose email address is on the blacklist, automatically don't get the campaign.

The advantage is that you don't have to select the recipients who shoudl not get the campaign individually.

Bounce Box

The Bounce Box recognizes if the recipients of a campaign are still reachable or if they are not reachable anymore. Emails of a campaign, which cannot be delivered or also automated answers, e.g. Out of Office, are carried in the Bounce Box.


With opportunities you calculate your chances for sales and distribution per company and per month. Therewith you can capture monthly potential sales volume and you can  provide the probability of contract placing.


Polls are a tool by which you can draw quick and effective data from sites based on votes to multiple choice questions.

To create a poll

  • Choose the add button at the top of the polls overview page.
  • Type in your question
  • Type in your anwer options (leaving a gap in the box means no question will appear).
  • Choose between multiple or single answer
  • Choose who can see it
  • Save

Adding Poll to a story

  • Simply use the placeholder $pollid:[number]

Viewing Results

  • In the overview page choose the statistic option.


SEO is short for Search Engine Optimization. You can add SEO information to your website to make it easier for search engines to find it.


With shortcuts you can shorten the actual URL of a page in your portal. Therewith you can define shortcuts for member profiles among others:


Uniform Resource Locator, URL wird häufig als Synonym für Internetadresse (zum Beispiel verwendet.

Variable Envelope Return Path (VERP)

A technique used by some electronic mailing list software (including SITEFORUM) to enable automatic detection and removal of undeliverable e-mail addresses. It works by using a different return path (also called "envelope sender") for each recipient of a message.

There is a full description of VERP on Wikipedia:
SITEFORUM recommends the use of VERP to all its Software-as-a-Service clients. Especially the ones that use the SITEFORUM campaign manager to send out mass-emails to its users. VERP helps to:
  • keep recipient lists clean
  • send email only to people that can be reached
  • get a better ranking at major email providers such as Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo
The process is simple:  If an email cannot be delivered to a recipient it will bounce back to the SITEFORUM servers. Once bounced it will be placed on a bounce list. If this happens for 3 times the recipient will be automatically added to the blacklist.

SITEFORUM has a list of configurable parameters that will be set by SITEFORUM administrators:
/bounce/verp/enabled                   [0|1]
/bounce/verp/delimiter1                 [+]
/bounce/verp/delimiter2                 [=]
/bounce/blacklist/enabled            [0|1]
/bounce/blacklist/release_days    Defines when emails that bounced before are removed from the bounce list. Default value is 30 days.
/bounce/blacklist/max_failed         Describes how often an email address may bounce until it gets placed on the blacklist. Default value is 3.
/bounce/blacklist/remove_from_campaigns   [0]

There is no change in the SITEFORUM frontend. Bounces are still visible in the SITEFORUM Bounce Manager . Every bounce – no matter if a user reply, auto reply or real bounce - will be put on a bounce list. If limits are met or exceeded then the recipients email address will be put on the blacklist automatically.

Important: Once a “blacklisted” user logs into the system he/she will be presented with a red dialog that explains to them that the system couldn’t reach using the email listed in their profile. The user can then update the profile and also remove himself from the blacklist.

If your bounce email boxes are not managed by SITEFORUM Cloud Computing service then you need  to check your mail server documentation. SITEFORUM’s email infrastructure can be activated this way and no "Catchall mailbox” must be created.
"User replies" include "Out of office" etc. will be ignored by the VERP process and can be manually processed.
The "VERP" overview also has the option now to see the logfile of which users have been moved to the blacklist. This allows you to monitor these critical decisions. You could also de-activate the "move to blacklist" box for the beginning so that you just follow how the system classifies things.
If users become blacklisted then we will remove them from the bounce list as well. The bounce show only mails that were not automatically processed by VERP ... such as challenge replies, user replies, out of office etc.
  • Enable VERP => switch on/off
  • Move bounced emails to blacklist => bounced mails, that meets the criteria will be added to the blacklist
  • How many failed attempts => if there are more than these bounces, we'll move the recipient to the blacklist
  • Release after days => This one is tricky. Sending a mail is noted. Getting a bounce mail too. If send count is higher than bounce count for more than x days the mail is release from the list. (We got no bounce in this amount of time).
Bounce VERP delimiters are used by SITEFORUM and mail server to identify the address of the recipient. There has to be no change, if the mail server setting is not changed as well.

