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Are You Ready For Salesforce Lightning?

There’s no denying that Salesforce is an extremely powerful, customizable and scalable CRM platform. Its ecosystem is rich with customers, partners and developers, who all contribute to the overall success of the platform. For almost 20 years, they have been at the forefront of CRM technology, but despite that, I often hear users knock Salesforce for its clunky UI.

For arguably the top CRM solution available, this problem seems like a solvable one.

In 2015, Salesforce started building on what they called the Lightning Experience. It had a component-based HTML framework, with CSS styling built in. The interface was intuitive, and helped expedite processes that were previously slowed down by Salesforce Classic (how Salesforce refers to their original platform). The problem though, is that the early releases of the platform had limited capabilities, which made it difficult to justify a complete migration.

As the Lightning Experience was added to through the years, it slowly became the inevitable preferred platform, especially to new Salesforce users. It is the result of everything Salesforce has learned from its users of the past years and releases. It’s easier to adopt, offers new features, increases efficiencies and, most importantly, helps your customer service agents solve more of your customers’ problems, and helps your sales reps sell more..

But all those great benefits also raise a great question–when is the right time to make the switch from Classic to the Lightning Experience? Let’s look at the main features of Lightning; then we can evaluate if your organization is a good candidate to make the switch.

New Lightning Experience Features

New UI – A modern interface *was* exactly what Salesforce missed in its early years. Not anymore. Lighting Experience looks nice (across all devices), but is also a lot more flexible than Classic. Increase your productivity by decreasing the amount of time you spend toggling among screens, allowing you and your team members to work more efficiently.

salesforce lightning updated ui

Lightning App Builder – It’s easier than ever now to create custom apps. Use Lightning’s drag and drop interface to create custom applications, choosing from a list of stock components, or custom pre-built AppExchange components. These are designed with responsiveness in mind, with the ability to access them on your Salesforce1 mobile app or your desktop. This feature is put on full display with the customizable homepage.

Sales Path – Your sales process is now an action-optimized workspace, designed to help sales reps work their deals faster and smarter. With Lighting Experience, you can customize the sales path to define key stages that Leads or Opportunities need to go through. Highlight important fields that sales reps need to complete, customize coaching scripts for each step in the sales process and create records quickly with fewer clicks.

Kanban View – A Lighting Experience-only feature, the Kanban view organizes a set of records into columns to track your work at a glance. Simply drag and drop records into a different column to update its status. Now, you can allow sales reps to more effectively monitor their progress with Leads, Opportunities, Contracts and Campaigns.

Improved reporting – The ability to create customized reports has always been an important backbone of Salesforce Classic. Lightning Experience took those capabilities and went one step further. Not only do reports and dashboards look cleaner, but now you can add them to list views. In addition, users have the ability to create their own filters, and dashboards are no longer restricted to just three columns.

Salesforce Einstein – Salesforce brings a new layer of artificial intelligence with “Einstein”. Available only in Lightning Experience, Einstein delivers predictions and recommendations based on your unique business process and customer data. For example, Einstein can look at an existing customer, and use the information in their record( like industry or job title), and use that information to suggest other product offerings. Those insights power automated responses and actions, making your sales reps and customer service agents more productive.

What to Consider Before Making the Switch

It’s clear there are major advantages for Classic users to migrate to Lightning Experience. That being said, it’s not all rosy on the other side. There are some drawbacks…

  • AppExchange Apps – Not all AppExchange Apps are Lightning-ready. Many partners are in the process of migrating their offerings, or have already. Make sure to check and see if vital apps are currently supported.
  • Custom Javascript Buttons – These buttons are not supported in Lightning at all. You will need to use quick actions, triggers or workflow rules as alternatives. For those looking for more information, there is a Salesforce Trailhead Module detailing the process.
  • Visualforce Pages – Expect that these will need reviewing. Visualforce pages may not function as they did in Classic. Again, there is a Salesforce Trailhead Module that outlines the changes made to Visualforce pages in Lightning.

