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Step-by-step instructions to your personalized newsletter

The Email Studio

is a product of the Marketing Cloud. The Marketing Cloud is in turn a part of the Salesforce platform.

Despite the rapid rise of social media, it is still impossible to imagine today's world without e-mail. The active e-mail user numbers are still significantly higher than e.g. Instagram or Facebook as well as the conversions into leads & click rates. Therefore, e-mail newsletters are still a very popular tool to generate leads and to spread the message of the own company. Also, the trust in emails tends to be higher and lasting relationships with your own customers can be established. However, the requirements that an e-mail be opened, read and, in the best case, followed up are increasing. How can you create professional, personalized yet automated e-mail newsletters?

5 steps

from email design to tracking your emails

Right message, right person, right time!

There are different solutions & tools to create e-mail newsletters. This can go from manually creating & sending for a few customers to an almost fully automated e-mail newsletter in just one tool. Since designing & sending newsletters in the Marketing Cloud in combination with Salesforce as CRM is a very personalized & comprehensive way, I chose this example for the following blog article.

Marketing Cloud is a part of the Salesforce platform. In all different customer phases a company can get a picture of its customers and get in touch with them individually & personalized. The entire design & sending of newsletters can be done in the E-Mail Studio. It's possible to create newsletters by dragging & dropping content blocks without any programming knowledge. To create newsletters tailored to the company, however, it is recommended to create templates. Depending on your wishes & requirements for the templates, some knowledge in HTML is necessary to make certain adjustments. It's also possible to send messages such as order confirmations, appointment reminders, dispatch notifications or messages for password resetting directly from the E-Mail Studio in the Marketing Cloud. Of course, there is much more that can be automated, customized & tailored to your business in the Marketing Cloud than shown here.

Design & send e-mail newsletter with Marketing Cloud

1. Starts with campaigns & reports

In Salesforce, you can assemble the lists of people you want to send e-mail. Then you can create, send & track your e-mails in the Marketing Cloud. Reports & Campaigns makes the communication between these two systems, Salesforce & Marketing Cloud, perfectly. The best way to do this is to first create reports & campaigns with the groups of people to whom the newsletter is sent. It's important to create not only reports, but also campaigns to make tracking work better afterwards. After all, you also want to be able to see different key metrics, e.g. how many e-mails were opened or what was clicked on.
When creating campaigns & reports it's important to keep the target group in mind. Data Extension or lists can be used to create data records with specific target groups that should each receive the same e-mails. With optimal target group segmentation, your company can send the right message to the right person at the right time. The amount of data is not important at the beginning of segmentation, but it's important that you start. The goal is to address individuals with targeted messages that are specific, relevant & current for them. This in turn can lead to better deliverability, higher click rates, higher conversion rates and lower unsubscriber rates.

2. Create Newsletter templates 

You have a wonderful design in mind, how your e-mail newsletter should look like, but you don't have enough HTML & CSS knowledge to build it that way? No problem - in the Marketing Cloud you can build newsletter templates from other templates or create them by drag & drop. However, the basic newsletter structure will rarely changes each time, so it makes sense to create templates tailored to your company. For example, you can insert content such as logos, address or colors in the template. It's important here that the templates are adapted to the different e-mail clients.

3. Content Builder within the E-Mail-Studio: Create Content

The Content Builder enables cross-channel content management. This allows you to bring together images, documents & content in your company in one central location. You can choose standard templates or previously created templates, exchange the different content blocks and adapt them to your current needs. How is it now possible to personalize & individualize individual content to the customer? In the Marketing Cloud there are various methods for this, such as personalization strings, dynamic content or the AMPscript language:

Example of a personalization string to automatically personalize the first name of the customer Nicole:

Personalization String: Dear %%FirstName%% - Thank you for your interest in our company!

Displayed is: Dear Nicole - Thank you for your interest in our company!

Example for Dynamic Content - Depending on the customer's interest, you can present other products in the newsletter:

For example, you are a company in the outdoor sector. Then you can display products such as fishing rods, rubber boots or other accessories to a customer who is mainly interested in fishing. For a family man, you can display a trampoline or footballs for his children, for example.

So: The e-mail is now created according to your ideas. Before sending a large e-mail campaign, you probably want to know how the e-mail will be received & look like. Of course this is also possible in the Marketing Cloud. You can either preview the e-mail, switching between the Desktop & Mobile view, or send the e-mail from the Marketing Cloud to your own address or to a test recipient. As soon as it's clear that everything fits, the e-mail is ready to be sent to the target group.

4. E-Mail-Studio: Sending the e-mails

From the e-mail studio you can now send the finished e-mail automatically. In Marketing Cloud it's possible to define a preheader to attract the recipients' attention more strongly to the email. A little thought for in between: How does an e-mail have to end up in your inbox so that you will open it, in the best case, follow up on it and not immediately move it to the trash?

At this step you can now select the desired audience. If you followed the previous steps, you have created campaigns at the beginning. Now you can select the data extensions or lists to which the e-mail should be sent. With a Connection to the Sales Cloud, all reports and Salesforce campaigns are directly available for you to choose from. Additionally you can exclude persons, lists or other campaigns that are not allowed to receive this e-mail. This prevents, for example, that a person receives a very similar e-mail for 2 weeks in a row. Finally, you can choose the optimal time to send the e-mail or send it directly.

Checklist in the e-mail newsletter transmission flow:

  • Target group is according to certain criteria
  • Content and design are coordinated across campaigns & channels
  • Properties such as subject, preheader etc. are attractively defined
  • Desired target group has been selected & groups of persons not to be addressed are excluded
  • Delivery is configured, e.g. whether the e-mail should be sent directly or according to a schedule
  • Preview for review and a test sending is made

5.Tracking in the E-Mail-Studio

By centrally managing all the different steps in Salesforce & Marketing Cloud, the newsletter campaign can be analyzed and then optimized & customized again. So your company can see which marketing activities work and compare key metrics. Tracking performance data is easier if a campaign & report is created first. Important key metrics are e.g. the deliverability rate, soft & hard bounces, the opening rate, where in the e-mail was clicked or the number of unsubscribers.
With Marketing Cloud and these steps, you can create a ready-made newsletter to send from your design draft. Now the slogan "Right message, right person, right time! " nothing more stands in the way.

Do you like what you read? Subscribe to our newsletter by writing at the bottom of the form where we may send the updates regularly by e-mail. If you have any questions, we look forward to your e-mail or call.
Personalize your emails

with Personalization Strings, Dynamic Content or AMPscript

Sources image & text content 

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