Framework to Generate Language Specific Content into NetSuite Campaign Email

This article is relevant if you are looking to use NetSuite to generate localized, language-specific content, especially if you want to use it with NetSuite Campaign Email Template tools.


One of our clients is using NetSuite’s Campaign Email framework to create a lead nurturing program to send email to a global audience of potential prospects. NetSuite’s campaign email system allows you to create scriptable templates which can be used to produce personalized content driven from information contained within the NetSuite database.

They came to us seeking advice on how to create scalable Campaign Email Templates. Due to an intelligent way they are capturing leads in NetSuite, they are setting the prospect’s language reference on the lead record. The primary challenge they were facing is how to quickly create a single campaign template to drive a program anticipated to have frequent email communications.

Solving NetSuite Multi-language Campaign Email

It is well understood that the NetSuite campaign email system leverages NetSuite scriptable templates. These templates allow you to create personalized content. Thus, it’s natural to ask yourself if you can use the scriptable templates to generate language-specific content.

However, as you contemplate the challenge, it becomes apparent that the effort to create language specific content with scriptable templates is going to be unwieldy. The template is going to get very difficult to understand with many if-then or case statements.

Consider that the general pattern for developing branded email typically looks like the following:

  1. Design: an HTML designer works with the marketing/communications team to produce the message. This process is valued and the business wants the content to be seductive and consistent with the organization’s brand style guide.
  2. Language Content Creation: for content that is going to be language specific, usually another individual is responsible for translating a native language message into other tounges.
  3. Email Marketing Application Adaptation: often times, another individual understands how to take branded content to adapt it to fit into the email delivery system. In this case, content will need to be adapted to fit into NetSuite’s Campaign Email system.

In Step 1, the design-effort, requires a non-NetSuite skill (HTML) that is relatively easy to find in the marketplace. Step 2, translating the content for each language, begins to invite the concepts of using a dictionary framework for each content element. Here, content is often provided by third parties set up for language translation work.  Step 3, the inclusion of the content into the email marketing application, often requires an individual responsible for placing database field placeholders to make the content personalized.

When you contemplate how to get to Step 3 in NetSuite, you face a challenge. Do you create a separate message for each language and thus a different email campaign?  You can — but that will be slow and demand to partition your efforts everytime you want to create a new message. If you want to target 10 languages, you are going to end up creating 10 different documents and campaigns — thus slow and error-prone.

What if you could create a single email template that was intelligent about the language content and thus you could target the entire database in a single campaign? How might you produce such a single email template?

Understand the Power of Content Renderer Engine to Output a NetSuite Campaign Email Template

Our client was enjoying the use of our Content Renderer Engine, available to all of our clients free of charge, to generate localized, language specific content. Thus they knew that we well understood localized language specific content in NetSuite. That is one of the reasons they invited us to this challenge.

To help bridge concepts here, let me build some background:

  1. Scriptable Templates: NetSuite’s scriptable template, used in the email marketing system, is effectively a templating framework for transforming content. In the community, this technology is more frequently talked about in reference to NetSuite’s Advanced PDF technology. Learn one and you begin to understand the other.
  2. Advanced PDFs: NetSuite’s Advanced PDF technology is NetSuite’s latest framework used to create PDF, HTML and other content leveraging an underlying Freemarker template framework in conjunction with Big Faceless Organization (BFO) PDF generation. These frameworks, by themselves, are robust technologies.
  3. Content Renderer Engine: NetSuite exposed the underlying FreeMarker template and BFO engine to the platform developers. Thus, my firm created a free application that has solved many content generation challenges. One major language challenge we solved, I discussed in a related article, Global NetSuite Locale Based Content Generation.

The pattern to solve the localized language campaign email challenge then looks like the following:

  • Step 1: Design the branded HTML content.
  • Step 2: Create the language specific content and store it in our language-specific database instead of multiple HTML documents. This will allow you to more easily work with the content in a dictionary fashion. (see related article)
  • Step 3: Enhance the original HTML content to reference the locale dictionary to dynamically get content. The HTML content will be easy to understand because it is now a simple message with pointers to document structures (see related article).
  • Step 4: Plug the locale-enhanced content into the Content Renderer Engine (CRE) to transform the template into a new single campaign ready-to-go scriptable template. This is a one-time effort and is reusable once properly set up for each new campaign.
  • Step 5: Take the output of the previous step, the final template, and plug it into NetSuite’s campaign email system. Continue with the campaign effort as normal.

View the related images to illustratively understand the pattern.

Innovate with Strong NetSuite Domain Knowledge

While I am passionate about the NetSuite ERP system because it does a great job modeling generalized business challenges with the built-in record and logic capacities, the real power, in my mind, is to extend the system with NetSuite platform tools. Thus, this article represents another example of how our team used the platform to invent ways to take care of commercial challenges that ultimately can increase an organization’s capacity to generate revenue, lower cost, and increase profit. If you believe that professionals with strong domain knowledge will increase the value of your NetSuite investment, let’s have a conversation.

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Marty Zigman

Holding all three official certifications, Marty is Southern California's NetSuite expert and leads a team of senior professionals at Prolecto Resources, Inc. He is a former Deloitte & Touche CPA and has held CTO roles. For over 25 years, Marty has produced leadership in ERP, CRM and eCommerce business systems. Contact Marty to set up a conversation.

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