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Highlights of the Salesforce Winter ‘19 Release

8 Cool Features We’re Excited to Use

Three times each year, Salesforce delivers new, innovative features to its users via their seasonal releases in Spring, Summer and Winter. With every new installment, people like me get excited to test out new functionality and deploy into our org(s). For some Salesforce orgs, the Winter ‘19 Release has already arrived, but for others, it will depend on your instance. The main release dates are on September 8th and October 6th and 13th.

As a result of the new release, I recently watched the live webcast “Get Ready for the Winter ‘19 Release” and was inspired to put together a short post with my favorite features from this release.

Here’s what I’m geeking out about…

Lightning Enhancements

In a strong attempt to get the Salesforce Classic user to switch over to Lightning, Salesforce released plenty of new improvements to make a compelling case. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Search in list via across all objects, including quick search for reports and dashboards
  • Share list views with groups of users or an entire org
  • Change your view with display density settings to show more on screen data
  • Visualforce custom code for Lightning Console Apps for added customization
  • Edit joined reports with Lightning Report Builder

Sales Cloud – Salesforce Email Integration for Outlook

I’m not an Outlook user, but many of the clients I work with are. For them, these updated email integrations are pretty damn useful. Now you can work with Salesforce, in a way that is helpful to sales reps, directly from Outlook. Here are the major upgrades:

  • Email tracking, so you can know if customers or prospects opened your emails or clicked on a link.
  • Email scheduling, so you can have your emails go out when you want them to. Instead of sending an email late at night, you can make sure it’s the first email your customer sees in the morning.
  • Link any email to any related Salesforce record, including an account, opportunity, contact, or any custom object.
  • Create entirely new records from an email. As an example, if you were emailing with a prospective customer, and they CC’d an executive, you could create a new record for them.
  • Easily log calendar events in Salesforce without having to navigate away from Outlook at all.
  • Leverage existing Salesforce email templates, using predefined text to help ensure complete and consistent messaging.
  • Ability to insert your calendar with available meeting slots, synced directly from Salesforce into emails.

Pardot in Lightning Experience

As a Certified Pardot Specialist, and someone who is in Pardot every day, my work will significantly benefit from this update.. The main goal with this update is to have one single platform experience for all sales and marketing teams to utilize. The major highlights include:

  • Ability to view and sync Pardot campaigns with Salesforce campaigns, resulting in a more efficient campaign management process, increased reporting functionality and higher level of insight into your campaign health.
  • Increased visibility for prospect engagement history, allowing for a more streamlined view of a prospect’s activities.
  • Reporting on Pardot from within Salesforce, unlocking the ability to use customizable campaign influence on all of your campaigns in Salesforce, allowing you to fully leverage Pardot attribution models.

Service Cloud – LiveMessage in Lightning Experience

Most live chat tools already have Salesforce integrations, which can push conversations directly into a Salesforce record. But for those who use the Lightning integrated LiveMessage experience, this feature should prove to be a game changer. Now you can communicate through a seamless and integrated experience, across digital engagement channels right from within the service console. You can even add new message channels like Facebook Messenger and SMS.

Marketing Cloud – Social Studio: Real-Time Reports

I know lots of companies invest big money in brand monitoring tools. In an effort to supplement, or perhaps replace those tools, Salesforce has released new Social Studio functionality. You can receive real-time and scheduled alerts, so you can get notified when specific criteria have been met.

Marketing Cloud – Journey Builder: Journey Testing

This feature is one on which I’ve already relied heavily in Pardot Engagement Studio. Now you can take advantage in Journey Builder too. With this update, you can ensure your drip programs are firing correctly, before activating the journey. If they aren’t, you can make any adjustments you need to when in draft mode.

Einstein Analytics Updates

There are a lot of new features here, including the Einstein Discovery experience in the Analytics UI, enhanced sharing security, drill-down capabilities, mobile push notifications and file-based connectivity for Amazon S3.

Check a Field’s References Before You Edit It (Pilot)

This is one of the updates shared in the release webinar I watched, and is arguably one of the most anticipated new features. Until now, if you wanted to check where a field was being used, admins would attempt to delete the field, and if it was referenced somewhere else, Salesforce would return an error message. Now admins can use the “Where is This Used?” button for custom fields instead, allowing you to see all the references to that field, such as in a report or formula.

