I have a question regarding a data migration that one of our clients want to do. So they currently use lists in marketing cloud where email is the unique identifier. They have planned to export data from marketing cloud and import it into salesforce in order to generate a contact ID for these subscribers and use them with the current Salesforce setup. All of this data will then be imported in marketing cloud with Contact ID as the Subscriber Key.

Their question is related to what they should do with the data currently residing in marketing cloud?

  1. should they export the unsubscribes as well or leave the unsubs with the email address as subscriber key in marketing cloud?
  2. should they delete or keep this data in marketing cloud?

Obviously for tracking purposes they need to do a data matching in order to preserve the current tracking data in marketing cloud.

Any guidance on this is appreciated.

Thanks, G


During Contact deletion the tracking will be lost, as in, there is no way to link existing Email/SMS tracking data from a deleted Contact to a newly imported Contact, even if the Contact is actually the same person.

We are going through a similar process right now and are using Salesforce Service to swap the current Subscriber Key to a new Subscriber Key which is PersonContactID from Sales Cloud. The cost for this is high (nearly six digits in our case) - but it's the only way to keep Contacts and their history and subscriptions in Email/Mobile channel and not having to re-create hundreds of automations.

In your case if the decision has already been made to delete everything and start a new, then it comes down to what modules are in use. With MobileConnect things are a bit more complex due to Keyword subscription settings and Contact Builder relationships.

In your case since you are also going to use Sales Cloud Contacts as source, then instead of manually re-importing, an idea would be to set up Marketing Cloud Connect between the Clouds and simply sync the Contacts (and any other Sales Cloud objects) to Marketing Cloud's Synchronised Data Extensions. Then you can set up automations and queries for your business units.

  1. Export AllSubscibers list and your Contacts subscription status/current attributes.
  2. Import the subscription statuses to Sales Cloud. The subscription field should be mapped "Email Opt Out" which is a standard field on Account object. This field is automatically updated if your MC Connect is up and running and customer clicks on Unsubscribe link.
  3. Set up MC Connect and synchronise Sales Cloud objects to Marketing Cloud.
  • 1
    Thanks Atheri! Good luck with your data migration as well. – Giulietta Feb 2 '18 at 8:13

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