5 Event Marketing Best Practices To Implement For Your Next Campaign

Event marketers face unique challenges. They need to create memorable, unique, and meaningful experiences that align with their brand and connect with their audience all the while staying within budget, building relationships, and generating leads. It is not an easy task. At Dreamforce 2023, The Home for Marketers hosted a panel of marketing leaders to share their recommended event marketing best practices to ensure success!

Dreamforce 2023 Event Marketers Panel – Out of The Home for Marketers Vault

On this panel was Belinda Joseph, Head of Events & Community at Goldcast, Porter Sproul, Campaign Strategist at PFL, and Sarah Kloth, VP of Marketing at Sercante.

Here are the event marketing best practices they shared.

Best Practice #1 – Align Your Event to The Appropriate Stages of the Funnel

When you create an event, Belinda Joseph advised to think about where your event best aligns with the funnel. If you are creating an event that reaches prospects and customers at different stages of their journey, then think through what you will do at your event to meet them where they’re at and make the experience relevant to them. 

For example, an executive dinner could be considered to align with a late stage in the funnel after prospects already know who you are and the solutions you provide. They may have already spoken to someone from sales and the event could be a way to engage prospects at accounts that are in early opportunity stages.

Best Practice #2 – Define What Success Looks Like Across Departments

As you create your next event campaign don’t just think of the goals that the marketing team is working to accomplish, shared Porter Sproul, but consider how you can align with sales, service, and leadership. How can your event serve their business goals? What does each department need for your event campaign to be considered as a win for the business as a whole?

Best Practice #3 – Think About How Your Brand Will Be Represented At Your Event

Sarah Kloth emphasized that your brand is one of the most important focuses of event marketing. “Know who are you, what you do, and the environment that you create.” People will attend your event and will walk away with a certain feeling. That feeling will either bring them closer to your brand or repulse them. How do you want your brand to be remembered? 

“Reputation is everything.” added Porter Sproul. You need to have your event and the environment you create align with your brand, but you also need to be different. The panel shared that nowadays people are more selective with how they are spending their time and they will most likely always engage in what’s most convenient. How will you create an experience that will want to make your audience go out of their way to attend?

Creating an Executive Experience

Porter shared how he once experienced that creating an event that was very exclusive gained great traction. His team was planning an executive dinner adjacent to a conference that was going on, but they wanted to be different. Several other companies attending the conference were also hosting executive dinners. How could they create an experience that would make their audience want to choose theirs over the others?

They elected to do an evening dinner cruise on a boat that would only fit a small number of people. His team targeted their top prospects and soon after promotion started, all the spots for the dinner were filled. After the event, they received feedback from other prospects that missed it saying how the event sounded amazing and how they would love to be a part of it next year. Many times people want what they can’t have. The more you make an experience feel special, one-of-kind, and exclusive, the more people will be curious about it and want to seek it out.

Remembering your Personas

When planning your event and how it aligns to your brand, remember to take into account your personas. Belinda Joseph describes that for every event that Goldcast puts on, she and her team map out, “what do we want each persona to think, feel, and do from this event?” How can your event evoke action and progress your audience further down the funnel?

Best Practice #4 – Tap Into The Network Around You For Promotion

It takes a village to promote an event. Your company and your marketing team will be doing their own promotional plan, but when you have the speaker of the event, your customers, or your followers also promoting the event then you will expand your reach and the invitation will hold more weight.

Which is why our fourth event marketing best practice revolves around tapping into the network around you for promotion.

People are more likely to make a purchase when it was recommended to them by a friend. How much more likely do you think they’ll want to attend your event if your audience sees a peer of theirs sharing about it? 

Getting Help from the Community

To help build awareness about The Home for Marketers, we put together a video series interviewing different Marketing Champions and asking them to share about their previous Dreamforce experiences, including how they would describe The Home for Marketers and advice for first-time Dreamforce attendees.

The Road to the Home for Marketers series not only highlighted different champions in the space that give so much to the community, but it also provided valuable and helpful content for marketers that would be going to the conference for the first-time. In turn, they also got to hear about the Home for Marketers and listen to a peer of theirs describe it to them and hear about their positive experience there.

If you are putting on an event that happens every year, consider how you can highlight people that attended in previous years and have them share their positive experience with your intended audience. 

Ask Speakers to Promote

If your event includes a speaking session, collaborate with your speakers on promotion. Belinda Joseph shared how her team will provide a promotional kit to their speakers, making it easy to post about the event on social media and get the word out about the campaign to their networks. What can you do to help make it as seamless as possible for your speakers to promote the event?

  • Is it pre-written social posts that they can copy and paste?
  • Is there imagery that you can provide to enhance their posts?
  • Is it a video that you record with them?
  • Is it examples of previous promotions that other speakers have done in the past?

Remember, your speakers and even your sponsors for your event all want to drive registration and attendance, so for this campaign, you are all on the same team. How can you enable your team to promote this event successfully?

Best Practice #5 – Create an event that is special, creative, and gives!

This may seem challenging for brands that are in a more serious industry, but as Sarah Kloth reminded us on the panel, “We all want to be taken seriously in business, but at the end of the day we all go home and watch the same shows.” Meaning that your business executives are still people too just like you. How can you tap into the more personal side of your brand to build connections with your audience that are special?

Using Tangible Marketing

During Dreamforce Porter Sproul and the rest of the PFL team had a pink mailbox with a light-up sign that said “Send a Smile.” They had postcards and stamps that event attendees could use to send to their friends and family from the conference. Event attendees filled out the postcard and then placed them in the pink mailbox for the PFL team to send out.

One, when was the last time you sent a note with a pen and paper to someone and snail mailed it to them that was not a wedding invitation? Two, when was the last time you received a hand-written note in your mailbox that was sent “just because”?


PFL created an experience that EVERYONE could relate to. They prompted attendees to think of their loved ones and connect with them in a less common form of communication that is tangible and memorable. 

Building Meaningful Experiences

As another example, Belinda Joseph shared about an internal event that the Goldcast team put on. It was their Sales Kick-off and it was during the time when team members were still isolated because of COVID. Prior to the event, they reached out to employees and asked them to record a video of themselves answering a few questions about what challenges they had been dealing with this past year and what they are thinking about and looking forward to in the year to come.

Their team took these responses and produced it into a 10-minute video that the team all watched together during their sales kick-off. “It was emotional.” Belinda recalled.

“We realized we were not alone in the struggles we were facing because our team members were facing similar challenges.” It created empathy among the team as they all got to hear where each person was coming from, strengthening their culture and bringing them closer together as a team just as they were about to kick-off their new fiscal year. Talk about a memorable experience that evoked an action.

When creating an event, consider how you can build a meaningful experience that will connect with your audience on a deeper level. 

Event Marketing Best Practices to Remember

Think about where your event aligns to your funnel, is it an early-, mid-, or late-stage engagement? If you will have multiple stages represented how will you interact with attendees meeting your brand for the first time versus people who have already engaged several times with you?

Align your event goals to what the other departments will consider a win. Sarah Kloth often challenges the Sercante marketing team to “define what success looks like first.”

Last, but certainly not least, remember that how your brand is represented and the feeling and environment you create for your attendees is everything. Brainstorm with your team about how you can create an experience that is special, giving, and unique.

For more event marketing best practices, connect with Belinda, Porter, and Sarah on LinkedIn!

Original article: 5 Event Marketing Best Practices To Implement For Your Next Campaign

©2023 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

The post 5 Event Marketing Best Practices To Implement For Your Next Campaign appeared first on The Spot.

