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About Mike Morris

CRM & Marketing Automation Strategist. Mike Morris is a 4X Salesforce certified consultant who joined Sercante in 2019. He has extensive marketing and reporting experience from previous roles leading internal marketing departments and collaborating with large sales organization. Free time activities include staying active by running, biking and getting outside as much as possible.

How to Get Sales Pumped About Marketing Leads

Contrary to the opinion of just about everybody in marketing, all your marketing leads are not “Hot” and the sales team is not lazy. The issue is that sales wants marketing to send them the right leads with the right expectations. In this post, we’ll address ways to improve the marketing lead handoff process using Salesforce and Account Engagement (Pardot) so sales and marketing can live in harmony.

The Problems with Marketing Leads

Before we can address the issues that sales teams have with marketing leads, we must first identify them. Below are the most common issues that I’ve encountered as a marketer (20+ years) and as a consultant. While all these issues might not apply to you, I bet more than a few will.

Top Sales Issues with Marketing Leads 

If you have issues that are not included in this list, please share them by dropping a note in the comments!  

Poor Quality/Bad Data

Let’s start with data quality. Marketers have the ability to control what prospects sync from Account Engagement to Salesforce. Most often, this is based on a prospect achieving an agreed upon score & grade threshold. A rule could look something like this.

This rule assigns prospects to the Hot Leads queue when they achieve a score of 100 and a grade of B- or higher. Seems pretty solid?

This is a good start, but not perfect. Let’s say that a demo form on your website adds 50 points (in addition to the 50 that included in the default scoring model for a form fill). Let’s also assume that your grading model adds a full letter grade for prospects in the United States and another full letter grade is added based on job titles that include CEO.

If your form was completed with the data below, guess who would be assigned to the Hot Lead queue, synced to Salesforce, and assigned to a member of your sales team? Sending over leads like this is the fastest way to sour your sales team on marketing leads.

Keeping Bad Data Out of Salesforce

The example above is not uncommon and is a step up over blindly assigning all prospects from Account Engagement to a queue, but we can do better.

At Sercante, we use a tool named Prospect Updater for Pardot that was created by our labs team. This tool can be used to fix, enhance, and enrich prospect data before it enters Salesforce. Here’s how we leverage Prospect Updater in our organization.

  1. Visitor fills out a form and a new prospect is created in Pardot.
  2. Prospect updater runs and marks a custom field as “Suspected Spam” or “Not Spam” based on criteria that we defined.
  3. Assignment automation rules run (in Account Engagement) and only match prospects with a value of “Not Spam” – ensuring that “Suspected Spam” records do not enter Salesforce.

This example just scrapes the surface of what Prospect Updated can do.  See more Prospect Updater examples and use cases. For example, here’s a solution for keeping spam submissions out of your Salesforce org.

Unrealistic SLAs/Expectations

I’ll admit that I’ve been guilty of having some unrealistic expectations in the past. Does this sound familiar? You just got back from a week at that huge trade show in Las Vegas with several thousand leads that are gold and need to be called immediately.

The truth is that there is some gold in your pile of leads, but they are not all worthy of sales follow up. So what should you do?

Managing SLAs & Expectations

  1. Agree to what constitutes a Hot Lead first.
  2. Collaborate with sales leadership to agree to follow-up SLAs (Service Level Agreements).
    • Hot Leads – 24 Hours
    • Warm Lead – 3-Days
  3. Understand the volume of lead that the sales team can follow-up on.
    • If thousands of leads meet your Hot Leads criteria and sales can only follow-up on hundreds, your definition needs to be refined or you need more sales people.
  4. Ensure leads are tagged with a priority rating so the proper SLA can be applied.
    • At events, this could be adding a note when you have conversations with prospects.
    • For prospects entering Account Engagement, this could be based on scores, lead sources, or specific form/form handler submissions.

Marketing Leads Are Too Cold/Don’t Know Who We Are

Let’s go back to the trade show example. Your marketing team has done an awesome job of identifying the “must have” swag item and everybody is flocking to your booth to get one. The team is frantically scanning badges and moving to the next eager person in line. Are these leads that should be sent to sales?

Here’s another one. Your marketing team is generating hundreds of leads per week by syndicating content on a third party site. People are gobbling up your content, sales is going to love these leads!

In both scenarios, these leads should not meet your Hot Lead definition (based on these activities alone) and should not be sent to sales for follow up. It’s highly likely that these people don’t even know what your company does. They came by your booth because of the great swag or downloaded a piece of content related to a specific interest. These are prime leads for a nurturing program.

Warming/Education Nurture

Before sending those leads to sales, warm and educate them with Engagement Studio. This is an area where Account Engagement excels — use it! 

When creating your nurture program, keep the following in mind.

  • Prospects showing buying signals should be sent to sales as quickly as possible
  • Prospects don’t need to complete all steps before being sent to sales
  • Not all prospects are ever going to be sent to sales (and that’s OK)
  • Don’t add scores at random just to make prospects “score up” to your hot lead criteria

I like the 3-2-1 Campaign recommended by Salesforce. It basically inverts the traditional logic by focusing on hard hitting CTAs first in an effort to identify those with immediate interest and fast tracking the handoff to sales. As an example, your first CTA might be to schedule a demo vs. reading your latest white paper.

Learn more about the 3-2-1 Campaign in the Engagement Studio Best Practices module in Trailhead.

Whether you find the traditional or 3-2-1 Campaign works best for your organization, the point remains that leads need to be warmed before sending your sales teams. Sending cold leads over to sales is a surefire way to create a jaded team. 

No Background Information

This lead is supposed to be hot and I’m supposed to follow-up within 24 hours, but I have no idea why or what they are interested in. Could you imagine following-up with a lead in this situation? How about hundreds of them? That’s how sales feels if you don’t enable them with information. Fortunately, Salesforce and Account Engagement have us covered here too.

Arm Sales with Data

Here’s a list of ways we can provide data to our friends in sales.

  • Engagement History Related list
  • Engagement History Dashboards
  • Scoring Categories Related list
  • Custom fields

Let’s look at all of these in a bit more detail.

Engagement History Related Lists 

This displays a feed of a recent engagement from Account Engagement in Salesforce. This list can be added to account, contact, lead, and person account page layouts to provide engagement information for sales and all other users in Salesforce.

Engagement History Dashboards 

These dashboards are powered by CRM Analytics and provide a way for users to see and interact with data on accounts, contacts, leads, and person accounts. These dashboards do require permissions to be granted to users in Salesforce and the number of licenses are limited by your edition.

Scoring Categories Related List 

Most organizations add Account Engagement score and grade fields to their page layouts. This is a great way to show sales the total score that leads and contacts have accumulated, but it does not provide any insight into interests. That’s where scoring categories come in.

Scoring categories allow you to break down the total score in Account Engagement by categories that you define (up to 50). This allows you to see what that prospect is interested in. Note that scoring categories are only included in Plus, Advanced, and Premium editions of Account Engagement.

Account Engagement Grade and Score (in Salesforce)

Account Engagement Scoring Categories (in Salesforce)

The total score of 1,440 does not help the sales team at all. However, the scoring category provides information on topics of interest (Beets) and topics of little interest (Cats).

Custom Fields 

Custom fields are another great way to share information with your sales team. Fields can be created in Account Engagement and synced to the corresponding fields on contact and lead records. Custom fields can vary from organization-to-organization, but here are a couple that I find useful.

  • Asset/Event Name – Capture the name of the last asset that a prospect downloaded or the name of the most recent event that they registered for/attended.
  • Last Form Completed – Let sales know the name of the last form that a prospect completed. This can be used to customize tasks created in Salesforce too!

Incorrect Lead Assignment

Assignment is always a bit of a sticky one. You can do assignments from Account Engagement, but it’s not something that I would recommend.  Engagement Studio can be used for simple assignments, like assigning leads to a queue, but it’s not intended to do direct assignment to specific sales people based on specific territories. It’s best to leave individual assignments to a tool that’s designed for that purpose.

Popular Lead Routing Tools

When looking at lead routing tools, consider the needs of your organization. Assignment rules in Salesforce are great, but only one assignment rule can be active on the lead object. This can become an issue if you have more complex rule logic. You can reassign leads using lead assignment rules, but it requires flows and invocable actions.

Assignment rules have some limitations, but you also have plenty of options if they can’t support your needs. There are tools that allow you to build easy routing flows using tools that feel a lot like engagement studio and others that allow you to do geographic assignment using maps. Selecting the right tool for your organization is a critical decision. The best leads are not going to generate any revenue if they are sitting in a queue somewhere or have not been assigned at all.

Inability to Provide Feedback

Feedback from sales is an incredibly valuable tool. It helps keep sales happy by letting marketing know what leads they like and what leads they don’t. It also helps marketing know where to spend their budget to maximize their impact.

Remember those content syndication leads that we spoke about earlier? Maybe marketing generated a large number of leads at a low cost per lead, but sales found a large number had bad phone numbers or simply did not meet your ideal customer profile. How impactful could knowing this be to marketing? I bet they would change the spend allocation of their budget in a hurry with this data. The great thing is that this level of reporting is possible with disposition codes.

Lead Status and Disposition Codes

Lead status is used in Salesforce to represent the current status of a lead. Common values include: Open – Not Contacted, Working – Contacted, Closed – Not Converted, and Converted. These let you know the status a lead is in, but not the reason why.

This is a great start, but we want more. This is where adding a disposition code can help. Disposition codes are commonly used in call centers to classify the results of calls. This same logic can be applied to support the lead stage changes and provide additional insight to marketing and the organization as whole.

Once set up, disposition codes are required when moving a lead from one stage to the next. Field dependencies provide a list of relevant disposition codes for each status. In the example below, the user is required to tell you “why” the lead needs to be nurtured when updating the status to Open – Nurture.

Disposition Code Uses

  • Timely indicator of lead quality
  • Tailoring of follow up communications/nurtures
  • Identifying records to suppress from marketing communications
  • Determining records to delete from Account Engagement

The disposition code field can be used to create reports in Salesforce for increased visibility. These can be a huge asset for marketing when planning how to allocate future budgets. I find reporting on disposition codes at the campaign level to be the most impactful. To do this, formula fields are used on the campaign member object to enable reporting on your custom fields. Check out Jenna Molby’s blog “How to Add Custom Fields to Campaign Members in Salesforce” to learn more. A record-triggered flow is also needed to update the contact status and disposition codes on the contact object then a lead is converted (but that’s a post for another day).

The end result is a really cool report that shows what happened to all the leads that were included in a campaign. Keep in mind that if a person is included in multiple campaigns, the same status and disposition code will display for both.

Here, I can quickly see that 22% of the leads from my 2023-06 TSW Connections campaign were converted to contacts (and why).  I can also see that 56% of the leads need further nurturing (and how they should be nurtured). By syncing the disposition code field to Account Engagement, the values can be used to enter prospects into targeted nurture campaigns based on their needs vs. a generic nurture program. Pretty cool!

Collaboration and Communication are Key

Sales and marketing are really on the same team. Both want to drive sales and both want to be able to show the impact of their efforts. By working together and addressing the issues discussed, you can create an environment where your sales and marketing teams are united and work together towards a set of common goals.

Original article: How to Get Sales Pumped About Marketing Leads

©2023 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

The post How to Get Sales Pumped About Marketing Leads appeared first on The Spot.

By |2023-06-13T19:37:28+00:00June 13th, 2023|Categories: Analytics & Reporting, Marketing Automations, Pro Tips, revive, Strategy|

A Guide to Multi-Select Picklists in Account Engagement (Pardot)

The surest way to get a reaction from any Salesforce Admin is to mention multi-select picklists. They are notoriously hard to report on and can be challenging at times. However, there are times when more than one value is needed. 

Multi-select picklists can also cause quite a few issues for Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (Pardot) Admins. In this guide, we’ll discuss the proper way to create, sync, and update multi-select picklists in Account Engagement.

Field Types and Compatibility

Field types between Salesforce and Account Engagement don’t always behave the same way. Before we address how to work with multi-select picklists, we first need to understand field types and compatibility.

Account Engagement

  • Checkbox – Allows a prospect to select multiple options from a list of values.
  • Dropdown – Prospects can select a single value from a picklist.
  • Multi-Select – Prospects can select multiple values from a picklist.
  • Radio Button – Allows a prospect to select a single option from a list of values.

For more information, see the complete list of Account Engagement Prospect Field Types.


  • Checkbox – A single select field that is used to indicate true or false.
  • Picklist – Allows users to select a single value from a defined list.
  • Picklist (Multi-select) – Allows users to select multiple values from a defined list.

For more information, see the complete list of Salesforce Custom Field Types.

The first thing to note is that checkboxes are multi-select in Account Engagement, but not Salesforce. This can lead to issues when syncing to a checkbox field in Salesforce. To avoid issues, set your field type to radio button in Account Engagement when syncing to a Salesforce checkbox (for more information see – Mapping Pardot checkbox fields to Salesforce checkbox fields).

The next thing that you’ll notice is that Account Engagement has two fields that allow users to select multiple values – checkbox and multi-select. So what’s the difference and how should each be used? I’m glad you asked.

  • Checkbox – Select this option if you are creating a form in Account Engagement and you would like all values to be shown as individual boxes where prospects can check one or many.
  • Multi-Select – Select this option if you are creating a form in Account Engagement and would like the values displayed in a picklist where the user can select one or many options. 

Salesforce and Account Engagement Field Compatibility 

Salesforce Field Type Account Engagement Field Type Compatible
Checkbox Checkbox ❌
Checkbox Dropdown ❌
Checkbox Multi-Select ❌
Checkbox Radio Button ✔
Picklist Checkbox ❌
Picklist Dropdown ✔
Picklist Multi-Select ❌
Picklist Radio Button ✔
Picklist (Multi-Select) Checkbox ✔
Picklist (Multi-Select) Dropdown ❌
Picklist (Multi-Select) Multi-Select ✔
Picklist (Multi-Select) Radio Button ❌

Account Engagement Custom Fields

Now that we are all on the same page related to fields and compatibility, it’s now time to create our custom fields in Account Engagement to hold the data. You have options when creating custom fields, so it’s important to consider the data in Salesforce and how you would like the information displayed on your Account Engagement forms before creating your field.

Option #1 – Checkbox

If the multi-select picklist in Salesforce has a small number of values (less than 5) and you would like all options visible to prospects when they view your form, checkbox is the field type for you.

Example Form with Checkbox Field Type 

Example Form with Checkbox Field Type

Option #2 – Multi-Select

If the multi-select picklist in Salesforce has a large number of values and displaying all on a form would not be practical, multi-select is the way to go.

Example Form with Multi-Select Field Type

Example Form with Multi-Select Field Type

Additional Field Options & Considerations

Regardless of the field type selected, there are a few options that I would highly encourage you to consider.

Options that Should Always be Selected 

  • Keep this field’s type and possible values (for dropdowns, radio buttons, checkboxes) in sync with the CRM.
  • Use pre-defined values (for checkboxes, radio buttons, drop downs, and multi-selects).

Record and Display Multiple Responses 

The “Record and display multiple responses (useful for fields that are set to always be displayed like reporting issues)” box is not as clear cut as the other options mentioned above. Its use is really tied to how you are using the field and what data should be retained. 

  • Selected
    • Initial selections will be recorded in Account Engagement upon initial form completion and synced to Salesforce.
    • If form is completed again and new values are selected, they will be added to the prospect record in Account Engagement (and will sync to Salesforce). 
    • Values that were deselected during the second submission will still be included in the prospect record in Account Engagement and would also be visible in Salesforce. Essentially, the original selections from the initial form submission will be retained – even if they are not selected during the second form submission.
  • Not Selected
    • Initial selections will be recorded in Pardot.
    • If form is completed again and new values are selected, they will be added to the prospect record in Account Engagement (and will sync to Salesforce). 
    • Values that were deselected during the second submission will be REMOVED from the prospect record in Account Engagement and would NOT be visible in Salesforce after the records sync. 

Account Engagement Forms

We’re getting there! Now that we have decided how we want the multi-select picklist options to display on our form and we’ve created the custom field in Account Engagement, it’s time to build our form.  For this exercise, I’m going to assume that you are familiar with creating a form. If you need a quick refresher, check out the Create a Form article from Salesforce.

Forms with Checkboxes

The process of adding a checkbox field to a form is pretty straightforward. Simply click the +Add New Field button once you reach the “Fields” tab and configure the field. Be sure to set the type to Checkbox and make sure to click the Load Default Data button.

Check the “required” box if you would like the field to be required. You can also select the “Always display even if previously completed” option on the “Advanced” tab, if you would like the field to always display.

multi-select picklist info

After configuring, your form preview will look like the example below. Finish the form wizard for completing the additional tabs (Look and Feel, Completion Actions, Confirm & Save) and your form will be ready for use.

form fields preview multi-select picklist

Form with Multi-Select Picklists

The process for creating a form using a multi-select field is very similar to the process for creating one for a checkbox. The only real difference is the “Type” of field that you’ll select.

Very quickly, you’ll notice that there is not a multi-select option in the “Type” list. This can be confusing, but is not an issue. When configuring the form, set the checkbox type.

The magic will happen when you click the Load Default Data button. This will pull in the data from the multi-select field that you previously created and update the type selection to Multi-Select.

Form with Multi-Select Picklists
Form with Multi-Select Picklists

After configuring, your form preview will look like the example below. Finish the form wizard for completing the additional tabs (Look and Feel, Completion Actions, Confirm & Save) and your multi-select form will be ready for use.

Form fields preview

Importing Multi-Select Picklist Values 

When importing data into a multi-select field in Account Engagement, you must first decide on the desired action. Do you want to overwrite the current selections or do you want to add new selections to the existing data? This is a big one as it will determine if you should select the Record and display multiple responses (useful for fields that are set to always be displayed like reporting issues) option when creating your field. 

