Powerful, but complex
This software is an online SAAS, and is some of the most powerful Marketing Software on the planet. The software is best used in an environment where personalized, but mass email communication is needed--typically for B2C situations. Pardot is an ideal product for B2B solutions. Although the product can be configured and used by end-users, it is best to work with a partner.
There are many updates needed in order to make the software work in a more user-friendly fashion, particularly when compared with less powerful solutions, like Constant Contact, MailChimp, etc. A Salesforce partner will cost additional money to implement the solution, but it is a good investment.
This is a very serviceable software and will serve it's purpose. It can do a lot, so depending of the size of your organization it might be too much for the cost.
In addition to being able to import a distribution list, this product integrated with our CRM (Recruit) so we were able to send to segregated lists and it showed what emails were sent in Recruit. This made it easier for our reps to see when correspondence went out to their pipelines. It is rather simple to create and distribute emails.
Some of the functionality was a bit wonky, and emails viewed differently between various email clients. Line spacing was the biggest thing that varied quite a bit. Everything would look great in SFMC, but when an email was received in Outlook, Mac Mail, or Gmail, all three would display it just a bit differently. Not sure who's problem this is. It also doesn't embed video either. The workaround is to create a screenshot as a graphic, then add a link to it.
Expensive and cumbersome with little support
Love what the product is capable of doing. But it takes a significant amount of time and money beyond the cost of the product to set it up and maintain it. I am dissatisfied with the representatives of SF who have zero customer service skills and can’t even answer a question when asked. They are rigid and not willing to work with clients to provide solutions. They just want the contract. I will not be renewing with them.
It’s capabilities once it’s configured which takes a significant amount of time and money by hiring outsourced vendors to help set it up. SF offers little or no support and sends links in response to your questions.
They sell the product speaking in terms of monthly payments hen switch it to annual payments when you purchase the product. They do what’s in their best interests not the client’s. They sell you products that you don’t need but you won’t figure that out until you learn how to use them and set them up which takes a few months with the help of a consultant that you must pay for separately because it’s nothing included in the price and the products are not intuitive by any means. You will also need at least one employee dedicated to setting it up and maintaining the program. The very consultant that SF recommended that I hire at an extra fee to set up the program told me that I didn’t need six of the accounts that SF insisted I needed. They simply do not care if you ever use the products or are satisfied with the products until it’s time to renew your contracts. There are too many other alternatives from companies that actually care about having a long term relationship who will sell you what you need now and help you build the platform as you grow. SF has no such interest. I will not be renewing with them.
Streer clear of Marketing Cloud if you're a small company
It's 2020 and this product has the UX of the 2000's and a backlog of tech debt and bugs for a premium price. For a small business I'd HIGHLY recommend going with something else. Not only do you pay a PREMIUM price for Marketing Cloud, but you'll also end up spending more time than you should trying to figure out this product.
There are "features" that exist, like data conversion on automations, but you'll have to spend time figuring out that they exist so you can e-mail support and request they turn them on, when they should have just been there in the first place.
I like that Send Time Optimization was included, this was extra with the previous e-mail marketing product we used.
First, we ended up in Google's black hole even when following the plan laid out by our integration partner. That you need an integration partner to get a small business setup should have been a huge red flag, but we thought we were stepping up to a more powerful e-mail product.
There are bugs everywhere. Our integration partner had many tips like making sure to unselect an e-mail reselect it and stop and start a trigger to make sure the new e-mail is used, these are things that should be handled by the UX and not tribal knowledge. We used alias in our e-mails to aid in reporting, but sometimes they show up in the report and sometimes it shows the original URL. We opened a ticket and months later it was closed with no resolution, because there's a back end bug in their system that they believed was causing the issue.
There's a lot of duplicated functionality that has different features. Want to manage your data extension you can do it in Email Studio or Contact Builder, BUT the features are different between the two. You can only easily add records in one of them so you have to remember which one you can do a specific action in.
Their reporting is limited on Journey's and you'll need to extract all the data to do any deep dives. You'll need to use Journey's if you want to use send time optimization or any of the AI logic, so you're guaranteed to have to build your own reporting in your own tools. We needed this to realize we were in the Google black hole.
Definitely a step up from MailChimp
Fantastic Platform For Marketing
You get the benefit of an easy to use email platform, and the ability to automate workflows to enhance the personation of your customers.
