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This article is a complete guide to using Campaigns in Salesforce.

In this expert-written guide you’ll learn all about:

  • The essential features of Salesforce Campaigns.
  • How to create and customize Campaigns in Salesforce.
  • How to use Campaign Members.
  • Syncing marketing results from Pardot to Salesforce Campaigns.
  • Dashboards and reports that provide marketing metrics.

If you want to understand everything about delivering and tracking marketing activities using Salesforce Campaigns, you’ll love this new guide.

Let’s start.


Fundamentals of Salesforce Campaigns

A Salesforce Campaign is a group of Leads and Contacts exposed to specific marketing communication(s). It stores essential performance metrics and means salespeople can quickly see the customers and prospects that received marketing activity.

For example, some of the specific things you can do with Campaigns in Salesforce are:

  • Measure how well marketing campaigns are doing.
  • Let salespeople see the history of marketing messages delivered to customers and prospects.
  • Understand which Leads and Contacts have responded to emails and other marketing communications.
  • Summarize campaign results for non-marketing specialists.
  • Let salespeople quickly add Leads and Contacts to upcoming events, webinars, and other campaigns.

You’ve probably gathered, there’s not much about actual delivery here.

That’s because Salesforce Campaigns cannot physically deliver emails and other messages. However, they play an essential role in measuring and reporting on results achieved using different tools.


How To Create A Campaign in Salesforce

To create a Salesforce Campaign, click on the Campaigns tab. On the right, click New.

However, if you don’t have permission to do this, you need the Marketing User checkbox set to True.

You find this feature on the User record.

Ask your system administrator to edit your User record and set this checkbox to True.

There are some changes you might want to make to the Campaign object and page layout.

For example, modify the Type field to reflect the marketing activities your business runs.

And remove some of the optional fields on the page layout (see our Section in this guide on metrics to know which fields are essential).


Salesforce Campaign Example

Here’s an example of a Campaign in Salesforce. It relates to a webinar run by GSP earlier this year.

You can quickly see the name of the webinar and the date we held it. We also gave it a ‘Type’ to group all webinars in Salesforce reports and dashboards.

In our case, we run webinars using GoToWebinar. However, we deliver the emails inviting Leads and Contacts using Pardot. Nevertheless, the Campaign in Salesforce holds all the essential metrics on the webinar performance.

I’ll explain how these systems link together. However, first, let’s look at some of the metrics on a Salesforce Campaign.

  • Total Members. The total number of Leads and Contacts linked with the Campaign. Below this, we can see separate values for Leads and Contacts.
  • Responses in Campaign. This number is critical. It shows how many people have acted positively as a result of this marketing communication.
  • Opportunities in Campaign. The number of opportunities linking to this marketing activity.
  • Value Opportunities in Campaign. The dollar value of opportunities related to the Campaign.
  • Won Opportunities in Campaign. The number of Closed Won opportunities linking to the Campaign.
  • Value Won Opportunities in Campaign. The value of these Closed Won opportunities.

However, you’re probably wondering:

How is the Responded number calculated? And how do opportunities get linked to Campaigns?

They’re excellent questions.

Let’s start with the first.

When you think about it, Leads and Contacts do different things to ‘respond’ to different types of marketing activity. For example, they ‘click a link’ in an email but ‘register’ for a webinar.

However, to track this behavior, it is imperative to understand how Campaign Members work in Salesforce.


Salesforce Campaign Members Defined

A Campaign Member describes the relationship between an individual Lead or Contact and a specific Salesforce Campaign. It tracks the change in this relationship over time and is critical for building useful marketing reports and dashboards in Salesforce.

Let’s take our webinar example to understand how this works.


Campaign Member Example

Here are the steps we take with a webinar.

  1. Identify the group of Leads and Contacts to invite.
  2. Send the invite email using Pardot.
  3. Some people register.
  4. On the day of the webinar, some people attend. Others are no shows.

Now, here’s how that plays out with a Salesforce Campaign.

In step 1, we add the people we are inviting to the Campaign. However, here’s the thing. We add them with a Campaign Member Status of Not Sent.

In other words, we are planning to send an invite email, but haven’t done so yet. That means these Leads and Contacts have a status of ‘Not Sent’ with the campaign.

Now we send the email. At the same time, we update the status to ‘Sent.’ We do this using an automation rule in Pardot.

Some people register. They do this in GoToWebinar. This information passes to Pardot, and that system updates the Campaign Member Status to Attending.

Come the day of the webinar, they either show up, or they don’t. GoToWebinar knows this and updates the Campaign Member Status for each person to Attended or No Show.

Of course, at any point in the process, someone can unsubscribe. So we have a status for that as well.

Now, however, you might be thinking:

What has this got to do with the Responded number on the Campaign?

