9 Essential Rules for Attending Salesforce Community Events

I just returned from an action-packed week at Connections (Salesforce’s banner event for marketers) and I gotta say — it feels good to be back with the Ohana.

It’s been a hot minute since in-person Salesforce community events were in full force. Dreamforce 2019 is the last big thing I attended prior to this event. As we ramp back up, I’m realizing that some of my team members, customers, and friends in the ecosystem actually have never attended a Salesforce event. And those who have are a little rusty (I know I was.)

If you’re looking to get more involved in the Salesforce ecosystem through events, here are a few rules/guidelines you can follow to maximize the benefits.

Rule 1. Mix it up and attend both “official” and “community” Salesforce events

There are a few types of Salesforce community events that might come across your radar. And there’s value in attending all of them.

Each event type brings something unique to the table. If you have the opportunity to, I’d recommend engaging with a mix of Salesforce-sponsored and community-led events. 

Salesforce User Groups

Local events led by a community member, customer or partner. Topics are often how to/best practice oriented. They’re usually 20-30 people, sometimes more in bigger metro areas. 

Search for Salesforce user groups in your region here.

Erin Duncan welcomes attendees to an Atlanta Pardot User Group meeting.

Salesforce World Tours

These are usually in a big city and are official events put on by Salesforce (free to attendees). Expect a couple thousand people, a big expo hall, dancing mascots, and a high energy keynote full of product news and big logo customers. Oh, and post-event happy hours from vendors and partners. 

A few Sercante dragons were spotted in the wild at Salesforce World Tour London 2022

Dreamin’ Events

Although increasingly virtual or hybrid, these are usually in a big city and put on by members of the Salesforce community for a modest fee (usually $100-300). In other words, they’re created by Salesforce users, for users, and are loosely sanctioned/supported by Salesforce. 

The content is totally different in comparison to Salesforce World Tours. There’s no “selling” angle in mind — instead, you’ll find “in the trenches” advice from admins and hands-on folks with lots of real talk. This is a great place to find your people and meet someone you can call with an SOS when you’re stuck on something.

MarDreamin’ (formerly ParDreamin’) is a marketing-focused Salesforce community event


This is the Superbowl of Salesforce. There’s a huge volume of content catered to almost any audience, and Salesforce pulls out all the stops to make this a fun, flashy, and engaging event. And the entire partner ecosystem rallies to woo customers, throw parties, and celebrate headline product news. 

The price tag is $1-3Kish depending on discounts and how early you buy your Dreamforce ticket. 

Pre-covid, they shut down multiple city blocks in San Francisco and had nearly 200K people. This year, rumor has it that attendance will be capped at 30K (but limited info out about that yet.) 

Here are scenes from the last big Dreamforce in 2019.

Salesforce Connections

Already happened this year, but for future reference, Connections is like a mini Dreamforce for marketers (also Salesforce sponsored). It’s been in Chicago for the last several years, and is the place to be for customers (or would-be customers) of Marketing Cloud and Commerce Cloud.

The Sercante team was happy to gather and learn at Connections 2022.

Rule 2. Define your goal for participating 

Do a little soul searching to figure out your ‘why’ for attending these events. Your objectives for attending Salesforce community events might include:

  • Tactical, how-to learning
  • Getting ideas & inspiration
  • Networking with other users 
  • Meeting your Salesforce account team
  • Recruiting 
  • Sales & prospecting
  • Learning about interesting products that work with Salesforce 
  • Evaluating prospective partners
  • Building a personal brand in the ecosystem 

Determining what’s most important to you will inform what events you should prioritize. As a rule of thumb, I would say user-led events are the best for tactical, how-to learning. 

Rule 3. Get digital business cards

I completely forgot business cards were a thing until Connections. Surely I have a stash of pre-covid cards somewhere in my house… but it didn’t even enter my mind until I was ready to swap contact info with someone.

I was surprised to see A LOT of people using QR codes for an efficient contact info swap. Some people connected this to their Linkedin, and others had a QR code that created a contact record in the scanning user’s phone. I will definitely be doing this before the next event! 

Image credit

Rule 4. Don’t just attend… speak and volunteer! 

Once you have a feel for what these events are all about, I highly recommend throwing your hat in the ring to speak. I’ve found speaking at events to be incredibly rewarding and fantastic for networking. 

You know you’ve found your people when you can get up in front of a group and say

 “I worked on XYZ, I struggled with ABC, and here’s where I’m at,” and see heads nodding. It’s validating to find others who have the exact same challenges and know we’re all figuring this thing out together.

I’m a big believer that we all have something to learn and something to teach. If you’re reading this thinking “I have nothing to speak on” — check that imposter syndrome

Another great way to get more engaged is through volunteering. As someone who isn’t a particularly natural networker, working badge check in desks used to be my go-to to meet people in a low-pressure way.

Rule 5. Pick what sessions you want to prioritize

When it comes to the bigger conferences and Dreamin’ events, it’s not uncommon for popular sessions to fill up and not be able to accommodate everyone who wants to join. Skim the agenda before you go and pick three things you really want to attend.

Pro tip: If you see Circles of Success on the agenda, pick those! They’re group discussions and rarely disappoint.

Rule 6. Try to figure out who you want to meet… in advance of the event 

Ask around (i.e. customers, partners, friends, Salesforce AEs) and see who’s going. Events are a great opportunity to get some facetime with people you only work with online. Skim the speaker list — anyone with an interesting background? 

Ping these folks before the event and set up a coffee or lunch date, or plan to go find them the day of.

(And if you don’t know anyone who’s going — not to fear. You can still have a great networking experience attending live! This extra step ensures you get the value you were hoping for out of the event.) 

Rule 7. Check out Twitter 

The Salesforce ecosystem is active on Twitter. That means it’s the place to be for social connection during the actual event. 

