Times are rapidly changing, and with this, various companies are coming up with effective marketing trends to keep up with the dynamic needs of their customers. The changing technology has brought with it a plethora of solutions, like smartphones, to make connecting with people much easier. Smartphones have become a smart and convenient way of keeping in touch and staying up-to-date with the changing world. With almost 6 million smartphone users across the globe, it is important for businesses today to reach out to their customers through this channel.

What is outbound messaging?

As smartphones are better connecting people and businesses, businesses today are using them to reach out to larger audiences. They often do this to personalise content for their customers and give them a more human touch. Outbound messaging refers to the simple process of sending out messages to the customer without them reaching out to you. With an open rate of 98%, outbound messaging enables businesses to have a more personal, customised form of communication between them and the customer.

Salesforce introduced outbound messaging in the Flow as a declarative feature to automate the procedure and enhance personalisation to better engage customers. This feature essentially allows you to use Salesforce to integrate with other external systems.

How does Salesforce help create outbound messages?

With the new feature added to Flow, it gives businesses the option to automate personalised messaging through a simple process using notifications and the SOAP API. It works on the principle that whenever a new or existing record gets created or updated in Salesforce, Flow sends a SOAP API message to an external system like a mobile phone through channels like SMS, social media, etc.

For instance, a common use case would refer to a scenario where a new account record is updated in the backend system, like an ERP, order management system, or logistics system, whenever a new account gets created or an existing one gets updated in Salesforce. The best part about this feature would be its declarative nature, which reduces the processing time to a maximum of 15 minutes. This would essentially be a great way to connect multiple systems through Salesforce to help businesses leverage this benefit to create a better single view of the customer.

How do you send an outbound message using Salesforce?

Configuring outbound messaging is a two-step process in the Salesforce environment:

  1. The first step requires you to define the outbound message, where you select the object, fields from the object, and specify an endpoint URL.
  2. The next step requires you to define what will trigger this outbound message. There are four features in Salesforce that allow you to run automation on record creation and updating.
  1. Workflow Rules
  2. Process Builder
  3. Salesforce Flow
  4. Apex Trigger

The first three features, i.e., workflow rules, process builder, and Salesforce Flow, are declarative in nature and do not require any coding, whereas Apex Trigger does. With Salesforce announcing that Workflow Rules & Process Builder will be discontinued by 2023, Salesforce Flow is your ideal choice.

Steps to send outbound messages with flows

Flow is popularly coined as the ‘future of Salesforce automation. It enables you to create, edit, and delete any record passed into the flow. It does not stress on these records being related in order to pass data in a flow. For instance, a case is identified as spam. Flow allows you to automatically delete the case along with its related contact and account. You can also schedule it to run at a certain interval. Here is a step-by-step process for how you can send outbound messages with Salesforce Flow:

Tips for effective outbound messaging with Salesforce Flow

Research by Salesforce suggests that outbound messaging has the potential to save 50% over the cost of using voice calls. This means that companies today must move to a proactive messaging solution instead of waiting for the customer to reach out to them to improve ROI. But are all types of outbound messages going to get the same engagement? Surely not. Here’s a list of things your departments must keep in mind while sending out outbound messages to customers:

  • Personalise messages: Customers today are looking for personalised content that makes them feel closer to the brand. A personalised outbound message increases engagement and improves the customer support metric.
  • Make the value of the message clear: Create a schedule or a map to establish the effectiveness of the message being sent out. Once the value is clear, you know what to focus on while creating messages.
  • Keep messages consistent. Make sure that the value of the message is clear and consistent. Inconsistencies can often confuse customers, resulting in their unsubscribing.
  • Check the frequency: While messages at normal intervals can keep the customer interested, sending them out too often at odd times can instantly turn the customer off.
  • Effective result analysis: Analysing customer behaviour towards outbound messages can help your sales and marketing teams come up with effective strategies to improve conversions. This also helps future-proof your company and increase profits even in the future.
  • Update contact information regularly. Maintaining up-to-date contact information helps businesses empower their customers to control what they see. Asking for permission and giving consumers an easy unsubscribe option lets customers know they can start and stop messages whenever they want to.