By |2023-09-20T20:26:25+00:00September 20th, 2023|Categories: Events, Pro Tips, revive, Strategy|

Help! My Account Engagement Email Looks Broken

If your Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (Pardot) email looks broken and you can’t figure out why, then you’re in the right place. In this post, we’ll look at common errors you may uncover when coding your email in Marketing Cloud Account Engagement.

Things to look for when your Account Engagement email looks broken

You may be struggling with these common problems in HTML email code within your Marketing Cloud Account Engagement. But don’t worry, we’re here to guide you through resolving these issues step by step.

Images appear broken

One common issue that marketers face is broken images in their email campaigns. It can be frustrating when images don’t load properly, especially on different devices and email clients. To address this, ensure that your image URLs are correct and properly linked in your HTML code. Additionally, optimize your images for faster loading times and consider using alternative text to provide context if an image fails to load.

Here’s a checklist of things to look for:

Is your image too big? 

Large image file sizes can cause slow loading times or may not display at all. Optimize your images for the web by compressing them without compromising quality. 

Is your image in the correct format? 

Additionally, confirm that the image is in the correct format (e.g., JPEG, PNG, GIF). At the date of this blog, not all email clients will support .webp format.

Are there SSL/HTTPS issues? 

If your Account Engagement account or website is using SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) or HTTPS, ensure that the image URLs are also updated to use HTTPS. Browsers may block or display broken images if there are mixed content warnings due to insecure (HTTP) image URLs on secure (HTTPS) pages.

Is the “pardot-region” inserted in the code correctly? 

When customizing or replacing images in Account Engagement using the WYSIWYG editor, it’s crucial to be mindful of the “pardot-regions” in the HTML code. These regions define editable sections that allow you to modify the content, including images.

When updating your HTML code, it’s important to pay attention to the “pardot-width” and “pardot-height” attributes within the code that correspond to your image holder. By explicitly matching these attributes with your image holder dimensions, you ensure that Account Engagement doesn’t automatically adjust the size, potentially distorting or exceeding the intended size of the image holder. In the example below, by setting the “pardot-height” to be auto will allow the image to automatically adjust and not stretch on a mobile device.

My image appears cut off when adding it using the text editor? 

The template may use an attribute mso-line-height-rule:exactly that controls the line-height of text in Outlook. This can crop the image to be that size. Change the attribute to mso-line-height-rule:at-least to give it more flexibility. It is okay to change all of the attributes to at-least.


Dark mode compatibility is another challenge to consider. With the increasing popularity of dark mode, it’s important to ensure that your emails display correctly in this setting. Test your emails in both light and dark mode to identify any color or readability issues. Use CSS media queries to adjust the styling specifically for dark mode, ensuring a seamless experience for your subscribers.

Here’s a checklist of things to look for:

Do you have dark mode meta tags? 

Dark mode (or light mode) meta tags offer an opportunity to enhance the visual presentation and user experience of your website. These tags provide hints to the browser or email client about how the content should be displayed when the user is in dark mode.

Do you have CSS media queries? 

Dark mode-specific CSS media queries are similar to mobile responsive media queries in the sense that they allow you to target specific conditions and apply different styles accordingly. While mobile responsive media queries focus on adjusting layouts and styles based on screen sizes, dark mode-specific media queries target the user’s preference for dark mode and enable you to modify the appearance of your content accordingly.

When using dark mode-specific media queries, such as (prefers-color-scheme: dark) or @media (prefers-color-scheme: dark), you can detect whether the user has enabled dark mode in their browser or operating system settings. This information helps you adapt the colors, backgrounds, and text within your HTML and CSS code to provide a more suitable and visually appealing experience for users in dark mode. See example code.

Are you swapping your image between dark and light mode? 

Certain images may rely heavily on specific colors or color combinations that work well in light mode but might not be as effective or visually appealing in dark mode. By swapping images, you can create alternative versions that are optimized for each color scheme, enhancing the overall aesthetic and cohesiveness of your email design. See example code.

Is your white text turning black in Outlook? 

Outlook’s dark mode implementation may override the color styles you’ve set for your text, resulting in white text appearing as black. In dark mode, Outlook attempts to adjust the color scheme for better visibility, which can cause unexpected changes to your email’s appearance. You can add the below code to the head tag that will target the Microsoft Outlook email only.

By utilizing this code, you can apply specific CSS styles that will only affect Microsoft Outlook emails. Adjust your desired styles within the provided <style> block.

Here’s an example of how to use a class within an element:

Here is the full tutorial by Nicole Merlin that addresses Outlook emails in dark mode.

Access a complete list of email clients that support dark mode, along with additional tips for optimizing dark mode in your emails, by referring to the following resource.

Preheader text

The preheader text, also known as a preview snippet, is essential for enticing recipients to open your emails. However, it can sometimes get cut off or displayed incorrectly. To avoid this, keep your preheader text concise and within the recommended character limit. Test it across different email clients to ensure it appears as intended.

Here’s a checklist of things to look for:

Do you need this hidden? 

The decision to hide or display preheader text in emails can vary based on several factors, including design preferences, marketing strategies, and the specific goals of the email campaign. If you decide this needs to be hidden on the overall look of the email, you can include a <style> tag within the <head> section of your HTML code. Use CSS selectors to target the desired element and apply the appropriate styling to hide it. See example ‘A’ below.

In this example, the CSS code targets the element with the class name .preview within  the #emailContents container and applies specific styles when the screen width is at least 600 pixels. The #emailContents id is specific to Account Engagement and should allow the editor to edit the content using the WYSIWYG editor. The content within the element is otherwise hidden with the style=”display: none; mso-hide: all” inline style sets the display property to none


Remove unwanted characters from the preheader text

Preheader text should be brief and concise, ideally within the range of 80 to 100 characters. Focus on delivering a clear and compelling message that entices recipients to open your email.

If you prefer not to display any preheader text, you can simply leave the preheader content empty. However, be aware that some email clients may automatically populate the preheader with default content, such as the first line of text from the email body. To mitigate this, consider adding a space or non-breaking space (&nbsp;) in the preheader to override any auto-populated text. See example ‘C’ above.

My link’s not working

Broken links can be frustrating for subscribers and can negatively impact your click-through rates. To avoid this, thoroughly check and test all the links in your email. Double-check the URLs for accuracy and ensure they are properly formatted.

Here’s a checklist of things to look for:

Did you write the correct format? 

Double-check that the URL of the link is accurate and properly formatted. Ensure that the link includes the necessary protocols (e.g., “http://” or “https://”) and does not contain any typographical errors or missing characters.

Is your link broken? 

If the destination page of the link is no longer available or has been moved or removed, the link will not work. Verify that the target webpage is active and accessible.

URL encoding issues 

URLs with special characters or spaces may encounter encoding problems. 

Make sure that the link is correctly encoded using URL encoding standards (e.g., replacing spaces with “%20” or special characters with their corresponding encoded values).

Non-clickable link

If the link is not properly coded as an anchor <a> tag with the appropriate href attribute, it will not function as a clickable link. Ensure that the link is wrapped within the <a> tag and that the href attribute contains the correct URL.

Blocked or filtered by email client

Some email clients may block or filter certain links for security reasons. If the link appears to be working when tested in other environments, it could be due to the specific email client’s settings or policies.