For bigger events, follow the event hashtag to see pictures, find information about happy hours and adjacent events, read people’s hot takes, and more. Many user groups also have their own Twitter accounts and hashtags.

Pro Tip: Follow the #SalesforceWorldTour hashtag.

Rule 8. Don’t skip the “real life” social parts 

After a long day of networking, you might want to head home or get back to your hotel room to decompress. But you’d be missing the best part — happy hours, dinners, and spontaneous post-event hang outs are some of my favorite memories from Salesforce events. That’s because people tend to be more relaxed and aren’t rushing to the next thing.

If the idea of unstructured open networking makes you green in the face, then try thinking of a few questions to keep in your back pocket. 

For example: 

  • What was your biggest takeaway from the event? 
  • Are you working on anything you’re excited about?
  • What do you see as the biggest barrier or struggle with Salesforce at your organization? 
  • Have you ever seen a ghost? (Seriously — someone asked me this once at a happy hour, and it led to the most interesting group conversation ever.)

Rule 9. Say thank you and follow up 

Most people consider the event over when it’s…. well, over. But the magic is staying connected and building on value you got from the event. 

What relationships can you nurture? Who can you say thank you to? Do you have any thoughtful resources or help you could offer a new acquaintance? 

If all else fails, at least fire off a few Linkedin requests. 

Salesforce community events propel careers

I can’t tell you how many people I’ve met at Salesforce community events who later became teammates, clients, and partners. And I get it. These things aren’t easy for natural introverts like me. 

What I can tell you is someone else in the room is likely experiencing the same anxiety you’re feeling about being in these situations. And there’s luckily a big enough variety of Salesforce community events to accommodate all social situation comfort levels.

  • Not a fan of crowds? Check out an intimate user group meeting in your area. 
  • Don’t wanna be around people at all? Connect with Trailblazers through a virtual community group meeting (this blog post has a few examples).
  • Rather blend in with a crowd? Dreamin’ conferences have a spot for you to soak in all the educational in-person sessions.

Bottom line is — get yourself out there. You’ll connect with people who have similar work experiences and learn a few things. And, who knows, it may lead to your next big opportunity.

Have any nuggets of wisdom for attending Salesforce community events that we forgot? Tell us about it in the comments section.

Original article: 9 Essential Rules for Attending Salesforce Community Events

©2022 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

The post 9 Essential Rules for Attending Salesforce Community Events appeared first on The Spot.

By |2022-06-16T21:09:39+00:00June 16th, 2022|Categories: Career Development, Community, Events, Real Talk, revive|

8 Tips for Passing the Marketing Cloud Administrator Exam

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

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

Use these tips to pass the Salesforce Marketing Cloud Administrator exam

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tip #3: Don’t trust the internet

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

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

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

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

Tip #4: Focus on key Marketing Cloud terminology 

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

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

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

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

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

Tip #5: The devil is in the details 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tip #7: Activate those Einstein features 

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

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

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

Tip #8: Get hands-on practice! 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Good luck — you got this!

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

©2022 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

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

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

How to Prevent 5 Awkward Email Sending Fails in MCAE (Pardot)

We’ve all seen email personalization mishaps. 

The power of Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (Pardot) is really in its capacity to leverage data coming in from Salesforce and Pardot to create tailored experiences of all types for the end audience. 

But what happens when this automation doesn’t work how we intend to use it? This is particularly concerning when it comes to email.

Follow along with this blog to learn a few tricks you can use to test your Pardot org for possible email mishaps and prevent them before they happen.

Solution #1: Validate your Salesforce & Pardot User Mappings

The first solution for avoiding email sending fails is to validate your user mappings. Doing so will help you avoid awkward email segmentation and user notification issues.

It is important to know that if Salesforce Users are not mapped into Pardot, then you will not be able to leverage their relationship with Leads/Contacts in Pardot. 

Mapping a User to Pardot DOES NOT give them access — you need permission sets and other configurations for that to happen. This is often the main reason why Users are not mapped.

The remainder of this blog will reference the User object. If this does not 100% line up with your process within Pardot, neither will the rest of what we will cover.

How to validate Salesforce and Pardot user mappings

Here are some ways to validate if all your users are mapped:

  1. In Salesforce, create a report of active Users.
  2. In Salesforce, compare which Users actually manage Leads/Contacts and review their profiles.
  3. In Pardot, go to the Pardot settings tab in your navigation, then head over to the Pardot Connector Settings tab and review your Salesforce profile to Pardot role mappings.
    • If you have any missing, this is the time to add them.
  4. In Pardot, go to the Prospects tab in your navigation, and select the Unassigned Prospects filter on the filter dropdown.
    • If you see any with blue Salesforce clouds, that means the Prospect may be assigned in Salesforce but the mapping is not clear in Pardot.
    • Click on any records you found and open the record up in Salesforce. Then, make a list of who the owner is.
    • Compare this list to the report of Active Users. If there are any missing, they may be deactivated.
  5. In Salesforce, update any records that reference deactivated Users to the appropriate User. This would trigger a sync event and update the record.
  6. In Salesforce, go to Marketing Setup and for your business unit/account, click on the Manage Users button and add any missing users to the appropriate section to sync over to Pardot.
  7. In Pardot, update the Prospect database view to include Assign User and keep the Unassigned Prospect filter to see if you are missing any.
    • You may need to click the Sync With CRM button on the Prospect page to get it to sync.

The result of mapping all your Users is having Pardot and Salesforce be in sync in addition to being able to leverage this datapoint for segmentation. It also allows you to provide the appropriate person with email or Slack notifications.

Solution #2: Create an identity user for your Pardot email sender backup

Previously we covered how to use and experiment with email sender types for emails that are sent from Pardot. If you are not familiar with email sender types, then go read that post and come back after you do. We’ll wait.

Dynamic versus static email user sender types

We would like to put these User sender options into two buckets: Dynamic and static.

Dynamic are options such as Assigned User, Account Owner, or any custom options for the sender information that changed based on the relationship the User has to the Prospect.

