3 ways to integrate with Salesforce Marketing Cloud

3 ways to integrate with Salesforce Marketing Cloud

When creating and managing a websites and mobile apps, the ultimate goal is to have all your systems as integrated as possible. From your CRM to your Ecommerce system, and also your Marketing Automation platform.

 

When it comes to integrating your solution with Salesforce Marketing Cloud, there are several options that can fit your need. The following 3 are the most common integration options I’ve:

 

SOAP & REST API

 

What is it?

 

An API (Application Programming Interface) is a set of tools that allows the communication between various software components. In other words, an API is the messenger that runs and delivers your request to the provider you’re requesting it from, and then delivers the response back to you. The 2 types of API provided by Salesforce Marketing Cloud are: SOAP and REST. They can be used to create objects (such as folders, emails, portfolios), send email or start queries programmatically.

 

  • REST: It’s a architectural style of communication that can use different types of data for said communication (such as plain text, HTML, XML, JSON, etc). SFMC REST API exposes broader access to Marketing Cloud capabilities. Particularly, it uses JSON request and response bodies and resource endpoints to support multi-channel use.
  • SOAP: This protocol uses XML Information Set for its message format, which allows processes running on disparate operating systems (such as Windows and Linux). SFMC SOAP API Provides comprehensive access to most email functionality.

 

When to use it?

 

You would typically use the SFMC API to send transactional messages, update Subscriber Statuses, or create complex integrations between a third party and SFMC. Keep in mind that you should use this method if your team has experience with programming languages such as C#, PHP or Java.

 

Advantages

 

  • Broad range of options and functionalities
  • Allows dynamic interaction with SFMC
  • Can be adapted to your current development environment

 

Disadvantages

 

  • Requires experience using programming languages
  • Some of your product features will be dependant of the status of the SFMC API

 

Where to begin?

 

Check  the official documentation on Salesforce Marketing Cloud website

 

Cloud Pages

 

What is it?

 

In cloud pages you create a collection of one or more landing pages hosted in your Marketing Cloud account. A cloud page is an individual web page. They can contain static content, personalized content if you link from an email, and AMPscript. Also they can be integrated into your website using iFrames.

 

When to use it?

 

Cloud Pages are a great way to go if you don’t have enough resources to integrate a web page from your website directly to SMFC.

 

By using Cloud pages you can create interesting tools such as a custom preference center for your users, in which they can select their preferences regarding your products, when they want to receive emails or change their personal data. Another example would be a sign-up page for your website, so your users can have their own username and password.To create one, you can choose:

 

  • Paste in landing page HTML that you created in an outside HTML program or you enter in the HTML directly.
  • Select a quick layout to use. A quick layout acts like an email template, allowing you to drop content into content areas on the layout.
  • Revise an existing page.

 

Advantages

 

  • Ability to create fully functional web pages and microsites  inside SFMC
  • You can use your own html pages or use templates
  • You can use Ampscript to extend your site’s functionality
  • Ability to interact with all of the SFMC tools directly from your pages

 

Disadvantages

 

  • They  tend to be smaller than traditional websites
  • Usually, they are designed for a specific purpose or campaign
  • They are published independently from your branded site

 

Where to begin?

 

Check  the official documentation on Salesforce Marketing Cloud web page

 

WEB COLLECT

 

What is it?

The last method we will discuss here is Web Collect. This is a Marketing Cloud form functionality that allows your users to subscribe, provide attribute information, or unsubscribe from your communications on your website. Gathered information can be stored on a Subscriber List or on a Data Extensions using DEManager. By using DEManager you can then set up the fields from your web form to be captured in the data extension using the Name field value of those fields as defined in the data extension.

 

When to use it?

 

Let’s say that you want to have an event (an special sale, for instance) and you want to let your clients know about the upcoming offers. With web collect, you can create a web form so your clients can decide if they want to receive offers and newsletters from your company by subscribing to your event. If they decide that they don’t want to receive new anymore, they can simply unsubscribe from said event.

 

Advantages

 

  • Allow your website visitors to subscribe to your email publications and thus be added to the appropriate subscriber lists in your account.
  • Allow your existing subscribers to unsubscribe from your email publications and thus be removed from the appropriate subscriber lists in your account.
  • Allow your existing subscribers to update the profile data that you maintain for them in your account.
  • Ensure that all data entered by your website visitors into the Web Collect form will be valid when saved to your account.
  • Capture errors encountered by your website visitors in this process and display friendly messages to your visitors.

 

Disadvantages

 
While not necessary disadvantages, before creating a web collect, have in mind the following topics:

  • You’ll need the list ID of each exposed subscriber list.
  • Also, you need to pass your member ID (account ID) in your form as a hidden input field.
  • You’ll need to set up this 3 supporting pages:
    • Error page: Displayed when user encounters an error.
    • Thank You page: Displayed after the user successfully submit their data.
    • Unsubscribe Confirmation page: Displayed after the user unsubscribes.

 

Where to begin?

 

Check  the official documentation on Salesforce Marketing Cloud page

 

As you can see, Salesforce Marketing Cloud provides a broad range of possibilities to suit your needs. If you need assistance or you have questions or comments or any of these methods you can contact us by filling out the form on our site.

Fernando Cellini