The VERP listing is able to show up just the recipients, that will get on blacklist within the next run. If an address is temporarily on the bounce list, it will be removed if the next email delivery is successful.

We didn't sort out user replies properly, which should do better now.
An email address has to bounce 3 subsequent times within 30 days until it gets blacklisted.
Once an email bounced [3] sub-sequent times within [30] days it will be moved to the blacklist automatically and you can follow the processin the frontend we built you and you can see how many addresses it moved to the blacklist automatically.


Comparison of the different statistics

Below is a comparison of the different statistics.

SITEFORUM Statistics

For the statistics of SITEFORUM, a session is created for each access to the "dynamic range" of a portal, the so-called "session". This is counted as "guest access" and when the user logs on it becomes a "regular access" or an "admin access".

If a visitor visits the portal several times a day,each session is counted if they log out and log in several times.
If several users use the same IP on the portal, a session is counted for each individual person.

Visitors = Guests + Regulars + Admins

The number of visitors is the sum of all daily "session" numbers.

Each additional click in the dynamic range for a session is counted as a "pageview". Views of downstream content, eg. in widgets when switching to another page of the pager, do not count as pageviews. Clicks in the "Administrative area" as well as static HTML pages are not considered. Access to static files eg. in the directory "/story_images/..." or, for example, the "/robots.txt" file is not recorded in our statistics either.

Crawlers and bots are ignored as much as possible when collecting the data. This is based on a list of currently over 600 bots with unique names such as "Google Bot" as well as a recognition based on keywords, eg. "Crawler" in the so-called user-agent designation.

In the section "Marketing & CRM> SEO 360 °> Your browser details" you can always check your browser details as well as the current bot detection in your portal.

Data protection: The collection of the data takes place in accordance with current data protection on our servers in the data center in Germany.

Hosting Server Statistics "AWStats"

Hosting Server Statistics count the IP of the computer from the end user, no individual sessions are counted. If a user is on the portal several times a day, another visit is counted after 60 minutes of inactivity. If several users with the same IP address access the portal, for example within a company network, this is summarized.

Thats means, the number of visitors depends on the number of computers based on the IP addresses. Each additional click in the entire area below the domain is counted as another page view. Clicks in the "Administrative area", static HTML pages and images are also taken into account. Here is an excerpt of the AWStats explanations:

- Number of visits: A new visitor is defined as every new visitor who has accessed a page and who has not been to your web site in the last 60 min.
- Different Visitors: Number of computers (IP addresses) that visited your web site and viewed at least one page. This is the number of different physical people who visited your web site on any given day.
- Pages: Number of total pages displayed on your web site (total of all visitors' traffic). This number is different from the "accesses" because only HTML pages and no graphics or other files are counted.
- Hits: Total number of pages, graphics, files of your web site displayed or downloaded. This number is given for reference only, as the number of displayed "pages" is usually preferred for marketing purposes.

Data protection: The collection of the data takes place in accordance with current data protection on our servers in the data center in Germany.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is by far the most popular analytics tool for tracking traffic and pageviews.
For many companies, tracking the success of AdWords campaigns related to Google Analytics is also important.

However, the data is heavily filtered by internal methods. Thus, generally fewer visitors are registered. Users that , for example, have activated the private mode in the browser, are using certain plugins or anti-tracking software, can use the websites anonymously without a number of visitors or a page view being counted. The responsible JavaScript can be deactivated in this case.

Data protection: When collecting the data, a transfer of user-specific data to American server systems takes place, which is a criticism for privacy advocates. SITEFORUM has just completed an "agreement for order data processing" with Google for this, but every customer should do this with Google directly. Furthermore, the extension "anonymizeIP" should be entered in the tracking code in order to anonymize the IP addresses. In addition, according to the new DSGVO, each user can set a specific cookie (browser setting) to disable data collection.