Static are options such as General or Specific User options for the sender information that is the same for all Prospects who get the email. No relationship needed between User and Prospect

All the options “pull” data from the User information setup in Salesforce that is then pulled into Pardot.

One of the biggest pitfalls that can happen here is when you use dynamic sender options. If a Prospect does not have an assigned user or account owner, then you have to have a backup sender. Pardot enforces this by making you add an alternative sender.

Many times you will have a default general User you manually add over and over again — such as [email protected] or [email protected]. This leaves room for error and cannot be used in automations, like completion actions, to notify this email address from form submissions, for example.

How to create a Salesforce Identity License User for your Pardot email sender backup

Did you know you can save yourself from headaches caused by human error by turning this email into an Identity User?

The result is an Identity User that can be used as a backup specific User and also for notifications in completion actions throughout the system. 

Identity Users can be used for Single Sign-On or Pardot-centric purposes. However, you cannot assign to an Identity User. For more details on identity licenses, check out this Salesforce resource.

Solution #3: Update user records and check token types for email sender signatures

When you get ready to build your emails, you may want to include sales rep signatures in the email body.

Here are the fields you have access to inject into your emails from the User object:

  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Full Name
  • Email
  • Job Title
  • Phone
  • URL
  • ID
  • Signature

All of these details are managed in Salesforce under the User Settings (view Solution #1 above). If these are not filled out, then the row where you have the Handlebars Merge Language (HML) tag on your email will be awkwardly blank.

To resolve this, simply update the User record. Seems easy enough, right? 

You are correct!

However, let me call out a common mistake we see when using these HML tokens — there are two different sets of tokens. 

Tokens: Sender versus Owner

The owner fields pull directly from the Assigned User, which is one person for the Lead/Contact.

The sender fields pull directly from who you choose as a Sender User on the email. This can be an Account Owner, an Identity User, or a custom CRM User lookup.

Note: Depending on the scenario, you may want to use one over the other. But we use the Sender tokens to play it safe.

Lastly, we would like to note that general Users do not have titles, phones, signatures, or additional URLs. For best results, use an Identity User and make sure you fill in those fields. This will result in a more consistent experience for everyone.

As always, test your tokens!

Solution #4: Create a company-wide backup to avoid blank prospect data when you use queues

One of the main use cases for queues is to help with Lead assignments and send the Prospect to Pardot. If you are using queues for these cases, then there is one thing you have to know.

Queues do not have job titles, companies, or “people” names.

You may be thinking…

Yes, that is correct. So what’s your point?

Well, if you are sending emails on behalf of assigned users, for example, technically Prospects owned by a queue are owned — but not by a person. 

This means when you send emails out trying to use “dynamic” sender options, you may not be actually showing a signature or other details in your emails when queues are involved.

How to avoid email awkwardness caused by having Prospects owned queues

For these scenarios where you know you may have Prospects owned by queues we recommend two options:

Option 1: Ensure your backup Sender is a specific User (try an Identity User). Do not use a general User if you are adding signatures to your email copy.


Option 2: Use HML to create conditional logic to create a backup to blank User fields. Be careful with the extra spacing around HML tokens.

This is what the final syntax looked like for the default in the event John Doe (User) didn’t have a phone number: we added a general corporate number.

{{#if Sender.Phone}}Contact us at {{Sender.Phone}}{{else}}Contact us at 1800 – Sercante{{/if}}

You can use this format to create syntax for other fields you need on your email signatures.

The end result is having a customizable backup for User or organization-specific details to make sure no one sees missing data or has a less than favorable experience.

Solution #5: Set global and default field values as a backup when you use HML in emails

Finally, we come to mail merge fields. We have all seen use cases of subject lines not rendering and showing as {Recipient.FirstName}} because someone forgot to add the extra “curly bracket” that you didn’t notice was missing earlier in this sentence or forgot to test altogether.

Here are some of the more common HML options used in an email:

  • First Name
  • Company Name
  • Job Title
  • City
  • View Online
  • Email Preferences Center
  • Unsubscribe Page

For a list of all the out-of-the-box mail merge fields click here.

How to set global and default field values as a backup when you use HML in emails

If a Prospect does not have data on a field and you use mail merges (HML), it will be displayed as a blank.

We have two options to solve this issue:

  1. Set a global field value.
    If you do this, anywhere where the field is used will display the same text IF there is no existing data.
  2. Set a default value on the email template using HML.
    If you do this, the default text will only work for this one email template, but you can customize it across any email template (check out solution #4). However, if you selected the global field value option, this solution isn’t going to work.

Take action now to avoid awkward marketing email fails later

If you are new to Pardot and don’t know much about how you can use Prospect fields in emails or if you want to take your email personalization game beyond mail merge fields, we recommend you review Content Personalization: Using Dynamic Content, Pardot HML, and Pardot Snippets.

In the end, you have less awkward endings in your sentences and more customized messaging you can leverage to wow your audience(s) by taking these precautionary steps. Pardot can provide many tools to improve your email marketing. But your data flow has to be working properly to take full advantage of everything it has to offer.

The key thing we would love for you to walk away with is, in the words of our colleague Mike Creuzer, to remember to “test all the things”!

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about how to improve your useability of Pardot.

Original article: How to Prevent 5 Awkward Email Sending Fails in MCAE (Pardot)

©2022 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

The post How to Prevent 5 Awkward Email Sending Fails in MCAE (Pardot) appeared first on The Spot.

By |2022-06-10T00:04:50+00:00June 10th, 2022|Categories: Emails & Templates, Getting Started, revive, Setup & Admin|

Personalization with Pardot & Interaction Studio

We usually find common asks for customers to further personalize Pardot emails, specific account-based messaging on their website, and where sales reps can take the next step to drive the conversation. 

Interaction Studio helps answer all the queries with its account-based website experience, Next Best Action and Content Recommendations, and personalization of marketing content.