Incompatibility with mobile devices

Links that are designed or formatted in a way that is not mobile-friendly may not work properly on mobile devices or within certain email clients. Optimize your links for mobile responsiveness to ensure they function as intended.

URL redirection issues

If the link involves URL redirection, make sure that the redirection configuration is correct and functioning properly. Incorrect redirection settings can cause the link to fail.

I want to use a custom font

While Account Engagement does not provide font hosting, you can still incorporate custom fonts in your email campaigns by using web-safe fonts or linking to externally hosted font files. You can host the font files on your own server or utilize third-party font hosting services, then reference them in your email’s CSS using @font-face rules. This way, you have more control over the font selection while still working within Account Engagement’s limitations.

Here’s a checklist of things to look for:

Choose a web-safe font or a font that supports email clients

Email clients have limited font support, so it’s best to use web-safe fonts or custom fonts specifically designed for email use. Select a font that is available on most operating systems and widely supported by email clients to ensure consistent rendering.

Host the font files

Upload the font files to your web server or a font hosting service. You’ll typically need the font files in different formats like WOFF, WOFF2, TTF, or EOT to maximize compatibility across email clients. 

Define font-face rules in the CSS

In your CSS code, use the @font-face rule to declare the font family and specify the font file URLs. Include the different font formats to cover a broader range of email clients.

Replace ‘YourCustomFont’ with the desired font name and adjust the file paths in the url() function to reflect the location of your font files.

My font link is being counted as a click

In Account Engagement, links are typically tracked and counted as clicks to provide valuable engagement metrics and insights for your email campaigns. However, when you include a font link in your email, it may unintentionally be counted as a click due to the way Account Engagement tracks link interactions.

This can happen because Account Engagement’s tracking mechanism treats all links as clickable elements by default. When recipients open your email and the email client fetches the font file from the linked source, Account Engagement’s tracking system registers this as a click event.

Here’s a checklist of things to look for:

How are you using custom fonts?

To avoid font links being counted as clicks in Account Engagement, you can use the @import method instead of the traditional <link> method to include custom fonts in your email.

Here’s an example of how to use the @import method:

Background images

Background images in HTML email templates offer creative possibilities for crafting distinctive layouts, adding depth, and showcasing products. They have gained popularity as a design element. However, it is important to consider certain factors when incorporating background images in your Account Engagement email design.

Here’s a checklist of things to look for:

Not all email clients support background images

Some clients may block or ignore background images, resulting in an email that doesn’t display the intended design. Test your email across different email clients to ensure consistent rendering. 

Inline CSS

To maximize compatibility, inline CSS is typically recommended for background images in HTML emails. Use the style attribute directly within HTML elements to define the background image and related properties.

The example includes the necessary code to make the background image show in Microsoft Outlook, as well as most popular email clients.

Image size and optimization

Optimize your background image by compressing it to reduce file size while maintaining acceptable quality. Large image files can increase email size and load time, negatively impacting the recipient’s experience. Aim for an optimized image that doesn’t exceed the recommended file size for emails.

Fallback background color

In case the background image doesn’t load or isn’t supported, provide a fallback background color that complements your design. This ensures that the email still looks visually appealing even without the background image.


Consider accessibility guidelines when using background images. Include alt text for background images so that users with screen readers or email clients that don’t display background images can still understand the context of the email. And of course, it is not recommended or best practice to use text in background images.

Buttons in Outlook

Buttons collapsing or not displaying correctly is another challenge in HTML email coding. To avoid this, use table-based layouts for buttons and set explicit width and height values. Test your buttons across different email clients to ensure they remain consistent and clickable.

Here’s a checklist of things to look for:

I want rounded corners in Outlook. 

VML (Vector Markup Language) can be used to create buttons with rounded corners, especially in older versions of Outlook that don’t fully support modern CSS features like rounded borders (border-radius). VML allows you to make custom shapes and apply rounded corners to elements. 

Check out this example of an HTML button with rounded corners using VML:

We strongly advise against using this method in HTML email templates within Account Engagement, as it requires replacing the link in two separate locations, which can be easily overlooked if not approached with caution.

Why did my button padding get stripped? 

If you’re facing a situation where the padding of your button appears to be removed or stripped, it is likely because of a collapsing issue in Outlook. To troubleshoot this problem, ensure that the link you are testing is an active and valid link, rather than just using a placeholder like “#” or a dummy link. Using inactive or placeholder links can be the root cause of the problem and result in the unexpected removal of padding from your button.

Create error-free Account Engagement emails

At Sercante, we understand the common pitfalls of HTML email code in Account Engagement, and we’re dedicated to solving them for you. 

With our technical expertise and attention to detail, you can rest assured that your email campaigns will be visually appealing, engaging, and seamless across all platforms and devices. 

Say goodbye to HTML email code frustrations and hello to successful email campaigns that captivate your audience. Reach out to us for help creating well-crafted emails and templates in Account Engagement.

Original article: Help! My Account Engagement Email Looks Broken

©2023 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

The post Help! My Account Engagement Email Looks Broken appeared first on The Spot.

By |2023-09-13T21:17:49+00:00September 13th, 2023|Categories: Emails & Forms, Pardot, Pro Tips, revive, Strategy|

Deciding If It’s Time To Bring in an Analytics Reporting Partner

Deciding if you’re ready to team up with an analytics reporting partner or consultant can be a real head-scratcher. How do you even know if you are ready? But fear not, we’ve got your back! 

In this blog, we’re going to break down key areas to review and help you figure out if it’s time to bring in a marketing analytics consulting partner or if you’re good to go solo. 

Let’s dive in and find out if you’re ready to rock the CRM and marketing analytics world.

How do I know if I need a partner for analytics reporting? 

Picture this: you’re sitting at your desk, staring at a seemingly never-ending spreadsheet filled with numbers, charts, and graphs all from different marketing sources. The mere thought of analyzing and making sense of it all makes your head spin. You know that harnessing the power of data is crucial for your business’s growth, but where do you even begin? 

That’s when the idea of hiring a Salesforce partner for analytics reporting starts to flicker in your mind. Is it worth it? Will they truly make a difference? How do you even know if you need one? 

Well here are a few questions to ask yourself to help point you in the right direction.

Limited Internal Resources: Do I have enough time to do this?

Granted this is a bit of a softball point to begin with, but don’t sleep on it. Too often I see marketers spinning their wheels on the reporting instead of being able to spend their time on the actual marketing piece of the job! 

When I worked at a startup I had the head of marketing say to me “Is the money better spent with me spinning my wheel trying to get this to work or paying someone who can do it in half the time freeing me up to work on my actual job?”

That has always resonated with me.  If the marketing team lacks the necessary time, expertise, or resources to dedicate to analytics reporting, it may be a clear signal to seek a consultant’s assistance. 

Hiring a consultant can provide additional bandwidth and expertise, allowing the team to focus on their core responsibilities while ensuring that analytics reporting receives the attention it deserves. A consultant can help fill the resource gap and ensure timely and accurate reporting.

Actionable Insight: But where do we go from here? 

Next let’s start with a pretty big question. Once you get the reports, do you know what you want to do next? And I will tell you most people aren’t ready right away and that is absolutely okay. When marketers struggle to derive actionable insights from their analytics reports, it may be an indication that a consultant’s assistance is needed. 

A consultant can help interpret the data, identify trends, and provide strategic recommendations that can drive marketing performance and decision-making. They can offer a fresh perspective and expertise to unlock valuable insights that may have been overlooked. Who doesn’t like being able to bounce ideas off an expert?

