Importing Salesforce Lists, Reports, and Campaigns

  • Updated

To begin marketing to your Salesforce database from Act-On, you will need to import your Leads and Contacts as marketing lists.


How to Import a Marketing List from Salesforce

  1. Click on Contacts > Marketing Lists.
  2. Click the Import button in the upper right corner of the page.
  3. Click the radio button next to All Salesforce Leads. Your Act-On list name will auto-populate but can be modified manually in the "New List Name" field. Once you've named your list, click Next.
  4. In the next screen select the fields you wish to import as Columns in your Act-On list and click Finish.
    • Note: After your initial field selection you can always import additional fields. To do so, click the dropdown menu next to your Salesforce list and select Import/Export > Salesforce Sync Setup > Add List Columns.
  5. Verify that your new list has been created in Marketing Lists > Default Folder. Once the import is complete, repeat the same steps for All Salesforce Contacts.

You may also import Campaigns and Reports from Salesforce using this same process. See below for more information.

Importing Salesforce Reports

  • In order for your Salesforce Reports to be imported successfully into Act-On, they must:
    • Include the Lead ID or Contact ID columns
    • Include First Name, Last Name, Company/Account, and Email Address
    • Contain at least one record
    • Be in Tabular Format (Joined Reports not supported)
    • Any Salesforce report type can be used, including custom report definitions, so long as Lead ID or Contact ID is available in the report.
  • To use the Salesforce owner to personalize the emails, you must create an 18-digit Owner ID Field in Salesforce and include it in the report.
When importing Salesforce reports (in Formatted Report view in Lightning or Printable View in Classic), Salesforce truncates Long Text Area and Rich Text Area fields, to 255 characters. More information from Salesforce is here.

Importing Salesforce Campaigns

When importing campaigns from Salesforce, the following conditions apply:

  • You may select from up to 5000 campaigns. (Contact Technical Support to increase this limit.)
  • Generally, campaigns are displayed in the order in which they are sorted in Salesforce, except:
    • Active campaigns will be listed first
    • Inactive campaigns are available to import but display after all active campaigns
  • Campaign custom fields will not sync with Act-On, even though they are visible within the Act-On interface.
    • To import custom fields, contact your Account Manager and request customization.

How to Synchronize List Data with Salesforce

Once you've imported your CRM data into Act-On as lists, you may need to schedule these to synchronize on a recurring basis (or you may do so manually as needed). Before scheduling a recurring sync, however, you must configure settings for how the data will be managed. Sync Setup

  1. Click on Contacts > Marketing Lists.
  2. Hover over your list and click the drop-down arrow > Import/Export > Sync Setup (for a Salesforce report, select Re-import from Salesforce.)

CRM Sync Options

There are multiple options for synchronizing data between Salesforce and Act-On.

  • Push to Salesforce:
    • Add new Act-On records to Salesforce 
    • Update existing records in Salesforce (Determine which fields will be updated)
    • Push Trigger:
    • Push to a Campaign
  • Pull from Salesforce:
    • Add new records to the Act-On list from Salesforce
    • Update existing records in Act-On (Determine which fields you want to update in Act-On)
    • Remove records from this list that are not found on this list in Salesforce (By default, Act-On will remove records from Act-On if they've been deleted in Salesforce and remove the Lead if the Lead has been converted into a Contact. You can uncheck this if desired).
  • Set a recurring schedule or Run Now for Act-On and Salesforce data sync:
    • Click the Schedule button to set up
    • Select the frequency in which you would like to sync Act-On and Salesforce data – daily, weekly monthly, turn off
    • Enter the run time in hours (as often as every hour)
    • Enter the start time you would like the job to run
      • Click Run Now if you would like the data sync to take place immediately
      • Click Save

Campaign List Sync Options

When you import a Salesforce Campaign as a Marketing List, special sync conditions apply.

