eBook – The ultimate guide to email marketing with Salesforce Marketing Cloud

According to Salesforce in 2020 681.7B emails were send out yes your heard it write Billion, 179.0B emails were opened and 19.1B emails were clicked on. This data shows how powerful email marketing is becoming on a daily basis. I still remember when I used to use my email only for Orkut and now I cant think of any thing that is not associated with my email shopping, studying, eating, office, traveling etc.

By Swati Bhalla

What is email marketing ?

Email marketing is when you send an email message to your audience — it can be to inform, drive sales and build relationship. These type of communication depends on the type consent that you have from your customer/prospect. For e.g. if you dont have a marketing consent you can not send a newsletter to them however you can send a transactional email or an email with legitimate interest to them. 

Benefits of email marketing

  • Incredibly big audience 
  • Personalized communication and direct reach makes it more effective
  • Targeted messages derive more revenue
  • Helps in nurturing leads and make them sales qualified
  • Better for customer acquisition

When to use Email Marketing ?

According to General Email Marketing Statistics in 2021 319.6 billion emails were send per day. This figure includes both consumer and business emails, so I can say its pretty good to send emails on a regular basis, The question is what types of emails you should send:

1- Welcome email
2- Email Newsletter
3- Lead nurture email
4- Transactional email
5- Re-engagement email
6- Repurchase email
7- Cross sell and upsell email
8- Behavioral email
9- Brand Story email
10- Sponsor/Referral email

Before we get into practicality and get instrumental on building & sending emails lets finalise the Email Marketing strategy.

I love analyzing data and talking figures, recently Salesforce in one of its blog mentioned that the average ROI for email marketing campaigns is approximately 3,800%, or $38 generated for every dollar spent therefore to be successful in email marketing you have to build an effective email strategy so that your email reaches to the right person at the right time with right communication.

Steps to an effective Email Marketing Strategy

Find your Target Audience – To run a successful campaign make sure you identify the correct audience/receiver of your email communication, this depends on number of factors – Industry, Type of campaign, content etc. for e.g. you dont want to send a welcome email to a contact who is already in your Lead nurture journey, but again this will be different for an ecommerce business you will definitely want to send a welcome email each time a contact make purchase.

Define your goal and objective – Conceptualise what you want to achieve from this email sent out, weather you want to collect new leads/signups, nurture them, re-engage them ect. Think before you implement – research always takes you a long way.

Decide on a timeline – Brainstorm and agree on a particular timeline i.e. when you want to reach out to your audience, you dont want to send emails at odd hours or you dont want to send a re-engagement emails during summer holidays when you know people are busy enjoying sun and are on vacation.

Measure your results – Have a plan to track your hard work, Define KPI’s that suits your campaign and work towards it. Analyse and optimise 🙂

To every successful campaign there is research, thought and analysis build your strategy and leverage the power of Email Marketing

Lets get started with Email Marketing in Salesforce Marketing Cloud

How to Create your Audience in SFMC

In SFMC we create audience and place them in Data Extensions to use them in campaigns. What is Data extension? In simple words its a table that contains you data.

There are three types of data extensions in Marketing Cloud. 

  • Standard data extensions are used for building a custom set of fields.
  • Filtered data extensions are used to create a subset/segment from an existing data extension.
  • Random data extensions allow you to randomly select subscribers from a source data extension

Data extensions can be sendable or nonsendable

  • Sendable data extensions have a send relationship and map to a subscriber. Contacts are added to All Contacts when you send to them.
  • Nonsendable data extensions are reference data, such as the weather, airport codes, orders, product tables, etc.—things you want to use to personalize emails, but not a person you are sending an email to.
Learn more about Data Extentions on Trailhead


Segmentation Overview

In Email Marketing Campaigns, relevant and personalized content is one of the key factors. Therefore Segmentation is used to define the right target groups your email content is dedicated to. There are different tools that are used for Segmentation in Salesforce Marketing Cloud:

Data Filters: Simple filter criteria based on Attributes from Data Extensions in a drag and drop canvas, can be used for quick and simple segmentation

Query Activities: Segmentation definitions based on SQL, can be used when the target Data Extension must contain information from combined source Data Extensions.

