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  • Neelima Thumma

Progressive Profiling with Interactive Emails

Updated: Dec 8, 2021


As 3rd party cookies sunset, owning and gathering first hand subscriber data becomes more and more critical. In this article we talk about Salesforce Marketing Cloud's advance data collection capability - Interactive Emails.

As marketers we want to get clean and pristine first hand information from our customers / subscribers that will enable us to do accurate segmentation and send relevant & personalized content.

One of the best way to get first hand information is surveys and preference centers - but really, how often do customers fill these surveys out? How often do customers take time to update your preference centers?

We also know that getting information via Email > CTA Click > Landing Page > Form Fill > Submit, is a long shot. We need too many parameters to work in our favor to get the information that we need. First, we need to make sure we land in the inbox, then we need to get the subscriber to open the email, then hopefully our CTA is appealing to the subscriber that they actually click on the links we want them to.

Let's get real - the strategy here is "Strategy of HOPE!"

As a marketer we need to make it as easy as possible for the customers to provide us their information and we need to make our ask genuine and relevant.

Interactive Emails in Salesforce Marketing Cloud's content builder is an amazing way to solicit additional attributes (progressively profile) and get to know more details about your target audience (customers, subscribers, leads and prospects).

Building out the audience's entire profile allows you to do smarter segmentation and more targeted and personalized messaging.

If a subscriber signed up for a newsletter by providing you with just an email, there is a lot that we as a marketers can achieve. As a part of the welcome / nurture / awareness program we should try to get to know them better. Interactive email provides a way to capture this information without navigating away from the email client and thus reduces the risk of the subscriber bouncing off.

Content Builder - interactive email
Interactive Email - progressive profiling.

Content Builder's email gives us 5 templates to choose from:

  • Empty Form - Start from scratch and create any type of form you want.

  • Review - Allow subscribers to complete product reviews and other surveys.

  • Progressive Profile - Collect or update subscriber preferences and demographic data.

  • Case Form - Allow subscribers to create or update a support case.

  • Lead Form - Capture or update subscriber information from your leads.

You can even add additional hidden fields to pass values that you want hidden from the submitter.

Email Body - Case Form

Capture and Update Lead Form

Capture Reviews

Here is an example of how Home Depot uses it.

Interactive Email - Home Depot

To summarize Interactive Emails in Salesforce Marketing Cloud is a great tool for progressively collecting customer's preferences, attributes and affinities. It is important to target customers at right time, with the right content block depending on what stage they are in their Journey - Onboard, Discover, Compare, Convert, Expand, Retain

To learn more on how we are helping our customers strategize their data collection and extend their data model - email us at

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