Table of Contents:
Salesforce Automation Tools – A Brief Introduction
Salesforce as a global leader of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is introducing never-ending features to ease the business and strengthen the relationship between brands and consumers.
Every business will need their strategies for growth and Salesforce is making this challenge a huge success and hence, more companies move their base to Salesforce at a rapid phase.
A business transaction between the brands and customers will have several processes to be taken care of and manually going through the process is not less risky. Here comes the benefit of using Salesforce Marketing Cloud Automation tools.
Salesforce Automation helps to automate the processes involved in each task and these don’t involve you writing code but point-and-click. With Salesforce Automation tools, you can save time and make sure that every process is completed.
Automation tools support business processes like guided visual experiences, behind-the-scenes automation, and approval automation.
Types of Automation Tools in Salesforce
Salesforce offers multiple tools to automate your company’s recurring business processes. The best automation tool for your needs depends on the type of business process that you’re automating.
Salesforce Automation Tools are,
- Process Builder
- Flow Builder
Let us understand the features of Salesforce Automation tools to know which tool can be used to suit your business needs.
Process Builder has become the need of the hour for the Salesforce Administrators. Incorporated in Salesforce Lightning UI, this automation tool is built with extensive features and has helped administrators perform huge tasks with ease.
Process Builder supports three types of processes based on business needs. The type determines what triggers the process automation.
- A record change process initiates when a new record is created or updated.
- An event process initiates when a platform event message is received.
- An invoked process starts when another process, invokes it.
Workflow helps with the automation of standard internal procedures and processes to save time across the cloud. A workflow rule is the collection of a set of workflow instructions. These instructions can always be summed up in an if/then statement.
A workflow rule is of two main components.
Criteria: the “if” part of the “if/then” statement. This defines the condition to execute the associated actions.
Actions: the “then” part of the “if/then” statement. This defines what to be done when the criteria is met.
A flow collects data and performs actions based on business needs.
Lightning Flow provides two types of flows:
- Screen flows: To automate a business process that collects data from people, use a screen flow. For example, create a guided tutorial or wizard with screens.
- Auto launched flows: To launch a flow internally when record changes or when a user clicks a button, uses an auto launched flow. For example, add automation to your page or app to act as a record when a user clicks a button.
An approval process helps to automate how records are approved in Salesforce. An approval process specifies every step of approval, including from whom to request approval and what to do at each point of the process.
Approval automation helps to manage approvals at a faster pace.
A triggered email is a message sent to a subscriber in response to a subscriber’s action.
For example, sending a confirmation message after a customer clicks the subscription confirmation link in the email communication.
A triggered email is composed of content and interaction.
When you define a triggered email interaction, you provide information about the message and its behavior that the interaction uses each time it is triggered.
The triggered email interaction controls
- When the triggered email is to be sent
- Pause the interaction to cause triggered messages to queue while changing the email content
- Publish the interaction to begin sending emails again.
The purpose of triggers to initiate interaction is maintained outside of the application using API calls. The information created in the interface is used by the API when an email is triggered. If events on your website trigger the email, those events must be defined using API calls outside of the application.
Automatic Studio helps Salesforce Marketing Cloud send emails, queries and import data automatically. It is used to execute multi-step marketing and customer management activities on an immediate, triggered, or scheduled basis.
Types of automation:
- Scheduled Automation:This helps to build automation to perform marketing cloud activities on a scheduled basis. To edit automation, the process is paused until the changes are saved and then preceded.
- Triggered Automation: In this type of automation, the activities are initiated automatically when a file is dropped into a designated FTP folder that serves the purpose.
Activities involved in automation studio:
In Automation Studio, activities are the building blocks of automation.
These activities perform specific actions like moving data or extracting data or sending an email.
Activities can be re-used as whenever you define an activity, you provide information that the activity needs at the time it runs. The Activities page shows all configured activities under a roof, including activities used in multiple automation and activities that are not included in automation.
