Getting started with Sitecore Marketing Automation – Part 2

Posted 11/12/2021 by Sana Kamalmaz

In a previous post, we had a quick walkthrough of Sitecore Marketing Automation. Now that we’re familiar with the interface, let’s create a simple campaign. We’ll go over the process step by step using the following scenario:

Scenario

We have a blog post with top-of-funnel content (content that doesn’t try to sell the reader on a product or service, but instead educates, helps, and answers common questions or pain points). At the end of the post, there’s a call to action to download an e-book that dives deeper into the topic. The user must submit a form to get the e-book. Once a user downloads the e-book, we want to send them a thank you email (email A). We then want to wait for a couple of days and send them another email with a link to a case study related to the topic featuring a product/service that we offer (email B). We believe that those contacts who view the case study are qualified and likely farther down the buying process, so we want to hand them over to Sales. For those who don’t view the case study, we want to send them a reminder email to do so (email C). If they don’t open that one, we will assume they are not interested at this time, and we’ll let them know that we won’t be bothering them with further communication and that we’ll be happy to help them once they are ready (email D).

Prerequisites

To create the campaign based on the scenario above, we need to have the following set up:

  • A Sitecore form that:
    • captures lead contact information
    • triggers a goal (goal A) when submitted
  • A case study associated with a goal (goal B) that is triggered when the case study is viewed
  • Automated email campaigns (emails A through D outlined in the scenario above)

How to create a marketing automation campaign in Sitecore step-by-step

  1. In Sitecore Launchpad, under Marketing Applications, go to Marketing Automation. Once in the Marketing Automation application, click the blue Create button at the top left corner of the page

    How to access Sitecore Marketing Automation

  2. To set up how contacts get enrolled in the campaign, click the start element (the blue funnel icon at the top of the canvas) to configure it. The element settings pane will appear on the right. In our scenario, we want to enroll those contacts who download the e-book. Our e-book lead generation form is set up to trigger goal A when submitted. Therefore, in the element settings pane, we’ll keep the setting to enroll contacts when they complete goals, events or outcomes selected, and in the Select a goal drop down menu, we’ll select goal A (ours is named Downloaded ebook). We’ll make sure to keep the choice Any selected. The All choice can be used when we need the contacts to fulfill multiple criteria to enroll

    Sitecore Marketing Automation - configuring the start element

  3. To configure the campaign to send a thank you email to the contacts who downloaded the e-book, in the Toolbox, under Marketing actions, drag the Send email action and drop it right after the start element. Once there, click it to bring up the tool settings pane and select the relevant email campaign (email A) and click Apply

    Sitecore Marketing Automation - send email element

  4. We want to wait before we send email B. To do that, drag the Delay element from the Other elements group and drop it right after email A. Once there, click it and set the delay time. We’ll wait for 3 days here, depending on the scenario you might want to choose something else. There’s also the option to wait until a specific date and time

    Sitecore Marketing Automation - delay element

  5. To send an email with a link to the case study, drag the Send email action and drop it right after the delay. Click it and select the relevant email campaign (email B) and click Apply

    Sitecore Marketing Automation - send email element

  6. We want to wait and see which contacts engage with the case study. To do that, from the Listeners group, drag the Goal triggered element and drop it after email B. Once there, click it and select goal B. Then, under Listen for, enter 3 days. What this does is wait and listen for three days. Within that time, when a contact triggers goal B, they move down the Yes path. At the end of the three days, contacts who didn’t trigger goal B move down the No path

    Sitecore Marketing Automation - listener

  7. Handing over those contacts who triggered goal B to sales depends on your internal processes. You can create a custom action to update the contact in your CRM with the help of your Sitecore partner or team of developers. Here, we’ll increase the engagement value for them by 50, assuming there’s a process that hands over contacts with 50+ engagement value to Sales. To do that, drag the Increase engagement value action (under Marketing actions) and drop it in the Yes path. Click it, enter 50, and click Apply

    Sitecore Marketing Automation - increase engagment value

  8. For those who don’t view the case study, we want to send them a reminder. To do that, drag the Send email action and drop it right after No. Click it, select email C, and click Apply

    Sitecore Marketing Automation - send email element

  9. To listen and see who opens the reminder email, drag the Custom listener (under the listeners group) and drop it after email C. Click it, click Edit in rule set editor, search for open, and select where the contact opened email email. In the Edit rule below, click email and select email C. Set it to listen for 3 days

    Sitecore Marketing Automation - listener

  10. Drag the Increase engagement value action and drop it in the Yes path. Click it, enter 50, and click Apply. This will increase the engagement value of contacts who viewed the case study after being reminded so they can be handed over to Sales

    Sitecore Marketing Automation - increase engagment value

  11. For those who don’t open the reminder email, let’s send them one final note and take them out of the campaign. To do that, drag the Send email action and drop it right after No. Click it, select email D, and click Apply

    Sitecore Marketing Automation - send email element

  12. Finally, click the blue Save button to save the campaign, enter a name, description (optional but recommended) and start and end dates, and hit save
  13. To activate the campaign, click the play icon at the top and confirm

    Sitecore Marketing Automation - save and activate campaign

And there it is, a step-by-step guide to creating a very simple marketing automation campaign in Sitecore. A few things to note before we wrap up though…

Things to note

  1. It is easier to design your campaign in a flowchart or mind map tool (or even a paper) first and then create the campaign in Sitecore
  2. It is also more efficient to create all the marketing elements that you’ll need in the campaign like goals, forms, email campaigns, CTAs, etc. beforehand. That way, you won’t have to toggle between Sitecore Marketing Automation and other applications as you create your campaign
  3. The scenario outlined here is a very simple one. You can create campaigns that are tailored to your brand’s needs. Of course, the more complex and tailored the campaign is, the more likely that you’ll need to involve your Sitecore partner or dev team, but the efforts are usually worth it!