Preview: Flow Features Drive Salesforce’s Newest Marketing Application
The Flow team has been working with Marketing Cloud to add Flow-powered journeys to next-generation Marketing features and services. The first capabilities are rolling out in Summer ’23. To access them, you’ll need a Salesforce org based on the newly renamed Starter Edition (This is the edition that previously was named Salesforce Easy and before that Salesforce Essentials). (The link above provides trial orgs, but as of this writing they have not yet been upgraded to Summer ’23).
Flows are accessible outside of Setup in Starter Edition
Start Edition is the first place where you can build flows as a non-Admin ‘citizen. Here, you can see that Flows are one of the tools that are available to marketers from outside of Setup.
When you select Flows here, you aren’t taken to Setup, but to a standard list view:
When flows that support citizen building are saved, a data record is generated alongside the traditional flow setup object that contains the flow’s metadata. These two objects are kept in sync automatically. It’s the data records that are being shown in the list view above.
One reason for introducing this object duality is to enable sharing rules and other sharing infrastructure to be applied to the flow creation process. For more information, see the Citizen Flows section, below.
Flow-Based Marketing Journeys
Starter Edition features a new Marketing service centered around Campaigns. When you create a Campaign, this is what you see:
The top ‘Single Email’ choice is an wizard that autogenerates a simple email send using this UI:
This user experience is essentially a specialized flow generator, and you can go to the Flow list and see the underlying flow:
You can open it directly and modify it:
The Send Email Message added to these marketing campaigns is a new action that makes use of a brand new messaging service that rides on top of Data Cloud. Here’s what the configuration looks like for this action:
Some of the characteristics of the new Send Email Action:
It’s designed to do all of its addressing in the mechanisms used by professional marketing. So instead of specifying specific To and CC addresses, it will use the segment of database contacts specified in the Start element (see below). Instead of using a Body text field, it expects an email template to be created and specified.
It includes Einstein Send Time Optimization, which uses Einstein to recommend the appropriate send time for each contact in the segment.
The underlying messaging system support engagement events for clicks and opens.
Here’s what the Segment section of the Start element looks like when the trigger is a Segment-Based trigger:
Clicking on Edit Segment Rules, as shown here:
…will take you to the Segment Builder in Data Cloud:
This is part of what was introduced as Genie at Dreamforce last year and is now introduced as Data Cloud.
So, putting the above sections together: When you buy Starter Edition, you get marketing as part of the package, including a customer data platform, powerful segmentation capabilities, and flow-based journeys. In subsequent releases, the marketing feature set will get richer and will become available beyond Starter Edition and gradually grow to meet the most demanding enterprise marketing needs.
Citizen Flow Building (Only in Starter Edition in Summer ’23)
In Starter Edition in Summer ’23 it is for the first time possible to create flows without being a Salesforce Admin. Traditionally, opening Flow Builder and saving flows has required the Manage Flows permission and this provides the ability to create flows that run in System Mode. Customers have been asking for ways to enable non-admins like marketers to create and edit flows in a protected way. The first deployment of this citizen flow creation is coming in the new Marketing application in Starter Edition in Summer ’23.
Key user experience differences
- Flows are visible not just in the Flow node in Setup but also in a new Flow record home that works like other object home pages. This means that you don’t need to go to Setup to see a list of flows.
- You can create a new flow from this Flow record home or edit an existing flow. It will take you directly into Flow Builder
- Currently, the only flows that show up in this record home are flows belonging to a new flow type called Engagement Flow.
- You don’t need View Setup access to be able to enter Flow Builder.
In Summer ’23, security is provided by limiting what an Engagement Flow can do. Engagement Flows only have access to Send Email action and Wait by Duration element, and only work with a new trigger labeled the Engagement Flow trigger. This trigger is a Schedule-based trigger that works with a Segment from Data Cloud. Data Cloud is an inherent part of next generation marketing functionality.
Using a process type to limit what these citizen-enabled flows can do in Summer ’23 in an intermediate step on the way to Granular Flow Permissions. That’s work that going on to enable a permission set to be defined that exactly specifies what a citizen has access to in Flow Builder. For example, it will be able to craft a permission set that says provides access to Update and Create Records but not Delete Records, and Platform-Event Triggers but not Record-Change Triggers
New Element – Wait Until Date
Wait Until Date is part of a new generation of Wait elements that are more focused and easier to use than the traditional Flow Pause element. There’s going to be some overlap in functionality. (In fact, we’re considering renaming the Pause element to be ‘Advanced Wait’ to emphasize its power.) Like the rest of the functionality described in this post, this element is only available in the Starter Edition in Summer ’23, but Salesforce does plan to make Wait Until Date available for all editions soon.
New Element – Wait For Amount of Time
See the notes above regarding the Wait Until Date element.Salesforce does plan to make this element available for all editions soon.