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5 Key Things to Consider When Designing Email Campaigns in Salesforce Marketing Cloud

By Manish Thaduri

Email is still one of the most influential ways to communicate online with your customers.  The average potential ROI an email campaign can deliver is a whopping 3800%, which makes email the most preferred and profitable communication channel for companies. Salesforce Marketing Cloud (SFMC) provides the right tools to build your email marketing campaigns – whether it is a single ad-hoc campaign or a personalized 1-1 email journey for each individual customer.

As a certified Email Specialist and Marketing Cloud Consultant, I have been working on Salesforce Marketing Cloud for the past 2 years, running personalized journeys for clients from various domains and diverse customer bases.  Designing an email campaign is not an easy job, with many factors involved in making the campaign successful.  Let’s look at the top 5 key things to consider while designing email campaigns in Salesforce Marketing Cloud:

  1. Campaign Management
  2. Data Segmentation
  3. Personalization
  4. Email Design
  5. Tracking

Campaign Management

Salesforce Marketing Cloud provides a great feature named “Campaigns” to manage your marketing communications.  It is imperative to use this feature as campaigns help marketers to plan, coordinate, and measure cross-channel campaigns in real-time.  You can include multiple emails in a Campaign to help you track the progress of all the emails as a collection.

Key things to include in Campaigns:

  • Campaign Description: Add the purpose/goal of this campaign in the description. This really helps when you are looking at old campaigns.
  • Campaign Code – Add a unique campaign code to identify the campaign in reporting.
  • Tags: Tags in Campaigns enable you to categorize campaigns using multiple criteria. Tags can be used to categorize criteria, such as location, purpose, products, etc.  In reports, you can aggregate campaign analytics with any tag you added.

Data Segmentation

The rules of segmentation are simple – if a customer has signed up to receive promotional emails of a particular product, send them promotional emails of that particular product only. But it’s not always that easy in practice. This is where your data segmentation comes into the picture and is a huge factor in helping you define who receives what.

Use Data Filters in SFMC to create data segmentation.  Data filters feature lets you segment a customer list using any subscriber attributes that you store in your Marketing Cloud.

SFMC also has something called “measures”.  A measure is a unit of subscriber behavior (eg. email opens, clicks) which you can include as criteria in a data filter to segment a subscriber list.

Examples of measures are:

  • Total opens in the last 60 days
  • Total click-throughs in the last 45 days
  • Total ounces in the last month
  • Unique unsubscribes in the last 10 days.


Another significant reason you should pay attention to data segmentation is that it supports ‘personalization’ in your campaigns.

There are two types of personalized content that you can create in SFMC:

  • Personalization Strings: Personalization strings let you insert subscriber attributes, such as customer first name, last name, etc into the email content.
  • Dynamic content: Dynamic content is content that displays in a content area according to the rules that you define based on the subscriber’s attributes or data extension column values.


  • In the below image you can see the email subject has a personalization string to display the ‘last name’ of the customer.
  • The image content block in the email body is a dynamic content block that changes based on the Country of the subscriber. The rules let you display the dynamic content block based on the values of subscriber attributes.


Email Design

Email design is as important as the data.  You have great content but if the email design is bad, it wouldn’t do justice to the content.

  • Email Templates: SFMC provides awesome email templates which are mobile responsive by default. Use them to save a lot of time instead of building the emails from scratch.

  • Sender Profiles: Sender Profiles let you define what should be the “From Name” and “From Email Address”. Define Sender Profiles based on your brand, but make sure they all use the same email domain of your brand.
  • Profile Centre & Subscription Centre: Salesforce Marketing Cloud makes it mandatory to include links to Profile Centre and Subscription Centre in every email footer. This is in align with the CAN-SPAM requirements to let your customers give opt-in consent to receive your emails and also the option to opt-out of email campaigns.  You must process opt-out request promptly within 10 days.


Tracking provides you with key metrics of how your campaigns are performing and is a pivotal deciding factor in designing your future campaigns.  Use the SFMC tracking reports to dig deeper into the statistics and use them to identify which are the best and worst performing campaigns.  The tracking reports give you great customer segmentation for you to re-target, upsell, and resell!


Salesforce Marketing Cloud has great features, use them completely and wisely to design your email campaigns. Have a campaign goal, analyze your past campaigns, adhere to the email rules, design a perfect email, and track well.  That’s it, you are good to go.  All the best on your next email campaign.

If you are looking for a course on Salesforce Email Specialist certification with videos and concepts, look no further than my Udemy course.  Giving away a special discount for SalesforceBen users.  (Coupon code SFBEN_DSC is included in the link).

The Author

Manish Thaduri

Manish is a Salesforce Solution Architect with over 10 years of experience in Salesforce technology. He is 9x Salesforce certified.

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