Everything is the answer.


Campaign Member Responded Field

Take a look at this table. The left-hand column contains the Campaign Member Status values for the webinar.

The right-hand column shows which status values count as Responded.

In this example, the Responded total on the Campaign includes Leads and Contacts with a status of Registered, Attended, or No Show.

In other words, we count anyone that registers as Responded. It doesn’t matter whether they attend the webinar or not.

Are we right to do that? After all, it means the figure includes people failing to attend the webinar.

The short answer is that it’s up to you. We choose to include all three status values because they responded positively to the invite email, i.e., they registered for the webinar.

As long as you are consistent across similar types of campaign, then it’s okay.

Let’s take a different example. Again, it’s from our own Salesforce.

This time, the Campaign relates to one of our weekly nurture emails, sent from Pardot.

What Campaign Member Status values should we use here?

We use Not Sent, Sent, Visited, Unsubscribed.

These are the values we choose to use to record the relationship with each email. (‘Clicked’ means the person clicked on the link in the email to visit the blog post).

Again, the important thing is to be consistent across similar campaigns.


How To Adjust Campaign Member Status

You get the idea: it’s essential to set status values relevant to each type of Campaign.

Unfortunately, in Classic, there was a spectacular piece of poor design in Salesforce. It meant that many people never got to grips with this functionality.

To set the values, you had to click on the Advanced Setup button. I can’t think how this button could have been labeled in a way to put people more off clicking it.

Frankly, it’s not much better in Lightning.

Nevertheless, using these features, you can now set Campaign Member Status values relevant to each marketing program.

One more thing you might be wondering:

What is the Default checkbox?

You set one status value to the default. The default is the value to which Leads and Contacts are assigned when they first get added to the Campaign. That is unless you specify another value.

Often, you set the default as ‘Not Sent.’ When adding Leads and Contacts to the campaign, they are automatically assigned the Not Sent value.


Lead and Contact Campaign History

Naturally, one Lead or Contact can link to more than on Campaign over time.

You may even have a Lead or Contact to be associated with several Campaigns at the same time. And of course, they can have a different Member Status for each Campaign.

Here’s how that looks:

There’s a separate Campaign Member record that describes the relationship between a Lead or Contact and each salesforce campaign.

In our case, we include the Responded checkbox on the page so that salespeople can quickly see whether they responded positively to the marketing campaign. This information is excellent for prioritizing sales and business development activities.


How Opportunities Link to Campaigns

Salespeople link Opportunities to Campaigns in Salesforce in two ways. 

  1. Converting a Lead.
  2. Adding a new Opportunity on a Contact, and automatically populating the Primary Campaign field.

Converting Leads

When converting a Lead, you create an Account, Contact, and optionally, an Opportunity. 

There’s a separate Campaign Member record that describes the relationship between a Lead or Contact and each salesforce campaign.

When this happens, the Opportunity links to the most recent Salesforce Campaign via the Primary Campaign field.

It doesn’t matter whether the person responded to the Campaign or not. The system assumes that the most recent Campaign is the one that led to Opportunity creation; there’s nothing you can do to change this auto-linkage. 

That said, many marketing managers are disappointed. They complain that opportunities from converted Leads are not linking to Campaigns.

Here’s why that happens. 

The Lead converts to an Account and Contact. However, the checkbox ‘Do Not Create Opportunity’ is set to True.

Let’s say the salesperson then does more qualification. If successful, she creates an Opportunity against the Account. 

Unfortunately, there’s no link between the Opportunity and the Campaign on the Lead. 

The result?

The Opportunity does not link to the Campaign, and the marketing executive grumbles.

It’s a problem for many companies. How To Fix A Broken Lead Process explains your options for solving this problem.

Creating an Opportunity on a Contact

Here’s the second way of linking an Opportunity to a Salesforce Campaign.

Create an Opportunity against a Contact. The Primary Campaign field automatically populates with the most recent Campaign.

The linking is the same as with Leads. It doesn’t matter whether the person responded to the Campaign. 

Unfortunately, marketing managers still have a reason to complain. 

If the salesperson creates the Opportunity directly on the Account, the Primary Campaign does not populate. Instead, start by creating the Opportunity on a Contact. 

How To Add Leads And Contacts To Campaigns

We’ve covered the basics.

Next, I’ll explain the four ways to add Leads and Contacts to Salesforce Campaigns.

  1. Use the Add To Campaign button on a report of Leads or Contacts.
  2. Use the Add To Campaign button on a Lead or Contact List View.
  3. Add them one by one using the Campaign History section of the Lead and Contact page layout.
  4. Import them using the Campaigns Manage Members function.

Adding Leads or Contacts to Campaigns using a report is straightforward. Simply build the report and use the Add To Campaign button.