Common customer concerns and asks

Customers often come to us with these concerns

  • We want to personalize Pardot emails further 
  • We want specific account-based messaging on our website
  • Our content is out of date on occasion by the time the email is opened
  • How can we align the experience of those who are still unknown to us?
  • Our sales reps often don’t know where to drive the conversation next

And statics say that today’s buyers expect account-centric personalization

  • 87% of marketers that measure ROI say that ABM outperforms every other marketing investment
  • 37% of marketers claim creating content and personalized is their biggest ABM challenge

How Interaction Studio help solve the problem

  1. Account-Based Website Experience – Automatically tailor website for top accounts and buyers based on in-depth behavioral insights and accounts profiles
  2. Provide Next Best Action & Content Recommendations – Surface the optimal next step to engage prospects and guide them through the conversion funnel
  3. Personalize Marketing Content – Present dynamic emails, forms and landing pages

Account-Based Website Experience

With interaction studio, you can engage and convert qualified prospects with more relevant experiences. By starting reverse IP lookup, you’ll be able to understand customers from specific target accounts even if they’re unknown to you. From this, it can be used to create dynamic content for targeted offers on your website that can be available anywhere using a responsive design. The account intent data is tied directly to the account record which means all your account-based marketing tools can be plugged in. In addition, it’s also connected with the leading contact record inside salescloud and servicecloud.

Account-Based Website Experience

With interaction studio, you can engage and convert qualified prospects with more relevant experiences. By starting reverse IP lookup, you’ll be able to understand customers from specific target accounts even if they’re unknown to you. From this, it can be used to create dynamic content for targeted offers on your website that can be available anywhere using a responsive design. The account intent data is tied directly to the account record which means all your account-based marketing tools can be plugged in. In addition, it’s also connected with the leading contact record inside Salescloud and Servicecloud.

Next Best Action & Content Recommendations 

Interaction Studio can provide specific calls to action with a heavy focus on the buying persona and the stage of the buyer’s journey. This approach leads us more to drive higher conversion. Furthermore, the sales reps are going to be able to leverage these content recommendations and enable them to execute them.

Personalize Marketing Content

Using Interaction Studio enables the creation of dynamic emails for multiple audiences. The automation enables a decision at a time when users email open or when a website is pulled up to be able to choose what content to display. The unique content for each segment makes use of increasing engagement leading to conversions.

What content to choose and display within emails?

Whether your questions would be – what to offer? Or what content? Or Are they saturated? What should I  do? All of these queries are answered by Einstein inside Interaction Studio with its customer priority, eligibility, and saturation.

How the engagement studio differs?

Interaction Studio Engagement Studio
Customer centric Brand centric
Reactive and real-time personalization Proactively drive customers to engage
Seemless transition of Next Best Offers to Sales Reps Deep Sales Visibility
Decision engine for orchestration Deploy a single journey
Behavioral reporting Revenue Based Campaign Reporting
Uknown and known consumers Known prospects and customers


As we learned, Interactive Studio has strong capabilities of driving account-based website experiences tailored to the unique segment. It can also provide the Next Best Action and content recommendations with a heavy focus on the buying persona, and the personalization of marketing content is integrated seamlessly.

Content originally from Grace Izard and Michael Roberts

Original article: Personalization with Pardot & Interaction Studio

©2022 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

The post Personalization with Pardot & Interaction Studio appeared first on The Spot.

By |2022-06-08T20:17:14+00:00June 8th, 2022|Categories: Engagement Studio, Getting Started, Marketing Automations, revive|

How to Connect Marketing Cloud Engagement to Salesforce CRM

Does your marketing and sales data live in separate places? Do you want all customer details to live in one place? If so, Marketing Cloud Connect is the answer. 

Marketing Cloud Connect combines the digital marketing capabilities of Marketing Cloud Engagement with the data management, segmentation, and campaign management tools in Sales Cloud. 

What is Marketing Cloud Connect?

Marketing Cloud Connect is an installed package that integrates your Salesforce CRM (Sales Cloud/Service Cloud) with Salesforce Marketing Cloud Engagement. By creating unitary customer relationships with more data-driven, personalized conversations and the ability to automate the customer journey,  Marketing Cloud Connect provides access to powerful Marketing Cloud tools directly within Sales or Service Clouds and vice versa.

Connecting Marketing Cloud Engagement with Salesforce CRM

The overall process of connecting these two clouds together is relatively straightforward, and it can be summarized in a 6-step process. However, there are key items to consider along the way.

Connect marketing cloud to salesforce crm steps

Step 1. Review prerequisites for implementation

From system to user requirements, set yourself up for success by reviewing the prerequisites or requirements you’ll need for Marketing Cloud Connect implementation.

Step 2. Install the Marketing Cloud Connect managed package

Download the managed package for connecting the Salesforce clouds. To do that, you’ll copy-paste the URL below that relates to where you’ll install the package. Remember to log in to Salesforce using your administrator credentials.

  • Production Org: https://sfdc.co/MCC
  • Sandbox Org: https://sfdc.co/MCCSandbox

Step 3. Configure CRM settings

Ensure users can view email fields for contact and leads, as well as modify any additional permission sets within your Salesforce CRM account.

Step 4. Configure Marketing Cloud

Create the API user and configure the integration. This will enable core system communication activities between Marketing Cloud and Sales or Service Cloud.

Step 5. Finalize configuration

Make final configuration setting adjustments between both clouds to finalize the connection.

Step 6. Test the connection

Finally, complete a test to check for a successful connection. You’ll complete this step with a test email send. Then, you’ll confirm user setup. Once all the tests are successful, you can start using it.

Considerations for implementing Marketing Cloud Connect

Keep the following considerations in mind as you complete the implementation.

User Admin Level Access

The user setting up the connection should have admin access to both Marketing Cloud and Sales Cloud.

