Prepare to Send

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • Describe multiple types of Marketing Cloud sends.
  • Name best practices for deliverability.

Marketing Cloud Sends

As you prepare to start using this powerful tool, let’s take a look at the types of sends possible with Marketing Cloud apps. If you haven’t purchased all of these apps for your Marketing Cloud account, don’t worry. It’s still helpful to understand what capabilities exist.

We use the words messages and sends frequently to represent sending content from Marketing Cloud to an individual subscriber or a collection of subscribers, such as a list, group, or data extension. Marketing Cloud supports email (a message sent to an email address), SMS message channels (a message sent to a mobile phone number), in-app inboxes (messages sent within a mobile app inbox), push notifications (message pop-up sent through mobile apps), and LINE mobile messaging app. 

We also group Marketing Cloud sends into two categories: user-initiated and triggered

  • User-initiated send: When you choose the subscribers and the time to send a message—that’s a user-initiated send. These are typically marketing-related messages. You manage the entire process of a user-initiated email message through Marketing Cloud. A monthly newsletter sent to company employees is an example of a user-initiated send.
  • Triggered send: A triggered send occurs in response to an action that your subscriber takes. Although you define the content and interaction for that message, it sends automatically when a subscriber does something. These are often transactional messages. For example, sending a confirmation email to a customer who purchases something on your website is a triggered send.

As you get deeper into Marketing Cloud, you also encounter journeys. Journey Builder is a planning tool in Marketing Cloud that you use to design and automate journey, for customers as they encounter your brand. When configured, Journey Builder runs responsive campaigns automatically. Take the Manage Campaigns with Journey Builder trail to learn more.

Best Practices for Deliverability

We know you and your company are investing a lot of time and resources into creating successful campaigns with Marketing Cloud. Rest assured—we have plenty of resources for you to create effective messages. Check out these tips for improving the deliverability of your messages.


First, if you’re not familiar with the United States CAN-SPAM Act, take time to review and understand the information that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) provides about this law. The CAN-SPAM Act establishes requirements for commercial messages, gives recipients the right to have you stop emailing them, and spells out tough penalties for violations. Marketing Cloud processes unsubscribe requests to help you remain compliant with the CAN-SPAM Act. There are also specific settings in Marketing Cloud that you can use to differentiate commercial emails versus transactional emails, which are treated differently under the CAN-SPAM Act. (Don’t forget to take the Learn Privacy and Data Protection Law trail we mentioned earlier!)

Content Detective

One of the easiest things you can do before sending a message is to run the Content Detective tool to identify potential spam triggers in your email content. This feature mirrors the logic used by spam-filtering software to identify words, phrases, and patterns that are likely to trigger filters and then recommends a resolution to each identified problem. For example, words such as “100% Free” or “click here” are flagged by Content Detective as problematic. This gives you an opportunity to fix your content before sending.

Text Versions

When you create emails in Marketing Cloud, consider that some of your subscribers set their inboxes to receive text emails, not HTML. Preview and modify text versions to ensure those subscribers are still receiving an impactful message. While you’re in the editor workspace, click Edit Text Version or Plain Text to view and adjust your content.

Subscriber Preview and Test Send

Want to see exactly how the message will look to your subscribers before you actually send? When you create an email, you can select Preview and Test to render the email as a subscriber will receive it. This gives you an opportunity to see how personalization displays for subscribers, and validate AMPscript or other programmatic languages you may have used to create the message. You can also do a test send to your own inbox to view how the email appears in your email client. You may even consider creating a test subscriber whose properties you can change as needed for previewing and testing links.

IP Warming

As a new Marketing Cloud client, the sending IP addresses reserved for your use have no history of previously sending mail. Internet service providers (ISPs) are inherently suspicious of mail received from IP addresses lacking history because their data suggests that most connections from new IP addresses are attempts to deliver unsolicited spam or other unwanted emails. As a result, the largest ISPs and webmail providers recommend that you build up a sending reputation on any new IP address. Do this by slowly and methodically sending in small volumes, then gradually increasing your volume of desirable mail to their users. This process is referred to as the warming or ramping up of your new IP address.

The goal is to build up approximately 30 days of desirable sending history and data so that ISPs have an idea of the mail coming from your new IP address. We highly recommend that you review our recommendations and best practices that our customers have used to achieve volume targets. Check out IP Address Warming on Salesforce Help.

Sender Authentication Package

The Sender Authentication Package (SAP) in Email Studio provides a collection of products designed to help ensure that your email messages reach the intended recipients’ inboxes.

Private Domain
This product assigns a domain used to send email. This domain acts as the From address for your email sends. Marketing Cloud authenticates your email sends using the Sender Policy Framework (SPF), Sender ID, and DomainKeys/DKIM authentication.
Account Branding

This product brands your account with your chosen authenticated domain. It also modifies link and image wrapping and removes all references to Marketing Cloud in favor of your authenticated domain.
Dedicated IP Address
This product assigns a unique IP address to your account. All email sent from your account via Marketing Cloud uses this IP address, which represents most of your sending reputation.
Reply Mail Management
This product controls the replies you receive from your subscribers. You can assign filters for out-of-office messages and manual unsubscribe requests.

SAP helps your subscribers identify with your brand and increases brand awareness. To purchase the SAP collection of features and help increase the deliverability of your email messages, contact your Salesforce account representative.

Want to learn more strategies for creating effective emails? Check out the Email Marketing Strategies badge on Trailhead! Next up, we look at how you can track the effectiveness of your Marketing Cloud sends.


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