Dreamforce Session Recap: Winter ’24 Marketing Cloud Release Highlights

Dreamforce 2023 has come and gone, and wow, it did not disappoint. Not only was this my first Dreamforce, I had the honor of co-presenting the Marketing Cloud Release Highlights session with two amazing members of Salesforce product team:  Ruth Bolster, product marketing manager, and Whitni Freeman, lead solution engineer.

In this session, we covered key Winter ’24 release highlights across each of the Marketing Cloud products:

  • Data Cloud
  • Intelligence
  • Engagement
  • Account Engagement 
  • Personalization

Here’s a recap of the Marketing Cloud Winter ‘24 release features covered…

Highlight #1: Segment Intelligence (Data Cloud)

Source: Salesforce

A new Data Cloud for Marketing feature, Segment Intelligence connects and harmonizes customer and marketing performance data — like revenue data, first party data, as well as paid media data — so you can understand how your segments are interacting with your marketing.

Using out of the box dashboards, you can see how segments are performing across channels, and gives you an executive understanding of how segments are performing across channels.

Plus, you can use Einstein to optimize existing segments, or create new ones based on performance data.

With all that data in one place this allows marketers to have a more holistic view of how segments are doing, without being bogged down by time consuming data management and reconciliation. And having those insights to optimize channel performance by segment – that level of visibility and adaptability means more impactful and relevant marketing campaigns, which leads to better marketing ROI. 

And the built in dashboards and connections means that marketers can get started right away!

This feature will be available for select customers starting in October, and will be available to all customers later this winter. 

Highlight #2: AI-Powered Segment Creation (Data Cloud)

Source: Salesforce

Another Winter ‘24 feature for Data Cloud for Marketing is Segment Creation. Powered by Einstein, this allows marketers to build complex segments using a descriptive prompt. 

So, for example, I can just tell Einstein “Big spenders in North America who made a purchase in the last 3 months and love hiking”, and it will generate the segment for me, showing what that segment looks like, and the attributes used.  

This means that marketers can build their segments without having to be a data scientist to do it. Being able to pull data based on specific criteria has often required technical knowledge of the data model to know where to look, and SQL skills to query the data to know how to access it. This feature will allow marketers to be more self-sufficient to get the data they need when they need it. 

This will be Generally Available in October for Data Cloud Customers.

Highlight #3: Intelligence GA4 Connector (Intelligence)

Source: Salesforce

As of Winter ‘24, Marketing Cloud Intelligence will have a built-in GA4 connector and pre-defined data sets available to ingest GA4 data. Marketing data is the foundation of Marketing Cloud Intelligence. Its data models, dashboards and guidance are built for marketers. There are already more than 100 native connectors available, and now with GA4 data connector this is a natural addition to the platform to have relevant marketing data in one place.

How this will work: When setting up data streams, GA4 properties will appear under the ‘Website’ dropdown. These new properties will be supported in API connectors as well as Marketplace apps.

Marketplace apps will replace previous UA 360 websites and support the new GA4 web properties, dimensions, and other fields for data retrieval. 

One thing to keep in mind: Due to the differences between GA4 and UA properties, the new connector will pull different, yet very similar, datasets into the platform when the GA4 property is selected, so your visualization may need to be tweaked when setting up the data stream for the first time. Marketplace will discontinue support of UA360 properties after the GA4 support begins. 

Highlight #4: Trigger Action on GA4 Data (Engagement)

Source: Salesforce

Marketing Cloud Engagement has some goodies in the Winter ‘24 Release as well. The first is Google Analytics 4 Integration, which lets marketers activate journeys based on Google Analytics 4 segments and events.

This new integration will include two key features in one:

  • Visual dashboards embedded within Engagement reporting so that marketers can see real time impact on revenue, AOV, and conversion metrics. 
  • Audience activation, which allows marketers to create engagement and re-engagement campaigns based on customer interactions using that GA4 data.
    • So for example, if you had a customer that viewed your product pages for backpacks and hiking boots, then abandon the session, you can use audience activation to trigger an abandoned browse journey.  This also allows you to get cross-channel insights across mobile, web, and email.

There is a fully paid version which includes both Reporting and Audience Activation.  There is also a free version that will feature the Reporting feature only.

Highlight #5: AI-Powered Email Content Creation  (Engagement)

Source: Salesforce

AI is coming to Marketing Cloud Engagement with Email Content Creation, including Typeface partnership!

Marketers can set up and specify personalities with brand voice and tone, and using natural language prompts can get draft ideas on subject, body copy and images. With the ability to give feedback on what works and what doesn’t this lets the model learn and improve over time.  

Marketers can consider this a tool to help them get a first draft in place. They still have control over the content throughout. They’re given choices based on their prompts, which they can use, like or dislike. 

That human element and judgment is a crucial part of the whole process.

Content Creation will be available in Marketing Cloud Engagement this October, and it is currently scheduled to be in Marketing Cloud Account Engagement next February

Highlight #6: Transfer Assets from Sandbox to Production (Account Engagement)

Source: Salesforce

Speaking of Account Engagement… With the Summer ‘23 Release  we saw the ability to move assets between business units, which is fantastic! But that still left a gap with sandboxes. Anyone that has used Salesforce sandboxes has been used to building and promoting configurations, and unfortunately that hasn’t been possible with Account Engagement sandboxes, which has been painful to work around. Any assets built in a sandbox had to be built again in production, which is of course time-consuming and also prone to error if something is missed.

In the Winter ’24 release, marketers can now copy assets from sandbox to production using Salesforce Flow. After installing the flow on your campaign, all you need to do is select your sandbox environment and your production environment, select your assets, and then copy it over. And this supports 8 asset types, including email templates, dynamic content, form handlers, custom redirects, custom fields, landing pages, and more.  

This allows for a more useful Account Engagement sandbox, to perform all asset testing and avoid conflicts – and all that test data – when trying to build in production. Not to mention saving time because you won’t have to build assets multiple times. You can even use this to set up a QA process, giving a subset of users access to build in the Sandbox only and then have another subset of users review the assets and push them to production when approved.

This was first mentioned in Erin Duncan’s post on Winter ‘23 Highlights for Account Engagement. 

Highlight #7: Real-Time Event Stream (Personalization)  

Source: Salesforce

With Winter ‘24 Release, Personalization will now include Real Time Customer Event Stream, a Lightning component that can be added to record pages, giving users a real-time view of the marketing assets that a lead or contact has interacted with. 

This gives sales and service teams better insight into the types of content their customers have been engaging with. They can then have more relevant and informed conversations with them about their current needs and interests, and provide a better overall customer experience.

Learn more about the Marketing Cloud release highlights

If you want to learn more about the Marketing Cloud release features covered, here are a few resources:

What do you think about these Marketing Cloud release highlights? Let us know in the comments.

Original article: Dreamforce Session Recap: Winter ’24 Marketing Cloud Release Highlights

©2023 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

The post Dreamforce Session Recap: Winter ’24 Marketing Cloud Release Highlights appeared first on The Spot.

By |2023-09-18T21:08:09+00:00September 18th, 2023|Categories: Marketing Cloud, New Features, Pardot, Release Notes, Salesforce Marketing Cloud|

Audience Segmentation Strategies for Salesforce Marketers

As a marketing administrator within Salesforce, it is essential to understand your audiences and create a winning audience segmentation strategy. Without segmenting your audience, you will target the same group of people each time. That can lead to increasing opt-outs, spam, and a direct impact on your sending reputation. 

The goal of sending mass emails is to target the right audience so you provide value to the people who are likely to interact with your brand. And that’s exactly what audience segmentation accomplishes. 

Use these strategies to segment your audience so you can deliver the right marketing messages to the right groups of people every time — no matter if you’re a Salesforce Marketing Cloud Engagement or Account Engagement user.

Audience Segmentation Strategies for Marketers Who Use Salesforce

Whether you are a Marketing Cloud Engagement (A.K.A. SFMC) Administrator or an Account Engagement (Pardot) Administrator, fundamental principles apply across the board when it comes to audience segmentation. 

Below are tactics you can use within Salesforce Marketing Cloud Engagement and Account Engagement. 

Who is actively engaging with your brand?

Use web tracking, social, and ads to learn how visitors interact with your brand. You can compile a group of individuals to target based on clicks, form completions, and pages visited. 

For example, if you have a visitor who clicks an ad on social media and is taken to your website, where they download the content that you promised them with your ad, you can make the assumption that the visitor is interested in that product.

What preferences do your customers share?

Let’s say you are sending an invitation for an upcoming webinar. Segment your target audience based on previous ad clicks, webinar attendees, or downloaded resources. By building an audience list based on shared preferences, you will see an increase in webinar registrations and attendance.  

For example, look at the specific campaigns you’ve launched in the past. Think about how you can categorize the products or services that were the main focus. Maybe you had a marketing campaign to drive awareness about a product that would result in a one-time and low-cost purchase. And you had another campaign advertising a product that requires a high-cost ongoing purchase. The people who engaged with the high-cost product but didn’t necessarily purchase the item may be good candidates for a segmentation list that includes people with bigger budgets to potentially spend.

Who are you actively targeting to attain as a new customer?

If you could create a map of ideal customers, what attributes would they share? Is it a specific set of companies? Perhaps, it’s a specific product or service you can provide them? 

Decide on those attributes and build your segmentation strategy and buyer personas. Target this audience and help sales close the deals on your ideal customer.

Which individuals have expressly subscribed to what topics?

Take advantage of your Email Preference Center. You can create targeted campaigns that run on an ongoing basis and continue to nurture your target audience based on their expressed interests. 

Ensure that your Email Preference Center offers a variety of targets, including product interests and types of communication. For example, the Sercante Email Preference Center allows email subscribers to sign up for only emails related to the services that interest them, like Salesforce consulting, integrations, or training.

Suppress individuals based on a subset of criteria

Counterintuitive to who you want to target with your email marketing, who do you want to ignore? Considering who you don’t want to receive a message from is as important as who should receive it. There will likely be a default suppression list, including competitors, employees, spam, etc., but you may also want to create specific one-off suppression lists too, such as email frequency or inactive customers.

Account Engagement (Pardot) Audience Segmentation Best Practices

Now that you have a few ideas on strategy, let’s talk about building segmentation within Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (Pardot) . Let’s review the list creation options and the different ways to add Prospects. Keep in mind, there may be times when you use multiple list types for a single send.

Static Prospect Lists

Static lists are controlled by you, the administrator. You set the rules and criteria for who joins and comes off the list. There are several ways to add to a static list, both manual and automated. 


The most common way for building a static list is via prospect imports. When importing, you have the option to import via CRM ID or Email. If the list has existing prospects, you want to import via CRM ID. If they are brand new prospects, use the import via email option. 

Within the import wizard, you will be given the option to add to a list via an existing list or by creating a new list. Once complete, review the import report for the total number of prospects created or updated.

Table Actions

Adding a subset of prospects that already exist within Pardot can be done via Table Actions

To add a subset using Table Actions, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to your prospect table.
  2. Set your filters, such as view and creation time frame.
  3. Check the boxes of those you want to add to the static list
  4. Use the table action at the bottom of the table and “Add to List.”

Public Lists

Public Lists can be created as dynamic or static, but most default to static and are controlled by the Email Preference Center. These lists are subscribed to directly by the Prospect. Individual Prospects are able to subscribe and unsubscribe as they see fit based on their preferences.

Completion Actions

The “Add to List” completion action exists on most Pardot assets, including forms, form handlers, files, custom redirects, emails, and page actions. Completion Actions include both standard and conditional and allow you to set specific parameters when adding to a list. 

Automation Rules

An automation rule is criteria-based. You can set multiple criteria pertaining to a Prospect by using “Match All” and/or “Match Any” statements. Based on this criteria, you then set an action, such as “Add to list,” which will populate a static list. 