1:2 Relationship

Marketing Cloud Connect requires a relationship between a single Marketing Cloud account and one or more Salesforce orgs. Your Marketing Cloud account must be provisioned and enabled for use with Marketing Cloud Connect before connection.

Subscriber Key

The Subscriber Key is required for Marketing Cloud Connect. If it is not enabled in your Marketing Cloud account, complete a Subscriber Key Migration before proceeding with the connection process.

Avoid using email addresses as the Subscriber/Contact Key in Marketing Cloud.

Instead, use something that is: 

  • Unique
  • Persistent
  • Channel agnostic
  • Global

We recommend using Salesforce Contact ID as your Marketing Cloud Subscriber Key to deliver maximum synchronization between the two clouds. Learn more about contact model relationships here.

Important Note: If the email address has already been set as the Subscriber Key, please reach out to your Salesforce consulting partner or Salesforce Account Executive before connecting Marketing Cloud and Sales Cloud. They’ll provide  more guidance and help you to avoid duplicates.

Custom Tabs Available

Ensure that four custom tabs are available in your Salesforce org.

Multiple Licenses

To use most Marketing Cloud Connect functionality, users need a Marketing Cloud license and a Sales or Service Cloud license.

Lightning Experience

Salesforce Lightning Experience is not supported for Marketing Cloud Connect features. Those using Lightning Experience with Salesforce are automatically redirected to Salesforce Classic when any Marketing Cloud Connect tabs are clicked.

Using Marketing Cloud Connect

While the initial focus may be getting Marketing Cloud Connect set up properly, the real magic occurs in using these clouds together. 

Top benefits include:

  • Syncing CRM data to make smarter decisions and personalize every message in Marketing Cloud Engagement. By tapping into the Synchronized Data sources and Contact Builder, marketers are able to create highly targeted communications while avoiding static or outdated data at the time of send.
  • Automating 1:1 cross-channel journeys across clouds and bi-directionally. You can listen and react to changes in any object across the Salesforce suite of cloud products for journey enrollment. Additionally, the sync can update tasks, open and close service cases, or update sales opportunities based upon interactions that have occurred in Marketing Cloud.
  • Empowering sales & service users to send Marketing Approved Emails within their native platform. – can be sent on a 1:1 basis, to a specific report or prospects/leads that are part of an existing campaign in Sales Cloud; users will also be able to see performance tracking results also from Sales Cloud
  • Sending triggered actions from Sales Cloud via Apex Trigger for a specific Object – typically for a contact based upon a set trigger such as new record is created or lead is updated

Benefits of Salesforce Marketing Cloud Connect Integration

By enabling Marketing Cloud Connect functionality, you’re helping to reduce previous data silos that may have once existed. Through a single source that consolidates your marketing and sales data, you’re able to send highly personalized, super-targeted data-rich communications more confidently. 

To learn more about how to implement Marketing Cloud Connect for your organization and how to maximize Marketing Cloud Connect in your digital marketing efforts, contact us today.

Resources: Marketing Cloud Implementation Guide 2020

Original article: How to Connect Marketing Cloud Engagement to Salesforce CRM

©2022 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

The post How to Connect Marketing Cloud Engagement to Salesforce CRM appeared first on The Spot.

By |2022-06-06T17:08:21+00:00June 6th, 2022|Categories: Getting Started, revive, Setup & Admin|

Email Sender Options: Leverage CRM User Lookup in MCAE (Pardot)

For many Salesforce Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (Pardot) customers, using Pardot provides them with the tools necessary to communicate with their distinctive audience(s) in a personalized way. 

One common way to do this is to create dynamic customer-centric journeys that send emails on behalf of individual sales reps and help to promote new products or to educate audiences on a specific topic. After all, this is one of the main reasons organizations buy Pardot — to drive the sales pipeline.

But what happens when you need to send emails from different teams in your organization?

Follow along with this blog and learn a few tricks to create new experiences for your Prospects for sales, service, and other parts of your business by leveraging the CRM user lookup feature in Pardot.

Use CRM user lookups to send Pardot emails on behalf of other departments at your company or organization

One of the advantages of Pardot automation for email is the ability to leverage relationships in Salesforce between your sales reps, account owners, and other key service players with your Pardot leads and contacts. 

Here are some examples below:

SDR (Lead Owner) to Prospect (Lead)

Account Executive (Account Owner) to Prospect (Contact)

In fact, here are the standard out-of-the-box relationships you can leverage from Salesforce in Pardot.

  • Account Owner – Send the email from the prospect’s account owner in Salesforce.
  • Assigned User – Send the email from the user who owns the prospect record.  If the prospect is synced to Salesforce. this is the Lead or Contact Owner.
  • Specific User – Select from a list of your Pardot users to use as the email’s sender.
  • General User – Set a general address (like [email protected]) or a non-Pardot user to be the sender of the Email.

You can usually cover 97% of all your use cases using one of these options while drafting your Pardot list emails or engagement studio programs.

While most organizations don’t have a need for custom relationships, yours may be different. And that’s okay.  

What if you need a different/custom user connection? 

In your Pardot emails, you can always edit the Sender to say General User. This sends the email on behalf of that person as long as they have the same email domain you have validated in Pardot (@company.com).

However, that’s not always the best outcome. Sometimes we need more dynamic solutions.

In that case, we may want a relationship outside of Sales/Marketing for specific customer service-centric journeys like the one below:

Service Manager (Custom CRM Relationship) to Prospect (Lead or Contact)

In the scenario above, the User/record relationships were built in Salesforce and shared with Pardot in order to build out a service team to prospect customer journeys — think CSAT, follow-up surveys, etc. 

Did you know you know you can create custom relationships AND send emails on their behalf?

Watch the demo below to set up your own custom CRM relationships between Users and your Prospects:

You can also follow along with these steps.

After you set this up, you can take advantage of this field right away with CRM user lookup.

