Top of the Class in terms of flexibilty, scalabilty and freedom from a developer perspective
Updated July 07, 2015

Top of the Class in terms of flexibilty, scalabilty and freedom from a developer perspective

Danny (Danny Blaq) Tran | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Software Version

Enterprise 2.0

Overall Satisfaction with Salesforce Marketing Cloud Email Studio

We are using Salesforce Markting Cloud across all of our businesses and we have implemented it across all of our outbound messaging / marketing efforts.
  • It is very scalable from a developer's view. The proprietary AMPscripting is very powerful in allowing developers to leverage most of platform programmatically which most providers are lacking. I believe that is the one key component making the Salesforce Marketing Cloud superior to others.
  • Data Segmentation via SQL. Most applications I have seen require you to use their interface to build your queries within the GUI. However, SF MC allows you to leverage SQL to access pretty much all of the Data points via Data Extensions and Data Views. Data Extensions are equivalent to database tables that the user can control and the "Data Views" are system databases that contain all of the Salesforce behavioral data such as bounces, send, clicks, opens, etc. You can write powerful queries that can leverage all of them to segment in real time if you want.
  • Powerful API. We are leveraging their API to hook in several of our company systems to process triggers, imports and other applications. There is a lot of flexibility in terms of how you would create different applications depending on what outcome you are looking for.
  • Templates are great as you can leverage regular HTML and AMPscript to create complex solution as I have done. I built a template system that allows to be used across 40+ different newsletters using only 1 master template that will conform according to the "newsletter type" and populate all of it components that a non-tech users selects. The data is also being called in via AMPScript. There are a lot of options.
  • Microsites which can be used for many things. I built a content generator that leverages many of the Salesforce MC components. The tool allows editor to enter newsletter data, manipulate, preview and submit which will then will be processed to output the final rendered email for deployment. It allows the use of many scripting language like JS, Jquery, AJAX, etc.
  • Customer Service. It took quite some time to find a support "partner". Overall Salesforce account management and service is not the greatest. Not sure if it is due to their rapid growth or sheer arrogance. I now have found someone that is great from a support level but it took about 2 years and during that time we had many "hard meetings" to address our issues.
  • When using SQL one of the pain points is that you have to output everything into a Data Extension which has to be built before you can run the queries, you can't connect a 3rd party tool like Navicat, RazorSQL to get outputs while you are writing queries. So it can be a daunting task especially when you are building complex campaigns and need to see results immediately.
  • Copying certain components like Data Extensions. Sometimes you may want to repurpose data but you can't just copy a data extension, you have to build it again. You can copy structure but not data, and there is no tool for it. The same for business units, we use a production and testing business unit. We build applications in the testing bu but then have to manually recreate everything in production.
  • The ability to built the content generator along with the template system streamlined our business tremendously. It allowed us to shift responsbilities to another department which saved us about 10 hours per day. In addition we are able to to increase our workload by a minimum of 10 fold.
  • Churning out initiatives have been a lot easier as we have the freedom to control it. We rely only about 10% on Exact Target for any of our programs whereas previously it used to be 80% with Epsilon
  • We are able to seamlessly integrate our editorial, marketing and engineering department in using the infrastructure
I have used Epsilon and I have evaluated Silverpop, e-Dialogue and Yesmail. From my analysis Salesforce MC is far more superior in flexibility, scalability and freedom to custom built initiatives. The AMPscripting is one of the driving forces in allowing the previous mentioned abilities. However, I can see from a marketers perspective where they simply want to send emails and segment easily. But given that effective email marketing requires a lot of different components and there is no simple way of doing it and I found that most companies that offer the out of the box solutions do a good job but there is no one size fits all and if you are trying to be really good at it which includes integrating your business such as registration, stats, CMS, API, etc. This is a much better solution.
I believe this is a very solid solution for email marketing. It is a very powerful platform and ExactTarget has been very diligent in improving the platform. One of the lacking features is the social sharing and Forward to a Friend which we are currently addressing with them and pushing to do a better job. I think they are doing their best to stay on the forefront and in my opinion are the top of their class right now. I came from using Epsilon DREAMmail which was a very hard platform that was not scalable and everything was very difficult in accomplishing, most of the time it requires Epsilon to do the work which you have to pay a pretty penny for.

I have [sent] RFPs to several platforms and for my company this was the best in that it has the flexibility for engineers and developers to build out many of the custom initiatives. I understand that marketers want to be able to build campaigns without a tech resource but quite frankly I find it very hard if you really want to be effective. In the email marketing space you need to be innovative and out-of-the-box solutions are limited.

Salesforce Marketing Cloud Feature Ratings

WYSIWYG email editor
Dynamic content
Ability to test dynamic content
Landing pages
A/B testing
Mobile optimization
Email deliverability reporting
List management
Triggered drip sequences
Standard reports
Custom reports