Salesforce Starter was unveiled in August 2023 as an easy way for small-medium businesses (SMBs) to get started with Salesforce CRM. Historically, SMBs have found CRM systems to be overly complex and difficult to implement, but Salesforce Starter was built with this struggle in mind, allowing customers to get up and running in a matter of minutes while making future growth of the CRM easy.
What is Salesforce Starter?
Salesforce Starter focuses on sales, service, and marketing and provides guided onboarding to ease users into Salesforce CRM. It’s an easy-to-use platform that’s aimed at getting teams at small businesses up and running with a CRM that can grow as the company scales.
The best part is that getting up and running with Salesforce Starter brings your data into the platform. You’ll avoid some migration expenses later on if you outgrow Salesforce starter and decide to implement other Salesforce clouds to replace it.
What marketing functionality is included in Salesforce Starter?
Salesforce Starter’s marketing features focus on emails, segmentation, and, with Pro Suite, process automation. The marketing features work a bit differently than what we’re used to with Marketing Cloud Account Engagement and Marketing Cloud Engagement. But if you’re familiar with the Lightning Email Builder and Salesforce Flows, you’ll be able to pick up Salesforce Starter’s marketing functionality pretty easily.
Marketing in Salesforce Starter revolves around the Campaign. Once you’ve created a campaign, you’re guided to choose between creating a single email (similar to a List Email for Account Engagement users, or a single email send for MC Engagement users) or a Message Series (similar to a “Engagement Studio Program” for Account Engagement users, or a “Email Journey” for MC Engagement users).
Segmentation in Salesforce Starter is handled with Data Cloud, which allows you to create a unified customer profile and harness data from all interactions your Lead/Contact has with your company. If you’re new to Data Cloud segmentation, I highly recommend working through the Segmentation and Activation Trailhead module to get a feel for creating and editing Segments in Salesforce Starter. This help article also provides several Segment examples to help you get started.
Before we start building our first email, we’ll want to set up an Audience Segment. A Segment is required to preview and test your email, so we’ll want the Segment running while we’re building the email. Click Select Audience from your Campaign page to begin, then select New Segment.
Building Emails in Salesforce Starter
Building emails in Salesforce Starter feels familiar to the Lightning Email Builder. You’ll start off with a pre-built email template that can be edited by dragging and dropping components from the left side menu. Custom styling can be configured on the right side menu and will change depending on the component you have selected.
Merge tags can be inserted to personalize the email for each recipient. These merge tags rely on the Data Cloud unified individual rather than having to choose a specific Marketing Platform or Lead Object field.
Salesforce Starter also supports sending transactional, also known as operational, emails by toggling the Message Purpose field.
Once you are done building your email, make sure you select Publish before previewing and testing your email. Publishing the email will ensure all the associated images are published and won’t be broken during testing.
The Preview option allows you to toggle between Desktop and Mobile views to ensure your email is responsive. You can also send your team a test email for review, but note that test sends count towards Salesforce Starter’s base credits of 2,000 emails per org/month.
Sending Single Emails with Salesforce Starter
If you’re sending a single email, navigate back to the Campaign Overview page and select Schedule or Send Now.
When scheduling, Einstein Send Time Optimization is available to help select the best time for each recipient on your Audience Segment. Check out our blog post, Pardot Einstein Send Time Optimization: A How-To Guide, for more information on how Einstein Send Time Optimization works.
If you’ve selected Send Now your Email Campaign Flow will automatically be activated. However, if you are scheduling the email in advance, you’ll need to manually select the Activate button to ensure the Flow is ready for this email send.
Sending a Message Series in Salesforce Starter
If you’re sending a message series, you will have to first edit your Flow so you can configure the schedule, segment, and wait steps between each email send. By default, the Message Series Flow will be built with a 1 day wait step between each email, Einstein Send Time Optimization is disabled, and Track Clicks and Track Opens is enabled. All of these settings can be reconfigured by clicking each element within the flow.
Make sure you select the Start element to configure your segment and schedule.
Once you’ve finished configuring your Message Series Flow, make sure you Save and Activate the flow before navigating back to the Campaign overview page.
Now, if you are new to Flow and the steps above are causing a bit of existential dread, don’t worry! Flows seem a little intimidating at first, but I promise they are pretty easy to use and you can do some really neat things with them. Check out our blog post, An Introductory Guide to Salesforce Flow for Marketers, or the Flow Builder Basics Trailhead Module to get more familiar with Flows.
Salesforce Starter Reporting and Performance
Salesforce Starter automatically collects and displays aggregate engagement data about your campaign on the Performance page. Common metrics, such as opens, clicks, unsubscribes, bounces, etc. can all be viewed in this prebuilt dashboard.
To view the Performance of multiple Campaigns, navigate to the Performance tab. In this view you can filter your dashboard by date range, campaign(s), individual sends, send type, and even segments.
Salesforce Starter — easing small business marketers into CRM life
And there you have it! In summary, Salesforce Starter is a great way for SMBs to get started with CRM and Marketing Automation. As your company and familiarity with CRMs expands, you may outgrow this edition. But the great thing about Salesforce Starter is that you can avoid migration costs because your data is already in the Salesforce platform if you outgrow the product at any point.
Reach out to the team at Sercante if you have any questions or need help figuring out if Salesforce Starter is the right tool for your team.