The modern customer demands more from brands than just the best products and services. They also expect excellent experiences every time they interact with a brand – experiences that go beyond just the latest transactions. That’s why more and more organizations are starting to pay greater attention to CX through email marketing. And a key tool that’s at the heart of this shift is Salesforce Marketing Cloud (SFMC).
With SFMC, email marketing managers and SFMC email specialists no longer have to implement unsophisticated, “hit and miss” type emails sent to a large and loosely-segmented group of subscribers. With powerful SFMC templates and other tools to optimize every element of their email marketing – right from content personalization and deliverability to send time optimization and built-in AI-powered analytics – they can design and deliver automated, hyper-personalized email campaigns to their audience, time after time. In fact, SFMC offers capabilities across every step of every customer’s journey, making it a useful platform with tangible, long-term benefits.
How can your brand take advantage of SFMC for amazing long-term results?
Try these 5 strategies.
1. Place Customers At The Center Of Every Email Marketing Strategy With Customer Journey Mapping
In a world where customers are more likely to switch brands than ever before, it’s essential to start every email marketing campaign with the “why”:
Why am I creating this campaign?
How will this campaign help my audience?
What challenges, pain points, or needs will it meet for my subscribers?
And the answer to each of these questions starts with customer journey mapping.
A customer journey consists of multiple stages and touchpoints, each of which can increase their brand awareness and loyalty and convert them into long-term advocates and “super fans”. By visually representing every interaction that a customer could potentially have with your brand, you can glean valuable, actionable insights about them. You can then use these insights to drive your email marketing campaigns. SFMC Journey Builder provides a powerful means to do this. Journey Builder helps brands:
- Know their customers better
- Get a unified view of them across every function and touchpoint
- Create relevant, personalized experiences with Artificial Intelligence
- Engage with them consistently across the entire journey
From onboarding with a rewards program and signing up for a newsletter to re-engaging with an abandoned cart and increasing loyalty with special offers, Journey Builder can help improve engagement at every step of the customer journey over the long term.
2. Use data to perfect your segmentation and build targeted email campaigns
Older ‘blast all’-type of mass email marketing methods – pejoratively known as spray and pray email marketing – focused on a large, ambiguous audience. Such generic email marketing often ended up tagged as an unsolicited annoyance.
SFMC provides powerful data functionalities that enable SFMC email specialists to design email marketing campaigns that focus on individual subscribers in targeted, non-intrusive ways. Use data to build all kinds of campaigns – from basic email marketing to more sophisticated and highly targeted, 1-to-1 messages.
Here are two benefits of using data in SFMC Email Studio for your next campaign:
1. To automate customer segmentation
In SFMC Email Studio, you can get a consolidated view of your audience and trigger customer segmentation with Data Extensions. By customizing these data extensions to store particular types of customer data, e.g., contact details, purchasing history, etc., and by applying relevant filters, you can build different customer segments for different email campaigns. You can then send highly targeted email messages based on any kind of customer data.
2. To track each campaign’s performance and improve your email marketing over time
With real-time tracking and graphical reporting in Email Studio, you can track your KPIs, review your campaign’s performance, and make any necessary adjustments to your email marketing strategy. In particular, using Einstein Engagement Scoring, you can use historical data to assess how each subscriber reacts to your emails, and use this capability to create tailored messaging for each subscriber based on their “persona”.
Use Einstein Engagement Scoring to target Email Studio customers to maximize engagement and conversions. You can also use Einstein Copy Insights to craft subject lines that drive more robust email engagement.
Segmentation does not have to be a one-time, static activity. Update your segments regularly to ensure that you continue to provide value with your emails and deliver better customer experiences. This will increase customer retention, generate more sales, and create loyal brand advocates.
3. Create personalized content that makes subscribers feel “special”
Another strategy is to determine how you can deliver value to the segments you have created. And for that, you need to create great content. With Email Studio and Salesforce Content Builder, you can create different types of emails tailored to each customer segment. And by adding any field with information, e.g., a subscriber’s first name, from the related Data Extension to an email, you can also add a personal touch for each customer within a segment with individualized content.
You can also take advantage of the many readymade SFMC templates to create engaging emails that subscribers will want to open and read. Some useful tips:
- Use predefined event triggers to automate messages along the customer journey
- Use Einstein AI to create ‘predictive’ content
- Use dynamic content blocks with personalization types like customer status, past email interactions, past purchases, or expressed preferences via a preference center or profile
- Personalize the subject line with the recipient’s name to make your emails stand out and encourage opens
Another great long-term strategy is to create interactive or real-time emails. With interactive content like image carousels and forms, say in welcome emails or product emails, your subscribers can enjoy a more engaging experience, which is more likely to keep them onboard for longer. And with hyper-personalized, real-time content, your subscribers will get what they actually want or need every time they open an email from your brand. This is another excellent way to ensure long-term retention.
4. Use AI to understand your subscribers better
Einstein AI in SFMC enables email marketers to deliver more satisfying customer experiences with each campaign. With Einstein’s integrated, comprehensive AI capabilities, you can:
- Discover relevant insights about your customers, say, how they engage with a particular email campaign
- Build audience groups and segments
- Create automated campaigns
- Create predictive customer journeys and personalized, cross-channel experiences
Einstein AI plays a major role in Send Time Optimization (STO) in Journey Builder. By looking through email engagement data and behavioral history, STO analyzes and predicts each customer’s optimal engagement time, leading to maximum conversions over time.
AI can also help deliver the most engaging content for each subscriber. In SFMC, Einstein applies relevant business rules to a pool of content to select the right content for each customer without creating a new email.
Another great reason to embrace SFMC Einstein AI is to automate messages for lifecycle series like onboarding, re-engagement, or friendly messages for birthdays and anniversaries.
Tips to leverage SFMC’s Einstein AI for long-term email marketing success:
- Use Einstein Content Selection to do a deeper audience analysis and to uncover new personas that will receive personalized messages
- Identify which audience segment should receive which offer with rich tags or metadata
- Use AI and your preference centers to collect customer preferences and use this information to adjust and improve your Email Marketing campaigns
- Regularly measure the impact of your AI-optimized campaigns and compare the impact with your existing baseline using A/B or multivariate testing
5. Tweak your email marketing strategy regularly
A successful email campaign today does not guarantee a successful email campaign tomorrow. As customer needs, trends, and subscriber data change, email marketing managers need to upgrade their strategy to stay relevant over time. This means paying attention to things like:
- Email deliverability
- Updating customer journeys
- Performing A/B testing before sending out emails
- Cleaning customer data
- Upgrading email design and creating fresh content
- Changing the CTA
- Re-engaging inactive subscribers
- Addressing problems related to abandoned carts
It’s also important to optimize emails to decrease unsubscribes over time. Personalization should be a big part of this strategy and so should minimizing the amount of ‘spammy’ words in each email. For the latter, use Content Detective in SFMC Email Studio to identify spam before you send the email out. In addition to content personalization, make sure you optimize your emails for mobile. Studies have found that 69% of mobile users delete emails that aren’t optimized for their device.
Smart email marketers who create a robust email marketing strategy and leverage the many capabilities of Salesforce Marketing Cloud are more likely to enjoy long-term success with their campaigns. Understand your customers, get your messaging right, and develop a unique brand story that impresses them today and creates memorable experiences always – these are just some of the things that email marketers can do with SFMC.