The Wait is Over: Shorter Wait Steps in Engagement Studio Are Here

For Account Engagement users, the most exciting feature coming with the Salesforce Winter ‘24 release is the ability to get more precise with wait steps in Engagement Studio Programs.  Gone are the days waiting a full day to trigger an action, we can now set wait steps anywhere from 2-8 hours. This provides more flexibility with our programs and what we are able to do.

How do we get started with shorter wait steps in Engagement Studio?

In Engagement Studio, we’ve always had the ability to add wait steps. We were able to do this in day long increments after an event took place. We’ve used these for things like, sending follow up emails after a form fill, or sending an additional email days after an initial send. 

Sometimes, a day seemed like too long of a wait, but that was all we had to work with. 

Now, we can use these new hour increments. When adding an action to an Engagement Studio Program, click “wait”, then toggle to “hours” and set the desired amount of hours. That’s it!

When you should use hour wait steps…

Wondering how you can make the most of this feature? We’ve compiled a list of scenarios that we think would be best suited for a short, hours-long wait period.

  • Welcome Programs
    • Prospects signed up for your mailing list or were imported? Add an hour wait step to send that first welcome email instead of waiting days.
  • Post Form Follow Up Emails from Sales Team Members
    • If your follow up emails are sent immediately, prospects know it’s automated, and waiting days to follow up can lead you to miss out on an opportunity. With a wait step of just a couple hours, it gives your prospects time to finish looking at your website, gives your internal assignment processes time to complete, and feels more personal than an automated reply.
  • System Processing Time For List Evaluation
    • When using automations that evaluate which lists a prospect is on, a two hour wait step will ensure your dynamic lists have time to run and prospects newly added to the list are included.
  • Custom Redirect/ Page Action Follow Ups
    • Set up custom redirects or page actions on high priority pages and have them funnel leads into an Engagement Studio Program. From there, suggest the next step a prospect should take or the next piece of content the prospect might be interested in a few hours after they have left your website.

Time to get started with shorter wait times in Engagement Studio

This feature is one that hundreds of trailblazers have been asking for because it can be so useful in customizing programs. Once it becomes available, we recommend revisiting your existing engagement studio programs and seeing if this would be a better fit for some of the current day long wait steps you are currently using.  

Being able to take action in hours, rather than days can really help personalize the experience you give to prospects.

Want to learn more about how to create the most effective Engagement Studio Programs? Consider taking  our Workshop: Engagement Studio for Marketers.

Original article: The Wait is Over: Shorter Wait Steps in Engagement Studio Are Here

©2023 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

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By |2023-08-31T14:18:47+00:00August 31st, 2023|Categories: Automations, Engagement Studio, New Features, Release Notes|

Salesforce Announces Marketing GPT and Commerce GPT

Salesforce is upping their game in the race to incorporate the latest generative AI tools into their products. Announced during Salesforce Connections on June 7, Marketing GPT and Commerce GPT are coming to Salesforce customers using Marketing Cloud and Commerce Cloud. 

The features are gonna make it easier for marketers to reach the right audiences and generate emails, and commerce teams will create better shopping experiences and customer journeys. But, the best part is that both Marketing GPT and Commerce GPT can be connected to Data Cloud — meaning the tools can do their thing using data from any source.

History of Salesforce in the GPT game

Both Marketing GPT and Commerce GPT are dependent on Einstein GPT, which is the generative AI version of Einstein. 

For a little back story, Salesforce Einstein is the machine learning model the company rolled out in 2016 to analyze large sets of CRM data. So, Salesforce has been on the AI train for a while already. 

Einstein can do things like predict which customers or sales leads are likely to buy by looking at data from a bunch of sources. Or it can analyze data to determine the best time to send emails to your lists.

You can get it in Marketing Cloud Engagement and Account Engagement, Sales Cloud, Commerce Cloud, Experience Cloud, and Service Cloud, along with other platform tools.

In March 2023, Salesforce released Einstein GPT, which combines the machine learning model Salesforce developed with the chatbot from generative AI company OpenAI. (On a side note, Salesforce is going heavy on the AI devotion and has already invested $250 million into other AI technology companies.)

So, how are Marketing GPT and Commerce GPT related to Einstein GPT?

Both Marketing GPT and Commerce GPT are powered by Einstein GPT — the AI-powered set of solutions that marries Salesforce AI with OpenAI’s technology. They are both iterations of Einstein GPT that are tailored for the respective clouds. Stay tuned because we’re seeing GPT features getting infused across all Salesforce clouds in addition to these two.

What capabilities do Marketing GPT and Commerce GPT have?