Conduct a gap analysis and take into account all the new features and considerations detailed above. Think about how they could be applied to your existing organization’s processes and workflows. Then, identify any areas of consideration that need to be addressed, like Visualforce pages or custom apps. At this point, you should begin to get an idea whether your organization is a candidate to make the switch.

To evaluate whether some of the key features and customizations you’ve implemented in Salesforce Classic are ready for Lightning Experience, kick off the Lightning Experience Readiness Check.

Run the Readiness Check from the Lightning Experience Migration Assistant. From Setup in Salesforce Classic, click Get Started in the Migration Assistant tile (1). On the Check Readiness tab in the Migration Assistant (2), click Check Readiness (3).

Switching from Classic to Lightning Experience

Even after reading this post, I would take the time to learn about all the benefits of Lightning, not just what I covered above. I would also get buy-in from your sales reps and customer service agents. Have them see what’s possible for themselves. I recommend sharing the Get Started with Lightning Experience trail as a starting point. For the more technical users and admins, review past Release Notes detailing updates.

Also, know that all users don’t need to migrate at once. In fact, it’s recommended that you don’t. You can select a few users or departments and have them become early adopters. Start small and move groups over time.

Overwhelmed? Let us know how we can help.

Consider Facebook Lead Ads for Your Next Online Campaign

It’s pretty standard that businesses of all sizes use Facebook to market their products and services. And a lot of those businesses are using Facebook Ads to increase their reach and sell more. Typically that would involve promoting a post or sending visitors to your website to learn more. In some cases, you would want that new website visitor to convert into a lead by completing a form on your website.

A lot of time and money goes into generating a new lead through Facebook. So it makes sense that you want to optimize the performance of your lead generation process on the platform.

Here’s a little secret. Facebook Lead Ads will help increase the effectiveness of your marketing dollars and help convert leads at a higher rate.

What exactly are Facebook Lead Ads though (and why should you use them)?

Facebook Lead Ads are a type of ad that allow you to run lead generation campaigns on Facebook and Instagram. Unlike other ad types, lead ads include a contact form that lets people show their interest in a product or service by filling out the form with their details and allowing a business to follow up with them.

Consider Facebook Lead Ads for Your Next Online Campaign

Allowing your potential customers to fill out a form without having to click to another page is insanely valuable, especially on mobile devices. In the past, you would send prospects to a landing page on your website and there was a high probability they wouldn’t fill out the form. By allowing prospects to fill out a form right on Facebook, it’s less likely that they’ll drop off and not complete the form. In turn, you’ll get more leads to evaluate.

I would be remiss not to say that there may be potential fall backs. Since it’s easier to fill out a form on Facebook, there is a potential for lower-quality leads. The last thing you want to do is send your sales team unqualified leads. That being said, if you’re smart in the way you target people on Facebook, they should be pre-qualified before they even see your form.

The data you can capture is versatile too. Salesforce, MailChimp, Marketo and Gmail are all preconfigured connectors, which Facebook can funnel leads into directly. You can also export all form submissions and upload them into your own database. Facebook makes it easy for you to act on the incoming leads.

There are also plenty of useful applications. Collect contest entries, offer special deals, sign-up prospects to your email list, register webinar attendees, or give price quotes. The possibilities are endless and many businesses are already utilizing the tool in creative ways.

If you’re a business that regularly advertises on Facebook, consider Lead Ads for your next promotion. You’ll increase conversion rates and get more bang for your buck. It’s a no-brainer.

Not sure where to start? We can help.

How to Gate Multiple Assets Using Only One Pardot Form

Capturing a Webpage URL in a Hidden Field of a Pardot Form in 4 Steps

Note: This is an advanced Pardot topic that deals with custom JavaScript. I recommend enlisting the support of a developer if you’re not familiar with using Pardot at this level.

I’m a huge fan of the flexibility Pardot gives users in developing custom marketing automation solutions. There are often multiple paths that can be taken to meet project requirements, which makes my work easier. The trick to developing these solutions, though, is to have a clear set of requirements laid out in front of you before beginning.

Recently, Fishnet developed a new website for a client that put Pardot’s functionality to the test. As part of the website, we implemented Pardot as their marketing automation tool. One of their requirements was that they needed to gate more than 20 different assets; however, they didn’t want to maintain a different form for each asset. Additionally, they wanted to be able to see a log of which assets had been downloaded. With only one form, this situation presented a challenge.

