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Salesforce and ActiveCampaign

Frans Leys

PieSync is available for ALL SALESFORCE PLANS.

Everyone likes to work with the best of breed apps. For example, marketing wants to use ActiveCampaign and sales choose to work with Salesforce. Each app has their specific qualities that work well for those teams. Even though both platforms share CRM capabilities, ActiveCampaign provides complete marketing automation at a reasonable cost, while Salesforce’s overal CRM capabilities are undisputed. PieSync can integrate these apps so that together they form a killer lead gen stack.

If you haven’t done so already, setting up a new PieSync account is super easy. After you’ve authorized both Salesforce and ActiveCampaign, you’ll be greeted by sync rules.

Rules & mappings for Salesforce & ActiveCampaign

Every sync in PieSync is a combination of a set of rules and a series of mappings. They both control the dynamic of the sync.

  • Rules let you define how you want your two databases to talk to one another.
  • Mappings show how the information flows across

In this article, we will illustrate a couple of ways to craft rules & mappings to let ActiveCampaign & Salesforce truly work in tandem.

Sending new ActiveCampaign subscribers into Salesforce

Contacts that are subscribed in ActiveCampaign will seamlessly sync with your Salesforce database. Not only will contacts be created, or kept in sync with existing data in SF, it will also update a critical attribute on those contacts inside Salesforce: the opt-in/opt-out switch. This registers whether or not your contact opted in for marketing.

Combined Shape

If you don't want to create new contacts, but only want to update existing contacts, check out the help article Sync without creating new contacts.

Since you're using ActiveCampaign to register opt-in & opt-out's, you are probably not even using the "Email opt out" value in Salesforce. But through PieSync, you can easily have ActiveCampaign control that toggle. No more excuses. You cannot exclusively store marketing preferences in your ActiveCampaign silo. They need to sync to Salesforce too. Here's the rule you need:

This rule would also work if it's not the default Opt-out field you are using, but rather a custom field in your Salesforce.

How is PieSync different from Zapier in integrating Salesforce & ActiveCampaign?

Sync more than just contact information

How the data will be exchanged between Salesforce & ActiveCampaign is not something to worry about: PieSync’s smart merge algorithms ensure no data gets lost in the sync. On the contrary, most of the default contact data is mutually enriched, leaving you in full control with custom mappings.

Mapping Salesforce fields to ActiveCampaign fields will allow you to leverage live CRM data in your ActiveCampaign mailings. In the other way round, data you are capturing through ActiveCampaign landing pages can now be sent directly into existing or newly created custom fields in your CRM.

Consider the following example where not only the standard contact fields are being exchanged, but several proprietary AC fields are being mapped with SF fields.

Once the sync runs, it will keep up with changes on both sides every 5 minutes.

Combined Shape

Did you know? You can run a test sync on a limited set of contacts.

Leads converting into contacts

If you are using Salesforce to its fullest potential, your sales flow sees leads convert into opportunities & sales contacts.

This process is important to keep in mind while you are setting up your sync with ActiveCampaign. Salesforce has 2 separate databases: one for leads & one for contacts. In contrast, ActiveCampaign just has the one single contacts database, that would both store leads as well as contacts.

It's likely that you want to both Salesforce databases to stay in sync with ActiveCampaign. To do this you need to set up two syncs that stay out of each other way. Not setting up these rules correctly would cause already converted contacts to be recreated as leads in Salesforce.

How this will exactly play out is going to be different for each business, but the following two examples of a leads sync (left) and a contact sync (right) illustrate the logic. Click to enlarge.

Leads sync only when they are tagged "Lead". This tag is e.g. applied automatically in an automation. When leads are added in Salesforce directly, they sync into ActiveCampaign but not without attaching the same tag "Lead".

The active undo-toggle will automatically take away the tag as soon as the leads get converted to a sales opportunity, preventing the leads from syncing back into Salesforce.

In short, ActiveCampaign now knows how to distinguish "Leads" from converted "Contacts".

Contacts sync from Salesforce with ActiveCampaign, but with a rule to ensure that contacts are tagged accordingly in ActiveCampaign. This also prevents contacts from leaking back into Salesforce as leads.

A contact in Salesforce should no longer be labeled as a Lead in ActiveCampaign so this rule makes sure that this never is the case.

These two examples build off contacts carrying "Lead" and "Contact" tags in ActiveCampaign though you may just as well work on the basis of lists or even custom fields that you set up in ActiveCampaign.

Clever filters to keep the contact count down

Filters can keep your contact count down. If your underlying idea of a sync is to get leads to be called in Salesforce, maybe you don't need to sync all contacts, but only those that have an actual phone number filled out in ActiveCampaign? This example rule shows how you only sync the contacts which phone number is filled in.

If you want to be careful not to inadvertently create leads or contacts in Salesforce, make sure to include a filter that blocks contacts from being created altogether. In the following rule, the opt out toggle will only be changed for contacts that already existed.

Personalized mailings by including sales contacts

In Salesforce, each contact would come with its respective owner. From a customer's perspective, that could be their trusty sales contact. In ActiveCampaign, there is no such notion of an owner. With Piesync, it is a piece of cake to send the owner across to ActiveCampaign. The field "contact owner" in the example below is a custom text field that was created to store exactly this piece of information.

Enriched UTM tracking

Attribution is an ActiveCampaign feature that allows you to measure conversions and the touchpoints leading up to a conversion. If you have this option activated, you unlock some extra fields in your contacts database. Using the field mapping inside PieSync, you can easily have this synced across to Salesforce.

You can add field mappings to your own needs. The only thing you need to do in advance is to make custom fields in your Salesforce account to store these respective UTM's. This is a perfect use case for a 2-way sync, since it may well be possible to now directly populate the UTM values within Salesforce too, for those leads that aren't necessarily active in ActiveCampaign's tracking. Two-way enrichment of these values is a solution to this.

GDPR compliance

The general data protection regulation, GDPR, makes a lot of sense, but it's hard to stay compliant if your customer data is all over the place. Using PieSync is actually perfectly in line with what GDPR dictates:

  • Through PieSync, you treat your customer's contact data with respect. You are keeping the customer's details consistent regardless of the app it is in. When a customer says he wants to receive the X & Y newsletter, but not the Z? PieSync will make sure every app knows.
  • Under GDPR, your customers have the right to change their own contact information at any time. And they actually can! On an ActiveCampaign landing page you can include a form to allow customers to change their contact information. Through PieSync, those changes will immediately propagate to the rest of Salesforce.
  • When customers want to get out, let them get out. Storing marketing opt-in preferences makes sense on the CRM level. Here's one rule which creates an easy way to immediately unsubscribe any contact from any future correspondence.

Learn more about syncing Salesforce, or about ActiveCampaign, in their respective support articles.

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