Act-On will always Push the list records first, then Pull from Salesforce. For Campaign Marketing Lists, Act-On will always push Campaign Status and Campaign Members. Here is how this impacts your Campaign data, for each feature:

Push/Pull options When to use this & How this Works

Add new records as Salesforce Leads and as Campaign members

Select this option if you are adding new records from Act-On and want to create Leads in Salesforce and also add them to the Campaign.

  • New Records in the Act-On Marketing List will be created in Salesforce as Leads
  • They will also be added as Campaign Members

Update existing records.

(Select Push-Update Fields)

Select this option if you are updating Campaign Members and Campaign Status in Act-On and need to update Salesforce.

Select Push-Update Fields for any additional data that you want to change in Salesforce in addition to Campaign Status and Campaign Members.

All list records will be added as members to the campaign, even if they were previously removed from the Campaign in Salesforce.

Remove records from this list that are not found on this list in Salesforce

Select this option if you are managing Campaign Members in Salesforce and need to update the Marketing List in Act-On.

This setting should not be used in combination with any Push option. Act-On will always Push records first, and Campaign Members will be added back to the Campaign.


A Campaign Member was removed from the Campaign in Salesforce. When you sync your Act-On list:

  • If you have selected any Push options, Act-On will Push that Lead or Contact back into the Campaign. (This is probably not an intended result.)
  • If you do not have any Push options selected, and you have chosen to remove records, the Campaign Member will be removed from the Marketing List in Act-On.

When you set up your list sync options, you should decide on which system you will use to manage your Campaign data, particularly Campaign Members and Campaign Status. Push your list data from Act-On only if you will use Act-On to manage both Campaign Status and Campaign Members.

List Sync Scheduling

After configuring the push and pull settings for your list, you are ready to set this on a schedule.

  • Accounts are limited to 10 scheduled list syncs. To increase this limit, speak to your Account Manager.
  • The shortest possible interval between syncs for a single list is 1 hour.
  • Only one list sync may occur at a time. Therefore, it is recommended that you stagger your sync schedule. Example schedule:
    • 7:45 AM - CRM Administration
    • 8:00 AM - All Salesforce Leads
    • 8:15 AM - All Salesforce Contacts
    • ...with each sync set on the same interval/period.
  • Lists using the Always Push Trigger (aka Streaming Push) will still need to be set on a schedule for Lead Score push as well as to pull in changes from Salesforce.

How to Schedule a List Sync

  1. Navigate to the dropdown menu for the list you want to synchronize and select Import/Export > Sync Setup.
  2. Click the Schedule button. Choose the desired frequency, intervals, and start times.
  3. Click Save at the top of the window.

Once the push/pull options and scheduling preferences have been set, click Save at the bottom of the window. To discard all changes, click Cancel.

Best Practices for Salesforce Lists

  • Implement Master Lists for Leads and Contacts and schedule these for recurring synchronization.
    • This ensures that your contact data is up to date and your Act-On instance runs efficiently by minimizing the number of regularly recurring syncs. 
  • Maintain your CRM as the database of record rather than using Act-On for that purpose.
    • This practice has implications for how you will set up your data synchronization, as described in this article. 

FAQs and Troubleshooting

Can I push/pull Custom Fields?

For a custom field to be imported from Salesforce correctly, it must contain basic alphanumeric data, and the connected Salesforce user must have read access.

While most custom fields are available for syncing, there are some limitations. Custom Fields that will not sync:

  • Custom Campaign fields.
    • To import custom campaign fields, contact your Account Manager and request customization.
  • Fields such as an External Lookup Relationship that perform a calculation in Salesforce.
    • Your Salesforce administrator may be able to help you convert lookup fields into a new text field that will sync as intended.

For more information and specific instructions on setting up custom fields for use with Act-On and Salesforce, see our related article: Importing Salesforce Custom Fields.

Salesforce Sync Error: Your Report Does Not Include the Lead/Contact ID Field

See this page for more information

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