There's a lot that we use the marketing cloud for. Automation, email, journey builder, etc. It's something that helps us work with such a massive audience. We can send emails easily and import our own templates. It's also great for automating workflows and building out dynamic emails to save time in the future. You're really able to dig into personalization with this tool and really connect with your customers.
The customer support. The support is horrible. You have to call this number (if you can find it) and then bounce around an automated system that usually ends with a message to check the online forums for help. If you have any kind of emergency or need help ASAP you're not going to get it.
Salesforce is Still King of the Hill, even in Marketing
Salesforce is the central repository for our business. All of our user activities like signups, payment history, the apps they have used and when, our marketing communications, our presentation collateral, and our customer support....all lie within the Salesforce cloud. It is the key to our customer facing business, and the Marketing Cloud is just one more piece to the puzzle.
Marketing Automation is hugely important to any business looking to scale their user base. SFDC's Marketing Cloud allows all communications that go to customers to be tracked, seamlessly within your overall SFDC instance. Campaigns to different groups are a cinch to setup. They have a nice, graphic UI for overall management, much better than the core SFDC stuff, for sure. Overall, this is a great tool to add to your company toolkit.
Maybe I am in the minority, but just about anything in Salesforce takes a little bit more time to learn than it seems like it should. Their UI is a touch clunky, and it certainly could use more design.
The Marketing Cloud for Email Developers
It's not bad. Its very user friendly when you need to build assets with less time. I think those who have a more B2C business marketing model will find this more beneficial with the 1:1 ratio for personalization.
The drag and drop feature really made it so much easier to build emails and landing pages. Asset development time was really reduced significantly with less margin of error however everyone should always consider the actual content you embed for the actual message of the email and the marketing assets. Very little use of HTML/CSS code is needed but it does help trouble shoot at times.
It definitely lagged at times and the main frustration is the navigation back and forth to other applications and not being able to have multiple tabs open at the time which is something competitor products have a leg up on.
Sales force Marketing Cloud
The experience has been outstanding. We are able to promote our campaigns reaching the customers at a faster pace and exposing them to various channels easily
Salesforce marketing cloud has helped promote our insurance products to the customers easily through various mediums and channels
There is nothing to complain about this software as it is one of the best tools in the industry at the moment
Revolutionary all-in-one marketing
This has allowed a lot of things that we used to have to manually manage - email, customer journeys, etc - to be run semi autonomously. It's a lifechanger!
I was blown away when we first started using Marketing Cloud. Finally a lot of the marketing activities we had done in many separate places were condensed into one place, all the data tying back into Salesforce
There have not been any huge issues I've found so far, though admittedly we've only been using Marketing Cloud for a couple of months.
SalesForce a robust CRM that enables enterprise businesses to use account and customer information to improve customer relations, increase marketing and sales success and extract business data.
I’ve spent more than 3 years administrating/ consulting for many companies on salesforce implementation and continue to find ways to make it work even better. Salesforce provides one of the most well-integrated, predictable and feature-rich CRM that I’ve worked with and implemented. There are so many ways that I can tailor Salesforce to businesses. This product is one of the most robust platforms out today and is great for any sales team. This CRM helps companies by keeping track of all sales related information. It also offers custom reports which is one of the best features, This will provide companies with business analytics to understand where we need to improve sales processes. I will say as an administrator of this product there is a little learning curve to help a company utilize all of the functionality of this product, but once you have a grasps you will see a huge difference in company sales!!!
This CRM can be expensive for small-scale business. There are a lot of customizations that would be needed in the implementation process, which adds to cost of development. I would recommend hiring a SalesForce Administrator/Developer for your team for the implementations process and general maintainenece. This would help cut down the cost by not using SalesForce to do it for you, plus I do think their customer support is lacking.
Marketing Cloud is the optimal integration for our Salesforce-powered website
We love the integration with our current Salesforce Commerce Cloud website and the ability to track everything within and not worry about dozens of different integrations to accomplish the same thing. Because Salesforce is a larger company, you can expect great support, knowledgeable account managers, and constant improvements.
As with any platform, there are things we'd like for it to be able to do, I'm confident that in time, many of those things will become available. And anything that doesn't, we'll continue to use 3rd party integrations.
As with all things SalesForce you can expect nothing but the top level of customer support and options. We currently run a Salesforce website, so the integration is flawless and easy. There's not much additional setup or any big learning curve to start using it.
