Email Metrics to Track Beyond Simple Opens and Unsubscribes

Email marketers swim in constant data. While analytics often inform decision making, the flip side of that coin means your competitors also use data to do the same. To truly ensure campaigns remain fully optimized for engagement, conversions, and ROI, you need to look beyond the simple email metrics everyone tracks.

Simple statistics such as open and unsubscribe rates definitely have their place, but a deeper dive into what’s impactful and what needs improvement gives you and your teams the understanding necessary to drive effective marketing campaigns.

In this post, we look at two other advanced analytics you can use to further refine content. Then, we’ll dive into two ultra-advanced analytics that may be harder to source but offer practical, personalized insights on an individual subscriber level.

Email Metric 1: Complaint Rate

Unsubscribes tend to indicate when recipients find messages irrelevant, but when contacts mark content as spam it indicates major antagonism against your content. Measuring the complaint rate, or the percentage of times recipients mark your outbound emails as spam, ensures your team has a grasp on when content has become dangerously misaligned from consumer expectations.

Nearly half of all emails sent get classified as spam, so to hit the inbox marketers need to know how to differentiate between content subscribers will find valuable or irrelevant.

What Makes Spam Indications Unique?

Spam designations happen for many reasons, but some of the most common stem from a disconnect between the marketer and contact.

  • The recipient cannot easily find a way to unsubscribe (e.g., the link is in small font or a similar color to the background)
  • There is no option to unsubscribe (e.g., emails from sales reps marked as spam will affect the entire company domain)
  • Marketers do not respect unsubscribe requests and continue to send unwanted communications
  • Oversaturated contacts opt to skip an unsubscribe attempt and directly mark a message as spam

While some of these may not necessarily result from marketing decisions, the unique danger of spam designations rather than regular unsubscribes affect every team’s future campaigns. High spam rates discredit a brand and more importantly cause future emails to go straight to spam folders.

Overcoming Poor Email Deliverability

Marketers must keep the complaint rate low to maintain a good sender reputation and to avoid email providers marking content as spam. Email marketers generally accept a complaint rate of less than 0.1 percent, while a rate above 0.5 percent often indicates issues with email content or list quality.

To avoid this, marketers can take several steps to reduce complaint rates and boost deliverability. Here are some best practices to consider.

  • Permission-based email lists: Only source subscribers who have given explicit permission to receive emails through a confirmed opt-in process. Avoid buying email lists, as these often contain contacts who haven’t opted in to receive emails from your organization.
  • Segmented email lists: Personalizing email lists based on subscriber behavior, demographics, or interests provides recipients with relevant content they are more likely to engage with, reducing the likelihood of spam designations while boosting conversion rates.
  • Engaging subject lines and content: A/B test and experiment with email subject lines that accurately describe the content of the email while ensuring the content doesn’t mislead or come off as overly promotional. Engaging content typically includes useful tips, exclusive discounts/promotions, or relevant industry insights.
  • Professional designs and mobile-optimized emails: Seeing as how the majority of emails are now opened on mobile devices and younger consumers prefer mobile shopping and user experiences, brands need to give the right first impression with clean-looking emails optimized for mobile as well as desktop engagements.
  • Include an easy-to-find unsubscribe link: Sometimes it’s better to cut your losses rather than risk long-term damage. Make it easy for contacts to opt out with a noticeable unsubscribe link in the footer of emails, otherwise you incentivize spam designations. The good news – if you follow the above steps, the risk of unsubscribes is low.

Be sure to consistently monitor campaigns after the fact for further insights. When you do encounter feedback such as spam complaints, unsubscribes, and email replies, respond in a timely and professional manner to not only build trust with subscribers but also spot any developing issues.

Email Metric 2: Event Lag

In a utopia, subscribers receive communications and immediately convert. Unfortunately, that rarely does happen, so marketers need to investigate whenever a delay between send time, open, and click happens. Event lag, which measures the time between these milestones, provides marketers with insights into content effectiveness.

You can easily measure event lag: just subtract the time at which a contact took the desired action (e.g., link click, website purchase) from when the email was sent. For campaigns across time zones, adjust expectations to account for the difference. You can also swap conversion time for open time(s). With this data, you can understand whether content prompts immediate action or leaves an email wasting away in subscriber inboxes.

According to a Campaign Monitor study, the median click-to-open rate, which tracks how many subscribers who opened an email went on to click a link, across all industries clocks in at around 10.5 percent. Campaigns that perform below this benchmark should make good candidates for further speculation into event lag and supplemental analysis.

Creating More Actionable Emails

Improving subscriber response times is crucial to optimal engagement, conversions, and customer satisfaction. Here are some tips to improve response times in your marketing emails.

  • Scrutinize your offers: Event lag times vary depending on the type of desired action. For example, consumers often take longer purchasing high-ticket products compared to low-cost items or requests. Therefore, if lengthy event lag times hold back your campaigns, switch up your calls-to-action to encourage easier conversions. For example, a B2B SaaS company can lower the stakes of their email CTA by switching from a demo request to a product page that lets recipients make decisions at their own pace.
  • Adjust timing: Sometimes event lag stems from an easily determined source — timing. If you find most emails to certain geographies have extended lag times, then since the content clearly gets clicks, adjusting to more palatable local send times could be the necessary fix.
  • Automated emails: Implementing automated follow-up email campaigns to welcome new subscribers, encourage action on abandoned carts, or send personalized behavior-based recommendations take advantage of recent positive engagements to foster immediate action.
  • Segmented email lists and content: Again, sending personalized emails based on subscriber behavior (for example, see above) or preferences creates more relevant experiences, improving response time.

Ultimately, the most important factor is to track and analyze your event lag data regularly, using that information to optimize your email campaigns over time to improve engagement and conversions.

Now that we’ve established advanced metrics to determine who is most/least engaged, let’s take a look at how to apply insights to your most radical subscribers.

Email Metric 3: Most-Engaged Subscribers

Every brand loves their MVPs, but are you doing enough to truly maximize the value they bring to your organization?

The Pareto Principle notes roughly 80 percent of sales come from just 20 percent of customers. Knowing this, maximizing loyalty and upsell opportunities among your most-engaged subscribers becomes crucial for marketers.

How to Recognize

To determine which subscribers have the highest brand loyalty, aggregate the following metrics.

