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Questions to ask before hiring an SFMC Email Specialist

Hiring an SFMC Email Specialist? Make Sure to Ask these 7 Critical Questions!

To hire the best SFMC email specialist for your email marketing program, ask these 7 critical questions! ...

Salesforce Marketing Cloud (SFMC) is one of the most powerful marketing automation and email marketing platforms available today. If your organization uses this feature-rich ESP, you’re already well on your way to email marketing success.

Of course, like every technological breakthrough, SFMC can garner the best results for your brand’s email marketing program if you have the right people in place.

SFMC email specialists have the knowledge, skills, and experience you need to manage every aspect of your email marketing lifecycle. They will know key terminology and follow email marketing best practices to help you get the maximum value out of your SFMC investment. In short, an SFMC email specialist can help you build optimized and on-brand email campaigns.

For all these reasons, it’s crucial that you hire the right SFMC email specialist. And to do this, you need to ask them the right questions during interviews. Here are 7 questions that you should definitely ask every candidate to gauge their knowledge, comfort, and expertise with SFMC!

1. What do you know about customer journeys and customer journey mapping in SFMC?

A: As a customer interacts with a brand, they progress through their journey along many touchpoints that can increase their brand awareness, and convert them into a loyal repeat customer. That’s why it’s important to map every customer’s journey. Here’s where SFMC Journey Builder comes in.

Journey Builder in SFMC allows email marketers to visually represent every interaction with a customer along their journey. It allows companies to glean valuable customer insights, and use this data to improve their sales, marketing and branding.

They can understand customers better and build a holistic, multi-channel journey to engage with them consistently across the entire journey. Most importantly, they can build personalized campaigns that improve customer experiences, delight them, and keep them coming back.

2. How do Journey Builder, Content Builder, and Email Studio work together in SFMC?

A: Email Studio, Content Builder, and Journey Builder are three of the most important modules in SFMC. Email marketing teams should use them together to optimize customer journeys, streamline the email creation lifecycle, improve their content management process, and boost key performance metrics.

With Journey Builder, they can tell the story of the customer’s experience as they progress through their journey along many touchpoints. They can understand where customers interact with the brand, where there are gaps, and what gauge the quality of their brand experience. They can then use all this information to improve customer experiences through email marketing. For this, they can leverage both Content Builder and Email Studio.

Content Builder is a user-friendly content management tool that allows email teams to consolidate their resources in a single location. They can then use these resources, along with content blocks, and pre-built templates and layouts to create professional, responsive emails.

Email Studio allows users to easily set up, send, and track all kinds of targeted email marketing campaigns. The tool is easy to use, and includes numerous content creation tools, including content blocks, reusable templates, dynamic content, and A/B testing.

By using these tools together, email marketing teams can deliver relevant, highly personalized content to their audience and get great results from their email marketing program.

3. What is Einstein AI in SFMC?

A: Salesforce Marketing Cloud has a powerful Artificial Intelligence engine called Einstein. It enables marketing teams to understand their customers’ engagement and behaviors, and use this information to personalize every interaction, and automate many processes in their email marketing workflows.

For instance, using Einstein Engagement Scoring, email teams can predict subscriber engagement and accordingly target specific audiences through personalized campaigns created in Email Studio.

Then, with Einstein Messaging Insights, they can understand which email campaigns are under- or over-performing. They can then calibrate their campaigns and journeys to improve performance.

Einstein Send Time Optimization or STO is one of the most popular Einstein tools in SFMC. It enables email marketing teams to automatically determine the most optimal send times to increase email opens, engagement, and conversions.

4. What is a “behavioral trigger” in SFMC? What is its purpose?

A: A behavioral trigger refers to an action taken by a subscriber. In SFMC, it is an Apex code, hence it is also called an Apex trigger. Following a triggering event, the subscriber will receive an automated email from the brand’s SFMC platform. For example, if a subscriber completes a sale on the brand’s eCommerce page, this is considered a trigger to send them a “thank you for shopping” email with order details.

Within SFMC, a triggered email has two components: content and interaction. A user needs to define an interaction that will control when the triggered email will be sent. They must also provide information about the message and the behavior that the interaction will use each time it is triggered. All triggered emails in SFMC are trackable, targeted to a specific subscriber, and usually sent immediately after the triggering event.

5. What do you know about dynamic emails in SFMC? How are they sent?

A: Dynamic content provides each email subscriber with information that’s relevant specifically to them. It’s a great way to deliver targeted and personalized experiences to each subscriber, which can positively impact the brand’s email marketing ROI. Dynamic content can be used to send any type of email through SFMC, except text emails.

Dynamic content always displays in a content area according to specific rules. The marketing team must set these rules in SFMC based on a subscriber’s attributes or data extension column values. Brands can create dynamic content based on other subscriber attributes, such as location, age range, purchase history, interests, etc.

In SFMC, Content Builder provides enhanced dynamic content blocks, built-in drag-and-drop tools, on-screen buttons, and templates, which make it easy to quickly create and deliver localized dynamic content that audiences love to read.

6. How will you set up A/B testing in SFMC?

A: SFMC provides an advanced A/B testing feature. A/B testing or split testing enables email teams to set up multiple versions of a campaign and test these versions with a small audience. The version that drives more engagement is the “winning” version that’s sent to all subscribers.

Before setting up A/B testing in SFMC, email teams must first create the target segment based on relevant parameters like location, gender, purchase history, etc. They should also identify key metrics to measure the success of the A/B test. Finally, they must create well-formatted, mobile-friendly email messages, because even the messages will go out to ‘real’ subscribers.

After laying this groundwork, the team should go into SFMC Email Studio and create an A/B test. Next, they choose test recipients, set the winner criteria, schedule a test deployment, and configure send options. After the test runs and completes, they can view the results to determine and send the winning email version.

7. What are the different types of email sends in SFMC? When are they used?

A: There are mainly three types of email send options in SFMC.

A single email send is a simple way to send one-off emails. All that’s required is to open the email, choose the relevant audience and email send configuration, and then send the message. Single emails can be sent by creating a “Single Send Journey” in SFMC Journey Builder.

Nex, there’s the user-initiated email send in SFMC. It is created to send emails to a user-initiated subscriber list or data extension. Such sends are most suitable for sending monthly newsletters, daily update emails, and seasonal promotions.

The third type of SMFC sends are triggered sends, which are sent to a subscriber via a SOAP API trigger in response to a specific action. These sends are ideal for transactional messages, such as purchase receipts, shipping confirmations, password change notifications, etc.

To streamline email sends, it’s important to create the right type of journey in SFMC Journey Builder: transactional journeys, multi-step journeys, single-send journeys, etc.

Wrapping It Up

A knowledgeable and skilled SFMC email specialist can be a valuable addition to your email marketing team. So make sure you hire the right person by asking them the seven questions explained here!

Want any help with Salesforce Marketing Cloud to power your email marketing program? Talk to the experts at Email Uplers. Click here to get started.

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    Chintan Doshi

    Chintan is the Sr. Manager Email Marketing & CRM at Email Uplers. He loves email marketing and has been in the industry from last seven years. His track record of email marketing success covers building email programs from scratch and using data-driven strategies to turn around underperforming accounts.

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