STO – SFMC Einstein Send Time Optimization

STO Salesforce Marketing Cloud Einstein Send Time Optimization

It is undeniable that in the digital world, every interaction counts. The success of a campaign can depend on the ability to reach customers at the right moment. Salesforce Marketing Cloud has incorporated an innovative and revolutionary tool called Einstein Send Time Optimization (STO), which uses artificial intelligence to optimize the timing of emails in our marketing strategies.

This article will teach us in detail what STO consists of, the importance of timing in Salesforce Marketing Cloud, how the tool works, and the advantages of implementing it in our strategy planning.

Definition of STO in SFMC

As defined earlier, the abbreviation STO, Einstein Send Time Optimization, is nothing more, nothing less than a unique and distinctive feature of Salesforce Marketing Cloud.

Einstein Copilot

It is a tool that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to determine the optimal time to send emails to each email address or individual, optimizing and personalizing the send based on the individual’s history, behavior, or preferences.

Why Send Times are Important in SFMC

In a time when we receive an immense amount of emails in our inbox, receiving a message at the right time can be crucial and can significantly impact the open and click-through rates.

This action could improve the effectiveness of our marketing campaigns and strengthen the bonds with our customers.

STO - Einstein Send Time Optimization

It is an advanced tool within the SFMC universe focused on send optimization. STO, unlike traditional methods that set a fixed schedule, uses artificial intelligence algorithms to personalize the send for each contact.

Incorporation of Artificial Intelligence

The essence of STO lies in the integration of artificial intelligence, specifically Einstein, Salesforce’s AI engine. This fusion allows for a deep analysis of historical data and behavioral patterns, generating accurate predictions about the most opportune moment for interaction.

Operation of STO in SFMC

Examining the Interaction Log

Einstein Send Time Optimization carefully analyzes the interaction history of each individual by examining clicks, opening patterns, and other behaviors to understand past activity perfectly and predict the best future moment.

Predicting the Perfect Sending Time

Based on all this and using predictive algorithms, it determines the best time to send the message to each individual. STO goes beyond simple scheduling and dynamically adjusts to the recipient’s habits at each moment.

Enstein Send Time Optimization
STO Enstein overview model

Advantages of Implementing Einstein STO in Your SFMC Strategy

Optimization and Maximization in Campaign Effectiveness

By implementing Einstein STO in our journey, our campaigns will experience significant and relevant optimization. Messages will be received at the most opportune moment, enhancing effectiveness and improving campaign results.

Increase in Participation and Open Rate

We typically measure the effectiveness of our campaigns through open and click-through rates, and this is where one of the most significant benefits of using STO can be observed. It is proven that such personalization results in increased attention from recipients.

Real-Time Personalization

As mentioned earlier, it is not just about simple scheduling; STO allows instant adaptation to real-time changes in user behavior, creating a tool that provides more relevant and timely messages.

Points to Consider and Best Practices

Ensuring Accuracy and Relevance of Information

An essential part is ensuring the quality of the data used by STO. The tool’s predictions depend directly on the accuracy and study of historical information.

Continuous Monitoring and Evaluation

Successful implementation involves constant monitoring and continuous evaluation of results. Adjusting strategies as needed ensures effective adaptability to changes in customer behavior.

Enstein Send Time Optimization.
STO Enstein Analytics

Integration with Other Marketing Strategies

A good marketing strategy is one that blends different marketing tools. It is a best practice to integrate STO with other marketing instruments to strengthen the overall strategy.

Final Conclusion

Review of Einstein STO Advantages

In conclusion, reviewing the advantages offered by Einstein STO highlights the transformation it can bring to strategies in Salesforce Marketing Cloud. Time optimization is currently a key and differentiating factor for success in our campaigns.

The Future of STO Optimization

As an additional note and looking towards tomorrow, we will continue to explore the future of send time optimization in digital marketing. With the current perspectives for the future and the innovations being hinted at, the effectiveness of marketing strategies will undoubtedly continue to be refined.

STO is not just a current solution; it is a vision of the future of personalized and efficient marketing.

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Accreditation in Marketing Cloud Personalization: Guide to Success

Accreditation in Marketing Cloud Personalization: Guide to Success

As in any cloud, we have our certifications or accreditations and in this case Personalization has an accreditation available. For this reason we will have the exam and training in the Partner Learning Camp portal that we will use as a guide to train and finally get the accreditation.

Let's prepare the accreditation!

As a good Marketer, you will know all the possibilities that Personalization offers us, but if you haven’t read it already, you can read our article about what it is and all the possibilities that Personalization offers us.

This tool, integrated in Marketing Cloud, is based on personalizing the user’s browsing experience, using the knowledge we have of the user. For all this to work like a well-oiled engine, we must learn how to use the tool. As always Salesforce offers us a training that will help us to learn and obtain the necessary knowledge to take advantage of the potential of this tool.

What should I know?

In the Marketing Cloud Personalization accreditation exam we will have 75 minutes to answer 50 multiple choice questions and we must get at least 70% of the questions right. Below we give you the clues so that you know the importance of each section with respect to the total, in addition we add some hints to go a little deeper.

Solution Overview 16%

General knowledge. Like any tool, we must have some basic and generic knowledge about what it is used for and its potential, and be able to provide a good solution to our needs.

Setup & Administration 6%

The foundation. We must learn how to install and manage the tool so that the client has all the needs in terms of permissions and security. Although the tool does not have many options on this aspect, these are the basics so that it has a good initial foundation.

Data Integration 14%

The power of information. Here we must know how we can feed the tool with the information it needs to personalize the content. From how to integrate it with the CRM or third party tools, to how to load information from a CSV. This part is important so that the user’s information is not exclusively from browsing behavior and we have other types of information that give us an advantage when personalizing content (name, country, email…).

Sitemap 18%

Stores the behavior. In order for the tool to obtain the navigation data, we must configure the Sitemap. This is a script that can be executed in the user’s browser and will send the information to Personalization. It is basic and vital to be able to run campaigns and experiences on the web depending on the behavior of the surfer. To take full advantage we must have some knowledge of Javascript and the library itself that we load from Personalization.

Segmentation 18%

Divide and conquer. When you have all the users and all the information correctly stored, the next step will be to divide the audience into segments so that we can create and leverage campaigns for a certain number of users. We must know how to properly segment people based on their attributes, their behavior, their metadata…

Einstein Capabilities 10%

Einstein always helps. Here we must know how to use Artificial Intelligence to our advantage and know how to predict the next best action, visualize the best experience or optimize the dynamization of content. We must know what ingredients we need to successfully execute a recipe to get a more accurate end result.

Activation 18%

Ready to go. We must know how to face the moment of putting all the above points into production without rushing. We must give importance to those small quality details that make a Personalization integration shine.

Tips & Tricks

We will now give some tips on how to get to know the tool and how to solve problems.

1 - Use reliable sources

Being an official Salesforce accreditation… Who better to train you than Salesforce themselves?

We all know about the amount of blogs and forums where we can find information (in many cases very useful), but to get an official recognition, we must get the information directly from the source, without intermediaries. With the Partner Learning Camp we have an excellent study guide with links, pdfs, and more.

2 – Always better with practice

If you have the possibility, get to work. There is no better experience than doing things yourself. Of course, it’s not all about practice, theory too. But when you can put the acquired knowledge into practice, learning is optimal.

3 - Support yourself in the community

In the gigantic world of Salesforce, there will always be someone willing to answer a question or give you a hand. There are several channels through which you can ask questions and get them solved. Forums, Slack, Official Support…

4 - Expand your searches

When searching for a term, a problem (or anything related) in a search engine, don’t just search as Personalization. Search also with their old names, Interaction Studio or even Evergage. Keep in mind that the results you find will be old publications and do not have to be valid. That’s why you should prioritize the first tip again.

We hope this information has been helpful and you feel more prepared for your Salesforce Marketing Cloud Personalization journey. I wish you the best of luck and success in your accreditation.

Front End Best Practices for Email Marketing

Front End Best Practices for Email Marketing

Ever since its inception, digital marketing has been experiencing continuous growth. In today’s landscape, where intense competition is the norm, user’s attention has become a precious resource. In this scenario, front-end optimization in email campaigns is essential to ensure the success of marketing strategies.

This article will address the fundamental points to consider when creating an email, emphasizing that it is actually the small details and the most basic elements what ultimately make an email stand out in the inbox.

Inverted Pyramid

Structuring the email with the most relevant and valuable information –from the user’s perspective– at the top is the key message for the broader audience.

After that, the email should provide secondary information for a smaller audience,  which delves into details that complement the initial information. Finally, other interesting related content should be included as an extra layer.

Invertid Pyramid Front End

Example Email with an Inverted Pyramid

Modular Layout

Modular email design involves dividing emails into independent blocks or modules, similar to Lego pieces. This saves time when building emails and provides consistency to the brand.

The functional benefit is that these blocks facilitate responsive design for any device, organizing and adjusting different sizes for optimal readability and user interaction.

Responsive Design

Even today, some emails do not adapt to mobile devices or tablets, leading to a poor user experience. It is important to mention the “Mobile First” design trend, which prioritizes resolutions found in mobile devices, as it is here to stay.

Responsive Design Front End Email

Responsive Design emails for mobile and desktop

Focus on CTA (Call to Action)

CTAs should be strategically placed within the email, ensuring they are easily visible and accessible. Placing them in prominent areas, such as the beginning or end of the content, increases the chances of recipients noticing them.

The button design is crucial for guiding the user, where size and visual contrast need to be considered while still staying true to the brand’s design.

Safe Fonts

Web-safe fonts have the highest probability of being installed on a wide range of devices and recognized by browsers and email clients. Using them in emails reduces the likelihood of font modifications or errors. Examples of safe fonts include:


Subscriber attributes should be inserted into the email, through the use of personalization strings in Marketing Cloud. These strings can be inserted into the subject, pre-header, and content, thus providing a simple way to personalize the message and enhance open rate metrics.


Dynamic Content: This is an advanced solution where the actual content that the user is shown is based on audience segmentation. This permits the delivery of a more personalized and significant message.

Dark Mode: A feature which is increasingly used. It requires adapting to design changes and considering key aspects such as readability and aesthetics.

A/B Testing: Through testing, and Continuous Email Optimization based on performance feedback, emails can be fine tuned to increase their performance.

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Individual Email Results in Salesforce Marketing Cloud

Headline Individual Email Results

In today’s digital age, the effectiveness of email marketing campaigns has become a critical indicator of the success of any marketing strategy. At our agency, we strive to utilize the most advanced technological tools to ensure that our email marketing campaigns are executed efficiently and effectively. One such tool is Salesforce Marketing Cloud, a platform that offers a variety of functions for the management and analysis of email campaigns.

At the heart of this effective data management is the CRM synchronization of the Individual Email Results (IERs) object. Below, we break down how this synchronization and the inherent capabilities of IERs can be a very powerful resource for optimizing our email marketing strategies.

Capabilities of IERs

IERs are not only a representation of email results but can also be a powerful source of insights to understand and improve the way we communicate with our audience.

  • Understanding audience engagement: IERs allow for a detailed understanding of how and when the audience interacts with email communications, providing valuable data that can be used to refine marketing strategies.
  • Analysis of sending data: IERs offer an opportunity to investigate and analyze data from past email campaigns, especially when integrated with Sales or Service Cloud. This integration allows for detailed analysis within the Salesforce platforms, providing valuable insights to improve future email campaigns.
  • Automatic synchronization for precise segmentation: The automatic synchronization of data between Marketing Cloud and CRM allows for precise audience segmentation, which is essential for personalizing email campaigns and improving engagement rates. The combination of attributes in the Marketing Cloud data aids in compiling a segmented target audience.

Key Advantages of Synchronizing the Individual Email Result (IER) Object

  1. Visualization and synchronization: IERs are reflected in the related lists of Contact or Lead records in Salesforce, providing a view of email interactions. This synchronization is carried out through Marketing Cloud Connect, facilitating a direct correlation between marketing platform data and customer relationship management.
Data enrichment for deep analysis Showerthinking
  1. Data enrichment for deep analysis: The linking of IERs with data in SendLogs, since 2022, includes key identifiers such as Subscriber ID, JobID, BatchID, and ListID. This inclusion allows for deeper analysis and a clearer understanding of the performance of email campaigns.

Generation and Monitoring of Individual Email Results (IERs)

The creation of Individual Email Results (IERs) is a strategic process carried out in the following ways, allowing for meticulous tracking of email interactions:

  1. Marketing Cloud: When executing email sends from Marketing Cloud platforms such as Email Studio, Journey Builder, or through Triggered Sends, it is crucial for users to check the “Send Tracking Results to Sales Cloud” box. By doing so, IERs are automatically generated in Salesforce, enabling real-time tracking of the interactions of sent emails.
Send Tracking Results to Sales Cloud Showerthinking
  1. Salesforce: When sending emails from Salesforce, users can make use of the ‘Email Send’ tab associated with a specific Campaign or report, which also results in the creation of IERs reflecting the performance of those sends.
  2. SubscriberKey and data synchronization: It is essential to use Salesforce’s 18-digit ContactID as the Subscriber Key in Marketing Cloud. This practice ensures accurate correspondence between Salesforce records and tracking data in Marketing Cloud. In addition, an hourly synchronization of tracking data from Marketing Cloud to Salesforce CRM is established, a configuration that is determined during the installation process of Marketing Cloud Connect.

Common Issues and Solutions

Individual Email Results (IERs) are a crucial component for monitoring and analyzing email interactions in Salesforce and Marketing Cloud. However, some challenges can arise during their handling. Below, we present a review of common problems and their possible solutions:
  1. Access and Permission Issues: Review and configure user permissions appropriately to ensure necessary access to IERs and relevant data for effective tracking and analysis of email campaigns.
  2. Data Inconsistencies: In case of discrepancies between IER data and other data in Salesforce or Marketing Cloud, review configurations and synchronizations, and explore system logs and reports to identify and correct inconsistencies.
  3. Late Data Synchronization: Although Marketing Cloud Connect configuration provides for hourly synchronization, large volumes of data can extend this process. A quick solution might be to use the “Request Tracking Immediately” option in the Email Send record. In recurring cases, contacting Salesforce support can be beneficial: Issue.Salesforce
  4. Absence of Data in Salesforce: Verify that the 18-digit Salesforce ContactID is being used as SubscriberKey in Marketing Cloud. Also, ensure that the selected audiences come from Salesforce data extensions.
  5. Data Storage Issues with IERs: Deleting old tracking data could be a solution to storage problems. Also, consider marking the “Send Tracking Results to Sales Cloud” option only for essential emails and consider transferring tracking data to large objects or external systems to avoid additional storage costs.


In conclusion, the synchronization of the Individual Email Results object and its effective integration into Salesforce Marketing Cloud is an essential pillar for optimizing our email marketing campaigns. By leveraging these technical capabilities, we can better understand the behavior of our audience, improve engagement and ultimately achieve a higher ROI in our email marketing strategies. At our agency, we continue to explore and take advantage of the advanced technical capabilities that platforms like Salesforce Marketing Cloud offer, to provide superior and results-oriented email marketing solutions to our clients.

SMFC Content Builder Guide

Content Builder Header Image

To understand Content Builder well, we must first know what Salesforce Marketing Cloud is. We’re talking about a platform that provides us, within a single location, extensive options and tools to unify communications with customers across multiple channels. Additionally, it allows building a personalized digital experience.

This platform consists of various sub-clouds, primarily Email Studio, Mobile Studio, Social Studio, and Advertising Studio, which allow for multichannel communication with customers through different digital channels.

The strength of Marketing Cloud lies in combining the full potential of customer data collection with the automation of communications across any channel. This is where other sub-clouds come into play, allowing us to work with omnichannel capabilities, including Content Builder, Journey Builder, Automation Studio, Analytics Studio, Salesforce DPM or Audience Studio, and Interaction Studio.

What is Content Builder?

