Back at the end of December 2019, the world started celebrating the advent of the third decade of the third millennium. But no one was prepared for the chaos that 2020 would bring. Now, in the last few weeks of the year, the Uplers team hopes that your 2021 is more joyful and less stressful than 2020!
And on that positive note, here’s a look at some of the key developments in the world of Salesforce Marketing Cloud in this past year. With this brief Salesforce Marketing Cloud review, we provide a quick overview into the key SFMC features that were released in 2020. We hope this article empowers you to plan your best-ever email marketing campaign in 2021!
2020 Salesforce Marketing Cloud Review: The Top 7 Developments!
During any given year, there are five Salesforce Marketing Cloud releases: January, March, May, July and October. Most new features are made available within a week of the release.
So what were the top features in each 2020 release?
1. Einstein Messaging Insights & Einstein Copy Insights
Release: January 2020
Powered by its Einstein AI engine, Einstein Messaging Insights enables marketers to easily monitor journey and batch email performance. With its Notification Center, you can easily review KPIs in order to find anomalies, and optimize areas that are currently under-performing. So if there is a sudden or unexpected drop in email open or clickthrough rates, you will be able to see these statistics on the dashboard so you can take immediate action to address the gaps in your campaign’s performance.
For example, say, your “Welcome” series emails were successful in the past, but are suddenly under-performing now. In the past, you may not have realized this problem quickly, but with Einstein Messaging Insights and its auto-alerts – you can do exactly that. You can gain insights about the factors that may have influenced performance changes, and then make the necessary code updates to level out or improve performance.
The January 2020 release also included Einstein Copy Insights. This feature enables you to optimize (the copy of) subject lines and make them “pop” with AI-driven insights around which language features, elements, words or emotions are most likely to drive subscriber engagement.
2. Distributed Marketing Quick Send Enhancements
Release: January 2020
Distributed Marketing Quick Send Enhancements enables email marketers to combine the best of both worlds – personalized, one-on-one messaging with bulk sends. With this feature, you can send out personalized emails to a large audience of up to 25,000 subscribers in one go. You can also incorporate additional journey builder activities such as engagement splits to quickly integrate quick send messages into other workflows. This allows for even more out of the box custom personalization options.
But unlike emails sent from traditional email clients, Quick Send emails can actually power future decisions, such as prompting a subscriber to take a certain action based on engagement behavior. Plus, you can continue to use dynamic content and personalization even for bulk send emails.
For the complete list of January 2020 features, please click on this link.
3. Interactive Email Builder Block in Content Builder
Release: March 2020
Ideal for marketers who want to gather more information from their subscribers, the Interactive Email Builder Block in Content Builder enables you to build forms that render directly in a recipient’s email client. Since the subscriber does not have to leave their email client, it reduces friction and thus improves the user experience. Typical use cases for this feature include progressive profiling, surveys and product reviews. Salesforce Marketing Cloud templates are also available to create other types of interactive emails including:
- Lead form: to capture or update information from leads
- Case form: enables subscriber to create a case/service request
- Empty: start from scratch to create any kind of interactive email form or content
For a complete list of March 2020 features, please click here.
4. Path Optimizer in Journey Builder
Release: May 2020
With the May 2020 release of Path Optimizer, marketers can now experiment in Journey Builder with tests based on email engagement metrics or other outcomes. Available in the Flow Controls section, this tool allows you to keep the journey running with new entrants receiving the winning path. This way, you can ensure that all future contacts entering the journey only proceed down this path.
You can place many Path Optimizer activities within the same journey in order to optimize different population segments or milestones. Plus, you can continuously adjust your email marketing strategies, and make relevant improvements based on previous iterations. You can also test and optimize the flow, cadence, frequency, channel, and content of all activities and messages within the context of a customer’s journey.
For a better understanding of May 2020 features, please click here.
5. Behavioral Triggers in Journey Builder
Release: July 2020
Behavioral Triggers in Journey Builder is one of the key features of SFMC’s July 2020 release.
Behavioral email marketing, also known as “triggered” email marketing, is a type of consumer-driven marketing that enables brands to more easily reach out to, communicate with and serve their audience with content that appeals directly to them.
With this feature, you can configure the flow of abandoned cart, abandoned browse and abandoned wishlist data into SFMC, and use this data to send highly-personalized email messages, while increasing opens, click-throughs and conversions. You can even configure suppression rules to ensure that you don’t send too many follow-up emails to a subscriber.
With the new content block in Content Builder, you can easily create personalized emails (e.g. abandoned cart) that encourage the subscriber to come back and complete their purchase.
For a better understanding of July 2020 features, please click here:
6. Einstein Engagement Frequency (EEF) v2
Release: October 2020
The new version of Einstein Engagement Frequency uses a personalized contact-level model to maximize open rates and minimize unsubscribes. It uses real-time send metrics to automatically segment contacts based on how often they prefer to receive emails from your brand, and then determines the optimal number of messages to send to each subscriber to keep them engaged.
Other key Einstein enhancements in the October 2020 release include:
- Einstein Content Selection: Review the attributes created for a subscriber profile and evaluate them for possible bias
- Send Time Optimization: Send your messages when they’re mostly likely to be opened (and thus enhance engagement)
- Einstein Content Tagging: Tag your marketing assets, and understand the common features of content that is performing well (or poorly)
7. Customer 360 Audiences
Release: October 2020
Have you ever wished for a single “source of truth” on all your email subscribers so you can consistently deliver the personalized experiences they crave? With Customer 360 Audiences – you can.
This feature (the last in our 2020 Salesforce Marketing Cloud review) enables you to capture, unify, segment and activate all your customer data, and then use it to design personalized messaging across every touchpoint, including email. With its Identity Resolution feature, combine profile, behavioral, and transactional data from disparate sources into one Unified Profile, and build a 360-degree view of every customer.
You can also build marketing segments to ensure that you send the most relevant content to the right group of subscribers at just the right time. Customer 360 Audiences also includes on-the-fly segment analytics and AI-driven insights so you can build the right audience and always deliver the right email message.
For a better understanding of October 2020 features, click here.
So there you have it: the 2020 Salesforce Marketing Cloud review by Uplers!
We hope this carefully-curated list helps you improve and perfect your email marketing strategy in 2021. If you still need help with Salesforce Marketing Cloud, get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Wish you a happy and peaceful 2021!