Salesforce Marketing Cloud Interview Questions & Answers

Recently, I had written this article for SalesforceBen about the Interview Questions of Salesforce Marketing Cloud.  This article was first published on SalesforceBen.  Below are the questions and answers for your reference.  

Email Studio Questions

1) What are the different Content Blocks you have at your disposal?

Different types of content blocks can be created in the Marketing Cloud’s Content Builder, which a prospective employee would be interested in you using, for variety in your email template design. They are:

  • Text
  • Image
  • Free form
  • Button
  • HTML
  • Dynamic content blocks.

2) How does Dynamic Email work?

You can define a dynamic content block in an email to display (render) information based on the subscriber’s attributes, data extension values, or audiences.  For example, instead of building 2 emails for a Male and Female customer, you can build a dynamic content block that can render the content based on Gender.

3) What is the difference between the Sender Profile & Delivery Profile?

A sender profile specifies the From information for a send ie., ‘From Name’ and ‘From Email Address’, in a central location that can be used across multiple sends without the user needing to select it each time.

In a delivery profile, you specify the IP address and choose the header and footer to be used for a send.  A delivery profile, similar to the sender profile, can be reused across multiple sends.

4) What are the different Email sending options in SFMC?

There are a few different ways to send emails via SFMC, which you should be aware of to maximize the usage of the tool in an organization (and more likely for the organization to get value out of the investment they put into the tool):

  • Single Email Send: Single send is a straightforward way of sending an email. You open the email, click on send, choose the audience and other email send configuration, and send straight away.
  • User-Initiated Send: In a User-initiated send, you create a definition of an email Send, and send it right away or schedule to send in the future. In a user-initiated send, you select the email, audience, and time of the send.
  • Triggered Email Send: A triggered email is a message that Marketing Cloud sends to an individual subscriber in response to a subscriber action. Use triggered emails to provide automated, personalized responses to your customers’ activities on your website. Emails are trackable, targeted, and sent in real-time.

Email A/B Testing Questions

5) What components of an email can be tested in the A/B Test?

A/B Testing is one of the most common send strategies implemented by Marketers to know which version of their emails is better for their subscribers.  SFMC offers this as a standard feature and is important for candidates to be aware of the various features involved within A/B Testing. To answer the question, A/B Testing for an email can be done for Email Subject Line, Email Preheader, From Name, Emails, Content Area, and Send Time.

6) How is the winning email selected in A/B Testing?

In the A/B Testing configuration, you get to set the criteria to decide the winning email.  You can choose the winner by 2 options:

  • Highest unique open rate: the version with the highest unique open rate.
  • Highest unique click-through rate (CTR): the version with the highest unique click-through rate.

7) Can a particular customer be placed in a specific distribution in an A/B Test?

You can choose the test distribution of audience for an A/B Test by “number of subscribers” or “percentage of subscribers”.  A/B testing works by random split once you define the test distribution. Which customer enters which grouping is not in our control.

Journey Builder Questions

8) What are the different data sources for Journey Builder?

Journey Builder in SFMC helps in designing customer-centric cross-channel automated marketing campaigns.  SFMC campaigns are all about Journey Builder and how it can be utilized fully to build these targeted campaigns.  The starting point of a Journey Builder is the source as in the source of ‘segmented customers’.

The entry source for a Journey can be any one of the following:

  • Data Extension: contacts in a sendable data extension enter a journey
  • Lists (or Audience): like a MobileConnect list
  • Salesforce Data: your Salesforce contact database
  • API: by configuring an integration to admit contacts into a journey
  • Events: Landing Pages submission or date based event, eg. anyone who fills out the contact form or a survey form (landing page) on your website can be chosen to enter this journey.

9) What Message actions can be performed in Journey Builder?

Messaging activities in a Journey include Email, SMS, LINE message, mobile push notification, inbox messages, in-app message, or any other form of content sent to contacts. Content must be created before designing a journey for some messaging activities.

10) What is the difference between Engagement Split & Decision Split?

Split activities divide contacts into separate cohorts that follow different paths.

By placing a Decision Split in a journey, Journey Builder evaluates the data of that contact and makes them flow in the path they are eligible for.  The decision split is purely done by checking the data of the customer.

Based on whether a customer opens an email, clicks a link in the email, or the email bounces, the Engagement Split activity sends customers down that path as defined in the split.

11) Can customers re-enter a Journey?

In Journey settings, you can choose from these 3 options for when contact can enter a journey:

  • No re-entry
  • Re-entry anytime
  • Re-entry after exiting

To answer the question, can customers re-enter a Journey, yes provided the settings are configured correctly.

12) Explain different Wait controls available in Journey Builder?

Wait Activity is a period of time that contacts are held between other activities. There are three types of wait activity:

  • Wait by Duration: waits for specified hours, days, etc
  • Wait Until Date: waits until the specified end day and time
  • Wait by Attribute: waits until the day and time stored in a date field is reached

Data Manipulation Questions

13) What are the different ways to filter data from Data Extensions?

You can create Data Filters in SFMC to filter data from a data extension (this is more of a point-and-click approach). SQL can also be used to filter data from data extensions.

14) How can you merge two Data Extensions?

Using SQL Joins, 2 data extensions can be merged easily. SQL Activities can be created in Automation Studio in SFMC.

15) What activities can be performed in the Automation studio?