This is what it looks like:

A quick note: Sometimes fields need a few minutes to sync. Be patient, go grab coffee and come back to this. In our experience, it is never more than a few minutes.

What are other examples of custom CRM user lookups?

Honestly, the possibilities are endless. Here are some options:

  • Regional sales manager
  • Customer service representative
  • Technical support specialist

Don’t forget to check out our other cool ideas like A/B testing for you to leverage these different sender options within your organization in the most effective ways.

Where can I use these relationships?

These CRM user lookups are built into Salesforce, so you can use them in both Pardot and Salesforce. Within Pardot you can leverage them in the following ways:

  • Email templates
  • List emails
  • Rules on automation rules, dynamic lists, and segmentation rules
  • Potentially on the new conditional completion action criteria rules

This field cannot be used to send email notifications to the User linked to this Prospect. 

Additionally, we did not see them in Engagement Studio Programs as rule options. But remember, you can build a list to act as your criteria instead of using the field directly. 

Can I have more than one custom relationship?

Absolutely. This is out-of-the-box functionality in Salesforce, which can now be repurposed for Pardot-specific processes. 

Most organizations we have worked with have less than (3) custom User lookups. The only caveat is to make sure you name them correctly so there is no confusion while using them. 

As you see above, you can pick from a picklist (CRM User lookup fields) under the Prospect CRM User Custom option, and choose which one you want to leverage on that particular email. 

How do you test to make sure everything is working fine? 

The best way to test this information is up to date in Pardot is to go through the following checklist:

  • Review User mappings
    • If the User is deactivated or not in Pardot, this will fail.
  • Create a list of Prospects using the new field created and make sure the values are being reflected in Pardot.
    • Watch the video earlier in the blog for a few troubleshooting steps.
  • Run a preview test in your email test tab.
    • Enter a few email addresses you know to have this field updated and see how it works out.
    • You can create fake prospects to sync for this testing or build in Sandbox if you have access to one.

CRM user lookups make life easier for Pardot admins

Thank you for following along! Check out part two of this blog where we cover how to avoid email personalization missteps.

If you have any questions about this feature or how to use it in Pardot (MCAE) please give us a shout here

Original article: Email Sender Options: Leverage CRM User Lookup in MCAE (Pardot)

©2022 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

The post Email Sender Options: Leverage CRM User Lookup in MCAE (Pardot) appeared first on The Spot.

By |2022-06-03T15:12:00+00:00June 3rd, 2022|Categories: Emails & Forms, Pro Tips, revive|

Build Faster with These 3 MCAE (Pardot) Landing Page Builder Hacks

Have you ever finished working on an email template in the Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (Pardot) Email Builder with all of its convenient features like:

  • Removable sections
  • Repeatable sections
  • The ability to move sections up and down within the template

…only to start editing a landing page, and you become extremely frustrated with the fact that you can’t do the same things in the Pardot Landing Page Builder? 

In this post we’re going to cover a way that we can basically replicate all of these features for the Pardot Landing Page Builder!

Watch a demo video to learn these hacks

Before we dive in, here’s a video to walk you through the three Pardot Landing Page Builder hacks from this blog post.

Pardot Landing Page Builder hacks — an overview of the approach

To achieve these features in the Pardot Landing Page editor, we’re going to add a little snippet of code at the end of our layout template. It goes between the closing </body> tag and the closing </html> tag

The code snippet styles the different sections, or individual elements, of the page that we want to be able to alter from within the editor.

<code pardot-region="hide_elements">
        #sectionName {
            /* styling goes in here */

From there, we can add the different styles to each element  based on the different features we are wanting the element to have.

An important note

The first time you open this WYSIWYG editable code block for a Landing Page, it is going to include a <![CDATA]]> tag in the code. You will have to remove the tag before any of the changes you make in that code block will take effect.

Landing Page Builder Hack #1: Removable Sections

To make “Removable” sections for the Pardot landing page editor, we need to add the display property into the styling for the element we want to be able to remove. This will give us the ability to edit the display property from within the WYSIWYG editor. 

Then, we will basically toggle the display property from display: flex (or display: block if that’s the normal styling for the element) to display: none. This will “remove” the section, or element, we want to hide!

<code pardot-region=”hide_elements”>
        /* Change display:flex to display:none to hide an element */
        #visibleSection {
            display: flex !important;
        #removedSection {
            display: none !important;

Landing Page Builder Hack #2: Repeatable Sections

To create “Repeatable” sections, we’re going to use a very similar approach to the “Removable” sections. We’re going to leverage the display property again. 

The key here is to include extra copies of the section you might want to repeat in your layout template from the start, and then use the display property to hide the ones you don’t need in that Landing Page. Or alternatively, have the sections start as hidden and come back in and change the styling to show the sections if you need them.

<code pardot-region="hide_elements">
        /* This will show the section 2 of the 3 possible times */
        #Section1a {
            display: flex !important;
        #Section1b {
            display: flex !important;
        #Section1c {
            display: none !important;

Considerations for “Repeatable” Sections

  • While this does effectively create a “repeatable” section for the landing page, it is important to note that we are not actually duplicating the sections from within the landing page editor. This means that the number of times you can “repeat” a section will be limited by the number of times you include that section in the original layout template.
  • Keep in mind that your editable regions in a layout template are marked by pardot-regions and these must all have a unique name. When we copy a section of our landing page to make it “repeatable” we will need to go in and update the pardot-region names as well. For example, Section1-Image might become Section1a-Image and Section1b-Image and so on.  If you don’t update these names when you copy a section, you will receive an error message when trying to save the layout template. 

Landing Page Builder Hack #3: The Ability to Move Sections Up and Down on the page

If we have sections included in our Layout Template that we want to rearrange based on the Landing Page, we can add another property into our code block. This is called the order property. This works as a sort of ranking system where the section with the lower values will appear first on the page. 

By default, we will assign each section a value to give them their original placement on the page. But by including the order property in our styling, we can adjust that order later on from within the WYSIWYG landing page editor. 

Considerations for “Movable” Sections

  • This will only work for sections, dividers, etc. that are children of a flex container in the html code. That’s because the order property only applies to flex elements. If your code isn’t set up with the main sections in a flex container, then unfortunately this approach isn’t going to work for you. The good news is that you can probably restructure your code (or we can help!) so you can make use of this “feature” for your landing pages.
  • The default value for the order property is 0. This means if you have Section A defined as order: 1, and then you add Section B but don’t define an order value for it, it will appear before Section A on the page.
<code pardot-region="hide_elements">
        /* Use order to adjust which elements appear first on the page, with 1 being the first */
        #Section1 {
            order: 1;
        #Section2 {
            order: 2;
        #Section3 {
            order: 3;

More like workarounds than features

It is important to keep in mind — these are not features of the Pardot Landing Page editor. Instead, these are more of a creative approach to achieve some of the functionality we all often find ourselves wanting. 

If you run into issues with any of the approaches in this post, please reach out to us and we can help you obtain your desired experience with the Landing Page editor. Or, tell us how you did in the comments!

Original article: Build Faster with These 3 MCAE (Pardot) Landing Page Builder Hacks

©2022 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

The post Build Faster with These 3 MCAE (Pardot) Landing Page Builder Hacks appeared first on The Spot.

By |2022-06-02T11:00:29+00:00June 2nd, 2022|Categories: Emails & Forms, Pro Tips, revive|

Why Should Marketing Admins Have Salesforce Access?

Getting marketing team access to your Salesforce org breaks down company siloes and can lead to enriched data you can use for things like Einstein campaign reporting.

So, you want to make the case for getting your marketing team’s hands into your company or organization’s Salesforce org. But, you’re having trouble making the case to the team that manages it.

The team may come back to you with things like,

Why do you need to get into our Salesforce org?


Don’t you have your own marketing automation program and mailing lists?

Well, this post is going to help you make the case for getting marketing admin access to your Salesforce org.

Salesforce needs interconnectivity to fulfill its data hub destiny

Think of Salesforce (a.k.a. Sales Cloud/Service Cloud) as your one stop shop for all your data. 

When you’re working for a company with multiple departments, or at an enterprise-level company with many locations and lines of business, you have multiple technology tools that connect to Salesforce and enrich that data. For example, your marketing team uses automation programs for email marketing and your 

And the reality is, you are one person. So, you can’t possibly know all the ins and outs of each tech tool that’s connected to your Salesforce org. 

All the Salesforce admins can live in harmony with shared access

The good news is that other tools probably have their own admins and experts who are part of your company or organization. 

These technology specialists can be your best friend when it comes to troubleshooting something between that tool and Salesforce. But, they can only be an effective best friend if they have the right level of access in Salesforce. 

Otherwise, you’re going to be an annoying best friend who asks them to look at a bunch of things you could easily look at yourself to solve the issue. 

What I’m trying to say is they become a bottleneck — unintentionally or intentionally. 

Build a process to prevent issues from Salesforce user access

They are probably thinking, 

but I don’t want anybody to mess up the Salesforce system I’ve worked so hard to build.

And it’s understandable.

I’m here to tell you that admins can give you access and ask you not to change something in the system without going through the proper process. 

Yes, that means they have to instill trust in you. That’s what makes a good team! 

Understand the Salesforce user roles

The Salesforce Marketing User in Sales/Service Cloud can create, read, edit, and delete records they can access, and they can import leads.

If you’re granted access to Sales Cloud through an Admin role, or something custom, be sure the person communicates the specifics of your user role to you. You should fully understand what you’re capable of before diving in. And the person granting access to you has a responsibility to assign a user role to you that provides an appropriate level of access.

Document a process for marketing users

Work with your Salesforce admin to establish everything marketing users need to know about their level of Salesforce access. Put it all in a document, and remember to include the process for requesting changes beyond the marketing user access level.

Make your case and get the user access you need

In case your Salesforce admin still isn’t sold on the idea of giving you admin access, here are three reasons why they should. Use these to help them understand why it’s so important for the marketing team to have access

Giving marketing users access to Sales Cloud:

  1. Allows troubleshooting to happen quickly. The marketing user doesn’t have to ping the Salesforce admin every time they need help with simple tasks for things like reporting or connected campaigns.
  2. Makes other software admins learn how Salesforce works. There’s less back-and-forth communication in the long run! 
  3. Creates shared ownership among the tools. This means less finger pointing and more collaborative ownership to build and troubleshoot.

So, if your Salesforce admin was on the fence about giving you access to Salesforce, I hope this helps you get them to rethink and ultimately grant access. I am confident in saying it’s best for the long run.

Use the comments section to tell us how it goes! Or share your Salesforce admin access stories if you dare.

Original article: Why Should Marketing Admins Have Salesforce Access?

©2022 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

The post Why Should Marketing Admins Have Salesforce Access? appeared first on The Spot.

By |2022-05-28T12:06:38+00:00May 28th, 2022|Categories: Analytics & Reporting, Data Management, Pro Tips, revive, Strategy|

Get Ready for MCAE (Pardot) Conditional Completion Actions

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

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

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

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

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

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

Completion actions include:

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

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

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

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

What are Pardot conditional completion actions?

Welcome conditional completion actions! 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How are conditional completion actions different from normal completion actions?

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

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

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

Are there any limits or requirements to conditional completion actions?

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

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

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

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

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

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

UTM-Based Lead Sources

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

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

Standard Lead Routing

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

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

Block Competitors

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

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

Streamlined Campaign Management

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

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

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

Multiple Link Click Options For List Emails

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

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

Extending The Power of Webinar Connectors

This directly speaks about WebEx and GoToWebinar products. 