The good thing about using an automation rule to populate your static lists is that they are retroactive, so they will collect past and present matches and take action on them.

Dynamic Prospect Lists

Similar to automation rules, dynamic lists are criteria-based. Unlike static lists, these are outside of your control. 

Once you set the criteria, the list will automatically add or remove prospects based on that criteria. These lists cannot be manually manipulated.

Campaign Membership

While there are several settings and criteria you can use to create dynamic lists, one of the most popular strategies is to build lists based upon campaign membership. This is especially beneficial when collaborating with sales teams. 

If your sales team is adding Leads and Contacts to Salesforce Campaigns, perhaps based on a recent trade show, you can build a dynamic list in Pardot based on that campaign membership.

Marketing Cloud Engagement Segmentation Best Practices

Lastly, let’s look at how to best create segments in Marketing Cloud Engagement. Subscriber data can come from many different sources into Marketing Cloud and can be stored in two ways: 

  1. Lists
  2. Data Extensions


A List is a collection of your subscribers. Lists are best used when you have a small dataset (500,000 or fewer subscribers) that you need to manage quickly and efficiently. 

Lists share a format with your All Subscribers table and typically include Email Address, Subscriber Key, Status and any profile attributes you have created in your account. 

Creating a List

To create a List:

  1. Navigate to the Subscribers tab within Email Studio.
  2. Within the My Lists folder structure, you can click ‘Create’ at the top right of the page to create a new List, assigning a name, external key, description, and placing the list in any folder you have created. 

Once the list is created, it can be populated by manual or automated import.


A Group is a filtered list. Creating a Group allows you to build a subset of subscribers from a list based on rules or by splitting list subscribers by count or percentage of the total list being filtered.  

The rules used to build a Group can be saved as a Data Filter, which can be used to automate the process to refresh membership in your group.

Creating a Group

To create a Group:

  1. Navigate to the Subscribers tab within Email Studio
  2. Within the My Groups folder structure, you can click ‘Create’ at the top right of the page to create a new group. 
  3. Select whether the group you are creating is a Filtered Group or Random Group, then select the source List. 
  • When creating a Filtered Group, drag any attributes or measures from the left side panel to the canvas and define the filter criteria. 
  • To create a Random Group, after selecting Random Group and your source list, click ‘Add Group’ to add as many random splits as needed to get the desired number of random segments.
  1. Once your filters or splits have been properly configured, click ‘Save & Build’ to create and populate your groups. 

Once created, unless automated using a data filter, Groups need to be refreshed manually to be up-to-date.

Data Extensions

Data Extensions are more complex than lists and offer greater flexibility in managing contact data. While lists can only contain Subscriber information, Data Extensions are more flexible and can contain relational data. 

Data Extensions data can be filtered in a similar fashion to Groups, and can also be combined with or filtered by data in other Data Extensions using SQL activities in Automation Studio.

Creating a Data Extension

Follow these steps to create a data extension:

  1. On the Subscribers tab in Email Studio, select a folder within the Data Extensions folder and then click ‘Create’ at the top right. 
  2. Here, you select which type of Data Extension you want to create. Standard Data Extensions require you to define the fields of your Data Extension. 
  3. After defining the name and data retention policy for your data extension, you must define the fields in the table, choosing from several data types, including Text, Date, Number, and Boolean. You can also set the length and default value for each field. 
  4. Once you have defined all fields needed in your Data Extension, click ‘Create’ to finalize your Data Extension. 

This Data Extension can now be populated by manual or automated file imports, API calls, SQL Query activities, or AMPScript.

Filtered and Random data extensions function in much the same way as Groups. Filtered Data Extensions require selection of a source Data Extension, then definition of any filter criteria. Random Data Extensions will produce a number of data extensions of randomly split rows based on the number of splits defined in the setup.

Go forth and segment your audience like a Salesforce marketing pro

Marketing Cloud offers multiple routes to implementing segmentation and audience targeting, regardless of platform. By taking into consideration your audience personas, incorporating key email marketing segmentation strategies, and applying the correct segmentation tools, you will be able to spread brand awareness swiftly.
Have any cool stories of marketing segmentation success? Tell us in the comments. Or reach out to the team at Sercante to get help with your audience segmentation strategy.

Thank you to Zachary Norman for contributing to this post!

Original article: Audience Segmentation Strategies for Salesforce Marketers

©2023 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

The post Audience Segmentation Strategies for Salesforce Marketers appeared first on The Spot.

By |2023-06-06T15:33:16+00:00June 6th, 2023|Categories: Data Management, Emails & Forms, Marketing Cloud, Pardot, Pro Tips, revive, Strategy|

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|

5 Next-Level Tips for Your Lead Nurture Program

Lead nurturing programs play a critical role in the sales process. That’s because nurtured leads have a shorter sales cycle and generate more sales-ready leads at a significantly lower cost. Luckily for you, the Marketing Cloud platform has extensive capabilities to create a sophisticated, multi-channel, automated lead nurturing program.

Here are five tips to take your lead nurture program to the next level utilizing the best of breed marketing automation capabilities in Salesforce Marketing Cloud.

Tip 1: Put lead scoring and grading to work

With Marketing Cloud, you have lots of options for lead scoring. 

This is especially true with the Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (Pardot) platform. The lead scoring and grading that comes out of the box has endless capability and flexibility.

Check out this blog post for a deeper dive into lead scoring and grading in Pardot.

But we’re going to focus on lead scoring and grading in Marketing Cloud Engagement here.

Marketing Cloud Engagement (SFMC) Users

If your Marketing Cloud setup doesn’t use the Account Engagement platform, there are other third-party resources that can provide both lead and account ranking scoring.

Third-party lead scoring and grading tools

SalesWings provides an easy to install, cost effective solution to deliver real-time lead scoring based on web activity and other factors. Once installed you can visually see a predictive score of Hot, Warm or Cold based on a wide variety of criteria right in the platform.