Import – Record and Display Multiple Responses NOT Selected

In this scenario, the Record and display multiple responses (useful for fields that are set to always be displayed like reporting issues) is not selected for either of my custom fields in Account Engagement.

After completing both forms, my initial selections were recorded in Account Engagement and synced to Salesforce.

The data below was then imported into Pardot. The “overwrite existing data” option was selected for the MAP field, but not not the Mascot field upon import.

The result is that the MAP field was updated to Marketing Cloud Engagement, but no changes were made to the Mascot field. This makes sense as we opted to overwrite the data in the MAP field when we imported. Since we did not overwrite the Mascot data, the initial values were retained.

Import – Record and Display Multiple Responses Selected

In this scenario, the Record and display multiple responses (useful for fields that are set to always be displayed like reporting issues) IS selected for both of my custom fields in Account Engagement.

After completing both forms, my initial selections were recorded in Account Engagement and synced to Salesforce.

The data below was then imported into Pardot. The “overwrite existing data” option was selected for the MAP field, but not not the Mascot field upon import.

The result is that the MAP field was updated to Marketing Cloud Engagement and that the additional values of Flo and Brandy were added into the Mascot field. This is exactly what we would expect. We told Account Engagement to overwrite the data in the MAP field so it did. Since we did not select “overwrite” for the Mascot field and the field was configured to record and display multiple responses, the new values were appended to the existing.

salesforce mascots - multi-select picklist values

Updating Multi-Select Picklist Values 

When using automation rules to change data in multi-select picklist fields, you must first decide on the desired action – just like you did for list imports. Checking (or not checking) the Record and display multiple responses (useful for fields that are set to always be displayed like reporting issues) option when creating the field will impact the results in Account Engagement and Salesforce.

Automation Rule – Record and Display Multiple Responses NOT Selected

In this scenario, the Record and display multiple responses (useful for fields that are set to always be displayed like reporting issues) is not selected for either of my custom fields in Account Engagement. The values have also been reset to the values below as the starting point. We will now create automation rules to update the values. 

Salesforce mascots multi-select picklist

For this exercise, I’m going to assume that you are familiar with creating automation rules. If you need a quick refresher, check out the Create an Automation Rule article from Salesforce. The automation rule below contains actions to update the MAP field to “Marketing Cloud Engagement” and the Mascot field to “Astro” and “Flo”. Let’s run and record our results.

Multi-Select Picklists

The result is that both fields were updated based on the actions included in the automation rule. This is the expected behavior based on the field configuration. The automation rule told Account Engagement to change the field values and that’s exactly what it did. 

Form with Multi-Select Picklists 3

Automation Rule – Record and Display Multiple Responses Selected

In this scenario, the Record and display multiple responses (useful for fields that are set to always be displayed like reporting issues) IS selected for both of my custom fields in Account Engagement.

The values have also been reset to the default values below.

Form with Multi-Select Picklists 2

We’re now going to recreate the exact same automation rule as we did earlier. As a reminder, the rule contains actions to update the MAP field to “Marketing Cloud Engagement” and the Mascot field to “Astro” and “Flo”. What do you think will happen this time?

Form with Multi-Select Picklists

If you said that both MAP fields would be selected and that the Mascot field would contain all four of our fiends (Astro, Codey, Flo, and Max), you would be correct. Since our fields are now configured to record multiple responses, the new values were added and the original values were retained.   

Parting Words 

In this guide, we tested a lot of situations that can result when working with multi-select picklists in Account Engagement to help add clarity to how these fields work. The decisions that you make related to how data should display on forms and the data that you would like to retain are two critical questions that must be addressed at the beginning of your project. These decisions will determine how your fields are created in Account Engagement and the data that will ultimately end up in Salesforce. 

Further Reading


Contact the Sercante team for help.

Original article: A Guide to Multi-Select Picklists in Account Engagement (Pardot)

©2023 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

The post A Guide to Multi-Select Picklists in Account Engagement (Pardot) appeared first on The Spot.

By |2023-03-28T19:58:12+00:00March 28th, 2023|Categories: Data Management, Emails & Forms, Pardot, Pro Tips, revive|

Call-to-Action Checklist for B2B Marketers

I’ve seen more than a few great marketing campaigns fail due to the lack of a clear call-to-action (CTA). Some campaigns have multiple CTAs that confuse the prospect while others don’t have a CTA at all. In both cases the end result is the same, a lot of work for very few responses. 

In this post, we’ll provide a CTA checklist that will help ensure the success of your B2B marketing campaigns.

Set a Measurable Goal

I know this one seems super obvious, but this step is all too often ignored. Before executing any campaign, a measurable goal needs to be defined. What are you trying to accomplish with your CTA? You can’t measure the success of a campaign if it does not have a clear goal. Write down your goal as the first step — the clearer the better.

Goal Example: 

Get 50 registrations for next month’s webinar.

Use an Action-Oriented CTA

Avoid generic terms like “submit” or “click here,” and don’t be bossy.  Action-oriented words and phrases that describe the end result or value the prospect will receive are less demanding, convey greater value, and ultimately result in more responses.  

Generic Action-Oriented
Register Save My Spot
Submit Start My Free Trial

Make your CTA Stand Out

How many times have you seen the word “here” linked in the text of an email? As often as you’ve seen it, I bet there are just as many times that you’ve read over it and not seen it. It’s also not great for email accessibility, as Cara Weese points out in this blog post about email accessibility.

When using hyperlinks in the body of text, avoid single words like “here,” “click,” and “more.” Make your CTA stand out by linking phrases that describe what the reader will receive. 

Bad Example: 

The Spot is a community resource for marketers whose tech stacks include Salesforce clouds and tools. Click here to view our latest tips, tricks, and solutions.

Good Example: 

The Spot is a community resource for marketers whose tech stacks include Salesforce clouds and tools. Click here to view our latest tips, tricks, and solutions.

Prioritize CTAs

The best advice that I can give you is to provide a single CTA when possible. The easier you can make it for prospects to understand what you are asking them to do, the better.

However, anybody who has spent any time in marketing has fallen victim to the manager who wants to add “just one more thing” to your well-thought-out email moments before it goes out. While this often has the intent of optimizing communications being sent, the reality is that it often detracts from the message, muddies the water, and reduces the overall number of responses.  

When this happens, make sure your primary CTA is the most visible action and is displayed in the most prominent location — above the fold.

Verify CTAs & Messaging

Before your campaign is released into the wild, be sure to double check your CTAs and related landing pages. The first step is to ensure that your CTA link is live and going to the correct destination. Equally important is the content on the destination page.

Make sure your destination page delivers on the promise made by the CTA. If you are linking to a landing page or form, make sure that it’s consistent and builds upon the story. 

Keep in mind that the content on the destination page should not be exactly the same as the message that was sent. Instead, it should be used to continue the conversation by providing additional details and information that supports and enhances the original message.

Test & Optimize

You’ve mulled over multiple ideas and CTAs in your head and finally came up with the option that you know will knock your goal out of the park. Now’s the time to deploy!

Wrong – Now is the time to test.

Before fully deploying your campaign, perform an A/B test to optimize your CTA. Test variables like CTA text, button color, page layout, and location. The results might surprise you!

Don’t Settle for a Lackluster CTA 

The CTA is one of the most important components of a successful campaign. Failing to put in the time and effort when developing your CTA can make the difference between achieving or falling short of your goals. Use the checklist from this post to ensure the success of your marketing campaigns.

Original article: Call-to-Action Checklist for B2B Marketers

©2022 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

The post Call-to-Action Checklist for B2B Marketers appeared first on The Spot.

By |2022-12-16T22:44:47+00:00December 16th, 2022|Categories: Emails & Templates, Getting Started, revive, Strategy|

Pardot Marketing Data Sharing Rules: Prevent Duplicates in Salesforce

You’re a responsible marketer and adhere to the Salesforce Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (Pardot) Permission-Based Marketing Policy. You’ve enabled Marketing Data Sharing (MDS) rules to ensure that prospects who have not opted-in are not syncing to Pardot. Now you get a call from your Salesforce Admin about Pardot creating duplicates in Salesforce.

In this post, we’ll discuss how you can remain compliant AND prevent unintentional dupes in Salesforce.

Let’s start at the beginning

Most sales organizations use tools like Clearbit, Lusha, or ZoomInfo to research companies, find new contacts, review intent data, or enhance data.

These are perfectly valid use cases and can be very beneficial to organizations. However, the problems start when marketing begins emailing these records through Pardot.

What’s the problem? The email addresses are valid.

Salesforce has a Marketing Cloud Account Engagement Permission-Based Marketing Policy that strictly prohibits the sending of emails to customers or prospects who have not expressly opted-in to receive them.

Our customers certify that they will not use rented, traded, or purchased lists, email append lists, or any list that contains email addresses captured in any method other than express, customer-specific opt-in when using our system to send emails.

Sending emails to acquired records is a clear violation of the permission-based marketing policy and can result in the suspension or termination of your account. I’d hate to be the person responsible for that!

