Salesforce Marketing Cloud: engage your customers with Einstein STO and Path Optimizer

Salesforce Marketing Cloud: engage your customers with Einstein STO and Path Optimizer. Broadly speaking, when we wish to talk to someone, we first reach out in writing to check when is a convenient time to call them.

Once their availability is confirmed, we know surely this person will be there at that time. Thus, we can reach them. The same concept can be achieved in marketing automation.

For Salesforce Marketing Cloud, this is where Einstein Send Time Optimisation (STO) comes in. It provides marketers the optimal sending time for recipients of their marketing campaigns. Once sent, these campaign emails will appear at the ideal time in the inbox of their customers, allowing them the best possible visibility and potential attention, maximising the likelihood of these customers to open them.

What is Einstein Send Time Optimization?

Einstein STO finds the perfect time to send emails or push notifications to each one of your contacts through your marketing journey when executed via Journey Builder.

How does it work?

Einstein STO assembles data focused around 20 factors which include:

  • Number of emails a contact opened
  • Number of emails sent to a contact
  • Day of the week the email is opened
  • Size of your journeys
  • Number of contacts going through your journeys

Einstein STO predicts future engagement behaviour using machine learning and 90 days or less data engagement, analysing the data to figure out the perfect time within 24 hour time brackets, to send messages to each customer.

Dashboard for Einstein Send Time Optimization

Marketers can quickly visualise optimal predicted send times by the day or hour for all contacts in their business unit using the Einstein STO dashboard. Knowing this can help them determine the best time to launch scheduled marketing campaigns.

The following is a snapshot of detailed information that the marketer can access on the Einstein STO dashboard:

Salesforce Marketing Cloud: Einstein STO & Path Optimizer

The total number of email addresses reviewed: The total number of contacts in the business unit or the tenant’s unique email addresses.

Assigned Personalized Send Time: The number of contacts or email addresses for which Einstein STO can recommend a send time.

Pending Personalized Send Time: How many contacts are there? Einstein requires more information in order to recommend a send time that will match the best.

Enterprise Data Quality: Get the data quality score for your enterprise.

When Would Einstein Send a Message? Choose a weekday and determine what time of day is best for your customers to interact with your messages.

When Are Your Customers Most Likely to Respond to Your Messages? Determine which day of the week is the best for your customers to respond to your emails. You can even narrow your search to a specific contact.

The overview tile displays the number of emails analysed as well as the emails sent.

Please keep in mind that these statistics do not include or analyse transactional emails, bounces, or test sends.

Use of Einstein STO can dramatically improve campaign engagement rates but used in conjunction with Path Optimizer it’s even more powerful.

What is Path Optimizer?

Path Optimizer is a new Flow control activity in Journey Builder as well as a testing platform. You can use this new feature to run tests to optimise your customer journeys. You’ll be able to conduct multivariate and A/B testing to find the best path for your customers. Path Optimizer allows you to test up to ten paths within a single journey. Test the content, frequency of sends, and communication channel type.

Advantages of Path Optimizer

  • Assists you in determining the most effective journey path for your customers.
  • You can conduct experiments and tests based on engagement metrics.
  • Assists you in selecting the winning path, either automatically or manually.
  • Any activity, such as email, SMS, Push Messages, or other activities in Journey Builder, can be included in the winning path.
  • Allows you to test up to ten different journey paths.
  • Determines the best way integrate your customer journeys with Salesforce CRM.
  • Experiment summary data provides decision-makers with historical tests.

Combining Einstein STO and Path Optimizer

Let’s say that you would like to select the best time to send emails in Journeys,in order to generate a higher Open Rate. We will use Einstein STO within a journey directly using Path Optimizer to know when it’s the perfect time to send emails in Journeys.

By combining Path Optimizer in your marketing Journey and Einstein STO, you will be able to know not only what the right time is, but also whether your customers will follow the winning path, where they are most likely to engage with your messages.

Marketers can leverage customer engagement with their marketing messages by adding Einstein STO into their journey. Einstein STO does not use transactional message information to improve customers interaction.

 Below is an example of a path using these features. The first path does not use STO randomly and is the optimal campaign that follows the winning path identified in Path Optimizer and generates higher engagement with the addition of Einstein STO. The second path uses Einstein STO randomly and the last path, number 3, does not use STO at all. Since paths 2 and 3 are not the best in terms of timing and engagement, customers then join the correct path. We can see that using STO randomly or not at all is not the best practice to achieve customer engagement. We recommend optimizing STO functionality within Path Optimizer.

Salesforce Marketing Cloud
1– Einstein STO -20 Hours / 2– Einstein STO – Random 20 Hours / 3– Without Einstein STO

Marketers who use Einstein STO in tandem with Path Optimizer have a significant advantage over competitors who use Einstein STO alone or none at all. Einstein STO is the tool to use for strategic campaign improvement due to its ability to generate more opens and Einstein’s engagement scoring and combined with the winning path identified in Path Optimizer, marketers can expect to see greater ROI for their campaigns.

Get in touch if you require assistance in planning to activate the Einstein STO pairing within Path Optimizer.


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