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

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

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

Supercharge Your ABM Strategy

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

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

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

Imagine the possibilities for conditional completion actions

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

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

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

©2022 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

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

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

Email for Everyone: Creating Accessible Digital Marketing Assets

Accessibility has always been top of mind for me in everything I do. As someone with a disability, I am conscious of others who may be having similar struggles. 

So, when I found a professional career in digital marketing, specifically email marketing, the idea of accessibility transitioned with me. 

This idea was further driven home for me when I encountered a client who was working on a massive project to update their entire digital platform, email marketing, website, social, etc. to be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). I learned a lot from that project and now I want to share it with you.

In this article, I will share with you the top resources and items to check off your to-do list when enacting the ADA guidelines into your digital marketing to achieve email accessibility. Hopefully, this will save you a lot of time googling!

Why does email accessibility matter to me?

More than 1 billion people have a disability, which is 15% of the world’s population. Of those struggling with a disability, approximately 43 million people live with blindness and 295 million people live with moderate-to-severe visual impairment, leaving them to use an assortment of assistive devices to interact on the web. These devices include:

  • Screen Readers: software that allows users to read text with a speech synthesizer or braille display
  • Magnifiers: tools that increase the text size for the reader
  • Navigation Assistants: systems that guide users via sound commands

As a marketer, it is important for us to take these into consideration when creating our digital marketing content, such as your website, landing pages, emails, social posts, and any other digital content. Overall, companies who practice digital marketing accessibility experience fewer lawsuits, an increased customer base, and an improved sense of brand loyalty.

At the end of the day, this isn’t about accommodating someone’s preferences or unique quirks. It’s about meeting the needs of your customers. The likelihood of one of your customers falling into the 15% of disabled users is very high and meeting their needs should be a top goal for every marketing initiative. Luckily, the best practices for ensuring accessibility in your digital marketing efforts is also the best practice for improved usability and SEO performance across the board.

What can I do to create accessible digital marketing assets?

There are a handful of basic tips and tricks that you can enact today to make your marketing content more effective and accessible to all of your audience members.

Let’s get started!

Color Contrast

Use clear color contrast between text color and your background. Users with color blindness will be especially thankful to you. So let’s experience less of this and more of that.

Color contrast examples

We recommend WebAim to measure your color contrast ratio. It is a great tool that will give you an easy to decipher pass/fail grade for all things accessibility.

Large Font Sizes

While people can use their magnifiers or zoom in on your content, why should they have to? This is especially true if it ruins the look and feel of what you are providing them. 

Instead, create your content using larger font sizes, and build the design around it. 

The ADA recommends a font size of at least 16 pt on any form of digital media. This is also the preferred size for most of the population.

Font size examples

Text & Imagery

Avoid using text on your images and graphics. Individuals who use screen readers can’t read text on an image. That’s because screen readers simply see that as a picture file and will overlook it. 

Using text in your graphics means some of your readers may not be getting the full message you are trying to present. Ensure that the key content and messaging you are providing is in your text, and use images as a supporting player.

Text and imagery examples

Alternative Text

Alt text can be your best friend! 

If you are using images or have web links that you are sharing, insert your alt text so that screen readers don’t overlook the additional information. 

Screen readers know to look for alt text and will provide this content to the reader allowing them to get a fuller picture and better user experience.

Alt text describes an image

Visual Hierarchy

Use headers and subheadings appropriately to provide the reader with an overview of the content and establish the key points. Also, use breaks and keep content left aligned when possible. This helps visually-impaired readers define the critical information that is being provided and allows for an easier experience when they don’t have to jump around due to justification changes.

Plain Text

This is an easy win for our Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (Pardot) users! 

When building an email in Pardot, you are required to create a text version of every email you deploy. This ensures accessibility for all recipients and allows for you to include the pertinent information in a text email that assistive devices can easily access. 

Use alt text to provide content for screen readers to describe what's in an image

Accessible Links

Do not group links together. Instead, space them apart and consider using bullets. This helps readers who are using navigation assistants to click on the correct URL. This is also helpful for users who are on mobile devices.

Emoji Overload

Any type of bright, strobing media can cause dangerous, life-threatening seizures. This can include emojis such as the Party Parrot or flashing Gifs. 

Images that could cause seizures include:

  • Flash more than 3 times per second
  • Are sufficiently large
  • Are bright with high contrast

Are there legal ramifications for not following digital marketing accessibility guidelines?

As I previously referenced, there are potential legal ramifications and fallout for not following ADA guidelines. 

Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) is an international organization that sets standards around accessibility. Their latest publication, WCAG 2.1, references three levels of accessibility with 61 checkpoints. However, they are not all equal. I have grouped the levels of accessibility below by importance here:

  • The “must” list: Without these changes, at least one group of potential customers will not have access to your information.
  • The “should” list: Meeting these t=recommendations ensures significant barriers are removed for those with disabilities, increasing your brand visibility.
  • The “may want to” list: Individuals with disabilities may struggle to fully access your content, but it won’t be impossible.

Based on your company’s headquarters, laws may differ. So, I encourage you to take the time to look into your local laws and regulations pertaining to disabilities. 

For the United States, Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act states that “discrimination against individuals with disabilities persists in such critical areas as employment, housing, public accommodations, education, transportation, communication, recreation, institutionalization, health services, voting, and access to public services.” With communication being covered, arguably, within digital marketing. As a result, regardless of industry or sector, it may be time to assess your accessibility guidelines.

Email accessibility benefits everyone

Building emails that everyone can access is not only the right thing to do. It’s something that’s going to ensure you’re not just delivering messaging, but instead delivering messaging everyone can process and understand. 

Tell us about your experiences with email accessibility in the comments section!

Original article: Email for Everyone: Creating Accessible Digital Marketing Assets

©2022 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

The post Email for Everyone: Creating Accessible Digital Marketing Assets appeared first on The Spot.

By |2022-05-19T21:16:00+00:00May 19th, 2022|Categories: Emails & Templates, Getting Started, revive, Setup & Admin|