Despite the numerous channels marketers use to engage consumers—from social media to digital advertising—email marketing remains the most valuable. According to the Data & Marketing Association (DMA), email marketing delivers the lowest cost-per-acquisition (CPA) of any digital marketing channel. As the email service provider most used by marketers, Salesforce Marketing Cloud is constantly delivering email marketing innovations to our customers.

Today, at our third annual developer conference TrailheaDX, Salesforce is introducing the Marketing Cloud Content Block Software Developer Kit (SDK). The new SDK enables developers to build custom email content blocks, or widgets. From there, marketers can easily drag and drop the custom content blocks into their email campaigns.

Salesforce Marketing Cloud customers using Content Block SDK can also tap into the power of artificial intelligence (AI) with Salesforce Einstein to deliver predictive and personalized email communications within the custom content blocks they build. For example, a ski resort that's using Salesforce Marketing Cloud could include the real-time weather forecast in its area by using a content block in a promotional email campaign that's going out to a targeted group of consumers that have expressed interest in skiing ahead of a winter holiday weekend.

Image above: Within Salesforce Marketing Cloud, a marketer can access custom content blocks built with Content Block SDK, and include them in personalized email campaigns--such as this content block that includes the option to watch a video.

Marketers that need additional resources to create sophisticated email content can tap into Salesforce AppExchange for partner applications that can take them further in their Marketing Could campaign development. Available on our AppExchange, Salesforce partners including Pixlee, a visual marketing platform for brands using user-generated content, Liveclicker, a real-time email company and Movable Ink, an email company that presents content at time of open are building content blocks with Content Block SDK for customers.

  • Liveclicker: Liveclicker is excited to build custom content blocks for email marketers using the Salesforce platform with Marketing Cloud Content Block SDK,” said Justin Foster, Co-Founder of Liveclicker.“With the new SDK, we're enabling several types of live content in email including LiveVideo, a content block that allows marketers to embed video in email. The power of email marketing is undisputed, but in a day and age where consumers expect relevant and engaging experiences with brands, we're tasked with driving this sort of innovation in email to meet their demands. ”
  • Pixlee: "The Salesforce Marketing Cloud Content Block SDK is a huge value-add for brands that want to boost the customized email experiences they deliver to consumers through Marketing Cloud,” said Kyle Wong, CEO, Pixlee CEO. “For Pixlee, being able to build and publish highly customized blocks within email campaigns is going to improve our ability to personalize communications for our customers. Content Block SDK is a useful addition to any marketer's toolkit as they work to keep up with today's digitally-savvy consumer."
  • Movable Ink: “Movable Ink helps more than 500 clients, including Delta, eBay, Spotify and The Wall Street Journal, create compelling customer experiences through personalized, real-time email content,” said Vivek Sharma, CEO of Movable Ink. “Our integration with Salesforce Marketing Cloud is incredibly important to us because it lets our clients seamlessly build and send emails that are relevant and engaging. With Marketing Cloud Content Block SDK, we are able to create customized content and also streamline campaign production by enabling marketers to drag and drop Movable Ink content blocks into their emails.”

In the Image Below: Liveclicker is building content blocks with Marketing Cloud Content Block SDK that enable LiveTimers, LiveVideos and LiveImages within emails.

Salesforce is making personalized email engagement simple for marketers by reducing their dependency on having to develop custom code. In addition to Content Builder SDK, Salesforce also recently released Dynamic Content, Carousel and Live Image content blocks for marketers to easily develop creative, interactive and engaging emails:

  • Dynamic Content: Allows marketers to send tailored marketing campaigns to specific audience segments based on demographic information such as consumer location or status level. For example, frequent flier mile program holders may receive an email providing a free seat upgrade on their next flight.
  • Carousel: Enables marketers to include scrolling promotions within email campaigns. For example, a targeted marketing email can show five different shoe styles currently on sale in a carousel format.
  • Live Image: The Live Image block allows marketers to change an image within an email after it has been sent and opened. For example, an events company can run an email campaign giving the first 100 individuals that click on an offer within the email free tickets. Once 100 clicks are reached, Live Image replaces that part of the email with different content.

Additionally, we're releasing Enhanced Dynamic Content, which allows marketers to create tailored email content for audience segments based on demographic information, as well as upload multiple variations of that content without code. For example, an international auto rental company can use Enhanced Dynamic Content to send an offer to its rewards members all over the world while ensuring language translation and localization to specific regions.

Dynamic Content, Carousel and Live Image Blocks are currently generally available as part of Salesforce Marketing Cloud Email Studio.

Content Builder SDK and Enhanced Dynamic Content will be generally available in April 2018 with Salesforce Marketing Cloud Email Studio.

To learn more about Salesforce Marketing Cloud, please visit: https://www.salesforce.com/products/marketing-cloud/overview/

In conjunction with our TrailheaDX developer conference this week, we’ve been interviewing experts on the IT skills gap, low-code development, and citizen developers. For more on these topics, check out:

Jonathan Reichental, CIO of the city of Palo Alto, on why we face a skills gap in the Fourth Industrial Revolution; Anna Rodriguez of Slalom on how developer skills can keep pace with tech trends; Michael Krigsman of CXOTalk on why the growing skills gap is provoking an “innovation vs efficiency” struggle in IT, and Sarah Franklin of Salesforce on how to empower everyone to be a developer.