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Pass The Email Specialist Exam With These Tools

In today’s post, I’ll give you the tools to pass the Marketing Cloud Email Specialist exam on your first try. 

Most people take the email specialist exam and have NO idea the challenge they’re about to face.

After today’s post, you’ll know exactly which tools to study before you take the exam.

Let's start with the topics we'll discuss today.

  1. Data Management

  2. Content Creation & Delivery

  3. Automation Studio

  4. Journey Builder

  5. Reporting

Alright, let's go!


Data Management

Tools to know:

  • Attribute groups

  • All subscribers

  • All contacts

  • Data extensions

  • Lists

  • SQL

  • Data filters

  • Publication lists

  • Exclusion lists

  • Suppression lists

For each tool listed above, you'll need to know:

  • What each tool does.

  • When to use each tool.

  • Why each tool matters.

  • How to use each tool in a real-world scenario.

It's not enough to memorize the tools.

You have to be able to talk with a manager about "Why" you'd use that tool versus another tool.

To do that, you need in-depth knowledge about when and why you'd use each one.

That's the same approach you'll need for the rest of the content I'll provide in this article.


Content Creation & Delivery

Tools to know:

  • Content builder

  • Personalization strings

  • Dynamic content

  • Content blocks

  • AMPscript

  • Guide template language (GTL)

  • Server side, JavaScript (SSJS)

  • Send Flow

  • User-Initiated Send

  • Send Email Activity

  • Bounces

  • Unsubscribes

Once again, when it comes to content Builder, you need to know:

  • What each tool does.

  • When to use each tool.

  • Why each tool matters.

  • How to use each tool in a real-world scenario.


Marketing Cloud Automation (Part 1)

Automation Studio

Now, we're getting into the first automation tool in Marketing Cloud.

Automation Studio.

Automation Studio handles your data processes.

It's meant for Extracting, Transforming, and Loading your data. (a process known as E.T.L.)

When you need to automate your data - you'll go with Automation Studio (not Journey Builder).

Study the tools so you know how to use them in the real-world scenarios below.

Automation Studio Tools to know:

Automation Studio entry sources:

  • Scheduled

  • File Drop

  • Triggered

Automation Studio activities:

  • Send Email

  • SQL Query

  • Import File

  • File Transfer

  • Script

  • Data Filter

  • Data Extract

  • Verification

  • Wait

Automation, studio workflow:

  • How to structure an automation

  • What happens if two or more activities are in an automation step?

Automation Studio notifications:

  • How to check the health of an automation (Successes & Errors)

  • Where to put your email if an automation succeeds or fails

  • How to troubleshoot an automation if something happens

Make sure to know:

  • What each Automation Studio activity does

  • When to use each tool (and in which order to use each tool in)

  • Why each Automation Studio activity matters


Automation Studio Example #1

A client wants you to:

  • Import the recent subscriber data file from your File Location every Friday morning at 4:45 AM

  • The file is large, therefore is encryped and zipped.

  • The customer data file needs to be joined with the purchase data extension after being imported.

  • There needs to be 100 records in the data extension - You need to verify this.

  • An automatic email needs to be sent to customers who have recently subscribed - (Thanking them for signing up)


Automation Studio Example #2

Your manager needs you to:

  • Put the current customer file in a Data Extension when the database admin drops it on your FTP.

  • The file is large, so the database admin has Zipped the file.

  • The file needs to be segmented to find the list of loyalty customers who have purchased in the last 7 days.

  • You have a technical person on the team.

  • The file shouldn't be empty - Please verify this.

  • The segmented list needs to be used as the entry source for the Loyalty Journey in Journey Builder.


Automation Studio Example #3

A client needs to:

  • Import the recent purchases data file from Amazon S3 when the file is uploaded.

  • The data is sensitive; therefore, the file is encrypted.

  • The data needs to be filtered based on customers who live in Houston, Texas.

  • You don't have anyone technical on your team).

  • If the file has less than 1000 records - notify the account management team.

  • A mass email needs to be sent to Houston, Texas, customers.

You'll need knowledge of each tool to know how to use them in a real-world scenario.