Both of the sets of features combine generative AI capabilities, which use data from OpenAI, with Salesforce Data Cloud. That means you can use customer profiles in Data Cloud that include data from any source in real time. And while you don’t have to use Data Cloud to take advantage of the Salesforce GPT features, you’ll definitely be able to do more if you have it.

So, what exactly can you do with Marketing GPT and Commerce GPT?

Marketing GPT Capabilities

We’re really gonna be cooking now by giving the people super valuable experiences through email and content marketing. We already have Einstein features in our marketing back pocket, but now we’re throwing GPT into the overall mix. That means we can use conversational language prompts to get Marketing Cloud to do things for us. 

I mean, it’s not going to organize all those random newsletter graphics you’ve been uploading to Account Engagement without using a naming convention (yet???). But it will do things like analyze the data you have and use that information to predict the best ways to improve your emails. 

Source: Salesforce

Here’s what Marketing GPT can do (so far):

  • Segment Creation | generally available Oct. 2023
    This is a whole new fancy way to build your audience segmentation strategy. You can tell Marketing Cloud to create audience segments for you using natural language prompts, and it will help you to improve your targeting using AI recommendations and audience data that’s in Data Cloud.
  • Email Content Creation | generally available Feb. 2024
    Ok, so I’m gonna have to see this one in action, but Salesforce said this feature can “reduce writing workload” by creating auto-generated emails. It can potentially be a big one for marketing teams that have the content but stumble with their email marketing.
  • Segment Intelligence for Data Cloud | generally available Oct. 2023
    This adds a fancier twist for tracking ROI. Segment intelligence combines first-party audience data, revenue data, and paid media data to show you exactly how your campaigns are doing in relation to your audience segments. 
  • Rapid Identity Resolution, Segmentation, and Engagement | generally available Aug. – Oct. 2023
    Salesforce is going heavy on the ‘transform at the speed of your customer’ theme. The mouthful that is this feature basically keeps Data Cloud segments updated in real time so messaging is always relevant and timely.
  • Typeface content platform | GA date not given yet
    Using a third-party content generator called Typeface, marketers can create branded visual assets (like email graphics or social cards) inside Salesforce. Stay tuned for this one cuz it could be huge.

These are the features that Salesforce outlined during the announcement, but we’re sure the list will grow with each Salesforce release.

Commerce GPT Capabilities

We’re also getting a bunch of generative AI features for B2C companies that use Salesforce tools for commerce. These are especially cool because ecommerce customers can be a fickle bunch. Getting them exactly what they want when they want it makes all the difference.

Source: Salesforce

Here’s what Commerce GPT can do (so far):

  • Goals-Based Commerce | generally available Feb. 2024
    This is one of those a-ha tools for businesses with big growth goals. It unites Data Cloud, Einstein, and Flow to lay out everything commerce companies need to do to reach their goals. Users give it a goal, like increase average order value (AOV) by XX%, and it gives recommendations on how to get there.
  • Dynamic Product Descriptions | generally available July 2023
    Okay, so we’ve seen how serving up product recommendations based on customer preferences has shaken things up for commerce companies. But now we’re gonna be taking it even further by introducing dynamic copy capabilities for product descriptions. It could be a serious game changer.
  • Commerce Concierge | generally available Feb. 2024
    Not all of the Commerce GPT features are specifically for Salesforce users. Online shoppers can use Commerce Concierge to find what they need using language prompts across channels from online stores to SMS messaging.

Comments on generative AI + Salesforce from the peanut gallery

My two cents: My mind immediately goes to the content creation features of Marketing GPT. There is SO MUCH copywriting that goes into marketing. And we’ve seen a whole bunch of copywriting GPT tools pop up in the last year, like the free Stensul email toolkit or paid ones like GrammarlyGo. Some people are naysaying the tools in fear that they will replace copywriting jobs, but I don’t think that’s the case at all.

In my experience, leaner marketing teams rarely have dedicated copywriters. Those responsibilities are usually lumped into other marcom roles. I see the tools giving marketers the ability to edit copy instead of writing from scratch. Then, they can have bandwidth to dig deeper with their messaging and present higher quality work that hits their audience in the feels. And being able to do that inside Salesforce just sweetens the whole deal.

I opened the floor to my teammates about what they think about Marketing GPT and Commerce GPT, and here’s what they had to say.

Cate Godley

“I’m excited to see how Marketing GPT can help marketers to craft better subject lines and calls to action to increase engagement with content. There are so many ways to use generative AI to inspire creativity in our marketing efforts, and I can’t wait to see how people are using these tools in new and exciting ways.”

