SFMC Essentials: What You Need To Know

Marketing Automation, Salesforce Marketing Cloud
3 minutes read

Let me show you the essentials I use in my day-to-day adventures with Salesforce Marketing Cloud. As we dive into this blog, I’ll share key insights and strategies that have been integral to my journey. I’ll provide you with practical advice for maximizing your experience with this marketing automation platform.

Documentation

Who wouldn’t guess this one correctly? But where else could you seek the truth if not in the official documentation?

From the documentation, I would emphasize these sections that I might always have open in the background:

  • Data Views – are internal tables that collect data not only about your subscribers’ activities but also offer useful views for journeys and automation, based on which you might create technical dashboards.
  • Personalization strings – internal variables, which are readily available for use in various contexts such as email personalization, Cloud Pages, or automation triggers, provide a versatile toolset.
  • Developer guide – covers all languages that can be utilized within the platform, not only for personalization purposes but also to tailor the platform to your specific needs. From the array available, I would recommend exploring SOAP objects, many of which can be accessed with the WS Proxy. This allows for operations such as selecting all automations and data extensions, as well as performing data operations like insert, update, and delete, thus enhancing your control and efficiency in managing your Salesforce Marketing Cloud environment.
  • Automation studio errors – Lists the most occuring errors that activity can get along with description and possible next action.
Trailheads

Register for trailheads to chase the stars! Here, you’ll find informative articles not only about marketing platforms and marketing itself but also about exploring other Salesforce products. This is also great for exposing your profile to the public, especially to list all your active certifications and achieved ranks within Trailhead.

Salesforce Trailhead account to display your publicly available profile, showcasing all your active certifications along with achieved ranks.
Support

Actually, the very first thing I learned on this platform was how to open a case with Salesforce support.

If you’re stuck, open a case!

It’s not about delegating your issues, but frankly, sometimes we don’t have any other option than to ask support for help, like getting a detailed error report for an automation activity that failed with a very unclear error message.

The support for Salesforce Marketing Cloud is phenomenal. Not only can every single person with access to a Marketing Cloud instance open a ticket, but the response times and professionalism are also incredible.

For those who do not now how to open a case here is how you can do it:

  • Click on your username and open Salesforce Help & Training
Salesforce marketing cloud help and support portal
  • Log in with marketing cloud it should not ask any password and directly open the salesforce help page
Salesforce marketing cloud help login page with marketing cloud account
  • You shall proceed to open any case you want. This part is also very simple and you only need to follow the wizard to open your first case
Salesforce support portal
Internet resources

You can find a vast amount of internet resources, such as bloggers and code libraries on GitHub, and of course, the good old Stack Overflow, where Salesforce has its own subdomain.

From blogs I would like to mention:

Eliot Harper

The superstar of Salesforce Marketing Cloud and a Salesforce MVP with a McChat YouTube channel and the AMPscript guide where you can find a bit more examples os AMPScript functions than ther is in the official documentation.

gortonington.com

A very well-established personality within the Salesforce Marketing Cloud space and also the co-author of ‘Automating Salesforce Marketing Cloud’.

https://gortonington.com/

From github libraries:

Email 360 SSJS

This library is very well-written and capable of handling numerous operations with automation, data extensions, and more. If nothing else, it serves as an excellent example of how to work with WS proxy, how to properly handle responses from it, and much more.

https://github.com/email360/ssjs-lib

AI

This is another mind-blowing advancement of our time that you can utilize in your daily tasks. It can draft any code you need, and often, that alone is enough. Furthermore, it can perform tasks that would typically require extensive manual work. For instance, it’s capable of mapping translations into a flat file, which is easily ingested by the data extension import, or even creating documentation for any code you provide. But that’s not all – you can create your own personally trained model right on the SFMC, a topic I might delve into next. Not only can you create such models for any technical topic around the platform, like SSJS, AMPScript, and SQL, by feeding it the documentation, but this will also become the senior colleague you’ve always desired, with answers readily available at your fingertips. I once heard somewhere on the internet that you won’t be replaced by AI, but by someone who uses AI. With just the free AI versions, you can tackle a great deal.

