Salesforce Marketing Cloud Connect Behavior

Salesforce Marketing Cloud Connect Behavior

Whenever we start architecting a solution around Salesforce Marketing Cloud, and we know Salesforce Marketing Cloud Connect also in place, then we must think through the Salesforce Marketing Cloud Connect behave in various scenarios.

Here I have compiled on Marketing Cloud Connect Behavior towards Salesforce Report, Campaign, Salesforce sends.

When an integrated send (send to SF report or campaign with Contact Id/Lead Id and email address) is in place:

  • If the Subscriber is not already present in the All Subscriber list, they are added to All Subscribers with the Subscriber Key and Email at send time.
  • If a subscriber is already present in All Subscriber list with a different email than that at send time, the Email address in All Subscribers should be updated at send time.
  • Mapped attributes do not need to be present in the campaign or report.

For subscribers added to All Subscriber list via an integrated send, the Add Method should be listed as ‘SalesforceSubscriber.’ Mapped attributes from Contact or Lead (such as first name, last name, id number) will not be visible given All Subscribers UI table or export of All Subscribers list from UI.

Though not visible in the All Subscriber UI table or export, attributes from Salesforce for a Subscriber that were added via integrated send are visible from All Subscribers>Subscriber>Properties>Attributes because Salesforce is referenced in real-time when attributes are viewed at this level. Additionally, the following actions should make attributes for a subscriber who was added via integrated send visible in the All Subscribers UI table or export:

  • Action described above: viewing Profiles>Attributes and clicking OK, even if no changes are made.
  • If MC Profile Center is used, and update is made to attributes here.
  • If the Subscriber is added to a list (NOT Data Extension).

All integrated sends should pull the most recent information when sending for all mapped attributes directly from Salesforce (Including Email Address). It is regardless of whether the Subscriber has attributes visible in the All Subscribers UI table or export of All Subscribers list from UI.

View an email preview/test send – for someone in the All Subscriber list who has attributes that are not visible in the All Subscriber UI table. However, with values for these attributes in Salesforce, WILL NOT have personalization strings populated with attributes from All Subscribers in the preview.

In case, a send is done to a Salesforce Data Extension (SFDE) earlier when a subscriber is added to the All Subscriber list via an integrated send from Salesforce. Example: via automation that is done to an SFDE built with a SQL query), the SFDE must contain:

  • Primary Key field mapped to Subscriber Key that contains 18 character Contact ID or Lead ID. This field does not have to be called Contact Id or Lead Id in the SFDE.
  • Email Address with the data type of Email Address.
  • Any fields to be used for personalization for that particular email send.

In case the first send to a subscriber is done via an SFDE, the values that are in the SFDE at the time of send are used for any personalization in the email if you are calling the field names from that SFDE. However, all attributes in the Subscriber record will behave like those for a Subscriber added via Integrated Send going forward for sends (i.e. the attributes will appear blank in the All Subscriber table UI and export, but when the Subscribers>Properties>Attributes are referenced the real-time values from Salesforce will appear) except Email Address. Importantly, the Email Address in the SFDE at the time of send is written to the subscriber record at All Subscribers.

In all circumstances (send to SF Report, Campaign, or SFDE), the email address for a Subscriber is not updated at the All Subscriber list level until another send is done to the Subscriber.

  • For sends to SF Reports and Campaigns: Send time values for all attributes and email addresses from Salesforce always override any data that is present in All Subscribers.
  • For sends to SFDEs, any attribute data in the data extension will override what is in the All Subscriber List in the email but will not update All Subscriber Attributes EXCEPT FOR Email Address.
    • If there is an Email Address in the SFDE that differs from that at All Subscribers, the SFDE Email Address will be used for the send instead of the Email Address at All Subscribers, and All Subscribers will be updated with the email from the SFDE.
    • If a send to an SFDE is done where the Subscriber already exists in All Subscribers and an Email Address field is not included in the SFDE, the send will go to the Email Address that is associated with the Subscriber Key in Marketing Cloud rather than the Email Address in Salesforce for that Contact ID.
    • Suppose a send to an SFDE is done where a Subscriber does not exist in All Subscribers and an Email Address is not included in the SFDE. In that case, the send will not be deployed to the Subscriber even if they have a record in Salesforce, and the Subscriber will not be added to All Subscribers.

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About the author

Anil Jangra

MBA graduate with ten years of experience in management consulting in Marketing Functions. Experience in developing a customer experience strategy & customer journeys to drive the shift from product centricity to customer advocacy by leveraging digital marketing.

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