The Marketing Cloud is a great way to easily manage our social media accounts, facebook posting, and email automation solutions. Because this platform is integrated with our website, it's still very easy to have outside vendors and software solutions that integrate with it. An example of that is that we still use Mailchimp to help manage our email channel even though the Marketing Cloud offers an email solution as part of their software.
The main disadvantages of using this software are pretty much the same disadvantages of any of the Salesforce platforms and/or integrations. For the uninitiated those are:
- Some of the most costly software that accomplishes the same tasks as other platforms
- Can be a bit complicated to navigate due to the sheer possibilities + abilities you have using the Salesforce platform.
If you understand both the expenses associated with using Salesforce and have people who can either learn it, or teach it, then i'd say there's no other real disadvantages to using it!
Worked for SFMC and used the platform daily for 2 years (Agency side, in Services)
After moving off of SFMC, I was definitely hurting for the robust nature of personalization and segmentation that was offered through the proprietary Ampscript language, and the full SQL editor to run queries on data extensions. Although I think that it could have been built in a smarter way to execute processing of queries faster, and have a better UX/UI, the power that's available to a slightly more tech savvy marketer is unmatched.
The first email platform I worked on was SFMC. Definitely the strongest features of the platform were the ability to customize so much through the use of Ampscript functions, content areas, and data extensions, as well as the ability to segment and cohort large amounts of user data with the power of having a full on SQL editor to do so.
The platform was hacked together on the backend, and whoever headed up product did not do a good job of making the UX/UI cohesive. Extremely slow to execute queries on large data sets, and until they moved it into Automation Studio, there was no way to know when your query finished running, or what the error was if it ran into one. On the UX/UI side, who the heck made the decision that Emails and Data Extensions could be shared across Business Units, but User-Initiated Sends/Queries/Scripts, etc can't? It's not consistent, random items can be shared, while others can't and must be manually copied over to the other Business Unit.
A heavy hitter, but work to be done in UX
Despite being somewhat clumsy in real-world use, Marketing Cloud is a powerful, high quality suite for those looking to pursue robust, personalized digital campaigns.
This is an outstanding product for 1:1 engagement with an existing audience. We're still somewhat new to it, but are quickly coming up to speed. Best modules are open APIs, Journey Builder (basically pulls the entire suite together to build repeatable workflows), Audience builder (works hand/glove with Journey Builder), and Mobile Studio. It will take time for us to gather enough behavior and other attribute values to really put this to work. But it has plenty of horsepower and data tools and really get us to advanced personalization and performance analysis.
The suite is a set of modules cobbled together via the original product (ExactTarget) and new apps purchased by SFDC (e.g., Social Studio, which as Radian 6). This makes it cumbersome to assemble an entire campaign because you're constantly pinging back and forth through different modules (via a tabbed interface) to get things done. It's probably too late now for a truly unified, campaign-based UI, so it will have to do.
Incredible tool, make sure you have an infrastructure
An incredible tool when an infrastructure is in place that will allow for collaboration between marketing and sales as well as support in place for the sales team so they don’t get bogged down with the administrative component. If you are a Manager then you will love these reports.
As a provider of digital marketing automation (email, social, ads) and analytics, is great when it comes to connecting the dots between what you know about customers and what marketing materials you should send to them. The Journey Building feature is incredible for this. This also allows you to set triggers and make intelligent automation decisions.
Make sure you have an infrastructure in place that will allow for the immense amount of data entry and data maintenance necessary to keep the CRM up-to-date and allow intelligent marketing insights and automation to even be possible. You don’t want to make marketing decisions based on an accurate CRM information.
Overall, Salesforce is an EXCELLENT choice for small and medium size organizations. No matter what your company is engaged in, nor the workflow you utilize, this is a CRM that has got you covered! Impetus Global Technology provides our clients with a LARGE assortment of products and services, which has always been a source of problems when searching for line-of-business software stacks. Salesforce is the first application that we have employed as a CRM, which has addressed our need for a very flexible solution, while maintaining the ease of use and affordability of deployment and maintenance.
The pros that come inherently, with Salesforce, number far in excess of the amount of reading, anyone wants to give some review from the typical CEO. Therefor I will provide a direct, concise, list of the benefits we attained at Impetus Global Technology when we adopted this software.
