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We would like to have a web form on our website and let ppl subscribe for our blog. We would like to send a thank you email later on and track those who signed up for the newsletter for a future reference (email and date). We have both, SFMC and SFDC.

What would you recommend?

Smart capture would let me send a thank you email, but can I I-frame it on our website?

Web Collect - can I send there an email using DE, not lists (since they will be gone anyway soon)?

Whats better?

Thank you so much in advance.

  • Are you using SFDC as system of record, and syncing Contacts from there into SFMC through the connector? – Lukas Lunow Feb 21 at 10:06
  • Yes, we are. The thing we are afraid of is GDPR - we should not store the data in SFDC if possible, but in SFMC (since the law doesn't allow us to contact ppl who only subscribed for a blog - we don't have them to appear in SFDC so the sales team won't get confused.) – paula Feb 21 at 10:38
  • This initiates a longer discussion on whether you should have "orphan" contacts in MC, who don't have Contact/Lead ID as Subscriber Key, hence you will get duplicates if sales later creates same person in SFDC. I am personally in favour of having everyone "owned" in SFDC, potentially with different record types. – Lukas Lunow Feb 21 at 10:41
  • I totally agree with you. Will try to convince my team to go with that solution of storing it all in SFDC in order to avoid the duplicates. The simpler solution the better. Maybe we could create a custom field with info 'do not contact' so that it would be clear for the sales guys. Could you pls elaborate a bit about the different record types? – paula Feb 21 at 10:49
  • I will post an answer with more details later today – Lukas Lunow Feb 21 at 10:50
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I would build a custom solution, creating your new leads/contacts in SFDC. This way, you avoid having having duplicates, if your sales creates same person in SFDC, while your form only creates same one in SFMC.

You would create a Cloud Page with a form, where all the needed fields are present. This form should then post to itself, where AmpScript is taking care of the communication with SFDC. Once the form is being submitted, you should do following:

  1. Decide on deduplication rules, in order to check if existing lead/contact exists for the same person. A good way of doing it is by RetrieveSalesforceObjects using email address as query parameter.
  2. If your RetrieveSalesforceObjects call returns 0 rows, proceed to creating the record in SFDC, using CreateSalesforceObject.
  3. If your RetrieveSalesforceObjects returns a record, you can use UpdateSingleSalesforceObject to append/update it's data.

You will then have created your new subscriber in SFDC, and this person will soon get synchronised to SFMC Synchronised Data Extensions. If you want to send an email immediately upon the creation, you can use the Triggered Send configuration in SFDC as described here. This will trigger the email to this record, even before it is synchronised to SFMC. You can also use Salesforce Data Entry Event to inject this person int your Journey Builder.

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I am personally not a big fan of iframes so I recommend two approaches:

  1. Use DEManager to inject in a Data Extension (not a list) + SOAP API to trigger an email
  2. Have your form post in a Cloudpages landing page which will take care of adding to a DE and triggering the email (and eventually redirect you to your website)

One solution makes you stay on your website using API, the other makes you go to a landing page hosted in SFMC. But if SFDC is your DB of record you probably want to use the SFID as subscriberKey to avoid duplicates. That means you need to either retrieve the SFID before triggering the send or go via SFDC.

  • Thank you a lot Jeremy! I was thinking of DEManager, but how could I then send a 'thank you email' automatically to everyone who submitted? i'm not familiar with SOAP API to trigger an email. Is there a way to automate it via Journey? The process with the Smart Capture form seems to be more straight forward. I was not able to find info about the 'thank you email' with Web Collect. – paula Feb 21 at 12:35
  • Is it real time or the email can be sent later? – Jeremy Garcia Feb 21 at 12:43
  • That's definitely preferable to be send asap. real time or within around 5 min. – paula Feb 21 at 12:53
  • So if you really want to use smart capture, try to iframe it. Or go for the second option and use AMPscript in a landing page (use a normal Form but point to a SFMC landing page). – Jeremy Garcia Feb 21 at 12:57
  • Thank you so much for your help. We will either go with the easiest solution suggested by you - WebCollect with DEManager or we will create a form on Wordpress and trigger a 'thank you email' directly from Wordpress or show a pop up window with a 'thank you message'. – paula Feb 21 at 17:24

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