SalesWings Sales Console

And don’t forget to consider account-based ranking as well. Utilizing platforms like Demandbase you can take the lead ranking to the next level by understanding how that account or company converts. For example, Demandbase can provide key stats like number of engaged people, sales touches all bubbling up to a tier ranking to help add additional color to your ranking system.

Demandbase dashboard

Tip 2: Use CASE function to simplify rankings

This one is for Marketing Cloud Engagement (SFMC) users. If you have multiple scoring variables like a lead and account ranking, utilize the CASE SQL function in your automation to consolidate rankings into one simple rank.

The multiple scoring variables could be generated from third-party platforms like Saleswings/Demandbase or internally through a custom lead/account scoring process.

Take this example below on how you could approach taking the two rankings and determining one combined ranking of Hot, Warm and Cold.

To execute this in Marketing Cloud Engagement Automation Studio, use the CASE function to do the IF/THEN (or in this case WHEN/THEN) to populate the “Lead_Ranking_Simple” field in the Journey data extension with the combined ranking.

If you are not comfortable with SQL check out the DESelect application where you can quickly and easily create this custom relationship without having any SQL knowledge.

 Source: DeSelect

Note: For more information on how to use the CASE statement in a variety of ways, check out Mateusz Dabrowski’s site, which goes into great detail on this function.

Tip 3: Focus on essential lead nurture journey functionality

There are three essential activities or areas of functionality in Journey Builder: 

  1. The entry event
  2. The decision split
  3. Object activity

Focusing on these areas will have the greatest impact on the overall performance and scalability of your automation solutions. 

Note: Read this blog post from Kirsten Schlau for more info about using Journey Builder.

The Entry Event

Here’s a typical lead nurture journey in Marketing Cloud Engagement where you can see these activities in action. Let’s take a closer look at the most important of these three activities, the Entry Event.

The Entry Event functionality determines the list of contacts  who will enter the Journey. It’s the start of any journey and determines the capability of all functions that follow. A poorly set up entry event will limit functionality and cause problems down the road so spend your time to ensure a proper set up.

Let’s take a look at the two most populated entry event types: 

  1. Data Extension
  2. Salesforce Data Entry Event

Data Extension Entry Event is the most commonly used version. In this variation typically a SQL query based automation is running behind the scenes pulling in leads from synchronized data extensions based on a variety of filter criteria across multiple objects.


The advantage to using a Data Extension Entry Event is the flexibility and complete customization of the subscriber segments to be pulled into the journey.


The disadvantage is you are limited by the minimum 15-minute sync timeframe of records from the Salesforce CRM environment. So the fastest you’ll be able to enter in a subscriber based on Salesforce data is once every 15 minutes. Another small disadvantage is this entry event requires your team to be comfortable with SQL and it creates a separate marketing automation asset to support.

Another popular option is the Salesforce Data Entry Event which pulls in any object that has a contact, lead or user to be used as a subscriber for sending.


Advantages of this entry event is that it’s pretty close to real time (1-2 minutes). As soon as a lead is created or updated based on the criteria designated, the subscriber will enter the journey. This option is also easier to support as it eliminates the need for the automation solution working in the background.

Disadvantages to this event is that you are limited by the filter settings in this entry event setup. If your filtering criteria involves multiple fields across multiple objects a SQL based automation fed entry event might be the better path.

Tip 4: One-to-one content personalization

Here are three ways to deliver a 1-to-1 customization of your journey content utilizing Content Builder functionality and simple ampscript and HTML coding.

First method – Personalization of subscriber values

In each email send you can populate an unlimited number of data about your subscriber in data extensions. To leverage those data points in the content simply add %% before and after the data point. 

For example to render the first name in the subject line:

Enter in %%FirstName%% right in the subject line block:

Or if you’re not sure what the exact data point is called or the exact format you can use click on the Personalization Icon in your editor toolbar.

Second Method – Dynamic Content Blocks

Utilize out-of-the-box functionality in Content Builder to vary entire sections of content in an email using Dynamic Content Blocks.

In this example, the focus of the email content changes based on the product selected by each lead indicated on the lead record. 

The end user will see custom content in the email:

Dynamic Content Block Example

In Content Builder, first create separate content blocks for each product featuring a photo and copy points. Then drag over a dynamic content block onto your email canvas.

And follow the steps to (1) select a default content to appear and (2) content variations based on the data coming from the lead object. In this case, if the “Product__c” field contains “401K” or “Credit Card Processing,” then the content will change.

Third Method – Custom links

Utilize ampscript and HTML to create custom links that add value to the recipient.

In this example, we’re creating a hot lead notification that will be sent to the owner of the lead. We’re populating this email with all the relevant data points in the data extension using the %% functionality mentioned above. We also have custom links so that when the lead owner clicks on the link it will take them right into the Salesforce CRM environment.

To execute this type of functionality utilize ampscript inside of the email content in the following approach:

  1. Set your Lead ID variable based on the field value in the send data extension.
  2. Use the CONCAT function to pull in the remaining part of the standard Salesforce lead record url.
  3. The first part of the Lead url.
  4. The variable set above.
  5. The last part of the Lead url.

And then to make the link clickable utilize a standard A Tag in HTML combined with the RedirectTo ampscript function.

Tip 5: Notify sales of hot leads in multiple ways ways

Marketing Cloud Engagement has a variety of options to creatively notify sales right in the Salesforce CRM platform through tasks and or sending highly personalized “Hot Lead” emails as mentioned above. 

Let’s walk through utilizing the Object Activity in Journey Builder to either create or update records in the Salesforce CRM environment, in this example creating custom tasks.

Select the Object Activity and select the task

(1) Select “Task” in the search and (2) select Task. You’ll want to “Create New” task.

Then (1) Fill in all required fields and utilize the data binding functionality to personalized fields where necessary.

For a higher complexity of field personalization (2) utilize what is called “data binding” in the Journey Builder UI to personalize each task and pull in the lead rank score.

