Neuromarketing Keys in Salesforce Marketing Cloud

Neuromarketing Keys in Salesforce Marketing Cloud

Neuromarketing is a field of study that combines neuroscience with marketing. Its main objective is to use knowledge about the functioning of the human brain to design more effective and persuasive marketing strategies.

What are the keys to Neuromarketing?

In a constantly changing digital environment, it is imperative that marketing professionals stay up-to-date with best practices to optimize their strategies and effectively reach their audience. Cognitive science has dedicated decades to analyzing consumer behavior, revealing that a significant part of our purchase decisions are driven by emotions and unconscious reactions. Throughout this article you will discover the keys to Neuromarketing which can be incorporated into your SFMC strategy.

Tone and Voice of the Email

Interpersonal communication plays a fundamental role in shaping your brand’s perception in the digital marketing environment. Choosing the right tone and voice is essential to establish an emotional connection with your audience, reflect your brand’s values, and, most importantly, motivate users to take action.

There is no one-size-fits-all tone that is universally superior. The choice between a professional, emotional, friendly, approachable, or serious tone will depend on the outcome of prior benchmarking. Consistency over time is what truly matters.


Behavioral science provides abundant evidence supporting the notion that humans have limitations in their attention span. Theories like Selective Attention, the Principle of Simplicity, and the well-known Information Processing Theory are just a few examples of this. Therefore, it is essential that our message clearly communicates our purpose from the very beginning. Providing more information than necessary will only overwhelm the recipient’s mind and lead to the rejection of the entire message.

The Information Processing Theory determines that there is a limited capacity channel for external stimuli.

Broadbent Filter. ShowerThinking
Based on the Broadbent Filter Model.

Subject Line

The subject line of an email plays a crucial role as it is the gateway to our content. Its relevance should not be underestimated. The psychological theory of Primacy and Recency argues that people tend to remember the first and last impressions of their experiences more easily. With science on our side, we can harness this powerful notion and not miss the opportunity to create a lasting impression. 

  • Generate Curiosity
  • Use Urgency
  • Highlight the Main Benefit
  • Personalize and Segment


Each color has the power to evoke unique emotions and associations. Therefore, it is essential to strategically leverage this knowledge when selecting the color palette for your email campaign. When you maintain consistency in color choices across all your messages, a strong visual connection is established, strengthening your brand’s memory and fostering customer loyalty. This translates into a significant increase in open rates and greater interaction with the content you share, thanks to neuromarketing.

Apply the principles of color psychology and the color wheel effectively to avoid basic contrast errors.

Color wheel for color contrast.

Mobile Friendly

Over 75% of users who receive our emails do so on mobile devices, so optimization for these devices should be a basic practice. The experience on these devices applies Gestalt principles. For example, ensure that elements are well-spaced for all screen widths and organized in accordance with the principles of Gestalt proximity and continuity.


In the realm of digital marketing, accessibility is not optional. This underscores the essential role of front-end developers, who not only shape the visual aspect of content but also ensure its accessibility regardless of the device or access method used. In addition, quality filters constantly seek out these accessibility gaps, such as the lack of alternative text in images or the minimum size in a CTA.

In this sense, A/B testing emerges as an invaluable tool for understanding and adapting to audience desires. The ability to experiment with different approaches allows us to discover what truly excites and engages our recipients.

In essence, always entrust your marketing campaigns to trained experts because, at the heart of effective marketing, you will always find the science of human behavior. This understanding is key to achieving outstanding results and establishing authentic connections with your audience.

Would you like to learn more about this field? Here are some links to visit:

Fields Validation: forms on Cloud Pages Marketing Cloud

Field Validation on Cloud Pages Forms in SFMC

Marketing Cloud provides a wide range of tools for form creation, but validating fields on Cloud Pages forms can seem like a challenge. In this post, we will explain how to best approach it.

How to achieve field validation on forms?

Field validation on forms is the process of verifying that the information entered in the fields is valid and meets certain predefined rules and criteria. Adjust the validation options according to your needs.

There are different types of validation in SFMC:

Validation of required fields

These are fields that must be filled out before a form can be submitted. If any required field is omitted, an error message will be displayed and the form submission will remain unavailable until all required fields are completed.

See the Pen Validation of required fields by Angela (@amoren03) on CodePen.

Email validation

This is another common example of email validation. In this case, JavaScript checks if the provided email address is valid and has the correct format.

See the Pen Email validation by Angela (@amoren03) on CodePen.

Field length validation

This will check whether the entered text is within the maximum or minimum length ranges. In this example, a minimum length of 10 characters has been specified. The JavaScript can be customized accordingly.

See the Pen Field length validation by Angela (@amoren03) on CodePen.

Phone number format validation

This is important to ensure that phone numbers are valid. If a user tries to enter a phone number that does not comply with the established format, an error message will be displayed.