Get Ready for an Overall Better Experience

As you can see, there are some new useful settings and configurations with which to mess around. I only covered a small portion of them though. As always, Salesforce does a top notch job documenting release notes, which are super easy to navigate and will give you all the information you need to keep your org running smoothly.

For those looking to understand the release process in a little more detail, take the time to complete the Understand the Release Process Trailhead Module. You can also take the Winter ‘19 Release Trailhead Module for a more in-depth look of all new features, but not have to read through all of the release notes.

10 Pardot List Segmentation Ideas with Practical Use Cases

Every Pardot administrator with a keyboard will tell you that list segmentation is one of the most powerful features in Pardot. It’s true, too. Sending targeted content to potential customers can be the difference between closing a deal and not. Advanced segmentations of audiences have never been easier to create. Here are my favorite dynamic lists I’ve used in the past…

Active Prospects – Recently-engaged prospects with high scores are more likely to close. Use this dynamic list to send an email with a strong call to action:

Job Title – Prospects with decision-making power will have a certain level of seniority. Start a drip campaign designed to deliver relevant content that addresses executive concerns and goals, but make sure they’re not existing customers (we don’t want to piss them off!):

* These titles will be different depending on what you’re selling and to whom.

Customer Accessed Specific File – Depending on the file, there are a number of possible follow-up activities. Let’s say an existing customer views your ebook on web services. This is a perfect opportunity to serve content tailored to what your customer is interested in, and potentially cross-sell additional services:

Open Opportunity – Sometimes your sales reps need a little help to close the deal. Automate communication to prospects associated with accounts that have a deal in the proposal stage (or whatever makes sense for your sales cycle). You can also use this criteria as a suppression list, to ensure prospects with a pending deal won’t be unnecessarily emailed:

Opportunity Won – Introduce new customers with a proper onboarding process. Create a drip program that runs for two weeks (or however long you want), with links to resources and documentation to ensure they’re successfully using your product or services:

Opportunity Lost – Losing a deal typically isn’t a positive outcome, but you can use Pardot to help learn from your mistakes. Automate follow-up to prospects with a recently lost opportunity and have them fill out a survey of why they didn’t go with your company (just make sure they’re not already customers):

Cold Leads – Adjust the criteria of the list above slightly to re-engage with prospects associated with lost opportunities to your competition. Place them in a drip program that will re-introduce your product just before they begin negotiating their renewal with your competitor:

* If you’re not keeping track of why an opportunity was lost, then you should start!

Recently Emailed and Not Opening – Prevent prospects from opting out or marking your emails as SPAM. Make sure prospects who are being emailed frequently and not opening your emails are given their space by adding this as a suppression list to all of your email communication:

Product Interest – If your company offers multiple products, this is your holy grail of audience segmentation. Use page actions (this example), scoring categories, or manually look at prospect activity history to update the product interest field:

Then, add prospects to corresponding lists using this criteria:

* It’s worth noting that just because someone visited a web page doesn’t guarantee they’re interested in a specific product. You will want to look for other indicators (and they all depend on what you’re selling and to whom) to support associating prospects with products. The best way to do this is with scoring categories!

Competitors – No one likes when they’re being spied on. That’s why you should add this as a suppression list to all email communication. Make sure to select ‘Match any’ and add all of your competitors:

* Check out an in-depth overview of building competitor lists and then go one-step further in automating competitor management by making them unmailable.

As a side note, and since this is definitely worth sharing here, I used Tom Ryan’s helpful post on Pardot Automation Rule Criteria for Number Fields to determine the exact definition of rule criteria. I have it bookmarked 🙂

What are your go-to list segments in Pardot?

Everything you will ever need to know about creating, editing, merging or deleting prospects in Pardot (and the Salesforce connector)

I get questions about data cleanup and deduplication in Pardot all the time.

“What happens when I merge Prospect A and Prospect B in Pardot? How will that affect each record in Salesforce?”

“What about when I merge Lead A and Lead B in Salesforce? Do I need to merge both prospects in Pardot too?”

“If I delete Lead A in Salesforce, do I need to delete the corresponding prospect in Pardot?

To be fair, it was difficult wrapping my head around how Pardot and Salesforce handle deduping and other scenarios. There are many possible configurations in both systems, and they determine specifically what will happen. Here’s an overview of everything that can affect how records are created, edited, merged or deleted. After reading this, you should have a better understanding of how Pardot and Salesforce talk to each other.