To grab these “data bindings” for any variable to personalize follow these steps:

Step 1. Create your subject line defining the variables that will be brought in to personalize: “Attention!, you have a HOT Rank lead for Company: XYZ”

Step 2. In a separate document like in Notepad, create a template for the subject line identifying each of the variables needed to populate in your variable code.

Step 3. Select the Subject field in the Task.

Step 4. To create the handle bar “data binding” code for the lead score variable (1) Select the Journey Data dropdown, (2) Select the variable and (3) the handle bar code will appear in the subject.

Step 5. Copy the code and paste it into your notepad. Repeat the process for the Company and any other variable to be personalized. 

The syntax in the Notepad should look like the following:

Step 6. Copy this line of code and paste it into the Subject Line space and Save.

When you generate a task it should look something like this:

Step 7. Paste this syntax into the Subject field to populate a custom 1-to-1 subject that will help the Sales team cut through the clutter in all their tasks. 

Here’s an example of documentation on “data bindings” in this blog article from Rafal Wolsztyniak titled SFMC Tips and Tricks Challenge. You’ll need to scroll through the article as it covers a variety of tips. 

Start Nurturing Leads Like a Salesforce Pro

Hopefully this article has given you a few tips on how to take your lead nurture programs to the next level in the Salesforce Marketing Cloud Engagement platform.

There are limitless possibilities in this platform, and we’re all eager to learn and improve our programs. Please share any discoveries you find as you explore ways to build successful automation solutions for nurturing sales leads.

Original article: 5 Next-Level Tips for Your Lead Nurture Program

©2023 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

The post 5 Next-Level Tips for Your Lead Nurture Program appeared first on The Spot.

By |2023-02-10T21:01:10+00:00February 10th, 2023|Categories: Marketing Automations, Marketing Cloud, Pro Tips, revive, Scoring & Grading, Strategy|

Salesforce Marketing Cloud Personalization (Interaction Studio): A Beginner’s Guide

I’m sure by now you’ve heard of Interaction Studio — or Salesforce Marketing Cloud Personalization (SFMCP) as it is now called. But if you’re similar to me, none of the buzzwords that are thrown around help to paint the picture of what SFMCP actually does.  

In this blog, I’ll be demystifying this intriguing product and detailing the features and functionality, and where possible I’ll be calling out any “gotchas” that have personally caught me out, so you can avoid them. 

What is SFMC Personalization (Interaction Studio)? 

So, let me start with the easy part… What is it? Simply put, SFMCP is a real-time personalization engine. By integrating it with your website(s) and mobile app(s), you can track visitors as they interact with your digital content. 

Every page, article and product they view, click on, rate or add to cart is providing SFMCP with the data it requires to build a unique customer profile for every visitor — whether they are known or unknown. 

In other words, it allows you to dig deeper and truly understand what keeps bringing each visitor back, and when coupled with data provided by a CRM or data warehouse it is capable of delivering a hyper-personalized experience at scale and in real-time.

What does SFMCP do? 

Although accessed via Salesforce Marketing Cloud (SFMC), that’s where the similarities between SFMC and SFMCP come to an end. Having been procured rather than built by Salesforce, it has a very different look and feel. 

SFMCP is broken down into the following:

  • Reports
  • Channels & Campaigns
  • Audiences
  • Catalog
  • Machine Learning
  • Gears
  • Settings


By default, all users land on the Dashboard (as shown below) which provides a high-level view of revenue, visits, orders, average order value per visit and conversion rate. It also provides details on how your campaigns are performing through metrics such as impressions, new vs. returning visitors and item actions (purchased, viewed, added to cart, etc.), all of which are filterable by date ranges. 

However, to dig a little deeper, SFMCP also provides a range of Activity, Results and Visit reports that can help understand how your personalization efforts drive success.

Activity Reports

  • Recent Visits: Stream view of all the visits occurring over the defined period
  • Event Stream: Stream view of all the events occurring over the defined period
  • Cohorts: Groupings of users by predefined criteria such as first time visiting, first time performing an action or specific statuses 
  • Actions: Linear graph showing key Sitemap actions specified that can be filtered by segments or keywords 
  • Modules: Volume of visitor actions, views/clicks that have been grouped together as Modules 
  • Paths: A page-by-page view of the paths visitors take when interacting with your site  
  • Funnels: Using Modules, create an optimal funnel for your visitors and monitor the completion of the desired sequential actions
  • Day / Time: View visits, visit length, revenue, revenue per visit and bounces by day of the week and time of day 

Results Reports

  • Revenue: User, order and revenue statistics in a grid matrix and filterable by platform, engagement, visit status, and more
  • Purchase Funnel: Using segments, compare how your audiences perform against all visitors when viewing products, adding to a cart and purchasing
  • Goal Completions: Side-by-side comparison of your configured goals and filterable by device type, browser type, user state and more
  • Goal Comparisons: A view of the goal completions and completion rate over time for created goals  

Visitor Reports

  • Behavior: Shows visits, engagement, logins and purchases over a given time frame
  • Technology: Includes information such as browser, device, and operating system commonly used by visitors
  • Referring Sources: Useful report to show how visitors access your site as well as the referring sources driving the most revenue

Channels & Campaigns

In short, it’s the marketer’s space to build campaigns and whilst it is often the most talked about, web is not the only channel SFMCP can support, it also offers mobile and email, as well as triggered and JS server-side campaigns. 

Using web campaigns, SFMCP users can create real-time personalization experiences aimed at targeting visitors who meet certain criteria. Server-side campaigns give users the ability to get more creative but will require a greater skill set. 

Triggered campaigns and email campaigns tie into the wider SFMC platform if you’re lucky enough to have it, by triggering Journeys or by providing Open-Time Content to include in your SFMC sends. 

Through mobile campaigns, SFMCP can incorporate mobile as an additional channel by including a personalised experience on both Android and iOS. 

And finally, a Third-Party section allows SFMCP to bring in data from systems such as Marketo, Act-On, LinkedIn Ads, etc. and even create custom products when and where required. 


