Ready to take the Salesforce Marketing Cloud Email Specialist Certification? Here’s a list of practical strategies that will help you get prepped.
No matter your learning style, we’ve got cert prep resources such as self-led learning on Trailhead—Salesforce’s free online learning platform—on-demand learning from Trailhead LIVE, Trailhead Academy expert-led classes, and more!
I’m Brian Richardson, a Certified Instructor, and 6x Salesforce-certified.
As a part of the Salesforce Marketing Cloud world for more than 11 years, my main focus has been helping beginners—employees or customers—learn how to use Marketing Cloud.
Get cert ready
My time with Salesforce and the Trailblazer Community as a teacher, mentor, and student has given me insight into the best ways to get prepped for success on the Marketing Cloud Email Specialist Certification exam. It’s also helped me develop effective test-taking strategies for any Salesforce Certification exam.
Before we begin, I want to make sure you approach these tips with the right mindset. The correct strategies and tactics for you will differ depending on your level of marketing and Salesforce Marketing Cloud experience.
There’s no one-size-fits-all plan. If you’re a complete marketing newbie, you’ll need to focus on different areas than those who are seasoned digital pros just looking to prove it with this certification.
Let’s get started!
1. Really study the exam guide
It probably won’t be the most exciting part of your day, but reading the directions is actually quite helpful. Our guides offer you a roadmap for the exam, laying out not only the topics that will be covered but also the percentages of each topic on the test. You want to make sure you spend your time studying for the things that will make up the bulk of the questions, right?
It’s also possible that you’re used to using Marketing Cloud in a way that’s particular to your organization. But even if you’ve mastered a specific section of Marketing Cloud, the Salesforce Certified Marketing Cloud Email Specialist Exam Guide will let you know which other areas you may need to give some attention to.
2. Blaze a trail with Trailhead
Don’t fall behind on the trail–make sure you’ve prepped adequately by following the Prepare for your Marketing Cloud Email Specialist Credential trailmix. It covers all of the essential information you’ll need.
That’s the starting point, but it’s far from the finish line! There’s been quite an increase in Marketing Cloud content over the last few years, and we don’t see that trend stopping anytime soon.
Simply search for the topic you’re interested in and you’re sure to find new, relevant information to help you along the way. A few of my favorites are Email Deliverability Concepts and Quick Start: Create and Send a Message in Journey Builder.
3. See it LIVE
Trailhead LIVE is one of the coolest things to happen in the last few years, because it gives you the opportunity to see our pros focus in-depth on particular topics of interest.
Trailhead LIVE’s content is like bite-sized training snacks as opposed to the all-you-can-eat buffet that a training course offers. If you want to review any training concepts you’re not perfectly clear on, this is the right place to go. You can see many types of content that I and my colleagues have posted.
A few sessions that might be particularly helpful include:
- Marketing Cloud – Roles and Permissions
- Preparing for your Marketing Cloud Consultant Certification – Data Designer and Attribute Groups
(Don’t let that last title throw you—the Contact Builder and attribute groups concept definitely applies to the Marketing Cloud Email Specialist Certification!)
4. Enter the world of webinars
You have your choice of excellent Salesforce webinars that will help expand your knowledge of Marketing Cloud. The list of topics is always growing, and many are available on-demand.
Also, get some Certification Days on your calendar. These are special, one-day sessions that focus on the specific topics you’ll need to master in order to ace a certification exam. Be sure to look out for the Preparing for your Marketing Cloud Email Marketing Specialist Certification Day webinar, as it’s the perfect way to cover the exam basics.
Now, realistically, we can’t take you from beginner to pro in just one day. We also can’t cover every single exam topic in detail. But we can jump-start your prep and break down the core concepts while sharing tips and tricks to help you master them—and instructors can offer their advice, too.
A Certification Day is just one part of your prep plan, but it can be a key part. I’ve had students tell me that Certification Days helped give them that final push they needed in order to get certified.
5. Get expert input
I can’t emphasize this enough: If you can, take the Build and Analyze Customer Journeys using Marketing Cloud (MKT101) course.
This course debuted in 2020 and is 5 days of pure awesomeness! It offers a chance for you to review the foundations of data, administration, segmentation, email creation, automation, and so much more.
6. Learn to love the practice test
If you want to see the areas you’re acing, as well as the areas that still need some work, then the Email Specialist Practice Test will be a huge help. Even Marketing Cloud experts may need to review the parts they don’t often use.
Certification exams ask you to apply knowledge in a way that shows you know the pros and cons of each available option. The exam will likely require you to think about problems differently than you are used to in your day-to-day missions. The practice test will help you develop that way of thinking and set you up for exam day success.
7. Read up
Start with Email Marketing Best Practices and then just keep reading. There are so many free resources available to you, so be sure to take advantage of them.
There’s content for everyone here, with a wide range of information on topics like using psychology to make your emails more appealing, how to respond to mistakes in an email, and so much more!
Long after you’ve reached pro status and obtained your Marketing Cloud Email Specialist Certification, there will still be great information here to help you grow in your career.
Bonus: Rap it up!
Well, that’s a wrap on this list of prep tips. I hope it’s been helpful! As the official Salesforce rapping instructor, I’d be remiss not to share my Marketing Cloud rap with you.
Pro tip: Read the Trailhead Academy Instructor Tips to Make Salesforce Concepts Stick blog for helpful memory tricks (you can also see my rap on Automation Studio!).
There are more links in that blog to my videos on Sales Cloud concepts like Record Types and Record Access. Hey, maybe you’re just really into bad rapping… Either way, there are some fun things to check out!
Best of luck in acing your exam and obtaining your Marketing Cloud Email Specialist credential. Be sure to give me a shout on social when you do (extra points awarded if it’s in rap form!).