Ten best practices for Adobe Campaign success for marketers

Christian Klimczyk is a self-described “Adobe Nerd” with seven years of Adobe Experience Cloud expertise, mainly focused on Adobe Campaign. As an Adobe Platform Owner for a large CPG company, Christian and his team use Campaign for all consumer communications and interactions. They seamlessly coordinate and manage high-regulatory requirements and multi-channel consumer marketing campaigns across direct mail, email, and SMS/MMS.

In this article, Christian shares his best practices to help Adobe Campaign practitioners unlock and accelerate the digital consumer transformation and a better experience for their customers.

1. Form an overarching cohesive marketing and delivery plan

The first step to ensure your success with Adobe Campaign is to understand your tools and customer expectations–and that’s true in any type of marketing. Clearly define and understand the channels you use to contact your consumers, know when to use those channels, and why.

Adobe Campaign is a flexible tool allowing you to execute and orchestrate communications in many ways. Half of customers engage with three to five channels during each buying journey. So, understanding and having a plan for how to use these channels upfront are critical to realizing the full potential of your platform and resonating with your customers.

2. Document and understand your customer data

According to a Hubspot study, segmented campaigns had 14.31% higher open rates and saw 101% more clicks than non-segmented campaigns. Email marketers who segmented their audience before campaigning stated that the revenue generated increased up to 760%.

In Adobe Campaign, you can orchestrate segmentation quickly and easily. However, to streamline and facilitate this process, campaign operators and marketing practitioners must have a documented understanding of their underlying data when designing and requesting a campaign build and execution. It’s critical that you understand your current data and how to anticipate the data you might need when partnering with administrators and developers that support your Campaign instance.

Your campaigns are only as good as the underlying data structures that support them. Knowing and documenting this data structure also helps if issues arise when integrating platforms or making the jump to a consumer data platform

3. Plan the timing of your campaigns

Just like your customers, you have a daily routine. The sending and orchestration of your campaigns should correspond to this rhythm. Otherwise, you may fail to reach your customers since 85% of sent mail isn’t opened and 98% of sent mail doesn’t get a click-through.

For example, if your customers are checking their phone in the morning for the best deals, consider texting them a promotion. If they are browsing at night for the next hot trend, consider sending a follow-up email with a promo code for free shipping. It’s also important to use the heat map tool in Campaign to track when your workflows and sends are executing. Coordinating and facilitating communications across multiple brands can be challenging. Keeping an eye on and knowing the rhythm, cadence, and timing of your emails are invaluable to overall stability and strength of your message and Campaign instance.

4. Use personalization where it matters

Nowadays, consumers expect some level of personalization in the messages they receive. 80% of customers are more likely to purchase from a brand that provides personalized experiences. Their name in the subject line is great. However, personalization can go much further. You can include the products they have browsed, connect them with similar products, or continue to reinforce the cohesive experience and look-and-feel of your brand. Every bit counts and drives engagement and open rates of your messages.

5. Have a healthy inventory of creative assets

Creative assets are the gasoline that help fuel your effective and well-oiled campaign delivery engine. The more successful you are at reaching your consumers, and the more you scale and mature your marketing processes, the more creative content you need. Consumers expect this.

You are only as fast as the next delivery your team can configure. Often, that requires new and exciting content. Adobe Campaign makes configuring templates and receiving and preparing these deliveries easy. However, having a healthy pipeline of creative is critical since, according to a Litmus report, 58% of marketers noted that it takes two weeks or longer to create a single email campaign.

6. Understand and manage subscriptions and preferences

Managing and maintaining subscription preferences can rapidly become confusing, causing various levels of risk. Like sending the customer the wrong message via a channel that they do not respond to, nine out of ten consumers state that having a negative experience makes them less likely to shop with a brand in the future. On a larger scale, you could expose yourself to regulatory and compliance risks and fines.

Have a strategy upfront for managing opt-ins and cultivating this ever-evolving ecosystem through the expert use of Adobe Campaign and other marketing technology tools. Often, this is one of the largest campaign success metrics, so careful planning pays invaluable dividends as your campaign strategy grows and matures.

7. Understand and plan for deliverability

Deliverability often seems like a mystical and complicated concept. An important underlying rule of deliverability is strategic planning. Warming up IP addresses and building a good reputation takes time. Decreases to that reputation can happen rapidly, making it challenging to repair any damage that has occurred. In fact, one in six emails fail to reach the inbox.

Deliverability issues can happen due to multiple factors, either technical ones, or issues based on how consumers respond to your marketing. Keeping deliverability in mind when building and executing campaigns, and in the retrospective process, can ensure that you maintain a healthy and stable environment and continue to deliver positive experiences for customers.

8. Plan and develop a campaign retrospective process

As busy as you may get with the delivery and orchestration of campaigns, it is often as powerful, if not more, to review what you have accomplished and reevaluate your processes and segmentation of your campaigns. Hold campaign retrospectives every two to four weeks, depending on scale and speed of your campaign executions.

Creating a templated set of questions can help inform deep and thoughtful conversation on how to improve campaign lead times, creative, or segmentation among many other topics. You can sometimes only improve and get faster if you learn from what you have previously executed.

9. Test and iterate

When trying new things, you don’t always get it right the first time. Thus, testing and iterating your processes and tactics are crucial. Try a group of customers that may be a long shot or could be a good fit. Switch up creative. Try a new call to action. Change for the sake of change is not productive, but many small and precise experiments over time can add up to potentially large future wins for you and your customers.

10. Stay as agile as possible

The market continues to change and move at an ever-increasing rate. Encouraging your campaign teams to stay as light and agile as possible is critical to compete and continue meeting growing customer expectations.

35% of digital marketing leaders believe that the biggest challenges come from within their organization. To accomplish this, cross train on a few platforms, boost your understanding of data flows and structure or other Adobe solutions, and create contingency plans for campaigns. This mindset can be achieved in many ways, but an overall commitment to agility and planning is critical to achieving short- and long-term success.