Contact Builder is a multichannel content management tool that consolidates images, documents, and content in one location for use within Marketing Cloud. It provides an easy-to-use “Drag & Drop” interface for organizing, creating, and managing content according to preferences.

Contact Builder is designed for large companies that require highly structured organization and shared resources managed by a large number of people. It also necessitates a high level of review and compartmentalization when creating publications and content.

Folders – How to Create and Where to Find Them?

As mentioned earlier, Content Builder allows quick and easy organization of content, with intuitive search capabilities. Upon entering the tool, you can view all the content stored in your Salesforce Marketing Cloud account, with various filters and tools to segment folders.

Content Builder Folders

To easily find content without complicating things, consider the following tips:

Click on “Content” to navigate through folders, which are organized alphabetically. It’s recommended to use subfolders, managing content numerically before transitioning to the campaign name.

Use Filters based on existing criteria in categories such as:

  • Types (e.g., images or text)
  • Tags (applied to Marketing Cloud files)
  • Owners.

Use the search function by entering keywords instead of the full file name, providing information from categories like Content, Name, and Content in files. To classify content by field, select a field name. To view different results between contextual information and content, choose between list or thumbnail views.

  • Content
  • Name
  • Content in archives

Content Creation Tools:

When creating a campaign and designing content, Content Builder offers a catalog of options to design from scratch or reuse old resources for layout. These tools connect with Email Studio, enabling the linking of various creatives when launching campaigns.

Content Builder Content Creation Tools

These tools include Email Message, Email Template, Content Blocks, and Mobile App.

Email Message: Create new emails in various ways, using a pre-existing template, pasting HTML code, or using AMP email (offering real-time interactive data and content). Additionally, you can reuse previously created emails.

Email Template: Templates create design models to save and manage for use within emails in future campaigns. Note that templates cannot be sent, and they can only be created by pasting HTML code or reusing an existing template.

Content Blocks: Content Builder not only allows the creation of emails and layouts but also content blocks and forms. These elements can be injected into emails and campaigns as needed, stored in different folders generated.

Content Builder Layout Mobile App

Here are some key content creation tools:

  • Layout: Create content blocks with images, text, buttons, interlinked to form content structures.
  • Image: Insert image formats such as JPEG, PNG, GIF, and AMPscript.
  • Freeform Content: Add text, links, and images to any layout.
  • HTML Content: Paste or upload HTML code into Content Builder blocks.
  • Dynamic Content: Design content specifically for a specific audience, customizing content attributes.
  • A/B Test Content: Create two different content areas for testing to determine which performs better, tracking results.
  • Button Block: Create buttons (CTAs) to be inserted into campaign emails.

Mobile App: A tool designed for creating exclusive content for mobile users in SMS format. It also includes in-app messages with layouts specifically designed for mobile rendering.


In conclusion, Content Builder is a fundamental pillar of Salesforce Marketing Cloud. The demand for content generation requires well-categorized materials organized within folder structures. Understanding all the tools available in Content Builder facilitates content creation, providing an advantage when launching campaigns.

At ShowerThinking, we hope this guide has helped you better understand the functionality of this tool and serves as a starting point for delving deeper and expanding your knowledge.

Modular Content in Salesforce Marketing Cloud

Modular content.

Do your customers launch similar campaigns in several countries simultaneously? Do they ask for a footer modification in a 14-email campaign? Are you tired of replicating content and multiplying your workload when changes are requested? Salesforce Marketing Cloud has the solution: modular content creation.

In today’s digital marketing world, companies employ distinctive elements that characterize their brand: logos, taglines and branding in general. In turn, campaigns often use common elements to create cohesion between the different emails that compose it, sharing their header images, footer, etc. all framed within similar layouts.

Linear development of multiple campaigns can be costly in terms of time and effort, but modular development allows multiple projects to run in parallel and changes to be implemented in bulk.

Starting from the beginning

To take full advantage on this system, the first step is to identify the common elements in our emails and then save them as separate code blocks within Content Builder.

Common elements. SFMC Layouts.

Insertion VS Indexation

Salesforce Marketing Cloud offers two ways to insert previously saved code blocks or layouts: inserting the content from the Content tab or indexing it using AMPscript.

When we insert content, SFMC creates a copy of the previously saved Content Builder block, therefore, the changes applied will not be reflected in the original block nor in the other mails or Cloudpages in which this block appears.

However, when we use indexing, SFMC creates a reference to the original block, and the changes we make to it are applied to all emails and CloudPages that reference that content.

Therefore, for the purpose that concerns us, we will use content indexing, since it is the method that enables the generation of modular content in Marketing Cloud.

Content indexing using AMPscript

The indexing of content in our emails is done through AMPscript. To do this, we can use the string %%=ContentBlockbyId(“xxxxxx”)=%%, which uses the 6-digit numeric identifier that SFMC sets by default, or reference the block using %%=ContentBlockByKey(“custom_name_header”)=%%, which allows us to set a custom key. This second method is more convenient because we can easily identify the indexed block by the name of our choice instead of the default random number of the Block ID.

Content ID. Customer Key.

We will use the convenient drag-and-drop system for creating emails in SFMC and we will add a code snippet inside our layout and insert the AMPscript mentioned above.

We will be able to see the final result in the Preview and Test screen, although it is always convenient to launch a test to check that our content renders properly in the different mail servers and screen sizes.

Render. Preview and Test.

Scalable Design

In addition, this system is compatible and combinable with other powerful Marketing Cloud tools, such as custom strings and dynamic content. For example, it is possible to include multiple blocks of modular content, which in turn contain custom strings, and use the dynamic content tool to render one or the other based on the conditions we set. In other words, a whole world of possibilities.