Note* In this guide we will learn how to create Data filter and use it to create a sendable data extention


Create a Data Filter

  • From the Start Page hover over Email Studio and click Email.
  • In Email Studio hover over Subscriber and click Data Filters.
  • Select a folder in the left sidebar.
  • Click on the Create button on the upper right corner.
  • In the pop up window select the option Data Extension and click OK
  • Select the source Data Extension to apply the Data Filter on and click OK.
  • In the sidebar on the left hand side all fields of the selected Data Extension will appear and can now be used to build Filter Criteria.
  • Drag the Fields you would like to use in your Data Filter and drop them in the Create Filter area.
  • From the Drop Down select the Operator you would like to use for this attribute to define the Filter.
  • Drag and drop additional attributes and define the operator until all filter conditions are included.
  • To adjust a Filter Condition click the Pencil Icon. To delete a Filter Condition click the Trash Bin Icon.
  • On the right side you can change the relation between the Filter Conditions.
  • Hover over the small grey box to add a relation.
  • Change between the AND and OR by clicking on the arrow.
  • To save the Data Filter click Save in the upper right corner.
  • In the pop up window name the Data Filter and give a description.
  • Select a location / folder your Data Filter should be stored in and click Save

Your Data Filter is now saved and ready for use. 

Create a Filtered Data Extension

  • From the Start Page hover over Email Studio and click Email.
  • In Email Studio hover over Subscriber and click Data Filters.
  • Open the folder your Data Filters are stored in and select the Data Filter you would like to use.
  • On the Data Filter click Create Data Extension.

  • In the pop up window name the Data Extension that will be newly created and give a description.

  • Select a folder your Filtered Data Extension should be stored in and click Save.

  • The new Filtered Data Extension will open up and evaluate the number of Records based on your Data Filter.

  • The Properties tab shows all Data Extension information as well as the Filter information.

  • Click on the Records tab to view the records in detail.

Email Tracking in SFMC

There are different ways to track the performance of your various Email sends. Standard tracking metrics include numbers on Emails delivered, bounced, opened as well as links clicked.

Tracking is an aggregated collection of data that allows you to view critical elements such as email opens, clicks, undeliverable messages, and other metrics online. Tracking details are displayed in a dashboard in Email Studio. Marketing Cloud stores your tracking data for the life of your contract. To find tracking details of an email send:

  • From the Start Page hover over Email Studio and click Email.
  • In Email Studio hover over Tracking and click Sends.
  • From the folder structure select the folder your Tracking Job is stored in.
  • The My Tracking area displays an overview of the recent send outs.
  • Click on the Name to open the tracking details of a send.

The tracking details of an email send:

  • Summary: Allows to see basic information regarding this communication with total emails sent.
  • Send Performance: Shows the delivery rate for the email. Where there any bounces.
  • Open Performance: Reports the total emails delivered, Total Opens and Unique Opens.
  • Inbox Activity: Shows Total and Unique email Opens and Clicks, Forwards and Unsubscribes
  • Unengaged Subscribers: Shows total emails delivered, how many recipients did not click and did not open.

All underlined Values are clickable to get further information. To see more details on who has opened the mail click on the underlined number of Unique Opens.

The detailed lists can be exported via Export All as CSV file.

Campaign Email Tracking Report

  • In Email Studio click on the Tracking tab and select Reports.
  • Click on Campaign Email Tracking Report in the menu on the left.
  • Select the time frame to be included in your report Select the Campaign to Report Against.
  • Choose how you want the report delivered (Email or On Screen) Choose the desired file format. Click on Submit. The report will then be sent as an email attachment or shown in the browser window.

You are now ready to do an effective email marketing via SFMC. Do let me know if this was helpful !

Thank You

One thought on “eBook – The ultimate guide to email marketing with Salesforce Marketing Cloud

  1. Hi Swati!
    Thanks for your comprehensive post on email marketing with Marketing Cloud. I was searching for a blog on Marketing Cloud to learn as a newbie and I found yours to be very useful. I would definitely recommend your blog to my team of salesforce enthusiasts. Keep going with the great work.
    All the very best.


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