As marketers, we research and analyze and perform tests just to get an understanding and viewpoint of what our audiences are thinking and doing. As a marketer for Acquia, I am fortunate to have the perspective of our actual users because I am using the platform every day to execute my marketing tasks. I am walking the walk when it comes to Acquia Campaign Studio. Therefore, because this is the time of year to evaluate what you’re thankful for, I have compiled a list of features from Campaign Studio that makes doing my job a lot easier.
Without a doubt, Campaign Builder is one of the tools I’m most grateful to have in my marketing arsenal. Personally, I love seeing a marketing automation plan come to life visually. Campaign Builder is actually like using a whiteboard to map out goals and journeys. When I show a campaign outline to non-marketers, they can understand it without explanation. I have the ability to set and label each step and action, so whatever internal naming conventions I prefer, the tool can accommodate and adapt to my changes. There’s no need to follow strict rules associated with an ESP (Email Service Provider), I have the freedom to design any flow I like. I’ll regularly drag and drop and re-name and “jump-to” and make as many connections as needed until my campaign automation looks like a map of the London Tube. As my martech stack grows, I have luckily had the peace of mind that my marketing automation platform can handle updates and integrate rather than create more steps to process.
I got into the practice of writing clear labels for every Decision, Action or Condition I use. Since a ‘Condition’ is a filter or question, I always put a question mark on the label, like “Is Contact in Massachusetts?” If I have an ‘Action,’ I actually write out the action like “Send Confirmation Email” or “Update Contact’s Custom Field.” Decisions, Actions, and Conditions are color-coded which makes it easy to recognize what’s going on, but having the freedom to apply your own labels and naming structure is an extra way Campaign Studio lets me personalize the user experience for myself and my team.
Campaign Builder can support very robust marketing plans. For instance, onboarding customers into loyalty programs. Usually, there is a lot of information brands want to share with their new members upfront - how to use their app, how rewards work, when to expect communications or alerts - a well-planned email marketing strategy can be executed using Campaign Builder to deliver this important information, over time, without bombarding your list. I can set emails to drip at specified intervals, and ask the system to make decisions in real time based on the customers' path or behavior. Maybe I have contacts who need to add a payment method or update their communication preferences - Campaign Builder’s options allow me to personalize messages based on different decisions. Plus, I can execute more than just email! For instance, Campaign Builder allows me to send SMS messages, social media messages, perform webhooks, and more!
I haven’t seen too many campaign or journey builders that are as fluid and easy to use as the Campaign feature in Campaign Studio. Marketo’s Smart Lists is a similar feature, but I’ve found the static boxes aren’t representative of an actual action taking place. The view doesn’t match what’s actually going on, so it’s difficult to imagine that my records are flowing down the correct path with the SmartLists view. Similarly, Salesforce Marketing Cloud’s Journey Builder is very static and rigid. It’s impossible to get a full view of what’s going on. I remember having to paste together screenshots of a past welcome series to show my team how someone was actually flowing through.
Sometimes when you use a tool for a while and get used to it, you get too familiar and become complacent with it, and then you stop thinking about whether the tool makes sense and is working for different stakeholders. With SFMC, I often found myself explaining my marketing plan to management, then taking additional time to explain “how the plan actually works” in the marketing automation tool. This extra step shouldn’t be something we marketers have to do. Campaign Studio’s simple layout really is translatable to other teams without the hand holding explanation needed in other platforms.
A simple feature that makes a powerful improvement to my workflow. Focus Items give you the ability to place a notification, form or link on your website in a bar across the top or bottom of your page, a modal window or ‘lite-box,’ a sliding notification or even full-page overlay. Here are a few more reasons why Focus Items are one of my top features to be thankful for.
There are four basic steps for creating a Focus Item:
You decide what you want the “focus” to be. This could be prompting an email newsletter sign up form, a link to a new product or upcoming site maintenance work.
Then choose when to engage with a record. I usually see brands display a message after a few seconds of being on their site instead of an immediate pop-up. I have also seen pop-up messages come when I’m scrolling over something specific or about to click to exit. You have the option to control engagement in the settings.
Focus Items have many different looks that are all editable in the settings. Picking the style allows you to choose which design is going to be most impactful with your audience. Pick a bar that spans the whole screen or has a small square form appear front and center on your website. (This can be something you might want to test!)
Control the Focus Item to be on-brand with your design guidelines. Set fonts and colors and even use HTML if you want to really personalize the message beyond the initial options.
I often use a Focus Item when we have a new piece of content to share with visitors. I also like to use the feature to invite visitors to upcoming webinars. Focus Items are quick to create and can have big results. And whether you’re managing your own pages or giving the snippet of code to someone else on the team who owns website updates, Campaign Studio has built this feature to ensure it’s a simple handoff.
One of the best parts about Focus Items is the ability to publish and unpublish these directly in Campaign Studio. If I have an upcoming webinar I want web visitors to sign up for, I make sure to unpublish the Focus Item after the webinar starts, and it immediately stops appearing. You can delete the snippet of code later, but the publishing option puts the control of the message in the marketer’s hands.
Here’s what a Focus Item could look like once finished. Use the mobile view button to toggle between desktop and mobile views.
In the B2B world, it’s all about them forms and Campaign Studio’s form builder makes it quick and easy to create and launch all the forms I need to gather that coveted customer data.I feel extremely powerful when I set up a form because I’m the type of person who likes organization and automation.
To be honest, I’m most impressed with what I can accomplish after a form is completed by a contact, and I’m not just talking about applying hidden fields, I’m talking about the ability to send external and internal communications, apply tags to the contact, and export results directly from the form page, to name a few. Campaign Studio’s open marketing approach allows you to sync your forms with different sites and tools like Zoom or Salesforce to ensure leads and customer behavior is getting captured.
An overall aspect of Acquia Campaign Studio that doesn’t always get highlighted, but which I, as an everyday user, regularly rely on when writing campaign content, is Campaign Studio’s ability to recognize edits and apply them to different features. For example, if I change the name of an email - this edit is carried over in the other channels and components of Campaign Studio. I am always after the best way to organize my account and assets and so sometimes I need to change naming conventions. Whatever I edit in the “Emails” feature of Campaign Studio, gets automatically edited in other platform areas like Campaigns and Forms. There is no need to update the name of the email or the content in the Campaign Builder. This same functionality exists with Segments, any time a change takes place, the edit is heard and acted on throughout the whole system.
Using other tools like Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Responsys and SalesFusion, automations would simply fail or error if a change was made to an email or list name. Or, the changes I would make to the copy wouldn’t get picked up. Entire, lengthy nurture campaigns would need to be rebuilt because of edits like this. The other marketing automation tools really don’t allow marketers to learn and pivot once they start to capture results. Nurture campaigns should be fluid like Campaign Studio’s Campaign Builder - where edits are picked up and implemented without downtime. Impactful marketing campaigns aren’t successful when they stay static. Editing and making improvements to continue to get more and better engagement and conversions from customers is a constant goal of marketers, and marketing automation tools need to keep up. Acquia Campaign Studio does.
See Campaign Studio in action in our latest Acquia Platform Updates and Capabilities webinar.