Modular design

In short, modular content allows us to develop scalable work processes: it shortens time by eliminating duplication of processes and significantly improves the efficiency of our work.

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The Salesforce History, from a garage to the tallest skyscraper in San Francisco

Salesforce History

Salesforce is a very young company that is in the middle of a “Boom”, however it has an interesting story worthy of a Hollywood movie script, ingredients are not lacking and above all we are facing the typical story of the American dream. If you still don’t know what Salesforce is, I invite you to read the article Discover what Salesforce is, much more than a CRM.

March 2019 marks the 20th anniversary of Salesforce’s founding, and in this article we summarize the most important milestones in the short life of a technology company that has managed to become the fastest to generate annual revenues in excess of $10 billion and that will surely also break the $20 billion record.

Revenue forecasting

In 1999 a former Oracle manager creates a cloud-based CRM. It is easy to think today that Marc Benioff is a visionary who has been able to create a technological empire based on the cloud concept. However, if we look at the story of the Salesforce CEO, we really are looking at a “nutcase” who spent 13 years of his life working for Oracle and who. 

When he became Vice President (the youngest in the company), gave up everything because of his obsession with developing business applications on a Software-as-a-Service business model.

Nowadays many startups take their first steps thanks to important financing rounds and investment groups but in 1999 things were a little different. 

At that time Marc Benioff only had three fellow travelers: Parker Harris, Frank Dominguez and Dave Moellenhoff. 

First office

They decorated the room with posters of the Dalai Lama and Albert Einstein to find inspiration. Back then, the platform was far from being the cloud-based CRM that we know today. 

The goal was simply to create enterprise software applications using a model known as Software-as-a-Service: a revolutionary user-license subscription model that completely eliminated the traditional on-premise enterprise software model (large investments in hardware, implementations, maintenance, and updates).

The first prototype saw the light of day a month after starting its development. It was basic and very rudimentary, with a look very similar to the websites of those years, with tabs at the top and multiple links. Although basic, it already supported the current CRM model with accounts, contacts, and opportunities, offering the possibility of reports and sales forecasts.

salesforce screen

In fact, Marc Benioff used as his inspiration. According to his vision, business applications should be as easy to use as any web page, and the king of usability at that time was Amazon.

The first customers came from that first version, and it was thanks to that that in July 1999 Marc was able to devote himself in time to the project. His first task was to find an office that was suitable for his needs, and by November 1999 the company had 10 employees and new offices in Rincon Center.

The 2000 Revolution: No Software

The launch took place at the Regency Theater and was truly amazing. They put on a performance where they adapted the theater’s stage as if it were a software company’s office, a stage with a hellish, chaotic look: screaming salespeople, caged employees, and people looking to escape that hell by breaking through to the surface, climbing up to find Attendees were impressed, and Salesforce made the impact it needed to stand out.

Accompanying this event was a brand campaign with a curious negative slogan that would become the Salesforce benchmark for many years, “No Software”.

no software

The launch took place at the Regency Theater and was truly amazing. They put on a performance where they adapted the theater’s stage as if it were a software company’s office, a stage with a hellish, chaotic look: screaming salespeople, caged employees, and people looking to escape that hell by breaking through to the surface.

Climbing up to find Attendees were impressed, and Salesforce made the impact it needed to stand out.

Accompanying this event was a brand campaign with a curious negative slogan that would become the Salesforce benchmark for many years, “No Software”.

In 2003 Dreamforce begins

In its early days, Salesforce had held many events around the country called “City Tours”, which usually lasted a few hours and featured the latest features of the tool as well as Salesforce’s road map for the future.

These were also events designed to get customers networking and talking about how to get the most out of Salesforce.  

But in 2003, they went for a new, much more ambitious, multi-day event format that they called Dreamforce.

Including the Ohana concept in 2004

In Hawaiian culture, Ohana represents the idea that families that are united (by blood, adoption or relationship) each member is responsible for the rest of the family members. And when he created Salesforce in the year 1999, Marc made sure that “Ohana” was at the heart of the company. 

In 2004, the company hosted its inaugural Hawaiian-themed event, emphasizing its core values and uniting customers, employees, partners, stakeholders, and enthusiasts.

In 2005 the AppExchange arrived

In 2005 Salesforce developed a service that would change business software forever, BusinessWeek called it “The eBay for business software” and Forbes compared it to iTunes. The name chosen by Salesforce was the AppExchange.

The key to the AppExchange is the mix of community and business. It gives partners a place to develop their own apps and open them up to all Salesforce customers. An opportunity to broaden the company’s vision and enhance its capabilities and services, building bridges between customers and partners.

history appexchange

Apex and Visualforce, the revolution of 2006

The 2006 Dreamforce brought together more than 5,000 attendees to learn about’s latest innovations. 

What few expected was what was going to happen there, was the introduction of Apex, Salesforce’s on-demand programming language that allows third parties to write and execute code in a multi-tenant architecture

This would allow customers, partners, developers, and all stakeholders to operate seamlessly in the same unified language and platform, fostering collaboration and efficiency at all levels.

Presentation apex dreamforce

But Salesforce didn’t stop there. Parker Harris developed a technology called Visualforce that allowed companies to customize any user interface, from forms to buttons or links to the ability to embed any custom element. 

