Salesforce campaign management: 4 steps to success


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To run effective marketing campaigns, you need special tools that help you manage and track your programs, control your customer acquisition costs, and bring in more qualified leads. Fortunately, Salesforce offers everything you need and beyond to support you in your campaign management activities.

Why use Salesforce to track marketing campaigns

The Campaign module in Salesforce is a set of tools that help marketing teams manage, track, and measure your marketing programs. Salesforce campaigns are, in fact, an effective way to connect your marketing initiatives with the leads and opportunities that are generated as a result. But the most valuable thing of Salesforce campaigns is that you’ll be able to see whether you’ve effectively spent your budget as well as track which marketing initiatives brought the best results.

As for marketing managers, Salesforce provides all necessary tools to plan, prepare and manage marketing initiatives. In particular, they can use Salesforce to create a plan of marketing campaigns or define statuses and success metrics for campaigns.

Depending on the volume and variety of marketing campaigns in your company, as well as the complexity of your lead qualification strategy, you can use either standard Salesforce CRM Campaigns functionality, or purchase a separate cloud-based marketing automation product that can be integrated with your Salesforce CRM. Let’s explore Salesforce CRM out-of-the-box capabilities and then have a look at a couple of additional components for campaign management.

4 steps to run effective campaigns with Salesforce CRM

1. Prepare your campaign

This step consists of several actions:
a) Select your target audience
Before launching your marketing campaign, you should create a target list that consists of leads selected according to certain segmentation criteria. Sometimes you don’t need to create a list of leads to launch your campaign (e.g., when you create an advertising campaign). Still, in both cases you can use Salesforce to define the common criteria for campaign targeting:

• Geography
• Title
• Industry
• Company size
• Product interest
• Previous campaign and response history.

If your campaign targets existing contacts or leads, you can either manually add them one by one to your campaign, or create a custom report consisting of leads and contacts based on selected segmentation criteria that you can import to your campaign.
However, sometimes you may need to add new leads to your campaign. This may happen when you got a number of business cards at a conference or purchased a list of leads from a 3rd party. In this case, you can use Data import wizard to import leads and directly associate them with a particular campaign in Salesforce.

b) Determine your campaign channel
Depending on your current marketing strategy, you can run various types of marketing campaigns, such as advertising, direct mail, email, telemarketing, banner ads, seminar/conference, public relations, partners, referral program, etc. By default, Salesforce offers a large picklist with campaign types suitable for most companies. However, ScienceSoft’s Salesforce consultants advise to customize this list by including only those campaigns that your company actually runs. By creating a custom list, you will make your reporting much easier.

c) Specify campaign responses
By default, Salesforce offers 2 member statuses – sent and responded. Still, our consultants advise to add more clarity into campaign responses by adding custom member statuses (e.g. invited, registered, attended or no show).

d) Define who should have access to your campaigns
By default, all users have view access to all campaigns, and can run campaign reports. Still, from our Salesforce consulting practice, companies often wish to restrict user access to campaigns. If you also need this functionality, you should disable the marketing user check box on the user profile page in Salesforce.

e) Use campaign hierarchies
By assigning child-parent hierarchy levels to campaigns, you’ll be able to see aggregated results of all child campaigns in a parent campaign. Within the campaign hierarchy functionality, you can also create a custom picklist with detailed hierarchy levels, such as Tactic, Program or Initiative. In this way, campaign hierarchies provide a powerful categorization tool that will give you deeper insights about the effectiveness of your marketing decisions and provide you with aggregate statistics about all initiatives.

f) Add details about your campaigns
If your company runs numerous campaigns, you may wish to store more details about them so as to create comprehensive campaign reports. Below, we provide some ideas to enrich your campaign profile:

Campaign influence to see how your campaigns are influencing opportunities
• Types of advertisements (e.g., magazine, newspaper, online or billboard) to compare the effectiveness of different advertising channels.
• Types of publications and media sources that you use for advertising to see which of them generate more leads and bring high-quality ones.
• Names of agencies that create marketing materials for you so as to track which of them create the most attractive and revenue-generating content. N.B.: Don’t forget to include your in-house marketing team in the list.

2. Launch your campaign

Although campaign execution activities usually occur outside Salesforce CRM, you can still track some activities both for offline and online campaigns. Depending on the type of campaigns and their complexity, you can use Salesforce in a variety of ways to simplify the execution process:

• Build a web form using Salesforce Web-to-Lead functionality to capture leads as part of your email or webinar campaign as well as track attendees in case you’re organizing an offline event, such as a trade show or a conference.
• Use standard email templates and create new ones to control the look and feel of your messaging when you launch email campaigns.
• Export an email list from Salesforce and upload it to your mass email system or send to your postal services provider.

