Sending Emails to Salesforce Campaigns from the Marketing Cloud

So you are an Email Marketer, and you’d like to know how to harness a beastly tool like Salesforce Marketing Cloud to send targeted emails. Or, you have already mastered the art of creating highly targeted lists and data extensions in Salesforce (or, found someone who can – lucky you!), and you toil-away at them to produce personalized emails (maybe even using Ampscript!). In any such cases, you can also benefit tremendously from using Salesforce Campaigns as sending targets if you are connected with the Sales Cloud.

Normally, the process of sending emails from Marketing Cloud would require you to create a ton of filters, and oftentimes, querying activities whenever your audience is generated from multiple sources. So if you think that writing SQL queries isn’t the best use of a Marketer’s time, then you’re not alone! And it doesn’t end there. You must also create all those data extensions manually, adding each field one-by-one. Also, if any of the fields are being synced with Salesforce, then you must match them in size and data type, else your query will fail.

So do you have to go through that whole grind for just sending an email to the right people? In many cases yes, but there are exceptions. Most companies that we know of already have great resources in Sales and Sales Support to generate effectively targeted audience segmentions, and place the results directly into Salesforce Campaigns. This represents a pre-existing gold-mine of naturally-generated send-targeting capabilities, just waiting to be discovered!

Fortunately, Salesforce has an option to send emails to Salesforce Campaigns and Reports (contact us directly, if you’d like to know more about the latter as well). So this capability greatly simplifies the task of targeting your emails. Keeping in mind that you do need to have your Marketing Cloud instance integrated with your Sales Cloud instance using Marketing Cloud Connect (but we can help here also!) to simplify your send-targeting.

Simply do the following in Content Builder:

  • In Marketing Cloud > Email Studio > Overview, open the email that you want to send and click ‘Send’
  • Select a ‘Send Classification’ then click ‘Next’
  • In the left pane, select ‘Salesforce Campaigns’ and then type the name of the desired campaign in the ‘Search’ field
  • Drag the desired campaign onto the ‘Targeted’ box on the right
  • You can similarly drop campaigns to be excluded in the ‘Excluded and Suppressed’ box on the right. Marketing Cloud will take care to exclude all members of those campaigns from the send
  • Click ‘Next’ and then schedule as required
  • Make sure that the ‘Send Tracking Results to Sales Cloud’ box is checked, and click ‘Next’
  • Review your send information and confirm by marking the checkbox on the top-left and click ‘Send’

Isn’t that simple? Every good thing, however, has its downsides, and sending to campaigns is no exception. You must keep the following considerations in mind when using this functionality:

  • Scheduled sends to Salesforce campaigns are difficult to cancel as Marketing Cloud does not list their scheduled sends with as much detail as it does for native send, so you need to either use guesswork or cancel every scheduled send
  • It is difficult to track the target campaign used in past sends, as this detail does not show up in tracking

Now for the compelling advantages:

  • It’s easier,and for some, that’s reason enough to choose this approach!
  • If you already have a number of Salesforce campaigns being created, then that’s quite a catalog of readily targeted audiences to choose from
  • Your Salesforce Campaign Members are automatically updated with the send status from Marketing Cloud, so that your Sales reps always see the live score!

Furthermore, if you use Ampscript to personalize your email content, then you can still do that. All you have to do is to use the RetrieveSalesforceObjects() call to fetch the relevant Salesforce record to the email (we can help you with that also). All this could probably free you up to leave work early and get a few drinks. So go ahead…you’ve earned it! Of course, if you have any questions or feedback, let us know in the comments section, or you can always reach us at Also, hit us up if you’d like to learn a neat trick to create Salesforce Campaign Member Statuses en-masse!

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Picture of Samantha Warren

Samantha Warren is a digital marketing expert with over six years of experience in crafting 360° campaigns that marry creativity with strategy. She has helped clients in a variety of industries, including e-commerce, technology, and healthcare, to reach new heights with their marketing initiatives.