  • Open Rates: The subscribers who consistently open your emails clearly find value in the content you send. Look at how often contacts open emails (and when they don’t) at an individual level to gain future segmentation insights.
  • Click-Through Rates: Use a similar approach for click-through statistics. Subscribers who consistently follow calls-to-action trust your brand.
  • Conversion Rates: Identify the subscribers who consistently take the desired actions of your emails. You can further segment contacts based on what actions they take post-click (e.g., those who purchase a certain product).

Create a scoring system out of these metrics that ranks subscribers based on their level of engagement. To do so, assign a score to each metric, add up the scores for each subscriber, then rank subscribers based on their total score. Going forward, target the most-engaged subscribers with personalized content or special offers to encourage continued engagement.

Priming for Further Action

Once you’ve determined your most-engaged subscribers, foster further conversions and long-term brand loyalty with the following strategies.

  • Personalized content: Segment your most engaged subscribers and personalize your content to cater to their specific desires. Effective segmentations pull data from past purchase history, browsing behavior, and engagement to create more relevant content that drives repeat conversions.
  • Exclusive offers and promotions: Reward your most-engaged subscribers with exclusive offers and promotions, including early access to sales, discounts, or freebies. These can even become personalized, such as promos for birthdays or anniversaries.
  • Ask for feedback: Use your most-engaged subscribers as a focus group to gather feedback on new products or services, website updates, or other business initiatives. This feedback from your best revenue stream identifies pain points and areas to improve, and fixing these shortcomings minimize the risk of churning your other subscribers.
  • Encourage social sharing: Take advantage of strong brand loyalty to encourage word-of-mouth sharing through social media or conversations with friends and family. These campaigns expand your reach and help attract new subscribers who are likely to engage in a similar manner.

Engagement is a two-way street, so ensure you continue to engage your brand’s most loyal followers with creative and personalized communications. In the long run, these customers become your organization’s foundation.

Email Metric 4: Least-Engaged Subscribers

Finding ways to elicit just an open from your least-engaged subscribers, on the other hand, fills marketers with migraines. These contacts have high event lag (or no engagement at all) and are at high risk to increase your complaint rate.

Knowing this, marketers must discern when to retarget low-engaged subscribers and when to remove them from lists altogether. With email deliverability and brand reputation at stake, list quality trumps quantity.

Improving relationships with your least engaged subscribers is a tall task, but several strategies can reset the relationship.

  • Segmented email lists: Notice a theme? Build audience segmentations based on engagement levels, and use this info to create campaigns that target your least-engaged subscribers. Use data such as their past purchase history or browsing behavior to create personalized messages tailored to these groups’ interests that resonate and drive conversions.
  • Re-opt-in campaigns: A re-opt-in campaign involves sending an email asking if identified subscribers still want to receive your emails and allowing them to confirm their subscription. This measure helps clean up email database and ensures you only target subscribers interested in hearing from you.
  • Evaluate email frequency: If you’re sending too many emails to your least engaged subscribers, they may tune out or unsubscribe. If you see high unsubscribe or complaint rates, evaluate how to reduce email frequency, reprioritize campaigns, or change the timing of email sends to see if engagement levels improve.
  • Prioritize: Multiple teams sending multiple email campaigns to the same contacts in theory increase the likelihood of conversion, but in practice it leads to marketing fatigue and high unsubscribe rates. Develop a system for campaign prioritization to ensure subscribers do not disengage due to an overwhelming amount of messages.
  • Incentives and promos: For true holdouts, consider offering incentives such as personalized discounts or freebies to rekindle interest in your brand and increase the chances of future engagement.
  • Different types of content: Try experimenting with different types of content, such as videos, interactive quizzes, or infographics, to see what resonates with your least-engaged subscribers. This keeps your content fresh and encourages continual engagement.

Overall, re-engaging with your least engaged subscribers in email marketing can take time and effort, but by focusing on personalized content, segmentation, and incentives, you can increase the chances of them engaging more with your brand over time.

Final Thoughts

As with all things email marketing, knowing how each subscriber interacts with your messages informs how to best continue each relationship. To really understand who is at risk for dis-engagement, monitor in-depth trends like complaint rate and event lag, so you have an accurate and fresh view of which campaigns resonate and which ones alienate.

It all starts with audience segmentation. If you feel your emails lack the personalization that drives action and conversions, learn how DESelect Segment empowers marketers of all technical abilities to create complex, personalized audiences in half the time.

Original article: Email Metrics to Track Beyond Simple Opens and Unsubscribes

©2023 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

The post Email Metrics to Track Beyond Simple Opens and Unsubscribes appeared first on The Spot.

By |2023-03-30T18:49:02+00:00March 30th, 2023|Categories: Analytics & Reporting, Emails & Forms, Pro Tips, revive, Strategy|

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

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

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

Field Types and Compatibility

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

Account Engagement

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Salesforce and Account Engagement Field Compatibility 

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

Account Engagement Custom Fields

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

Option #1 – Checkbox

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

Example Form with Checkbox Field Type 

Example Form with Checkbox Field Type

Option #2 – Multi-Select

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

Example Form with Multi-Select Field Type

Example Form with Multi-Select Field Type

Additional Field Options & Considerations

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

Options that Should Always be Selected 

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

Record and Display Multiple Responses 

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

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

Account Engagement Forms

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

Forms with Checkboxes

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

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

multi-select picklist info

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

form fields preview multi-select picklist

Form with Multi-Select Picklists

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

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

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

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

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

Form fields preview

Importing Multi-Select Picklist Values 

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

Import – Record and Display Multiple Responses NOT Selected

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

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

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

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

Import – Record and Display Multiple Responses Selected

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

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

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

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

salesforce mascots - multi-select picklist values

Updating Multi-Select Picklist Values 

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

Automation Rule – Record and Display Multiple Responses NOT Selected

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

Salesforce mascots multi-select picklist

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

Multi-Select Picklists

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

Form with Multi-Select Picklists 3

Automation Rule – Record and Display Multiple Responses Selected

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

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

Form with Multi-Select Picklists 2

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

Form with Multi-Select Picklists

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

Parting Words 

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

Further Reading


Contact the Sercante team for help.

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

©2023 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

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

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

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.

The post Salesforce Marketing Cloud Personalization (Interaction Studio): Implementation Methods appeared first on The Spot.