The solution we identified involved creating the following:

  1. Two custom hidden form fields
  2.  One form, with both custom hidden fields
  3. Javacript code to capture the custom hidden field values
  4. An Autoresponder with Dynamic Content

Creating Two Custom Hidden Form Fields

Since there is only one form on more than 20 different pages, we needed a way to identify on which page(s) the form was completed. We accomplished this task by creating two new custom fields with the type of “Hidden” using the names below: (You’ll want to remember both Field IDs for a future step)

  1. “Most Recent Product Form Completed”
  2. “Product Form(s) Completed”

The “Most Recent Product Form Completed” field will use JavaScript to store the URL for the page on which the form is located. Every time the form is completed, the existing value will be overwritten with the new page URL value.

The “Product Form(s) Completed” field will store the URL for the page on which the form is located using JavaScript as well; however, it will also store all other previous page URLs on which the form was completed. When you create this field, it is necessary that you select “Record Multiple Reponses”, which will allow for multiple values to be stored in the field as a list.

Just to clarify, we used two different form fields to meet the client’s project requirements–they wanted a way to see all assets that were downloaded. In this article, I’ll detail how each of these fields are used.

Create a Form with Both Custom Hidden Fields

Now that you’ve created both hidden fields, you can go ahead and build your form to gate the assets. In our case, we created a very simple, three-field form (First Name, Last Name and Email), and then added the two hidden fields I detailed above. The configuration should look similar to this:

How to Gate Multiple Assets Using Only One Pardot Form

Note: When you add both hidden form fields, you need to make sure to select “Always display even if previously completed” in the Advanced section:

Note: When you add both hidden form fields, you need to make sure to select “Always display even if previously completed” in the Advanced section:

Add Javacript Code to Capture the Custom Hidden Field Values

At this point, you have a form with some hidden fields. In order to capture the page URL in both hidden fields, you need to copy and paste the following JavaScript code in the Pardot Layout Template that the form is using:

In the <head> tag:

<script src="https://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.11.3/jquery.min.js"></script>

 

Below the closing </html> tag:

<script>
jQuery(function($){
       if($("#pardot-form").length>0) {
              $("#pardot-form .Most_Recent_Product_Form_Completed input, #pardot-form .Product_Forms_Completed input").val(document.referrer);
       }
});
</script>

Make sure the field input names match up with the hidden field API names. You can get those by going to Admin > Configure Fields > Prospect Fields and finding the corresponding fields.

With the current configuration, every time the form gets submitted both hidden fields would log the URL for the page on which the form was completed. Additionally, the “Product Form(s) Completed” field would log the URLs for all the pages on which the form was completed. Prospect records will look like this:

How to Gate Multiple Assets Using Only One Pardot Form

Create an Autoresponder Using Dynamic Content

Our final step is to automate based off the values in the hidden fields and deliver the correct asset. We accomplished this task using Dynamic Content in an Autoresponder.

We created a new Dynamic Content block and based it off the custom field I created earlier: “Most Recent Product Form Completed”. My Dynamic Content block looked like this:

How to Gate Multiple Assets Using Only One Pardot Form

You’ll notice a couple things here. First, we crafted a universal message, which could be used for all assets. Second, each variation has a “View the Datasheet” CTA. Each CTA contains a link to a different asset, which corresponds to each page URL variation. You will want to have a variation for each page on which the form will live. It is also important to keep in mind that if any of these page URLs change, the Dynamic Content will not function correctly.

We also created default content with instructions to contact a phone number or email directly. If someone has JavaScript disabled, the hidden value won’t be stored in the custom fields we created and we won’t be able to deliver the correct asset. This way, we give them instructions to reach out and we can help them get what they requested.

We put this Dynamic Content into an Autoresponder email and added it as a completion action to the form created in an earlier step. We ended up with something that looked like this:

How to Gate Multiple Assets Using Only One Pardot Form

It is worth noting that we created a Thank You message for the form, which let the prospect know an email was on the way.

