April 2nd - put it in your diary, right now

Posted On by Dan Elman

Web forms… they’re clunky and time-consuming for marketers to setup. As customers we are forced to take unforeseen steps - which is quite frankly - time and effort that we’d rather be spending elsewhere. More often than not, form completion rates end up lower than marketers would like.

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Well it’s my great pleasure to inform you that web forms on landing pages could be destined for that great big recycle bin in the cloud, making way for a quicker, seamless process, enabling us as customers to share more about ourselves with brands we trust and respect. I’ll tell you why.

Back in 2015, while managing customer marketing for a Financial Services ‘scale-up’ our team experimented in removing friction from customer data collection. It was early December and we planned to send a ‘Seasons Greetings’ email to all our customers. We wanted to offer them the opportunity to choose to whom we’d give our annual donation, from the two charities we had internally championed, by way of a customer vote.

Our email designer built a beautiful postcard-style mobile responsive email which presented both charities, with large clear voting buttons. Each voting button led to a different ‘Thank you’ landing page (not on CloudPages) and we planned to excitedly track arrivals to both pages in Google Analytics.

It worked a treat. Sensational CTR. The winning charity received a great many votes. For our customers it was perfect UX, just one click.

Today we would create a CloudPage with a SmartCapture block, directing customers towards our webform from their email via a CloudPage URL, referencing their subscriber key as a hidden field, so that the landing page can record which customer voted and what they voted for, giving us the opportunity to reference that data (in JourneyBuilder) to that customer’s advantage, while they are in a relevant journey.

But in April that all changes.

Ladies & Gentlemen… may I introduce…

Email Form Block

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Da-dah!

At this stage, details are sketchy…

Salesforce say…

“This block is for marketers who want to gather more information from their subscribers. Use cases can include anything from progressive profiling to product reviews. This feature requires CloudPages.”

Progressive profiling has long been a staple of the customer marketing toolkit. Why force a customer to go through the ordeal of a questionnaire that most won’t complete, when the key information you need to guide them to the right service or product can be obtained in a single question. If this is an easy and seamless experience then you can ask customers questions whenever you want, within reason.

So how will it work?

Salesforce say…

“Drag the Email Form block in the editor and configure your settings. Ensure that you create and publish the CloudPages Interactive Email page before configuring the Content Builder block.”

Basically, the need to code AMPscript has been removed from data capture form setup and now all marketers, whether they code or not, can accomplish this.

The Salesforce Marketing Cloud product team clearly want to achieve two things with this release.

  • Democratisation of data capture so that anyone can do more of it.
  • Help improve the customer experience when providing their data, so they’ll share it more freely.

The implications of this huge step forward cannot be underplayed

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More customer intent data

= better understanding of each customer’s needs/wants/desires
= greater opportunities for marketing conversion

It’s a win-win scenario and I am very excited to see it in action in Salesforce’s ‘Marketing Cloud New Release Webinar’ on April 2nd.

Let’s hope the demo lives up to the hype!

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