Salesforce Marketing Cloud (SFMC) is an excellent Email Service Provider (ESP) for brands that place customers at the center of their email marketing programs. SFMC provides numerous tools to humanize email marketing campaigns, engage target audiences with relevant, personalized messaging, and inspire action.
However, SFMC can be overwhelming with its wide range of email content and design tools, data models, AI capabilities, and real-time insights capabilities. If this sounds like you, then this guide is for you. By implementing its valuable and winning strategies, you can make the most of this world-class ESP, create amazing email campaigns, and convert subscribers into superfans and one-time buyers into loyal brand advocates.
1. Create Personalized Customer Journeys with Journey Builder
A customer journey refers to the experience a customer has when interacting with a brand along multiple touchpoints.
Where do your customers interact with your brand?
On your website or social media pages?
Via customer support?
Through email marketing?
It’s important to understand and map all these interaction points. This customer journey map tells the story of how customers behave when they engage with your brand, what their expectations are, and whether you are meeting these expectations.
The map will also help you anticipate how different customers will possibly act during the journey – and how you can ensure that their brand experiences are memorable and to encourage them to come back. Ultimately, a data-driven, customer-focused journey map for each customer can help you design unique email marketing campaigns that keep customers engaged with your brand for longer.
SFMC offers a powerful tool called Journey Builder to build personalized customer journeys based on customer demographics, behaviors, preferences, etc. Use these journey maps to inform and improve your email marketing campaigns. You can also “listen” to customer cues to understand their current behaviors, predict future behaviors, and accordingly create campaigns to guide them down the purchase journey.
For example, you can create separate journeys for new and existing customers and design separate campaigns to engage with both.
This welcome email from Banfield immediately catches a new subscriber’s eye and encourages them to continue to engage with the brand.
This email from Fitbit is an effective way to entice subscribers to spend more.
Another great thing about Journey Builder is that it can help you automate engagement at scale and still deliver timely, relevant campaigns to each subscriber. You can even evaluate the progress of each campaign and drive tangible results with email marketing from a very early stage in the customer journey.
2. Get a 360° View of Customers with Salesforce CDP and Datorama
If you want your subscribers to actively engage with your campaigns and brand, spray-and-pray/ one-size-fits-all email marketing campaigns won’t work. You need to create personalized messaging that resonates with their specific needs and expectations.
And the first step towards personalization is understanding who they are:
Where do they live?
What do they want, need, like?
What kind of messaging is likely to appeal to them?
How can your campaigns address their expectations?
SFMC will help you get a 360° view of customers through two powerful tools.
Salesforce CDP provides intelligent, actionable, and trusted customer data so you can build unified customer profiles and get a single source of truth about each customer across multiple touchpoints. Connect customer identities, orders, marketing journeys, and engagement data to better understand subscribers and use this data to inform your email marketing strategies.
SFMC Datorama is another useful tool to collect and analyze customer intelligence and create customized and scalable email campaigns that deliver value to each subscriber in your mailing list. Datorama provides smart, cross-channel insights to drive ROI and growth with email marketing for both B2C and B2B brands.
3. Increase Email Marketing ROI with Personalization Builder and Einstein AI
SFMC’s Personalization Builder tool provides predictive analytics and predictive modeling to help you understand subscribers preferences and accordingly create tailored email content. Even better – you can do this automatically for each subscriber to save time and effort, and get campaigns out quickly.
With Personalization Builder and SFMC’s built-in Einstein Artificial Intelligence (AI) engine, you can effortlessly:
- Infer subscriber preferences and build behavioral profiles to understand subscribers.
- Combine profiles with Machine Learning algorithms to predict the content type most likely to appeal to subscribers.
- Deliver personalized email experiences with tailored product offers, Calls to Action (CTA), subject lines, etc.
SFMC’s Einstein AI is so powerful that you can:
- Discover how subscribers engage with a particular email campaign and use this information to improve future campaigns.
- Build audience segments and create campaigns tailored to the preferences or demographics of each segment.
- Collect data from customer interactions to identify where each subscriber is in their buyer’s journey and send relevant email messages to match their needs at every stage.
- Optimize everything from email content and subject lines, to CTA and even send times to maximize the chances of opens, click-throughs, and conversions.
The great thing about Einstein AI is that it learns over time so you can continually analyze campaign performance, identify improvement areas, and optimize subscriber engagement throughout their journey with your brand. All in all, if increasing email ROI is your primary goal, Einstein AI and Personalization Builder should definitely be part of your SFMC email strategy.
4. Personalize and Automate Email Campaigns with Email Studio and Built-in Templates
Any email marketing consultant will tell you that the key to any email subscriber’s heart – and wallet – is email personalization. Personalized email content can increase open rates by 26%, conversion rates by 6X or more, and revenues by 5.7X. Research by Salesforce shows that 52% of modern customers expect personalized offers. Other research shows that personalized incentives in email can increase open rates by 50% while personalized video can increase CTR by 200-300% and retention rates by 35%. In short, personalization works!
By adding a video to its onboarding email, Vimeo gets a head-start on delighting new subscribers right from the first email engagement.
With SFMC Email Studio, you can send all kinds of personalized email messages including:
- Welcome emails
- Transactional emails
- Triggered emails
- Promotional messages
- Multi-email drip campaigns
Use its intuitive UI, built-in templates, and drag-and-drop blocks to create static or dynamic content quickly even if you or your team lack coding knowledge. Email Studio also includes drag-and-drop segmentation tools so you can quickly create relevant audience segments and engage with each segment with relevant content that appeals to their needs and preferences.
This Grammarly email with a visible discount is a good way to engage with subscribers while driving more upsells.
This birthday email can be sent automatically from SFMC to make the subscriber feel special with a personalized offer.
Email Studio’s Content Builder tool simplifies the creation and management of personalized, audience-ready content, while Content Detective enables you to remove spammy words from your content, manage email bounces, and increase email deliverability. You can even syndicate your email content to reach a larger audience, generate more leads, and increase brand exposure.
All these tools go a long way towards automating and optimizing your email marketing program, and building stronger customer relationships with email at every stage of the customer lifecycle.
The SFMC Story Doesn’t End Here!
Journey Builder, Email Studio, Salesforce CDP, Datorama, Personalization Builder, and Einstein AI are not the only tools in SFMC. Not even close!
SFMC offers a number of other capabilities to help you create winning email marketing strategies. These include tools to:
- Protect customer data
- Analyze email campaign performance
- A/B test campaigns before sends
- Document and standardize data models, data flow mapping, and API connections
- Activate first-party email data to create subscriber profiles and engage them with personalized messaging
- Create mobile-optimized, highly accessible emails for all kinds of audiences
- Employ HTML code and personalized scripting language to create tailored, real-time content for each subscriber
The Final Word
Are you ready to set up a high-performance email marketing program powered by Salesforce Marketing Cloud? Perhaps you want to optimize your existing program with the strategies discussed above?
If you’re not sure where to start or need an expert partner to hold your hand, we at Email Uplers can help. We will help you execute these winning strategies in SFMC and create a rock-solid advantage for your brand.