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Understanding Campaigns in Salesforce

Understanding Campaigns in Salesforce

Campaigns in Salesforce are one of the more underutilized objects in the CRM. Properly using campaigns admittedly takes a decent amount of planning and setup to yield any significant benefits. However, it can definitely be worth your time if you do it right!

Campaigns are ideally used to track marketing efforts, connect leads and contacts, and give you data on how effective that campaign was towards creating opportunities and sales. So no, you probably shouldn’t use them to make a list (that’s what list views are for!) In this article, we will take a quick look at some important elements of campaigns and how you can use them to your advantage!

Lead Source vs. Campaigns

One way in which campaigns can be misunderstood and misused is by using them more like a lead source field. Campaigns are designed to track specific marketing efforts, from start to finish. Which means the lead source is only a small aspect of the campaign.

For example, say your team went to a trade show this month and collected a nice list of new leads. Beforehand, you would have created the campaign for that specific trade show, recording the date, place, people involved, and any expenses associated with that campaign. As you enter the leads into Salesforce, you would assign them the Lead Source of “Tradeshow”, and if you like more specific details, add the name of the show and date to the “Lead Source Detail” field.

Once you get that list and add it to the campaign, you kick off whatever post show follow up you have in mind, emails, calls, etc. You can even attach important resources to the campaign in Salesforce, such as brochures or flyers, so that everyone involved can have easy access! As the campaign goes along, you will be able to see which members have converted to opportunities, and if you have added your numbers diligently, get cost to opportunity value for that one specific trade show!

One final benefit of using campaigns is that you can’t attribute more than one lead source to a lead. But as any marketer knows, leads often have many touch points associated with your various efforts. Campaigns allow you to indicate all of the different interactions a lead is having with your marketing materials, so you can get a fuller picture of how the funnel is working.

Campaign Hierarchies

Continuing on the example above, we can then add in the practice of campaign hierarchies to track the results of many similar campaigns over time. Depending on how you want to build them out, you can do two, three… however many layers you want.

For our example, let’s then say we create another campaign of “Trade Shows 2020”. Using the parent field on the campaigns, you can associate any individual trade show campaigns to this hierarchy. After attending and running a few different tradeshow campaigns, you can go into the “Trade Shows 2020” campaign, and see detailed results and statistics on how successful your trade show efforts have been that year, and see comparisons on which ones worked the best!



Define Your Fields

Another best practice is to plan out and define some standard campaign and campaign member fields before you get going. Specifically, the “Campaign Type” and “Campaign Member Status” fields.

Campaign Type

Campaign type will help you predefine the general type of initiative the campaign falls under, such as email, referral program, seminar, etc. Ideally, you want to pick a set of list options that are general enough to cover all efforts your business will be involved in, while keeping them specific enough that everyone knows what you are talking about. Keeping the campaign types consistent across many years will ensure you can quickly sort and retrieve metrics on the effectiveness of the different initiatives.

Campaign Member Status

This one can take a bit of planning, but can be oh so important to your long term tracking. Similar to above, you should define a concise picklist of options, such as “sent, called, responded, etc.” that will indicate how that lead or contact is associated with the campaign. You may need to create a series of custom values here, depending on what type of campaign it is.

So with all of that laid out, you should have everything you need to better understand and use campaigns in Salesforce. As a final word, don’t forget to check back on them often and see what results you have been achieving!


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-Ryan and the CloudMyBiz Team



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