Last week, Marketing Cloud unveiled a new Interactive Email feature that has been in the works for over a year. Integrating Rebel, which was acquired by Salesforce back in 2018, into Marketing Cloud has been a long, drawn-out process. The main selling feature of, what is now called, “Interactive Email” is the ability for a subscriber to interact with an email without having to leave the email. This includes the ability to add a form to the body of the email.

Now that it is live, email senders are going to be looking for creative ways they can use this new feature. One great use is the email sign-up welcome message.

Today, most websites have an email collect function, whether it’s a pop-up or a form in the footer of their website, to collect email addresses for marketing. This form usually only asks for an email address in order to minimize the number of hurdles between the potential lead and their email address submission. How useful is an email address on its own? It’s fine if you are just going to send emails, but if you are also using Salesforce, an email address leaves much to be desired.

An email address is not an appealing lead within the Salesforce ecosystem. Salesforce requires a “Company” and “Last Name” to create a new lead, as well as any additional fields your company may have deemed essential. If you insert a new lead into Salesforce with just an email address, then you have to put placeholders, such as “unknown,” in each required field. Quite frankly, it creates an ugly mess of data in Salesforce. 

So how do we make this a better and more effective process? Rather than usual “Welcome” email follow-up, introduce the new subscriber to your brand, warm them up and get to know them, encouraging them to take some sort of action – most likely purchasing a product. With that action the process evolves and you build up the profile of a new lead. 

This is where Interactive Email comes into play and shows its inherent value. In the Welcome email, include a low-pressure lead capture form. Ask subscribers for the bare-minimum, Last Name and Company, along with some preferences to entice them to fill it out. Add that personal touch, letting them know you will customize their experience by providing some options, like which products they’re interested in, and this will encourage them to provide the kind of information that will make them a lead worthy of Salesforce. 

Keep it light and a little fun. You can accomplish progressive profiling in a series of welcome emails starting with those basic pieces of information (name and company) plus a few preferences, and then tease out their location in the next email, if you have location-specific information you’d like to send. Keep asking for small bits of information through this series of emails until you have built up a complete and useful lead profile that is beneficial to your salespeople or for email targeting. 

Contact us if you’d like assistance in creating Interactive Emails and setting up the Welcome Journey in Marketing Cloud.

Here are some visual examples of ways you can collect information: