Understanding Salesforce Marketing Contacts

Understanding Salesforce Marketing Contacts

Salesforce Contacts and Your Contract Trendline’s Solutions Consulting team has been receiving questions about Contacts within Salesforce Marketing Cloud, and how they relate to your invoice and charges. We are going to help clear up the confusion, and show you how to pare down your contact count to maximize your marketing dollars. Salesforce Marketing Cloud contracts used to be based on two things - a software fee and a message fee, or CPM. Now, Salesforce Marketing Cloud users are paying a third fee—for sendable contacts. This is a charge for any contact that you have ever emailed. Even if you only have an active population of 500,000 subscribers, if you have ever sent to the 2,000,000 contacts you have, then 2,000,000 contacts is what your invoice fee will be based on. To make matters worse, there are no tools within Salesforce Marketing Cloud to help you understand what your active user count really is, and the numbers Salesforce comes back to you...
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Put Your Content Builder Migration on Hold

Put Your Content Builder Migration on Hold

In the notes for the most recent release of Salesforce Marketing Cloud, a small detail may have escaped your eyes. The sunset date for Classic Content has been pushed back from this summer to 2020. This is good news if you are used to Classic Content and have had challenges in working with the newer Content Builder. Here is a rundown of our concerns with Content Builder, and why Trendline is holding off on the transition: Image asset names Currently in Classic Content, when you upload an image, you get a static URL that is predictable. The filename remains intact, and if you use a workflow that relies on predictable file locations (as we do at Trendline), we can pre-code our HTML to include the ultimate destination of the image. This streamlines our production process tremendously. An added benefit is that if an image needs to change for some reason (offer is expired, a typo in the graphic, etc), we can just upload...
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A New Journey Builder Feature To Be Aware Of

A New Journey Builder Feature To Be Aware Of

I was updating content for a client’s journey in Salesforce Marketing Cloud the other day, and stumbled onto a new ‘feature’ I wasn’t aware of. This could be important for you to think about, depending on your workflow for updating emails in Journey Builder. Sending Email In Journey Builder When you add an email to go out from Journey Builder, you are basically creating a triggered send. Normally, triggered emails remain static until you pause them, publish the updates, and then restart them. This was true in Journey Builder for some time as well. In essence, if you had content updates to make, you could make them, test them, and then decide when you wanted to make them live. How it works now Now when you update an email that is part of a journey, the content automatically updates. The amount of time it takes varies, indicating to me it is part of some content check happening in a regular interval. SMS messages that...
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8 Hazards to Integrating New Automation Tools

8 Hazards to Integrating New Automation Tools

8 Hazards To Integrating New Automation Tools As a lifelong skier, I've learned to watch for unmarked hazards and to respect the warning signs I come across on trails or headwalls. I use the same wariness whenever I work with Trendline clients who want to integrate new tools into their email platforms. What could go wrong? The English language has many scary words and phrases. For someone like me, the phrase that keeps me up at night is this: "It just works." That's what vendors and partners often tell us when we sit down to start talking about integrating new tools. But I'm here to tell you that it doesn't "just work." Many factors affect how your integrations work together and whether or not you'll get the results you want (and pay for). They're like the hazards you encounter on a ski or hiking trail. When you know these factors and plan for them, your integration efforts will go more smoothly and you'll get better...
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What it Takes to do Meaningful Personalization

What it Takes to do Meaningful Personalization

I’ve been in email marketing for 9 years now, the latest iteration of a digital marketing career that I have had going for over 20 years. During this time, I have seen interesting new technologies emerge—from Send Time Optimization to Machine Learning, to AI being leveraged for content and subject line suggestions. And yet, I look in my own inbox and am forced to ask, “What the hell is going on?” Why do I ask this? Take a look at your own inbox. As VP Solutions Consulting at Trendline Interactive, I travel a fair bit and regularly receive emails from hotel chains, car rental companies, and airlines. All of these company subscriptions include regular monthly newsletters, along with periodic special offers or upsell opportunities. For the most part, I have satisfactory experiences when looking at them. But there are a few that leave me astounded, given the capabilities I know their platforms have. More specifically, as a frequent traveler, I want to...
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Behind the Book: Salesforce Marketing Cloud for Dummies

Behind the Book: Salesforce Marketing Cloud for Dummies

A little over 2 years ago, a senior executive at Salesforce approached us about writing a book on how to use Salesforce Marketing Cloud, formerly known as Exact Target. Having been deep technical users of the platform for a number of years, vocal proponents, and people who weren't afraid to offer constructive feedback, he believed that Mark Pollard and I were well-suited to this venture. And, of course, we thought, "How hard could it be?"   We quickly learned that knowing a platform inside and out was one thing, but being able to translate that knowledge into a book to cover all skill sets was something else entirely. There were other complications and hurdles to overcome, too. Our primary focus still needed to be on our day jobs, providing great service to our existing clients, without whom our livelihood would not exist. And then there is the fast-paced world of software development. Salesforce releases a new version of Marketing Cloud every...
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UPDATE: Top 5 Email Marketing Challenges

UPDATE: Top 5 Email Marketing Challenges

Top 5 Email Marketing Challenges Whether it’s an in-house FTE (full-time equivalent) or a digital marketing agency you’re talking to, the general impression people have is that email marketing is easy. Basically, it’s a digital version of direct mail. Well, we have a saying here at Trendline Interactive: "Email marketing is hard." Here’s why: 1) DATA This is the biggest challenge we face with any client.  Whether it’s getting the data you need from internal systems to make sure you can act on it, or ensuring that the automated feeds are clean and don’t have any stray characters, which can throw off imports or break reporting.  We spend a lot of time working with data throughout the lifetime of a client. It is an aspect of the system that requires constant vigilance. 2) QUALITY ASSURANCE When it’s crunch time, and an email HAS to go out the door NOW, the most overlooked thing is quality-assurance (QA). We allow 48 hours for our QA process to be...
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The Customer: Retention vs. Salvage

The Customer: Retention vs. Salvage

I recently went through the breakup process with a national brand that was delivering TV services to our house. While my world tends to be more technology focused, this breakup process was a clear case of misguided customer retention efforts.  And it was a perfect illustration for something that has bothered me for some time now. Like a lot of families these days, we did an internal assessment about the expense of this service, relative to our viewing habits, and the costs of getting comparable services via alternate delivery methods (namely over-the-air and streaming).  Once we had the numbers (we are talking about a savings of close to 70%), the decision was made, and I started the process. The first step was calling an automated voice response system and trying to get at the right phrase to cancel my service. It was intuitive enough, and then the first intriguing question came: "Are you cancelling because of a move?"  Well, no, so I...
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5 Things I’ve Learned Since Joining Trendline Interactive

5 Things I’ve Learned Since Joining Trendline Interactive

A little over a year ago, I was invited to Austin to see what some professional acquaintances had built, and to see if there was a fit for me. Today is the one-year anniversary of my first day on the job at Trendline Interactive. In a lot of ways, it doesn’t seem like it’s been that long. Here is what I’ve learned in that time. 1) A group of alpha personalities can work together marvelously. Starting at the top, and going all the way to our newest hire, we are a company full of strong personalities. But we’re lacking one key ingredient that causes groups like this to fail: ego.  Don’t get me wrong, we all know what we’re capable of. But we are all pulling in the same direction, and egos get put aside to do great work. It’s a remarkable thing to be part of. 2) Small companies are awesome. Prior to Trendline, the smallest company I worked for was a ski...
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