How do I know if I am ready to engage an analytics partner?

Okay you’ve crunched the numbers, and after your review, you have decided your organization would benefit from working with a consultant. 

That’s fantastic! But before you jump in headfirst, are you fully prepared? 

Believe it or not, there are actions you can take right away to give your collaboration a turbo boost and get things moving swiftly. Let’s explore these steps together and make sure you’re all set for an amazing journey ahead.

Clearly Define Objectives: KPIs and goals to lead the way! 

It is essential to have a clear understanding of what you want to achieve with your analytics reporting. It is hard to reach the finish line if you don’t know where it is! 

A simple way to make sure your analytics reporting is going to have an impact is defining your marketing goals.

It doesn’t have to be every goal or that doesn’t mean it might not pivot when new insights arise, but if you know you want to improve lead generation, you might want to focus on analytics that lead to increasing website traffic, improving conversion rates, or optimizing ad spend. This clarity will help both you and the consultant align your efforts and ensure that the analytics reporting addresses your specific goals. You can see where you need to improve and where you are hitting it out of the park! 

Got reports or CSVs you are working on currently? That is a great jumping off point to see what is working and what isn’t. 

Gather Relevant Data: Is my data ready? 

Most marketers manage a multitude of different data points. From Salesforce to omni channels used for outreach, you basically have to be a trained juggler to balance it all. 

You can perform your own audit collecting and organizing the relevant data points that are required for your analysis and see where there are gaps.  By having a uniformed view on the data you are analyzing this also has the added benefit of bringing together other teams and can unify your organization on goals.

Plan of action for access 

When B2B marketers gather insight on the departments and audiences reviewing analytics reporting, it helps them create customized reports that speak directly to the needs of each department. By aligning the reports with the goals of the different teams and end users, it helps get everyone on the same page. Plus, they can communicate in a way that makes sense to each audience, using the right language and level of detail.

Knowing who will be reviewing the reports also lets marketers address any specific concerns or areas of interest upfront. By being proactive, they can provide relevant insights and solutions during the meeting. 

Also by having a plan in place, it shows that they have a clear understanding of the data and insights available, which allows them to make the most of their meeting with the consultant and each department that might need access to the reporting.

Big timelines

Timelines and important dates seem to creep up on you, especially when you are spinning your wheel on a report that just doesn’t want to cooperate. Before you jump on with your partner to cover reporting needs, make sure you note any important dates coming up. 

Include things like:

  • Product launches
  • Marketing campaigns
  • Industry events
  • Sales milestones
  • Big executive presentations

The consultant can schedule reporting activities accordingly. 

By informing your consultant about important dates, you ensure timely and customized reporting aligned with your marketing goals. It helps them schedule reporting, tailor insights, support strategic planning, solve problems proactively, and foster collaboration.

Top 3 challenges

At the end of the day, you don’t have to have everything perfect before you engage a partner. That’s what they are there for! 

But ask yourself: what are 3 things that if you got them taken off your plate or solved right now, life would be a little easier? What keeps you up at night? 

That is your starting list! The consultant can help break those down in easy digestible chunks so you can make progress.

Let’s bring it home

In conclusion, deciding whether to team up with a partner or consultant for analytics reporting can be a daunting task. However, by considering key factors, you can determine if it’s time to engage a partner or if you’re ready to tackle analytics on your own. 

If your internal resources are limited, and you find yourself spending more time on reporting than actual marketing activities, hiring a consultant can provide the necessary expertise and bandwidth to ensure timely and accurate reporting.

Additionally, if you struggle to derive actionable insights from your analytics reports, a consultant can offer fresh perspectives and strategic recommendations that drive marketing performance.

Steps when you’ve decided to contact an analytics reporting partner

 When you’ve decided to engage a partner, it’s important to:

  • Clearly define your objectives
  • Gather relevant data
  • Create a plan of action for access and timelines

By taking these steps, you can ensure that your collaboration with a consultant is productive and aligned with your marketing goals. 

Remember, a consultant can help address your top challenges and alleviate the burdens that keep you up at night, ultimately making your journey towards impactful analytics reporting a smoother and more successful one.

So, hint hint, nudge nudge. We’re a team of marketing consultants who can guide you through marketing and CRM analytics implementation and optimization. Drop us a line to start the conversation.

Original article: Deciding If It’s Time To Bring in an Analytics Reporting Partner

©2023 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

The post Deciding If It’s Time To Bring in an Analytics Reporting Partner appeared first on The Spot.

By |2023-09-12T18:58:34+00:00September 12th, 2023|Categories: Analytics & Reporting, Pro Tips, revive, Strategy|

Lessons Learned During Salesforce Data Cloud Implementation

If you’re getting ready for a Salesforce Data Cloud implementation, then this post will get you ready for it.

There are so many buzzwords with this particular Salesforce product that it often makes it hard to understand what Data Cloud is and what it can do for your business. If that sounds familiar, this article should help you understand the product’s core capabilities and key considerations. 

Having been lucky enough to work on a Data Cloud implementation, I’ll be drawing on both my theoretical knowledge from countless Trailheads and accreditation courses as well as my practical understanding from the challenges I faced when implementing this intricate cloud. 

What is Salesforce Data Cloud?

First things first, Data Cloud, like a lot of Salesforce marketing products, has been through a lot of rebranding and was formerly known as CDP. However, it is not to be confused with Salesforce 360, which will leverage the power of Data Cloud across the whole Salesforce Ecosystem.

So what actually is Data Cloud? 

Simply put, it is Salesforce’s long-term customer data platform (CDP) solution. The platform allows users to create a unified view of their customers by integrating data from multiple sources, both internal and external. This data can include demographic and behavioral information, purchase and order history, digital and non-digital interactions, and much more. By combining these diverse datasets, users can gain a deeper understanding of their customer’s preferences, behaviors and most importantly, needs. 

Source: Salesforce

What are Data Cloud’s Capabilities?

If you’re looking at implementing Data Cloud and wondering whether or not it is right for you, let me talk you through its capabilities in a little more detail: 

Data Unification

First and foremost, Data Cloud’s primary function is to unify data from multiple sources into a single, consolidated view of the customer. Data can come directly from Salesforce Core, Salesforce Marketing Cloud or it can come from an external system such as an in-house data warehouse. However, as I’ll go on to explain later on, Data Cloud works best when your data is in a healthy position. 

Data Enrichment

With a plethora of connection options ranging from out-of-the-box (OOTB) connectors to FTPs to APIs and more, Data Cloud offers its customers the ability to enrich customer profiles by appending additional information to existing datasets. In other words, imagine using both lifetime value (LTV) metrics and social engagement metrics to truly understand who your most loyal customers are. 


There is no point in having all this data if you’re unable to use it. Data Cloud offers users the ability to create Segments using all of the data ingested by Data Cloud. Segments and Calculated Insights — multi-dimensional metrics (i.e. calculate LTV by summing all completed orders) — can then be pushed into external systems such as Marketing Cloud for future use. 

Better yet, Segments and Calculated Insights can be created without needing knowledge of SQL, although there are limitations as I’ll go on to explain. 

Real-time Data Updates

If you’re in need of up-to-the-minute data and insights, Data Cloud might just be for you. Its streaming insights and real-time Data Streams allow users to work on the most up-to-date data instead of outdated insights and decisions. 

This list is by no means an extensive list of Data Cloud’s capabilities but a list of what I believe are Data Cloud’s most useful tools. For a full list of capabilities, it’s worth checking out the product in more detail.

