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I'm needing to send a couple emails using automation studio (we aren't paying for journey builder) to Contacts that are entered into Sales Cloud that match certain criteria. Here are the steps I've taken:

  1. Setup and configured Marketing Cloud Connect.
  2. Setup a DE with ContactID, FirstName, LastName, Email.
  3. Setup an automation in automation studio to query contacts that meet my criteria and dump them into my DE.
  4. Setup an email to send to the contacts.

Seems like I'm so close, but basically I want this automation to run every 30 minutes, put the contacts that meet my criteria into the DE and then send a series of emails. Seems like potentially I need two automations, one to put the contacts into my DE and another to send the series of emails when they are put into the DE. The problem is that I can't figure out how to initiate the automation based on when the contact is inserted into the DE.

Further, it seems not efficient to be constantly querying the synchronized data source from SF for criteria that match. I really only care about inserted/updated contacts that meet my criteria. Maybe I'm going about this wrong? Should I use a triggered email send from SF or is there another way to tackle this that I'm missing?

  • Do you have Journey Builder enabled on your account? – Eliot Harper Oct 23 '18 at 7:22
  • We don't currently have journey builder, that would be nice. – Eric Jones Oct 23 '18 at 16:08
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If you simply want to send an email when a record is added or updated in a Sales Cloud object (providing they meet a certain criteria), then you can create a Triggered Send (from Sales Cloud) which will enable an email to be sent in real-time, if the record meets the filter criteria that you defined.

Here are the steps that you need to follow to configure a Triggered Send in Sales Cloud:

  1. From the Marketing Cloud Connector settings, enable the object(s) that will be used with Triggered Sends
  2. From the Object Manager, create a new Apex Trigger on the object(s) that you will be using (if you are using a production org, you will also need to create a test class for the trigger)
  3. Create a Triggered Send Definition from Email Sends, selecting the email (from Marketing Cloud) that you will be sending, along with any filter and send criteria
  4. Activate the Triggered Send Definition

You can watch this video (of a presentation that I delivered at DF17) that walks you through each of these four steps.

  • Thanks Eliot. I've actually already watched your video previously. :). We have more complex business rules around when we need to send the email based on related objects to the contact. I may be able to handle by creating a formula field on the contact object which would work for the triggered send definition. – Eric Jones Oct 24 '18 at 19:28
  • I don’t think a formula field would trigger an update. You may need to use a lookup field instead. – Eliot Harper Oct 24 '18 at 19:32
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What sort of a email is it? It sounds like its a transactional use case and it should actually be a triggered send. SFMC also have a certain number of automation runs that are built into your contract so you should keep note of that. Is the send within 30 minute a requirement?

If you're going for the query approach you need to introduce another data extension/send log/field so you can keep track of the data that has been sent to already so the same contacts are not picked up again in the next run of the query. For he automation approach you can just use a single automation sequenced by insert data, send emails instead of separate automations.

  • Yes, ok so basically we would have three automations with queries loading data into three different DEs – Eric Jones Oct 23 '18 at 16:09
  • Also, the emails are transactional, but we have some unique rules where we need lookup to related objects so the standard triggered send UI doesn't work. Can you use the triggered send with our own process builder, or even within our own trigger with custom logic? – Eric Jones Oct 23 '18 at 16:11

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