Relevancy is the only currency that matters — we say it a lot because it’s the truth. In a world of infinite choice, the way to win customers and keep them is by being relevant. Simple in theory, harder to achieve. That’s why we exist: to help brands build and maintain relevancy for the audiences that matter.  

The key, of course, is CX — the experience you provide across the buying journey will determine whether you’re perceived as relevant or not. In this blog, the first in a three-part series, we’ll highlight a few simple yet lesser-known Salesforce Marketing Cloud scoring functions that you can activate immediately to create a better CX and improve your team’s marketing efficiency.  

At a time when generative AI is being mainstreamed, these hidden gems in the Salesforce platform will help you keep up — and stay relevant.  

Targeting Customers with Einstein Scoring Functions

As alluded to above, an experience is only great if it’s relevant to those who, well, experience it. And that means targeting the right audience segments is among a marketer’s most essential tasks. Sounds obvious, but we see enough brands struggling with it that it bears repeating.   

The scoring methods listed below, all underutilized tools within Salesforce Marketing Cloud, make it easy to communicate to the right people with the right content at the right time 

Send Time Optimization (STO)

Let’s start with something fundamental — automatically sending emails at times when you can expect the highest possible engagement. Send Time Optimization is a valuable feature that empowers businesses to enhance the effectiveness of their email campaigns. Leveraging advanced algorithms and historical recipient engagement data, Send Time Optimization intelligently determines the optimal time to dispatch marketing emails to each individual recipient, ensuring messages reach their inbox when they are most likely to be opened and acted upon. This data-driven approach not only increases email open rates and click-through rates but also maximizes customer engagement and conversion rates, ultimately leading to improved campaign performance and a better customer experience. 

It’s as simple as adding the STO activity to a new or existing journey. We strongly recommend adding a control group so you can see (and report on) the lift in send time optimization.  

Engagement Scoring

We like to define engagement in the context of tactical outcomes — think opens or clicks. By clicking, your customer is signaling that you’ve produced some level of relevance. If they stop clicking, they’re signaling that they’re disengaging.  

Engagement Scoring is a powerful capability within Salesforce Marketing Cloud that enables organizations to assess and quantify the level of engagement and interaction of their customers with digital marketing campaigns. By assigning numerical scores to various customer behaviors (again, think opens or clicks), Engagement Scoring provides a comprehensive view of individual and overall audience engagement. This approach allows marketers to prioritize and segment their audience based on their level of interest and engagement, enabling more targeted and personalized marketing strategies.  

The audience segments (or personas) created by the Engagement Scoring tool fit into a classic 2×2 box that makes it easy to define unique messaging strategies for each:  

This method encourages you to think about the psychology of your audience and their relative value to your business. What communication strategies could you use to engage Dormant Customers to Window Shoppers or Selective Subscribers? How should you treat the Window Shoppers to transform them into Loyalists? If a Loyalist slips back to being a Window Shopper, can you nudge them back to being a Loyalist? 

Engagement Frequency

Have you ever heard a teammate say something like, “I think we’re sending too many emails, we don’t want to annoy our customers”? The reality is you’re probably not emailing enough — at least not to certain segments of your audience.  

Engagement Frequency is a valuable functionality within Salesforce Marketing Cloud that enables organizations to effectively manage and optimize their customer communication strategies. This feature allows marketers to monitor and control the frequency with which they reach out to individual customers or segments. By analyzing past engagement data and setting predetermined communication limits, Engagement Frequency ensures that customers receive a well-balanced and non-intrusive stream of messages. This helps prevent overcommunication, email fatigue, and potential unsubscribe requests.  

Leveraging this feature in your email strategy is a straightforward process: the scoring model gives you three categories of engagement frequency: Saturated, On Target, or Undersaturated. It even gives you signals about how many emails you can send to move your customers from one category to another. These signals can then be used in your journey and communication strategies. 

These three features can help you focus on what your data signals are telling about your customers and how you can use this knowledge to deliver greater relevance. They also give you the opportunity to experiment with machine learning and better prepare for the future of generative AI.  

Check back for the next post in this series, focused on messaging customers with relevancy. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to reach out with any of your questions on Salesforce Marketing Cloud. We can help you get more from the platform.