How to Gate Multiple Assets Using Only One Pardot Form

There you have it. One form gating 20+ assets, all built within Pardot.

We took what appeared to be a complicated client request and divided it up into logical steps. We identified a set of requirements and built them into a solution that works. And if it didn’t work, we built in functionality to address potential shortcomings.

Not sure where to start? We can help.

How to Use Facebook Remarketing Ads to Increase Conversions

Before we all started to understand what was really going on, it always felt a little like magic (or, let’s be honest, a little creepy) when advertisements for that pair of shoes you were just considering buying, or that slick pair of skis you found on Backcountry.com last night, would pop up again while you were scrolling through Facebook.

It was a strategic little nudge–sometimes all the encouragement you needed–to make that final purchase decision.

When our agency’s clients are looking to increase website conversions, and they have budget to spend on paid advertising, we typically recommend a Facebook remarketing ad campaign if leveraging Facebook makes sense for the audience they’re trying to reach.

Why Should You Use a Facebook Remarketing Ad Campaign?

Facebook remarketing ads target any user through the Facebook platform who has visited your website. There are a number of benefits to running this type of campaign:

  • You can target the ads to remarket to your website visitors in a way that aligns with their behavior on your site. For example, let’s say you sell a variety of outdoor gear. You can send appropriate remarketing ads to the users who were looking at tents, or the users who came to your site for camping cookware.
  • If you notice that users are frequently abandoning their carts at checkout, it may be safe to assume they’re changing their minds for a cost-related reason like shipping or taxes and fees. In this case, you can tailor your remarketing ads with a discount on shipping or a product discount to give them an incentive to finish what they started.
  • Show your website visitors something new or related to what they were looking at on your site. Remarketing ads are a great way to advertise other items that your users might be interested in based on their behavior on your website.
  • Remarketing ads can work well for repeat purchases as well. If your business specializes in bulk or large orders, you can use a remarketing ad campaign to remind customers how easy it is to make another purchase through your site.

Remember, remarketing ads are seen by anyone using Facebook who has visited your website, even if they don’t yet “like” or follow your Facebook page. Therefore, remarketing ads are also an effective way to get users to like your Facebook page, which means they’ll be seeing your updates time and time again. That’s more value to the user and to you.

How do You do Facebook Remarketing Right?

Because remarketing ads are different from traditional advertising in that the users who see them already know who you are, the messaging should reflect that familiarity. It can be easy to want to say too much, but remarketing ads only require a simple, effective message or bold image to remind the user that they wanted to make that purchase and should complete their action on your website.

  1. Be short and sweet. Targeted remarketing ads make it easy to keep it simple. You know that the user has been to your site, and you know why they were there. Therefore, you only need to show them an image with some enticing language and a strong call to action.
    How to Use Facebook Remarketing Ads to Increase Conversions
  2. Focus on their needs. Because the user has visited your site but has yet to take action, a remarketing ad is a perfect way to remind them how your product can make their lives easier–therefore, why it’s worth purchasing or exploring further.
    How to Use Facebook Remarketing Ads to Increase Conversions
  3. Give them an incentive. A little something to sweeten the pot never hurts to encourage action. If you have a deal going or can create one for the sake of your remarketing ads, it certainly is a good method to make the ad more actionable.
    How to Use Facebook Remarketing Ads to Increase Conversions

A remarketing ad doesn’t need to focus on your brand as much as it needs to serve as a reminder about how your brand can make the user’s life easier.

Choosing the Best Remarketing Ad Type

There are different types of remarketing ads you can place on Facebook. The Facebook ads guide provides options for mobile/desktop newsfeed ads, which are native ways to talk to customers, as well as more traditional right column ad placements.

Select the type of ad that would be most effective for your audience. If you know the majority of those visiting your site do so on mobile, a native newsfeed ad would likely carry greater impact than a right column placement.

Remarketing ads are an inexpensive and efficient way to use paid advertising to increase conversions among an audience you already know is interested in and familiar with what you have to offer. In order to get the most out of your remarketing ad spend, you should follow the right tactics for your ad content to be sure you make the largest possible impact with your audience.