In the Inside View series, we’re unveiling some unique and unexpected ways teams across the Salesforce organization leverage Marketing Cloud. We recently discussed how we use Journey Builder, Email and Mobile to drive adoption of the Salesforce1 App, and then how our Competitive Intelligence team uses Marketing Cloud and its features to empower our account executives to win deals. Next, let’s examine how Marketing Cloud helps Salesforce deliver spectacular events.


Welcome to the Show that Never Ends

Each year, Salesforce has the pleasure of hosting hundreds of thousands of prospects and customers at major events like Dreamforce, Connections, and World Tours, as well as countless smaller gatherings across the globe. As a marketer, you can undoubtedly appreciate the work that goes into making sure that each event is well attended, and ensuring that every participant has a memorable and rewarding experience.

To achieve these objectives, it’s only natural that our teams leverage Marketing Cloud to power journeys. To illustrate, let’s check out how we recently used the combination of email, mobile and social advertising to deliver highly personalized journeys before and during the digital marketing event of the year—Connections.



Dynamic Email Invites and Mobile Messages Start Journey

To generate awareness and drive registrations for Connections, the events marketing team developed promotional emails using mobile-responsive templates. In addition to event highlights to get recipients excited, the emails included a ‘countdown clock’ indicating the days, hours and minutes until the event. The clock was dynamically updated at the time of open.

To drive further results, we borrowed a play from the retail playbook. Similar to when a shopper abandons a cart, Marketing Cloud retargeted those who showed interest, but did not complete their registration, by sending an abandoned registration email. The message generated an impressive open rate of 46%, engagement of 31%, and click rate of 15%.

Once registered, attendees received an immediate confirmation and were entered into a four-part pre-event journey spanning email and mobile. The series started with an email overview of what attendees could expect at the event. Two weeks later, they received an email highlighting sessions relevant to their known interests—the content was automatically tailored for each individual subscriber. 

Mobile Complements Email Campaigns

The series continued on mobile when we began to communicate with subscribers who had previously opted in. Once registered, the first mobile message linked to a landing page for the event. There, the content was tailored to the time left until the event began. So someone who registered a month prior to the start of the event would receive “We can’t wait to see you in 30 days”, but someone who registered a week out would receive “We can’t wait to see you in 7 days!”

Just before the event began, we sent one more email to share tips and tricks for a successful event. We also included a call to action that enabled attendees to add the event to their calendars. Given the proximity to the start of Connections, we saw our best results with this email, with an open rate of almost 60% and a click through rate of 20%.

1-to-1 Ads Target Past Attendees

While the previous email and mobile journeys were in place, we also used Active Audiences to deliver digital advertising on Facebook and Twitter. We leveraged past registration data to target attendees who have been to Connections before but had not registered for this year’s event. The response?  We saw click-through rates of over 1% on these ads, which is absolutely phenomenal for display advertising.



To drive further engagement, the Facebook and Twitter ads continued after an attendee registered for the event. In one ad series, the goal was to have new registrants add Connections to their calendar. The ads ran for a few weeks, and produced click through rates of 3-9%. In another series, the objective was to get attendees to opt-in to Mobile SMS campaigns. From this, we generated over 800 SMS opt-ins in just two weeks.

SMS and MMS Drive App Downloads and Interest

The previous creative uses of email, mobile and social generated over 10,000 attendees at the event. But that wasn’t the end of the journey—to keep attendees engaged onsite, it was important that we encourage them to download the Connections mobile app and attend certain key sessions.

Using SMS and MMS—powered by MobileConnect—we were able to reach opted-in subscribers to drive action. In one SMS message, we provided links to download the Connections app. In another, we delivered a fun peek at some of the great content attendees could expect. Through the combination, we were able to drive an additional 4,400 downloads of the mobile app and create standing-room only crowds for critical sessions.

Mobile Push Keeps Attendees Engaged

Thousands of downloads of the Connections mobile app provided an excellent opportunity to use push messaging. The strategy included a combination of standard push messages, as well as messages triggered by beacons and geofencing.



The phone on the left shows an example of one of our many push messages sent through the app. In general, push messages are more transactional and are consumed quickly and then disappear, so we were really specific about our content. An example of a standard push message was directing attendees to the keynote room.

Next, we used beacon technology to pinpoint where attendees were within the venue and serve them relevant content. For example, we placed a beacon at the registration desk. If an attendee had the mobile app downloaded and they approached the registration are, they received a push message with their QR code for check-in, like the message you see on the middle phone. This was a great way to send immediately relevant content.

Lastly, we created a geofence around larger areas at the event. For example, we had welcome messages triggered by geofences at all New York City airports and Union station for those traveling in for the event. We also reached local attendees by geofencing Javits center where the event was held. These innovative uses of Push Technology resulted in 5,400 Mobile Push Opt-Ins and a 37% year over year increase. 

The Results of the Journey

The Connections journey really had incredible results, all thanks to Marketing Cloud technology. Using our Email, Mobile and Social products within Journey Builder, we were able to drive registration and get more than 10,000 attendees on-site at the event. We were excited to see that on average, 40% of our emails were opened, and we also exceeded our goal of increasing app downloads by 37%. Overall, Marketing Cloud powered these journeys for our attendees and created an incredible experience both before and during the event!

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Marketing Cloud powers customer journeys for businesses of all shapes and sizes—including Salesforce. Need some more inspiration? Discover how Marketing Cloud can help your business drive engagement with the Salesforce for Marketers eBook