AMPscript Pitfalls to Avoid in Salesforce Marketing Cloud

AMPscript Pitfalls to Avoid in Salesforce Marketing Cloud

One of my favorite aspects of working in Salesforce Marketing Cloud is the ability to use AMPscript. It allows the emails I code to be highly dynamic and personalized to subscribers, and it's easy to learn. But when you have been working with AMPscript as long as I have, it is easy to neglect the basics when moving higher, further, faster. Here are some pitfalls to try and avoid when using AMPscript: SYNTAX AMPscript is wonderfully easy to learn, but the rules are finite. For the script to work properly, you have to use two (count them: TWO) percentage marks to begin, end, and interpret the code. If you don’t have two, it will not work. While this seems simple, the simplicity is exactly what makes it easy to overlook. When you have a subject line set to dynamically render and it doesn’t, start by checking the percentage marks. It is also important to use the correct delimiter–which depends on if you are...
Read More
What It Takes to Become Salesforce-Certified – and What It Means for Our Clients

What It Takes to Become Salesforce-Certified – and What It Means for Our Clients

At Trendline Interactive, we believe investing in employee education and training pays off in better service for our clients. Continual Improvement is one of our core values, and we encourage employees to seek training that will further their skill sets. We're pleased to add the name of Steve Schweiss, a Senior Platform Specialist, to the list of Trendline professionals who have earned recognition as a Salesforce Certified Marketing Cloud Consultant. The Salesforce Marketing Cloud Consultant credential is designed for those who can set up and implement the Salesforce Marketing Cloud email application tools, providing solutions to execute both tactical and strategic email campaigns. Additionally, SFMC Consultants are able to demonstrate knowledge, skills, and experience in email marketing best practices. This includes message design, subscriber and data management, inbox delivery, and external integrations with the Marketing Cloud email application. Earning his certification meant Steve had to do more than just take a quick online test. Instead, he spent hours after work studying and practicing to...
Read More
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...
Read More
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...
Read More
We came. We saw. We connected. Salesforce Connections 2018.

We came. We saw. We connected. Salesforce Connections 2018.

We came. We saw. We connected. Salesforce Connections 2018. Hailed as the digital marketing, commerce, and customer service event of the year, Salesforce Connections took Chicago by storm on June 12–14 with 13,000 marketers in attendance. We have a long history with Connections here at Trendline and welcomed back the conference after its year-long hiatus by sending 20 marketing experts of our own. We made a splash in downtown Chicago with a Trendline event for clients and partners, and did our level best throughout the three days to dig into the 500+ breakout sessions and hands-on developer labs, attend keynotes, talk with vendors, and most importantly, meet face-to-face with our clients and partners. “Our business is built on understanding our clients’ unique and varied business needs — inside out, “ said Trendline Co-Founder and CEO Morgan Stewart, “so our real insights come from marrying the new solutions that are presented at Connections with the needs we hear expressed by our clients...
Read More
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...
Read More
#CNX15 – A Blockbuster Conference in New York

#CNX15 – A Blockbuster Conference in New York

This year’s Connections conference played out like a big-budget summer movie: the host city was bigger, the stakes higher, and the aspirations grander. Unfortunately, as with most summer blockbusters, the character development was sacrificed in order to make room for flashy action and special effects. Having the event in New York City was apropos given ExactTarget’s absorption into Salesforce. Just as the Marketing Cloud feels smaller under the Salesforce umbrella, the close-knit community feel of previous ExactTarget Connections was lost within the big city. The change in location and atmosphere brought on a peremptory wave of nostalgia for the ExactTarget culture of Indianapolis, which proudly hosted the conference for years. I left wondering if the original cult following would be trying to make Connections at future Dreamforce events. There was one piece of particularly good news: Salesforce University is moving forward with the launch of platform certification courses. I think we have all been expecting it, but to finally see it...
Read More