It’s the easiest way to bulk-add people to the Campaign. You choose the Campaign and select the relevant Campaign Member Status.

Remember, the default Campaign Member value will apply if you don’t select one.

The next most straightforward method is to add records using a List View. Use the Add To Campaign button on Lead and Contact List Views.

Again, you get to choose the Campaign and the Member Status value.

Sometimes it’s appropriate for salespeople and account managers to add individual Leads and Contacts to Campaigns. Do this by clicking the Add To Campaign button on the Campaign History section of the page.

And finally, you can import new records and add them by using the Manage Members link on the Campaign.

Adding people this way is more complicated than the other methods. Here are the instructions on how to do it.


Update Salesforce Campaigns From Pardot or Marketo

I’ve already said Salesforce Campaigns cannot deliver emails or other marketing messages.

That’s why many companies use an external tool such as Pardot or Marketo.

There are many other mass email tools, but what I’m showing you next is only possible with Pardot and Marketo.

It’s this:

You can automatically update the Campaign Member when people respond to marketing activities delivered through these tools.

For example, someone clicks on an email: update the Salesforce Campaign Member Status to ‘Clicked.’ Another person registers for a webinar: update the Status to Attending.

Now, you might be thinking, so what? What’s the big deal about that?

The answer is that it vastly improves the visibility of marketing effectiveness. Pardot, Marketo (and similar tools) are superb at the granular level. You can see what an individual clicked on, the web pages they visited, etc.

Unfortunately, it’s harder to understand the overall effectiveness of campaigns. That’s especially true for non-marketing users that usually only use Salesforce.

Which brings us nicely to:

Salesforce Campaign Reports And Dashboards

Setting the right Member status values for each Salesforce Campaign means we can run reports that compare the effectiveness of our marketing activities.

For example, here’s a dashboard chart from our Salesforce system. It shows the performance of our webinars this year.

Here’s the report behind the chart.

We go further. Here’s our dashboard chart that shows the performance of our nurture emails (maybe you’ve already received some of them?).

These marketing reports and dashboard charts in Salesforce are perfect for comparing performance. As you now know, setting and updating the right Campaign Member Status values are essential for this visibility.

Ways To Use Salesforce Campaigns

Here are four examples of how you can use Salesforce Campaigns to drive new leads and sales opportunities.

  1. Downloadable web content.
  2. Webinars and events.
  3. One-off promotional emails.
  4. Ongoing nurture emails.

Let’s summarize how each one works.


1. Downloadable Web Content

Many companies have valuable content that they give away for free on their website. eBooks, for example.

Instead, ask people for an email using a form. If you don’t have a marketing tool, you can use a simple web-to-lead instead.

However, in either case, link the form to a Salesforce Campaign. That way, not only do you capture the person as a Lead, but you also connect the Lead and any subsequent Opportunity to the Campaign.

Ideally, then use scoring and grading to prioritize and assign new leads to the relevant owner.

Recommended Campaign Member Status Values: Responded.


2. Webinars and events

As you’ve seen, at GSP, we use Salesforce Campaigns for all our webinars.

We’ve integrated Pardot with GoToWebinar to make the process seamless. This integration means that when someone registers for the session, GoToWebinar updates Pardot, updating the Campaign Member Status in Salesforce.

Recommended Campaign Member Status Values: Not Sent, Sent, Attending, Attended, No Show, Declined.


3. One-off promotional emails

Many companies send ‘one-off’ emails to their customers and prospects to drive short-term inquiries and sales.

Link these emails to Salesforce Campaigns to make sure you are tracking the results.

Recommended Campaign Member Status Values: Not Sent, Sent, Responded.


4. Ongoing Nurture Emails

We have over 50 prepared nurture emails, and we send one per week to our audience. Perhaps you’ve already seen them?

Each nurture email includes a link to a specific blog post we’ve written. These articles give in-depth information for non-technical managers that need to drive more benefits from Salesforce.

Guess what? Each one of these emails links to a Campaign in Salesforce.

That means we always have full visibility of how many people respond positively to each email by clicking on the blog link.

That’s superb information.

It tells us what most interests our audience. It also highlights emails that need a more compelling storyline to persuade people to click through to the article.

Recommended Campaign Member Status Values: Not Sent, Sent, Responded.

Now Over To You

There is tremendous value in setting up and using Salesforce Campaigns. That is especially true if you use a marketing automation tool such as Pardot or Marketo.

Of course, we have tons of experience in helping companies achieve this.

Get In Touch today to arrange a meeting. We’ll give you some free pointers on how to get more benefits.

More Resources on Salesforce Campaigns

Here are three articles that guide you further in using Salesforce to drive marketing performance.

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