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

Using Account Engagement (Pardot) in a Global Market

In today’s international and digital business landscape, modern marketers often coordinate messaging and strategy across multiple countries or regions. Luckily, Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (Pardot) is an ideal tool to support those types of global marketing strategies. That’s because it enables marketers to find a balance between global coordination and initiatives that reflect the challenges and regulations of local markets. 

Here are functions and customizations in Marketing Cloud Account Engagement that support an international marketing strategy.

Crossing Language Barriers

One of the most important considerations for an international marketing strategy is delivering high-quality, localized content that doesn’t provide any barriers to engagement through the local language.

Enable international users in a single Marketing Cloud Account Engagement instance

Administrators and individual users within Account Engagement can control the time zone, language and data formats in which the user interface (UI) is displayed. 

Languages and locales currently support:

  • English
  • Japanese
  • German
  • Spanish
  • French

This can be configured by an Account Engagement admin upon creating a user record. Go to Account Engagement Setting > User Management Users

Individual users can control their language and locale settings under Account Engagement Settings > Account Engagement > My Profile.

Marketing Asset Creation

While the user interface is limited to languages supported by Salesforce, all marketing assets in Account Engagement can be developed and customized in any language. For the most part, this just involves typing/inserting content in the language desired, but the following points detail areas where advanced customization is necessary to change the display language.

Form error message

The native form error message for lacking required fields in Account Engagement displays in English by default “Please correct the errors below.” This cannot be customized within the form creation wizard, but instead must be customized within the layout template. 

To update, navigate to the layout template used by the form (Content > Layout Templates). Navigate to the form tab and replace the message after %%form-if-error%% with the desired text. 

The structure may not exactly match the included screenshot if you are using a layout template that significantly differs from the default. Use this reference for Layout Template Form Code to determine what components may need to be updated.

Encoding special characters

You may encounter situations in which characters display incorrectly when importing data to Account Engagement. To ensure all characters display correctly, you have to use UTF-8 encoding

Always confirm any exported data is edited and saved using UTF-8 encoding to ensure data is not improperly overwritten. To edit data with UTF-8 encoding in Excel, for example:

  1. Export CSV data from Account Engagement
  2. Navigate to Data > From Text (Get External Data) in Excel
  3. Select the CSV export, and chose “Delimited” and File Origin > “Unicode (UTF-8),” then “Comma” to open the data with correct forming in Excel

Any custom layout templates developed for Account Engagement landing pages should also be sure to use UTF-8 encoding. Set the below meta tag in the <head> section of the layout template so any special characters render correctly.

<meta http-equiv=”Content-Type” content=”text/html; charset=utf-8”>

Unsubscribe and Email Preference Center Pages

Account Engagement only allows for one global unsubscribe page, which can limit the feasibility of supporting multiple languages or unique messaging on the page. However, the suggested way to allow recipients to manage communication preferences is the email preference center (EPC) feature, which enables recipients to choose specific segments they would like to be included or excluded from, in addition to universally unsubscribing. 

Multiple EPCs can be set up under Account Engagement Email > Preferences Page, so customization to language and included distribution lists can be made per language. 

To  ensure the correct email preference center is included in different language emails, insert a link, choose “Email Preference Page,” and choose from the list of available pages. 

Learn about other customizations that can be made to Pardot unsubscribe and email preference pages.

“Not you?”/Form Reset Link

In the form creation wizard, under 3. Look and Feel > Advanced, is a handy setting to enable a link that allows viewers to reset Account Engagement pre-population and dynamic form functions, in case it is pre-populated with the wrong information (which may be the case due to shared devices, etc.) However, similar to the form required field error message discussed above, this only renders in English by default, in the format “Not Name? Click here.”

To resolve, creating another form layout template update is required. Insert the following script between the opening and closing <head> tag in the “layout” tab of the desired layout template.

<script type="text/javascript" src="/js/jquery/jquery.min. js"></script>

<script type="text/javascript">

//Replace the Not... string

$(document).ready(function(){ var span = $('span.description');

span.html(span.html().replace("Not","Desired Replacement for Not")); span.html(span.html().replace("Click Here","Desired Replacement for Click Here"));



International Privacy and Data Management

With growing international business, also comes managing compliance with the various data protection and privacy laws in place across your target markets. It’s important to consult with your company’s legal counsel to ensure understanding of the regulations across various jurisdictions. Fortunately, Account Engagement includes a variety of features to enable and enforce compliant data collection and protection. 

Tracking Cookies

Account Engagement uses a combination of third and first party cookies to track visitor web behavior and build a profile of data on prospects in your database. To customize how cookies behave and allow visitors to opt-out of tracking, you can:

  • Enable first-party cookies and disable third-party cookies under Account Engagement Settings > Account Settings
  • Honor “Do Not Track (DNT)”  headers under by enabling under Account Engagement Settings > Account Settings
  • Customize Account Engagement cookie duration via Account Engagement Settings > Account Settings
  • Display a banner requesting tracking opt-in in some or all countries via Account Engagement Settings > Domain Management > Edit Tracking Opt-in Preferences
  • Utilize the Tracking and Consent API to integrate with other systems and create custom solutions

Communication Preferences

Many regulations require that explicit and informed consent be collected before a recipient can be emailed marketing materials, as well allow recipients to revoke that consent at any time. Some industries also require detailed records of communications sent. Account Engagement enables this via:

Additional permission-based marketing resources: 

Data Security

Data stored in Account Engagement is kept securely to meet international data processing regulations, along with strict user login requirements. 

Here is documentation from Salesforce on these practices:

Other Resources from The Spot on Managing Global Compliance

What’s Next 

Need help finding the right mix of Account Engagement solutions to meet your localization and compliance requirements? Reach out to the team at Sercante to get help customizing features and content in your org and enable your global team. And leave us a comment below to let us know any tips or tricks you’ve picked up for managing international teams with Account Engagement!

Original article: Using Account Engagement (Pardot) in a Global Market

©2023 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

The post Using Account Engagement (Pardot) in a Global Market appeared first on The Spot.

By |2023-03-22T17:02:18+00:00March 22nd, 2023|Categories: Emails & Forms, Privacy & Compliance, Pro Tips, revive, Strategy|

How to Create Custom Salesforce Round Robin Processes

One of the most common assignment needs for Salesforce leads and cases is to circulate these via a round robin assignment process. But assignment in the marketing, sales or any other team for that matter does not necessarily stop at these objects. 