Courtney Cerniglia

“As marketers, we’re constantly asked what content is resonating most with customers, what action will increase likelihood to purchase, and how we identify our highest value leads. Marketing GPT is going to help prove our assumptions and give us the data in real-time, across platforms, so we can quickly pivot and personalize experiences for customers.”

Mike Creuzer

“There have been a few inflection points where human knowledge growth hockey sticked. Gutenberg press took centuries, computers took decades, the internet took years, and this generative AI appears to be taking… months?

According to the 2023 Connections Keynote, there were 1 million users in two months for ChatGPT (if I remember correctly).

We are at the start of the next great change in pace of human knowledge and communication.

2023 is the year where AI is no longer hidden away behind RFID badged doors and is widely available to EVERYBODY in a usable, general way.

In business, AI has been baked into the tools that we use for many years now. But it’s been a one trick pony. It’s now anything WE want it to be, not just what our vendors built.”

Continue the conversation 

What are your thoughts on Salesforce and generative AI? Any hot takes? Tell us about it in the comments, or reach out to team Sercante to see how the tools fit into your overall marketing and operations strategy.

Original article: Salesforce Announces Marketing GPT and Commerce GPT

©2023 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

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By |2023-06-08T19:17:37+00:00June 8th, 2023|Categories: Automations, Data Management, Emails & Forms, New Features, revive|

Salesforce Automation Game-Changer: Einstein GPT and Data Cloud Capabilities for Flow

In a move that extends beyond the chatbots used to formulate interview questions or write email subject lines, Salesforce is expanding automation capabilities by integrating Einstein GPT and Data Cloud with Salesforce Flow.

So, what does the announcement from Salesforce mean for marketers? 

Bringing Einstein GPT and Data Cloud capabilities into Salesforce Flow means marketers can use the automations to create impressive real-time experiences for customers. And they’ll accomplish that using clicks rather than coding skills.

It’s something that will make the tools easily scalable for Salesforce customers at every growth stage.

How and when can Salesforce customers access it?

The announcement actually involves two initiatives Salesforce is launching. The first is a tighter integration between Salesforce Data Cloud and Flow. And the second is the integration of Einstein GPT and Flow. 

According to John Kucera, senior vice president of product management at Salesforce, customers can use Flow currently with Salesforce database data. The integration updates between Data Cloud and Salesforce Flow are opening up the possibilities, and incorporating Einstein GPT is adding an efficiency edge to the technology. 

Kucera said the Einstein GPT capabilities will be available on an early adopter basis in early fall as part of the Salesforce Winter ‘24 release. He went on to say that the Data Cloud integration will probably be offered as part of a standard Salesforce subscription, and Einstein GPT for Flow may carry an additional charge once those details are worked out.

Einstein GPT and Data Cloud Capabilities

Salesforce introduced Einstein GPT in March 2023 as the world’s first generative AI CRM technology, which infuses proprietary Salesforce AI models with generative AI models from OpenAI and other large AI models. And Data Cloud takes customer data from any source inside or outside the Salesforce platform and harmonizes it in real time.

So what in the world does that mean for marketers?

That means marketers can use information from Data Cloud to generate content and build workflows via Einstein GPT. Since Data Cloud reacts to data changes in real time,  marketers can serve content that adapts dynamically and creates personalized experiences every time.

For example, a marketer could use Einstein GPT to generate an email with dynamic content blocks that update in real time when a Data Cloud field updates based on customer activity.

John Kucera said to SiliconANGLE, “You can give it a prompt such as ‘I want to create a guided workflow for a new customer or create a rule to follow up with an email to customers who haven’t responded in five days.”

Infusing Einstein GPT and Data Cloud with Salesforce Flow

The new integrations are going to turn things up a notch for marketers. Here’s what happens when we incorporate Salesforce Flow into the Einstein GPT and Data Cloud mix. 

What is Salesforce Flow?

Salesforce Flow is a declarative automation tool. It allows you to create complex automations inside the platform using clicks rather than code, so users can get in there without the need for developer skills.  

Marketers use Salesforce Flow for things like managing campaign activations, automating customer onboarding steps, or creating a custom task series for sales teams. 

How can marketers use Salesforce Flow with Einstein GPT and Data Cloud?

Using the Einstein GPT and Data Cloud integration alongside Salesforce Flow is changing the game for marketers who use the platform. That’s because marketers will be able to use conversational chatbots to automate complex workflows and trigger actions in real time.

Users and admins can describe the type of flow they want to build, and then they’ll sit back and watch the chatbot complete the tasks. Or, it can be used to build formulas or search for functions. It removes much of the manual and tedious work that goes into creating complex flows and automations.