What are key considerations during Data Cloud implementation?

So at this point, Data Cloud sounds pretty fantastic. And don’t get me wrong, it is! 

However, like any software out there, there are key considerations to take during Data Cloud implementation. Here they are.

Data Quality

Data Cloud is only as good as the data it is supplied. I was, and I’m sure among many, one of those Salesforce marketing enthusiasts who thought Data Cloud would solve all my data silo issues. 

Data Cloud works on reconciliation rules, it uses these rules to unify data coming from different sources, so if your data sources don’t have commonalities between them, you’ll have a hard time creating your unified profile. Likewise, if your data sources are providing inconsistent data in each run, your Segments and Calculated Insights are only going to be so effective. 

Set-up Complexity

Data Cloud is a very flexible platform, and it allows users to consume a variety of Data Streams and utilize a wide range of Data Model Objects. However, this also brings complications as it requires users to have a broad understanding of Data Mapping, APIs and Data Transformation, as well as having a solid understanding of Salesforce. 

This is particularly important when Unified Profiles are involved. And furthermore, it requires a deep understanding of the platform’s very intricate nuances. 

To list a few of the nuances:

  • Unified Individual – The Unified Individual Object itself is non-editable. It essentially acts as a carbon copy of the Individual Object and is only created once Reconciliation Rules have been set up. 
  • Activations – Only fields that are mapped to the Individual Object are available as fields in segments pushed from Data Cloud. Related Objects and their fields are pushed as parsed fields,  which adds complexity for using tools like Marketing Cloud Engagement.
  • Profile Explorer – The OTTB Profile object is very limited and will require a lot of Salesforce expertise to build a usable page for viewing Unified Customers. 
  • Learning Curve – Data Cloud is a data-heavy tool and, at least in my experience, usually falls under the MarTech umbrella. Whilst this provides marketers with data-driven insights and segments, it also means a lot of learning is required. 

As mentioned above, there are new concepts as well as new terminology such as Data Streams, Data Bundles and Data Lake Objects, but the biggest learning curve will come from the Segmentation and Calculated Insights. 

Whilst Data Cloud does offer a ‘Builder,’ creating both insights and segments using the Unified Individual (the main reason for using Data Cloud) is achieved via SQL due to how the Unified Individual reconciles multiple profiles from multiple sources. 

Use these tips for a successful Data Cloud implementation

I don’t want to sound like I’m being negative as, in reality, Data Cloud is a fantastic tool and can help drive meaningful engagement. But I do want to stress that understanding the detailed capabilities and key considerations of Data Cloud is the only true way of ensuring your Data Cloud implementation will be successful. 

Questions to ask before Data Cloud implementation

If I was procuring Data Cloud for myself, I would consider the following; 

  • Where is my data coming from? If the majority already sits within a Salesforce product, then the chances are I can get a unified customer profile through smart architecture.  
  • What is the state of my data? As mentioned, Data Cloud won’t fix your data health issues. If your data is generally incomplete and lacks consistency, then you’re not going to be ready for Data Cloud yet — it doesn’t mean it won’t be right in the future. 
  • Who is going to own this product? It’s often marketers who will benefit from the segments and insights. But more often than not they don’t have SQL experience. If you’re hoping the segment and insights builders will make up for a lack of SQL knowledge, it might be worth reconsidering.

Need help with your Data Cloud implementation? Reach out to the Sercante team who can walk you through it and get you the results you’re trying to achieve.

Original article: Lessons Learned During Salesforce Data Cloud Implementation

©2023 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

The post Lessons Learned During Salesforce Data Cloud Implementation appeared first on The Spot.

By |2023-09-11T18:55:04+00:00September 11th, 2023|Categories: Analytics & Reporting, Data Management, Pro Tips, revive, Strategy|

Should You Buy or Build a Customer Data Platform?

The last blog post in this 3-part series may have left you wondering if you should buy or build a customer data platform (CDP). We’ll answer that question in this last installment.

In the first post, we looked at six reasons to implement a CDP. Then in the second blog post, we discussed the five major CDP components.

The five main CDP components are:

  1. Data Ingestion and Storage
  2. Data Modelling and Data Processing
  3. Identity Management and Consent Tracking (for Marketing)
  4. Profile Enrichment and Audience Building
  5. Actions and Insights

We briefly discussed Consent Management as an important part of any CDP marketing use case.

Obtaining a customer data platform can be achieved by purchasing a CDP suite, sometimes called an  off-the-shelf CDP solution, or by selecting the various individual component pieces and using them to build your own customer data platform.  The latter is known as a composable CDP solution.

Assembling a CDP team

In either case, CDP implementations need people with deep expertise and knowledge of data architecture, data modeling, and data engineering.  These skills are needed to achieve data ingestion of internal and external sources into a data storage repository in a well-architected way that is both scalable and cost-effective.  For composable CDP solutions, it is critical that the team construct a workable plan that incorporates how each of the pieces will be combined.

Platform Expert

Beyond that, it’s important to have tool or platform-specific knowledge to build out the capabilities of the various components of the selected customer data platform.  For example, it would be beneficial to have Salesforce Administrator skills to assist with the Salesforce Data Cloud implementation and administration of the Data Cloud afterward.  

Marketing Operations

It’s also important to have marketing domain expertise, especially for use cases that involve audience building for marketing purposes.  Not all CDP use cases involve the marketing function, but there are a significant number that do involve marketing use cases.  

Advanced Technical Experts

No matter whether you choose to buy or build a CDP, there’s a variety of skills needed to get up and running on a customer data platform, so it’s likely going to take several different people, each with varied skills.  

How to fill the skill gaps

Large enterprises that employ a big IT department experienced at building applications or SaaS companies of any size where the core business is building applications, are more likely to consider composable CDPs as an option.  And organizations with use cases that require real-time capabilities will need to carefully consider whether an off-the-shelf CDP solution will provide the needed functionality.

That said, the quickest way to get up and running on a customer data platform is usually by purchasing a CDP suite that includes all the major components ready to go out-of-the-box.  In addition to accelerating the time to value, a customer data platform suite is a great choice when your organization lacks the IT support and skills needed to evaluate, select and piece together all the various components of a CDP.  

Salesforce as a CDP suite

Choosing Salesforce as the CDP suite to buy is pretty straightforward if you already have Salesforce Sales and Service cloud, or an industry equivalent such as Salesforce Nonprofit Cloud or Health Cloud, and/or Salesforce Commerce Cloud.  

Those Salesforce platforms have a direct connection to the Salesforce Data Cloud as well as a connector to the Salesforce Marketing Cloud.  This removes the need to build pipelines between these systems as would be needed for a composable CDP solution.  As a result, security is ensured by Salesforce because all data is contained within the Salesforce system. 

Considerations for composable (build-your-own) CDP solutions 

Composable CDP solutions are an option to consider if your first-party data doesn’t live in a CRM like Salesforce and your IT team has the skills, experience, and bandwidth to build out a solution for the organization. Composable CDP solutions are a great choice if your organization already has some of the five major CDP components installed and working well.  

If your first-party data is already ingested into your data warehouse or data lakehouse, is being processed and transformed, and you have robust machine learning tools in place, then your existing system likely meets several of the CDP requirements already.  In that case, it might make sense to just add the missing pieces to your existing platform rather than purchase a CDP suite.

Steps to decide if you should buy or build a customer data platform (CDP)

There is a lot to consider when making a CDP choice.  Both CDP suites and composable CDP solutions are viable options but to help you figure out which one might be a better choice for you and your organization, here are four things you can do.