A common way to round-robin assign items is by using an auto number field and formula to create a round robin ID, which can be used in case or lead assignment rules or with other automation tools. 

But, this can sometimes be difficult to maintain when users leave the organization or change roles and responsibilities. It may also fall short when you have other process complexities, like handling holidays and PTO.

What if there was another way to manage the assignment of standard and custom Salesforce objects like leads, tasks, or opportunities? 

This blog will walk you through a custom opportunity Salesforce round-robin process. And what’s even better is that this solution can be used for lots of objects in Salesforce, which do not typically have assignment rules (or do!) 

Create Two New Salesforce Custom Objects
A custom assignment process can be created using multiple components and is intended to be more accessible to manage than other solutions with the help of two new custom objects.

To make the assignment of an object more manageable; we first need to create two custom objects; Assignment Group and Assignment Group Members.

Assignment Group

First create a new custom object called “Assignment Group.”

A record of this custom object signifies a group or team that you would like to round robin through to assign specific records (i.e. North America Sales Team). 

Assignment Group Member

Create a second custom object called “Assignment Group Member” and create a Master-Detail Relationship on this custom object so that this is the detail record in the master detail relationship with Assignment Group. 

Next, add a lookup field to the Assignment Group Member to the User object and the following fields:

  • “Last Assignment Date” : Data Type: Date
  • “Out of Office Start” : Data Type: Date
  • “Out of Office End” : Data Type: Date
  • “Active” : Data Type: Formula
    • AND(
      Out_of_Office_End__c <=TODAY(),

TODAY()<= Out_of_Office_Start__c )

Create Your Assignment Groups & Members

Now that you have your custom objects built, you can create your Assignment Group Records. You may have one Assignment Group or Multiple; depending on the objects or groups that you like to assign. For example; you may have an Onboarding Assignment Group to Round Robin Onboarding Tasks within the Onboarding team and a Regional Sales Team to distribute opportunities to your Sales Reps in a particular region. 

Once the groups have been created; you can add your Group Members. For a user to be part of the assignment queue, they must be part of the Assignment Group with their own Assignment Group Member record.  

Users must be related to the Assignment Group Member Record through the custom lookup field on the object. Additionally, the member will not be assigned records if the custom checkbox of “Active” is false. This checkbox is calculated based on the formula which assesses whether the current date/time is within the Out of Office Start and End dates.

The last assignment date can be manually edited but is filled in automatically within the Round Robin Assignment Flow.

Round Robin Assignment Flow

The final step to facilitate the assignment for a flow that is triggered when the record you are looking to assign is created (in most cases, although this could be triggered when a field is updated).

Create a record triggered flow

You can set this up by creating a record triggered flow, and selecting the object you would like this to be triggered on. Set your entry criteria for the flow, whether that is for a task with a certain subject or an opportunity at a certain stage.

The second element in the flow is a decision element, which you can select by clicking on the plus under the entry criteria. This decision element has been added to decide the team/group to round robin and branch into two paths based on the opportunity location. If you only have one Assignment Group for this object, you can move onto the next stage without adding the decision element.

Add a Get Records element

The next step in the flow is to add a Get Records element to find the relevant Opportunity group for the North America path. Add a filter to retrieve the Assignment Group record where the “Name” of the Assignment Group equals the relevant Group name which you would like to retrieve and store the first record only and store all fields.

Add second Get Records element

Next, add a second Get Records element after this to retrieve the Assignment Group Members in this assignment group. 

You can do this by selecting the object Assignment Group Member and entering the “Assignment Group” field, with the operator “equals” and the Assignment Group record Id from the previous Get records element. 

Add an additional filter to only return Assignment Group Members that are active (eliminating any Assignment Group Members on Annual Leave or Unavailable for Assignment).

This time, we will still retrieve the first record, but the sort order is key here to ensure that the round robin works as expected and the oldest recently assigned member is selected. You can do this by setting the sort order as “Ascending” and Sort by as “Last Assignment Date.”

Update the owner of the record

The final step in this path is to update the owner of the record to be the retrieved user from this Get element. 

Add an Update Records element to the flow, and select “Use the record that triggered the flow.” Select the relevant field to update — in this case Owner — and select the User from the Get Assignment Group Member User Id element.

See if your flow looks like this

Repeat the steps on the other decision paths as needed. The flow should look something like this, if you have multiple assignment groups to round robin in the flow. 

Additional Considerations

  • Consider creating a  custom Rollup Summary on the Assignment Group object to record the number of Assignment Group Members in the Assignment Group. You can also filter this to show only active Assignment Group Members.
  • If any changes are made to the name of the Assignment Group record or any additional Assignment Groups created; this must be updated in the Round Robin Assignment Flow.
  • Make sure to debug and test the flow before making this live to make sure that everything works as desired.
  • You can also add in a Send Email Action to the flow or a Custom Notification to notify the user of the assignment at the end of the flow.
  • Ensure that the necessary users have access to the tabs created of the custom object; you could delegate permissions to Team managers to manage the users available to round robin and annual leave.

Great Solution for Complex Salesforce Object Routing Needs

In summary, this solution can help all teams with complex object routing needs or for admins who would like a more manageable solution than other round robin configurations. 

The ability to assign records to users and consider availability in a front end facing way allows records to be actioned in an efficient manner; removing wasted time re-assigning records for users that are on holiday or have left the business. 
If you need further assistance with your business automation needs, feel free to reach out to the Sercante team where we can help you build scalable business solutions.

Original article: How to Create Custom Salesforce Round Robin Processes

©2023 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

The post How to Create Custom Salesforce Round Robin Processes appeared first on The Spot.

By |2023-02-16T21:26:18+00:00February 16th, 2023|Categories: Marketing Automations, Pro Tips, revive, Strategy|

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|

Twilio SMS Messages and Pardot: A Complete Guide

We’ve previously talked about External Actions and External Activities, with some general ideas of how each can be applied separately. Where the real power comes in, is tying them together. In this blog post, let’s explore using a Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (Pardot) Engagement Studio Program to send an SMS message and act on the Prospect replying to it.

Installation and Configuration for Twilio SMS Messages and Pardot

Say your company is going to attend a big conference, and you want to see if there is interest for nearby Prospects (far enough in their journey with you) to meet with your team. A quick text asking if they are interested, followed up with sales outreach and/or a “book a meeting” page is a great example of sending the right message at the right time.

