SFMC secrets from Marketing Cloud professionals

SFMC secrets from Marketing Cloud professionals

“Secrets”, we say?! Yes indeed… We asked a select number of top Marketing Cloud experts about their experience working with the platform. Actually, our simple question was: ‘What do you wish you had known before starting with Marketing Cloud?’

These insights don’t just revolve around technical advice, but also general suggestions for people starting out with Salesforce Marketing Cloud, and tips for those already use the platform and who are eager to level up. They say ‘learn from your mistakes’, but in this case, we hope it’s less painful to learn from the mistakes of others.

Rachid Mamai

Rachid Mamai

founder of SFMCify kicked things off for us, with his wishlist. Here’s what he shared:

“Never make assumptions”

Having worked on Sales/Service Cloud as well, often I made assumptions and didn’t test functionality in Marketing Cloud as it should be — especially at scale. 

Let go of any developer background

I like innovation and problem-solving, and Java offers an ocean of problem-solving possibilities. The fact is that SFMC offers a lot as standard, so there is often no need to look further. I wish I’d worked more often with standard functionalities, instead of building custom and complex solutions.

There are no guide rails

Marketing Cloud will let you do whatever you want. Sometimes it’ll show you a warning (like when you want to disconnect a data extension in Data Designer), and more often, you’ll be left without warnings, like deleting a data extension that’s actually used in a Journey, deleting an activity used inside an Automation Studio automation… Because of this, you must proceed with caution. “

Michiel van Gaalen

Michiel van Gaalen

Salesforce Application Architect & Marketing Cloud Consultant shares his experience.

“Never try to implement without experience”

I have a ton of experience installing email marketing and CRM systems, so usually, I’ll read up and I’ll manage. In Marketing Cloud you can take so many bad decisions that come back to haunt you, that it’s not funny. So you need to have someone by your side, who is experienced in that type of process. Don’t try to ‘wing it’.

Never use the email address for Subscriber id

Back in the day, this wasn’t well documented. Assigning Email as the Subscriber id is not wise, especially when you use both Marketing Cloud and Service Cloud. It duplicates the contact activity as there’s no data sync back to Service Cloud.”

Mateusz Dąbrowski

Mateusz Dąbrowski

Marketing Automation Consultant and author of the blog mateuszdabrowski.pl shares the following

"Understand the different Salesforce Clouds"

I wish I knew more about the multitude and variety of Salesforce Clouds. Before I started working on Marketing Cloud, I decided to fill in my skill gaps. I heard SQL is helpful, and neither of the Marketing Automation platforms I worked on before used it. So “Salesforce SQL” I googled, and that led me to learn SOQL. It took me some time to catch that Salesforce Marketing Cloud is not using Salesforce Object Query Language 😉

Register on Trailhead and leverage microlearning

What would I recommend instead to anyone just getting into the Marketing Cloud world? Register on Trailhead, and follow the Email Specialist Trailmix. It will be a smooth start into Marketing Cloud, prepare you for the initial certification, and jumpstart your path to being a Salesforce Ranger. And with Trailhead Go App, you can do all that wherever and whenever you want.”
Markus Slabina

Markus Slabina

Cross-Cloud Architect/Consultant and the author of the blog markus.codes shares his SFMC hindsight

“Investigate List Detective”

There’s a lot I’d love to have known before starting with Marketing Cloud, but one of the most important things is knowing about List Detective and how it might impact your email sends. A lot of marketers only find out about the “role-based email address filter” as customers feedback that they didn’t receive any emails. This filter blocks messages to email prefixes like office@, sales@, info@, and so on — even for transactional sends! So especially in a B2B context or when working with small businesses, this can potentially have a huge impact. The good thing is that you can reach out to support and ask to deactivate the filter for whatever’s relevant to you.”
Kaelan Moss

Kaelan Moss

also known as MinuteAdmin, Salesforce Marketing Cloud Program Director and Instructor at Revolent Group.

“Share your learnings”

I wish I’d known about the power of providing value to others. It’s so important to share what you’ve learned, whether that’s ‘Best Practices’, ‘Industry Tips and Tricks’, ‘Real World Use Cases’, ‘How To Troubleshoot’, or anything else. Someone else out there is always going to find your insights valuable — victories and failures alike!”
Manish Thaduri

Manish Thaduri

Salesforce MVP, Technical Architect, Blogger at sfdcFanBoy.com.

“Salesforce Marketing Cloud isn’t like the others”

Salesforce’s Marketing Cloud product is completely different from its other Cloud products. No matter how many years of experience you have in the Sales, Service Cloud, or any other Clouds platforms by Salesforce, you’ll be starting from zero when you begin your SFMC journey. This is a good thing for freshers, though, as it puts them on an equal footing with those who may have been in the Salesforce ecosystem for a long time but are also new to SFMC. There’s no headstart for anyone.”
Nathalie Starr

Nathalie Starr

blogger at SFMC Geeks.com, Snr. Solutions Consultant at Acumen Solutions shares her insights

“Take full advantage of the SFMC community”

The biggest thing I wish I had known about is the community resources — especially the ‘SFMC’ channel on the ‘Emailgeeks’ Slack channel, and SFMC Stackexchange. There are so many amazing admins in the community, who are happy to help if you get stuck, or want to learn more. My world exploded as I realized I didn’t know what I didn’t know. Seeing what others were doing expanded my concept of the possible.”


We hope that this article provided a little help for you to navigate the complex world of Salesforce Marketing Cloud and that some of your questions have been answered. A lot of these insights aim to save your time navigating on the platform,  but it’s not only insights that can save your time, there are also actual tools for that. If you’re interested in saving 50% of your time spent on data management in SFMC, leverage our no-code segmentation solution, DESelect. You can book a demo with one of our professionals here.

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