All of this was integrated into a platform where customers could build their own custom applications. Apex and Visualforce were the beginning of what in the 2008 Dreamforce was called

Chatter arrives in 2009, when it gets the first billion U.S. dollars

It is in 2009 that Chatter comes into our lives, announced in this year’s Dreamforce. The platform incorporated a corporate social network that included the best of Facebook, Google Apps, and Twitter, as well as various integration APIs and mobile applications. 2011 was also the year that Salesforce managed to exceed $1 billion (U.S.), thanks to its 55,000 customers.

Heroku to drive the jump to cloud computing in 2010

Salesforce’s rapid growth allowed Marc Benioff to buy companies at a stroke, while Salesforce needed to expand its cloud capabilities, so in 2010 it bet on the purchase of Heroku for a total of $212 million in cash. A startup offering platform-as-a-service

Forbes 2011 “The world’s most innovative company”

This year begins the famous ranking of the specialized magazine, where until today Salesforce has always been in the top 3, the last one we find it in the Forbes ranking of 2018.

2012 the social revolution: marketing cloud

Already with the Sales and Service clouds as part of the product suite, Salesforce has taken on a new positioning.

 The strategic moves that would bring about a change in the company’s cycle have begun.


Multi-million dollar acquisitions took place prior to Dreamforce 2012 such as the acquisitions of companies like Radian 6, acquired for $326 million in 2011, and Buddy Media for $745 million. And a year later, in June 2013, ExactTarget would be acquired for $2.5 billion. In total these three acquisitions reached $3.6 billion and formed the foundation of the Salesforce Marketing Cloud. The social revolution was presented in the Dreamforce 2012 keynote address to 92,000 attendees at the event.

2013 the year of Salesforce 1 and mobility

Salesforce anticipated the importance of smartphones in the industry and started with a mobile application called Salesforce Mobile that was quite limited in terms of access to information and functionality.

It wasn’t until 2013 that Salesforce made the big leap to mobility and introduced Salesforce 1, with the goal of reducing the existing GAP between computer and smartphone It made available to its customers a mobile application capable of displaying all the data and most of the Salesforce functionality on any smartphone A revolutionary application that to date many competing technologies have not yet been able to implement. To be honest, the first years of Salesforce 1 were quite complicated, as the loading speed was quite slow and errors were frequent. Today, the mobile application is no longer called Salesforce 1, as it is entirely built on top of Lightning.

2014 the year of the Customer Success Platform

At the 2014 Dreamforce, Salesforce announces its new positioning, as a Customer Success Platform, thus expanding the positioning of CRM and focusing on a complete digital transformation of companies, facing other major technologies in the world of ERP such as SAP and Microsoft. Unlike these companies, Salesforce opted for a digital transformation process focused on the customer and not on financial processes. To this end, it created the concept of sub-clouds: Sales, Service, Marketing, Communities and Analytics.

It is precisely in the latter (Analytics) that Salesforce invested in 2014. He did not want to be left behind in the new trends of Business Intelligence and Big Data, so in 2013 he acquired the company Edgespring, which was the beginning of the Analytics Cloud. In the Dreamforce of 2014 it became known as Wave and later changed its name to Einstein Analytics, with the arrival of artificial intelligence

Lightning and Trailhead announced in 2015

After 16 years, Salesforce’s appearance had remained a constant that required a profound renovation. Salesforce needed a new look to please its customers. Lightning starts in 2014 and is based on the Salesforce 1 design, but it wasn’t until the 2015 Dreamforce that it was officially launched, along with Thunder and the IOT Cloud.

The Lightning look changed the way integrates into our browser forever no matter what device we were using. Unfortunately, Salesforce brought an unfinished product to market in 2015 and it was impossible to migrate to Lightning because so much of Classic’s functionality was not developed and it was causing serious performance issues. 

Artificial Intelligence and thirteen acquisitions arrive in 2016

The arrival of 2016 also brings new airs of renewal in the company. The technologies related to artificial intelligence were beginning to be a sufficiently mature reality to be able to offer advantages to clients all over the world. Thus, in this year’s Dreamforce, Salesforce announced its new product: Einstein.

Einstein allows all Salesforce customers to access artificial intelligence functionality in a declarative manner.

Einstein’s presentation was received by a crowd of 170,000 people who came to San Francisco for the 4-day conference, in addition to more than 15 million viewers who were able to see every detail of the event via the online webcast.

2016 was the year of acquisitions, a total of 13 of which we highlight:

  • Steal Break for a value of $258.2 million. This is currently called Saleforce CPQ and offers advanced Quote to Cash functionality.
  • Demandware for $2.8 billion, an e-commerce solution that was renamed Commerce Cloud.
  • Quip for $750 million. A project management and document management platform based on a blank canvas on which to work with project management applications.
  • Krux for $800 million, one of the leading DMP (Data Management Platform) that would become part of the Marketing Cloud.

An intense year only tarnished by the failed attempt to take over LinkedIn in a bid where another technological giant, Microsoft, managed to make the best offer by taking away from SalesForce the possibility of taking over one of the most important business networks in the world.

2017: The Fourth Industrial Revolution

The incorporation of Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI) marked a significant turning point in Salesforce’s strategic positioning. It not only complemented the Customer Success Platform concept but also aligned Salesforce with the broader narrative of The Fourth Industrial Revolution. 

This strategic shift marked a significant transformation for Salesforce, demonstrating the company’s ambition to expand its footprint within the ever-evolving landscape of business technology. It served as a pivotal moment that highlighted Salesforce’s determination to carve out a more substantial presence in this dynamic industry.

