We have a Marketing Cloud Connect directly linked to our Service Cloud. All Contacts are stored in a main Data Extension (called FullContacts). All is working properly with the Salesforce ID, our Marketing Team is able to create filted Data Extensions on all our Contacts, etc...

Now, here is the reality we're all having, I guess, in our companies: today they came to me with a CSV file with email addresses into this. These email addresses are some of our contacts who purchased some specific products (we don't have this level of acuracy for now in Marketing Cloud). And the Marketing team needs to send an email to them.

I was searching the best solution and here are my leads :

  • They create a Standard DE, import their list in this DE and send the email to them. Pro : easy, they can do this alone. Cons : The subscriberKey will be the email, so the Contact can't unsubscribe from this email. That's a no go.

  • They create a Standard DE, import their list in this DE. Then they have to edit and run a query to retrieve the SF ID for each email address in the DE. Pro : it works, and the contact will be able to unsubscribe . Cons : Marketing team is, for now, not allowed and not able to use Automation Studio, the risk to let them modify things here is pretty important but still possible with clear documentation

I couldn't find any solution using the Data Designer. I wanted to find a way to link the Email address in some point with the existing SF ID but I couldn't.

Do you have better idea to answer my needs ?

Thanks in advance !


1 Answer 1


I'm working on the assumption that these staff members do not have permission to upload/update contact records in Salesforce on the Service Cloud side. If they do, a different course of action would be recommended.

I'm also assuming that all the contacts already exist in SF.

If your marketing team do not have access to Automation Studio or the FTP (which could allow them to trigger an automation by dropping their file in a set folder, without them ever having to touch Automation Studio), then I'd do something like this:

  • Create a data extension with two primary keys (SFDC ID and Email) with all the fields needed from your master data extension. Update it daily with SQL as an overwrite (so you don't end up with multiple records when an email address changes)
  • Create a data extension that can be reused and overwritten regularly, that your marketing team can import data into. This should have two columns, the email address and also a column to denote the purpose - your team should fill this in their csv)
  • Create a data relationship between the above data extensions on shared email address value (Subscribers > My Data Relationships).

Your marketing team's process now becomes:

  1. Format csv with Email Address column and another one to label the usage - for example, the column name could be Ad_Hoc_Sends and the value for all records in the file 'Winter Promotion'
  2. Import into their data extension
  3. Filter master data extension copy where Ad_hoc_Sends = 'Winter Promotion'. The team can use the drag-and-drop editor for this once the data relationship has been created.

More info on data relationships: https://help.salesforce.com/articleView?id=mc_es_data_relationships.htm&type=5

What they'll end up with is a filtered version of your master DE with the SF ID as the sendable key, containing the contacts they imported into their data extension.

  • Thanks Antonio, that's very smart :) I guess I'll suggest it to the marketing team. Thanks again !
    – divad
    Commented Jan 11, 2021 at 15:39

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .