An introduction to Kentico EMS

Posted by Mark Underdown on 25 July 2016

Kentico is a 3 in 1 digital platform offering not only Content Management but also e-Commerce and Online Marketing functionality. In this post we will summarise the Online Marketing capabilities provided by the EMS version of Kentico (EMS standing for Enterprise Marketing System).

At a high level the benefits of Kentico EMS are:

  • 360 degree view of your customers

  • Personalised and optimised experiences

  • Delivery of qualified leads to sales

  • Real time insights into your customers' behaviour

  • Automation of manual marketing tasks

How the above is acheived is very much down to how Kentico is intergated with your website and how the EMS features described below are set-up. Unfortuantly many Kentico users fail to realise the benefits of EMS as they are unsure where to start.

So lets take a look at the main components of EMS, how they are related and how they can be used...


Unline many CMS products Kentico includes its own analytics module which allows you to track and report on what content your website visitors are consuming and what actions they are taking. Kentico Analytics is not designed to replace Google Analytics and we recommend the use of both tools.

But Kentico Analytics does give you the ability to utilise the intelligence gathered to personalise in real-time the digital experience allowing you to implement contextual marketing all within a single CMS. 

Contacts and Contact Groups

An important element of Kentico and Kentico EMS is the concept of Contacts and Contact Groups which are used to store information about anonymous and known visitors to your website.

An anonymous Contact is a visitor to your website where Kentico only knows their IP address and any information it can glean from that IP address, such as which country the visitor is from.

A known Contact is a previously anonymous visitor who has completed an enquiry, subscription or registration form in Kentico and has therefore revealed their identity. For these known Contacts Kentico will gather all of the analytics it had gathered for the previously anonymous visitor and will carry this across to the now known Contact. This historic analytical information for a known Contact can then be used for contextual marketing using some of the other EMS features.

Known Contacts can also be created on-mass by importing data from other systems i.e. from a CRM or Marketing database.

Email Marketing

Kentico Email Marketing allows to you send email campaigns to groups of contacts stored within the Kentico database using HTML email templates built within Kentico.

The contact records in Kentico that contain the source email addresses can be based on people who have registered or subscribed to your website, or can be based on contacts created through integration with another system e.g. CRM.

By utilising Kentico’s Email Marketing capabilities email opens and click-throughs can be tracked and recorded directly back within Kentico, stored against the specific contact record.


Essentially as well as reporting campaign success, the system is tracking digital engagement at an individual contact level – information that can then be used by other functions of Kentico in order to encourage the contact to convert.


Scoring in Kentico is a mechanism by which website visitors’ activity can be monitored to help identify visitors of interest.

Rules are created in Kentico to identify which content consumed on the website or what tasks performed warrant a score to go towards a website visitor’s total score.

Kentico is very flexible in the type of Rules that can be created and the Score value for each Rule is controlled by the site administrator.

Examples of the type of activity that can be scored are:

  • If a visitor visits a specific website page in the last x days

  • If a visitor has downloaded a specific file in the last x days

  • If a visitor has logged in in the last x days

  • If a visitor has searched for specific keywords in the last x days

  • If a visitor has opened a specific email in the last x days (assumes email sent via Email Marketing)

  • If a visitor has commented on a blog in the last x days

  • If a visitor has added a specific product to a shopping cart in the last x days

  • If a visitor has purchased a specific product in the last x days

The above are just examples of a few of the standard rules provided. Kentico also gives the ability for a site administrator to create custom rules. These standard and custom rules are used not just in Scoring but also across Conversions, Campaigns and Marketing Automation (explained below).

Kentico allows a scoring threshold to be set and if a visitor’s activity on the website pushes their score over the threshold then Kentico can send an email to a specific email address with details of the visitor. Scoring against a specific Contact can also be used in Marketing Automation.


Personas work in a similar way to Scoring. Rules are again used to score activity (the same Rules as used in Scoring are also used in Personas) but because you can assign Rules to a Persona it is possible to configure the rules such that Kentico can try to identify the type of visitor based on their activity.


There are generally two ways that you can used Personas in Kentico.

Firstly you could use Personas to try to identify what type of visitor you have and what their interest is. Lets say you sell professional training courses to individuals, provide corporate training, run events and offer employability schemes. If through the content a visitor consumes, or the tasks they perform, you can identify what that visitor is seeking to achieve, you could begin to subtly personalise their ongoing digital experience based on the type of persona they fall in to.

For example, if a visitor has focussed in on Employability Schemes then one of your CTA sliders on the homepage could be specific to Employability Schemes.

The second way to use Personas is to establish at what stage in the buying cycle a visitor is at. Again, based on the content consumed and tasks performed you could map this against the typical buying journey. The theory here is that if you know at what stage in the buying journey a visitor is at you can again personalise the website focussing on moving that visitor to the next stage of the journey and ultimately to converting to an enquiry/sale.

It should be noted that a visitor (or Contact) can only exist in a single Persona at any one time. So this means that your strategy for how you want to use Personas should be considered and agreed upfront.


Conversions are closely associated to Campaigns. A Conversion is essentially an activity or task on your website that when completed by a visitor, engaged in a Campaign you are running, will be counted as a Conversion against that Campaign.

Conversions do not have to be Campaign specific and a single Conversion could be used across multiple Campaigns.


A Campaign in Kentico is essentially one or more Conversions which enable you to measure the success of a Campaign. As explained above each Conversion is an activity or task that you expect a visitor to do/complete within a Campaign. For example a campaign may be structured as follows:

  1. Visitor opens email

  2. Visitor visits landing page via link in email

  3. Visitor downloads brochure on landing page

  4. Visitor submits their details through an enquiry form

Each of the above are Conversions within the Campaign. Essentially it’s a journey you are taking the visitor on with the ultimate goal of getting them to submit an enquiry form. By counting how many visitors complete each Conversion we can assess the success of Campaign across the whole journey.

This is just one example of a Campaign. Kentico allows Campaigns to be setup using any number or type of Conversions so there is a great deal of flexibility and capability.

Marketing Automation

Marketing Automation is a way that you can automate and optimise Campaigns further by incorporating emails as a way to nurture your website's visitors and encourage them towards converting.

Marketing campaigns can be controlled through one or more Marketing Automation processes. Each process consists of a set of steps that you can fully customise using a Kentico’s visual drag and drop designer.

You can start Marketing Automation processes manually for individual contacts or groups of contacts, or have the system start processes automatically for Contacts using condition-based triggers.

For example, you can:

  • Create a trigger that moves every new contact from a specific persona into an automation process, which then performs a targeted marketing campaign.

  • Automatically move contacts who have reached a certain Score into an advanced automation process.

  • Start a process for registered users that if they leave the website with product still in their basket that they receive an email x hours/days later

A/B Testing

Kentico allows you to perform A/B tests on both content and emails. A/B testing is an accepted way of optimizing pages and content by assessing how visitors react to different variants of the same content. Typically you are looking to find the variant of content that leads to more conversions.

Content Personalisation

Based on Personas, Contact Groups or Scoring it is possible for web parts or widgets on a page to be personalised specific to the current visitor.  A common use of this is to have a Call To Action on a page that based on some previous action shows a personalised CTA for that user.


As you can see there is a lot of online marketing capability provided by Kentico EMS.

If you are interested in the capabilities of Kentico EMS or if you already use Kentico but want to unlock the power of EMS we would love to hear from you.