FastForward for Salesforce Marketing Cloud
The toolbox for process design, deployment, backups, and monitoring
Over the past 20 years, Salesforce Marketing Cloud (SFMC) has grown to become a powerful multichannel platform that supports even the most complex data processes, journeys, and organizational requirements. The fact remains, however, that it requires a great deal of manual effort. In FastForward, Publicare has developed a web-based platform that takes full advantage of SFMC’s standard APIs to automate myriad tasks across all the phases of process and journey management. Besides eliminating tedious recurring activities like the provisioning of multiple business units, this makes it possible to identify and address system and process issues at an early stage.
FastForward offers SFMC experts five tools in a modular, software-as-a-service format. This means you can choose the ones that will help you implement your digital communication processes more quickly, reliably, and conveniently than ever before in SFMC.
Create blueprints with ease and roll out assets at the press of a button
Smart Sandbox: the intelligent deployment solution
If you use Salesforce Marketing Cloud for more than one business unit (BU) and want to replicate your standard processes in each of them, you probably know what a chore that can be. You have to spend time rebuilding processes and assets you’ve already created before distributing them and testing them for errors. To make matters worse, the program elements need to be created and tested directly within your live environment.
With Smart Sandbox, you can save yourself days of development work and mitigate the risks involved in just a few clicks. This will significantly reduce your development costs while also bringing about a marked improvement in quality.
Smart Sandbox comes with the following tools for the modern developer:
Blueprint creation and deployment
- Why keep rebuilding when you can copy and paste? Package all your assets – including the data extensions, automation, and e-mails associated with a given process (a double opt-in or a preference center, for example) – and then simply click to roll it out to any SFMC business unit
- Replicating processes that have already been tested and approved prevents the mistakes that can occur in copying them manually, which ensures a consistently high level of quality in every deployment
- Development in a true sandbox environment makes it possible to create and test processes in isolation before you deploy them
- Compare assets across multiple business units with a difference viewer
- This simple and systematic method will show you what’s missing after copying assets from a test BU to a live BU (for example)
- Checking whether all your business units are on the same page following a migration couldn’t be easier
- Thanks to its error-highlighting feature, you’ll be able to identify mistakes immediately and won’t have to waste time tracking them down later on
Book a FastForward Demo
We’d love to show you how FastForward can make your digital communication processes not only faster, but also more secure and easy to manage in SFMC. Why not set up an appointment for a live demo with no obligation today?
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Control Center: your 360-degree cockpit
From prize contests and newsletter subscription processes all the way to multichannel customer journeys, Salesforce Marketing Cloud’s APIs give you all the freedom you need to integrate data from various sources. But what if an error crops up somewhere? You’re more or less blind, especially in complex, highly customized data processes. In cases like these, you’ll only realize there’s a problem once you start seeing the consequences, such as a lack of new subscribers – or even complaints about unwanted e-mail.
Luckily, you can put all this behind you: In addition to displaying processes, error messages, and KPIs in a single dashboard, Control Center offers a real-time error monitoring and warning system that makes pinpointing and eliminating problems a snap.
Control Center is the right cockpit for a powerful marketing platform like SFMC, it includes:
Error logging and classification
- To help you ensure flawless data processes, errors are automatically logged, localized, and classified in terms of their severity – all in real time
- Identify and address serious (and thus potentially costly) mistakes early on, including in flawed opt-in processes
- Full transparency across all processes facilitates prompt, targeted support and minimizes maintenance effort
- Graphical presentation of various metrics will help you maintain an overview and recognize process errors right away
- Flexible settings make it possible to visualize processes, errors, and KPIs via Grafana, whether in the form of standard values or fully customized dashboards
Early-warning system (alerts)
- Control Center’s warning system ensures that critical errors won’t go unnoticed for long
- Define custom alerts based on various thresholds to notify certain individuals when certain errors (or numbers of errors) occur
- Take advantage of automated monitoring and notification
Safety Store: when you need to go back in time
Let’s face it – mistakes happen. Content Builder templates get edited and thrown all out of whack by accident; code snippets get erased; and restoring them (or simply recreating them from scratch) tends to take a lot of manual effort. If certain assets are deleted without anyone noticing, deliveries can even be interrupted. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a directly integrated function that automatically and systematically backed up all your assets, clearly displayed their versions, and enabled you to roll back to previous iterations at the click of a mouse?
Welcome to Safety Store! With it, you can define how often certain assets are backed up and simply go back in time should a critical issue arise. Once you’ve restored a tried-and-tested version of the problem asset, you can take all the time you need to find and fix the source of the error – and then jump ahead to the future as it was intended to be.