Source: Salesforce

For example, a field in Marketing Cloud Engagement detects that a customer added items to their shopping cart, but they left the page without completing the purchase. That triggers an immediate email notification, created via generative AI, that goes to the customer and offers a discount code for them to complete the purchase.

In summary, the three benefits to marketers include: 

  • Reduced flow build time
  • Access to more options to automate with flow
  • Improved real-time personalization for customer interactions  

Get ready for generative AI inside your Salesforce org

We’re on the edge of our seats with anticipation for combining Einstein GPT with Salesforce Flow and Data Cloud capabilities. 

These technologies make us feel like we have a front row to the future of CRM and marketing automation. So, in the meantime, we’ll be thinking about all the ways we can use conversational AI to do all the things us busy marketers do. 

Have any aha use cases you’d like to share? How do you think Einstein GPT, Data Cloud, and Flow are going to work together in your org? Let us know in the comments! 

You can also drop us a line if you’re wondering how you can incorporate these tools into your marketing operations strategy.

Original article: Salesforce Automation Game-Changer: Einstein GPT and Data Cloud Capabilities for Flow

©2023 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

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By |2023-04-19T21:08:10+00:00April 19th, 2023|Categories: Automations, Industry News, New Features, Release Notes|

Salesforce Marketing Cloud Personalization (Interaction Studio): Implementation Methods

Salesforce Marketing Cloud Personalization (Interaction Studio) is a fantastic platform to add to your marketing toolset. But starting a Marketing Cloud implementation can be daunting, especially when it is as complex as Personalization. 

The following sections of this article will detail the implementation approaches available, provide indicative timelines and outline example use cases. However, if  you’re wanting to understand a little more about what the tool can offer, you can check out my last article – Salesforce Marketing Cloud Personalization (Interaction Studio): A Beginner’s Guide

SFMC Personalization Implementation Methods

With any platform like SFMC Personalization, which promises Real-Time Personalization and AI Recommendations, it’s easy to get carried away with what it can offer. However, the key takeaway from this article is that you should focus on what you and your company can achieve, which is particularly important given the tricky interdependencies you’ll face when implementing Personalization.

In a nutshell, the approaches vary from minimal viable product (MVP), where the goal is to implement a baseline as quickly as possible and then build upon it in future iterations, all the way to future-state implementation (FSI), where you depend on use cases to drive large-scale transformation. There is also a halfway house approach of implementing an As-Is, for those who may sit between the two methods above. 

Marketing Cloud Personalization Discovery Questions

Thankfully, understanding which method may suit your needs can be easily identified by answering a few simple discovery questions — as laid out by Salesforce in their Implementation of Marketing Cloud Personalization Trailhead

These helpful questions allow you to ascertain which method will best suit your needs, including: 

  • How often does your company change its website? 
  • Do you have easy access to developer resources? 
  • Are you migrating from an existing tool? 
  • Do other platforms need to be integrated? 

What you’ll find is: 

  1. MVP is great for companies making constant changes to their website, have easy access to developers, and are not migrating from an existing personalization platform. In other words, it’s a viable method for those who are perhaps new to real-time personalization. 
  2. As-Is is great for companies that don’t have immediate access to developers, are looking to migrate from one tool to another and have a few live personalization campaigns ready to migrate. 
  3. FSI is the preferred option for companies that less frequently change their website, have limited access to developers, are looking to integrate Personalization with multiple clouds (Marketing, Sales or Service), and have external data sources that need to be integrated. 

Marketing Cloud Personalization Implementation Roadmap

Obviously, the implementation roadmap will vary depending on the scope of your project and the implementation approach you’ve decided to use. However, there are some key milestones that will occur in all implementations, as shown in the diagram below, which is based on a typical net-new Personalization implementation with 2-3 use cases. 

Roadmap Diagram

From the diagram above, the two key milestones I’d pay the most attention to are the Use Case Discovery and the Blueprint Development

Regardless of the implementation method, defining a handful of clear and precise use cases before beginning the build is key to ensuring success. As mentioned, it’s easy to get caught up with the wide range of functionality Personalization offers. That’s why understanding the desired outcome is the most effective way of running a successful implementation and ensuring your company gets the most out of the platform. I’ll go on to share a few examples of good use cases later on. 

The blueprint document goes hand-in-hand with the sitemap — which is debatably the most crucial part of Personalization. The blueprint helps define which page categories exist, which triggers exist on those pages, what data can be scraped and where it can be scraped from (i.e. DOM vs Data-Layer) for each visit. 

