“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.
“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. “
“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.”
"Understand the different Salesforce Clouds
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.”
“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 [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], 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.”
“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!”
“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.”
“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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