On Oct. 9, Perficient colleagues Mary Jo Schweitzer, email marketing manager; Elizabeth Dias, senior Salesforce marketing manager; and I gave a presentation at the Salesforce User Group Meeting held at World Wide Technology in St. Louis, Mo.
The presentation was framed as a ‘fireside chat’ with Perficient’s Marketing and Demand Generation teams. Our goal was to provide an inside look at how Perficient uses Salesforce Pardot and to share our approach for using Pardot’s marketing automation tools – such as landing pages and mobile-optimized emails – to build one-to-one customer campaigns and personalized email communications that empower sales and marketing teams to better market, sell, and engage today’s savvy buyers.
The event was well attended, and Andrea Wallace, Salesforce administrator at WWT, did a fantastic job coordinating her first Salesforce User Group event as the group’s new president. We also wrapped up our presentation with a look at our projected Marketing Cloud roadmap, which is based on marketing trends and information that Salesforce shared at the Dreamforce conference in September.
Below are some of the key topics we discussed:
- An overview of Perficient’s Marketing organization
- How marketing automation has revolutionized the way businesses engage with buyers, which is what drove Perficient to leverage a new Platform (Pardot)
- Highlights from our Pardot implementation
- How Pardot supports Demand Generation, campaign tracking, landing pages, lead conversions, email personalization, responsive templates, lead nurturing, and more
- Key Pardot tools for digital marketers
- An example of how Perficient supports “A/B testing” of email campaign content approaches that leverage different content sources – for example, video vs. white papers
We showcased how Pardot simplifies A/B testing by creating “A” versions and “B” versions that allow users to change out subject lines. These versions can be distributed to a small random sample of customers. Success data then identifies which source to use for the larger customer base. Figure 1 is an example screen shot from Pardot:
We also discussed Responsive Templates and presented actual Perficient templates used for our Dreamforce email campaigns. Perficient had decided to make all of its templates mobile-optimized, and Pardot offers several pre-made templates. We selected the two-column, and three-column email template formats, as they were the closest to our current templates.
Mary Jo explained that switching out all templates was no easy task. She wasn’t required to understand the specific code for these emails, but she did need to know if our emails were appearing optimized on a mobile device. The good news is that Pardot allows users to view emails in a testing subsection made available on almost all desktop, web and mobile email clients. This preview shows what prospects would see if they viewed your email on Outlook 2010 or 2013, an Android, an iPhone, or other platforms.
Pardot users can also preview how the subject line appears in each client and indicates if the email content and code pass standard spam checks. This was great for Perficient’s Marketing team because, prior to Pardot, some of our email campaigns were failing Gmail spam tests.
In addition to testing these templates, Perficient’s Marketing team was also able to see how well the email did after it was delivered. We could also break down the report to show read rate, skim rate and the numbers of prints and forwards. Figure 2 is an example of the dashboard that I report on after every email:
Overall, the St. Louis User Group presentation was well received and feedback from the users was fantastic. In my opinion, it’s much more effective to have end users of a technology, such as Pardot, showcase and describe actual use cases rather than walk audiences through basic technology feature overview presentations. We look to do more Perficient and customer “use case” presentations like this for other user groups and conferences for the other technologies we use and support.
If you would like more information on Perficient or have us present for one of your user groups, please contact Jason Hudnall, St. Louis general manger, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or via LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/in/jasonhudnall.