Thankfully, to aid with your implementation, the Salesforce Partner Portal can provide a useful template that helps capture all of the information necessary to create your sitemap, and for implementing Personalization. The template covers everything from page types and content zones to events and attributes, and most importantly, where they can be found on your website to make it easier for the developers building the sitemap.  

Use Cases

Without sounding like a broken record, use cases can make or break a Personalization implementation. During my first implementation of Personalization, the goal I was given was to deliver Real-Time Web Personalization aka Personalization. 

There were no clear KPIs, the website was static and there was nothing to encourage returning visitors, and it made any experiences based on previous visits practically void. The end result was that our very expensive personalization engine sat on the shelf until we revisited the drawing board. 

Defining Your Use Cases

In order to avoid making my mistake, don’t be afraid to get granular with your use cases. Once established, it’s easier to build on top of existing use cases with future iterations. So really think about the following aspects when defining your use cases:

  1. Objective – What is it you’re trying to achieve with your personalization? Is it to increase the value per order? Or perhaps to encourage more users to download your app?
  2. KPIs – How are you going to measure the success of your personalization? Is it based on the number of successful completions? What percentage increase in order value would be considered successful? 
  3. Approach – Once you know what you’re trying to achieve, you then need to consider the approach. Is it based on visitors from a particular source (Rule-Based) or is it based on trending products (Recipe-based)?
  4. Measurement Approach – There’s no point in creating a personalized experience if there is no control to measure success. Consider what an adequate sample might look like and how long the campaign might last. 
  5. Channels – Is this going to be a web- or mobile-led campaign? 

There’s no right or wrong answer for use cases and it completely depends on your company’s objectives. But for a typical net-new implementation, 2-3 concise use cases similar to the ones below is a good starting point. 

Use Case Definition Example

Use Case  Approach Channels KPI Measurement Approach
Encourage users to complete the onboarding application Rules Based Web, Email No. clicks on CTA, no. applications started, no. applications completed 50% personalized, 50% control
Encourage mobile app downloads Rules Based Web, Mobile App, Email No. clicks on CTA, no. app downloads 50% personalized, 50% control

Once you’ve defined your use cases, keep referring back to them throughout the implementation and when developing your blueprint. The use cases will help keep your implementation focused on the end goal, and help your developers build a sitemap that will be fit for purpose. 

Planning is Key to a Successful SFMC Personalization Implementation

As you’ve probably gathered by now, successfully implementing Personalization is closely linked with planning. Defining clear and concise use cases as well as developing an accurate and detailed blueprint, both of which are milestones during the Discovery Phase, are imperative for a smooth implementation. This is true regardless of your chosen implementation method.  

As final food for thought, don’t forget to consider your implementation team. Being the tool that it is, Personalization implementations often begin in the marketing department as it’s the marketers who want real-time personalization capabilities. However, even large marketing teams with wide-ranging skill sets will not be able to deliver Personalization alone. 

The Personalization Sitemap will require JavaScript developers. Building ETLs will require support from data architects. CRM integration will require CRM administrators. And creating experiences, although there are ready-made templates, may also require HTML and CSS experts. So, consider including wider teams early on in the implementation. 

Not only will this help to ensure that those resources are available to support and understand the ask, but it may also help to define use cases that are more relevant and that are also technically viable.

Need help filling the gaps on your team through your Salesforce Marketing Cloud Personalization implementation? Reach out to team Sercante to get their experts on the case.

Original article: Salesforce Marketing Cloud Personalization (Interaction Studio): Implementation Methods

©2023 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

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By |2023-03-24T15:24:22+00:00March 24th, 2023|Categories: Automations, Marketing Cloud, Pro Tips, revive, Setup & Admin|

External Actions: The Long-Awaited Pardot Feature

Alas, Salesforce External Actions for Pardot is finally here.

Until now, our options to have Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (Pardot) trigger a third-party system have been limited to either: pre-existing connectors or syncing to Salesforce and relying on a Salesforce-side integration. 

With the Salesforce Winter ‘23 release, External Actions gives us the capability to integrate into any third-party system and do cool things. It’s a far cry from having true webhooks. Though, it is a step in the right direction. 

(We’ve built something to fill in the gap. Drop us a line — we’re happy to talk details with you).

Note: This feature is available to Plus, Advanced, and Premium editions of Pardot.

The Lowdown on External Actions for Pardot

External Action allows Pardot to do things like: 

  • Send an SMS message via Twilio or MogliSMS
  • Create a new Salesforce record (such as Lead, Opportunity, any Object!)
  • Send information to your favorite Star Wars API
  • Register a Prospect in another system
  • and whatever else you dream up! 