In the following example, a number is requested in the format “123-456-7890”. You can customize it according to country specifications by changing the following code: /^\d{3}-\d{3}-\d{4}$/

Option selection validation

In this case, there is a verification to confirm that the user has selected a valid option.

See the Pen Option selection validation by Angela (@amoren03) on CodePen.

Validation of selecting at least one checkbox.

It is used to verify that at least one of the checkboxes has been checked, ensuring that the necessary information is provided.

Date of birth validation

This serves a dual purpose. A valid date must be entered, and it must match that of a person who is of legal age. You can customize it if you want another age limit or remove this restriction through JavaScript.

See the Pen Date of birth validation by Angela (@amoren03) on CodePen.

In summary, field validation on Marketing Cloud forms is an effective way to ensure that users enter accurate and complete information. By applying field validation, you can improve the quality of the data you collect and reduce the amount of manual corrections and updates you need to make later on.

Would you like to know more about field validation on SFMC forms? Visit these links:

Meet Marketing Cloud Intelligence by Datorama

Marketing Cloud Datorama
Salesforce Logo

Decades are passing by in the so-called information age and the exponential growth of data generated on a daily basis is relentless; digital networks have long since consolidated their importance in daily life. In this scenario, the possibilities for Marketing Intelligence are enormous and it is almost a cliché to say that empirical marketing based on data cannot be left aside.

Managing the massive amounts of data that modern businesses have to deal with can be costly and complex. This is where Salesforce’s Marketing Cloud Intelligence platform (Datorama) comes in. Created in 2012, it has become increasingly integrated into the Salesforce ecosystem. It serves as a meeting point for all Digital Marketing solutions. It makes it possible to unify data from various sources to create a centralized hub from which value can be extracted.

Marketing cloud intelligence

It is worth mentioning that Salesforce is in the process of rebranding some of its platforms, and Marketing Cloud Intelligence was until just recently known as Datorama.

Through more than 120 APIs – or connectors – for the most relevant platforms and databases of the moment, data can quickly and efficiently be integrated in order to start analyzing and extracting knowledge. It does not forget about users who have data from other sources as it also has generic connectors, thus facilitating data ingestion for practically any case.

Centralize your data

Marketing Cloud Intelligence (Datorama) is focused on digital marketing, and is designed to work with relevant data from the industry. It therefore comes equipped with tools that facilitate data harmonization, to create a cohesive, logical and useful dataset. All this leads to the optimization of data management and study of KPIs.

It also has integration with Salesforce’s artificial intelligence – Einstein – which can look for otherwise hard-to-see patterns and provide possible solutions by leveraging the latest advances in machine learning and AI.

It is no surprise how popular dashboards are becoming in today’s landscape. They are the modern solution for efficient and intuitive data visualization, through a series of dynamic widgets that show summaries and key aspects of marketing campaigns in real time. This allows the visualization of concepts in a much simpler and more natural way than looking at a spreadsheet. Marketing Cloud Intelligence (Datorama) makes it easy to create these dashboards with the data that has been ingested. Through an intuitive interface it gives a lot of flexibility to create solutions that are tailored to the client’s specific needs.

DTR - Empower every role

There is also the Marketplace: A repository full of tools and applications to further customize the experience. You will be able to download the apps you want in a matter of seconds and with immediate integration to the platform, with just a few clicks of the mouse.

Summary of Key Concepts

  • Single Platform

Eliminates the challenge of coordinating multiple Analytics platforms.

  • Continuous Updates

Reports are constantly updated without requiring a high level of effort.

  • Data Visualization

Organized information that facilitates the visualization of data in dashboards.

  • Data Traceability

Campaign tracking requires analyzing the data in terms of the steps that users record across different digital assets.

  • Ease of Implementation

It does not require a traditional integration project, standard APIs facilitate this process.

  • Specialized Tool

Specialized in marketing intelligence for multichannel activities.

All this means that Marketing Cloud Intelligence (Datorama) delivers a reduction in marketing costs as well as time spent managing and interpreting data. It provides more time for critical thinking, decision-making based on the analysis of this data and attaining business goals.

If you are looking for a modern solution to treat data and extract knowledge and value, this is a great option. It has Marketing Intelligence solutions for all marketers, regardless of their sector. It centralizes your data and supports your decision making, optimizes your marketing campaigns, automates various labor-intensive processes and helps with data-driven decisions.

At Showerthinking, as a Salesforce Registered Consulting Partner, we have been working with Marketing Cloud Intelligence (Datorama) for many years. The evolution of digital marketing brings with it more complex solutions and technologies, and we are proud to have successfully implemented solutions in Datorama for several pharmaceutical companies.

Here is a link to a webinar held in 2021, in which we have a deep dive into the opportunities that Marketing Cloud Intelligence (Datorama) offers pharma companies in order to understand how healthcare professionals behave across multiple channels using a single source of information. Allowing a quick and efficient analysis of the data.