1. Define your CDP use cases and know what problems you need to solve

For what purposes do you want to use unified customer data?  Do your use cases need to be solved for only marketing concerns or will the sales and service teams benefit from a unified customer profile?  Do any of these use cases require real-time capabilities? 

2. Evaluate the current gap in your CDP requirements

Where does your current first-party data reside today?  Of the given CDP components you need, how many does your organization already have in place?  Are there any digital transformations or architectural upgrades planned in your organization for the next 12-15 months that you are aware of and should consider?

3. Consider your internal teams’ skill sets, experience, and bandwidth

Does your IT team have the skills and experience to select the right pieces and compose a CDP from different vendors?  Will your IT team be able to prioritize building a CDP over other internal projects?

4. Review vendors’ track record and consider the likelihood they’ll continue investing in the product

What is the vendor(s) track record in the CDP space?  Are they new to the modern marketing tech stack or have they been in the CDP space for quite a while and perhaps considered to be more of a legacy product?  How likely are they to continue investing in their product(s).  

Consider your long-term plan when making a CDP build or buy decision

Customer data platforms are a long-term investment — you want to know your CDP vendor(s) will continue to improve their product.  And you’ll want to make sure you’re setting your team up for success by considering the level of effort needed to administer and support the tool and platform choices for your CDP.  

Whether you choose to acquire an off-the-shelf CDP suite or build a composable CDP, there are many reasons why your organization would want a customer data platform.

Remember to reach out to the team at Sercante for guidance when you’re ready to implement a CDP at your company or organization.

Original article: Should You Buy or Build a Customer Data Platform?

©2023 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

The post Should You Buy or Build a Customer Data Platform? appeared first on The Spot.

By |2023-09-07T01:16:12+00:00September 7th, 2023|Categories: Analytics & Reporting, Data Management, Pro Tips, revive, Strategy|

The Five Major Components of a Customer Data Platform

Thinking about implementing a CDP? Understanding the main components of a customer data platform (CDP) is a good way to make the decision.

A CDP is not a marketing campaign execution tool, but it does provide a solid foundation for marketing personalization. While a CDP is frequently employed to better orchestrate the customer journey, that isn’t the only reason you’d want to consider using a customer data platform. The unified customer profiles built in a CDP can be made available to sales and service teams so that they can close more and bigger deals and provide better customer support.

In the previous blog post, we discussed why your organization would want to consider implementing a customer data platform solution. 

There were six main reasons discussed

  1. Increased demand for personalized customer experiences
  2. The customer data problem of siloed data
  3. Need to track multi-touch points 
  4. Demise of third-party cookies in 2024
  5. Government regulations regarding privacy
  6. Unified profiles can be used in data clean rooms

It’s not unusual for sales and service teams to work with some of the same technology tools. For example, an organization’s customer relationship management (CRM) system is a commonly shared platform. 

CRM systems were designed to collect first-party data about an individual customer, member, patient, or donor, depending on the use case. A CRM can also be used to collect first-party data about companies or organizations. First-party CRM data will likely include name and contact information, at a minimum. 

In contrast, there are some tools and platforms used primarily by marketers. One such example is a data management platform (DMP) that can be used to segment audiences and optimize ad spend. A DMP is a cookie-based solution that temporarily stores second and third-party data about audiences and advertising campaigns. As we learned in the previous blog post article, third-party cookies are going away in 2024, which is an important reason why a CDP implementation could be worth considering sooner rather than later. 

Five main components of a customer data platform (CDP)

A customer data platform is a repository for large quantities of internal and external customer data. CDP input data sources often include data from an organization’s customer relationship management (CRM) system and data management platform (DMP). Both CDPs and CRMs are persistent, long-term storage solutions, whereas DMPs generally have shorter retention periods around 90 days or so.

Customer data platforms generally include at least five major components which are described next (see figure below). There is one caveat. Consent management is a very important item not always included in the requirements for a customer data platform. If you use a CDP for marketing use cases, however, you’ll need to consider how to manage and track consent.

1. Data Ingestion and Storage

At its core, a CDP must provide a data storage component where all the customer data is securely stored and managed. Additionally, you will need to have a way to bring all the customer data into the storage layer. Data ingestion for external data sources is usually automated by using various connectors. It’s very important to consider data governance as part of this component. Depending on the CDP selected, your organization could be responsible for all data governance requirements. 

2. Data Modeling and Processing 

Before ingesting data into your CDP, you’ll want to design and create your data models. It’s a good idea to build a data dictionary as part of the data modeling exercise, prior to data ingestion. Creating a data dictionary will help highlight any formula fields to be created and data transformations to be undertaken. 

3. Identity Management and Consent Tracking

Data matching and identity resolution are the next critical steps to achieving a unified customer profile once data is ingested and securely stored in a CDP. Identity stitching, accomplished by analyzing and resolving data across multiple touchpoints, systems, and attributes, ultimately helps us better understand a customer’s interests and needs. Identity resolution can be achieved using both deterministic matching, best used with first-party data, and probabilistic matching. 

4. Profile Enrichment and Audience Building

After reconciling identities, you’ll be able to enrich those identities with external data sources. Once the holistic unified profiles are available, you’ll be able to extract information to be used for analytical purposes. For marketing use cases, you can also use unified profiles to create segments and audiences for marketing campaigns. 

5. Actions and Insights 

This component makes data in the data layer accessible to machine learning tools or other platforms where the data can be used to achieve actionable insights. With actionable data, organizations can better orchestrate the customer journey. Targeted actions also make it possible to engage with customers in real-time. For example, a customer searching for product installation instructions on the website for a recently purchased item could automatically be sent an email with the needed information. 

Explore types of CDP solutions available

Some customer data platform solutions, such as Salesforce Data Cloud can be purchased as a full product suite with all major components included in one platform. Another approach to acquiring a CDP would be to build your own customer data platform. 

Most organizations that build a customer data platform opt for a composable CDP which allows individual best-in-breed module selection and combination to satisfy their CDP requirements. Both of these customer data platform acquisition approaches are discussed in more detail in the next blog post.

Remember to reach out to the team at Sercante for guidance when you’re ready to implement a CDP at your company or organization.

Original article: The Five Major Components of a Customer Data Platform

©2023 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

The post The Five Major Components of a Customer Data Platform appeared first on The Spot.

By |2023-09-07T01:03:21+00:00September 7th, 2023|Categories: Analytics & Reporting, Data Management, Pro Tips, revive, Strategy|

Six Reasons Why You’d Want to Implement a Customer Data Platform

A customer data platform (CDP) is a unified customer database where many different external and internal sources are collected, cleaned, and aggregated to build rich individual customer profiles. These unified customer profiles can then be made available to marketing, sales, and support teams for achieving increased sales, enhanced customer experiences, and improved customer support. If you’re wondering if you should implement a customer data platform, then read on to get six reasons why it’s a good idea.

Building personalized customer experiences

Customers expect more personalized experiences today — they’re demanding more in return for sharing their personal information with an organization. When customers supply their information to one department, they expect the updated information to be available company wide.

However, that is frequently not possible because customer data often exists separately within many different departments. There is rarely a single source of truth. In this situation, a CDP can connect these siloed customer data sources.

CDPs create a complete view of the customer journey

It’s not just that customer data is siloed. The amount of data continues to grow exponentially for many reasons, one is that there are more touch points now in a customer journey. 