As it sounds, Audiences are where users create visitor segments. Segments are a large part of SFMCP and go beyond simple segmentation. In SFMCP, segments can be used to display AI recommendations to a selection of visitors based on your pre-defined criteria.  But they can also be used to create goals by setting the actions you wish visitors to perform (i.e., order a minimum of $xxx). 

The number of visitors who meet the criteria directly relates to your goal’s success. Furthermore, any segment created can also be added as a filter to ensure certain visitors are excluded from recommendations and personalised content (i.e., exclude visitors from the US for UK-specific campaigns). 

The audience section is also where you can see all users in your SFMCP account, whether imported via feeds or tracked through the SFMCP Sitemap. However, it is important to note, that visitors captured via the sitemap will be anonymous (created using a randomly generated profile ID) until they perform an action (i.e., create account, checkout, etc.) that provides SFMCP with a chosen identifier such as an email address or username. 


The Catalog section is where you begin to add business context and it will require plenty of planning. SFMCP offers standard catalog objects such as Products, Categories, Blogs and Articles but also provides the opportunity to create custom objects to support your particular business needs. The objects can then, where required, be related to each other with varying cardinalities that will provide SFMCP with the information needed to understand visitor interactions.  

For example, when a visitor clicks on a specific pair of trainers it will increase that visitor’s affinity towards that particular product, but it will also create an affinity to the categories of running and shoes. In turn, products in the same categories can then be suggested through recommendations and promotions.

Note: An important callout here is to distinguish which method will be used for consuming data: ETL or Sitemap. Passing the same attributes, such as stock, through both methods can cause issues in SFMCP. I’d recommend leveraging the ETLs where possible and using SFMCP’s Sitemap for passing IDs and activity types to avoid data discrepancy issues. 

Machine Learning

If you’re like me, this is where the fun begins. The machine learning section is all about recipes and decisions. The Machine Learning piece can be broken down into two main capabilities, Recipes and Decisions,


As the name suggests, by mixing ingredients SFMCP can create unique content or product recommendations for each customer. 

Ingredients make up the basis of Einstein’s machine learning-powered algorithms. Elements such as co-browse, trending or smart bundle (to name a few)  will show recommendations based on what other visitors have browsed, what’s currently trending or what products other visitors have bought together respectively. It’s important to note that these recipes can even include offline activity that is imported via ETL feeds. 


Rather than manually creating and testing the recipes yourself, why not let AI do the hard work for you? This is where decisions come into play. Decisions use visitor data to predict and display the right promotion based on the chance of completion and the highest business value. 

Einstein automates the process of deciding who should see what content by evaluating each promotion viewed, whether or not the session is a returning visitor, device type and much more.

Gears and Feeds

Gears are extensions for the platform that can be added based on your specific needs, although most will be enabled by default. The most important gear, in my opinion, is the Flicker Defender which, when implemented correctly, stops SFMCP sitemap from flickering on page load. 

Feeds, on the other hand, are SFMCP’s Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP). SFMCP has a specific feed and format for each standard object, custom object and related catalog object which you can use to ingest data to support your catalog setup. Sharing data with SFMCP provides the information it needs to turn anonymous clicks into insightful data that can be used to make informed decisions that ultimately impact the bottom line and revenue. 

Further Considerations Before Jumping Into SFMC Personalization

Before jumping straight in and procuring SFMCP, it’s worth evaluating the following considerations: 

  1. Tech Gap & Skillset – Make no mistake, this is a complex tool and deserves respect. Whilst a lot of features can be handled via point and click, to get the most out of the tool it can require the support of Web Developers and Data Scientists. It’s also worth pointing out that the Sitemap, which is a large proportion of the tool, is all JavaScript and may require ongoing support. 
  1. Personalization Requirements – As its name suggests, SFMCP is well suited to real-time personalization. But if your requirements are undemanding and single channel, it might be worth considering alternatives such as SFMC Web and Email Recommendations. However, if your requirements are omnichannel in nature and supported by a complex catalogue of data, SFMCP might be the right tool for you. 

Once you’ve made the decision to procure SFMCP, the final consideration you should take into account is the implementation approach itself — you should begin reviewing your short-term gains vs long-term strategic objectives. 

Keep it Going

If you’d like to learn more about Marketing Cloud Personalization (Interaction Studio), check out this blog post. Or reach out to the team at Sercante if you need help.

Original article: Salesforce Marketing Cloud Personalization (Interaction Studio): A Beginner’s Guide

©2023 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

The post Salesforce Marketing Cloud Personalization (Interaction Studio): A Beginner’s Guide appeared first on The Spot.

By |2023-01-19T21:20:45+00:00January 19th, 2023|Categories: Getting Started, Marketing Cloud, revive, Setup & Admin|

Salesforce Marketing Cloud Basics: Connect with Potential Customers

It’s a Salesforce Marketing Cloud basics 3-parter, y’all. In this three-part series, we’ll uncover the fundamental skills you should master when you’re getting started with Salesforce Marketing Cloud Engagement (SFMC). 

You’ll learn how SFMC allows you to easily connect with potential customers, nurture their interests, and convert that interest into sales. In Part 1, we review all the ways SFMC can help you connect with potential customers.

Connect with Potential Customers via SFMC

The word ‘connect’ can mean different things to different people. There’s connecting from a business lens perspective, which is where we’re making connections with prospects on different channels as well as connecting those various channels for a customer across a user journey, like Journey Builder from a platform perspective.

Connecting From a Business Lens

When we think about it from a pure business lens, Salesforce Marketing Cloud Engagement allows us to connect with existing customers but can also help make a connection with prospective customers and leads via form capture. 

Lead acquisition and generation is a top initiative for all marketers and a critical component of the Engagement platform. Over the years, the lead capture functionality has really evolved and is now pretty easy for a non-technical person to implement. 

There are two main features of SFMC for lead acquisition and capture: 

  • Lead Capture
  • Smart Capture

Lead Capture

Lead Capture is actually an app, available on the Salesforce AppExchange (click here to view the listing).

The app is free to use. It enables you to collect leads from Facebook and Google and have them enter directly into Engagement. 

