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Author's profile photo Arne Manthey

Download Request Scenario with Interaction Attributes in Forms


Interaction Attributes for Forms

In the form editor in the Content Studio of SAP Marketing Cloud there is the option to create interactions for some time now. However, you could not add data which is form-specific to those interactions. With release 2005 this has changed. In the Input element we have added ‘Interaction’ as another mapping object (in addition to Contact and Account). If you choose the Interaction mapping object, you can specify 2 related settings:

  • The interaction element(s) for which this Input field is relevant. When the form is submitted the input field value is written to all interactions you selected.
  • The interaction attribute – similar to the Contact attribute, the type of attribute might influence the input field. For example, a dropdown is offered if the field is a code list.

We have also added the possibility to specify a default value for normal text fields. Before 2005 this was only possible for dropdown fields. This feature is also available for all Contact attributes.

See also the following help pages:

Scenario Description

Gallo d’Oro is my favourite model company which offers a wide range of coffee, chocolate and coffee-making equipment. Recently, two new documents had been prepared: A guide with a lot of tips from the company’s master barista and a new sustainability report explaining all the efforts the company is doing to help fight climate change. The marketing department wants to set up a new form where customers can request either of those documents in exchange for their data. SAP Marketing Cloud forms do have a Download element available but unfortunately the download would start immediately after submitting the data. This is not optimal since this would also happen when a fake email address is entered.

The solution is to use the new feature of adding interaction attributes to form interactions and then sending emails with the download link in a trigger-based campaign. The interaction attribute used for this will be an ID of the download. Then a live target group will be used as a filter for the trigger-based campaign to make sure that the correct email is sent.

Setup Summary

In the next section I will explain the complete scenario in detail. As a cheat sheet I give you the summary of steps here:

  1. Preparation – Configuration
    1. Create custom interaction type
    2. Activate campaign trigger
  2. Preparation – Extensibility
    1. Create custom interaction field
    2. Add custom field in Segmentation
  3. Setup of Main Process
    1. Create form
    2. Create landing page with that form
    3. Create an interaction segmentation model to create a filter for the trigger-based campaign
    4. Create an email with the download link
    5. Create and start a trigger-based campaign

Download Request Scenario

Preparation – Configuration

If you have not already created an interaction type which you can use, then you need to do some configuration steps first.

Custom Interaction Type

In the app ‘Manage your Solution‘ select ‘Configure your Solution‘ and filter on the application area ‘Marketing‘. Then select the item ‘Contacts and Profiles‘. Then choose ‘Configure‘ for the step ‘Manage Interaction Content‘:

Then select ‘Interaction Types‘ and add a new interaction type by pressing the ‘+’ button. Finally you need to give your new interaction type a label, an ID and set the direction to ‘Inbound‘. Additionally, you assign the new interaction type to the channel ‘WEB‘ and the communication media ‘WEB‘. Then save the new interaction type.

Activate Campaign Trigger

To use interactions of the new interaction type as triggers in a trigger-based campaign, that interaction type must be activated. In the app ‘Manage your Solution‘ select ‘Configure your Solution‘ and filter on the application area ‘Marketing‘. Then select the item ‘Campaigns‘. Then choose ‘Configure‘ for the step ‘Activate Campaign Trigger‘: In the next screen press ‘Add‘ to add a new interaction type activation: In the final screen choose your previously created interaction type and select ‘Is Active‘ and then save. 

Preparation – Extensibility

Now you need to add a new field to the interaction in the app ‘Marketing Extensibility‘. This app is very useful if you do anything around extensibility because it groups many other apps into one app.

Custom Interaction Field

To create the new field you need to select the app ‘Create Custom Fields’: Then you press the ‘+’ button to create the field: In the field properties you need to specify the business context ‘Marketing: Interaction’. Give your field a nice label and a technical identifier. For my scenario I have chosen to use the type ‘Text’ – this leaves the value open for the business user to choose. An alternative would be to use a code list for which you could pre-define the values for all of your downloads. The downside is that your business users will still be dependent on an administrator to change that code list if any new downloads have to be offered. On the positive side this eliminates user errors and you could even offer that field on the form to your customers to choose the download from a dropdown list. In that case of course only one download can be chosen. As you will see further on, my scenario allows multiple simultaneous downloads. After pressing ‘Create and Edit’ you need to switch to the tab ‘UIs and Reports’ to enable the new field in multiple applications and UIs. The settings below worked for me so you should also be good with the same settings (I might have enabled too many though). Basically, the new field needs to be enabled in the following contexts:

  • Form: To be able to select the new field for a form input field
  • Contact Profile: You might want to be able to also see the new field in the Interaction detail view in the Contact Profile (You can use the ‘Adapt UI’  feature from the user menu to add the field).
  • Segmentation Model: This is explained in the next section.

