How to Create a Campaign in Salesforce

Salesforce is a San Francisco company that provides business software on a subscription basis. The company calls itself "the World's favorite CRM software." CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management and it is how a company keeps track of their contacts and communication in order to maximize sales and communication between departments. A common way that the marketing department works with a sales department is to plan marketing campaigns that develop leads for the sales department. In Salesforce, the leads that are generated are associated with a certain campaign and they can be tracked in the future to see how successful the marketing effort was. 

There are a number of steps to creating a campaign effectively. This article will tell you how to create a campaign in Salesforce.

1- Sign into your Salesforce account. You will be asked for an email and a password. Although companies usually sign up for Salesforce, there is a unique login for each user. Salesforce's software is based on "cloud computing" where the database is stored on more than 1 server and made available through an Internet connection.

2- Go to the "Campaigns" tab, which will be toward the left hand side of your horizontal options for your Salesforce account. Press "New" near the top of the page, in the "Recent Campaigns" section.

You can also go to the "Create New" vertical panel on the left side of your page. Under the header "Create New," you will see options to create new contact, campaign and more. Click "Campaign" in the list.

3- Choose whether it is a "Parent" campaign or a "Child" campaign in the drop down menu for Campaign Record Type. A parent campaign implies that it is a completely new Salesforce campaign and a child campaign implies that it is a subset campaign that is part of a larger marketing campaign.

4- Fill out your campaign information in the "Campaign Edit" screen. The information is divided into subsections that let you split your campaign into stages, such as Planning, Statistics and Links.

Any field that has a red line next to the box implies a required field. Your Salesforce administrator decides which fields are required based on what you will need to keep continuity in your records

Click the "active" button for any new campaign that is going to be used. This will allow other users to be able to view your Salesforce campaign. You can always go back to uncheck the box when your campaign is no longer active.

Make sure you fill out the top and the "Planning" section to begin with. This will include a description at the top, the department, product type, the dates of the campaign and the amount of money you intend to generate. You do not need to use currency symbols because Salesforce will already be set up for your currency type.

The statistics box does not need to be filled in because that information will be provided by Salesforce once the campaign has started and begun to generate numbers.

5- Save your campaign using the "Save" button at the top of the page.

If you have created a parent campaign, once it is saved, you can create a child campaign under it. You will see the parent or child associations in the "Campaign Hierarchy" box of your campaign page.

  • Note that Salesforce is an American company, so the dates in the planning field are configured with the American standard of month, day, year. If you are using Salesforce in another country, you may need to convert your date from your standard date method.
  • Not all Salesforce users can create campaigns. You must be given those privileges by your Salesforce administrator.

4 Things You Should Know About Setting Up Campaigns In Salesforce

1- Creating the Campaign – Standard Fields

The first step is also the easiest: filling in the required standard fields when you go to create a new Salesforce campaign. Fill out the campaign name, select from a picklist as to what type of campaign this will be and mark the campaign as “In Progress” or “Planned,” if the campaign is to be launched at a later date. Be clear in your description – campaigns are great when used as record-keeping, so you want to ensure that someone looking into this campaign years later will have any idea at all of what the campaign was about.

One Salesforce tip to keep in mind here is to be careful with the naming convention of your campaign. You want your Salesforce campaign names to be consistent and intuitive, for easy identification. Your exact parameters here will depend on your company’s marketing, industry, target markets etc. One suggested method for naming looks like this:

<year+quarter>–<marketing event>–<geography>

Putting the year and quarter first allows you to rapidly and clearly sort your campaigns when you export to Excel for analysis. Having double dashes allows them to be easily and unambiguously parsed by reporting software.

2- Adding Members to your Campaign

Members are a broad Salesforce term that refers to a Lead or Contact that interacted it with this specific marketing campaign. Adding these members to each of your Salesforce campaigns allows you to track the response rates of each prospect to that specific campaign. You can also track if and when your sales reps have targeted and made contact with that specific Lead or Contact. Keep in mind, that in this age of multi-channel attribution, a Lead can – and probably will – interact with more than one campaign before converting. Campaign Members allows them to be associated to multiple campaigns. Now all you have to do is start adding and associating people to your campaign. There are three general ways of doing so:
  • Manual entry – Yes, it’s true. Leads are entered manually sometimes. It doesn’t happen often but there are certain scenarios – such as when reps collect business cards at a networking event – where it is possible. When doing so, it is critical to look for the lead first or use a duplicate preventer like DupeCatcher to make sure you don’t have multiple entries of the same lead.
  • Web leads – This is a very common method in today’s marketing world, with many leads coming in through a form or a landing page on your website. Again, it would be wise to use a third-party web entry application to make sure you don’t have duplicates in your Salesforce system.
  • With web leads, you can take the data to the next level by creating an Activity for the user’s download history, creating Custom Objects to see a user’s page-view sequence or create topic-interest strings to specific fields. Be warned: this type of web page logic requires code to push the data properly into Salesforce, unless you use a high-quality Marketing Automation System to handle it for you.
  • Spreadsheet / list imports – Many marketing teams will buy huge lists of names that they can then send their marketing efforts to, importing those .csv files into Salesforce. This is an extremely common way to market today. Parse the individual entries to correct spelling errors, formatting issues and dirty data. Make sure that all the data is normalized and match your system’s pick-list values. Remove all duplicates, and change the column headers to fit with your Salesforce instance’s template.

3- Understanding campaign statistics

These are some of the primary campaign statistics that your campaign will report on. Let’s go through them:
  • Total responses – the sum of all visible records associated with this campaign with a member status of “Responded”
  • Total leads – the sum of all leads associated with this campaign. The number of leads will decrease if two lead records are merged, or if a lead is deleted.
  • Converted leads – the sum of all leads associated with this campaign that were connected to a contact
  • 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 those were won
  • Total value opportunities / won opportunities – The calculated field for the total amount, in dollar value, of the opportunities created from this campaign, and how much was won.

4- Tracking campaigns

Now that you’ve set up your campaigns and have hit the ground running, it’s time to do what they were meant to do – track the responses to your marketing efforts. There are three types of ways to track campaign responses:
  • Website responses – After prospects fill in a form on your website, you can use Web-to-Lead to set up a microsite or landing page for the campaign. If your web form includes the Campaign field value, all leads will be directly associated to the right campaign. You could also automatically mark all submissions with a particular member status.
  • Manual update – Prospects respond via phone or email. One of your sales reps or marketing ops members will have to manually update the Campaign History for the lead or contact.
  • Mass update / offline response – This will include any responses you track in an offline list, such as attendees from a trade show. You can then update the status of all these campaign members to the same campaign.

On your campaign record, you can then roll-up all your Salesforce campaign members, responses, lead conversions and opportunities. Run the pre-built ROI report – or export that data to a third-party sales analytics product like InsightSquared – to figure out just how effective your marketing campaigns are.

Campaigns in are not easy to run, manage and analyze, but they will take your marketing efforts and analysis to the next level. Follow these best practice Salesforce tips for setting up campaigns to get started.