This lead capture app and functionality allows you to collect lead data from your paid ads, which is awesome by itself. But more importantly, you’re able to capture first-party data, which is the future when a cookieless world finally arrives. This first-party data in turn can be used to help nurture your prospects and drive transactions. 

Lastly, highlights of the app include: 

  • Capture is real-time via a secure connection (not like we would expect anything less)
  • Leads captured can get added directly to a lead nurture journey and therefore can create more targeted intent-based content
  • You can do both via a simple and intuitive user flow

Smart Capture

Smart Capture is another tool, this one native in Email Studio, that you can use to create lead capture forms that you can then include on your landing pages. 

When a lead completes the form on the landing page and clicks the Submit button, the Smart Capture form automatically adds the information to a subscriber list, data extension, or outside data source such as an integrated CRM system like Sales Cloud. Smart Capture forms are super easy to use within a much better UI, unlike the previous form functionality.

 Some common use cases for Smart Capture forms include:

  • Generate leads from people who sign up to receive a newsletter or attend an event.
  • Create tasks in Salesforce to follow up with leads.
  • Send automated emails to people who complete the form.
  • Send email messages through Salesforce CRM.

Connecting from a Channel Perspective

When we think of the concept of Connect from a channel perspective, Salesforce Marketing Cloud allows us to connect with prospects and customers through a variety of channels. 

These channels include: 

And while with Engagement you have access to all these channels, email still remains the workhorse. 


I’d like to focus on an underutilized feature of Email Studio that can help you better connect with prospects and clients: Interactive Email Content Block as well as Mobile Studio.

Interactive Email Content Block

If you are a long-time user of the system or industry, you will remember that this tool was an acquisition — formally known as Rebelmail. But, I digress. 

The Interactive Email Form block in Marketing Cloud Content Builder allows marketers to receive subscriber information like profile data, product reviews, and sales leads directly from an embedded form in an email. Allowing subscribers to submit forms without ever leaving their inbox helps increase customer engagement and gives marketers more data to use for segmentation.

There are several templates available to solve these use cases: 

  • The Empty Form Template allows you to start from scratch and create any type of form you want.
  • The Reviews Template allows subscribers to complete product reviews or other feedback surveys.
  • The Progressive Profile Template collects or updates subscriber preferences and demographic data, such as name, birthday, product preferences, and interests.
  • The Case Form Template allows subscribers to create or update a support case via Journey builder. 
  • And finally, the Lead Form Template captures or updates subscriber information from your leads.

Yes, I’ll say it again — users can respond to forms, reviews, and update cases right from their inbox!

Mobile Studio

And yes, while Email is the bread and butter of SFMC Engagement, Mobile Studio is another great way to connect with your customers and prospects. 

So, what do we mean by Mobile Studio? Well, at first thought most people automatically think Mobile Studio equals SMS. But, that’s really not true. (I, too, am guilty of using both these terms synonymously!) 

There are three main offerings under this studio: 

  • MobileConnect
  • MobilePush
  • GroupConnect

MobileConnect is where you can create, send and receive and track SMS and MMS text messages (this is what comes to mind for most folks). Typically these messages are transactional in nature to alert subscribers as well as allow marketers to automatically respond to incoming messages based on established keywords.

MobilePush as the name suggests allows you to send notifications to encourage the use of your app. A few examples to consider based upon industry include:

  • Flash sale from your favorite retailer that has an app to make purchasing on mobile a breeze
  • A strategically sent time of day message before dinner time from your favorite food delivery app provider
  • Time-based notification 24 hours before your flight letting you know you can check in on your airline carrier of choice
  • Proximity-based notification using beacon technology for in-store coupons at your local nationwide pharmacy

GroupConnect allows you to send messages via the LINE messaging app and Facebook Messenger via messaging API. (this offering is not as widely used as the others, but is still valuable — especially for those based in Asia – history of LINE)

(There’s also WhatsApp Chat Messaging. But that’s not truly considered part of Mobile Studio and is positioned as more of an add-on to Marketing Cloud.)

Connecting from a Platform Perspective

 And finally, from a platform perspective, through Salesforce Marketing Cloud Engagement, specifically Journey Builder you can connect all your communications across varying channels to reach customers with the right message at the right time.

Journey Builder 101

Journey Builder is a campaign planning tool in SFMC Engagement that allows you to design and automate campaigns that guide customers through their journey with your brand. You can begin with a blank canvas or an existing template and select various activities based on how you want to communicate with your audience. These activities can range from types of messages (by channel), decisions, updates, or a combination of these elements and are grouped in the builder panel as the following categories:

  • Messages
  • Advertising
  • Flow Control
  • Customer Updates
  • Sales & Service Cloud 
  • Custom

The possibilities of journeys you can create are quite endless. 

Journey Builder – Marketing Cloud – 8 November 2022 – Watch Video


Messages supported in Journey Builder include email, SMS, LINE message, push notifications, inbox message, in-app message, as well as WhatsApp. 

If you’re just getting started, we recommend starting simple with email. When you drag and drop the email message activity you will notice it is grayed out — this is because you need to finish configuring this activity. You have the option to select an existing email (we recommend this), or you can create from within Journey Builder from scratch. 

You’ll also notice you can update the name of the email or really any activity by hovering over the text and clicking the pencil icon.


There are currently only two activities under the Advertising section:

  • Ad Audience
  • Campaign

Ad Audience allows you to create an advertising Audience for any activated channel (Pinterest, Facebook, and so on) in Journey Builder. A common use case would be for targeting new customers who haven’t engaged with an email — perhaps a paid ad will be better suited for driving engagement. Don’t forget, you’ll need to navigate to the activated channel for further targeting and to complete the ad campaign setup.

Whereas the Ad Campaign activity will allow you to create a Facebook Ad Campaign directly in Journey Builder. This can be helpful if you have a new simple Facebook campaign you want to test out or one that isn’t already set up. 