* Effective Cost
* Time-Saving Ability
* Ease of Use and Training Availability
* Extensible by Nature
* Incentives to Sales Employees
Honestly, the task of espousing a list of Cons, towards this business tool has proven quite the challenging endeavor. Not only am I CEO, but also I hold the position of Director of Software Development. Speaking now as a developer, I would encourage introducing more direct compatibility with Visual Studio and/or the JetBrains stack. By the previous statement, I mostly refer to some sort of Extension or Framework that can be utilized through something such as a Xamarin or WPF application to source business data.
From the view of an Executive, I cannot honestly provide any criticism that would merit the publishing of a review.
salesforce marketing cloud features
About Salesforce Marketing Cloud
Email from the Salesforce Marketing Cloud gives you drag- and-drop content tools, mobile-optimized templates, and easy email automation capabilities. Improve your customer engagement with built-in deliverability and A/B testing solutions. Salesforce Marketing Cloud offers hundreds of features to help you execute on every possible communication, from basic email marketing to sophisticated Predictive Intelligence decisioning.
You can send emails, SMSs, Mobile Push notifications as Super messages....
End to End Automation with Automation studio and Journey Builder
It's better than using 3 x 5 index cards
User friendly and super easy to learn new options/reports.
Little training unless purchased separately.
It can be very overwhelming at first learning Marketing Cloud as a whole.
Back-end can be complex; expensive for small scale businesses; can be time-consuming to learn to use
Complete Platform for growing Marketing needs. Empower you to make right decisions!
I am very happy using salesforce marketing cloud and have been using for years now. We are able to manage all our marketing effort in a more efficient and discipline manner and support our sales team throughout the sales cycle. It's difficult to justify ROI on marketing, but with salesforce marketing cloud we are able to justify our spends on various campaigns since they are yielding high results.
Analytics that you can drill down related to any specific activity (open rate, click ratio, engagements). You can manage all your marketing programs from various channel under the same platform.
It needs a little learning before you start using it in a efficient manner. UI can be a little more friendly to all the users. Importing/ exporting files can sometimes get corrupted. Having said, it's the best in its space.
Salesforce Marketing Cloud Review
I love Salesforce products. I think investing in the cloud solutions was one of the best decisions my team has made. We are able to manage our social channels with ease.
If you are using other Salesforce Cloud solutions this easily integrates into your overall marketing strategy. The support team is very helpful and answers question in a timely fashion. They are great to work with!
If you don't use other Salesforce Cloud solutions you won't get all the benefits of this tool. It really helps to use all Saleforce products if you want synergy among all of your initiatives. It is a costly investment, but if you are willing to spend the money the cloud solutions can really help grow your business and make your team more efficient.
A huge waste of time
Working with the support team is extremely painful. We spent hours over multiple weeks showing them our issues over video. Their premium support resources often couldn't figure out how to resolve our issues. It felt like they were just as fed up with this crap tool as we are. Although they didn't say it, I think one of our key employees quit over the frustration of dealing with marketing cloud.
I don't like anything about this software.
The integration with Salesforce is WAY oversold in the marketing materials. Moving data back and forth between the two products is extremely finicky and prone to breaking. Expect lots of duplication of data and lists that will invariably be out of sync. Managing email opt out lists with two systems of record from the same company is a CAN-SPAM nightmare. The integration's administrative tools can't be accessed in lightning. The customer facing unsubscribe and profile management pages look like shit and can't be branded or customized. They are so old, they still provide customers a warning about using HTML emails with AOL. Your Salesforce users will see email sends and interactions in contact records for some but not all emails sent via marketing cloud. If you try to send to a campaign or report from Salesforce, email personalization won't work. Same thing for transactional emails. You will have to send every single piece of personalization data in the API call to marketing cloud, because MC won't be able to find it on its own, even though it has a list of all these attributes and is supposedly syncing with Salesforce. There is single sign on, but only by request, and provisioning of accounts is not supported. Journeys will break the minute you make the slightest change to them. Trying to split journeys based on Salesforce attributes often just doesn't work. Because it's Salesforce, anything you would actually want to do with this software comes at an additional cost.
Terrible product, terrible support
The personalization options are pretty cool. But when you use them (with AMPscript) the Journey Builder is pretty much useless as Engagement Splits don't work with them.
Where to start.
- Extremely buggy system. We had multiple issues with the Journey Builder that resulted in a number of our subscribers receiving thousands of emails which put us on the spam list for Gmail.