What’s a marketer to do?

Verify your connector preferences

The first thing is to understand your connector settings in Pardot. Most accounts will be configured to automatically create prospects in Pardot if they are created as a Lead or Contact in Salesforce. This means that ANY lead or contact created in Salesforce from ANY source is going to end up in Pardot and could unknowingly be emailed by your marketing team.

Limit record entry with Marketing Data Sharing Rules

MDS is the safest way to make sure that data does not enter Pardot (Here’s a great post on MDS if you have questions – Pardot Marketing Data Sharing: Tips, Gotchas, and Setup). You can restrict which leads, contacts, opportunities, or custom objects sync to Pardot. The intent of MDS is to control the data that can be seen by the Pardot connector. The issue is that MDS does this job a little too well and this can result in duplicate leads being created in Salesforce.

MDS and duplicate records records

Hold up a minute! Are you telling me that by doing the right thing, I could actually create duplicates in my Salesforce org? Yep.

Here’s the rub. Before creating a lead or contact in Salesforce, Pardot undergoes a series of checks to see if the prospect is in Salesforce already. The intent is to identify matching records and not create duplicates. Since MDS limits the visibility of the connector, Pardot is not able to find prospects who might be in SFDC from a source deemed “not marketable” if they visit your site and complete a Pardot form (for example).

For reference here are the checks performed by Pardot before creating a lead or contact in Salesforce.

  • Is there a lead or contact with a matching CRM ID?
  • Is there a contact with the same email address?
  • Is there a lead with the same email address?
  • Is the prospect assigned to a user in Pardot?

Here’s how we addressed this issue for one of my clients

Don’t activate MDS

It’s important that MDS is not activated in this solution. We want the prospects to sync from Salesforce to Pardot. We’re going to use custom fields and automation rules to make sure that we remain compliant and don’t create duplicates in Salesforce.

Create custom fields

The first step involves creating several custom fields in Salesforce and Pardot. We created first touch and last touch fields to capture the needed information on leads and contacts. In this case, we used Lead Source Detail and Lead Source Detail Most Recent.

  • Lead Source Detail – This is a FIRST TOUCH field that identifies the specifics of where the lead originated (ex. ZoomInfo).
  • Lead Source Detail Most Recent – This is a LAST TOUCH field that identifies the specifics of the most recent source that drove the prospect to your site (ex. LinkedIn).

Map data to your custom fields

We’re going to stick with the ZoomInfo example here since I see this product used in a lot of organizations. When setting up your CRM Integration in ZoomInfo, you have the ability to map fields to for your Account, Contact, and Lead Objects.

In this case, we mapped Lead Source (standard field) and the two custom fields that we created. We also set fixed values for each.

Based on this configuration, any new records added from ZoomInfo into Salesforce will have the fixed values specified. This is super important.

Automation Rules

Remember the Pardot prospect mailability upgrade that took place with the Winter ‘22 release? We’re going to take advantage of it to make sure that we comply with the Marketing Cloud Account Engagement Permission-Based Marketing Policy. Don’t remember the changes? No problem – check out this post “Are You Ready for the Pardot Prospect Mailability Upgrade?” from Erin Duncan.

Automation Rule #1 – Set Do Not Email to TRUE

This automation rule will look for prospects in Pardot where Lead Source Detail and Lead Source Detail Most Recent equal “zoominfo”. This lets us know that the prospect was added into Salesforce from ZoomInfo, synced to Pardot, and that the person did not opt-in. As a result, we’ll mark the record as “Do Not Email.”

Automation Rule #2 – Set Do Not Email to FALSE

This automation rule will look for prospects in Pardot where Lead Source Detail is “zoominfo” and Lead Source Detail Most Recent is NOT “zoominfo.” This will show us that the person interacted with our marketing and is eligible to be emailed. It goes without saying that we only want to “activate” prospects who have given permission for us to email them. The Lead Source Detail Most recent field can be updated using completion actions or UTM parameters from URLs (that’s another post).

The short and sweet summary

This solution allows records added into Salesforce (that have not opted-in) to sync to Pardot. Automation rules in Pardot update the “Do Not Email” field based on Pardot interactions and opt-in status. This ensures that prospects who did not previously opt-in are updated correctly when they do opt-in and that no duplicates are created in Salesforce.

Let’s play by the rules AND not create duplicate records

Based on how your organization uses tools like Clearbit, Lusha, or ZoomInfo and the volume of records added to your Salesforce org, MDS might be the best solution for you. However, if a high volume of records are being added into Salesforce, I would recommend that you give this solution some consideration. The chances of duplicates being created in your system grows exponentially based on the number of records being added from external sources.

If you have any questions about this solution, MDS, or anything related to Marketing Cloud Account Engagement or Marketing Cloud Engagement, contact us with your questions.

Original article: Pardot Marketing Data Sharing Rules: Prevent Duplicates in Salesforce

©2022 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

The post Pardot Marketing Data Sharing Rules: Prevent Duplicates in Salesforce appeared first on The Spot.

By |2022-11-30T20:39:21+00:00November 30th, 2022|Categories: Data Management, Privacy & Compliance, Pro Tips, revive|

Don’t Let Good Leads Go Bad in Salesforce Queues

Many organizations assign Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (Pardot) prospects who are not yet sales ready to a “Cold” leads queue in Salesforce so data syncs and is available for reporting. The problem is that Pardot can’t reassign these leads once they “score up” and many get stuck in the cold leads queue in perpetuity.

In this post, we’ll discuss how leads can be automatically reassigned from the cold leads queue with the help of Salesforce Flow and some Apex code. This solution allows marketing teams to have full-funnel lead reporting in Salesforce without burdening sales with unqualified leads.

To Sync or Not to Sync?

The question of when to sync prospects from Pardot to Salesforce is one that comes up quite often when speaking to my clients. The answers from marketing and sales often differ. And both sides are passionate about it with compelling arguments.

The Marketing Perspective 

I need to show the full impact of my marketing activities and the leads my team is generating. If leads are only synced to Salesforce when they are sales ready, my numbers are going to be understated. That means my budget is going to be questioned — and probably slashed.

The Sales Perspective 

My time is valuable and I’m working on a commission. I don’t want to be distracted by a bunch of junk leads. I need to focus my time and energy on leads who have an interest in what we have to offer. I have a quota to hit!

I’m often pulled into these conversations and asked for my recommendation. Without hesitation, my answer is always the same — it depends. Some organizations need all prospects in Salesforce for reporting purposes and some only want sales ready leads added into Salesforce. Both approaches have merit and are correct based on the needs of the organization.

However, you can have your cake and eat it too! Enter — the cold leads queue.

The Salesforce Cold Leads Queue

My favorite solution to satisfy the needs of my friends in marketing and sales is the introduction of a cold leads queue.

The cold leads queue is the best of both worlds solution. It allows all the Pardot prospects to sync immediately to Salesforce — which allows for accurate lead reporting for marketing while not burdening sales with leads that are not yet ready. The cold leads queue is also a great place for sales teams to find additional leads to call in the event they are running low on MQLs to call.

So What’s the Catch?

Like all good things, there is a catch to using a cold leads queue. By design (and for good reason), Pardot can only assign prospects if they are currently unassigned. Once the prospect is assigned and synced to Salesforce, Pardot can’t change the assignment.

I’m sure you see where I’m going with this. In our case, we would assign a lead that does not meet our MQL criteria to the colds leads queue (in Pardot), so it will sync to Salesforce. This is perfect as the lead is in Salesforce for reporting purposes and is not cluttering the lists views of our sales teams.

But what happens when that prospect interacts with our marketing campaign and “scores up” to meet our MQL criteria? Houston, we have a problem!

Reassigning MQLs from the Salesforce Cold Leads Queue

I’ve seen this many times. Leads get stuck in the cold leads queue and are not reassigned once they hit the MQL threshold.

Why does this happen? Well, there are a few reasons.

  1. People forget that Pardot can’t reassign previously assigned leads and assume that their automation rule is doing the trick!
  2. Since reassignment has to be done in Salesforce, the marketing team does not have the proper permissions to do the job.
  3. Manual reassignment of leads is not a fun or glamorous job that Salesforce Admins look forward to doing.
  4. People just plain forget about leads once they hit the cold leads queue.

So what’s the solution to this issue? I’m glad you asked.

The solution is to use a Salesforce flow and Apex combined to automate it.

Let’s Start With Some Definitions


Apex is a strongly typed, object-oriented programming language that allows developers to execute flow and transaction control statements on Salesforce servers in conjunction with calls to the API. Using syntax that looks like Java and acts like database stored procedures, Apex enables developers to add business logic to most system events, including button clicks, related record updates, and Visualforce pages. Apex code can be initiated by Web service requests and from triggers on objects.


A flow is an application that can execute logic, interact with the Salesforce database, call Apex classes, and collect data from users. You can build flows by using Flow Builder.