While there are some considerations (detailed later in this post), External Actions are a great way to plow through the barriers that have prevented you from automating your entire workflow. 

It’s important to note that there’s a similarly named feature called External Activities.  With Pardot External Activities, you can receive data from third-party systems to use in Pardot. With External Actions, you can send data to third-party systems so they can do cool things.

How does a Pardot External Action work?

Once an External Action is built, it will appear as an Action option in an Engagement Studio Program. Depending on the action, you may need to provide additional information through text inputs. You can use HML Merge Tags here, too!

When the Engagement Studio Program is running and hits your action, Pardot will call into Salesforce (via API behind the scenes), and call the functionality.  It does this in a “fire and forget” manner, so there’s no error handling inside your Engagement Studio Program. It is also not “bulkified,” meaning it will make an API call for EACH Prospect. So, you may need to take the API limits of Salesforce AND your external system into consideration.

For this blog post, we built an External Action that tracks Favorite Color. 

Once you pick “Track Favorite Color” you have the ability to provide a value. In the screenshot below, we are using HML to pull this value from a Prospect’s record, though you can also provide static text if you want to say everyone’s favorite color is Sercante Green.

How can I set up a Pardot External Action?

To set up an External Action, there are 2 key pieces:

  1. You need something in Salesforce that can “do the thing” you want. It can be any of the following:
    • Autolaunched Flow
    • External Service
    • APEX InvocableMethod
  2. Marketing App Extensions have been configured inside Salesforce Setup

No-code options to configure Pardot External Actions

If you are looking to integrate with a third-party system, you might luck out on #1 and be able to leverage something built by that third-party in their Salesforce package. This could be your quickest way to being able to use an External Action.

If this isn’t available for you, first look at seeing if you can make an Autolaunched Flow that can meet your needs. This option is also great for creating Salesforce Records of any object type (keeping in mind you are limited to text input types in Pardot).

When working with another API, and if that API supports the OpenAPI protocol, you can use Salesforce External Services to hook things up. That will give you everything you need.

 The Trailhead Module on External Services is a great way to learn how to get started.

Code option to get started with Pardot External Actions

If the above aren’t an option, it’s time to break out your development skills (or work with someone who has them). We’ve got a sample APEX class here that gives you all the structural ingredients you need to make this work, you just have to fill in what you want it to actually do.

public class MyNewExternalAction {

    // Classes to be used by the Flow Designer
    public class FlowRequest {
        @InvocableVariable(label='Prospect Email')
        public String email;
        @InvocableVariable(label='Favorite Color')
        public String favColor;
        // add any other String or number-based attributes you need

    // If you are calling an External API, this would be a great
    // place to put Classes to represent the response
    public class ApiResponse {

    @InvocableMethod(callout=true label='My New External Action')
    public static void performActions(List<FlowRequest> flowRequests) {
        System.debug('Start performActions');
        // at time of writing, Pardot DOES NOT BATCH these, it's always 1
        // per batch
        FlowRequest flowRequest = flowRequests.get(0);
        System.Http http = new System.Http();

        try {
            // This is where you put what you want to do!
            // you can call another API, call other APEX
            // read & write Salesforce Objects.. Whatever you want

        } catch (Exception e) {
            System.debug('There was an issue executing the request');
            throw e;
        System.debug('Done performActions');

Once you have the functionality ready, you need to tell Pardot about it. This is done by configuring Marketing App Extensions inside Salesforce Setup.

Configuring the Marketing App Extensions

This is the “glue” that ties everything together and makes External Actions usable by Pardot. There are a few easy things to configure to make this “glue” work.

First, we need the Top-Level Marketing App Extension. Be careful with these, as you cannot delete them once created (so don’t go making a bunch of test records!).

  1. In Salesforce Setup, search for Marketing App Extensions
  2. If you don’t have one, create New
    • Provide an Extension Name and an API Name, as well as check “Active in Automations”
    • Click Save

Next, we need to enable this for Business Unit(s).

  1. With the Extension still open, go to the Related tab
  2. Click New beside Business Unit Assignments
  3. Add an assignment for each Business Unit you want this extension to be available for

Now we can create the External Action.

