It’s not uncommon for brands to be more mature in their relationship marketing practices than they are on their websites. Often, marketers discover that there’s a rich set of data stored in another system like Salesforce that they can utilize to supplement personalized user experiences on their websites. When you’re emailing your subscriber list through Marketing Cloud, wouldn’t it be nice if a contact who rarely or never visits your site clicked through to find a personalized user experience?
Related: Best Practices for Using Salesforce’s New Chatbots
Identify Those Contacts
If you are familiar with Sitecore, you know that the real personalization fun can start once you have identified a contact. Yes, you can provide personalized experiences to anonymous contacts, but you can provide a much more tailored site experience to the contacts you identify.
The key to identifying a contact is having a unique piece of information about them. Thankfully, since you are targeting people through email campaigns you have an email address, which will do just fine. In the example below, I’m going to assume that when a user clicks a link from inside an email you have sent them that a unique identifier—in this case an email address—is sent along with them.
Hook into MVC Request to Begin Pipeline
Before we go any further, I want to note a few things. The example below was coded against Sitecore 8.2. If you are using Sitecore 9, I would recommend utilizing xConnect. It is also worth noting that Sitecore recently announced Sitecore Connect, the first in a new series of Sitecore developed modules between Sitecore and Salesforce Marketing Cloud.
In the interest of making this easier to digest, I consolidated things into a single class. If you are doing this in production, I would recommend moving the credentials to an encrypted web.config and moving the logic for getting someone out of Marketing Cloud to a repository.
Put the Data to Use
This is where the real fun starts. Now that you have all this data as a part of your contact, you can begin to personalize the user’s experience based on what you know about them. Let’s start with something basic like pre-populating a custom form with the user’s information.
Prepopulate custom form with SFMC data
Now that all of the data from Marketing Cloud is in our contact facets, pre-populating forms is now as easy as accessing those values. Using Web Forms for Marketers? Check out how to prepopulate those on the Sitecore Community.
Personalization Rules Based on Contact Facets
Another huge benefit of having all of this data about your site visitors is the ability to feed said data into Sitecore’s rich personalization engine. Unfortunately, Sitecore does not have a rule available out of the box to personalize components based on all of the facets on a contact. Thankfully, Brian Pedersen and Martin Rygaard have come up with just the solution to do so. Check out their blog post, which explains how you can expose all of the data you’ve already populated on your contact to use in personalization rules.
This is really just the tip of the iceberg of the things you can start to do when you connect Sitecore to a large set of data. Happy personalizing!