Marketing Cloud Automation (Part 2)

Journey Builder

Tools to know

Journey Builder Entry Sources

  • Data Extensions

  • Audience

  • Inbound Chat Message

  • Event

  • API Event

  • DMP

  • Google Analytics 360

  • Salesforce Data

  • Cloud Pages

Journey Builder Activities

  • Undo or Redo

  • Re-Use Activity

  • Path Optimizer

  • Wait Activities

  • Engagement Split

  • Decision Split

  • Random Split

  • Einstein Scoring

  • Join

  • Frequency Split

  • Einstein Send Time Optimization

  • Update Contact

  • Ad Audience

  • Advertising Campaign

Journey Builder Message Activities

  • Email

  • LINE Carousel

  • LINE Multi-Content

  • IN-APP Push

  • Inbox Push

  • Inbound Chat Message

  • Push Notification

  • SMS Message

  • WhatsApp

Journey Builder Salesforce Activities

  • Account Activity

  • Campaign Member

  • Contact Activity

  • Convert Lead

  • Object Activity

  • Task Activity

Journey Builder Goals

Journey Builder Exit

As usual, make sure you know:

  • What each tool does:

  • When to use each tool

  • Why each tool matters:

When you grasp each tool in Journey Builder well, your next step is to solve real-world scenarios.


Journey Builder Scenario #1: Entry Sources

Background: A retail company wants to launch a personalized email campaign for customers who have shown interest in their new product line on their website.

Your Task:

  • Configure a web form as the entry source in Journey Builder to capture customer interests in real-time.

  • Ensure that the data captured includes the customer's name, email, and specific products they are interested in.

  • Integrate this entry source with the customer's profile in the Marketing Cloud Contact database to update existing records or create new ones as needed.

  • Set up a decision split based on the product interest to direct customers to different paths in the journey.

  • Monitor the entry source's performance for the first week to ensure a smooth data capture process and adjust the configuration if necessary.


Journey Builder Scenario #2: Message Activities

Background: An online education platform wants to re-engage users who have not logged in for more than 30 days with a series of motivational emails and exclusive content offers.

Your Task:

  • Utilize a SQL query activity in Automation Studio to segment users based on their last login date and push this segment as the entry source for a re-engagement journey.

  • Design a multi-step email campaign within this journey that starts with a "We Miss You" message, followed by emails that highlight new courses and exclusive content.

  • Implement dynamic content in these emails to personalize messages based on the user's previously expressed interests or courses they've viewed but not enrolled in.

  • Schedule a push notification for mobile app users as an alternative message activity within the same journey, encouraging them to check out new app features designed to enhance their learning experience.

  • Analyze open rates and click-through rates to optimize message content and timing for future campaigns.


Journey Builder Scenario #3: Flow Activities

Background: A non-profit organization aims to increase donations through a targeted campaign that educates potential donors about their impact and shows appreciation for their support.

Your Task:

  • Start the journey with an entry source that targets subscribers who have interacted with previous donation campaigns but did not donate.

  • Incorporate an Email Activity to send an informational video about the non-profit's recent projects and the impact of donations.

  • Follow up with a Decision Split based on whether the email was opened and the video was watched, leading to different follow-up actions.

  • For those who engaged, send a personalized thank you email from the CEO with a small survey to gauge their interest in different projects and willingness to support.

  • Implement a Wait Activity for those who did not engage, followed by a reminder email that highlights a specific project close to completion needing support.

  • Use Update Contact activities to tag everyone who completes the survey or donates, for exclusive updates on the projects they showed interest in.

If these examples seem tough, it's because they are haha!

But that's exactly what you need before you take the exam.

Show up to that bad boy with enough mental fortitude to crush the questions on the exam.

Solving these scenarios will test your knowledge of:

  • Journey Builder Entry Sources

  • Flow Control Activities

  • Message Activities

  • Journey Builder Analytics

You'll need to think strategically to pass the questions on the Email Specialist exam.

These scenarios will get you ready.



Tools to know:

  • Einstein Reports

  • Datorama (MC Intelligence)

  • Data Views

  • Standard Reports

  • Query Studio

Let's go over a few real-world reporting scenarios:


Real-world scenario #1 - Data Views

  • We want to scrub our email list.

  • We need a report that shows people who haven't opened an email in the last 30 days.

  • Find the subscribers with zero opens in the past 30 days.

  • Put them in a data extension called (unengaged monthly subscribers).


Real-world scenario #2 - Datorama (MC Intelligence)

  • We're looking to upgrade our marketing reports.

  • We want more in-depth knowledge about our customers

  • We'd like to know the following information.

  • What are MC Intelligence dimensions and what are the 3 types of dimensions?

  • What is a data stream (and what are the different types of data streams?)

  • What are the different ways we can pull data into MC Intelligence?

  • What are pivot tables? Can you give us a few use cases for why we'd use them?``


That’s it.

These are the 5 tools to master the Marketing Cloud email specialist certification.

  1. Setup & Admin

  2. Data Management

  3. Content Creation & Delivery

  4. Marketing Automation

  5. Reporting

Enjoy, and good luck with passing the Email Specialist certification.

Kaelan Moss - MinuteAdmin out ✌🏽


When You're Ready,
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