June 8, 2022
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How to Send Mass Emails in Salesforce?

With a focus on features, limitations, and best practices, this post is your beacon as you chart the course of your next mass email campaign within Salesforce.

I. Introduction

In an era bombarded by the noise of social media, succinct and personalized communication remains the golden ticket to customer interaction and brand awareness. Enter mass email; often underestimated, but formidable when executed with precision and leveraging modern online tools. For those who question the efficacy of email in the age of Tweets and Stories, look no further than its stellar return on investment (ROI). Email boasts impressive metrics, a medium where content is savored and decisions are made. It is, without a doubt, a compass that directs readers through a narrative you craft meticulously, steering them towards making a purchase, reading an article, or performing any other CTA.

According to the Data & Marketing Association, every dollar spent on email marketing can return an average of $42, elucidating the trust and impact email garners. Social media undeniably has its place, but as a supplemental medium, rather than a replacement for email's invaluable direct line to a consumer's attention.

When we launch into the best practices of mass email campaigns, Salesforce emerges as an exemplary platform, offering a suite of tools expressly designed to elevate your efforts. It's an ecosystem where the science and art of email marketing converge, promising not just the delivery of emails, but their reception, too.

Let’s take a look at its benefits.

  • Promotions That Are Personal: mass email promotions are not about the sale; they are about what the sale offers. They tap into customers’ needs and aspirations, underlining the benefits and value. Salesforce crafts an experience for the customer, leading them down a sales funnel that resonates with their interests and motivators.
  • Surveys Shaping the Conversation: email surveys, facilitated through Salesforce, succor a two-way dialogue between brand and consumer. It’s the customer’s voice, raw and unadulterated, distilled through a simple email click, offering insights that direct your brand strategy and product development.
  • Using Data to Humanize the Digital: Salesforce not only collects data but interprets it, shaping strategies and content that mirror personal human interactions.
  • Optimize Timing with In-depth Analytics: Salesforce analytics denotes patterns that dictate the optimal delivery time, so your email doesn’t just land in the inbox; it arrives at the right moment to pique interest and engender action.
  • Personalization with Proficiency: Salesforce enables a level of personalization that showcases the recipient’s individuality, turning a generic email into a message tailored to resonate with a precise audience.
  • Segmentation for Symbiosis: Salesforce segmentation features allow the breaking down of the email recipient list into manageable groups, ensuring that the communication is relevant and not a shotgun spray of unwanted content. It’s a bespoke approach to mass communication, where each segment feels understood and not just targeted.

II. Choosing the Right Method of Sending Emails in Salesforce

Mass email in Salesforce is a perfect way to deliver one-time messages, newsletters, and other bulk communications while leveraging the power and reach of the CRM that manages your customer data. However, different methods exist, each coming with its own set of functionalities, integrations, and complexities.

Salesforce's Out-of-the-Box Mass Email Functionality

Salesforce’s built-in mass email functionality is a great starting point for many companies. It offers a simple, integrated solution that allows you to send up to 5,000 emails per day, track email interactions with customers and has robust templating and personalization options.


  • Seamless integration with your CRM data
  • Built-in tracking for opens, clicks, and other interactions
  • A simple, familiar interface for Salesforce users


  • Limited daily send limits can throttle larger campaigns
  • Templates and design capabilities are basic
  • No advanced email marketing features like autoresponders

Salesforce Marketing Cloud

With Salesforce Marketing Cloud, you can set up automated email sends based on triggers or events. For example, you can send a welcome email to new subscribers, a reminder email to customers who abandon their shopping cart, or a follow-up email to attendees of your webinar. This method saves time and ensures your customers receive timely and relevant messages.

For organizations requiring more robust marketing capabilities, the Marketing Cloud is where the real firepower lies. It offers advanced email automation, personalization at scale, and sophisticated tracking and analytics tools. However, it's a separate, more complex platform that requires additional investment and training.


  • Advanced analytics and tracking features
  • Extensive personalization and segmentation options
  • Integration with other Marketing Cloud features (e.g., social media marketing)


  • A steep learning curve for new users
  • Additional cost compared to standard Salesforce licenses
  • Implementations often require support from experienced consultants

Integrating with External Email Marketing Platforms

Salesforce allows for integration with a variety of external email marketing platforms, such as MailChimp, Constant Contact, and HubSpot. This approach combines the customer data management features of Salesforce with the advanced email marketing capabilities of these platforms.


