Salesforce Marketing Cloud. Marketing Automation at University

The University has implemented marketing automation to enhance its communication impact across the entire organization. Personalizing communication with students, teachers, and business partners required an innovative solution to organize various pieces of information effectively within the extensive eco-system.

The University was engaged in communication with various groups of its stakeholders across multiple campuses and programs. Each of these units was sending emails, resulting in a different structure of information and its overload. Aggregating messages for different target groups has allowed the University to reach the right individuals with relevant communications at the right time.


  • Designing and maintaining a tool that allows for managing an extensive transactional notifications’ system. The communication required sending of various notifications (for example request for password reset, placing an order, upcoming course deadline) directed to different recipient groups within other departments of the University (admissions, various faculties, administration, marketing).
  • Meeting diverse notification handling requirements depending on the departments.
  • Unification of message template.
  • Personalization messages according to the department or recipient. Personalization by segmentation of recipient groups (students and employees of various categories, all in general, all in one location, etc.), e-mail disclaimers, individual honorifics, buttons, and many more.
  • Handling of marketing and preferential channels.
  • Automation of repetitive tasks to support admissions and e-commerce processes.
  • Access control of message configuration.



Two separate environments (Business Units) have been created within Marketing Cloud to enable distributed data integration. This integration is achieved through the use of a standard tool called Marketing Cloud Connector, which connects the platform with Marketing Cloud but also API integration is used for selected scenarios.

The senders (Sender Profiles) of each message are dynamically allocated based on the specific process. Different names and sender addresses (FromName) are utilized for each sender.

Business users from marketing support departments are granted access to the platform with appropriate permissions. This ensures that the structure for approving and managing message deliveries is maintained.

The automated processes (Automation Studio) and delivery processes (Journey Builder) are categorized according to their purpose and main theme. This allows for easier organization and management of these processes.

Campaign results, such as open rate, click rate, and send rate, are displayed in a consolidated manner using charts and statistics. Additionally, this information is transmitted at an individual level to the CRM system, enabling a comprehensive 360-degree view of the campaigns’ performance.


The delivery platform maintains continuous synchronization with data, enabling processes to carry out deliveries using real-time information from various sources like the CRM system, website, and surveys.

Data segmentation is performed within Marketing Cloud using SQL automation (SQL Queries). This allows the data to be prepared in smaller tables known as Data Extensions, which serve as sources for delivering specific messages to end-users.

For the immediate processing of transactional messages, the necessary data is provided through an application programming interface (API). This ensures that messages can be handled with minimal delay, almost in real-time.

The data is stored in a consistent and unified manner. This means that as new information is collected over time, it is aggregated and associated with the same recipient.

Marketing consents and preferences are captured and managed using CloudPages, and their data is seamlessly integrated into the CRM system through Server-Side JavaScript (SSJS). This ensures that marketing permissions and preferences are effectively processed and synchronized across platforms.


The messages utilize a standardized template that is created and stored in a shared location known as the Shared Content Studio. This allows for consistency across different messages. Moreover, within each specific process, customized content versions can be inserted into this shared template, ensuring flexibility and personalization.

The message content can be delivered from external sources through an API or can be prepared and stored in centralized configuration files. This approach provides the platform administrator with a comprehensive and unified view, making it easy to edit and correct content errors automatically.

To make the messages more engaging and relevant, the content incorporates full personalization using AMPscript. This dynamic scripting language enables the inclusion of recipient-specific information, ensuring that each message resonates with its intended audience.

Images and marketing materials are stored in a shared repository within the platform, facilitating easy reuse and accessibility. This centralized storage system streamlines the management and retrieval of visual assets, promoting efficient and effective marketing practices.


Transactional notification handling: Notifications regarding status changes, missing documents, and purchases for students, employees, candidates, internship providers, and interns are handled. This involves the implementation of two APIs, one for the new standard and another for the legacy system. Available solutions from the Marketing Cloud Platform are utilized for seamless integration. Notifications are triggered externally (e.g., website or CRM system) and delivered to the recipient’s inbox within 10-25 seconds, ensuring efficient fulfillment of the University requirements.

Automated marketing message handling: Automated marketing messages are managed through the design and implementation of processes. Data segmentation using SQL or filters, content selection based on script-level logic or AI (utilizing Einstein), and timed message delivery are carried out. This enables effective management of marketing campaigns to address various customer experience needs on the e-commerce website, such as managing abandoned carts and providing personalized recommendations.

Manual marketing message handling: A user-friendly solution is offered for manual marketing messages. The Email Studio allows consistent recipient selection and message composition, ensuring efficient and streamlined manual marketing efforts.

Business Effect:

Cost reduction:

Repetitive processes are eliminated, leading to decreased costs in handling transactional notifications. The system automatically sends messages without any action needed from platform administrators. Within 30 days the system sent over 6000 messages without administrative intervention.

Lower marketing campaign costs:

Once designed and implemented, recurring campaign is reused though eliminates expenses associated with repetitive marketing campaigns.

Enhanced recipient awareness:

Messages present personalized and relevant information, leading to increased awareness among recipients. The high ratio of Total Opens to Total Unique Opens indicates active user engagement and their tendency to revisit messages for needed information.

Consistent and professional messaging:

Messages are designed to maintain consistency, professionalism, and non-intrusiveness. This approach ensures user satisfaction, keeping unsubscribe rates below 1%.

Targeted audience research:

Various market research and preference studies can be conducted based on department or interest, resulting in a very high delivery rate of 97.58%.

Strengthened institutional image:

Credible and reliable communication during stakeholder interactions significantly enhances the institution’s image.

Increased sales:

Direct marketing campaigns, such as addressing abandoned carts, prove effective with conversion rates reaching up to 24%.

Your organization may benefit from this solution if:

  • You have a large student/customer population, multiple campuses, branches, or departments,
  • You need personalized and targeted communication,
  • You have an extensive transactional notification requirement,
  • You lack automated marketing campaigns, and you have a lot of manual marketing efforts,
  • You need cost reduction,
  • You need improved recipient awareness,
  • You need consistent and professional messaging,
  • You lack targeted audience research,
  • You have a goal to strengthen your institutional image and increase sales.

Think Beyond has developed an expansive ecosystem within the Marketing Cloud, encompassing all the mentioned stakeholders. The system has already begun to be utilized to some extent.

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Salesforce for Automotive

Marcin Pieńkowski

Salesforce Architect and Head of Salesforce