Auto-Suppression Lists in Marketing Cloud

Whenever we work with databases, we might encounter numerous emails to which we do not wish to or cannot send communications to all the email addresses registered. The marketing teams need to filter and avoid that these specific email addresses receive any Marketing Cloud Marketing Cloud communications.. A best practice in these cases could be to add them to an Auto-Suppression List.

In this article we will try to explain what it consists of, what they are used for, how to create them and manage these Auto-Suppression Lists within the Marketing Cloud tool.

How does an auto-suppression list work?

An Auto-Suppression Lists acts like a do not contact list”, meaning that this list of email addresses will not be contacted. The email addresses that are usually added to these lists are addresses with a high spam history, addresses that have chosen to be unsubscribed to provider commercial communications or previous advertisers, competitors’ addresses, clients who have cancelled their activity with the brand… In short: all the contacts which we might have and desire to keep in our database but which we cannot or do not want to impact via an email marketing campaign.

We can create Auto-Suppression Lists from the administrator screen in Email Studio. once created, we can add all the addresses which we do not wish to contact with our Salesforce Marketing Cloud tool.
The Auto-Suppression List do not need to be selected by the user within each sending flow, as they filter the contacts to whom we do not want to send communications automatically and at the general level of the whole tool.

How to create an auto-suppression list

In order to create our own auto-suppression list, we firstly need to access Email Studio and we click “Administrator”. once this has been selected, within “Send Management”, we need to select “Auto suppression configuration” and “Create”.
Once we have created this new list, we will add the name and description of this list in “Properties” and select the desired attributes.
The next step would be to complete the sending profiles in the “Assignment” section. There we will be able to select if we want to filter the addresses via the “sender profile” or “send classification” (“sender profile” refers to the profile of the sender and the “send classification” refers to whether the communication is commercial or transactional).
We can also assign our list to the whole organisation or to specific business units. In this way we can use different lists for each business unit.

All of these properties can be edited ex post via the administrator in Email Studio. One thing to keep in mind is that if we modify an auto-suppression list is that whichever changes we make, these will not be applied to triggered sends which are in a queue. Because of this, in case of wishing to edit an auto-suppression list, the recommended action is to delete the sends in the queue before saving the changes in the list, as subscribers who are in the queue will continue to receive the communication for which they are in the queue even if we include them in the auto-suppression list. Once the list has been updated, we will review and enable the triggers

How to add contacts to an auto-suppression list

Once we have determined a series of parameters, we will save our list and we will add in this list the desired contacts. This last step of adding contacts can be done manually via Email Studio. For this purpose, we will need to fill in the fields “email” and the date in which this is added in the registry. We will also be able to add any other personalized attribute which we wish to add to the list.
In the case of wishing to add various contacts at the same time, it is recommendable to do this automatically using an import activity in Automation Studio to save time and effort.

In conclusion, the Auto-Suppression List have become an almost indispensable tool to properly manage our contacts within Marketing Cloud and automatically delete those email addresses that we do not want to impact with our communications.
Learning to use them and integrating them into all the email marketing processes of our company will save us a lot of headaches and will streamline the tasks of our marketing department.

Salesforce Marketing Cloud Mobile Studio

Mobile Studio

Looking to create a true multichannel experience for your customers? Then you can’t miss the implementation of Marketing Cloud’s Mobile Studio in your campaigns, the tool that establishes a direct, personal and customizable communication with your customers through their mobile devices.

What device is the most used by people in their daily lives so far this century? Indeed, smartphones, and it’s the best way to reach your customers!

Mobile Studio is a basic tool for any omnichannel campaign and consists of three modules: MobilePush, GroupConnect and MobileConnect, which will allow us to reach our customers via SMS, push notifications and instant messaging.

Mobile Studio

MobileConnect: SMS

Allows you to create and send dynamic SMS in real time from Marketing Cloud. We can send different types of messages:

  • Outbound: promotional campaigns targeted to a predefined audience. These messages can be part of a campaign created in Journey Builder, as well as being integrated in a real-time automation in Automation Studio or configured as automatic sendings.
  • Text response: allow the user to respond with predefined keywords. This opens a feedback channel with our customers.
  • Surveys: give us the possibility to receive the opinion of our customers regarding their preferences.
  • Mobile Opt-in: you can invite your customers to be part of a campaign.
  • Info capture: through these messages we can ask for specific answers to our customers through text messages such as a membership number or a coupon code.
  • Email Opt-in: similar to Mobile Opt-in but, in this case, we can send an automatic email to the people invited.

MobileConnect & Journey Builder

The integration of MobileConnect into Journey Builder is one of its strengths and offers many possibilities: more complex journeys that combine emailing with SMS.

This gives SMS many of the typical email functionalities, such as personalization through input attributes or click tracking. This means that we can include SMS in our journeys and implement interesting strategies such as SMS reengagement in case our potential customers do not open our email.

