Introducing Scheduled Email Steps & Enhancements to Engagement Studio Testing

We’re excited to announce two new features for Engagement Studio: Scheduled email steps and testing enhancements.

Have you ever planned your Engagement Program and found yourself with the need to have emails send on specific dates? Did you count back on a calendar, on your fingers or some combination of the two to have a general idea of when the program emails would be sent? With scheduled email steps in Engagement Studio, you can ditch counting and define a send date on the email action itself.

Screenshot: scheduled action to send email to prospect on specific date

Event Engagement Programs

Promotion:
A lot of time, effort and resources are put into planning events. Whether the events are trade shows, sponsored events, webinars or networking focused, you want to promote the event to get the most ROI. Now, you’ll be able to promote your events with confidence leading up to the date, scheduling your emails to send at the right cadence to drive awareness.

During Event:
If at an in-person event, you may want to continue to promote sessions, sponsored events or drive booth traffic with emails in your Engagement Program. With scheduled steps, you can schedule emails to send on the dates throughout the event to encourage attendance.

After Event:
The work isn’t over once an event is complete – if anything, that’s when your efforts will ramp up to keep that audience engaged. Scheduling emails in Engagement Studio allows your team to prepare for follow ups even before the event begins by scheduling follow up emails to send on specific dates after the event. You can even try waiting a week or two after the event, when your audience is done weeding through the dozens of emails they’ll get from other organizations immediately after the event!

Seasonal Programs

Scheduled email steps in Engagement Programs can be especially helpful for programs that run seasonally. Holiday promotions, customer appreciation efforts, referral incentives, limited-time offers or new product or feature release announcements all can revolve around specific, anticipated dates. Schedule email steps to ensure your programs are as relevant and timely as possible.

Engagement Studio Testing Enhancements

With scheduled email steps in Engagement Programs, you’re able to better anticipate the dates emails will send in your programs – but what about understanding dates relative to your entire program? With the enhancements to email testing, you’re able to understand the dates actions, triggers and rules will be processed in relation to a selected start date upon beginning a test.

Screenshot: Prospect starts the program on 01/09/2018

After selecting a start date for the program, the test log will begin populating dates that additional actions, triggers and rules take place:

Screenshot: future action dates scheduled in Test Log

When the test reaches an end step, you’re presented with a summary of the program length in days, as well what the start and end dates of that journey. This information is intended as an estimate, as prospects in your program may engage more quickly, or slowly, or not at all during their specific journey. The test end estimate also does not take into consideration if the program is paused at any time or if the dates are changed at any point in the program.

For more on Engagement Studio, be sure to check out our Knowledge Articles

We look forward to hearing your feedback on this new enhancement, and as always, you can continue to share your feedback on our Idea Exchange.

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30 thoughts on “Introducing Scheduled Email Steps & Enhancements to Engagement Studio Testing

  • This is awesome, However it would be great to see it taken one step further with the date field available as a variable tag.

    • Agree, use of variable data in actions/criteria in general would make Pardot much more versatile

    • Great feedback, Samuel! Have you considered creating an idea, or upvoting an existing an idea, for this feature on the Trailblazer Community? That would be great!

  • Thanks Kylie for sharing this information with us. Scheduling Email is very tricky. It all depends upon who you are targeting and For different target different customized emails to be Schedule. Thanks a lot for sharing this Information.

    • You’re right, Ryan – it all depends on your specific use cases. We hope this feature provides you more control over how your programs fit your unique needs.

    • Hey Christian – great question! We outlined the different timing scenarios in the Trailblazer Community post in a “FAQ” comment (https://success.salesforce.com/_ui/core/chatter/groups/GroupProfilePage?g=0F9300000001qUi&fId=0D53A00003NkVfq)

      —How do scheduled sends work?
      * If “Send emails during business hours only (10am-4pm M-F)” is enabled:
      * Prospects waiting on step will begin receiving the email at 10 am in the time zone selected for the program
      * Prospects arriving on the step on the scheduled date will begin receiving the email at 10 am in the time zone selected for the program
      * Prospects arriving on the step after 4 pm in the time zone selected for the program on the scheduled date will be skipped and will not receive the email
      * Prospects that arrive on the step after the scheduled date will be skipped

      * If “Send emails during business hours only (10am-4pm M-F)” is not enabled:
      * Prospects waiting on the step will begin receiving the email at approximately 12 am in the time zone selected for the account on the scheduled date
      * Prospects arriving on the step after the scheduled date will be skipped

  • What are the chances you could incorporate a time in to this as well??