How to fetch code snippet with AMPScript
Marketing Automation, Salesforce Marketing Cloud, SFMC Tips & Tricks

How to fetch code snippet with AMPScript

1 minute read

If you have ever experienced troubles when referring to your content block within another resource, either an email template or a cloud page, using ContentBlockBy AMPScript functions, I will show you a hopefully better way to include your snippets in your content. Dynamic content creation and personalization within Salesforce Marketing Cloud, can often grapple developers […]

Continue reading
Exploring the Dynamic World of Email Marketing: Diverse Template Designs in Salesforce Marketing Cloud
Salesforce Marketing Cloud, SFMC Tips & Tricks

Proof multiple template variants in SFMC

2 minutes read

When working with dynamic email templates that can generate multiple unique variants of the email, you are most probably tasked to proof all the variants to your stakeholder for review. Create data extension When proofing email templates, traditionally, we select subscribers from production or testing data extensions used in the actual send. This process involves […]

Continue reading
Top 5 SFMC tips
Marketing Automation, Salesforce Marketing Cloud, SFMC Tips & Tricks

The Top 5 Stress-Busting Tips I have Learnt

3 minutes read

Working with any marketing automation platform, especially Salesforce Marketing Cloud, can provide a great user experience and a sense of accomplishment. However, it can also entail many stressful hours dedicated to solving seemingly easy issues. Here are my top 5 tips that made my daily work less stressed and saved me lots of cursing this […]

Continue reading
Salesforce Marketing Cloud Tips
Marketing Automation, Salesforce Marketing Cloud, SFMC Tips & Tricks

Use client-side JavaScript in content block

1 minute read

Recently, I attempted to reference a content block from a cloud page that contained client-side JavaScript, and to my surprise, Salesforce Marketing Cloud removed it entirely. It looks like certain hook that triggers when you save your content block doesn;t like client side scripts and are completely removed like comments are when a executable program […]

Continue reading
Salesforce Marketing Cloud Tips
Marketing Automation, Salesforce Marketing Cloud

Fix email preview: Out Of Memory Exception

1 minute read

Sometimes, it happens that when you try to preview your email in Salesforce Marketing Cloud, you could encounter a system.OutOfMemoryException. But don’t worry; it’s not your laptop’s fault, even if it’s as old as mine. This error typically means that your template personalization script is overly complicated and needs some attention. You have two options: […]

Continue reading
Salesforce Marketing Cloud Rant
Marketing Automation, Salesforce Marketing Cloud, SFMC Rant

SFMC RANT: Inline AMPScript mystery

3 minutes read

Working with Salesforce Marketing Cloud, I’ve learned that you often need to try different workarounds until you achieve the desired result. To succesfully solve problems, it all depends on your experience and patience. Recently, I did a significant amount of work with AMPScript and personalization and wrote many tips during these days. It seems that […]

Continue reading
Salesforce Marketing Cloud Tips
Marketing Automation, Salesforce Marketing Cloud, SFMC Tips & Tricks

Proof email was previewed but not received

2 minutes read

There are many possible issues, and I will try to list all those I have come across during my times when I wondered where my email is. Contact is unsubscribed If the contact you are trying to preview an email with is on one of the global unsubscribe lists, or has unsubscribed or bounced status […]

Continue reading
Salesforce Marketing Cloud Tips
Marketing Automation, Salesforce Marketing Cloud, SFMC Tips & Tricks

How to use MD5 in SQL and AMPScript

1 minute read

Message Digest 5 (MD5) is a hash function used for data integrity, but it is not suitable for security-critical applications. It has found use for various applications, one of which is to create an encrypted contact subscriber key. MD5 takes any string and produces a fixed-size (128-bit) hash value, that cannot be easily decrypted. To […]

Continue reading
split-screen comparison: one side displays a user typing a SQL query in uppercase, while the other side shows the same query in lowercase, both leading to identical database results. The design emphasizes equivalence through elements like equal signs or arrows and features a digitally inspired background with matrix-style code or abstract tech imagery.
Marketing Automation, Salesforce Marketing Cloud, SFMC Tips & Tricks

WOW! SQL queries are case insensitive

1 minute read

I recently discovered that when querying data views, case sensitivity in column names doesn’t make a difference; it consistently picks up the column when named correctly. Let’s explore where else column case sensitivity doesn’t play a significant role. First let’s create a data extension with some columns so we can test following in Query studio, […]

Continue reading