There’s a lot of installing and configuration needed to pull this off: 

  1. Set up Twilio for Salesforce
  2. Set up Twilio for Pardot
  3. Create a Flow to be called by External Action
  4. Configure the Marketing App Extensions
  5. Create the Engagement Studio Program
  6. Handle SMS Responses with a Flow

Set Up Twilio for Salesforce

The first thing we are going to do is to integrate Twilio with our Salesforce org. Twilio has a really good instruction video for setting things up, we highly recommend watching it and following along.

Install instructions written out can be found here:

Setup Twilio for Pardot

Once Twilio is set up for Salesforce, there are a couple of steps to enable it to work with Pardot.

  1. Add the B2BMA Integration User as a “Twilio for Salesforce” Licensed User (enables Pardot to send the SMS)
    • In Salesforce Setup, use the Quick Find window to search “Installed Packages.”
    • Click Manage Licenses beside the Twilio package, add the B2BMA Integration User
  2. Add the “Twilio User” Permission Set to B2BMA Integration User
  3. Create a “Latest SMS Campaign” field on both the Lead & Contact (Lookup to Campaign). You do not need to sync this field with Pardot, though the B2BMA Integration User should have access to edit the field values.

4. Create a Pardot custom field named “MobilePhone.” Sync this field to the Salesforce field of the same name. The Twilio Lightning Components you added when setting up Twilio for Salesforce relies on the MobilePhone field.

For the purpose of this blog post, we are not taking into consideration whether the prospect has opted in or out of SMS messages. Though, you should consider this when putting together a solution in your environment.

Create a Flow to be called by External Action

External Actions can be powered by APEX, External Services (which make APEX behind the scenes), and Flows. Whenever possible, we recommend using a Flow, as it makes it a bit easier to test and troubleshoot later on.

  1. From Salesforce Setup, use the Quick Find window to search for “Flows.”
  2. Select Create New Flow, then choose Autolaunched Flow.
  3. We need to create a few resources (variables) that will be exposed to Pardot and provide the information we need. These should all be set to:
    • Resource Type: Variable
    • API Name: varPhoneNumber (The phone number we are sending the SMS to)
    • Data Type: Text
    • Available for input: checked
  4. Repeat step 3 for the following variables:
    • varCampaignId – The Salesforce Campaign ID we want to use for tracking
    • varCrmLeadContactId – The Salesforce ID of the Lead or Contact record
    • varMessage – The text we want to include in the SMS message
    • varCampaignStatus – the CampaignMember status you want to use when sending the SMS. This is optional, you could just hard-code the flow to use “Sent”
  5. Create a couple more variables to help simplify the flow. These will be Text, and we will not be selecting the “Available for input” checkbox (they are only used within the flow)
    • varLeadId – set only if the varCrmLeadContactId is a Lead (Decision-based on prefix starting with 00Q)
    • varContactId – set only if the varCrmLeadContactId is a Contact (Decision, prefix starting with 003)
  6. The Flow itself will be composed of a few sections
    • Send SMS via Twilio
    • Update the “Latest SMS Campaign” field on Contact/Lead records with the Campaign ID if the Prospect is synced to CRM
    • Create/Update CampaignMember record for the Contact/Lead and Campaign
    • When done, your Flow might look something like this:
  7. Save and Activate your Flow

Configure the Marketing App Extensions

Next, we need to actually expose the Flow to Pardot. This is done with Marketing App Extensions in Salesforce Setup.

  1. In Salesforce Setup, use the Quick Find window to search for “Marketing App Extensions”
  2. Create a new extension named “Twilio” (don’t create a bunch of tests, currently these cannot be removed and you have a limit of 10)
  3. In the Related Tab, for Action Types click New.
    • Type Action Name: Send SMS w Campaign, type in a good API name
    • For Invocable Action, search for your newly created Flow
    • Once selected, the Action Schema will automatically fill in. We will want to edit it
      • adjust titles, set merge for varCrmLeadContactId, varPhoneNumber. This enables the system to automatically grab the values from the Prospect record.
      • remove view components for varCrmLeadContactId and phoneNumber. Since they are being auto-populated, no need to ask for the values.
      • Set varMessage, varCampaignId as required
    • Make sure “Active in Automations” is checked.
    • Once done, it will look like this (we adjusted the line spacing to make a decent screenshot:
    • Note: because you are directly editing JSON, if mistakes are made there isn’t great feedback in terms of errors upon saving. We’ve found it best to just click Cancel and try again, being a bit more careful.
  4. Next, we will create an Activity Type. This will enable us to send information back to Pardot when a Contact/Lead replies to one of our messages (we will walk you through handling this later in the post).
    • For Activity Name & API Name, simply use “FirstReply”
    • Make sure “Active in Automations” is checked.
  5. Lastly, we will enable these Actions and Activities for our Business Unit(s). Assign this Extension to your Business Unit(s) by clicking New, and choosing the Business Unit.

Create the Engagement Studio Program

Next, we will build an Engagement Studio Program that will begin to tie this all together.

  1. In Pardot, navigate to Automations > Engagement Studio
  2. Select + Add Engagement Program
  3. Add a new Action, choose “Send SMS w Campaign” (bottom of the list)
    • SF Campaign ID: provide an 18-character Campaign Id
    • Campaign Status: provide a valid CampaignMemberStatus for the Campaign
    • Message: let your creativity shine!
    • When done, it should look something like this:
  4. Next, we want to Listen for their First Reply to our Campaign. Add a new Trigger
    • Choose External Activity 
    • Extension Name: Twilio
    • Activity Type: FirstReply
    • Value: The Campaign Id you provided in the earlier step. We want these to match
    • Specify when the Trigger should be evaluated.
    • When done, it should look something like this:
  5. Next, you can decide what happens if the Prospect does reply. In our example, we add the Prospect to a Suppression List (as ideally, they are now engaging with Sales, we don’t want to keep bugging them right?

Ok, our Engagement Studio Program is done. How will it know when someone has replied to our message?

Handling SMS Responses

With the Twilio integration, we can create a Record Triggered Flow based on the “Twilio Message” object, looking for inbound SMS messages. When a message is received, we can check to see if we should take action (based on the “Latest SMS Campaign” field still having a value).