Configuring Your Salesforce Connector in Pardot

Before you can begin to talk about merging records in Pardot, you’ll need to connect with Salesforce. It’s important to know how both systems are talking to each other, so let’s review the relevant connector preferences (all definitions are taken from Salesforce documentation).

The options from which you can choose depend on how your Pardot instance is configured. You will see one of the two screens below:

Screen 1:

Automatically create prospects in Pardot if they are created as a Lead or Contact in Salesforce.
With this function, Pardot creates a prospect when a lead or contact with an email address that is not already associated with a prospect is created in Salesforce. An email address is required on the lead or contact record to sync to Pardot. This setting is not retroactive, and creates prospects only for those leads and contacts created after this setting has been enabled.

If records do not have a CRM ID to match when syncing, use email address to match.
This function allows the connector to use an email address as a secondary prospect-match criteria. The connector attempts to match records by CRM ID first, but uses an email address when there is no CRM ID.

Exclude Salesforce “Partner” and “Customer Portal” users from Prospect assignment.
This function prevents the listing of Salesforce Partner and Customer Portal users in the CRM Username dropdown in Pardot user records.

Automatically match Salesforce users to Pardot users.
This function automates matching CRM users to Pardot users for the Send from Custom CRM User feature. If a Salesforce user has the same email address as a Pardot user, the records are matched.

Screen 2:

Automatically change email addresses in Pardot to reflect changes in Salesforce.
When a lead or contact’s email address is updated in Salesforce, the Pardot prospect is updated to reflect the change. If this setting is not enabled, changing the email address on a Salesforce record causes the associated Pardot record to stop syncing with it. The next time the prospect syncs to Salesforce, it creates a record based on your connector preference for creating leads or contacts. The new lead or contact syncs with the prospect until the email address changes again.

Automatically delete or merge prospects if the corresponding records in Salesforce are deleted or merged.
If you ‘allow multiple prospects with the same email address (AMPSEA)’ then this setting is activated by default. We review these merge scenarios later on in this article. Also, for the Pardot accounts created after June 14, 2016, the AMPSEA and, as a result, ‘Automatically delete’, are activated by default. Here is some more information on AMSPEA if you want to dive deeper.

Allow editing of Prospect lists within CRM.
This function allows CRM users to add or remove prospects from Pardot lists from within the CRM. To use this feature, add the Prospect List Membership Visualforce page to your page layouts.

Not necessarily relevant to prospect record management, there are Email Logging and Email Notification settings that can be configured here. Take the time to review these and configure accordingly.

Now, onto some real-life scenarios….

How Do I Merge Prospects in Pardot? What Happens and How Does it Work?

Sometimes (edit: A LOT of the time), we have multiple records in Pardot for the same person. There could be a number of reasons for this to occur. Depending on your Salesforce connector settings, multiple records could also exist in Salesforce and were pushed into Pardot. Alternately, a prospect could have filled out a form on your website with a different email address, causing a new prospect to be created, even though it is the same person.

Let’s review a merge scenario together. In the example below, there are two records which are clearly the same person. Keep in mind, you can only merge three prospects at the same time.

In the screen above, you’ll want to select the prospects you want to merge and select “Merge” from the drop-down. The next screen will look like this:

Select the correct field values. Most importantly, select the correct Salesforce record with which you would like the Pardot prospect to sync. After merging, all Pardot activities for both records will be credited to the Salesforce record you choose as the master. Non-master prospects are permanently deleted in Pardot and do not go to the recycle bin.

However, when I complete this merge, the non-master record will still exist in Salesforce. No matter your settings, this will always be the case. We will need to manually go in and either merge or delete that record in Salesforce.

Note: If the deleted Pardot prospect has a record in the CRM, the prospect isn’t undeleted when the Salesforce record is updated and synced via the CRM.

How Do I Delete and Merge Prospects in Salesforce? What Happens in Pardot and How Does it Work?

Note: The delete and merge settings below are only applicable if you have “Automatically delete or merge prospects if the corresponding records in Salesforce are deleted or merged” selected in your connector settings, or your account is AMPSEA-enabled (for Pardot accounts created after June 14, 2016, the AMPSEA and, as a result, ‘Automatically delete’, are activated by default). If neither of those settings are applied, then you will need to manually manage corresponding records in Pardot.

