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January 2021 Salesforce Marketing Cloud Release Notes

Marketing Cloud release notes

New year, new round of updates. Here is a quick summary of the Salesforce Marketing Cloud updates.

Email & Journeys

Datorama Reports for Marketing Cloud

One of the struggles with Journeys for some time has been the lack of in-built reporting available. The roll-out of Datorama for Marketing Cloud enables both Campaign reporting and Journey reporting with pre-built dashboards.

If the out-of-the-box option isn't for you, there are also customisable reports with pivot tables using attributes and measures.

These changes will replace Discover in Marketing Cloud – which will still run but with no updates after April 2022.

Datorama is available to Corporate or Enterprise account holders. If you have a Pro Edition of Marketing Cloud, you can pay for this as an add-on. The functionality is available as an app in Marketing Cloud, but a Datorama account is built into the background that supports this.

It's exciting to see Salesforce focus on product improvements to drive data-driven decisions within the tool rather than relying on more external set up and analysis.

 

New Marketing Cloud report sharing functionality is available with SFTP, Google Cloud Storage, AWS, Azure, Email Etc.

These changes seem to be very email focused for now. Hopefully, moving forward, a shift to data changes and tracking with other channels will make the Journey reports more valuable.

 

Email Studio Classic Content End-of-Life

Classic content is getting much closer to its' end of life. Unless you have Marketing Cloud Connect V2 accounts, you won't be able to save emails or templates that were pre-existing anymore.

If you have any old triggered emails, you forgot about lurking in Classic Content; I'd encourage you to plan the move into Content Builder.

 

Email Triggered Send Subscriber Limit – Global Default

When you are used to pushing things to their limits, you will be used to errors.

Salesforce has wisely decided to increase the error threshold to 10 instead of 1 for triggered sends. The previous pain was if a singular record had data issues, but all other subscribers data was okay, the system would send the subscribers to 'error'.

 

Now what happens is if ten subscribers in a row fail when the triggered email is sent, an alert is raised, and the sends stop.

Make sure you check your alert settings too! Salesforce is retiring the reverse escalation process – so you want to make sure you have the right team signed up to get alerts for triggered sends.

 

One-Click Unsubscribe

If you don't make it easy to unsubscribe, you will end up in the SPAM folder, creating all kinds of problems for your email deliverability, not just to this subscriber.

 

The one-click unsubscribe email header has been introduced, at the top of your email. The unsubscribe link is a timely reminder for marketers to make sure your content is valuable.

 

AMP for Email

Whether you love the concept or hate it, it is coming.

AMP for email is focused more on interactions in the inbox, like booking an appointment inside your email.

It builds on top of the Email Form block (remember that 2020 release?), by enabling users to engage in the email and not have to go to another landing page.

Some of the beneficial uses here are using real-time data for personalisation, like not showing products out of stock when someone views their email.

Now the build is beyond a general Marketer but can help create valuable real-time campaigns by working with the development team.

As part of the setup, a fallback 'email form' should be created in case the subscriber's email platform doesn't support AMP (Salesforce note Gmail, Yahoo and mail.ru currently support it, but confirmation of apps/browsers still needs come through from Salesforce).

On top of that, you always need a fallback for email forms in case the subscriber doesn't support that—for example, Outlook.

Other functionalities that Salesforce have touched on for AMP include updating Salesforce CRM with data, or adding data to a data extension when someone engages with the email.

The AMP for email functionality will be rolled out around the 1st March from Salesforce's latest documents. The documents show that you will see this come through if you are a Pro, Corporate or Enterprise customer. Sadly, this functionality is not available for Basic customers.

 

Enhanced Contact Error Details

Troubleshooting functionality in Journey Builder has gotten better!

Building upon the 'View a Contact Path' functionality, you can also see the specific errors that have caused the contact to prematurely exit – this is for running or stopped journeys.

With the current roll-out, you will see more details around email, update contact, custom activities, and data binding and unexpected errors, more activities will be added over time.

 

Automation Studio

Private Key for Decryption with File Transfer Activities

For the privacy-conscious, you can now bring your private key for decrypting files in Automation Studio. Previously you could only use the Marketing Cloud public key for file encryption and the corresponding private key for decryption – these will be deprecated at some point.

 

Content Builder

Interactive Email Form Block: Hidden Fields removed

For those of you who have previously used the email form, the hidden fields are now going to be encrypted in the query string to protect data, where previously hidden fields were visible in the URL and were passed in the email directly.

You will need to republish your form block landing pages for this change to apply – expected at the start of March.

 

Mobile

WhatsApp Chat Messaging

WhatsApp chat messages will be added as a channel to expand communications. You can set up your account, channels and message templates through Marketing Cloud.

There is also a keyword detection system in Journey Builder, which injects the record into the Journey and sends automated messages based on the subject/keyword.

Template messages must be transactional, and WhatsApp must pre-approve the templates before they can be used (so you don't sneak promos in there).

Session messages are more like responses to user-initiated conversations; there are no limits on the number of these.

Delivery Receipts: Transactional API

Delivery receipts can now be used to measure performance, notify delivery or non-delivery as soon as possible and allow accounts to monitor performance themselves.

 

Google Analytics

UA Free Integration

A free version of GA is available to Marketing Cloud customers who have Journey Builder. Reporting and tracking will be available for email and SMS.

All customers with Journey Builder will be automatically provisioned, and configuration is straightforward.

This version does not include Audience Activation.

 

Einstein

Learning Center

QuickStart tutorials have now been introduced into the Einstein Overview section; the focus is to enable Marketers to make Einstein more accessible as a product as many clients have access to the product who have not used it yet.

 

Einstein Content Selection Browser and Improved Analytics (Enhancement)

The Selection Browser has been introduced to provide marketers with more visibility on why specific content has been chosen for a subscriber.

Enhanced Performance Analytics has introduced new graphs to show the scale of selections over time and distribution.

So overall, the changes are improvements in the visibility of reporting.

 

Einstein Engagement Frequency for Single Send Journeys

The purpose of this is to reduce messaging fatigue and suppress over-saturated contacts from your large one-off sends. We recommend trying this functionality out with those bulk sends that can return mass unsubscribes. Being more pragmatic about those single sends could retain clients for more relevant content rather than burning them out with too many emails.

 

Extra notes:

SALESFORCE CRM

Distributed Marketing

Regular Expressions & Wildcards for Restricted Words

You can now programmatically restrict phrases and variations of content.

Adding restricted phrases and variations of content is a good step for security to ensure the right content is shared using distributed marketing. There is sensitive data that should never appear in email communication.

 

Retire Distributed Marketing Content

You can now use expiration dates or duration for Quick Sends, Campaign Sends and Scheduled Sends. Which means you can retire content and sends and manage access to content.

 

Multiple Custom Personalised Interactions

Using multiple custom personalised interactions allows you to allow up to 10 different plugins to be added.

 

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