Email is a fundamental channel to marketers, including DEG, Linked by Isobar. It allows you to reach out to your customers and help them navigate the purchase process.

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You can also use email to remind people of why you’re still a perfect fit. And with a tool like Journey Builder, a Salesforce Marketing Cloud feature, you can create email journeys for your various audience segments, helping them through the path to conversion.

Taking that step further, we’re leveraging Sitecore to extend that email journey from the inbox into the website.

In traditional email journeys, marketers send an email directing people to the website, and then rely on the website to do the rest. Both email and the website are siloed channels that aren’t communicating with each other.

In order to create a holistic marketing journey, we’ve extended Journey Builder into the website by leveraging Sitecore’s marketing automation tool and personalization engine. By combining these tools, marketers can create a series of emails that prompt people to return to the brand website where they’ll be emerged in personalized, engaging experiences tailored to them.

Integrating Journey Builder and Sitecore

On Salesforce Marketing Cloud, a journey is created with a series of emails scheduled to send at regular intervals. The first email in the journey is the starting point for the holistic journey.

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Within Sitecore, a journey is created using the marketing automation tool. This journey can be set up to activate the personalization applied to the site only when a campaign code from an email is present. Part of the personalization configuration that is applied encourages people to continue their journey by navigating to other sections of the site with content and functionality related to the emails of the journey.

Together, these tools create a marketing automation journey that’s triggered through a person’s activity on the brand website. As someone builds up their profile score by engaging with the site, they can jump ahead in the journey. For example, if a person has educated themselves and navigated further into the path toward conversion, Sitecore can communicate with Salesforce Marketing Cloud to trigger emails from further down the email journey. This helps the consumer to move through the buying process at a speed that makes sense for them and avoid redundant messaging.

In addition to moving customers further ahead in the journey, we can trigger variations of emails to be sent based on what the person has or has not engaged with on the site. For example, if someone isn’t ready to jump further ahead in the journey, but they have engaged with some content, we can trigger an email that features the information they haven’t already viewed. This keeps the engagement with the customer relevant and timely.

What you need to consider

As with all personalization efforts, understanding your content is critically important. In the scenario above, the marketing automation journey is at a high level, acting as a filter for the personalized content to be presented or hidden from your audience. With that in mind, you’ll need to create your profile cards, profile key attributes, and create the content to facilitate the customer’s extended journey on your website.

While most personalization can be done through configuration and content entry, to achieve this holistic journey, there will be some custom development required. Specifically, the triggers from Sitecore to Salesforce Marketing Cloud to either skip an email or send a variation.

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By combining these tools and bridging the communication between the platforms, marketers are able to create a rich and engaging experience. Brands can facilitate a more holistic journey for their customers by enabling a cross-channel marketing program that tailors the message and timing of each communication to each recipient based on who they are and what they are interested in at the moment.

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