This scenario is really important. Depending on the company, different people manage Salesforce and Pardot. If the Salesforce admin goes and merges or deletes duplicate records, we will want to make sure it is accounted for in Pardot. Even in cases where the same person is managing both systems, you will want to ensure the data deduplication is being applied to both systems. All the scenarios below are taken directly from Salesforce documentation:

Delete Scenarios:

So, if we delete a record in Salesforce, then the Pardot prospect is archived in the recycle bin. We can undelete the record in Salesforce, which will cause the Pardot prospect to be removed from the recycle bin.

Merge Scenarios:

Following the table above can be a bit wordy, but if we read closely, we can see that merging records in Salesforce provides more coverage in deduping data. In all four scenarios, Pardot handles the merged record by deleting it and then updating the record we decided to keep.

A few other Pardot and Salesforce data points to keep in mind:

  • Deleting Pardot prospects removes all associated engagement data and impacts all reporting.
  • Deleting a Pardot prospect doesn’t prevent the prospect from being created again. For example, a prospect can submit a form or be re-created manually.

Pardot URL field

The final piece of information I want to share is a field in Salesforce called “Pardot URL”. I first learned of it when I was troubleshooting a sync issue and had to reach out to Pardot support.

The Pardot URL field in Salesforce is automatically updated with the URL of the syncing prospect in Pardot upon its first sync. The URL can be followed to view the syncing prospect in Pardot. However, there are certain scenarios where this field can begin linking to the wrong prospect.

Here’s one scenario: You merge a record in Salesforce that is syncing with a Pardot prospect, and the Salesforce record that remains has a Pardot URL that does not match the URL of the Pardot prospect that it will sync with going forward. Therefore, when you follow the URL, it will link you to the wrong prospect. You can correct this scenario by copying and pasting the correct URL from the prospect record in Pardot onto the record in Salesforce.

You can see a full list of scenarios in Salesforce documentation online.

Merge Away!

I hope this wasn’t too confusing to parse through. I know my head hurt a little after compiling all that information! (I’m only partly kidding about that).

All kidding aside, the best piece of advice I can offer is to take the time to really comprehend how Pardot and Salesforce sync with each other and then test, test, and test some more. Go through the scenarios outlined in this article and see how your systems communicate.

Still confused? Contact us at Fishnet Media for help.

Want to Beef Up Your Content Operation? Outsource it.

Boost Results While Maintaining Your Brand with Content Outsourcing

It’s hard to let go, but sometimes in life it must be done.

This isn’t a breakup letter. It’s a case for outsourcing your organization’s content strategy to an outside entity; letting go of in-house content development and execution, and putting it in the hands of an external team.

Why do this? If your company is like most, you don’t have a full-time content team or the resources to create one. You’re likely assigning blog posts, press releases or social media tasks on a one-off basis to certain employees, but have had trouble achieving a dedicated effort. The reality is everyone is busy, and producing effective company content often takes a backseat, or stagnates at some point during the writing, editing, approval and publication process.

Even if you are producing regular content, how is it being monitored? Your content strategy is only effective if you track performance and understand which content is driving results with your target audience. Otherwise, all that effort could be producing little to no impact.

 

Is Keeping Your Content Strategy In-House Really Working?

Think about the reasons you might want to keep your content strategy within your company.

  • “Keeping our content production in-house is the cheaper option.” It may seem less expensive, but spending man hours on content production without a dedicated effort to prove its effectiveness is likely costing your business in the end.
  • “No one outside the business can effectively communicate what we do.” It’s true that your company leadership and employees know the finer points of your business best. But outsourcing content production doesn’t work in a vacuum. Marketing agencies or writing services work closely with the right people to ensure the correct information is collected. You would also be involved in reviewing and editing any content before publication so you know it accurately represents the business.
  • “What we’re already doing for content is adequate for our needs.” A robust content strategy doesn’t serve only one function. Good thought leadership content can help you provide value to existing customers, reinforcing their decision to work with you. A content strategy also helps you get found more easily online, builds credibility for your brand, and allows your business to differentiate itself from the competition.

