SFDC: How To

5 Things You Should Know Before Your First Salesforce Marketing Cloud aka SFMC Project

Disclaimer before we go into all details. Information below is provided based on the functionality available in March 2019. If anything has changed after - happy days.


“Tricky” is the first keyword that comes to mind when I think about Marketing Cloud. Since I started my journey on studying and implementing Marketing Cloud for businesses, I have never stopped asking - why?

I have a strong background in Salesforce Sales Cloud and Pardot, hence the reason many things for me did not feel intuitive at all with SFMC. This is where my curios inner “trailblazer” comes out and starts to question everything. Is it better how Pardot does it? Or Marketing Cloud does it right?

Not every project is the same, but there is certainly a blueprint we can all follow to make Marketing Cloud project successful. Therefore the best advice for every newbie in MC world would be to have a mentor guiding you through your first implementation.

When implementing software we need to be able to:

  • Foresee the complexity of the requirements,

  • Be able to share important solution considerations with the client,

  • And confidently implement irreversible design changes.

Now coming back to “tricky”, the keyword I started  this article, Marketing Cloud has some hidden steps that you need to know during your implementation. They are like small seashells you need to discover on the bottom of the sea and unlock to see the pearl.

1. First I will start with subdomain discussion with the client even before kicking off the project. Why we need subdomain for Marketing Cloud project? For example, all the landing pages you will be creating will be hosted on the subdomain. All the images you will be adding to your email templates will be hosted on your subdomain.

Assumption:
Most of the Marketing Cloud customers are larger enterprises that have been around for 20+ years. Back then there were no hover.com or godaddy.com where you can buy and register your domain easely, similarly adding new subdomains. It is possible that business will need to migrate from their current domain provider to a newer one that supports subdomains.

Fact:
You will need to give your client time to research new best host, remove lock from current domain, initiate transfer with new host, verify the transfer, test if all works as expected and the create a subdomain than you need to further register in Marketing Cloud and submit it to MC Support to further register it on their end. You can review this and more options you have here - https://senderauth.marketingcloud.com/quickstart.php 

2. Second thing to know will be relevant when you will need to start testing your Journeys.

Assumption:
All Salesforce Events and Actions will appear after you connect SF with SFMC via Marketing Cloud Connect.t

Fact:
You will need to submit a case with Salesforce Support for Salesforce actions to appear in your Journey builder.

Please see a screenshot below I submitted a case:

Screen Shot 2019-07-15 at 16.52.53.png

After I submitted a case:

Screen Shot 2019-07-15 at 16.53.00.png

Again, I will use a work “tricky” here, because how can you know things you don't know you need to do?

3. Third thing is that when you get to testing Email Templates you have built (or client provided you with an existing HTML that you pasted) you might get stuck with some errors.

Assumption:
By using current field variables and adding unsubscribe option or preference center link I will be able to test my emails.

Fact:
You will need to submit another case with Salesforce. Yes, this time you will need to submit a case to “Disable CAN & SPAM”. Otherwise, you simply won't be able to test or send any emails from Marketing Cloud as you will be getting errors.

Funny fast, support team do not even ask you why, as they know this just needs to be done.

4. Forth thing is IP warm up.

Assumption:
I have heard people saying: “If you are looking to send email to less than 10k prospects you can skip this step. Just gradually start sending your emails starting with smaller numbers. Usually, IP warm up is required only for companies that are looking to do 100k+ email sends in one go”. Not that I am quoting any specific person, but we know the saying “so many men, so many minds”.

Fact:
I like facts. The fact is that even though you say you will be sending to small numbers or prospects per every send, you still need to validate if your emails are delivered and not going to spam. And nowadays Gmail is probably one of the most “tricky” (again) providers that like to put many things in the Spam folder. So a trick I would like to recommend, “even you are looking to send an email to a small number or prospects” is the following, draft an email (with clickable link) and send it to all internal users in the company. Ask them all to and to open an email, if it went to spam click “Report Not Spam”, “Safe Content”, click on links. This will help to initially establish a good sending reputation.

5. Lastly, the fifth step is to understand the current clients marketing teams capabilities and plan the training roadmap.

Assumption:
I will be able to use Marketing Cloud as any other tool and it will be even simpler as, I mean, it costs so much, it should do magic!

Fact:
Again, I truly believe that Marketing Cloud is not as easy to use tool like Mailchimp, Pardot and many others. For example, if client is looking to utilise a Dynamic content feature (and again, I believe they should [!] considering how much they already invested in Marketing Cloud and knowing how predictive can be the built in AI technology) to display relevant content based on the geographical location or promotional offers based on the historical purchases, they will need to learn AMP scripts. Do traditional marketers know marketing cloud scripting languages? I think we will all shake our heads and say no. Traditional marketers usually much more prefer working their magic by drafting email texts, planning and scheduling the content. They do not see themselves playing around with code to create Dynamic content block. Therefore discussing and planning comprehensive Marketing Cloud training for the internal team and potentially suggesting a new hire, I believe is very important.