A customer may start their morning searching for an item on their home computer then continue their search on their mobile device while in transit to work. Later, they may spend their lunch hour browsing on their laptop, ultimately making their final purchasing decision on their tablet in the evening. 

A CDP can help stitch together these interactions to provide a more complete view of a customer journey.

Six reasons to implement a customer data platform

  • Reason #1. Provide better and more personalized customer experiences
  • Reason #2. Solve problems related to data silos/disconnected databases
  • Reason #3. Manage more complex customer journeys with multi-touch points
  • Reason #4. Prepare for the demise of third-party cookies in 2024
  • Reason #5. Comply with government regulations regarding privacy
  • Reason #6. Use unified profiles in data clean rooms

These first three reasons why you’d want a customer data platform aren’t necessarily new. It’s a marketer’s goal to deliver the right message at the right time through the right channel by building an understanding of who the customer is and what they want. However, there is a new sense of urgency. 

Creating unified customer profiles has become much more important due to recent external driving factors. Those driving factors are the fourth and fifth reasons included in the list below.

Data privacy and the end of third-party cookies

With the availability of information from third-party cookies, it wasn’t a priority for most organizations to expend the resources developing a complete view of their customers. Indeed, it’s expensive to build a complete 360-view of the customer that would allow for more personalized experiences, and it’s been relatively inexpensive for marketers to frequently send communication blasts to a wide audience. 

Soon, however, marketers will no longer have a cheap and easy source of consumer information gathered from third-party cookies. Today, third-party cookies are already being blocked by some browsers such as Safari and Mozilla Firefox. In the latter half of 2024, Google plans to completely deprecate all third-party cookies. 

The excessive exploitation of technology, including the misuse of third-party cookies, has had the unintended consequence of governments stepping in to create regulations to better protect the privacy of consumers. Obtaining consumer consent and keeping track of this consent, now required, is an important reason marketers should consider using a customer data platform. 

Building unified customer profiles within a CDP

A CDP offers organizations a way to bring together customer data to develop a more clear and complete picture. With the unified profiles developed in a CDP, organizations can now develop a first-party data strategy that can be extended with the use of other tools and platforms like a data clean room. 

A data clean room, the ultimate in data sharing and data collaboration, provides new opportunities for organizations to process and analyze data more efficiently while still managing the data in a compliant way. 

Other departments feel benefits of implementing a CDP 

Marketers may initially have the most to gain by using a customer data platform, but unified customer profiles can also result in many benefits for sales and service teams. Importantly, the enterprise must adhere to new regulations and privacy laws. 

A customer data platform is often the best way to ensure that the customer profile is complete and accurate. That way, when a customer makes a request related to privacy, the organization can comply with the request.

So, how does a CDP actually work? In the next blog post, we’ll discuss the five major components of a customer data platform. 

Remember to reach out to the team at Sercante for guidance when you’re ready to implement a CDP at your company or organization.

Original article: Six Reasons Why You’d Want to Implement a Customer Data Platform

©2023 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

The post Six Reasons Why You’d Want to Implement a Customer Data Platform appeared first on The Spot.

By |2023-09-07T00:48:02+00:00September 7th, 2023|Categories: Analytics & Reporting, Data Management, Pro Tips, revive, Strategy|

Email Campaign Efficiency: Tips for Saving Time and Boosting Results

It’s time to launch another email campaign and the anxiety sets in. You have a variety of people on different teams who want their eyes (and opinions) on your emails before you can launch them. This back and forth can be overwhelming and gets buried in 50+ long email threads

Stop the madness! Let’s talk about how to organize the chaos — making your life easier when it’s time to launch an email campaign. Here are a few email campaign tips.

Use an Email Brief

It’s a blank sheet of paper for most clients and they get overwhelmed with where and how to start. Sometimes you need to partner with someone who has a plan you can easily take, customize it to your needs, and boom! You have a starting place now. 

Let’s talk about what exactly you should include in an email brief.

What to include in the email brief

Campaign Overview and Objective 

  • Start with a brief description of the campaign’s purpose and main objective
  • Use it as an opportunity to define its purpose with absolute clarity and give helpful background to your team who will be viewing the brief
  • Clearly state what you want to achieve, such as increasing sales, promoting a new product, driving traffic to a website, or building brand awareness

Metrics and Reporting

  • Clearly define the key performance indicators (KPIs) you’ll use to measure the success of the campaign
  • Stick to goals that translate into clear, measurable objectives
  • Link to the report you plan to use once the campaign is launched

Email Content and Format Crafted for the Target Audience

  • Specify the type of content you want to include in the email, such as text, images, videos, or interactive elements
  • Indicate any personalization elements or segmentation strategies you want to implement to make the email more relevant and engaging to the recipients

Email Schedule

  • Provide the proposed sending date and time for the email

Call-to-Action (CTA)

Internal Timeline 

  • A clear timeline can let team members get involved and stay moving quickly. 
  • Include internal deadlines for teams to owe you items or are giving you approval

Identify and Fix Recurring Pain Points

Continuous edits to email HTML and copy is a common pain point among clients. There are tools like Stensul that can make your life easier because it keeps all the edits out of email threads. 

It is essential to have integrations and features like these to have the capacity to scale operations and to accommodate increases in volume while meeting requester’s timing requirements, all without the need to hire additional staff or compromise on quality. 

Check out this webinar with Sercante & Stensul together where they share tips for integrating an email creation platform into your strategy to ease common pain points.

Create a plan, look for ways to add efficiency, and repeat

Ok so let’s recap!

The first thing you’re going to do is draft and use a brief. If you’re stuck, start with the email brief items listed in this post.

Then you’re going to document your process and iterate on it! 

The goal is to make your campaign launch life easier each time. When you identify a pain point, test out a solution for it and see if the process gets even better.

Original article: Email Campaign Efficiency: Tips for Saving Time and Boosting Results

©2023 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

The post Email Campaign Efficiency: Tips for Saving Time and Boosting Results appeared first on The Spot.

By |2023-08-23T19:06:40+00:00August 23rd, 2023|Categories: Emails & Forms, Pro Tips, revive, Strategy|

Account Engagement Lightning Builders and Scoring Categories

Account Engagement (fka Pardot) Scoring Categories and Lightning Builders are two great features to amp up your marketing and segmentation efforts, but they don’t exactly connect like typical Account Engagement assets. This blog will walk you through what you can and cannot do when it comes to combining these two features.

Where we run into issues

Account Engagement Scoring Categories can be super impactful for orgs with multiple services, offerings, products etc. These categories allow you to break down a Prospect’s interest in your different offerings so you can better tailor your messaging and next steps. 

However, Scoring Categories rely on Account Engagement folders, if an asset lives in a folder that is assigned to a Scoring Category then any engagement with that asset is attributed to the Scoring Category, but the Lightning Builders don’t use folders. So can Scoring Categories be used with Lightning Builder assets? The answer is yes, but it’s complicated. 

Scoring Categories and the Lightning Email Builder

When List Emails or Email Templates are sent from Account Engagement, your default Scoring model will adjust the Prospect’s score as the Prospect engages with the email. If this List Email or Email Template is saved in a Scoring Category folder, then the resulting Score would be associated with that category. 

When Lightning Builder Email Content is sent to Prospects as a List Email or “activated for automation” and used as a template, there is no association with folders and therefore Scoring Categories. However, you can still adjust the Scoring Category in three ways:

1. Email Content Completion Actions

When sending Email Content you have the option to add completion actions for email opens, email clicks, and unsubscribes. Any of these options can be used to add or remove points from a Scoring Category.