*Definitiations from the Salesforce Glossary

The Big Reveal

I know I talked about having your cake and eating too at the beginning of this post. Well, it’s time for cake! The trick to using cold lead queues effectively is automating the process of “promoting” leads from the queue and into the hands of your sales team — and here’s how you do it.

  • Step 1 – Determine the criteria that should trigger the reassignment of leads that are in the cold leads queue. This could be a Pardot score crossing a threshold or the change in a custom field value.
  • Step 2 – Review your Lead Assignment Rules (Salesforce) for accuracy and make and needed updates.
  • Step 3 – Create an Apex class to call your lead assignment rules from Salesforce — in sandbox. This is an invocable process and can be called by flow. Below is an example of how this code could look.

  • Step 4 – Create a test class to ensure code coverage. You’ll need to have 75% code coverage in sandbox before your code can be pushed to production.
  • Step 5 – Create a record triggered-flow based on your MQL criteria. As an example, your flow could be triggered when a lead us updated and their Pardot score exceeds 150 points.

When creating your flow, it’s important that you include an asynchronous path. This will ensure that the flow runs after the changes to the lead record (that triggered the flow) are complete.

The rest of the flow is pretty basic and will look something like this.

  • Step 6 – Test and validate. Test your flow first using Debug to make sure it’s being triggered when your lead score is changed to exceed the target score. Once verified, activate the flow in sandbox and test on some actual leads.
  • Step 7 – After validating your flow in sandbox, create your outbound changeset. In production, validate your inbound change set (since this change set does include Apex code,  be sure to run all local tests). Deploy once validated.
  • Step 8 – Activate your flow and relax — knowing that no good leads are going to go bad in your cold lead queue!

Get Those Lead to Sales!

This post provided a high-level overview of how to automate the reassignment of leads from your cold leads queue. This is a common problem and addressing it is a great way to get some great leads into the hands of your sales team immediately.

If you need a hand setting up the actual process, contact us with your questions.

Original article: Don’t Let Good Leads Go Bad in Salesforce Queues

©2022 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

The post Don’t Let Good Leads Go Bad in Salesforce Queues appeared first on The Spot.

By |2022-11-01T17:49:38+00:00October 25th, 2022|Categories: Marketing Automations, Pro Tips, revive, Strategy|

7 Marketing Cloud Security Tips for a Hybrid Work Environment

You can keep your free snacks and ping pong tables. If we’ve learned one thing from the pandemic, it would be that employees really want the ability to work remotely — at least part of the time. While organizations have become more accepting of this new reality, IT departments are facing security challenges.  

In this post, we’re looking at Salesforce Marketing Cloud security best practices for hybrid and remote work environments. We’ll review some of the security settings in Marketing Cloud that will allow your remote employees to work safely and take some of the stress off of your IT team.

Marketing Cloud security for remote and hybrid work models

Since the onset of the pandemic, the number of remote workers has grown exponentially and the hybrid work model is becoming the new norm. A 2021 Mckinsey & Company survey found that 52% of workers prefer a more flexible working model moving forward. And listening to those wishes is helping many employers to avoid the effects of the Great Resignation at their companies.

Luckily, Marketing Cloud is built with security in mind and it can be configured to allow your employees to work securely — wherever they may be. 

Let’s take a look at some ways you can protect your data in addition to using multi-factor authentication (MFA).

Security Tip #1: Limit the Data in Salesforce Marketing Cloud

Salesforce Marketing Cloud is not a data warehouse. So don’t treat it like one. 

When bringing data into SFMC, ask yourself how it will be used for segmentation. If data will not be used for segmentation, don’t import or sync it over. Data like credit card numbers should NEVER be stored in Marketing Cloud.

Special attention also needs to be applied when handling Personally Identifiable Information (PII). The Department of Homeland Security defines PII as:

As any information that permits the identity of an individual to be directly or indirectly inferred, including any information that is linked or linkable to that individual, regardless of whether the individual is a U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident, visitor to the U.S., or employee or contractor to the Department.

Linked PII is information that can be used by itself to identify an individual (ex. Social Security number) and linkable PII is information that can be used in combination with other information to identify an individual. Depending on the type of data in your account and the industries you serve, additional security measures like data at rest encryption, field level encryption and tokenized sending might be necessary.

Security Tip #2: Control Access with Marketing Cloud Business Units

Even before creating users, I like to see how organizations are structured. If your organization operates in several regions, all users might not need access to all the data. The best way to secure data is to not grant access to it in the first place!

This is where business units come in. Business units in Marketing Cloud allow you to control access to information by creating a hierarchical structure. They also allow you to control branding elements including email display name, email reply address, and physical mailing address at the business unit level. You can even control the settings to allow unsubscribe at the business unit level or the enterprise.

Business units don’t have to be limited to geography. Your hierarchy can be built based on your unique needs. Building a hierarchy based on products is a great use case.

Note: Business Units are available in Enterprise and Enterprise 2.0 accounts.

Security Tip #3: Provide Users with the Correct Access Based on Need

Now that we’ve established our hierarchy and determined where users should be included, the next question is access level. Let’s start by talking about the differences between roles and permissions.

  • Permissions are micro-level security.
  • Roles are macro-level security.
    • They are a collection of permissions.

Permissions in Marketing Cloud are very granular. For this reason, the good folks at Salesforce have included default roles within Marketing Cloud based on common needs/scenarios (similar concept to the default user roles in Pardot). These are divided into Marketing Cloud and Email Studio Roles. I would highly recommend using these roles and limiting the creation of custom roles.

Marketing Cloud Role Description
Marketing Cloud Administrator This role assigns Marketing Cloud roles to users and manages channels, apps, and tools.
Marketing Cloud Viewer This role views cross-channel marketing activity results in Marketing Cloud.
Marketing Cloud Channel Manager This role creates and executes cross-channel interactive marketing campaigns and administers specific channels like Email Studio.
Marketing Cloud Security Administrator This role maintains security settings and manages user activity and alerts.
Marketing Cloud Content Editor/Publisher This role creates and delivers messages through applicable channel apps.
Email Studio Role Description
Administrator Access to all Email Studio functions including Setup, email creating, and creating data extensions.
Content Creator Access to all content, shared folders, and tracking in Email Studio, but no access to data or administrative features.
Data Manager Access to everything in Email Studio except email content
Analyst Access to tracking features in Email Studio.

Marketing Cloud Roles and Permissions

When assigning roles to users, you should always start with the lowest level that permits the individual to do their job. I’m always amazed when I log into an account for the first time and see all users have the Marketing Cloud Administrator and Administrator roles assigned. There’s simply no reason for this. I generally like to have two admins in an organization. It’s always good to have a backup in the event of an emergency!

It’s also worth noting that SFMC defaults to the most restrictive value when multiple roles are assigned to a user. For example, if a user was assigned the Content Creator, Marketing Cloud Channel Manager, and the Marketing Cloud Viewer roles, they would not be able to send an email. This is due to the fact that the Marketing Cloud Viewer is the most restrictive of the three roles and does not permit email sending.

It’s very possible that the same user will have access to multiple business units, but perform different functions in each. That’s perfectly fine and SFMC has you covered. Roles can be assigned at the business unit level so the same user could have admin access in one and view only in another. This is very handy and should be utilized if users don’t need full access to all the BUs that they are part of.

Security Tip #4: Follow Login and Password Best Practices

Marketing Cloud allows admins to set security policies very easily within the Security Setting under setup. However, I’m really surprised by how often I see accounts where the standard Salesforce recommendations are not followed. Take a minute to audit your account to ensure that they comply with the recommended account settings from Salesforce included below.

Field Recommended Setting
Session Timeout 20 minutes
Login Expires After Inactivity 90 days or less
Invalid Logins Before Lockout 3
Count Invalid Logins Across Sessions Yes
Minimum Username Length 8 characters
Minimum Password Length 8 characters or more
Enforce Password History 8 passwords remembered
User Passwords Expire In 90 days
Send Password Change Confirmation Email Enable
Enable Audit Logging Data Collection Enable

Security Tip #5: Limit Logins by IP Address

The Restrict Logins by IP Address (IP Allowlisting) setting allows you to define a list of IP addresses that can access your account.

This feature is optional and is set to Off by default, but can quickly be activated under Setup > Security Setting > Username and Logins. When activating, you’ll have the option to log non-allowed IP addresses and permit access or log non-allowed IP addresses and block access. Don’t forget to add IP addresses to your allowlist under Setup > Security > Login IP Allowlist if you choose to use this feature. 

Security Tip #6: Limit Exports

Ask yourself this simple question…

Does this user need to extract data from SFMC to do their job?

If the answer is “no,” then don’t allow them to export. It’s that easy!

Data extracts are a security risk that I see in most accounts. While data in the hands of a user can be risky, the real concern is data sitting on a computer that is not properly secured. Once the data leaves SFMC, all bets are off. This is a huge risk with remote workers. Let’s mitigate this risk by limiting exports.

Data can be exported from SFMC using Data Extract activities in Automation Studio, from tracking in Email Studio, and from reports in Analytics Studio. While some reports can be viewed onscreen or downloaded as PDFs, email and file transfer locations are the primary ways that data is exported. 

