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How to Hack the Salesforce Marketing Cloud (SFMC): Where to go for help

Guilda Hilaire

Published on 09/15/2020

Does this sound familiar? “I know you’re just learning this new tool "Salesforce Marketing Cloud", but can you launch an email tomorrow...stat?” The pressure is always on to show value quickly, but what if you’re just learning the platform? You don’t even know the difference between WYSIWYG or content builder…what’s a data extension (DE)? AMPscript – is that the name of a video game? Where do you go to become the expert that everyone thinks you are? Who can you vent to about all the nuances? Code overload – where are my like-minded email guru’s? Is there anyone out there going through the same pain points? I’m constantly being asked where to go for help, so I decided to pull together a couple of places for people to go to for help with Salesforce Marketing Cloud (SFMC).

I’m approaching my 13th year of using Salesforce Marketing Cloud “formerly ExactTarget email solutions”…and oh how times have changed. I remember how excited I was at first to learn about this new platform and its possibilities but worried about all the things to learn. 12 years ago, cloud communities, slack channels, LinkedIn, YouTube either didn’t exist or was just getting off the ground. Needless to say, support was your BFF or you faked it until you sent it. Today, there are great resources available, but you need to be a detective to stay on top of them. So, I’m gonna help you hack the cloud! I’m passionate about this, available and interested in your inputs/tips, and appreciate your readership! Please share :)

  1. Join the Salesforce Marketing Cloud community: This group is dedicated to your success with the Salesforce Marketing Cloud ecosystem (Email Marketing, Social Media, Mobile Marketing, Web Marketing). Join the conversation here to ask questions, get answers, stay updated and share experiences. Surround yourself with like-minded savvy marketers who share the same passion around the platform. This is the best place to go when you have a question. Don’t be shy, and ask away! You won’t regret setting up your profile and diving right into the conversations.
  2. Bookmark the following pages:
    • Salesforce Marketing Cloud getting started: The Marketing Cloud training programs are designed to guide you through the key steps that are proven essential for a successful implementation. This is a great place to start when you are setting up your instance so that you can get the full advantages of this out-of-the-box solution.
    • Salesforce Marketing Cloud help page: This is the central location for all things Salesforce Marketing Cloud. You’ll find information on IP warm up, Account Configuration, Setting up content builder to Journey Builder best practices.
    • Salesforce Developer’s page: Here you’ll find information on the Marketing Cloud packages such as REST and SOAP APIs, SDKs, programmatic languages and other fun stuff.
    • the Salesforce Marketing Cloud community's home for real-time information on system performance and security.
  3. Become a member to one of the following groups. They exist both online and offline:
    • Salesforce Marketing Cloud User Group: Every month in towns and cities across most continents of the world, people come together to discuss all things Salesforce Marketing Cloud. The goal is to establish an engaged community of marketers. A culture of knowledge sharing and innovation, discussion of successes and missteps with the communal interest in growing and improving from our collective experiences with this platform. These aren’t Salesforce-organized events; these are events run by Trailblazers like yourself. Make this your one-stop resource for local Salesforce Marketing Cloud networking events, presentations and demonstrations.
    • Salesforce Marketing Cloud Meetup: These groups collaborate, network, exchange ideas and best practices around the Salesforce Marketing Cloud. The mission is to build an enthusiastic community committed to learning about the Marketing Cloud platform and achieving successful adoption of the platform.
    • Salesforce Marketing Cloud Developer Group: Useful resources for working and developing with Salesforce Marketing Cloud.
    • Marketing Cloud Developer Center: If you're a developer, this is the place for you!
    • Salesforce Stack Exchange: Salesforce Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for Salesforce administrators, implementation experts, developers and anybody in-between.
  4. Register for Online Training: Do you need to ramp up on SFMC? Do you need to learn the basic concepts and languages? Register for an online or in-person session where you will gain hands-on experience on creating emails, sending and tracking your result...
  5. Subscribe to the Salesforce Marketing Cloud YouTube Channel: The YouTube channel is a great place to go if you missed a conference, want to learn about a new product or need an overview of a product feature.
  6. Subscribe to the Marketing Cloudcast: Every episode offers key marketing campaign tactics, popular trends, interviews with marketing leaders, and relevant insights — such as social media stats and data management strategies in marketing today. Hosts Megan Collins and Tina Rozul will dive into topics such as performance on individual marketing channels, marketing career advice, the future of marketing, and beyond.
  7. Join a Slack channel: Yes, I said it. There are several email slack channels with a channel dedicated to Salesforce Marketing Cloud. Make new friends and share html codes, how-to's, ask questions…Vent a little or vent a lot.
  8. Purchase the following books:
    • Salesforce Marketing Cloud For Dummies book by Chester Bullock and‎ Mark Pollard: Salesforce Marketing Cloud For Dummies guides you through the use of Salesforce's exciting suite of cloud-based digital marketing solutions, which have the power to help you plan, personalize, and optimize your customers' journey.
    • The AMPscript Guide by Eliot Harper and Adam Spriggs: AMPscript is a scripting language for Salesforce Marketing Cloud. This book extends the existing Salesforce documentation to provide an authoritative reference manual on AMPscript. This is the ultimate guide for anyone learning AMPscript or anyone who wants to freshen up their AMPscript knowledge.
    • The Data Handbook for Salesforce Marketing Cloud: This handbook explains the fundamental concepts for working with data in Salesforce Marketing Cloud, key tips for building a well-designed data model, how to utilize data across all of your marketing activities and much much more...
  9. Follow on Salesforce Marketing Cloud on Slideshare: This site doesn’t have the latest and greatest materials but it still has legacy platform information to help you understand the history of the Salesforce Marketing Cloud platform.

Please feel free to share where you go for help with the Salesforce Marketing Cloud!

Originally posted on LinkedIn by Guilda Hilaire

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