Journey Builder: Introduction
Journey Builder, as a campaign tool, helps you design and automate campaigns that guide customers throughout their journey with a brand at various touchpoints. The journey is the steps the customers make at every point of their association with the brand. The journey then consistently helps contacts evaluate when to move to the next activity.
- Journey builder & Automation studio
- Both Journey Builder and Automation Studio offer cross channel customer engagement, where Journey Builder provides better ways to test multiple marketing strategies and optimize your messages.
- In Automation Studio, building filters and queries require SQL knowledge, but in Journey Builder, users can make use of the drag-and-drop functionality to pull in decision splits, wait times and firing events without any requirement of SQL knowledge.
- Another notable point is that Journey Builder offers built-in goal reporting, while Automation Studio does not. In Journey Builder, you can see in real-time how your campaign is picking up and the ways by which your customers are engaging.
When to use an automation tool?
The use of different Salesforce automation tools is defined based on business needs.
- When an employee requests for approval, be it a leave request or approval for a task, it has to be approved by the employer. To automate your organization’s processes for approving requests, we can make use of approval processes.
- Process Builder is applicable for business processes that can be simplified to if/then statements. For example: if a request is initiated, then notify the approver. A single process can do multiple workflow rules.
- If the process is too complicated for the Process Builder or requires advanced functionality, create a flow by using Flow Builder. For example, create a flow to:
- Use complex branching logic to determine if certain conditions are true, evaluate for further conditions.
Example: First, check whether a request is initiated. If the request is initiated, check the approver’s availability and route the request accordingly.
- Sort through, iterate over, and operate on several records.
Example: After an opportunity is closed and won, calculate the opportunity’s discount. Then apply that discount to all the related opportunity products.
- If you need to collect information through a wizard or form, Flow Builder is the right choice. Create a flow that requests information from a user. Then use the information that they provided to perform actions in Salesforce.
For example, consider a customer support representative going through a service call. The flow uses this information the representative collected from the caller, such as name and account number, to create a case that’s assigned to the right person.
How to create automation?
Let us have a look at how we can create automation based on business needs.
- Process Builder
A process is created by defining properties, configuring the triggers, add process criteria and actions, which are then executed in Salesforce.
- Flow Builder
Building a flow involves the process of defining conditions, routes for the workflow, identifying faults at routes, setting options for sending emails in the flow and showing the users the progress of the flow.
Check out to know the steps involved in creating flow automation.
Creating a workflow involves setting criteria for the workflow rules, adding automated actions to the workflow rule, identifying the default user followed by activating the rule.
Creating an approval process involves creating a wizard to initiate a request, an approval step to approve the process, adding automated actions to the process followed by activating the approval process.
Salesforce Email Studio
Salesforce Email Studio is a component of the Salesforce Marketing cloud which helps to collect data from all departments and then assists the companies in building smarter emails based on the data collected. It provides the companies the option to choose if they want to send emails to the customers individually, in bulk, or create on-to-one conversations.
It also provides automation mails that allow users to send emails, r reports and many such arduous processes which would make it easier for the company to keep in touch with the clients and save some time also. With the email studio, you can build an email, create the content, send it to the clients and also keep a track of emails all at once.
Content Builder allows you to create and manage reusable content to be used in emails, or with other marketing cloud apps. It helps users create templates, images, blocks and emails in a single marketing cloud. The users have the liberty to add data from their desktop directly to the cloud. It also allows the users to organize the data under headings and subheadings, making it easy for them to navigate through the cloud. An email studio facilitates the use of a content builder to create and send emails.
How to create an email:
The first step to creating an email is to understand and decide what kind of email creation method you would like to employ. These include:
- HTML or Hyper Text Mark-up Language is the standard language tool used to prepare code for a website. The users can use the built-in HTML code in the Content Builder to write code.
- Text Only– The users can use simple text to create an email that displays text only.
- Existing Email– The users can recreate or resign an existing email. This may save time as you’re using an already approved layout.
- Template– Using a template gives the users a head start. They can work according to a particular layout.