Email Export 

Your data is sent from SFMC via email. This is pretty scary, but can be controlled with Export Email Allowlists. The email allowlist includes individual email addresses or domains that are authorized to receive email exports from your account.

Export Email Allowlists must be activated in your SFMC account by first selecting the Enforce Export Allowlist in Security Setting. You will then need to specify the individual email addresses and domains that are authorized to receive email exports within your Export Email Allowlist (Setup > Security > Export Email Allowlist).

File Transfer Locations 

Marketing Cloud also makes use of file transfer locations to import and export data. The most common location is the Enhanced FTP Account, but you can also add additional locations under Setup > Administration > Data Management > File Locations.

To access data from the Enhanced FTP Site, users must login. Access to the data can be controlled by limiting users and not sharing login credentials. Marketing Cloud allows up to 10 FTP users per MID, allocate them wisely! Users can be granted Read Only or Full access.

Security Tip #7: Automate and Review Audit Trails

Audit Trails in Marketing Cloud can be used to track account access and activity. Reports can be automated through Automation Studio or through REST API extracts.

Before audit trails can be exported, the following actions must be taken to enable them in your account.

  • Enable Audit Trail Data Collection under Setup > Security > Security Settings
  • Assign the Marketing Cloud Security Administrator role to the user who will be extracting the data

Once these requirements are met, automations can be created in Automation Studio to extract the access and activity logs. Salesforce recommends that audit trail data be retrieved periodically based on a rolling window.

There are a couple of things to keep in mind when creating your automations.

  • You must create a Data Extract activity and select the desired extract type (Audit Trail Access Log or Audit Trail Activity Log).
  • Data is extracted to the Marketing Cloud Safehouse, so a File Transfer activity is needed to securely transfer files to the FTP location of your choice.

The automation is pretty simple and will look like this when complete.

The Basic Audit Trails are a great place to start. They are included in your account and have a 30-day retention period. Advanced Audit Trails, which can be purchased for an additional fee, extend the retention period to 60-days and include additional data related to Email Studio, CloudPages, MobileConnect, and more. Learn more about Basic and Advanced Audit Trails. 

Take Action to Secure your Marketing Cloud account

This post includes some recommendations to help secure your Marketing Cloud account with the rise in remote workers. However, it is not inclusive of all the security capabilities of SFMC. 

For more information, check out the following Trailhead modules or post your questions in the comments section. We’re here to help you succeed with Marketing Cloud! You can contact us with any questions.

Original article: 7 Marketing Cloud Security Tips for a Hybrid Work Environment

©2022 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

The post 7 Marketing Cloud Security Tips for a Hybrid Work Environment appeared first on The Spot.

By |2022-06-28T20:44:08+00:00June 28th, 2022|Categories: Data Management, Privacy & Compliance, Pro Tips, revive, Strategy|

8 Tips for Passing the Marketing Cloud Administrator Exam

Passing the Salesforce Marketing Cloud Administrator exam demonstrates that you have the skills to configure and administer Marketing Cloud products using industry and product best practices. And having that distinction puts you in a position where employers will compete to welcome you to their team.

That’s because people with Marketing Cloud skills are among the most difficult to find and retain, according to research by 10K. Based on supply and demand, there are great opportunities for those who put in the time and energy to develop these skills.  

Use these tips to pass the Salesforce Marketing Cloud Administrator exam

There are a lot of Salesforce-approved exam prep resources available. So, we’re not going to dive too deeply into them (we’ll touch on them a bit in tip #3). 

This post will instead focus on eight tips that helped me pass the Marketing Cloud administrator exam — and I hope they will help you too.

Tip #1: Pregame with the Marketing Cloud Email Specialist Certification 

While there is not an official practice exam for the Salesforce Marketing Administrator exam, the Marketing Cloud Email Specialist Certification is a worthy stand-in. There’s a fair amount of crossover between the email specialist and administrator exams. Sure, the weights are different and the admin exam goes into more depth, but the overall concepts are similar.

There are different schools of thought as to the order in which the marketing cloud exams should be taken. But I firmly believe you should not take the Marketing Cloud Administrator exam until you’ve passed the specialist exam. It will ensure that you have a solid foundation in place and it will let you beef up your LinkedIn profile with another cool certification!

Tip #2: Setup is king in the Marketing Cloud admin exam

Setup is a whopping 38% percent of the Marketing Cloud Administrator exam. The next closest section is  Subscriber Data Management at 18%. This is basically make it or break it territory. Ace the Setup section, and you are well on your way to adding a new credential to your collection. 

With that said, I take a very methodical approach to exam preparation. I study the exam guide, make sure I understand the weight of each section, and then budget my study time accordingly. This may seem like common sense, but I see people stressing over sections with low weighting all too often.

Tip #3: Don’t trust the internet

We all know the policy about exam dumps and questions floating around on the internet. In short, don’t use them. If you have any questions about this topic, be sure to review the Salesforce Credential Code of Conduct.

Not only is the use of exam dumps and non-approved study materials in violation of the code of conduct, they are often wrong. The only thing worse than studying for hours is studying the wrong information for hours! 

Do yourself a favor (and the right thing) and stick to Salesforce-approved materials.

Here are Salesforce-approved resources I found to be helpful.

Tip #4: Focus on key Marketing Cloud terminology 

I’ve taken my share of Salesforce exams, and I would classify the Marketing Cloud Administrator Exam to be more straightforward than most. If you’ve taken any of the Salesforce Administrator certification exams, you’ve no doubt seen the scenario based questions that are about a paragraph long! 

The questions on the Marketing Cloud Administrator Exam are pretty simple and to the point. The point of confusion lies in the list of answers provided. Outside of a random term here and there, most are terms that you’ve seen in Marketing Cloud. This tends to lead to second guessing as you’ll be telling yourself “Yeh. I remember that one.”

 My advice is to create a list of key terms and know it like the back of your hand. These questions become VERY easy — if you know the terminology and can quickly eliminate the wrong answers.

Here’s a list of terms I made for myself. I compiled these from a variety of Salesforce-approved resources. This list is NOT inclusive of all the terms you’ll see on the exam. Use this as a starting point and add more terms based on your experience level with Marketing Cloud.

Term Definition
Access Log List of non-allowlisted IP addresses and login names logged into Marketing Cloud accounts for network.
Audit Trail Allows security admin users to view Marketing Cloud access and activity records.
Burst Sending Burst Sending allows you to send emails fast. The audience is locked down and the emails are built when the schedule send time is set. Use this feature for flash sales or emergency messaging.
Contact In Contact Builder, it is an individual added to any contact database. A contact is also any other individual to whom you sent a message via any channel using Marketing Cloud.
Contact ID A system defined, unique identifier representing a Contact.
Contact Key A user defined attribute that is used as a unique identifier for the contact model, and other models (Journey Builder) except Email Studio.
Content Detective Tool in Email Studio that will identify spam triggers in your email content. Scans the preheader, the subject line, the body copy for words, patterns, and phrases that it views as spam.
Delivery Profiles Specifies the delivery information for a message (Company, IP Address, Header and Footer).
Domain Allowlist Trust all email addresses within that domain to receive your data.
Export Email Allowlist Individual email addresses that can receive exports via email from your Marketing Cloud account.
Identity Verification Requires you to authenticate the browser or app used to access the application.
IP Allowlist Range of IP addresses who can access your account to prevent unauthorized logins.
Multi-factor Authentication Another layer of protection so users must provide two factors when logging in.
Primary Key A unique field on a data extension that identifies a specific and unique data point. Often this is the contact key, but it can be something unique to that data.
Reply Address Definition Configure reply-to info like email display name, reply subdomain, and email reply address.
Reply Rules How reply mail management identifies and responds to the replies that subscribers send.
Routing Address Email address that replies are sent to when the reply is not defined in the Reply Rules.
Safehouse Decrypt or encrypt files before import or extract without exposing these files to the Enhanced FTP directories. Only authenticated users can access the Safehouse, which resides on highly redundant, highly available central storage servers.
Send Classification Composed of Sender Profile, Delivery Profile, and CAN-SPAM classification
Sender Authentication Package (SAP) Purchased from Salesforce and includes a collection of products, including a private domain with link and image wrapping, a dedicated IP address, and reply mail management (RMM).
Sender Profile Specifies the From information for a send in a central location (from name).
SFTP A secure method for transferring data from one computer to another over the Internet.
Subscriber A person who opted in to receive communications from your organization.
Subscriber ID A system defined, unique identifier representing a Subscriber.
Subscriber Key A user defined text field that contains a value that uniquely identifies a subscriber. Shouldn’t contain email addresses.
Tokenized Sending Used to send contact data that is too sensitive to store in your Marketing Cloud account database. Instead of storing sensitive information in your Marketing Cloud account database, your account stores a single token per send attribute. Support must activate this feature.
Web Analytics Connector (WAC) Free feature that appends a ‘string’ to every Email Studio email link. Simply put, it adds data to the end of your links for tracking purposes. The string is typically used to add Google Analytics UTM Parameters, but it can really be used for anything you want.

