Transform Your Email Marketing Campaigns With Great Tools and Great Data

No Data Spam
No Spam!

Before I start, I have a confession to make. “I’ve sent SPAM…” There, I said it. “I’VE… SENT… SPAM!” I’m not proud of it, and I would never endorse it. Let me explain, as this was a different time and attitude that some marketers had. I’ve been a marketer for over 15 years, and in that time, email marketing has become the go-to tool for marketing campaigns.Email continues to be the most effective marketing tool in use today, because it’s pervasive, easy to measure and relatively cheap.
In the early days, before the CAN-SPAM legislation in the US, when I was a baby marketer, my ideal campaign was to assemble the biggest list I could muster and blast my message to anyone who would listen. My logic was that delivery, open and click through rates were so low that it was just a numbers game. The more emails I sent, the higher the probability that I’d strike gold. Boy, was I wrong. Emails bounced, inbox delivery was dreadful, and my messages were deleted. Fast forward to today, and we all know that relevancy and permission count.  I’m reformed, and here’s how I did it.

Step 1. – Use the Best Email Marketing Tools
Although the basic email delivery mechanism hasn’t changed over the past 15 years, the tooling has. There are some fantastic email campaign management tools on the market today, and one of my favorites is the Salesforce Marketing Cloud. It’s easy to use but also provides a powerful set of tools to drive highly targeted, personalized customer conversations. Of course, you also need superb tracking and reporting, and the Salesforce Marketing Cloud has that covered too. I use the custom report builder to optimize my campaigns across all of my channels—email, mobile, social, and web – and perform real-time reporting to maximize my marketing ROI.

Step 2. – Ensure My Data Was Clean, Accurate and Up-to-Date
Data is the cornerstone of every marketing campaign, but leveraging customer attributes for segmentation and list building can be extremely tricky, if not impossible. For example, many retailers store customer purchase history in a traditional data warehouse like Teradata, but the process of accessing the purchase history is tedious. As a marketer I have to speak to IT, tell them the information that I want, and then wait for IT to “perform an extract.“ Of course that just means I end up with a .CSV or MS Excel file that I have to import into my Salesforce Marketing Cloud. However it’s not that easy to import either. The CSV data often isn’t in the right format to import into the Marketing Cloud, so I have to do extra work in Excel to clean it up. In addition I can’t guarantee that the data is accurate either. Email addresses might be missing or invalid. I’ve lost count the number of times I’ve seen “” in a CSV file. I have to spend more time validating the emails and addresses. Finally I have to repeat this workflow for EVERY SYSTEM where I want to use data. By the time I’ve assembled the data from all of my systems and begin to build my target segment lists, I find that it’s all out of date and I have to start over. It’s very frustrating!

Well it’s lucky for me that I work for Informatica, because I have the luxury of using Informatica Cloud for all of my integration needs. Informatica Cloud has connectors to hundreds of cloud apps (including a new connector to the Salesforce Marketing Cloud), enterprise systems and data warehouses. Informatica Cloud also provides integrated data quality capabilities, so data from sources like SAP, Salesforce, Netsuite, AWS, Workday, MS Excel, LinkedIn or ANY other major application is automatically cleaned and validated when it’s synchronized with the Salesforce Marketing Cloud. And the best thing is that the data extraction, cleaning and upload cycle is all automated, ensuring that my target segmentation is ALWAYS up-to-date.

Step 3. – Target, Target, Target!
As I said at the beginning of this story, relevancy matters. And now that my Salesforce Marketing Cloud contains clean, accurate and connected data, I know that I can build highly targeted segmented email lists. For example, now that a retailer can tie together a customer’s purchase history, EPOS data and current inventory data, they can instantly send more relevant offers to customers. A customer who has bought shirts and suits in a particular store may or may not get a shoe offer. This is because the outcome depends on inventory levels, store geography and whether they’ve already purchased shoes in a prior transaction. Even if that transaction was minutes ago!

A Spammer No More
There you have it. I’m reformed, and I owe it all to the partnership between Informatica and Salesforce Marketing Cloud. Informatica is the proven leader in cloud integration with over 3,500 customers, and services more than 130 billion transactions processed per month in the cloud (and counting). We’ve also got hundreds of connectors to virtually any application or system, including our newest connector for the Salesforce Marketing Cloud. And Salesforce is the undeniable leader in the CRM and cloud application space. Working together, I increased my campaign ROI, had more customer engagement and improved customer loyalty. I now reach more of the right contacts, in the right channel, at the right time, with the right message and great data!

Finally, if you’re coming to the Salesforce Connections event in New York this week then us at the Informatica Data as a Service booth, #132. If you’re attending the Salesforce World Tour on Thursday too then drop by booth #133 in the Javits Center to see these solutions in action.


  • Niraj Ranjan Rout (@nirajr)

    This a great read, Clive. We’ve all been there, sending out email blasts, thinking that it’s a numbers game! Am a big fan of email tools myself, they’ve certainly been great facilitators along the email evolution. Thanks, Niraj (Founder at