How to Extend and Expand Your Salesforce Audience with Salesforce Experience Cloud

What is Salesforce Experience Cloud?

Salesforce Experience Cloud creates communities of users. Its functionality allows businesses to launch branded spaces for users to connect, engage, and collaborate. A customized implementation of the product encourages customer engagement, partner management, employee collaboration, and personalized experiences.

How to Extend and Expand Your Salesforce Audience

If you have a Salesforce Org and want to get your data seen and used by a much wider audience beyond your fully licensed user base, then you have several choices to consider.

These options are ranked by expense/ease of implementation:

  1. Buy full Salesforce licenses for everyone who needs to see and/or modify your data.
  2. Purchase limited licenses for new users.
  3. Set up a public or a licensed Salesforce Experience Cloud.
  4. Launch Embedded Experiences, which keep your existing website but enhance its functionality with Salesforce. This can be public API only or use dedicated logins if needed.
  5. Spin up a WordPress (or similar) site and use Salesforce SSO and REST API to both read and edit your data. This can take many different forms.

What you choose depends on how much you are willing to spend and how much functionality you need.

Option 1: Full Salesforce Licensing

Purchasing licenses for all your intended users will obviously give them the access they need. Your new users can do anything that any Salesforce user can do. But:

  • It’s very expensive if you need more than a few users.
  • If you use profiles/permissions to limit access to what users can see and do, then you are paying for a lot of functionality that is going unused.
  • This use-case is normally used when your users need a lot of the built-in tools that Salesforce provides and use it heavily.

Option 2: Limited Salesforce Licenses

There are other more limited licenses you can purchase for your users. These include:

  • Knowledge Only
  • Identity Only
  • Salesforce Platform User (no CRM but able to use custom objects)
  • Lightning Platform User (limited number of custom objects and classes)

These user licenses are all quite limited in different ways but are worth carefully considering. This is a less expensive option but is still not cheap. These licenses restrict what you can do. If a piece of functionality is not there, you are forced to upgrade. There are often better options.

Option 3: Third-Party Integration

A connection to WordPress or similar enables users to view and edit Salesforce data too. (This, of course, depends on the user(s) that you connect to Salesforce with and their privileges.) Unfortunately, you’ll miss out on reporting (although you can use the reporting REST API). You also lose visual flows and many other platform features.

An integration can range from a simple web to lead “contact us” form to a CMS form builder right up to Advanced forms and custom object sync. The price for these kinds of integrations varies a lot but starts to become expensive as more functionality is required.

You also need to factor in custom dev and hosting costs, which dramatically increase the cost. Integrations tend to suffer from a lot of issues, such as communication failures, failed syncs, data incompatibility, duplication, and other problems. Very careful consideration is required before heading down this route.

Option 4: Experience Cloud Embedded in Your Website

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You can replace certain parts of your website without changing the whole thing. You do this by building a custom user experience native to Salesforce and embedded into your website.

The main advantage of embedding is that you keep your original site, but everything new can be built in Salesforce.

The data lives right in Salesforce with your new UI. If you use standard components, which Salesforce keeps backward compatible, updates won’t break your components. Your data never leaves Salesforce, which improves responsiveness and security. This can be entirely transparent to the user and can look like your existing site.

This kind of integration could normally use an External Apps, Customer Community, or Partner License. You may also be able to share a login in this scenario or even use the Guest User License, which is free.

Option 5: Experience Cloud Site

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Salesforce Experience Cloud, formerly known as Community Cloud, allows organizations to create branded spaces for users to connect, engage, and collaborate. It amplifies Salesforce’s functionality, encouraging customer engagement, partner management, employee collaboration, and personalized experiences. It focuses on driving community.

Experience Cloud gives you the best of both worlds – it’s much like embedding WordPress directly inside Salesforce. Depending on the Experience Cloud license you choose, you can view and edit most Salesforce objects, access, and edit reports, interact with users, and more. You can also pick different “use frequency” licenses, which are based on login frequency or by number of users. We recommend this option for organizations with users who don’t log in very often. Experiences are well suited to FAQs or customer enquiries. You can also encourage users to interact with each other, a great feature for member-based organizations. Experience Cloud has some limitations, but for the license price, it’s a very good deal.

There are three main ways to use an Experience:

  • Public access (guest license – very large user base with mostly read only access)
  • Bulk login access (good if there is a large user base and users don’t log in much)
  • User-based access (good for frequent users and a smaller user base)

Other Experience Cloud users can own records, be part of groups, create, update, and delete records, use reports, and more.

We champion the Experience Cloud option and specialize in building custom business applications on the platform. The “BuiltWith” platform lists over 6000 public sites built with experience cloud. Some of these have enormous traffic levels and huge user bases (millions of users). For example, CBS News runs a help site that has over 5M users.

Other examples include:


If it works for these companies, it’ll probably work for yours too!

Launching a Custom Salesforce Experience Cloud Solution

Our deep bench of Salesforce experts helps companies leverage the platform as a competitive advantage. We build custom yet cost-effective solutions that connect their users with their key business data.

We tailor Salesforce to your business rather than forcing your business to conform to a standard implementation. To learn more, contact us to talk with one of our consultants about a customized Salesforce Experience Cloud implementation today.

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