In 2018 move to Salesforce Tower and purchase of Mulesoft and Datorama

In 2018, the time has come to make new strategic acquisitions by the checkbook. First a giant of the same sector, Mulesoft in an operation valued in about 6,500 million dollars. Soon after, another more “modest” acquisition for 800 million dollars, that of the Israeli Datorama, a company positioned in marketing intelligence.

To understand the importance of the first acquisition, we have to think that until that moment, Mulesoft was considered one of the main platform integration providers. Among its clients were Coca-Cola, Barclays and Unilever. A purchase that covers the entire back office that Salesforce needed to continue competing with the business software giants.

In addition, 2018 is the year Salesforce moves to the tallest skyscraper in San Francisco: Salesforce Tower. Construction began in 2013 and has been surrounded by controversy after detecting certain structural problems but these have finally been resolved.

The beginning of the Blockchain era and the purchase of Tableau in 2019

Currently the use of technologies based on blockchains or Blockchain are successfully extending to corporate environments.

That’s why on May 29, 2019, during the Salesforce DX event, Salesforce made a groundbreaking announcement. 

They introduced Salesforce Blockchain, an innovative platform built on blockchain technology, seamlessly integrated with your CRM system. This move demonstrated Salesforce’s commitment to embracing cutting-edge solutions to enhance its offerings within the ever-evolving business technology

salesforce buy tableau

But the big surprise was yet to come. And so on June 11, Salesforce buys Tableau for more than $15 billion, which puts it at the top of the giant of data analytics and CRM. 

With this unprecedented move in the history of enterprise software, it brings together both the largest data analytics platform. 

It also combines the best CRM solution available. It bringing Tableau’s more than 86,000 business customers to Salesforce. In 2019, it was also decided to merge and, with the former putting up $300 to take over the latter.

This year also saw the release of myTrailhead, an e-learning platform for company employees, a production release that was delayed for more than a year from its first announcement in the 2017 Dreamforce.

What about the future?

In 2018 Marc Benioff “got wet” by making a statement indicating that Salesforce’s goal is to become a $60 billion American company by 2034. Therefore, there is still much history of acquisitions and revolutions to be written. We will be updating this article to keep you informed of the history of Salesforce, a company that in just 20 years has been able to move from a garage to the tallest skyscraper in San Francisco.

Interaction Studio – Real Time 1 to 1 Personalization

interaction studio

Companies have an increasing number of communication channels whereby their current or potential customers can relate to the brand with interaction studio.

This involves many challenges and high level of complexity:

  • How to process and enrich all the information we receive from our clients from any communication channel? 
  • How to achieve a level of experience and personalization for our users individually based on all the information we have? 
  • How, given the high complexity of a digitalized world, give the appropriate response, through the appropriate channel and do it immediately?

These are the goals for which Interaction Studio of Salesforce Marketing Cloud has the answer.

Unified Customer Profile & Decisioning Engine

To process all the information regardless of the communication channel through which It

reaches us, Interaction Studio has a dashboard that provides a complete vision of the client/prospect, unifying in a single site their 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.

If to all this information, we add the platform’s artificial intelligence tool: Einstein, we will be able to provide our users with more relevant experiences according to their preferences and needs, deciding, for example, what will be our next best action, or carrying out coherent marketing campaigns through any touchpoint, with the user.

This is possible thanks to:

Einstein Recipes: that brings advanced, per-user product and content suggestions using complex algorithms and a deep understanding of user behavior. 

Einstein Decisions: automates the process of deciding who should see what content, rather than relying on the manual creation of complex rules.

decisions interaction studio

Data Sources Integration

And where do we start? First of all, it will be necessary to integrate our different data sources with the platform: Web Behaviour, Product Catalog, Content, Promotions , Email engagement, CRM, Mobile Behaviour, DMP, 3rd Party, AdTech Engagement, Call Center, LiveChat, In-Branch.

To do this, we have several possibilities available: through ETL, through real-time API calls, also through developments tools such as JS or SDK.

Data Sources Integration


Segmentation is one of the key components of Interaction Studio. You can filter your users and accounts based on a wide range of criteria you define, such as : Campaign, Action, Subscription, Visits, Location, Metrics, Third Party, Items.

Once a segment is created, the segment updates happen in real-time, this is one of the great advantages about using Interaction Studio, so any membership changes occur immediately, even during the same visit.

segment interaction studio

The segments can be used for a variety of purposes:

Campaign customization: directing personalized and specific messages for each segment.

Set goals/targets and make filters: segments can be used to filter campaign statistics and see how different groups react to a certain action.

Analytics, trends, and engagement: the creation of segments is also useful when analyzing trends and the level of “engagement” of each segment.

Analyze member details: with the level of detail offered by Interaction Studio it is possible to access the behavioral data of each user of specific account -> Unified Customer Profile.

Import or export segment membership: you can export the data of the segments including any defined segment rule, and it is also possible to synchronize the segments with your CRM to be able to include everything that Interaction Studio has captured about a lead, contact or account.

Campaigns & Templates

Once we have our clients identified and our data sources integrated, it will be the time to start launching segmented communication campaigns and through the appropriate channels.

For that, in Interaction Studio we have the necessary tools to create a campaign.

Selecting first:

The segment, the category and the rules to enter in it.

