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The Wait is Over: Send Operational Emails from Engagement Studio

The Wait is Over: Send Operational Emails from Engagement Studio

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The Salesforce Summer ’24 release notes have arrived, and with them, the delivery of one of the most highly sought-after Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (MCAE/Pardot) features ever requested. In fact, sending operational emails in Engagement Studio functionality has garnered the fifth most points in the Account Engagement category on the IdeaExchange.

What is an Operational Email?

An operational email is informational and is distinct from a marketing email. Erin Duncan has written a great article that goes in-depth about the differences between the two and when it is appropriate to use each.

When an email is marked as “operational,” it bypasses the recipient’s opt-in status and will send the message even if the subscriber has opted out. You must only use operational emails for their intended purpose, as this can affect your sending reputation and put you on the wrong side of the CAN-SPAM Act.

How Do I Enable Operational Emails in MCAE?

  1. Navigate to Account Engagement Settings 
  2. Click Enable Operational Emails
  3. Review the restrictions associated with sending operational emails and confirm your selection 

Keep in mind that only Account Engagement Admin users and custom user roles can send operational emails.

Sending Operational Emails with Engagement Studio

Previously, operational emails could only be sent from list sends. This required selecting an audience, building email content, and manually sending at a single point in time. Now, users can send operational emails directly from Engagement Studio, where recipients are enrolled based on user-defined criteria and emails are automatically sent based on your parameters.

Let’s put this into practice. Imagine you are a SaaS company and need to deliver communications regarding your product’s planned system outages. Instead of setting up multiple operational list sends, you could create an Engagement Studio program to automate the outage and issue-resolved notifications to your selected audience.

Another example could be letting your customers know that their product’s license is about to expire. You could create an Engagement Studio program that could send notifications to let them renew their product on a more time-based cadence. Once the Engagement Studio is set and running, you do not need to reconfigure manual email list sends.

Other use cases could include:

  • Renewal or expiration reminders
  • Order updates
  • Event registration reminders
  • Internal employee onboarding

As with all effective communications, using operational emails in engagement studios will take planning. You will need content to create your emails, data to ensure that the right emails are being sent to the right person, and, most importantly, compliance with the Marketing Cloud Account Engagement Permission Based Marketing Policy.

What are the limitations?

Salesforce has provided a list of limitations for using operational emails in Engagement Studio:

  • If a program is running and the Operational Email setting is disabled, operational emails aren’t sent. Prospects skip those steps and proceed to the next one.
  • If a program with a Send Operational Email card is paused and the account setting is disabled. To restart the program, remove the steps or re-enable the Operational Email setting.
  • If a program with a Send Operational Email card isn’t running and the account setting is disabled, the program can’t be started or resumed. To start or resume the program, you must re-enable the setting or remove the step.

One Small Step for Email Marketing, One Giant Leap Forward for Efficiency

This is a huge improvement in saving marketers time and improving customers’ experiences with your brand. It ensures that customers can receive mission-critical information at the right time without having to manually and tediously configure the email sends.

How do you plan on using Engagement Studio to send operational emails? Let us know in the comments.

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  • Mike was born and raised in Indiana and earned his bachelor's of science in marketing from IUPUI. Upon graduating, he started his career in general marketing and transitioned into technology over the past 10+ years. He has experience implementing Salesforce, Pardot, and other technologies on the client side, but he most recently worked consulting for Cognizant's digital marketing practice (Lev+). Mike's journey continues as he takes on the role of an Engagement Manager at Sercante. Here, he will be part of the USS Enterprise team, dedicated to solving customer challenges. In his spare time, Mike is an avid runner and enjoys spending time at the beach with his friends and family. Mike thrives on solving complex client problems and building relationships with customers and teammates.

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