Mobile connect Journey Builder

MobilePush: Push notifications

This module offers the possibility of generating Push Notifications from applications developed in Android or iOS. We will be able to customize the notifications and segment the target audience. Just like MobileConnect, these messages can be integrated into campaigns launched with Journey Builder and Automation Studio.

Specifically, Mobile Push includes the possibility of using location as a trigger to launch automated messages through Geo-fence.


GroupConnect is used to send messages through messaging applications. At the moment, it is possible to do so via LINE and Facebook Messenger. It also allows you to manage contact subscriptions and review messaging activities.

In summary, the automation and customization possibilities of this tool, together with its compatibility with other SFMC applications such as Journey builder and Automation Studio, make Mobile Studio a clear reference in its field.

Query Studio in Salesforce Marketing Cloud

Query studio salesforce

If you work in Marketing Cloud with Automation Studio and SQL Activities this article might be of interest to you. When working with Automation Studio to perform queries via SQL, the steps to get to see the result of the query are:

  1. Create a Data Extension with the required fields that you are going to select in your query .
  2. Create a SQL activity with the query.
  3. Create an automation to include a SQL Activity.
  4. Execute the automation.
  5. Consult the previously created Data
  6. Extension to visualize the results of the query.
  7. Check results .

If what you are trying to do is, for example, just to check or test data, this can be a bit tedious.

Here is something that will make your life easier.

What is Query Studio

It is a free app from the Salesforce AppExchange, which allows you to execute queries in a fast manner, obtaining the results of the query in one console.

It’s that easy: you write your query, execute it and obtain the results.

Now let’s get down to the details.

How to obtain Query Studio

Here is the direct link to the Salesforce AppExchange for Query Studio:

Once we have installed the application. Steps to follow:

1. Install the application with an open session in Marketing Cloud.
2. Log out of the Marketing Cloud account
3. Log back into the account.
4. When browsing the tab AppExchange, you will be able to visualise the app.

appExchange Query

How to work with Query Studio

Once we have been able to access the application, you will see a console in which you can write down the query you need.

Other characteristics from Query Studio

Besides the ease of use that Query Studio provides, it also has other characteristics which may be of much help to you.

Generated Data Extensions

Query Studio saves the results in a Data Extension, which might be of use because this means that you could use it in other queries.

Generate Data extension
Besides the ease of use that Query Studio provides, it also has other characteristics which may be of much help to you.

Reuse queries


Object Explorer

Object Explorer

Search for Data Extension to visualise its structure.


  • You can run the query without using the “run” button: if you use CTRL + Intro it will execute your query. Next to the run button you will be able to see how long it takes to deliver the results.
  • If you encounter the error “Time Out”, it is usually caused due to a caché problem. Try to execute it again.
  • If you have two or more tabs open in Query Studio with running queries, due to caché problems you might obtain unexpected results. I recommend only having one tab open at a time.
  • Finally, here is a video from Salesforce that includes information about Query Studio.

Salesforce Marketing Cloud Consultant Certification

Certificación email specialist

Are you looking to take the last step on your path to becoming a Marketing Cloud expert? If so, keep reading to learn everything you need to know about consultant certification.

Everything you need to know about the Cloud Marketing Consultant exam

All Salesforce certifications require prior study and training, but the Cloud Marketing Consultant certification is considered one of the most complicated to obtain due to all the previous knowledge you need to have about Cloud Marketing, the complicated questions, the case studies and the technical difficulty.

If you want to apply, the first thing you need is to get the Marketing Cloud Email Specialist certification. You can find more information about it here (enlace al artículo del blog nuestro). I strongly recommend that you also get the SFMC Administrator certification. While it’s not mandatory, it will help you understand the marketing platform and make it easier for you.

Secondly, let’s take a closer look at what the exam consists of. Like almost all Salesforce certifications, it is a test of 60 questions (plus 5 that are not scored) that you must answer in 105 minutes without the help of any kind of material or external agent. These questions are related to various topics in the Marketing Cloud world, but their importance in the exam (the percentage) varies depending on the exam and the edition itself. If you are applying for the Winter 22 Marketing Cloud Consultant edition, these are the current rates:

  • Discovery & Architecture: 16%
  • Integration: 20%
  • Account Configuration: 12%
  • Automation: 20%
  • Data Modeling & Management: 21%
  • Messaging: 11%

As a recommendation, focus on preparing as well as possible those blocks that are most important, because they will have the most questions on the exam. To do so, read on and find out where to get free SFMC Consultant exam questions.

How to prepare yourself to become a SFMC Consultant

As you know, the Salesforce platform itself offers courses and preparations that you can find in Trailhead (here I show you one with the study guide included).

