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How to Work Smarter – Not Harder – with Acquia Campaign Studio

December 8, 2021 6 minute read
We offer tips and best practices for marketers to enhance their campaign and journey building experiences.
Overhead view of person at desk typing on wireless keyboard with office supplies and coffee mugs

At Acquia, we believe it’s important to “drink our own champagne” and use our own products. That's certainly the case with Acquia Campaign Studio (formerly known as Mautic Cloud). As a power user of the solution since before Acquia acquired Mautic, I recently concluded a workshop with some new team members on our Marketing Operations team, where we reviewed the best practices for Campaign Studio. In the spirit of embracing openness, I'm sharing these tips for marketers to enhance their own campaign building experience. 

USE Categories

A hidden gem among the Campaign Studio tools, the Categories feature is key when it comes to sorting and reporting. Categories are extremely helpful for understanding which assets are related to the various external-facing components and Acquia’s internal data-processing tools. My favorite aspect about categories is that it can be used as a filter for reporting. Every component should have a category, so various operations and components can be tied back to its purpose or campaign.  

Instead of a foldering system, we've adopted a more fluid tagging system, which, if planned properly, can scale and be more precise for marketing teams. I’ve learned that many legacy marketing automation platforms (MAPs) use foldering systems to manage the myriad number of emails, landing pages, campaigns and other data objects. However, the Acquia Campaign Studio R&D team believes that this linear approach gets marketers into trouble as time goes by and the volume of objects grows. I must admit, it took me a while to wrap my head around this process without a foldering system, but it has ultimately led to better organization practices and easier ways to scale as my team grows.

Avoid Spaces Whenever Possible

An oldie, but goodie. This rule applies to many components of building digital marketing assets, like URLs and link tracking, but it’s a great practice to continue throughout your martech tools. It helps with consistency in naming campaigns and assets across your stack, and removes the assumption that each tool will add in “%20” for you. Not every platform or web browser is built the same way, so swapping spaces for underscores or hyphens will help visually and operationally. 

In Campaign Studio, whether you’re importing image files to the library, uploading PDFs, or creating forms, emails or campaigns, it is always best to connect the titles with underscores versus leaving spaces in. 

Campaign Studio has very advanced search operators and commands, which allow users to be quick and efficient in their searches. However, I like to onboard new users with the understanding that no spaces means streamlined operations. Having us all on the same page has helped immensely with record investigations and documentation. 

Screenshot of Campaign Studio search operators

Be Descriptive When Naming Your Components 

Quite simply, name components in a human way. What is the segment doing? What is the journey doing? What is the automation doing? Name the component as such.

If you’re utilizing a segment as a dynamic, always-on type of filter, call it that. I recommend marrying the action the segment is doing with the campaign it relates to. For instance, “FILTER_NewRecords_Today_Q42021” or “IMPORT_Tradeshow_Event_Booth_Visitors” or “TRIGGER_Nurture_Emails_Webinar_Attendees_Q42021.” 

Segments, campaigns and forms all allow for a description area. Use it! Campaign Studio will always record the last change date and who made changes, but this description box allows your team to be extra detailed in what the feature is doing. You might have a big event or conference and one form is collecting registrants, but then you could also have smaller breakout sessions or networking events associated with the event. You’ll want to be able to track the specifics of who registered but didn’t attend, who registered, attended and participated in a breakout session, etc. Make sure all these details are visible and transparent at a high level. 

Automate Your Journey Building

Some of our automations have called for “wait steps” in the journey. Although Campaign Studio doesn’t have a distinct feature built in for this, using an “if/then” conditional field will help to solve for this. For example, if I know all records in my campaign have an email address, I can ask, “Is email address not empty on January 15? IF yes, THEN proceed to the next step.” Another option would be to use the same segment to trigger the campaign. You can ask, “Are records in this segment? IF yes, on February 1, THEN proceed to the next step.”

One gotcha that comes up a lot with campaigns is the urge to hit the “save” button when initially creating a journey and just entering your details. Campaign Studio requires you to enter at least one action before the “apply” and “save” button will recognize a journey has been started. Therefore, I always recommend building with actions in mind. This also helps keep the focus on the goal of the journey: What actions need to take place to nurture and move along the prospects?

Save Time Building Emails

The Saved Rows feature is your new best friend. Cloning emails, even when cloning the original, can cause errors over time. Every MAP system is known to face this issue. To help avoid this entirely, we have set up saved rows where the entire template can be built off of individual row elements. I have built out our Acquia header, footer, body (with options to drag in various columns) and image placeholders. In just seconds, we have a fully QAed template ready to go. Using the pieces to put it together is an investigation timesaver. No more “This template's border is misaligned” or “This banner isn’t showing correctly in Yahoo.” 

The best part? We have saved many different dynamic content blocks for promoting webinars and events based on a customer’s region or buyer persona. We simply drag and drop, and instantly, we have personalization delivered in less than 5 seconds. 

For more on Acquia’s journey to drinking our own champagne with Campaign Studio, check out our guide to migrating from Marketo to Acquia Campaign Studio.

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