The different type of evaluation explains the different results. There will never be a 100% accurate evaluation, and deceptions from hackers and malicious bots that can not be clearly identified are common to all systems. The truth lies in the middle of all data, because each system has its advantages and disadvantages.

How do I connect my Facebook/Twitter Account?

Your users can easily share contents while creating blogs, stories or events by clicking the corresponding orange button under "Share".
After successfully connecting their page or profile with the portal, they are automatically led back to the page and just need to activate the option "Send a notification to my friends in social networks." and select the page to where the content should be posted in the future. The user can enter a message and after saving the post will be shared to the selected social network within 5 minutes.

View a short video of this process here:

For information on portal-wide connections that are available to Network Managers and scheduled post, please visit: Services -> Documentation -> Tools & Administration -> Social Media

What's the difference between internal and external recipients in a campaign?

Internal recipients are users who do have a portal login, who are known by name and who are registered.

External recipients: are people not known by name and not registered in the portal. You just have their email address to which you send the campaign.

Creating an email campaign

Email Campaigns can be found in Marketing & CRM menu under campaigns.

• In order to create a campaign you must first click the add tab and then fill in the required fields.
• Once the campaign is created you need to add the content. To do this go to the overview and select the campaign. You’ll notice that the information you originally added is present, but below this are 2 main areas Internal content (for users registered on portal) and external content (for users not registered on portal). In these 2 areas are a number of tabs (template based HTML etc.)
• Click the edit tab for template based html content, choose the templates for the overall campaign and the section you are adding (if multiple) and insert the copy for the email campaign into the WYSIWYG editor provided. Preview the campaign to make sure it’s formatted correctly and save.
• A text only version of the campaign should be added to the text based content area (links cannot be used here so you will need to insert the full URL) for users who use a service that does not show emails in HTML.
• Add any necessary attachments.
• Add users, by selecting the user group/category/external list you would like to send it to.
• Send a test email to yourself using the start and test tab and then start the campaign by setting up the schedule.
• The reports tab creates statistics about how successful the campaign was by providing information about how many people opened the email and how many people clicked on links etc.

Why can't I test a campaign for external recipients?

A campaign, which contains content only for external recipients, can only be tested with an email address which is not in the data base (not a user in the portal) and therewith an external address.

Equally campaings, which contain content only for internal recipients, can only be tested with an email address which is part of the data base (user in the portal) and therewith an internal address.

How can I send a new campaign to the same recipients from the last campaign?

You have two possibilites to send a new camapaign to the same recipients from the last campaing:
  1. Adapt the last campaign to the new one (e.g. when it is a newsletter) and send it to the recipients.
  2. Use the functionalitySyncronize Recipients, to add the recipients of the last campaign (Source campaign) to the new campaign (Target campaign).

How can I add users of a certain category to a campaign?

Select the users by category from the user administration (Marketing & CRM > Users & Contacts > Overview, tab "Categories"). Check all users and use the mass operation "Add to campaign" below.

What's the difference between Template based HTML content and HTML bassed content?

You can fill your campaign with HTML content in different ways:
  1. Template based HTML content: Use Campaign Main Templates and Campaign Content Templates to separate the design of your campaign from the actual content (Texts, Images, Links, etc.). You can use the templates for any campaign.
  2. HTML based HTML content: Program the campaign yourself completey in HTML. A creative and textual separation is not possible then.

Personal Newsletters

Your own unique update on network activity

One really useful community-building tool is the personal newsletter. This is a campaign which is timed to be sent on a daily or (probably better) weekly or monthly basis and includes specific network activity for each user.