Another very interesting place is the Trailbazer Community. There you will find accurate questions from the exam and, above all, discussions about the correct answers. This exam is famous for the ambiguity of its questions, and it is interesting to be a member of this community to see how people solve the questions and in what way you can deal with them whenever you take the exam. If you are interested in joining, here is one of the forums about Consultant exam questions.

My experience confirms that this is not enough to get this certification. Salesforce recommends you to have at least 6 months of experience in implementing technical solutions in Marketing Cloud projects. And still, I think that the key of this exam is not only about your knowledge of the tool, but also about learning the type of questions or how to deal with them. For that, you can make use of academies like Udemy, that will provide you with extensive and detailed courses in which you will see each of the modules of which the exam is composed. Of course, always paying. You can also find others like Salesforce Help & Training.

What you should know about each module

1. Discovery & Architecture

This module is practically based on your experience with Marketing Cloud. The questions will be about case studies that ask you to find a solution with the tool. If you have not faced it in real life, it will be difficult for you to do it in an exam.

You will need to know how to manage the available information to achieve the most accurate audience segmentation strategies possible, as well as long-range technical solutions for the maintenance of these strategies.

2. Integration

As the name suggests, you will be presented with use cases on Marketing Cloud Connect integration. Again, your own experience with the platform will be what will make you pass them.

3. Account Configuration

Something quite similar to what you could find in the Marketing Cloud Administrator Certification, it is much easier to prepare since you can study it but it is no less important. The Marketing Cloud account configuration is the basis of any project you are going to do. My advice: check basic but very necessary concepts such as SAP, Reply Address Management, etc.

4. Automation

It is one of the most important modules, but also one of the easiest in my opinion. You must think about what kind of activities you have to do with an automation for a specific journey or case study. Familiarize yourself with SQL code and Scripts, because you will need it for this block. If you are scared of code because you are not very technical, lose your fear of it. From my point of view, automation is one of the great advantages of Salesforce. The sooner you know about how to use it yourself (with your own codes and developments) the more self-sufficient you will be and, therefore, the better projects you will do.

5. Data Modeling & Management

If I could choose one vital module in Marketing Cloud, it would be this one. Not only because it is the one that occupies the largest percentage, but also because it is very important that you understand in depth the data model you are working with, the implications it has on the records and the possibilities it gives you for the scope of your project(s).

Here’s another unsolicited tip: if you want to be a good Marketing Cloud consultant, investigate this module and double check what level of knowledge you have about the data model you are using and how fields and objects are connected to each other, because it is the basis of everything.

6. Messaging

Finally we come to the last module of this exam, and certainly the easiest. You will see questions about how to personalize and individualize communication campaigns. This is already covered in previous certifications such as Administrator (enlace al artículo del blog nuestro) or Email Specialist, although in a more basic way.

I hope these tips have helped you to learn a little bit more about the certification and you are ready to learn about the world of Cloud Marketing Consulting. It requires effort, but you will also get a great compensation: to be a better professional in your industry. There are some certifications that do not provide great knowledge, but not in this case. So: Remember! When you are preparing yourself for it, keep in mind that it is not “just another certification” and that’s all. SFMC Consultant certification is really useful and you can take advantage of it for your future projects.

Salesforce Marketing Cloud Admin Certification

Porrada blog SFMC

Following on from the post about Salesforce Certifications and along the lines of Marketing Cloud Email Specialist, I’d like to explain a bit more about what the Marketing Cloud Admin exam is all about. This post is written as a guide to help those people who are interested in obtaining this certification and to give details and tips about it.

Who can take the exam?

It is a certification oriented to people who are interested in the configuration of Marketing Cloud products. It is also required in order to obtain the Marketing Cloud Consultant certification. According to Salesforce’s recommendation, it is advisable for those who decide to take this exam to have 3 to 6 months of experience in Marketing Cloud administration and previous experience in Digital Marketing.

As this is a more technical profile, whoever wants to get this profile must be familiar with the data structure, configuration and have agility and ability to solve problems that may arise in the account. They must be able to navigate the tool.

By becoming certified you will become a profile that is currently highly demanded, with the ability to create personalized experiences for each business/user. You will open up new opportunities to help others.

Salesforce recommends you to study using the modules specifically created for this exam, in which all the certification topics are covered. If you are brand new to the Salesforce Marketing Cloud world, I’d recommend you to start with the Trailheads which they offer. The estimated time is approximately 25-35 hours but if you already have experience with other certifications or with Salesforce Marketing Cloud itself you will probably be able to complete them in less time.

Certification SFMC

However, it is not the only place where you can study. There are other tools such as Udemy, Salesforce Ben, doing practice exams, and most of all with Salesforce Help articles which which you will be able to find complementary information to the Trailheads.

About the exam

In this section of the article I will detail the structure of the exam:

  • Content: 60 questions that score + 5 questions that do not score*

These 5 unscored questions are used to evaluate the general level of the candidates taking the exams. They will serve as a guide for the annual updates of the certifications.