N.B.: Though you can use Salesforce CRM for mass emailing, initially it wasn’t designed for large-scale email marketing. Besides, Salesforce limits the quantity of e-mails that can be daily sent to external e-mail addresses, as well as restrains the number of addresses that can be included in a mass e-mail.
In particular, you can include up to 500 external email addresses in a mass e-mail with the Enterprise Edition and up to 1000 with the Unlimited Edition. That is why you can use out-of-the-box Salesforce emailing system for small marketing campaigns. To deliver larger volumes of emails, we advise to use Salesforce Marketing Cloud or 3rd party apps from the AppExchange directory.

3. Track campaign responses

Salesforce initially offers a number of ways to track campaign responses. Below, we show some example cases.
1. Automatic response update. To apply this function, you should include the Campaign field value to your Web-to-Lead form on a campaign’s target page. Hidden from visitors that submit the form, this field will allow you to associate all leads with the right campaign, as well as automatically mark all submissions with a particular member status.
2. Manual response update. This function is often used when your target prospects and customers respond by phone or email. In this case, you can record these responses on the Campaign history related list on the lead or Contact Detail page.
3. Mass response update. You can also mass-update statuses of contacts and leads within a campaign by changing the information in a .csv file and then importing it to Salesforce. To import such files, marketing users must have the Marketing User profile (or the ‘Import Leads’ permission in Salesforce Enterprise Edition).

4. Measure campaign effectiveness

Companies can analyze campaign effectiveness using either the statistics on the campaign record or by preparing campaign reports in Salesforce.

Campaign statistics
To see the primary campaign statistics, Salesforce users should open the Campaign Detail page. From this page, they can track the following metrics:

• Total responses – the sum of all records associated with a particular campaign with a member status ‘Responded’
• Total leads – the sum of all leads associated with this campaign. The number of leads will decrease if you merge two lead records or delete them.
• Converted leads – the sum of all leads associated with this campaign that became contacts.
• Total contacts – the sum of all contacts associated with this campaign.
• Number of total / won opportunities – the opportunities created from this campaign, and how many of them your company won
• Total value of opportunities / total value of won opportunities – the amount of all opportunities and the money you’ll get from won opportunities.

The campaign statistics are automatically recalculated every time you save data on a campaign. When you convert a lead into an opportunity, the campaign that was most recently associated with that lead will automatically pass over to the opportunity.

Campaign reports
By default, Salesforce offers a number of standard campaign reports that help you measure the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. In particular, you can benefit from the following most commonly used ones:

• Campaign leads / Campaign contacts report to list the leads or contacts associated with your campaigns.
• Campaign ROI analysis report to calculate your campaigns’ performance by return on investment and average cost of the campaign. Here, you can also include campaign-hierarchy statistics that provide aggregate values for a parent campaign and all the campaigns below it in the campaign hierarchy.
• Campaign revenue report to analyze which opportunities have resulted from your campaigns.
• Campaign member analysis report to summarize information about who has responded to campaigns.
• Campaigns with influenced opportunities report to view opportunities that have been influenced by multiple campaigns.

Salesforce allows you to customize campaign reports as you wish, as well as create custom reports to meet your specific needs. For example, you can track how particular types of events, such as trade shows, online promotions or webinars influence your pipeline and revenue. Thus, identifying poor performing and high performing campaigns you won’t waste budget on campaigns with zero or close to zero effectiveness.

When use additional Salesforce products for campaign management

If you run a big number of complex marketing campaigns and want to reach your customers in a more personalized way, it may be better to choose Marketing Cloud platform and integrate it with your Salesforce CRM. Salesforce Marketing Cloud consists of several products designed to meet numerous marketing needs. You can use the following products to level up your campaign management process:

• Email Studio to run email campaigns
• Mobile Studio for mobile messaging
• Social Studio to create engaging social media marketing campaigns
• Advertising Studio, an audience and campaign management tool
• Journey Builder, for cross-channel consumer engagement.

You can have a look at the Salesforce demo to see these products in action and decide which of them your company needs.

The magic of choice

Effective campaign management implies taking the following steps – preparation, launch, tracking, and measurement. Out-of-the-box Salesforce CRM campaign functionality can help you at each of these steps. However, if you have a complex campaign management system, you can consider additional Salesforce products, such as Marketing Cloud and its components.

Karina Dalhunova
Karina is a Salesforce Consultant and Business Analyst at ScienceSoft, a software development and consulting company headquartered in McKinney, Texas. As a certified business analyst, Karina contributes to ScienceSoft’s Salesforce projects by gathering requirements, creating functional specifications, user guides and manuals, and performing UI prototyping. As a Salesforce consultant, Karina designs sales-related processes and helps ScienceSoft’s customers raise their revenue with Sales Cloud. Karina has contributed to a number of successful Salesforce projects.


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