Finally save the new field and publish it:

Add Custom Fields in Segmentation

One of the later process steps will be the creation of a segmentation model for interactions which includes the new field. Therefore, you need to select the next app ‘Assign to Segmentation’: Next you need to select the entry with the following (NOTE: It’s important to select the right combination here!):

  • Business Context: Marketing: Interaction
  • Segmentation Object: Interactions

In that view you need to find and select your new field and press button ‘Set Visible‘:  In the end it should look like this:

Setup of the Main Process

The previous steps are only needed once for this scenario. The following steps might need to be done multiple times (for multiple downloads / download forms).

Form with Interaction Attributes

One of the central pieces of this scenario is the form which will start the entire process. As a basis you need to start with your usual contact fields, like first name, last name and email address. Also, a confirm button is needed obviously. In addition, you need to create one Interaction element for each download item you want to offer in your form. In my example I created two – one for the ‘Barista Tips’ and one for the ‘Sustainability Report’.

For each of these interactions I used my newly-created interaction type ‘Download Request‘. To distinguish one interaction from another I added one input field for each of the interactions. I set the ‘Relevant For‘ setting so that every input field points to one of the interactions. The interaction attribute I chose for each of these input fields is the newly-created interaction field ‘Download Item‘. Then I used the default value to set a different identifier value for each interaction. ‘Barista_Tips‘ for the interaction responsible for the download of the barista tips document and ‘Sustainability_Report‘ for the other. Finally, I set both input fields to hidden because the user of the form does not need to see it.

Landing Page with Form

Of course, you want to embed your form in a nice landing page like the one below. If you are interested in how to make a landing page look like this using a CSS stylesheet, please check out this post.

Segmentation Model for Interactions

In this step you need to prepare the live target groups that are needed in the trigger-based campaigns to be able to send an email with a link to a specific download item. For this you need to create a segmentation model for interactions (Segmentation profile ‘All Interactions’).

In my example below, I first filtered for the Gallo d’Oro marketing area, which is not essential for the process. Then I added a filter for the new interaction type ‘DOWNLOAD_REQUEST’. At the end I added filters for each available download. Throughout the remaining document I will concentrate only on the barista tips download. The filter for the barista tips download is ‘Barista_Tips’ for the field ‘Download_Item’. For each final segment you need to create a new live target group. Remember to use the right marketing area and the category ‘Live’! Save and open the new live target group and release it: Note that you can actually see all interactions that meet the filter criteria. You should now do your first test by opening the landing page and create the download requests. The new interactions should appear in the new live target group.

Email with Download Link

Now you need to create and release an email for each download which includes the download link. In my example below I used the new email lite editor with a thumbnail of the download and a button element with the link to the PDF document: 

Trigger-Based Campaign

The last step is the creation and activation of a trigger-based campaign for each download. Since the new interaction type had been activated as a campaign trigger in the preparation step described above you can now select this interaction type as trigger:

Normally every campaign will respect marketing permissions for each contact. However, in this case I would consider the email with a requested download link as an operational email. Therefore I suggest that you set the flag ‘Ignore Marketing Permission‘: Next, you need to assign the previously created live target group as a filter condition: Now you assign the email with the download link: Finally, you need to release and start the trigger-based campaign for each download. If you need to change the email you can pause the campaign to do the changes. You cannot change the trigger or the trigger filter though – therefore make sure to get this right from the beginning.