  • Time: 105 min
  • Passing score: 67%
  • Location: you can either do the exam online or in a specialized facility
  • Language: English
  • Pre-requirements: None
  • Cost: USD 200, plus applicable fees/ taxes
    • Retaking costs: USD 100, plus applicable fees/ taxes*

Take into account that at these costs you might have to add applicable fees or taxes according to local laws.


  • Digital marketing proficiency: 13%
  • Subscriber data management: 18%
  • Setup: 38%
  • Channel management: 16%
  • Maintenance: 15%

Digital marketing proficiency

Subscriber data management

  • The ability to comprehend and manage the contact models in different situations (Contact Builder,RMM,Data Designer)
  • Understand perfectly the concepts of preference y profile center


Channel management


  • Know how to navigate through the different products desenvolverte por los diferentes productos de Marketing Cloud, reports, data extracts, etc.


Important before starting: you should ensure that all the information you have or will be using is completely uppdated, The certifications are continuously being updated. Let me walk you through on how to prepare:

  • Follow the Trailhead modules for preparation
  • Read articles from the Salesforce Help where you can can find additional information that can help you understand many of the issues or cases that may arise in the exam questions.
  • I’d also recommend you to check out the AMPscript guide

The questions are similar to those from other Salesforce Marketing Cloud exams. As a matter of fact, many questions are based on real situations which test your knowledge and technical problem-solving abilities with the tool.

It is very important to understand that to be able to pass this exam successfully, you cannot simply memorize the topics, as you need to be able to apply what you’ve learned, understanding all the terminology, and apply them in the relevant cases.

Real exam experience

In my case, I decided to certify myself as it is a prerequisite to obtain the Marketing Cloud Consultant certification. It took me about 2 to 3 months to prepare myself for this exam with the help of Trailheads, Salesforce Help Articles and a lot of patience.

It wasn’t my first certification so I already knew the dynamics and the type of exam I was going to face. The process that I usually follow is:

  • First of all I search and complete the Salesforce Trailhead which prepares you for the exam, always making a small summary of the most important items which will later on help me when I am doing the first mock tests and I can consult on them in case of doubts
  • As a second step, I write down keywords with their definitions that appear in the mock tests that don’t appear in the Trailheads. In this way it is much easier and quicker to consult future doubts.
  • Finally: tests, tests, tests. This is what will most help you understand the possible cases which may be raised in the exam.

I would recommend you to go to an examination facility to conduct the test if you can, as if you do it at home or somewhere else, you will have ensure that you comply and follow the technical requirements to conduct the online proctored exam and this might distract you preparing for the exam.

The most important thing, if you have the opportunity, is to practice with the tool itself when you’re studying because it will make it easier to comprehend and remember better than only reading about it.

Don’t worry if you don’t pass on your first try. It is a lot of content and it is very important to get yourself well familiarized with all the questions and topics before attempting the exam, but I encourage you to try again!

Sales Marketing Cloud October 2021 Release

Salesforce October 2021

Salesforce Marketing Cloud received a fresh upgrade in October as part of Salesforce’s enhancement plans. These enhancements have been implemented to provide a better platform experience and to do your jobs as marketers simpler. Let’s explore the updates in the October release.

iOS 15 Updates

Apple unveiled a plethora of new improvements for its iOS 15 releases in the fall of 2021 during the summer of 2021. Like those in previous upgrades, some of these unique updates were meant to provide users with greater and better authority over who has access to the information. Three of them, in fact, are for Apple Mail and have a direct bearing on those of us who work in online marketing. Let’s explore these iOS 15 updates now.

What Salesforce Is Doing Against These New Changes?

Some email clients are changing their privacy policies, which may affect open rate numbers and computations. Salesforce is upgrading a number of Marketing Cloud products to adapt certain functionalities of its platform as a consequence of the changes implied by the new privacy policies.

Salesforce’s main focus is to develop technologies that will assist you in responding, acting, and succeeding in these changing contexts. Email openings have historically been used by marketers to construct automated processes, marketing engagement methods, and more since they may indicate whether a client or prospect is intrigued by your material. Email openings are likely to be a less trustworthy interaction indication as a result of the additional privacy settings offered to customers.

Over the course of the next several updates, Salesforce will make a number of changes to your Marketing Cloud services, focusing on Einstein functionalities. This will guarantee that your data, findings, and projections are as precise as possible. 

  • Rather, they’re using an engagement rate measure that combines a variety of extra signals, such as clicks, while still taking account of open rate analytics at a certain level to provide a more comprehensive view of your consumers’ content interaction. Here are the topmost improvements you can expect:
    • To calculate the most ideal send time, the algorithm now employs an engagement rate rather than just an open rate for a more sophisticated statistic that ensures greater accuracy.
    • To produce behavioral analytics and estimate future effectiveness, the Insights feature now leverages the audience engagement rather than only the open rate.
    • For more precise output statistics, click to open rates are now calculated as click through rates.
    • Rather than using an intersection between open and click rates, Salesforce will instead utilize an engagement rate for profiles. As a consequence of the privacy modifications, they’re revising the metrics computations in Engagement Scoring to improve dependability.

Impact On Marketing Cloud

The open rate, which is closely watched, will be the most evident effect of these modifications. Most marketers will no longer be able to know if their Apple Mail app customers read their messages, when they opened them, their geographical location, or which gadget they used to do so following this upgrade.

Marketing Cloud Journeys and Messages

This is an upgrade to the next-generation MobilePush SDK, which uses Mobile App Events to arrange journeys depending on user activity. It adds action hooks to enable user behavior to influence your in-app messaging, and it improves in-app message scheduling with increased display options.

The new Journey History UI allows you to view your journey metrics. With Partner Seed List Connectivity, you may also get a better understanding of subscriber retention. Contact Deletes now have a two-day suppression duration.

The new Journey History panel offers a more informative, visually appealing, and engaging experience and new possibilities. Integrated infographics and statistics, a simplified filtering interface, navigation, and more are all available.

To choreograph experiences or trigger in-app messaging depending on real-time user behavior, Marketing Cloud now offers a direct connection between your mobile app and Journey Builder. 

You can also specify your smartphone app activities on the new Journey Builder Mobile App Event Management Tab. Alternatively, you may leverage the user’s smartphone app activity to prompt the appearance of an in-app message.

Better In-App Messages

In-app messages are known to enhance productivity and customer engagement. Wouldn’t it be better if you could better control the timing and triggering action for displaying in-app messages? This is what you get with the new Salesforce Marketing Cloud October 2021 Release.

You can define different parameters for session length and user actions to trigger in-app messages for your users. Therefore, you can easily guide them and control their journey with better control.

different identities in the different channels and creating an unified profile that groups: contact data, their interactions and the metrics related to their interactions. And all this in real time.

Default Suppression Period

Before this update, clients had to wait a minimum of 14 days for suppression period for contact deletes. However, with the new update, you can set the duration between 0-2 days to delete the contacts quicker. This way, you can say goodbye to the 14-day wait period and delete contacts on the same day. 

Similarly, if you set the suppression period to 0 days, the contact deletion process will not pause automatically after the first suppression round. It will keep on functioning as desired and you can reduce the delay time for contact deletion and suppression.

Emailapocalypse: What Apple Mail Privacy Protection Means for Marketing Cloud

Mail Privacy Protection

Privacy is coming to the internet while cookies and tracking pixels are going away. Apple is leading a major change in the email marketing landscape with the introduction of Mail Privacy Protection among other new features that professionals and software providers will need to adopt.

Although these changes imply far-reaching effects for many providers, we will specifically discuss some considerations for Salesforce Marketing Cloud. Let’s start from the basics…

This summer 2021, Apple announced a slew of new features that would be introduced with its iOS 15, iPad 15, and MacOS Monterey releases to come this fall 2021. As with past updates, some of these new features were designed to offer users more and better control over the access that others have to their data. In fact, 3 of them are for Apple Mail and have a specific impact on those of us that work in email marketing.

This is nothing new for Apple. Over the past few years, Apple has been tightening up on user privacy. In recent updates it introduced new features that blocked all third-party cookies and required applications to ask for users’ permission to track their activity outside of their own apps. Ultimately, this is what users want. So we can only expect this trend and similar changes to continue.

So, considering how Apple Mail takes up around 40% of email client market share, you may be very interested in knowing just what these newest features are and if they will have an impact on what you do, specifically in Salesforce Marketing Cloud. 

In this article we’ll look at the following: 

  1. What are these 3 features?
  2. How will they affect email marketing and Salesforce Marketing Cloud?
  3. Can you prepare for this change?
  4. How can you adapt to this change?

Three New Apple Mail Features That Will Directly Impact Email Marketing

The main feature that will impact email marketing is the Mail Privacy Protection feature. When a user opens the Apple Mail app for the first time after the fall update they will see the Mail Privacy Protection feature, asking them if they want to have their Mail activity protected or not. (It’s safe to assume that most will opt for protection.)

How does this impact marketers? As Apple says:

“Mail Privacy Protection works by hiding your IP address and loading remote content privately in the background, even when you don’t open the message. This makes it harder for senders to follow your Mail activity.”

the Mail Privacy Protection

Feature #1: “Loading remote content privately in the background” – Marketing emails, newsletters, and some email clients use an invisible tracking pixel to track whether someone has opened an email or not. But with this new feature the emails are automatically loaded, or “opened”, in the background. So for marketers’ purposes, they will show as having been opened, even if they haven’t actually been opened.