Safety Store is the comprehensive backup solution for Salesforce Marketing Cloud, and it includes a number of ways to minimize risk:
Safety Store for Salesforce Marketing Cloud includes:
Automated backup routines
- Have regular backups created without the need for manual intervention
- All types of SFMC Content Builder assets (templates, e-mails, e-mail content, code snippets, and more) can be automatically included in backups, along with data extensions and automation activities
- Backups can be created as often as you wish
Change log versioning
- Backups are archived in chronological order, enabling you to browse through the “timeline” of all your assets
- Since the change log clearly displays the versions of assets, you can select those that were working just before a problem was discovered (for example)
- Restoring assets couldn’t be simpler
- An entire asset system can be rolled back to a previous version (assuming all its elements were selected for backup)
- With a stable prior iteration ensuring seamless operations, you won’t be under pressure to track down errors
Process Designer: drag-and-drop in a visual environment
Salesforce Marketing Cloud offers a full array of ways to integrate data from multiple source systems and trigger transactional e-mails based on data processes. Unfortunately, what SFMC doesn’t include is a feature you can use to view and monitor processes like these. This means testing takes considerable effort, and it rarely delivers flawless results.
Enter Process Designer, which brings transparency to such processes. Finally, you’ll have a convenient way to validate, transform, and transport data – all in a visual way in an intuitive drag-and-drop interface that will reduce the potential for errors while saving you a great deal of time.
- Simply drag and drop data processes between a wide range of systems, applications, and SFMC itself
- Visual process design means you’ll spend less time programming and more time on configuration
- The graphical presentation of processes will make the logic behind them readily apparent, which facilitates teamwork
- Integrated monitoring and alerts when using the Control Center module: Reports on delivery times, quantities, error types and frequency, and engagement information like opens and clicks will give you comprehensive process transparency instead of a black box
Process Designer makes data processes transparent:
A UI for the Transactional Messaging API
Salesforce recommends the Transactional Messaging API for all messages that aren’t promotional in nature. In this context, data (from an ERP or shop system, for example) is sent via the API to SFMC – but the entire process is more or less hidden from the user.
The transactional messaging module of Process Designer makes the procedures involved both transparent and configurable:
- Simple, convenient use of the SFMC Transactional Messaging API via a graphical user interface that’s accessible for non-developers, as well
- Flawless processes thanks to data validation and performance optimization
- Error logging, monitoring, and alerts via the FastForward Control Center
Data validation and transformation
- Content can be supplied from a wide variety of endpoints (ERP, shop systems, forms, and more), validated, and forwarded on to various other endpoints in the same (or a converted) form
- The validation process indicates when content is missing or improperly formatted
- The module receives e-mail content from a given endpoint, validates and transforms it, and writes it to a target data extension in SFMC (this is an easy way to personalize a transaction e-mail, for example)
- Thanks to its data validation and transformation features, Process Designer ensures stable, smooth-running processes in sending transactional messages
Compliance Center: 100% above board
Salesforce Marketing Cloud was developed before the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was drafted. Since personal data that’s relevant in connection with the right of access or the right to erasure is stored in many different places (including data from non-sendable data extensions), ensuring these rights fully is virtually impossible in SFMC. Or at least it was – until now.
Compliance Center makes it easy to automatically track down all the entries and references to a given subscriber key across all your business units and data extensions – including in system-specific storage data like clicks, bounces, and sends. By offering live validation of e-mails and other data (either at the time of entry or after the fact), Compliance Center also makes sure your systems are clean and secure.
Module for GDPR compliance and high-quality data:
- Delete all data records pertaining to an individually configurable unique identifier (a subscriber key, contact ID, e-mail address, etc.)
- Batch-process multiple deletion requests directly from your CRM system (via an API) or by uploading a CSV file
- Obtain status information on any deletion request both in the user interface and via API queries
- Create a full personal data report in just two clicks
- Customize layouts to suit your needs
- Access all your data views and data extensions
- Utilize various output formats (PDF, CSV, JSON)
- Take advantage of a process queue and zip file support for each report configuration
- Validate data as it’s being entered into forms – especially e-mail addresses, but also postal addresses and phone numbers
- This results in clean lists, lower hard bounce rates, and an improved sender reputation
- Live validation within journeys by means of
- GDPR-compliant batch validation (of older e-mail lists or those generated through prize contests, for example) prior to the start of campaigns, which helps eliminate trash addresses and avoid spam traps