Tip #5: The devil is in the details 

Pay attention to details when taking your exam, and be sure to read all options before selecting your answer. I noticed several questions on the exam that had several answers that were seemingly correct.

Here’s an example of what I’m talking about.

How would a Marketing Cloud Administrator add new users in EMEA to the correct business unit?

  1. Setup > Users > Edit Business Units
  2. Setup > Business Units > Manage Business Units
  3. Setup > Users > Manage Business Units

There are a couple things to note when looking at this question. The first is the navigation path. Can you add users to BUs under Business Units? Nope! This is where you would go to set up your business units. We can now cross answer B off the list.

The second thing to note is the action referenced in the answer. “Edit Business Units” and “Manage Business Units” both sound correct, but you have to choose one. This is where paying attention to details is really important. Inside Marketing Cloud, “Manage” is the action that’s used to add users to business units (and roles).  

So the answer to our relatively straightforward looking question is “C”. You would add users to the EMEA business unit by navigating to Setup > Users > Manage Business Units

Tip #6: Pay attention to product names  — new and old

Salesforce recently updated the names of several products, and Marketing Cloud was impacted (Salesforce Name Changes: Pardot & Marketing Cloud Get A Rebrand). When I took the Marketing Cloud Administrator exam, these changes had not yet been integrated. I’m sure this will be addressed quickly in the next release, but it’s worth mentioning as every question counts! Don’t be too surprised if you see something like this.

The Marketing team would like to be able to pick the next best action based on real-time interaction data. Which Marketing Cloud add-on best addresses this purpose?

  1. Journey Builder
  2. Interaction Studio
  3. Automation Studio
  4. None of the above

So where’s Personalization? We all know that the correct answer is Marketing Cloud Personalization, but it’s not included in the list. The first instinct would be to select answer D “None of the above,” but that would be incorrect. 

The correct answer is B “Interaction Studio.” This was the name of that add-on at the time the exam was written. Be sure to know the new and old names — just in case!

Tip #7: Activate those Einstein features 

Salesforce is really excited about the Einstein features in Marketing Cloud (as they should be). A lot of time and effort has gone into enabling marketers with AI, and you are going to be asked about these features.

To make sure that you understand the capabilities of Einstein, activate ALL the features available in your account. I guarantee that you’ll learn something you didn’t know! 

Keep in mind that data is not instantly available in your account after activation. Depending on the feature, it could take 24 to 72 hours.

Tip #8: Get hands-on practice! 

This exam focuses a lot on how to DO things in Marketing Cloud. If you are anything like me, the best way to learn is by doing. There are a lot of great Trailhead modules on Marketing Cloud, but no hand-on challenges. It’s really easy to read the content and answer a couple of questions to get your badge, but did you really learn anything?

My advice is to make those modules hands-on. Login to your Marketing Cloud account and follow along. You don’t need to save all your work in your account, but the act of navigating to the correct sections and clicking the buttons will reinforce your learning. Sure, it’s going to take you a lot longer to complete the modules, but it’s not a race!

As I said  in tip #4, the devil is in the details. You are going to need to know how to navigate Marketing Cloud to pass this exam. If you don’t know your way around (very well), save your $200 and don’t take the exam until you have more hands-on experience.

You can do it — now go pass the Marketing Cloud admin exam!

I would not rate the Marketing Cloud Administrator Exam as one of the toughest Salesforce exams that I’ve taken (that honor goes to the Salesforce Advanced Administrator exam). But it should not be taken lightly.  

You’ll have 105 minutes to take the exam, which I found to be very generous. Don’t rush and take the time to read the question and all the answers before making your selection. With adequate preparation and a good amount of hands-on experience, you’ll pass this exam.

If you don’t pass on your first try, don’t be discouraged. Look at it as a learning opportunity. While exam results don’t show results by individual questions, the section level scoring is a great way to see your strengths and areas for improvement.

If you have any specific questions about the exam or just want to talk Marketing Cloud, drop a note in the comments section or hit me up on LinkedIn.

Good luck — you got this!

Original article: 8 Tips for Passing the Marketing Cloud Administrator Exam

©2022 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

The post 8 Tips for Passing the Marketing Cloud Administrator Exam appeared first on The Spot.

By |2022-06-15T19:52:33+00:00June 15th, 2022|Categories: Career Development, Community, Real Talk, revive|

How to Manage Salesforce Campaign Activation with a Simple Flow

Twice in the span of less than a week, two different clients had questions or issues related to Salesforce campaign activation. I had my fair share of questions and assumptions about that little checkbox when I was in a marketing role and it seems like I’m not the only one. 

With the help of a very simple Salesforce flow (that we’ll build in this post), we can automate the Salesforce campaign activation (and deactivation) process for Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (formerly Pardot), and let the marketing folks get back to marketing!

What does that “active” checkbox even do?

When creating a Salesforce campaign, we’ve all robotically checked that standard “Active” checkbox and never given it a second thought (because that’s what we were told to do). Well, for every good marketer who “checks the box,” there are plenty who don’t — and it does matter. 

Campaign activation implications in Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (Pardot) 

Just about all MCAE (Pardot) assets REQUIRE a campaign to be selected upon creation including: 

  • Custom redirects
  • Emails
  • Forms
  • Form handlers

When the Active box is checked, you’ll be able to see your campaign and correctly associate it with your MCAE (Pardot) asset. If it’s not checked, then you are out of luck!

Additionally, imports into MCAE (Pardot) also require a campaign and play by the same rules. And completion actions? You guessed it. Only active campaigns can be selected and used.

Campaign deactivation implications in Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (Pardot) 

Scrolling through long lists of campaigns in MCAE (Pardot) is not one of my favorite things. Deactivating campaigns helps by limiting visibility and shortening lists.

However, deactivating a campaign will NOT remove associations to assets that were made when the campaign was active.

If there’s an Add to CRM Campaign completion action set, it will continue to add members after the campaign has been deactivated. However, you will not be able to create new completion actions that reference the deactivated campaign.

I thought that box was automatically checked

I’ve been there too! Seems like a logical assumption. 

If you’re going to ask me for the campaign start date and end date, then why the hell don’t you put it to use! 

We’re going to do just that with a simple flow.

Enter Salesforce Flows

For MCAE (Pardot) Admins, think of Flow Builder as the Salesforce equivalent of Engagement Studio. With Flow Builder, just about anything in Salesforce can be automated using a graphical user interface and no code. 

For Salesforce Admins, you should be getting comfortable with flow as Salesforce is retiring Workflow Rules and Process Builder at the end of 2022.

Let’s build our Flow to automate Salesforce campaign activation

Prerequisite Requirements 

Before we start building, we need to ensure that we have all the necessary data to power the flow. Take a moment to look at your campaign page layout and make sure the following fields are present and required. 

  • Start Date (Make required)
  • End Date (Make required)

We recommend you build and test your flow in a Sandbox environment. After testing and validation, deploy to production.

Step 1: Create a new Salesforce Flow 

We will be using a Record-Triggered Flow for this use case. The flow will launch when a record is created, updated, or deleted.

Step 2: Configure start 

In this step, you’ll be selecting the object and configuring the trigger. We’ll be using the Campaign object in this example and we’ll be triggering the flow when a record is created. 

We won’t be adding any entry conditions, but you might want to based on how your organization is set up. For example, you could set the Flow to only trigger for marketing record types.

Step 3: Configure the immediate path

We’ll be using two paths in this flow. We’re going to address the first path in this step and we’ll tackle the second path later.

The first path will run immediately (hence the “Run Immediately”) label. All we need this path to do is check the active box once our campaign is created. 

To do this, we’ll be using the Update Records element. Add this by clicking the + sign under the Run Immediately label and selecting Update Records.

You’ll then want to add a descriptive label and set the field values. In this case, a good label is “Set Active to True.” 

The field that we’ll be updating is the IsActive field. Since this is a checkbox, we’ll be using the $GlobalConstant.True to “check the box.”

Step 4: Configure the second path

To add a second path to your flow, select the “Add Scheduled Paths” option. If you don’t see this, you’ll need to click on the “Start” trigger to open the editing section.

After adding the scheduled path, we’ll need to configure it. Below are the key elements:

  • Path Label – Name/description of the path
  • Time Source – The time element that will trigger the path
  • Offset Number – The length of the delay
  • Offset Option – Specify the measure of time (minutes, hours, or days) and if the path should activate before or after the Time Source

In this example, the scheduled path will run one day after the campaign end date. If you would prefer to have your campaigns visible for a longer period of time, you can increase the Offset Number.

After configuring our scheduled path, we’ll need to add another Update Records element. This will look very familiar from the Run Immediately path. The only difference is that we will be using the $GlobalConstant.False value to uncheck the Active box.

Step 5: Save, Activate and Test

Your flow should look like the image below at this point. 

If you are anything like me, you don’t want to sit around waiting days to see if your flow works as expected. To speed up your testing, simply update the setting in your scheduled path. 