Fields in this newsletter can include :
$network_count_new_messages Displays how many new messages the user has
$network_news Displays the 10 newest activities from the user's network.
Intended only for use in HTML mail body
$network_count_new_contact_requests Displays how many new contact requests the user has
$network_count_profile_views Displays the amount of profile views
$network_count_direct_contacts Displays the amount of direct contacts of the user
$membersVisitMe Random list of 3 members which visited my profile last week

Creating a form

A form is an interactive part of a website that allows users to fill in fields of information, completed forms can be automatically forwarded to any email address(es).

• In order to create a form go to the Marketing & CRM tab, choose forms followed by add.
• Fill in the relevant fields, (form name etc.).
• Now  add the elements (which make up the content) to the form. First go back to the forms overview and choose the form you would like to edit and choose the add element tab.
• You will see a number of options to choose from each of which create up a different type of element (yes/no or open answer etc.) each are described in detail on the page. Once you’ve chosen the type of element you would like to add it’s time to add the detail.
• First add the unique identifier for this field. This won't appear on the form.
• Then add the designation. The designation is the question as it appears on the form.
• If you need additional information add it as a comment and it will appear in brackets under the designation on the form.
• Once this has been done save and the first question on the form has been created.
• Repeat this process until all the elements have been created.
• Note, should you need to change the order of the elements this can be done in the elements screen (next to the add element tab) by using the up/down icons next to each element.
• Embed the form into a story using the placeholder $showFormID:number

How can I add a "Thank you" for a form, which gets displayed after submitting the form?

When adding a new form (Marketing & CRM > Forms > Add) or when editing an existing form (Marketing & CRM > Forms > Edit) there is an area Form submission message. Please enter the text, which should be shown when submitting the form, in this field.

How can I control the size of a text field in a from?

Inside a text field (in the editing or adding mode) you find the field Additional Parameters. You can control the size of this fom element when entering size="30" in the field Additional Parameters. You can modify the number to adapt the size of the field, e.g. size="50".

Can I change the element type in a form later?

No, because data fields are not transferable to other element types. So, if you want to e.g. have a checkbox instead of a list, merely delete the element “Listbox” and add the element “Checkbox”.

Am I able to add a company for the company directory as a member of the network?

When registrating in the network you can insert a company or you can enter up a company afterwards in your profile. But the company doesn't get displayed in the company directory automatically. The Portal Masters of the network have to unlock it.

I added a new company. Why doesn't it appear in the company directory?

The new company has to be activated for the company directory by the Portal Masters or the Account Managers of the portal:
Marketing & CRM > Companies/Select Company > Edit > Area " Company Directory".

How can I add opportunities to a company?

First you have to select the desired company. The navigation on the left expands as soon as you clicked the name of the company. Now click Opportunities below the company's name and afterwards the tab Add.

How can I add a new opportunity?

  1. Select the company to which you want to add an opportunity under Marketing & CRM > Companies.
  2. In the navigation on the left click Opportunities.
  3. Click the tab Add.

Why is it not possible to select a contact person when adding an opportunity?

The contact person, which should be selected, has to exist as a user in the portal and has to be connected with the company. You can find he corresponding function in the details of the copmpany, in the area „User“.

Why is it not possible to select a status or next step when adding an opportunity?

The field Status and Next Step have to be defined first. Enter the desired options under Marketing & CRM > Companies > Opportunity Settings.

Can I evaluate polls accurately by user?

No, polls are evaluated by percentage. An evaluation by user does not happen.

What are the most important settings in SEO 360?

1. Check your Domain

If a wrong domain is entered in your portal, Google will not find it and shortcuts won't work either. That's why it is very important to enter the right domain at the right spot:
  1. Click Marketing & CRM > SEO 360 > Manage Metadata > Tab Main Settings.
  2. Check the column URL.
  3. Enter the correct URL as far as a false URL was inserted.

2. Check the Backup Process

If the backup process is not active the data are not going to be exported.
  1. Click Marketing & CRM > SEO 360 > Settings & Google Sitemaps > Tab Main Settings.
  2. Check the line Cron-Export.
  3. Activate the option yes in case it says stop.