  1. With the Extension still open, go to the Related tab
  2. Click New beside Actions
  3. Provide an Action Name (this will be the name visible when selecting it from Engagement Studio)
  4. Provide an API Name (this does not auto-fill like you may be used to)
  5. (Recommended) Provide a description of what this Action does, since you might not remember in three months
  6. Search for your functionality. Once selected, the Action Schema will auto fill with JSON that you need to review and likely modify
  7. Review & Modify the Action Schema
    • Properties – this contains details about the parameters/values that you want to provide to the Automation.
      • type:  currently can only be “string” and “number”
      • title: the Label of the input when viewing in Engagement Studio
      • value: Allows you to provide a default value. You can use HML merge tags here!
      • Note: Sometimes when working with Flows, you might have properties that are not relevant (like flow interview id). You should remove them from Properties (assuming they aren’t an input variable that your flow requires to function)
    • View Components – this allows you to specify which properties you want to provide inputs for in Engagement Studio. Currently, definition should always be “lightning/control” and “scope” should always point to one of the properties
    • Required – a list of properties that would be required from within Engagement Studio
  8. Action Params auto fills, no changes needed
  9. When you are ready to have this available in Pardot, check the Active in Automations box.

Here’s what it would look like for our sample APEX class above. Note that we’ve chosen to only display the favorite color field in the Engagement Studio, though we are passing the Prospect’s email behind the scenes.

Save the Action and, after a few moments, it will be available for testing!

Can I use an External Action to do things in Pardot?

Imagine being able to take action on another Prospect record from an Engagement Studio Program! While not natively available within the platform, you could build this when combining External Actions with our Free package Flow Actions for Pardot. After setting up the package, you would only need to configure the Marketing App Extension to have any of our Flow Actions available as an External Action.

Create Unified Experiences with Pardot External Activities

External Actions are available with the Winter ‘23 release. These Actions, as well as External Activities, allow Marketers to automate across platforms for a more unified experience. 

How do you plan on using these features to better automate your processes? Tell us in the comments!

Original article: External Actions: The Long-Awaited Pardot Feature

©2022 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

The post External Actions: The Long-Awaited Pardot Feature appeared first on The Spot.

By |2022-10-13T14:36:51+00:00October 13th, 2022|Categories: API & Integration, Automations, New Features, Release Notes|

Get Ready for MCAE (Pardot) Conditional Completion Actions

Conditional Completion actions are coming to Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (Pardot)! And they’re a game changer for adding complexity to completion actions on your marketing assets.

This has been a long awaited request in the IdeaExchange. So, we’re ecstatic to see it finally come to fruition.

Note: This feature is not currently available in production. Conditional Completion actions will be rolled out during the Summer ’22 release (May 21st – June 11th) and this blog will be updated as we get access to this feature. Stay tuned!

What are Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (Pardot) completion actions?

Pardot Completion Actions allow you to add follow up automations to most Pardot assets such as forms, landing pages, files, custom redirects, etc. 

These actions trigger after someone interacts with the asset such as a click or form fill. Pardot Admins and Marketing Users can configure which actions they want Pardot to trigger after the fact. 

Completion actions include:

  • Add Tags
  • Add To List
  • Add to Salesforce Campaign
  • Adjust Score
  • Adjust Score For Scoring Category
  • Assign Prospect via Salesforce Active Assignment Rule
  • Assign To Queue
  • Change prospect custom field value
  • Change prospect default field value
  • Create Salesforce task
  • Increment prospect field value
  • Notify assigned user
  • Notify user
  • Notify user via Twilio (phone)
  • Register for webinar
  • Remove from list
  • Remove tags
  • Send autoresponder email
  • Set profile
  • Set prospect’s first touch campaign

Currently, you can add as many of these as you see necessary. But keep in mind, they trigger on ALL Prospects that interact with the asset. Conditional completion actions are changing that. 

As Pardot stands today, other automation features, such as Engagement Studios and Automation Rules, can provide ways to conditionally process prospects. However, these automations have limits, and using multiple assets per form fill, link click, etc., can bog down your system. 

With Conditional Completion actions, you will be able to perform all the desired actions right from the asset setup page.  

What are Pardot conditional completion actions?

Welcome conditional completion actions! 

Conditional completion actions add complex logic to your existing or new completion actions on your Pardot assets.

Essentially, you are able to create logic similar to dynamic lists or automations rules (or Salesforce Reports) that follow this pattern:

Before: Upon engagement (click/form fill), then trigger Y
New: Upon engagement (click/form fill) look to see if X = Value; then trigger Y

You can still do regular completion actions that apply to ALL Prospects who engage with the asset in specific ways, but now we will be able to create conditional actions as well. 

Below is an example of what you can expect to see in your account when the feature is released later this summer:

This feature will be available on Lightning list emails, forms, form handlers, files, custom redirects and page actions.

You can read more about it here and watch a quick demo, courtesy of Salesforce, here.