Execution and Trouble-Shooting

Once the campaign is running you should receive a download email after submitting the download request in the form. If this does not work, I suggest the following steps to test and trouble shoot. I show this below in more detail but here is a quick summary:

  1. Enter data in the form and submit it
  2. Check that the interaction has been created correctly
  3. Check that the live target group is picking up the interaction
  4. Check that there has not been an issue in the campaign (permission or execution failure)
  5. Check your spam folder

Submit the Form

Open the published landing page or form, enter your data and submit. There should be a success message – if not check your integration setup or create a ticket using component

Check the Interaction

Now you should check if the correct interaction had been written. To do so, you open the Contact Profile for the contact that has been created (or updated) and check if the new interaction is visible in the Interaction tab. Recently a detailed view of the interaction has been added as a new feature. In that view you can check the time of the interaction. Also, you can probably adapt the UI to add the new custom interaction field (Download Item). This UI adaptability might need some more authorisation for your user if you cannot do it.

Check the Live Target Group

Next, you could also check if the new interaction is also visible in the live target group which serves as a filter for the campaign trigger. You can update the list using the ‘Update Count‘ button. Then you should sort the interactions by time to show the newest interaction on top. The latest interaction should be the one you just created.

Check the Campaign

In the campaign you can check the Performance tab to see any issues with permissions or bounces. Also check out the logs to see whether there are some technical issues reported.

Check for the Email Outbound Interaction and Spam Folder

Once the campaign shows that the email has been sent, the email outbound interaction should appear in the Contact Profile of the contact. This is the expected behaviour, but you can check it anyways. One final thing you should also check is if there is some problem with your email inbox. Spam classification might be a common issue so please check your spam folder.


After reading this article you should be capable of setting up this scenario on your own. It might also give you some inspiration for other similar scenarios.

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      Author's profile photo Tobias Schneider
      Tobias Schneider

      Great Blog Arne! Thanks! 🙂

      And a really nice new functionality, waited for this.

      Actually we would like to send the email with the Download-Link after the Double Opt-In of the Contact.

      How do you think this is possible?

      I'm thinking about using a trigger-based-campaign for the Trigger "MKT_PERM_OPTIN" (Opt-In for Marketing Permission) and then using a Live Target Group as a filter (same Segmentation Profile that you used) with Attributes Communication Medium = 'EMAIL', Interaction Type = 'Download Request' and Download Item = 'Barista Tips' for example.

      Do you think that would work?

      BR Tobias

      Author's profile photo Arne Manthey
      Arne Manthey
      Blog Post Author

      I fear that this will not work. The trigger you want is the final subscription interaction. But the download item would be written to the other interaction and therefore the filter would not work on the subscription interaction.

      But maybe I am wrong and you should you try it out.

      Author's profile photo Tobias Schneider
      Tobias Schneider

      Hi Arne,

      thanks for reply. I think you're right... But surely I will try it out.

      Nevertheless this functionality is a good improvement.

      Author's profile photo Florian van Mierlo
      Florian van Mierlo

      Is there no way to use a double opt-in before sending the download-link? Would it not work when we activate a emial confirmation?

      Author's profile photo Arne Manthey
      Arne Manthey
      Blog Post Author


      But if you look at the double opt-in feature it basically does the exact same thing: You submit a form and then get an email (to make sure your email address is valid) with the link.

      The only difference with the double opt-in is that we also have a permission record to update. Since this is not the case in a download scenario I don't see your point.

      Author's profile photo vangala surenderreddy
      vangala surenderreddy

      Hi Arney,

      We have many marketing hubs in our SMC. In this case, users can create trigger based campaigns for the same interaction type trigger. Whenever, we receive a specific "Download item" trigger does all the trigger based campaigns relevant to the "Download item" will be triggered?. users will also maintain the Live target groups. How do you recommend to use the trigger based campaign in this case?



      Author's profile photo Arne Manthey
      Arne Manthey
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Vangalay,

      it is all described above. You use the filter (Live Target Group) in the trigger section of the trigger-based campaign. That trigger must be specific enough so that incase of multiple trigger-based campaigns only one really gets triggered.



      Author's profile photo Florian van Mierlo
      Florian van Mierlo

      Dear Arne,

      would this szenario also work when I use the Download Item as Contact Interaction in Segmentationprofil "All Contacts"?

      I´ve tried this but it didn´t work. I see that the Download Item is recorded in the contact interactions. But I can´t select it in the segmentation.



      Author's profile photo Arne Manthey
      Arne Manthey
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Florian,

      I don't think that this would work. You really need to use the interaction profile to get hold of a single interaction.

      Best regards,