In our example, we will use the Pardot API to send an External Activity record (with some help from a free AppExchange package) to allow our Engagement Studio Program’s trigger to work, update the Campaign Member Status for the Lead/Contact and create a Task for Sales to follow up.

To begin, we will install & configure the Flow Actions for Pardot package, which makes it easy to make Pardot API calls (since you can’t natively do this within Salesforce).

Create the Flow

Next, we will create our Flow:

  1. From Salesforce Setup, use the Quick Find window to search for “Flows”, and create a new Flow
  2. Choose a Record Triggered Flow
    • Select “Twilio Message” as the Object
    • Trigger when a Record is created
    • Entry Conditions: TwilioSF__Direction__c Equals “inbound”
    • Optimize for Actions and Related Records, and Include a Run Asynchronously path.
  3. We will need a decision based on the Twilio Message being linked to a Lead or Contact. The logic we use for both Leads and Contacts will be similar, let’s start with Leads
  4. Use a Get Records element to retrieve the Lead based on the ID matching the Twilio Message’s Lead value
  5. Check to see if we need to take action on the Lead by checking if the “Last SMS Campaign” field has a value. If it does not, we can end the flow.
  6. If “Last SMS Campaign” does have a value, create a new Element: “Pardot – External Activity Add to Prospect”
    • Activity Type: FirstReply (this is what you provided when setting up the Extension earlier in the post)
    • Extension Name: Twilio (again, this was setup earlier)
    • Prospect Email: Grab the Email value from the Get Records element in Step 4 above
    • Value: Grab the “Latest SMS Campaign” value from the Get Records element
    • When done, it should look something like this:
  7. Update Lead’s CampaignMember record, create a new Update Records element
    • Specify conditions to identify records, and set fields individually
    • Update records of object: Campaign Member
    • Update records matching the CampaignId and Lead Id from the Get Records element in Step 4 above.
    • Set the Status to what you need it to be (we chose Responded). You will really want consistency across your Campaigns to reduce complexity.
    • When done, it should look something like this:
  8. Create a Task for Sales. You can do this with either a Quick Action, or with a Create Record element, it really depends on your setup and what level of detail you want to provide.
  9. After taking all of our actions, we will want to clear the “Latest SMS Campaign” field on the Lead, so that we don’t take the same actions the next time the person replies.
  10. Repeat steps 4-9 for a Contact, being sure to select the Contact’s Get Record variable in steps 5-9
  11. When done, your Flow should look something like this:

Phew, it’s all done. Give it all a try by sending your own Prospect record through the Engagement Studio Program. It will take a while once started, but you should get your Text message. Once received, check your Lead/Contact record to make sure it was stamped correctly and that you were added to the right Campaign.  

Send a reply from your phone and check your Lead/Contact record again to make sure that your Campaign Status changed, and check Pardot to see that your External Activity record was created.


As with any “internet example,” there are a few things that we skirted around to avoid extra complexities, and there are a few things that might not be obvious.

  • This solution is best run when all Prospects (entering the ESP) are synced in Salesforce.
  • Prospects that are not synced to Salesforce, if they reply Twilio will create a Lead record and it might not be synced to Pardot fast enough to receive the External Activity resulting in a break in the process.
  • Our example handled ANY SMS response in the same way. While it is possible to add keywords and build branching logic into Flows and Engagement Studio Program, the solution will get exponentially more difficult to maintain.
  • In our example, we created the Task in the Flow instead of the Engagement Studio Program. We made this choice as it can give us more flexibility in what is provided in the Task and how it can be assigned. If you really want to keep that in the Engagement Studio Program, you certainly can!
  • Twilio does charge PER SMS, so be careful when selecting your audiences, especially during testing!
  • Working with External Activities in Pardot is still somewhat limiting, in that you can only look for “a record with a specific value.” You can’t look for External Activities created in the last X days or anything like that, so it really is a “First Response” mentality.
  • If you have multiple Twilio sending numbers, you could expose this as an input variable in your Flow and External Action, so that it can be specified when sending a message.

Happy Building! And Let Us Know If You Need Help

External Actions and External Activities are a great way to leverage other solutions with Pardot. But as you saw, there is still a lot that needs to be built to glue it all together. 

We hope this guide is helpful so you can take it on and build this solution yourself. And you can always reach out to Sercante to build this solution for you if you’re ready to hand it over to the experts. Visit our contact page here to raise your hand, and we’ll get back to you ASAP.

Original article: Twilio SMS Messages and Pardot: A Complete Guide

©2022 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

The post Twilio SMS Messages and Pardot: A Complete Guide appeared first on The Spot.

By |2022-12-30T18:51:09+00:00December 30th, 2022|Categories: Pardot, Pro Tips|

6 Creative Ways to Use Pardot Automation Rules

Pardot automation rules are a great way to set repeatable processes in motion and save yourself from repetitive admin tasks. Most Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (Pardot) users employ automation rules to assign prospects when they are sales ready, send prospects to relevant Salesforce campaigns, assign grading profiles, etc. But there are endless ways to get creative with Pardot automation rules and really take your marketing efforts to the next level. 

Creative Uses for Pardot Automation Rules

Below are some of my favorite creative uses for automation rules, as well as some amazing use cases from the Pardot community!

Tip 1. Take action if a prospect performs a specific combination of activities

Completion actions are a great way to automate based on an activity a prospect does take, but what about automating when a prospect fills out a form but doesn’t request a demo? Or, a favorite for non-profits, visits the donate page but doesn’t make a donation? This is a great opportunity to use an automation rule to find those prospects and send them to an Engagement Studio Program so you can nurture them towards the next step in their journey!

Tip 2. Ensure only invited prospects can register for an event

Courtesy of Martin Farrell, Pardot Administrator

“We use automation rules to ensure only invited prospects are able to register for an event. In this case, if someone completes the registration landing page but is not on our invitee list, they are dropped into an uninvited list, which alerts our Events Coordinator to reach out. Since the landing page completion action added them to the registration list, the automation rule also removes these prospects from said list.”

Tip 3. Split lists for A/B testing

Courtesy of Bill Fetter, Principal and Founder of UnFettered Marketing

“I use 2 automation rules to assign random numbers to prospects based on the first letter of their last name. This gives me an approximate 50/50 split of US last names based on A-K and L-Z. This is especially useful for throttling sends and/or A/B testing.” 