There are a number of activities that can be performed in an Automation Studio like:

  • Send Email Activity: choose and configure an email message to be sent
  • SQL Query Activity: retrieve or store data extension or data view information.
  • Data Extract Activity: create zipped files for your use outside the SFMC and also to convert an XML file into other formats to import into SFMC.
  • Wait Activity: to wait for a specific duration or until a specific time before performing the next step

For more activities, refer to the Activities in Automation Studio documentation.

Data Structures Questions

16) What are the different data models available in SFMC and what is the difference between them?

There are basically 2 types of data models or data structures in SFMC: Lists and Data Extensions.

list is a collection of subscribers that receive your communications whereas a Data extension is a table within the database that contains your data. You could use a data extension to store subscriber data like lists or just any other relational data.

Lists contain less than 500,000 subscribers, less import speed and a limited number of subscriber attributes.  Data extensions, on the other hand, can hold greater than 500,000 subscribers, great import speed, and can be used for SOAP and REST APIs.

For more differences, refer to Lists vs Data Extensions

17) What are publication lists, and when would you use them?

Publication lists are used to manage opt-ins for your email account in Email Studio and also to control how subscribers receive the sends. A Publication list needs to be selected when sending email messages and SMS messages to a sendable data extension.

Example: Create a separate publication list for each category like newsletters, advertisements, and alerts.  Each list has its own subscription status of the customers for that category.

18) What is the difference between the All Subscribers List and a Publication List?

The All Subscribers list is the master list of records in SFMC. Every email subscriber appears in the All Subscribers list. Subscribers added to a Publication list join the All Subscribers list at the same time.

A Publication List (as explained earlier) is like a subset of subscribers from the All Subscribers List.  All Subscribers List holds the master opt-in status of a subscriber.   If a subscriber is unsubscribed in the All Subscribers list, the subscriber is unsubscribed from all Publication Lists.

Data Integration Questions

19) What Data Integration options are available in Salesforce Marketing Cloud (SFMC)?

To import or export data from SFMC, you have 4 options: FTP, API, CloudPages, and Manual Import.

  • FTP: Every SFMC org comes with an SFTP account. Marketing Cloud creates Import, Export and Reports folders in your SFTP folder. Use these SFTP folders to import data into lists and data extensions or to put an updated subscriber list in the folder in the FTP server.
  • API: SFMC supports both REST and SOAP APIs to import or export data from SFMC. The REST API exposes more extensive access to Marketing Cloud capabilities, while the SOAP API provides comprehensive access to most email functionality.
  • Cloud Pages: A Cloud Page landing page is a web page that you can view from a browser or link to other websites and emails. You can build these pages in SFMC to display data from your data extensions or lists. You can also use AMPscript to write data into lists or data extensions from the cloud page.
  • Manual Import: There’s always a manual import option to directly import CSV files into SFMC lists or data extensions.

20) How can Sales Cloud or Service Cloud connect to Marketing Cloud?

Salesforce provides a connector called ‘Marketing Cloud Connect’ to sync data from Sales or Service cloud into Marketing Cloud. The data flows from Sales or Service cloud into the Marketing Cloud into Data Extensions called Synchronized DEs.

21) How is data shared between 2 Business Units (BU) within SFMC?

To share a data extension from a parent BU to a child BU, place the data extension (DE) in the Shared folder in the parent BU. Now, switch to the child BU to view the shared data extension in the ‘Shared’ folder.  You can use the data in this DE in the child BU.

Misc. Questions

22) What other communication channels can be used/supported in SFMC to target your customers?

Apart from Email, SFMC has Mobile Studio which has 3 core features:

  • MobileConnect: to Create, send, receive, and track SMS and MMS text messages,
  • GroupConnect: to send messages via messaging apps LINE and Facebook Messenger,
  • MobilePush: to create and send notifications to a mobile app.

23) Can links in an Email be changed after the email is sent out to the customers?

Yes! Use the Update Job Links feature to edit links in an email after an email send completes. Open the send from tracking and update the URL. Note that the original email does not change.

24) When a customer is unsubscribed from the Parent BU, will the customer be unsubscribed from the Child BU too?

When the business unit is set as ‘Unsubscribe from this Business Unit Only’, the Active/Unsubscribed status in ‘All Subscribers’ is maintained separately across BUs and so the customer will not be unsubscribed from the child BU with this setting enabled. You can always change the setting to have customers unsubscribe from all BUs when unsubscribed from the parent BU.

25) How can you change the branding of the standard Preference Centre page?

BrandBuilder allows you to customize the color scheme used in your Marketing Cloud account.  This must be enabled by raising a support ticket.  The color scheme applies to the following components in SFMC:

  • Logo and header background color on every screen
  • Primary navigation buttons
  • The look of the login screen
  • Survey landing page
  • Forward to a Friend landing page
  • Profile Center and Subscription Center

26) What are some of the standard SFMC Email reports?

Here are some of the standard Email reports:

  • Account Send Summary: displays all response counts for an account organized by send.
  • Email Performance by Domain: displays email sends results for each domain sent to for a single send.
  • Email Send: displays how many emails have been sent from the account.
  • Subscriber Engagement: displays which subscribers are most or least engaged with emails

For a comprehensive list, refer to Email Studio Reports

Refer to the original article here to read the career development-related questions as well.

2 Replies to “Salesforce Marketing Cloud Interview Questions & Answers”

  1. Hi Sfdcfanboy, I have read through your blog for the Email specialist exam and I have successfully completed the exam. Could you please let me know if we have the blog for Salesforce Marketing Cloud developer certification?

    Thank you, Pavithra.


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