You configure the creative elements of your advertisement and set campaign specifications, including total and daily advertising spend settings, within Journey Builder. You can also set a Retention Period for campaign members to prevent oversaturating their social media feeds with your advertisement.

When you activate the journey, it creates an advertising campaign, too. As the journey continues, customers populate the advertising campaign and see your advertisement.

Two important things to call out: 

  1. Customers who exit journeys aren’t automatically removed from that Advertising Audience, so it’s important to add in a suppression step to avoid retargeting the same customers. 
  1. You can edit the campaign outside of Journey Builder, but not all changes will be reflected in that running journey.

These activities allow marketing teams to easily build cross-channel journeys that extend the reach of email campaigns.

Flow Control

Flow Control activities are by far the most numerous — with 15 to be exact options for ‘controlling’ the flow of your journey from splits and joins to wait by/until how your journey flows is up to the marketer’s discretion!

But builders beware, Salesforce Flows can get quite complex if you’re not careful. Thankfully the Validate function, which didn’t always exist, helps identify when you’re missing a Join or have a ‘dead end path of sorts’ occurring.

Typically for those just starting out, Decision Split and Engagement Split are good ones to include in your journey. 

Did you know that using an Engagement Split to resend an email with an updated subject link to those that didn’t Open can result in tremendous payoff and engagement lift? 
Check out these stats:
  • 54.7% increase in the overall email reach
  • CTR is 51.1% greater than your first email
  • An email (with a different subject line) resent a week later has 30% more openings
  • Additional email open rates of 11%

Source: https://encharge.io/resending-emails-for-better-results/

To learn more about other flow actions stay tuned for Part 2 of 3 of this Series: Nurturing your Prospects & Customers

Customer Update

Customer Update Activities include:

  • Salesforce Personalization Activity
  • Update Contact

The Salesforce Personalization Activity will only appear for those customers that have purchased Personalization (formerly known as Interaction Studio). This activity allows you to pass data from Journey Builder to Marketing Cloud Personalization during the course of a customer journey. You can include custom action names that indicate the journey or journey step. After you share the data with Personalization, you can use it to personalize the experience your customers have with your website or mobile app based on recent journey interactions. 

This integration allows you to tie all your customers’ experiences together — from the website as mentioned to calling your call center, or entering a loyalty number on point of sales. 

A few use cases to consider are: 

  1. A retail customer recently purchased a snow jacket for the upcoming winter season. The Personalization activity could suggest matching a hat and gloves to complete the look based on the color and age/gender category of the snow jacket purchased. 
  2. A banking customer applies for a home mortgage. The personalization activity could suggest a credit card with 0% interest for 12 months to help with the moving expenses associated with a new home purchase.

Update Contact, as it sounds, allows you to update a contact to a specific attribute of a selected data extension. 

Some common use cases for use of this function in a journey include: 

  1. Updating Customer Tier based upon a previous activity or perhaps based upon the length of time as a customer. For example, as an airline loyalty customer — after reaching x miles you update their status to ‘gold’.
  2. Updating the date field using current time to timestamp for the most recent visit to a doctor’s offer perhaps so you can remind them of the next visit.

Lastly, Sales & Service Cloud activities require integration with Sales and/or Service Clouds to be able to leverage. Here’s a quick rundown of what each specific activity entails: 

Activity Details
Account Create a New Record or Find and Update using a Salesforce look-up field whose data matches a Marketing Cloud attribute to identify the correct record to update. If you have a Person Account, you can create or update both Business and Person Account activities.
Campaign Member Add a new or existing contact or lead to an existing campaign in Salesforce and optionally set their activity and status as you see fit. Use this activity to track important moments of engagement throughout the journey.
Case Create a case and associate it to the Sales and Service Cloud contact that matches the Marketing Cloud contact’s ID. Or create a Sales and Service Cloud contact to associate to an existing case.
Contact Create or update a contact from Sales or Service Cloud using Sales or Service Cloud data brought into a journey or Marketing Cloud contact data.
Convert Lead Convert qualified leads from the Sales and Service Cloud into a contact or account. This activity schedules important actions, such as assigning a lead owner, creating an opportunity or task, and changing the lead’s conversion status.
Lead Just like contact, except for Lead object – Create or update a lead from Sales or Service Cloud
Object Activity Use this activity to create or update a standard Salesforce object record, such as a lead or task, or a custom object record.
Opportunity Creates an opportunity record in Sales and Service Cloud. Use Marketing Cloud contact attributes to populate the fields in the opportunity record, or populate each record with a fixed value.
Task Create a task in Sales and Service Cloud for each Marketing Cloud contact that reaches this activity based upon their assigned sales or service rep.

Common use cases include: 

  • Create a lead when a Marketing Cloud contact enters a journey.
  • Update a lead based on engagement within a journey.
  • Create a CRM contact record when a Marketing Cloud contact reaches the activity.
  • Update a CRM contact record with Marketing Cloud contact data.
  • Update a custom object based on engagement within a journey.
  • Create a task when another object, such as a lead or contact, enters a journey.
  • Associate a case or task to an account.
  • Update a task based on a contact or lead’s response in a journey.
  • Update a person or business account.


As you can see, Marketing Cloud allows marketers to connect with potential customers in many different ways — from acquisition and driving engagement on various channels to uniting communications across a customer journey. My hope is your one takeaway is: it’s a pretty powerful tool that can meet the unique needs of any organization, regardless of size, vertical, or industry.

To keep it going, check out this quick reference that explains the basics things to know about each tool within SFMC Engagement.

Next up…

Part 2 of 3: Nurturing your Prospects and Customers. While you’ve got a sneak peek of what Journey Builder can do from our 101 section, we’ll discuss more of the how-tos: from concept to execution.

Original article: Salesforce Marketing Cloud Basics: Connect with Potential Customers

©2022 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

The post Salesforce Marketing Cloud Basics: Connect with Potential Customers appeared first on The Spot.

By |2022-11-04T14:57:00+00:00November 4th, 2022|Categories: Getting Started, Marketing Cloud, Salesforce Marketing Cloud, SFMC|