Consider that Marketing Cloud includes a tracking pixel in each email to check if and when an email is opened. This feature will thus be affected.

protect mail activity Mail Privacy Protection

Feature #2: “Hiding your IP address” – This means that senders will not be able to determine location or to link email habits to other online activity based on IP address.


Feature #3: Hide My Email – Among the plethora of new features being released this fall for iOS15 and other OS’s is also iCloud+. This is a paid plan that offers such features as extra iCloud storage, Family Sharing, Private Relay, and Hide My Email.

Hide My Email will allow users to mask their email with a fake one. These “fake” emails are random Apple-created addresses that provide users with the luxury of providing a type of “burner” address when they don’t want to provide their true address.

This feature will have a profound impact on email marketing since we will no longer be able to identify a specific user. In fact the number of duplications in our database will grow. It will be important to consider a proper consent management and deduplication strategy in your Marketing Cloud instance.

The below diagram gives you an idea of how Apple will implement these new features using a proxy connection between the user and the email services.

hide email

How Will These New Features Affect Email Marketing?

These changes will have a most visible impact on the heavily-monitored open rate. For most subscribers using the Apple Mail app after this update, you will no longer be able to tell if the recipients opened your emails, what time they opened, their geolocation, or which device they used to do so.

open rate Mail Privacy Protection

At first thought, the name Mail Privacy Protection might make you think that it would lead to a drop in the open rate. However, because emails will be automatically loaded “privately in the background” regardless of whether they have actually been opened or not, then rather than leading to a drop it will cause open rates to rise significantly, depending on the proportion of your subscribers that use the Apple Mail email client.

So if open rates become unreliable and geolocation is unavailable for many subscribers, that means that other aspects of email marketing will be affected. Here are some of the big ones:

  • A/B Testing by opens
  • Send time optimization
  • Re-engagement journeys and flows based on opens
  • Localized content based on opens or IP addresses
  • Monitoring deliverability and list hygiene

How to Prepare for Mail Privacy Protection

It’s important that we get a head start by taking a look at what we currently have. Here is a helpful checklist of steps you can take to get prepared.

  • Determine potential impact. Examine your audience and get an idea of what percentage of your subscribers are iOS, iPadOS or MacOS users. Even though the impact will vary based on whether they actually use the Apple Mail app or opt in to Mail Privacy Protection, it will give you a good idea of how large (or small) that segment is. Here’s a step by step guide to how you can use Marketing Cloud Reports to get an idea of these segments.
    • Click on “Reports” under the Audience Builder tab.
    • In the Report Catalog, use the Email Performance by Device report.
    • Change the view to Table View.
    • For the Rows, besides Mobile or Desktop, try adding some of the following: Device Model, Operating System Model, Operating System Name, Email Client Name.
    • For the Measures, besides the initial Opens and Clicks measures you might also try Unique Opens and Unique Clicks.
  • Clean house now, while you can. Take a look at your deliverability and list hygiene. How many unengaged subscribers do you have? It’s a good idea to focus on email deliverability while you can still use opens as a key indicator.
  • Create a reliable opens audience consisting of subscribers that are not using Apple Mail. If you wish to test opens at times in the future, this audience can be your guide.
opens audience


(Apple Mail takes up on average 40% of the market. What about your audience?)

How to Adapt to Mail Privacy Protection

It goes without saying that for many in email marketing a world without reliable open rates will require significant effort to adapt. While each audience is different, here are some helpful tips to get you started.

  • Rethink what an engaged subscriber is for you. This means looking at other signs of engagement or combinations of such signs. That could be date of opt-in, unique clicks, purchases, on-site behavior, sign-ups for events and other touchpoints.
  • Establish new baseline metrics. CTR should be key, but keep an eye on other metrics that help to monitor your new engaged subscriber profile, or the opposite, such as the unsubscribe clicks.
  • For automation, set your splits and triggers to be click or time-based rather than open-based.
  • Take a long-hard look at your email UX and content. Does your design guide your readers to your CTA? Does your content motivate them to click? Is your content concise and direct? Is your email mobile-optimized? You would also do well to take a look at your subject lines and sender profile.
  • User identification. Hide my Email creates the possibility of different email addresses for the same user. So you will need to set up an appropriate deduplication and user-identification strategy.

Only More to Come

As mentioned before, privacy changes and Apple is nothing new. We can therefore expect that these changes continue, not only with Apple but that many other companies will follow in their footsteps, as is often the case. Rather than resisting, the best thing we can do is get on board ourselves and adapt to the preferences of users. Ultimately it’s a great opportunity to continually reassess and improve your approach to email marketing. 

Salesforce Marketing Cloud will probably adapt to this new change. With the 5 major releases of Marketing Cloud per year we can most likely expect to see new features to address these important changes.

In the meantime, we will all continue to adapt to the changing landscape of email marketing.

At ShowerThinking we’re always glad to help you on that journey.