- The Journey Builder is extremely rigid. You have to create new versions if you want to make even the smallest edit. Then you'll likely need to double check every single step because things break super easily.
When you update emails that are used in Journeys in Content Builder, you need to go into these Journeys and manually update these emails again to make sure the changes take effect. You can try to solve this with Reference Content but then Engagement Splits don't work because it cannot see the URLs. Same goes for using Dynamic Content. Also, current subscribers in the existing version of a journey cannot be placed into the new version of the journey. Lastly, you can only add subscribers to retargeting audiences but NOT REMOVE them from these retargeting audiences. You'll have to create ANOTHER retargeting audience (for which you have to pay extra) to exclude these in e.g. Facebook. Compare that with a cheap tool like ActiveCampaign and you're just amazed how bad Marketing Cloud is. Especially Journey Builder is the worst app I've ever come across.
- The platform is basically not usable without Salesforce CRM. This creates a number of problems, e.g. not being able to simply send a realtime response email when someone fills a form on your website. Also, even though it's the same company, the integration between Salesforce and Marketing Cloud is complex and just basically terrible.
- Cloud Pages Smart Capture forms are useless. It doesn't accept people that are already in the data extension that is connected to a particular Smart Capture form but it does not warn you about this in any way. Also, if you use Salesforce as your DoR you can't use Smart Capture forms but are forced to build custom AMPscript code due the ContactID being created in Salesforce (not possible in Marketing Cloud).
- As I mentioned above, functions don't work well with each other. This because they just bought a bunch of different companies and tried to tie it together. This also makes it very difficult to navigate as some functions overlap while others are completely incompatible. The system is also very slow. Loading times are not rarely over 10 seconds. This makes working with it daily a true torture.
There are numerous other smaller bugs and annoying things that I don't have time for to write down but if I can summerize, if you want your marketing team to be lean, flexible and successful then do yourself a favor and pick any other system.
There is a reason everyone recognizes the name!
We recently implemented the SalesForce marketing cloud platform and have had great success. The implementation was more challenging than expected however we had very specific needs and required a lot of data transfers to make the service work they way we intended. The training was fairly easy and once the employees embraced the process, increased overall productivity. Friendly formats and personal expressions give each team member their own look and allow them to be productive on their own skill level. The team emails were out of hand and this product helped manage the interactions and keep everyone in the loop without wading through the email mess!
All encompassing product. The customizable options are amazing. Easy to access for remote and in-house employees.
On the higher pricing scale. implementation can be tricky, may need to modify your current workflow to accommodate the best use.
Powerful Marketing Solution
When you connect all the different pieces of Salesforce software that are applicable to your organization, the results are astonishing. Having used other CRM and Marketing Softwares and having to integrate the two was far more difficult than using the various aspects of Salesforce. It is fantastic to have it all in once place. It connects easily to Google Suite apps and is overall easy to use for the technically inclined and after a little training your less technically inclined employees will have no problem with it.
For those that are not technically inclined, the learning curve can be difficult. The integration of a large business application can be extremely lucrative, however the kick starting period can be a turn off. For small businesses that have multiple solutions to the problems that Salesforce can solve, the transition period can be difficult to cope with.
Really helps us keep our drip campaigns running smooth.
Pick a good vendor, that is the crucial aspect of the roll out. With a bad vendor, the turnover is dangerous to your projects completion date and it's bottom line.
The whole baked out process is easy to understand and roll out, using the tool to manage email campaigns and other selling tools is a real revenue generator!
As with anything Salesforce, it looks good until you sign the contract, then you see all the hidden add-ons and expenses you need to get the tool actually doing what you want. Be prepared to spend more than they tell you!
Salesforce is THE BEST CRM
I was against Salesforce at first but know I dont know how I worked without it.
SalesForce has allowed me access to run reports I never though of running. I now can keep track of what status every client is in in one place instead of going to three or four different places or relying on my agents to tell me where exactly their business is at. SalesForce has really been a game changer in that is has allowed me more time, and that is the one thing I really needed was time. A huge benefit with Salesforce also is almost every company knows how to integrate with Salesforce.
The only con I can think of with Salesforce would be the cost. Not the cost od Salesforce but the cost to get someone to fully develope it. If you are not tech savvy it can be expensive to hire someone. I think that is to be expected though