Read more about how Bill accomplishes this in his blog post.

Tip 4. Use tags to customize prospect activity digests

Courtesy of Rebecca Sweetman, Snr Manager, Global Systems & Sales Operations

“We use automation to tag a prospect’s country and then use those tags to be excluded from prospect activity digests (as you can only exclude not include) so teams only have to see their own region’s activity.”

To expand on this great idea a bit, if you are not using prospect activity digests you can customize these for each of your Pardot users. Just navigate to one of your Pardot users and select Edit Preferences

Select the “Send daily prospect activity emails (for my prospects)” checkbox and then exclude prospects based on tag, as shown here:

Tip 5. Review active, “CRM Deleted” prospects

Courtesy of Bill Fetter, Principal and Founder of UnFettered Marketing

“Use an automation rule to find prospects who have taken an action within the last 1 day and are marked as “CRM deleted,” then notify someone to review the prospect for possible restoration. 

Normally, what happens here is a lead was deleted in Salesforce and was sent to the Pardot recycle bin. A form fill restores the prospect, but the prior delete action does not allow the prospect to be re-created in Salesforce. This action is normally paired with a second automation rule that uses the “allow deleted lead or contact to re-create in salesforce” action when a tag is added to a record such as “allow CRM recreate.”  

You can of course use the “allow deleted lead or contact to re-create in salesforce” action in a single automation rule, but this action will automatically create a new lead. And sometimes the reason the lead was deleted in the first place is it’s a habitual form spammer that you don’t want continuously re-creating in your org. So the 2-part action with a manual check is more conservative.”

Tip 6. Lower prospect score based on inactivity

A great use of repeating automation rules is to gradually lower the score of prospects who have been inactive for a period of time. This will keep your prospects from looking “sales ready” when they really aren’t engaging with your marketing and sales activities (or may have since left their company). I like to max out this rule at 10x in order to keep any prospects from going into the negatives. 

How do you use Pardot automation rules?

What other creative uses for automation rules do you employ in your org? Let us know in the comments!

Original article: 6 Creative Ways to Use Pardot Automation Rules

©2022 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

The post 6 Creative Ways to Use Pardot Automation Rules appeared first on The Spot.

By |2022-12-15T16:31:52+00:00December 15th, 2022|Categories: Marketing Automations, Pro Tips, revive|

7 Questions to Guide Your Pardot Account Audit

Pardot account audits: You know you need to do one, but somehow this daunting task keeps getting relegated to the bottom of your to-do list. With the new year on the horizon, do future-you a favor and carve out time soon to conduct an audit of your Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (Pardot) instance. You’ll feel better kicking off 2023 knowing your account is in order!

So where do you start? Audits can certainly be overwhelming, with long checklists of components and settings to review. But, a bit of reflection up front can help you identify and prioritize the areas to audit with the highest need or greatest potential to benefit your business.

Key questions to consider before a Pardot account audit

Make the most of your time by asking yourself these seven questions before diving into your Pardot account audit:

1. Are the essential building blocks in place to ensure Pardot is working properly? 

This is square one — you’ll need to confirm the foundation of your account is set before moving forward. Yup, this means going through the Pardot Settings tab and checking that there are no surprises. Must-dos include your account limits, Salesforce connector, user set-up, and tracker domains.

This is also a good time to step back and think about the big picture: How is data moving in and out of Pardot and where are the weak spots? Besides checking your Salesforce sync settings, review your lead forms, import processes, opt-out processes and integrations to make sure the data is flowing as you intend and that there aren’t any issues causing downstream impacts.

2. What haven’t we checked in a while?

As much as we want to “set it and forget it,” even the best marketing automations need check-ups. Take a minute and list out the areas in Pardot you haven’t paid as much attention to recently. Common culprits could be:

  • Sync errors
  • Repeating automation rules
  • Custom fields syncing with Salesforce
  • Email footer content
  • Scoring and grading rules
  • Sales handoffs and assignment rules
  • Auto-responder email settings and content
  • Automations based on email opens
  • The black hole that is the Uncategorized folder

During your audit, run through this list to ensure everything is running as you expect, and clean up whatever you can. 

3. Where could a little work go a long way to fix something or improve efficiency? 

We’ve all been there: You build a work-around or take on a manual process in order to get something done, then poof — it’s months later and you’re still doing it! 

Now’s the time to figure out if there’s a better way that frees up your time and energy. This might mean addressing bigger issues that require multi-step solutions, but the upfront work now will pay off in the long run. 

For your audit, prioritize figuring out ways that you can leverage automations to carry some of the load. Besides Pardot’s Automation Rules, explore these other key tools:

For help with any of these automations, feel free to reach out! 

4. Does our marketing work align with best practices and industry standards? 

When it comes to marketing practices, it can be helpful to compare yourself to others (within reason of course!). For example: Comparing your email engagement metrics and deliverability practices to industry standards can highlight areas that need improvement, like your template design, segmentation practices to engaged prospects, or personalization strategies. 

Identifying the big-picture improvements needed to align with best practices will help you drill down on the specifics of what it will take to execute — and, as a result, which components in Pardot should be audited and updated to make it happen.

5. Can we showcase the ROI of our marketing efforts? 

Connecting the dots between your marketing work and sales is truly the holy grail for marketing teams, but it can be tricky to get up and running.

With Pardot and Salesforce, you can unlock the marketing attribution magic through a combination of consistent processes and technical tools. Consider these questions and add related items to your audit checklist accordingly.

  • Are you using campaigns consistently to record and organize marketing initiatives?
  • Are Connected Campaigns enabled and configured correctly in your account?
  • Is data being captured at the right times in your prospect journey to connect their engagements to sales?
  • Are your marketing reports set up in Pardot and Salesforce?
  • If you’re using Campaign Influence reporting in Salesforce, does the attribution model fit your needs?
  • If you have more robust reporting and dashboard needs, could you benefit from using additional data integrations and/or B2B Marketing Analytics

Getting a handle on where you are in the process of ROI reporting can crystalize your next steps. Making a commitment to shore up your marketing attribution once and for all in 2023 could pay dividends for you in the long run!

6. What’s coming up that will impact our Pardot system or usage?

Looking ahead, think about how new initiatives, goals or changes at your company will have trickle-down impacts on your Pardot account. What parts of your audit need to adapt accordingly?

