• Salesforce Campaigns for Event Management

      A question we are frequently asked here at SalesFix – “How can I email an invitation with RSVP to my database and track and record who responds?

      There are many things to consider and plan in order to successfully managing an event from beginning to end, including budget, venues, availability, guests, staff requirements, menu – the list goes on and on. This article will be concentrating on how to create and mass email an invitation with RSVP, and have Salesforce automatically track and record who is attending and who is not.

      Let’s look at the 3 main components of your email blast.

      • The Invitees – The list of email addresses you want to send your invitation to.
      • The Invitation – An email template that contains all the necessary information about the event.
      • The RSVP Form – An online form for your invitees to complete and submit with their RSVP status.
      • The Stats – Who’s attending, who’s not and who hasn’t responded.

      Your Email Recipients

      Ideally, your email recipients should be stored in your Salesforce platform as Contacts, Leads or Person Accounts so that they can be easily added to a Salesforce campaign created specifically to store details of your event.

      Once the campaign is created and your members (recipients) added, you’re ready to begin creating your RSVP and email template

      Online RSVP Form Using FormAssembly

      There are some really great online RSVP tools available, such as Eventbrite and ActevaRSVP. The application we are using for this demonstration is FormAssembly.

      FormAssembly is an online do-it-yourself form creation tool, with an integration for salesforce.com®, that generates a URL which can be included in your email template. When your email recipient clicks on this link, they are taken to your online form where they have the option to Accept or Decline the invitation.

      Using FormAssembly in conjunction with your Salesforce campaign, it’s now possible to automatically update a contact/campaign member Status with Accepted or Declined.

      FormAssembly allows you to:

      • Lookup a record within Salesforce®
      • Create a new record in Salesforce
      • Update an existing record in Salesforce
      • Attach files to most Salesforce objects
      • Map fields on your form to existing Salesforce fields

      Using Salesforce Mass Email Tool

      Although it is certainly possible to use the mass email tool inside Salesforce to email a list of contacts, leads, person account, or campaign members, this is not ideal if you want to track what happens to the email after it’s sent i.e. did it bounce, did the recipient click on any of the links in the email, have they accepted or declined or did they unsubscribe?

      The salesforce mass email tool will not give you these statistics.

      VerticalResponse for Salesforce

      While there are many applications available for mass emailing – that’s a whole separate topic – the application we are using for this demonstration is VerticalResponse. VerticalResponse is a pay-as-you-go mass-emailing solution with an integration for salesforce.com that allows you to:

      • Import your email recipients from salesforce campaigns
      • Create simple or complex email templates right inside the Salesforce platform
      • Create merge fields for your email using existing Salesforce fields
      • Send a test email to make sure everything is working as it should
      • Send your mass email with the piece of mind that it complies with current anti-spam legislation
      • Track the status of the email from sent to responded
      • Variety of reports detailing how your emails are performing, and an even larger variety of options for viewing, sorting, and using that data.

      Tying it All Together

      Using all the tools together you end up with a process that looks like this:

      1. Create a campaign in Salesforce for your event.
      2. Add your campaign members i.e. the contacts/leads you wish to email.
      3. Create your online RSVP form using FormAssembly and take note of the form URL.
      4. Create your email recipient list using VerticalResponse.
      5. Create your email template using VerticalResponse – add the FormAssembly RSVP URL into the body of the email.
      6. Send your email using VerticalResponse.
      7. Monitor the status of each email from within your Salesforce campaign.

      Online Tutorials

      We have included step-by-step video instructions to assist you. Please note this tutorial uses a standard Salesforce Email template rather than a VerticalResponse email solution.

      Step 1The Campaign
      Step 2Creating the online form
      Step 3The FormAssembly Connector
      Step 4Creating the URL
      Step 5The Email