2. Engagement Studio Program Actions

Lightning Builder Email Content can also be used within Engagement Studio programs. Just make sure you’ve selected “activate for automation” to push the Email Content down to Account Engagement:

In your Engagement Studio program, select the Email Content in your “Send Email” Action, add the relevant trigger (Email Click, Email Open, etc.), and then adjust the Prospect’s Scoring Category if they take said action. 

3. Custom Redirect used in the Email Content

If you have an especially important link in your email, such as a button to register for an event, you can also create a Custom Redirect for the link. 

Custom Redirects are associated with Folders, so any engagement with the link will update the Prospect’s Score within the category. You can also add a Completion Action to the Custom Redirect to add additional points above your default Scoring model. 

Scoring Categories and the Lightning Landing Page Builder

When Landing Pages are built within Account Engagement, Page Views, Landing Page Successes, and Landing Page Errors will automatically update the Prospect’s Score in accordance with your default Scoring model. If that Landing Page is stored in a folder associated with a Scoring Category then the default scores will go to the Scoring Category rather than the overall score. 

When the Landing Page is built in the Lightning Landing Page Builder, there is no association with folders and therefore Scoring Categories. However, you can still adjust the Scoring Category in two ways:

1. Form Completion Actions

The Form the Lightning Landing Page is using will be stored within Account Engagement and associated with a folder, but form fills completed via a Landing Page are associated with the Landing Page only. However, if your Form has a Completion Action to update a Scoring Category when it is filled out, this will be fired when the Prospect fills out the Form via a Lightning Landing Page.

2. Automation Rules

You can also create an Automation Rule to adjust a Prospect’s score if they have filled out a Lightning Landing Page. However, keep in mind this would only fire on the initial Landing Page completion. You can have the Automation Rule repeat, but it would keep giving the Prospect points each repeat even if they did not fill out the Landing Page again.

Go Use Scoring Categories with the Lightning Builder

So there you have it! Yes, you can use Scoring Categories with Lightning Builder assets, but it’s not in the ways you’d expect. 

What other questions do you have about the Lightning Builders? Let us know in the comments!

Original article: Account Engagement Lightning Builders and Scoring Categories

©2023 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

The post Account Engagement Lightning Builders and Scoring Categories appeared first on The Spot.

By |2023-08-23T11:25:21+00:00August 23rd, 2023|Categories: Emails & Forms, Pro Tips, revive, Strategy|

Why Email Open Rate Is Dead – and How Account Engagement Can Help

GDPR, CPRA, the end of third-party cookies: data privacy is a hot topic among digital marketers, but it’s not just advertisers who should be worried. If your marketing strategy’s success is founded on clicks and email open rates, the data privacy landscape of the future could be an unpleasant awakening. 

Data privacy tools can impact your email strategy in a number of key ways:

The good news is that Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (Pardot) offers out-of-the-box tools that can support email marketers through some of these changes. Let’s take a look at the options.

View Email Clients in a Send Report

If part of reporting on your email successes relies on email open rates, the first tool Account Engagement offers that you will want to utilize is the “Email Clients” report. 

Found as a tab in a Sent Email report, this tool will give a breakdown of all email clients your recipients are using, including how many are using Apple Mail Privacy Protection and/or Outlook:

Viewing this report will give you a sense of how reliable your email open rate metrics actually are. For example, if you have a high percentage of recipients leveraging Apple Mail Privacy in your report, that is a signal that your email open rates will likely be artificially higher than they should be. That’s because Apple MPP is pre-opening every email sent and “hiding” true opens from marketing tools like Account Engagement — thus, a person could show as an open even if they have not actually opened your email.

Email Open Rate Considerations for Outlook Users

On the other side of this is Outlook. If you’re a B2B marketer, you likely have a sizable chunk of recipients opening your emails on Outlook. 

This isn’t new, but you may not have known that an email “open” is recorded when a pixel is triggered — often in the form of an image pixel. This means that if a recipient doesn’t download images and doesn’t click on a link, their open will likely not be captured. If you’re sending long-form emails with lots of relevant information and few links to click through, you could be missing the actual impact of that email if you’re only looking at open rates. 

Email Open Rate Considerations for DuckDuckGo Users

Not pictured here is the impact of something like DuckDuckGo’s inbox that, like its browser counterpart, is designed to “hide” things like email opens or link clicks from marketers. 

As consumers continue to search for ways to keep their user data private from marketers, we can expect inbox providers to allow for greater user-based controls like this. Those tools are just one more reason to consider moving away from reporting on email opens at all. 

Automations and Email Open Rates

If your email client reports are indicating a big impact in your open rate credibility, your next step needs to be an assessment of your Engagement Studios, Automation Rules, and Dynamic Lists that are using email opens. Fortunately, Account Engagement has an out-of-the-box tool for this as well!

In Account Engagement, navigate to “Reports,” then “Marketing Assets,” then “Automations.” You should see “Open Rules Audit” as a selection. Opening that report will pull a quick calculation of where your account is using email opens to trigger an action, like branching in an Engagement Studio, adding a person to a Dynamic List (see examples in this post), or triggering an Automation Rule if they “open” an email:

Keep in mind that not all of these will be active, so you will still have to do a bit of discovery on what needs to be edited and what should be simply archived. However, if you have multiple people creating assets and campaigns in your Account Engagement account, this report is a great resource for determining who should be involved in updating your automations with other engagement metrics (like clicks). 

Taking Extra Steps: Evaluating Bot Clicks in Email Opens

If you’re also triggering automations off email clicks, this is a good opportunity to check your recipient lists for email security tools. These tools will pre-click every link in an email before delivering it to the recipient, who may then also click the links that are most interesting to them. 

You may have noticed this show up in your email reports or in a prospect report, where it might look like a recipient clicked every link in your email — including your social media links and privacy policies — in under a minute. Impressive, if it were true!

Custom Redirect Solution for Catching Bot Clicks

Some industries appear to be more likely than others to use these, so the impact can be tricky to determine without a little bit of work on your end. Fortunately, using Account Engagement, you can use custom redirect links to lessen the impact. 

First, be sure that you have Visitor Filters in place under Admin > Automation Settings > Visitor Filters. This is a great place to start, and it will filter out most engagement from a number of security tools. 

Second, you can use a Custom Redirect link and hide it in your email templates. That way, if it gets clicked, you know that only a bot could click and and you know which recipients are impacted. Then you can filter them out of automations that use email clicks. 

You can use something simple as your hidden link — just make sure the image is small (one pixel by one pixel is fine) and is the same color as your background.

You can also use this strategy to decrease your scores for anyone who clicks on the link or add a tag that helps you understand your account-wide impact:

Adapting What You Report on Email Marketing

So if you can’t leverage email opens to determine if your recipients are interested in your email content, what can you report on? This is where Account Engagement’s integration to Salesforce is so great. 

You can report on website or landing page visits via Google Analytics, pull in interest from campaign members in Salesforce, or even look at your email report Interaction tab to see what percentage skimmed, read, or glanced at your emails. 

Importantly, the time has come to look beyond opens as a success metric — and Account Engagement can help you get there.

Original article: Why Email Open Rate Is Dead – and How Account Engagement Can Help

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By |2023-08-21T21:34:45+00:00August 21st, 2023|Categories: Emails & Templates, Pro Tips, revive, Strategy|