How are conditional completion actions different from normal completion actions?

In terms of functionality, there isn’t much of a difference between regular and conditional completion actions — they look at an action and then apply the necessary follow-up actions. 

However, in terms of usage, conditional completion actions add complexity to the existing completion actions by allowing for criteria in addition to a click or form fill to decide if the action should be completed or not. 

This allows marketers to create branches and manage different types of Prospects differently in Pardot.

Are there any limits or requirements to conditional completion actions?

Lucky for everyone, these actions will be available to everyone upon its release date.

We have identified the following limitations (that could change with further releases):

  • No conditional actions based on list membership
  • No conditional actions on classic email builder list emails (only available in the new Email Lightning Builder)
  • Limit of up to 6 conditional groups per asset (plus your standard completion actions)
  • Limit of up to 15 conditional group actions across all conditional groups per asset

We won’t have a concrete list of limits until this feature goes live, so stay tuned for updates!

What Pardot conditional completion use cases that I can look forward to?

First things first, this particular section will be updated post-release with additional information and screenshots. For now, we are basing these scenarios on existing completion action functionality. So, proceed with caution!

UTM-Based Lead Sources

Reporting on where your online website traffic is coming from is more important now than ever. For many organizations, being able to distinguish between sources of ads and beyond continues to be a hot topic. 

At Sercante, we support our customer’s UTM tracking via custom hidden fields on their forms. Now with conditional completion actions, leveraging these UTM’s real-time to update Lead Source should be easier than ever!

Standard Lead Routing

Nothing magical here, aside from the fact that you can fit multiple territories/region/product assignment criteria into a single form. Previously, this would require multiple automations or a little support from Salesforce to route accordingly. 

If you are interested in learning about how to manage Lead Routing in Pardot, check out my presentation from ParDreamin’!

Block Competitors

For those in industry segments with few players (we know everyone in the ocean), you may find it difficult to exclude competitors currently in Pardot (before they enter Pardot). 

If you have a field that identifies your Prospects as a competitor (email or company for example) you can decide not to send them the email with your latest e-book or asset. This would save you time and effort from setting up individual automation or even using JavaScript.

Streamlined Campaign Management

During ParDreamin 2021, I discussed how you can streamline your asset delivery processes by creating custom fields and leveraging HML, Dynamic Content, and Snippets in the process. Although this is great to reduce the number of assets in the overall process of delivering content, you still need 1 automation rule per asset to update campaign membership. 

By capturing the page title or asset name into a hidden field, you can then leverage this field to add the person to the correct Salesforce Campaign on each form — up to 6 branches (conditional groups). 

This would reduce the number of forms you need to set up overall. 

Multiple Link Click Options For List Emails

One of the most frustrating experiences currently is having an email with more than one CTA and having to pick between “any link” or “specific link” clicks. This feature would allow you to do this with up to 6 different links (we have not seen conditional actions on list emails yet). 

This function would only be available in the Lightning Email Builder and not for the Classic Email Builder. 

Extending The Power of Webinar Connectors

This directly speaks about WebEx and GoToWebinar products. 

Many B2B organizations have webinar series where they would love for people to register for multiple webinars at the same time. As of today, you either had to use (3) automation rules and a custom field, or (3) separate forms as Pardot does not allow for multiple registrations (using Pardot forms).

An alternative to creating multiple automation rules is to use Javascript here, but the hope is that conditional completion actions provide a no-code alternative. 

With this conditional completion actions feature, you can skip setting up the automation across the platform, thus requiring less work and a central location for it all!

Supercharge Your ABM Strategy

Leverage account types or build a new field called “Account Tier” to signal which accounts need the “white glove treatment.” 

Using conditional completion actions, then create custom Slack notifications, User notifications, or User tasks immediately after these Prospects complete their forms. 

In addition, you can also update a custom field such as “Prioritization”  to increase their prioritization in Views in Salesforce. This would be an excellent companion to the Einstein Key Account Identification feature for those on Pardot’s Advance tier or higher.

Imagine the possibilities for conditional completion actions

As a consultant, I am very much looking forward to streamlining automations for my customers by leveraging conditional completion actions in their organizations in the near future. 

If you need to strategize how to leverage this feature in your organization, or you just want to brainstorm ideas, contact us here!

Original article: Get Ready for MCAE (Pardot) Conditional Completion Actions

©2022 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

The post Get Ready for MCAE (Pardot) Conditional Completion Actions appeared first on The Spot.

By |2022-05-23T20:48:10+00:00May 23rd, 2022|Categories: Automations, New Features, Release Notes, revive|