A Guide Template Language (GTL) is used to provide declarative syntax used in creating personalized, dynamic, and data-driven messages. Guide template languages are effective in simplifying the interaction between the users and their content and data while helping the users build personalized Journey messages.
Choosing the content blocks: Content Blocks are modular content elements that can be reused if needed. Content blocks make it easier for the user to assemble an email instead of creating an email in a single piece. Content Blocks can be any form of data such as images, HTML, Dynamic content or Custom Content.
Images can include JPEG, PNG or AMP scripts.
HTML can be used to paste or upload code into a content block.
Dynamic Content is the content that is customized for the subscribers based on their preferences and needs. It can include subscriber attributes like their first name or membership status.
Custom Content is used to link the data to a third-party app that dynamically generates content itself.
Once the user has planned the email creation method, and the content blocks to be used, they are ready to create an email.
The three steps to create an effective email include:
Importing subscriber data
The companies have to store the data of the subscribers in a list or a data extension.
A list includes the collection of subscribers that receive the texts or emails from the company. A data extension is a table within the application database that contains the data of the company. It is used to store the subscriber data and relational data like inventory, purchases or rewards program data.
There are three ways to importing data into a data extension. These include manually importing the data with Import Wizard, using Import Activity automated using Automation Studio, or using API.
Building Emails with Content Builder
The users can now start building promotional emails through the Content Builder. For this, they need to upload the assets into the Content builder. This allows them to access brand assets whenever they want to.
There are two kinds of Content Blocks:
- Static content is the content that remains unchanged. This can include the company’s tagline or their motto.
- Individualized Content can be changed based on the data found in the data extension or on the list. These include the customer’s name or data needed.
Data can be individualized with the help of:
- Personalized Strings– these include the personal attributes of the subscribers such as their name into the pre-header of the email.
- Dynamic Content– includes data based on the rules defined based on the subscribers’ attributes or data extension field values.
- AMP script is a scripting language used to embed subscriber-specific content that can be used within HTML emails, txt emails, landing pages or push notifications.
Testing and sending emails
Once the users have finished the tasks of planning and creating emails, they must test the emails before they send them to the subscribers. There are two types of testing mechanisms:
- Subscriber Preview- allows the users to view an email using dynamic content, A/B testing and personalization.
- Test Send- after the users preview the email, they can do a test send that includes sending the email to a test audience to verify that the email looks fine in the recipients’ inbox before they send the emails to the right subscribers.
After the data of the emails has been verified the user can initiate sending the email using Send Flow organized into four tabs that represent defining the properties of the email, selecting the audience for the particular email, configuring the schedule of the delivery of the email, and finally sending the email after reviewing the configurations and correcting errors, if any.
SAP in Salesforce Marketing Cloud
Sender Authentication Package is a collection of products for Email Studio that ensures the messages reach the right audience. It helps the subscribers identify with the increasing awareness of the brand. Some of the features of Marketing Cloud include:
- Private Domain– It assigns a domain to be used to send the email that acts as the address of the sender. The email is authenticated by Salesforce Marketing Cloud using the Sender Policy Framework (SPF), Sender ID, and Domain Keys authentication. It includes link-wrapping that includes links, images, and data that reflects Marketing Cloud that reflects the Sender Authentication Domain.
- Account Branding– An authenticated domain is used to brand the user’s account with the help of the Marketing Cloud. The branding helps in modifying the link and image wrapping, removing the references of the Marketing Cloud in favor of the user’s authenticated domain.
- Dedicated IP Address– The product assigns a unique IP address to the user’s account so that the emails sent from the user’s account from the marketing cloud use the IP address which represents the user.
- Reply Mail Management– It is used to control the replies received by the user from the subscribers. The messages received can be filtered as out-of-office messages and manually unsubscribe requests.
A Sender Authentication Package is used as a branding tool. There can only be one Sender Authentication Package in a Marketing Cloud account.
Salesforce Marketing Cloud provides automation tools to automate the complex processes across the Cloud. Email Studio, being the most important tool in Salesforce helps you curate personalized email to the right target audience for winning campaigns.
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