Maybe your customer base is expanding and you’d benefit from setting up multiple Pardot Business Units. Or you’ll be creating lots of new automation programs and want to install a Pardot sandbox environment for testing. Maybe Einstein features in Pardot would alleviate some of your workload? 

Conversely, try to identify some aspects of a typical account review to deprioritize or cross off your audit checklist entirely because of upcoming changes.

You’ll also want to keep an eye on upcoming feature releases and new system updates, like the opt-out field sync behavior changes

7. What can we clean up or organize better to make things easier?

Lastly, a bit of housekeeping. Use part of your audit to tidy up your account for some quick wins: 

  • Do your folders, tags or images need organizing? 
  • Are there unused automation, lists, files, or email or form templates that you can clean up, consolidate or archive?
  • Where could you establish naming conventions to better organize assets going forward?
  • Are you identifying junk prospects and recycling them regularly?

Addressing built-up clutter in your account will help you reset and clear the way for more strategic work!

Account audits can feel intimidating, but they’re worth it 

With these considerations in mind, you’re ready to tackle an audit of your Pardot account that focuses on what matters most to your business. 

If it still feels overwhelming or you want some support, please reach out for help — the Sercante team routinely conducts account audits, looking for ways clients can better leverage both the strategic and technical aspects of marketing with Pardot. Plus, you’ll get the advantage of an impartial expert reviewing your account with fresh eyes. Contact us about audit services or fill out this form to get started!

Original article: 7 Questions to Guide Your Pardot Account Audit

©2022 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

The post 7 Questions to Guide Your Pardot Account Audit appeared first on The Spot.

By |2022-12-13T14:58:10+00:00December 13th, 2022|Categories: Data Management, Pro Tips, revive, Setup & Admin|

Help! I Have Errors in My Automation Studio

We’ve all been there. You’ve set up an awesome automation in Salesforce Marketing Cloud Automation Studio. But what do you do when you see errors? 

It’s time to put on your detective hat. Follow these 4 steps to get to the cause and resolve the error. Then you can get back to what you do best… marketing! 

Step 1: Understand the error

First, you need to understand the error that’s being thrown out.

Tip: Bookmark this Salesforce article. It will be your go-to resource when it comes to understanding errors.

You can find the error you’re working with by hovering over the red step icon that will appear in your automation. 

This will detail what errored and the reason. Head over to the linked Salesforce article, and search for the error. This will give you your starting point. 

Automation Studio Error Example

Error: Invalid column name ‘{{column name}}’.

Meaning: Either the Source or the Destination has a field that was renamed or deleted.

Suggested Action: Confirm that columns and fields haven’t been changed or deleted.

The big clues in this error are:

  • The what – Column name
  • The where – Source or destination
  • The why – A field has been deleted

This approach will be the same for any error you get. Use it to find the what, where, and why.

Use a table like this to take notes as you investigate your Automation Studio error.

The What The Where The Why Marketing Cloud Salesforce Connector
a field name automation source deleted field X

Step 2: Check out the what, where and why in Marketing Cloud

In the above example, our “what” was a particular field. The “where” was either the source (the thing that kicks off our automation) or the destination (where our automation goes to). And our “why” was that the field had been either deleted or renamed. 

Go to both the source and destination (the where) and see if there have been any changes to the what.

If there has been a change, you’ll need to either update the automation to reflect that change or reverse the change.

If the “what” is no longer there and you cannot re-add it in the source or destination Data Extension, go to Step 3

Some other common errors that could be solved directly in Marketing Cloud are:

  • The source or destination Data Extension name or external key has been changed
  • The source or destination Data Extension has been deleted
  • Field types and/or lengths do not match in the source and destination Data Extension 
  • File upload naming patterns do not match the configuration 

Step 3: Head over to Salesforce

If your Marketing Cloud instance is connected to Salesforce, and you don’t see anything wrong with your setup in Marketing Cloud or nothing has disappeared (such as a field), then it’s time to check out your Salesforce instance. 

You may need a Salesforce admin for this part of the investigation. Check out Celine Newsome’s blog post Why Should Marketing Admins Have Salesforce Access? for help making the case in case you don’t have access.

Using your knowledge of how the automation studio has been set up, find “the what” this could mean going to the Salesforce object and finding the field, has anything changed? Other things you may need to check in Salesforce, depending on your error

  • Has a field been deleted or renamed?
  • Have permissions changed? Remember your Marketing Cloud Connect user in Salesforce will need to be able to see everything you want to see in Marketing Cloud
  • Has field or object visibility changed?

At this point, if you find something not quite right in Salesforce, you are no longer in Marketing territory. You’ll need to work with your Salesforce admin to

  1. Understand why the change was made 
  2. Find out if it can be reversed
  3. Inform them of the impact on marketing if it can’t be reversed and put a plan in place in Marketing Cloud

We don’t want to go in and start changing things back, as there could be good reasons for the change in Salesforce. 

If you find the reason for your automation errors in Marketing Cloud is because of changes made in Salesforce, then it’s probably a good time to open up this blog post in another tab and read it after this one “Why Salesforce and Marketing Admins Work Better Together

Step 4: Check your connector 

If you’re at step 4, I’m going to assume you’ve found nothing in Marketing Cloud and nothing in Salesforce. Here I’d suggest reviewing your Salesforce connector in Marketing Cloud to make sure that’s the case.

  • You still have a Salesforce System User listed. You can find this by going to set up in Marketing Cloud > Apps > Salesforce Integration 
  • Check that the user listed above is still integrated with Salesforce. You can do this by going to users in Marketing Cloud and checking the Status.
  • Make sure your connector user is still active in Salesforce and has all the permissions needed to work with Marketing Cloud.

Work together with Salesforce admins to prevent Automation Studio errors

While there are lots of different errors that can appear in your Automation Studio, a simple process of elimination can often surface why the error occurred and help you fix it. Finally, knowing your Marketing Cloud set up and working with your Salesforce admin is a great step to take to help avoid errors.

What are the common errors you see in Marketing Cloud Automation Studio? Let us know in the comments.

Original article: The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

The post <strong>Help! I Have Errors in My Automation Studio</strong> appeared first on The Spot.

By |2022-12-07T20:06:11+00:00December 7th, 2022|Categories: Marketing Automations, Pro Tips, revive|