By Chad Martin
As we continue into 2020, email marketing still rules the land. However, text messaging and chat applications continue to gain ground in how constituents desire to interact with your organization. If you are researching methods to communicate with your constituents via mobile in the Salesforce ecosystem, you will come across two powerful options: Marketing Cloud’s MobileConnect and Service Cloud’s Digital Engagement Package. Both tools are powerful in their own right, with each having their own strengths and primary uses. Let’s break down the two options, identify some of these strengths, and explore how each can be utilized to solve communication needs for your organization and constituents.
Service Cloud’s Digital Engagement Package
Digital Engagement is Service Cloud’s method of sending mobile messaging, and it also includes the capability to utilize chatbots. After successfully implementing the Digital Engagement Package, constituents can essentially chat with your organization’s Customer Service Reps in real-time via text, FB Messenger, and WhatsApp (WeChat is a planned addition for 2020). If your organization has limited Customer Service Reps, the Einstein Chatbot feature can help you automate some of the most commonly asked queries from your constituents, practically automating the process of providing valuable information.
The Digital Engagement Package’s strength lies in its ability to offer two-way chat via SMS and other platforms. For SMS, Digital Engagement utilizes a standard 10-digit phone number, which can be provided by your organization. This is a nice feature if you already have a phone number created for Customer Support.
You could use the Digital Engagement package for outbound marketing, but it may not be the best tool depending on your use case. An organization can utilize process builder to automatically send out messages, however, there are sending limits that may eventually be reached depending on the overall scale of your messaging needs. The Digital Engagement package was designed for interaction between two people (constituent and Customer Support rep) and should be examined closely before utilizing it as a marketing outreach tool.
Digital Engagement does have a per-user licensing fee, so the more CSRs that need to utilize these features, the greater the cost.
Marketing Cloud’s MobileConnect
MobileConnect is an SMS/MMS marketing tool that resides in the Marketing Cloud suite of applications. MobileConnect shines in its ability to mass send text messages and multimedia texts to a small or large audience.
Utilizing MobileConnect requires the leasing of a 5- or 6-digit shortcode to be utilized across mobile providers (AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, etc.). If you need to send SMS in Europe, you’ll need a separate long code. This process of acquiring the shortcode can take 4-6 weeks and may be slower during COVID-19 pandemic periods. Factor this additional time into any SMS rollout you are considering. MobileConnect requires the purchase of the product licenses, code lease fee, and services fee for code implementation (only select Salesforce partners like Cloud for Good can assist you with the process of acquiring the shortcode lease). MobileConnect also utilizes what is known as SuperMessages in Marketing Cloud. When purchasing the Marketing Cloud licenses, you will also purchase a quantity of SuperMessages, which are utilized for sending emails and SMS messages (as well as serving up Cloud Page impressions, among other things).
MobileConnect is designed for personalized communication, data capture, image/video sending (and capture), transactional texts, and for automated responses to inquiries. MobileConnect integrates very nicely with JourneyBuilder, which then provides organizations the ability to send email or text (or both). This opens the door for A/B testing between the two mediums, the ability to send to a preferred medium or to reach out via SMS as a secondary solution.
Unlike the Digital Engagement Package in Service Cloud, MobileConnect was not designed for real-time Customer Service Rep communication and does not have an option to implement chatbots. Examples for utilizing MobileConnect in the higher ed space include providing constituents with notifications on application due dates or even providing immediate notice of application acceptance. Outbound messages could also be utilized to solicit requests for donations on Giving Tuesday.
In the nonprofit space, transactional messages are typically related to a donation or a reminder notification of a volunteer commitment happening the following day. In both higher ed and nonprofits, MobileConnect is great for call and response type messages. For example, “Text INFO to 12345” and immediately provide a link to your constituents to find out more about the topic they want. This is also commonly used to provide discounts. SMS can also be a great way for email acquisition, i.e., “Text your email address to 12345 to sign up for our monthly newsletter.”
Which Tool Should I Use?
Both Service Cloud’s Digital Engagement package and Marketing Cloud’s MobileConnect are powerful messaging tools in their own right. And although there is crossover functionality between, they both have strengths that need to be considered when implementing communication solutions for your constituents. Depending on your needs, you very well could end up utilizing both the Digital Engagement Package and MobileConnect. Let Cloud for Good provide assistance in choosing the right tool, and then implementing these tools for long term success!