In this post I’m going to cover the options you have at hand to track send data in Salesforce Marketing Cloud. I’ve prepared a table to compare these options to help you choose the best solution for your use cases, whether it’s data export to external storage / database, or consuming and processing the data inside your Salesforce Marketing Cloud org.
The following channels are taken into consideration: email, sms and push notifications.
With the new spring ‘21 release, Salesforce has introduced WhatsApp as the new Marketing Cloud communication channel, but I’m not going to cover it in this article for now.
Date Views vs. Send Log vs. Tracking Extract: Cheat Sheet
|Feature||Data View||Send Log||Tracking Extract|
(Not possible to access in a form of data extension unless queried)
|Data extension||Delivered to SFTP, available for further processing|
|Configuration||Not needed||Data extension to be created||Data extract to created|
Depending on the requirements, other such such as file transfer and import might be relevant
|Historical data||Up to 6 month||No historical data before send log is set up||Rolling range: 3 month|
Specific range: 30 days
|Availability||By default||Request to support might be needed||Request to support might be needed|
Push (to be enabled separately)
|Add custom attributes to the output||Not possible|
(as you only access Data Views records through SQL, you can join custom data
Sources of custom attributes:
1. Sendable data extension
2. AMPScript variables
|Messaging prepping||Not action needed||1. Make sure your sendable data extension fields match the field names in the Send Log|
2. On Configure delivery tab, check the box “Retain send log data”
|No action needed|
Which SFMC tracking option works best for me?
There is no strict general rule on which Marketing Cloud tracking option you should use and it greatly depends on your preferences, working habits and functionality limitations. In the table below I’m sharing some best practice recommendations on the topic to help you make a decision if you are in doubt.
|Use Case||Data Views||Send Log||Tracking Extract|
|Get journey-context data||Best choice||Not available||Not available|
|Get SMS send data||Best choice||Not available||Not available|
|Get Not Sent email data||Not available||Not available||Best choice|
|Get Push notification send data||Not available||Not available||Best choice|
|Get 6 month old data||Best choice||Not available||Not available|
|Get Spam Complaints data||Not available||Not available||Best choice|
|Get impression tracking data||Not available||Not available||Best choice|
|Get data for further processing in SFMC, e.g. incorporate in your segmentation queries||Best choice (easiest one!)||Technically possible, but the amount of data is limited||Might also be a solution if a data point is not available in Data View, e.g. Not Sent information|
|Export data to external database||Also possible||Also possible||Best choice (unless all the data points are available)|
About the author: Daria Kulikova, CEO of LeverUP Consulting and a Senior Solution Architect with the domain expertise in Salesforce Marketing Cloud, and extensive hands-on implementation experience in some of the most challenging and large-scale SFMC projects in EU
Questions? Ping us at firstname.lastname@example.org