Get a Better Handle on Marketing ROI with Salesforce Campaigns

In my experience with clients, I’ve noticed that Salesforce users don’t use campaigns as much as other standard Sales Cloud

3 min. read

In my experience with clients, I’ve noticed that Salesforce users don’t use campaigns as much as other standard Sales Cloud objects — leads, contacts, accounts, opportunities — or as much as they should. In my view, this happens for two reasons:

  • Many companies think of campaigns too narrowly.
  • They view campaigns as a “nice-to-have” that provides better reporting, but for more work.

However, my work in the Salesforce ecosystem has taught me that every company can and should be using campaigns in some form. As you’ll see, the usability they offer from both an architectural and reporting standpoint makes them essential once you start using them correctly. What’s more, if you follow these 5 Salesforce campaign management best practices, campaigns don’t take much additional work — you’ll eventually start asking yourself how you ever survived without them.

5 Salesforce Campaign Management Best Practices:

1. Get creative with campaigns — they have more use cases than you think

As mentioned above, many users only think of Salesforce campaigns in the traditional sense, while this object’s architecture allows them to use it in many other ways. I’ve seen clients use the campaign object for any instance where you need to group multiple people under one umbrella, such as:

  • Traditional or digital marketing campaigns (PPC, trade shows, traditional advertising, etc.)
  • Tracking event attendance (even internally). I’ve seen one client use campaigns and campaign members to track volunteer attendance at events.
  • Recording which partners are involved in particular promotional efforts (for auto companies that partner on promotions with multiple dealerships, for example).

The ability to track almost unlimited people under any campaign and the ability to assign each one a given status lets your team use campaigns much more widely than you might imagine.

2. Track leads and opportunities against campaigns for powerful ROI reporting

If you use Salesforce campaigns in the traditional marketing sense, they offer excellent native ROI reporting functionality. But only if you’re tracking leads, contacts and opportunities against them. Each one of these objects has a “Campaign History” or “Campaign Influence” related list that lets you attach a record to one or many campaigns.

So long as you accurately manage these relationships, each campaign will automatically track the total number of leads, contacts and dollars that tie to it. This information provides valuable insight into marketing effectiveness and promotional ROI.

3. Configure your org to associate records with campaigns automatically

Of course, all of this tracking sounds like it requires extra effort to maintain, which deters some companies from getting the most out of campaigns. If you take advantage of available automatic functionality, however, your team can reap the benefits mentioned above without much extra work.

Here are some ways of automatically associating records with campaigns:

  • When loading a list of leads or contacts (say, from a trade show) into Salesforce, do so through the campaign import wizard instead of another data loading tool. This will tie all of those records to the campaign you choose.
  • Configure your web-to-lead forms to attach leads to a particular campaign automatically. Then direct potential leads to the right landing page for each different campaign.
  • Configure your org’s campaign influence settings to automatically attach opportunities to campaigns when these deals are associated with contact members of those campaigns.
  • If you use a marketing automation tool like Pardot or Hubspot, you can configure it to automatically associate your leads with specific campaigns as it imports these leads to Salesforce.

4. Enhance campaign communications with marketing and email automation tools

Native Salesforce allows you some means of communicating with campaign members using the “Mass Email” function with leads and contacts. This solution isn’t the most robust, though. Pairing campaign functionality with one of the marketing automation tools mentioned above or an email automation tool like MailChimp instead allows you to send targeted email updates to members of different campaigns. This functionality is perfect for many use cases: Communicating reminders to webinar registrants or event attendees, sending follow-ups to leads met at a tradeshow, and more.

5. Don’t forget the “Marketing User” checkbox!

This one falls less into the “Salesforce campaign management best practice” category and more into the “admin tip” one. I’m mentioning it, though, because I’ve run into this problem an unfathomable number of times. Remember to check the “Marketing User” checkbox on each user who needs to create, edit or delete campaigns. Otherwise, they’ll only see them, regardless of their profile settings!

Do you have any Salesforce campaign management best practices or use cases to share? Comment below to let us know!