 

Take the Leap to Content Outsourcing

If your company can’t dedicate the time and resources to developing and executing an effective content strategy, outsourcing can take the responsibility off your hands while driving ROI. Here’s two great reasons why outsourcing your content strategy can help your business:

  1. Attention and Expertise.

While you may have a marketing team and a few writers on hand who produce a couple blog posts each month or whip up the occasional press release, an external team that’s part of an agency specializing in content strategy can give your content the attention it needs.

They can work with the team members you have who are already producing content to ensure that it’s resonating with your target audience and generating results for your brand. These experts can also propose other content marketing tactics to take your content strategy to the next level. These could include:

  • Audience research: Understand what your target audience really cares about. If you find you’re spending time producing content your audience doesn’t find helpful, you can switch gears to deliver the right content to the right people in the right way, and at the right time.
  • Competitive research: See what your competition is up to. What type of content are they producing and how is it performing? Compare their activity to your audience research to identify any gaps–then your brand can swoop in with the content that is really needed.
  • Search marketing: How’s your advertising strategy? Getting found online isn’t just about blog posts and whitepapers. Depending on your budget, a search marketing plan is a core part of any content strategy and should be a key tactic of any digital agency you work with.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO): If you’re producing content, are you implementing the right keywords to ensure it gets found by your audience? Your agency partner will do the heavy lifting to ensure each piece of your content is SEO-friendly, including your website.
  • Content calendar creation: Keeping track of your content strategy is a big job. Put it in someone else’s hands. Your agency partner will create, update and monitor your content calendar so your strategy stays on track.
  • Social media strategies: You likely have a social media component to your business now. But do you know how well it’s working? Do you have the time and resources to make it more effective? Outsourcing your content can include a sharper and more strategic focus on growing your business across your social channels.
  • Content Outreach: Most agencies will also allocate some of your longer pieces of content for outreach, meaning you can be published in industry magazines or trade journals that are looking for content just like yours. External publication helps you get found online, boosts your Google reputation and increases traffic to your website.

Each tactic helps improve your overall content strategy so you know your efforts are working and can see the progress. Not even massive companies have the numbers or expertise to execute such targeted and informed content strategies.

External content teams are used to working with brands, and are familiar with the research and communication required to get smart on the companies and industries they’re writing for.  If you outsource your content strategy, you should feel included in the process and informed every step of the way.

Some marketing agencies have a singular industry focus, such as athletic brands, while others have clients across industries. In many cases, you can utilize writers who have worked in your industry and have more in-depth knowledge from the outset. Whatever your preference, there should always be a high level of collaboration based on an agreed-upon on proposal inclusive of your goals for your content strategy execution.

 

Keeping Your Brand Just That–Yours

Outsourcing content often gives rise to a larger concern we haven’t yet discussed–how to maintain the critical elements of your brand while giving an outside entity the reigns.

Fortunately, another top function of marketing agency content departments and other writing services is the ability to carry forward your brand’s voice, style and personality. Consistency is key with any content strategy to ensure your brand is recognizable to your target audiences whenever they encounter it.

If you’re planning to outsource your content but have concerns about maintaining your brand, here’s a few key items to provide to the agency or external team:

  • Brand Guide: Your company should have brand guidelines that dictate critical brand elements like mission, vision, positioning statement, competitive positioning statement, voice, tone, style and audience personas. Providing outside writers with this information gives them an easy reference to follow for content creation and can be easily cross-checked in any content review.
  • Writing Samples: If you feel like the content your company has already generated is a good reflection of the brand, writing samples can give outside writers a valuable template to follow for future content generation.
  • Style Guide: Depending on the type of content for which you’re outsourcing, you may need to provide the design elements for your brand, such as colors, font, logo usage and image treatments.
  • Bullet Points: If you have a rough idea of the content you need but require help putting it together into a cohesive article or blog post, providing bullets or a basic outline gives writers a great start, and ensures your key ideas and goals will be reflected in the final piece.
  • Interviews: More in-depth types of content like whitepapers or application/process-specific articles require the unique insights of your company’s subject matter experts. Setting up interviews between these individuals and the writer will expedite the entire process and ensure the information is correct and reflective of your company’s knowledge and experience.

If your company doesn’t have the bandwidth to give a content effort the attention it needs, outsourcing is a great option. Strategic content creation is extremely beneficial for brands, and you will likely discover new and improved ways of using content to increase ROI when you utilize agencies that specialize in this area.