3. Check the Export

To be sure that the export starts regularly you can check the processing time.
  • Click Marketing & CRM > SEO 360 > SEO objects & elements > Tab Overview.
    The column Status shows you, if the export was successful. The column Time shows date and time of the last export.
  • Click Marketing & CRM > SEO 360 > SEO objects & elements > Tab CMS.
    You can boost the export speed, in case you have a lot of stories, which you want to export from your portal.

Editing Metadata

Search engine optimisation is the method of making a website rank higher on a search engine such as Google, Bing or Yahoo. SITEFORUM’s CMS has powerful tools to speed this process up. Metadata means “date about data” and is the area of text hidden within a website that describes the content to search engines. Managing metadata is essential to getting your website noticed.  In Marketing & CRM> SE0 360>Checklist will give you a list of anything that needs your attention.

Editing the Metadata of a website
• Go to Marketing & CRM >SEO 360 > Metadata.
• Fill in each of the fields here and use the report at the bottom to fine tune.
• In essence you want more specific keywords to take precedence in your Metadata, for example it would be very difficult to rank highly on the word “business”, but much easier to rank for “Business Henley.”
• Once you have saved the settings they will be applied automatically to all pages on the site unless you manually change the pages (see below).

Editing the Metadata of a story
• Go to Website & CMS > Stories > Overview and find the story you would like to edit. On the right hand side you will notice a number of action buttons click the one that looks like a webpage.
• This will take you to the metadata for the page edit the settings here and the metadata for this page alone will be changed.

Do I need the seo export after the switch to the speaking urls?

Yes. Also after the switch to the speaking urls the sitemap export works furthermore. If the export is deactivated the sitemap needs to be exported manually.

Why do I create a Google sitemap?

That the most popular search engine "Google" gets informed about new content, you can submit *.xml-files in Google as dynamic up-to-date table of contents so-called "Sitemaps". Further options for optimization you can find under "".

How do I submit a XML sitemap?

When submitting a XML sitemap in Google the first time, the xml sitemap has to be submitted through adding it to your Google account "Google Webmaster Tools". It is not important if the sitemap was created manually or with the XML-Sitemap-Generator. Only with that procedure Google can provide useful information concerning status and statistic. Please log in under the link: ""

Where can I insert Metadata?

There are several spots to enter metadata:
  1. Marketing & CRM > SEO 360 > Metadata > Main Settings - which is the most important spot.
  2. Marketing & CRM > SEO 360 > Metadata > CMS Metadata - which is for stories in generel.
  3. Website & CMS > Stories > Edit Story (select menu) > Overview Actions/CMS Metadata - where you can enter individual settings for each story.
  4. Marketing & CRM > SEO 360 > SEO Files, "index.html" - is the first page of your portal.
  5. Marketing & CRM > SEO 360 > Shortcuts in every single shortcut.

Where do I enter the "Google™ Analytics Code"?

There is a new GA code (September 2010);

The code needs to be entered in the source code of the page. The best way to integrate the new GA code is to use a Design Attribute in the Design Module "htmlHead" or to include it directly in the "htmlHead" , either way before </head>. (Formerly the code was placed at the end of the page).

Where do I insert the varify-v1 from Google?

This key you got from Google, is supposed to be in the index.html between the <head></head> tags:
<meta name="verify-v1" content="...key...">

Note: We recommend the method "Upload HTML file", which is much easier to handle and to maintain. The file can be downloaded within Google WMTs (WebmasterTools) and then uploaded in the area 'files' directly in the root directory.

How can I check, if all path declarations are inactive?

You can only  inactivate the path declaration if all the links to the portal are available without the path.
Please check the settings with a sample file:

Where can I view the domains users come from to my portal?

The SEO settings provide a which shows all domains the users come from:
Marketing & CRM > SEO 360° > Referer & Keywords> Tab "Domains". You can modify the timeframe individually.

If I changed the name of my menu, where can I changed the path?

You  have to go to Marketing & CRM > SEO 360° > URLs.
You only have to search the correct menu and then change the right path.

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