Then we will have to work with the communication channels deciding where we will show our personalized content: in an area of our website, through a content block in an email, using personalized messages via mobile…

In short, Interaction Studio is a powerful tool that, in addition to providing a 360ª view of users, it will be a great help to any company with a Customer Centric strategy.

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.

5 Keys to Email Marketing Health and Pharma

5 Keys to Email Marketing Health and Pharma

As the limits and bounds of technology continue to expand, one thing continues as a constant in marketing: email is king. And as we drill down into the specific fields of health and pharmaceutical marketing, things are no different. Your email marketing campaigns play a significant role in your results.

So you’ve got consistent email marketing campaigns going. Great! And you’re using new technology like Salesforce Marketing Cloud to manage those campaigns. Even better! But maybe you’re not seeing the results you were looking for.

In this article we’ll take a look at 5 keys to improving your email marketing in the Health and Pharmaceutical fields.

1. Segmentation

Segmented personalized email messages have been found to average 39% higher open rates than normal marketing emails.1 So make sure you are taking the time to personalize your emails and segment your audiences.

email list segmentation results

Source: Lyris, Inc.

Before beginning an effort to segment your emails, you first need to find out which segments you already have defined and which segments would be most useful to you. Certain segments might be a given, such as those based on specialty or geography. But there might be others that would be beneficial for you to analyze and identify.

Considering the benefits, any effort made in this area is always an excellent investment.

2. Content Is King: How is your CTA?

Attractive images and sharp design are also important when it comes to email marketing. Your Call to Action should reflect this. Users have become accustomed to receiving well-designed, eye-catching communications at every level. That means that your competition for a patient’s or healthcare provider’s attention isn’t necessarily another company within your sector, but instead Netflix.

A way to make sure that you easily keep your audience locked in is by making sure that you have a clear message. It should be immediately recognizable as soon as the reader opens your email. If you have more than one message to communicate, it might be better to divide those messages up into multiple emails over a journey.

data extension

Some email marketing platforms, like Salesforce Marketing Cloud (as seen above), offer the ability to spread out emails over journeys.

Another way to get that message across immediately is by focusing on what is communicated “above the fold.” This refers to the part of the email that the subscriber sees immediately upon opening, without scrolling.

Ask yourself: Does the content in this area truly make my readers want to continue reading (below the fold)? Does the content in this area make my subscribers want to click on a link or act on what they see there?

3. Devices and Delivery: Mobile First

We often imagine our subscribers reading our messages calmly at a desktop computer as they sip their coffee during a break, but that’s far from reality. As of March 2019, over 60% of email activity was on a mobile device.

email activity by device

Source: uplandAdestra

That means that when creating emails, we should all be thinking and designing mobile first, then looking at desktop, and not the other way around. Many mobile users also use dark mode. So make sure to take that into consideration and test accordingly.

Another thought is regarding when you send. If over half of your subscribers can receive email on their mobile devices, that means that healthcare providers (HCPs) have that same device with them outside of the office, when they’re not working. So, have you tried email campaigns on the weekends? It could be that your particular audience is more likely to engage outside of work.

4. Deliverability: Is Anyone Reading This?

How would you feel if you put all of this hard work into creating the perfect email, but then it was sent to the spam folder, or worse, blocked by the email client? I think it goes without saying that that is the last thing we want to happen. So paying attention to key factors that can affect the deliverability of our message is another key to email marketing in Health and Pharma.

How big is your email? Some email clients may simply bounce your email if it’s too large for their particular system. So it’s good to keep in mind the overall email size when designing your email. Images and GIFs can increase that size, so use them wisely. Some good best practices are as follows:

  • Keep the email body under 100 KB.
  • Don’t add attachments over 10 MB.
  • If possible, provide links to files rather than attaching them.

Mailbox providers analyze different factors to judge our mail. This results in what many call a “sending reputation.” How’s your reputation, you might wonder. There are several tools available that can help you get an idea of how you’re doing. Some of such tools are EmailOnAcid and MXToolBox.

It’s also important to examine who is showing as the sender of your email. Is it an individual person within your organization or is it a general address from your company? This can also have a direct impact on your deliverability.

5. Integrate Your Campaign into a Complete Client Experience

Have you applied all of the above points, and are looking to take your Health or Pharma email marketing campaigns to the next level? Another key is being able to integrate your email campaigns within an overall experience that spans multiple channels.

For example, you might send a follow-up email to an HCP after they have been visited by someone from the Sales team. Or you might create a campaign that encourages subscribers to sign up for a webinar. When you have a complete view of the communication cycle, then you’re able to use each channel appropriately. You can then integrate email marketing at the appropriate point and utilize it as a launching point for other channels.

integrate your campaing

Salesforce Marketing Cloud allows you to customize a journey to provide the experience your customers need across multiple channels.

For this very reason, email marketing platforms are evolving more and more towards marketing automation. Salesforce Marketing Cloud is an excellent example of one such platform.

It is a leader in the Multi-channel Marketing field and offers the capability to perform mass-send email campaigns or to engage in more advanced marketing automation to create tailor-made multi-channel journeys.

In this article we’ve considered these 5 keys to Email Marketing in Health and Pharma:

  1. Segmentation
  2. Eye-catching and clear content
  3. Mobile-first design
  4. Deliverability
  5. Integration into User Experience

At ShowerThinking we are dedicated and certified pros when it comes to Marketing Technology. Feel free to continue browsing here on or to reach out to us directly to see how Salesforce Marketing cloud and other technologies can help you to efficiently achieve your goals in these 5 key areas of email marketing.