    We market globally and interaction is much better when emails land in inboxes at times suited to the recipients.

    • Hey Mark – we’d definitely like to look into incorporating time in future releases but it is not currently on the roadmap. It would be great if you upvoted existing ideas on the Idea Exchange for this feature!

  • The test feature doesn’t account for “send during business days only” option.

    So the dates are not accurate when using this.

    Aside from this, nice work!

    • Hey Sam – you’re right, the date counter on the testing enhancements does not take into consider business hours and days, if the program is paused at any time or if times are changed after starting. It is intended to provide a general idea of timing in your program. If you think accounting for business hours would be helpful, please create or upvote an idea on the Idea Exchange!

    • Hey Kendall – no, the scheduled dates do not display on the calendar today. If you think that would be a helpful feature, please create or upvote an idea on the Idea Exchange!

  • I like the concept, but our company would benefit more from selecting a day of the week. Example: Send on Tuesday.

    Adding a time feature, even if it was a window of several hours, would be an improvement to allow for delivery during business hours. Thank you!

    • Hey Melanie– we’d definitely like to look into incorporating days of the week and/or time in future releases but it is not currently on the roadmap. It would be great if you upvoted existing ideas on the Idea Exchange for this feature!

  • This is fantastic thanks very much! Samuel’s idea about variable tag usage would also be be great so that you could run a seasonal program at the right time each year.

  • Instead of showing dates when “Testing” how about you make it so that you can select test contacts to run through the program to see how they would flow.

    Right now your testing is a joke, I pick which way I want it to go, how is that helpful if a rule is working as expected against my prospect DB.

  • Hey Patrick – the improvements we focused on this time were to help provide more clarity around timing to travel through a program. If you think understanding how specific programs would work through your program based on rule critieria in addition to selecting dates for triggers, definitely create or upvote an idea on the Idea Exchange!

    • I agree that watching how a real prospect flows through would be helpful. Since I and other marketers aren’t associated with true Pardot/Salesforce accounts, we really can’t fully test all scenarios and possibilities without seeing how real prospects will flow through.

  • This is great – thanks for listening Pardot. This helps to communicate to the marketing and sales teams what is going out when.

  • So, is this field a “wait” field? By that, I mean will people wait on this step until that date, then receive the email, and then move on? This would work well for, say, “Save the Date” type emails, except if everyone is caught on the step until the date you send, and then move on, this wouldn’t work.

    By that same account, is there any thoughts in the works to have a “send until” button, so you could receive certain emails until a date, and then at that date, the email would be skipped. That idea seems much more usable in my opinion!

    • Hey Nicholas,

      You’re right, in some ways you may consider it a “wait and send on” function. Save the date type of emails are a great use case – you could select to send X amount of days prior on a specific date. There are several use cases outlined in the blog article, but everyone’s business needs and processes vary slightly.

      We do not have “send until” as a feature we’ve currently prioritized, but please consider creating/upvoting ideas on the idea exchange on that functionality. Do note that scheduled steps are skipped if the date has past.

  • Hi there,
    I have a campaign that runs on a series of date-scheduled emails.
    In between these I have a ‘wait’ rule that checks whether prospects are now in a certain list. If they are on that list, they go to a different track of emails. If they are not, they continue down the primary campaign path (email, wait&check list, email, wait &check list….)
    If I want to add further prospects to the very top of that campaign, I understand that any emails dated in the past will be skipped, but what about the ‘waits’? Will prospects get stuck in every ‘wait’ rule or will they trickle down until they find an email that is dated in the future and start there?
    Hope that makes sense. Kind Regards.

    • Hey James – yes, the prospects will wait on the following steps if there are waits present. The only steps skipped are the scheduled steps.

      Thanks!
      Kylie

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