You can set the Time Source to Campaign: Created Date, Offset Number to 5, and Offset Options to Minutes After. With this configuration, your campaign will be deactivated 5 minutes after it’s created.

You can test your flow by creating a campaign (be sure the flow has been saved and activated), verifying that the Active box has been checked, and then checking the campaign again in 5 minutes to confirm that the Active box has been unchecked.

Once your testing is complete, don’t forget to update your scheduled path options back to the original settings.

Step 6: Deploy to Production

Once your flow has been tested, deploy to production using a change set, and sit back and relax! 

Full Salesforce campaign management

The flow we built today was very basic and served a single purpose — to automate the activation of campaigns. However, it does not need to end there. 

This flow can be enhanced to automatically update campaigns to “Completed” when they end and to send reminder emails to the campaign owner if they fail to enter the Actual Cost in Campaign.

Automate your Salesforce campaigns with Flow 

Campaign management does not need to be manual. And it’s an essential piece when reporting on your efforts as a marketer. With the help of a simple Salesforce Flow, automation can be used to simplify the process and make things easier for your marketing team. 

If you have questions about the simple flow detailed in this post or would like to look under the hood of the full campaign management solution, drop us a note in the comments section or reach out to the team at Sercante.

Original article: How to Manage Salesforce Campaign Activation with a Simple Flow

©2022 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

The post How to Manage Salesforce Campaign Activation with a Simple Flow appeared first on The Spot.

By |2022-04-20T17:31:05+00:00April 20th, 2022|Categories: Analytics & Reporting, Marketing Automations, Pro Tips, revive, Strategy|

What Successful Marketers Know About Salesforce Auto-Association


What you don’t know about auto-association could be completely ruining your campaign influence reports in Salesforce.

Let that sink in.

Now that I have your attention, let’s talk about this auto-association thing. 

I spent many years in marketing and, I have to be honest, the term “auto-association” was never uttered at my company. As a marketer, I was relying on our Salesforce Admin to ensure that Salesforce magically spit out the correct information on all my campaign influence reports. But were they accurate?

Auto-association is key to ensuring that your campaign influence reports are attributing opportunities to the campaigns that truly had influence. It does this by limiting the time that a campaign has influence and/or by applying auto-association rules.

Auto-Association for Campaign Influence Set Up

Let’s break this down a bit.

Campaign Influence Eligibility Limits

Setting up timeframe limits for Campaign Influence in Salesforce allows you to specify the maximum number of days that a campaign is considered to be influential. This is determined by comparing the date that a contact was first associated with the campaign and the date that the opportunity was created. The general rule of thumb is to use two-to-three times your sales cycle to set these limits.

Let’s see this in action.

If your Campaign Influence Time Frame is not defined, all campaigns will be included in your campaign influence reports. Yep – All campaigns.  If a contact was associated with a campaign 5 years ago, another last week, and then had an opportunity created, the credit would be equally divided between both campaigns. It seems hardly fair that the old campaign is receiving equal credit for the efforts of your hard-working, new campaign!

If your settings look like the image below, in other words, and your Campaign Influence Time Frame is blank, then this is exactly what’s happening.

Let’s look at that same scenario – with one small change.

If your Campaign Influence Time Frame is set to 60 days, only campaigns with opportunities created within this 60-day window will be included in your campaign influence reports. If a contact was associated with a campaign 5 years ago, another last week, and then had an opportunity created, the last campaign would receive 100% of the credit. The old campaign would not receive any credit because the time between campaign association and opportunity creation is greater than the 60 day limit. Now that’s more like it!

Here’s an example of how a 60 day campaign influence time frame looks in Salesforce setup.

Now that we’ve covered Campaign Influence Time Frame, you may be wondering, what’s the deal with auto-association rules?

Glad you asked!

Auto-Association Rules

Setting auto-association rules in Salesforce allows you to apply criteria to limit campaigns that are considered to be influential. They are not required, but are highly recommended.

Consider this scenario.

You have an Engagement Studio Program set up in Pardot with the action to add all prospects to your “Follow-up” Salesforce campaign with the campaign member status of Sent and another action to update the status to Clicked (if an email was clicked). One of the members of this campaign also attended a webinar three weeks ago and is also included in your “Webinars” campaign with a campaign member status of attended. How would you apply campaign influence if a new opportunity was created and…

  • A prospect did not click any of the emails in the Engagement Studio Program
  • Versus a prospect who clicked an email included in the Engagement Studio Program

In my eyes, the act of being sent an email should have zero impact on campaign influence and should not be considered in your influence reports. However, the story changes if that email is clicked. This is where auto-association rules come into play.

The rule below ensures that only the Click campaign member status is included in your campaign influence association reports and excludes the Sent status. Pretty cool!

You can accomplish the same thing by creating a rule that looks for Responded status equals True (or combining both with an OR statement).

Keep in mind, this rule is looking at the Responded designation only, not the Member Status. If you go this route, you need to ensure that all your campaigns have Responded selected for at least one member status. If you don’t, that campaign will not be included in your campaign influence reports.

Use Salesforce Know-How to Step Up Your Marketing

Auto-association is just one aspect of Salesforce that can seriously impact marketing. As Salesforce and Pardot continue to move closer to a single platform, Salesforce knowledge is becoming a requirement for successful digital marketers and Pardot Admins.

Sound intimidating? Fear not – we’ve got you covered with our new Salesforce Basics for Pardot Admins training course. Check it out to learn more tips to improve your digital marketing effectiveness by working smarter in Salesforce.

The post What Successful Marketers Know About Salesforce Auto-Association appeared first on The Spot For Pardot.

By |2020-07-22T22:54:59+00:00July 15th, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|

Scoring Categories and HML: The Peanut Butter and Chocolate Moment


Let’s start by saying that if you’re not using scoring categories in Pardot, you probably should be. If you offer more than one solution or service or have multiple topics represented on your website, scoring categories are for you. These little gems allow you to break down your total score and identify your prospects’ specific areas of interest. This is huge when it comes to tailoring your marketing messaging and directing your sales team’s efforts.

To get started with scoring categories, check out Erin Duncan’s post Pardot Scoring Category Basics: What, How & Why.

Another super cool feature in Pardot that you may not be utilizing is Handlebars Merge Language (HML). HML, rolled out in August 2019, expands the personalization capabilities of Pardot well beyond Pardot Merge Language (PML) and introduces the ability to use conditional statements (among other capabilities).

To learn more about HML, check out Skyler Nakashima’s post How Pardot’s New Handlebars Merge Language Improves Personalization.

Now for the peanut butter and chocolate moment!

Using Scoring Categories + HML to Power Dynamic Content

A client recently asked me if we could use the scoring category data we built into her account as criteria for her dynamic content. While there are lots of options that you can use to inform the variation of dynamic content out of the box, including score, scoring categories is not one of them. However, with a bit of ingenuity and HML, scoring categories can be used to fuel dynamic content. Here’s how.

The Process

Step 1 – Create custom prospect fields (checkbox) in Pardot that align to your scoring categories. I also like to use a standardized naming convention so the fields are 1) grouped together and 2) easy to identify.

Step 2 – Create automation rules to update the checkbox value to “True” based on the achievement of a defined category score. You’ll want to set the score to a value that is high enough to show significant interest in the topic. This number will vary based on your scoring model.

Step 3 – Create dynamic content for each of your topics. When doing this, you’ll also need to consider how you want the content to display in your message. If a prospect has an interest in multiple topics, do you want to display a block of dynamic content for each in the email or would you prefer to only show one? In this example, we are going to choose to prioritize our topics as 1) Dogs 2) Cats and 3) Birds and display only one piece of content in the body of the email. 

Note: The default content for Dogs is blank. This was done intentionally and is necessary to ensure the proper functionality of the “else” HML statements. Only add default content into the final topic in your list of priorities – Birds in our example (see below).

Step 4 – Now the HML magic! The code below is essentially a conditional statement based on the dynamic content that we previously created.

{{#if dynamic_content_1789}} {{{dynamic_content_1789}}}
{{else}}{{#if dynamic_content_1791}} {{{dynamic_content_1791}}}

It helps to have a decoder ring to see exactly what’s going on here. In this example, the dynamic content aligns to the topics as follows:

  1. Dogs – {{{dynamic_content_1789}}}
  2. Cats – {{{dynamic_content_1791}}}
  3. Birds – {{{dynamic_content_1793}}}

Based on this, the plain English behind our statement is:

  1. If Dogs is Yes, show Dogs 
  2. else if Cats is Yes, show Cats 
  3. else if Birds is Yes, show Birds 
  4. else If Birds is No, show Birds default content

Take Your Dynamic Content to the Next Level with Scoring Categories & HML

Scoring categories and HML are very powerful features in Pardot. While both add tremendous value independently, they can be combined to open up even more possibilities. If you need a hand getting started with scoring categories, HML or have questions about how these features can work together, drop us a note or add your questions below in the comments. 

By |2020-05-14T11:18:13+00:00May 14th, 2020|Categories: Experiments|