  • Access to features not available in Salesforce’s native tools
  • Often lower cost and easier to use than Marketing Cloud
  • Utilizes the strengths of each platform for a more complete email marketing strategy


  • Integrations can be complex and sometimes require coding
  • Syncing issues can arise between platforms
  • Maintenance of multiple systems may increase overhead

Integrating with Advanced Email Marketing Tools and APIs

Integrating Salesforce with advanced email marketing tools and APIs can provide a tailored and unique email marketing experience for organizations with a highly technical team or specific requirements. This approach typically involves direct API connections and custom development work.


  • Ultimate flexibility to build your ideal email marketing system
  • Can lead to highly personalized and effective email campaigns
  • Open up access to email analytics and A/B testing not available in native systems


  • Requires significant technical knowledge and resources
  • Higher upfront costs for development
  • Ongoing maintenance and troubleshooting as systems evolve

III. Building Your Email Content

Crafting the perfect email is a blend of art and science. Beyond aesthetics, it’s about understanding what resonates with your audience. The inbox is a battleground for attention, and your subject line is the commander of the first impression. It should be concise, compelling, and trigger curiosity without misleading. Often, a snippet of text from your email body or a preheader accompanies the subject line. This hidden gem offers an additional opportunity to entice your readers. Use the preheader to compliment your subject line and provide a sneak peek of what's inside.

Your email template sets the visual tone for your brand, and the design plays a crucial role in the user’s experience. When creating it, consider responsiveness across devices, load time, and user-friendly layout. In Salesforce, you have the freedom to create custom HTML templates or leverage the platform’s pre-built options. Whichever you choose, ensure your templates are on-brand, with consistent use of colors, fonts, and imagery.

An email without engaging content is like a cake without sugar. Each email should tell a story and guide the reader on a compelling narrative. Incorporate images, infographics, and videos to break up the text and increase visual interest. Use personalization tokens to address your subscribers by their name and create the illusion of a 1-1 conversation. These small touches make a significant impact and improve the overall customer experience.

The era of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) reminds us to email with ethicality. Ensure your emails have an unsubscribe link and abide by anti-spam laws. In the Salesforce ecosystem, understanding the compliance tools at your disposal is crucial. Leverage features like the “Email Compliance BCC” to maintain a compliance-friendly workflow and steer clear of the spam folder.

Remember that the core of an effective email is its content. You need to speak to your audience in a language they understand and touch upon points that elicit an immediate response.

IV. Targeting Your Audience

Every marketing campaign must begin with a clear intention, and from that intention springs forth the segments of your audience. Salesforce offers a bed of tools to help you carve your list into segments, such as creating list views that filter contacts and leads by a plethora of customizable criteria. For an e-commerce company, this could mean sorting customers based on purchase history, and for an event organizer, based on location and previous event attendance.

But segmentation is not solely a matter of where, when, and what; to truly differentiate your campaign, it should be complemented by why. Why did Customer A purchase that product, while Customer B ignored it? The answers can inform powerful segmentations based on behavior, preferences, and lifecycle stage.

Instead of being encased within fixed criteria, dynamic data segments adjust as your audience’s data traits change over time. A contact may willingly reveal more about themselves, or as they engage with your brand, their segment could uplift or mature with their interaction history. Utilize Salesforce’s dynamic list views with combination filters, not merely to categorize but to predict and respond. A campaign created to acknowledge a customer’s increased level of engagement can breed brand loyalty that a static list would fail to capture, marking the difference between the serenade and the siren's song.

Note: a cold email is like an unexpected phone call during dinner; it’s intrusive. Utilize Salesforce’s email tracking to gauge the open and response rates of your initial emails, especially if they are to new or long-dormant contacts. Warm them up with a series of nurturing emails or outreach campaigns that lead up to the main event. This is particularly crucial for building trust with contacts who haven’t heard from you over a long period.

Sequences of emails, timed to perfection, can guide your audience through a narrative that deepens engagement with each note. Also, an omnichannel approach can harmonize your outreach, allowing emails to echo through social media, SMS, or ads. A well-targeted list, a meticulously crafted campaign, and optimal outreach strategies are not the end but the beginning of a cycle of refinement. Listen to your audience through Salesforce’s engagement metrics and be prepared to iterate, whether through updated content, refined personalization, or even through reassessing your segmentation strategies.

V. Sending and Tracking Success

First, it’s important to point out that what was once referred to as “Salesforce mass email” is now known as “Salesforce List Email”.

So, how to send a mass email in Salesforce? We have lined up the necessary actions:

  • Step 1: To start, make your way to the “Contacts” tab to see your contacts. You need to ensure that “All Contacts” is selected to have a comprehensive view, instead of just seeing those contacts that have been “Recently Viewed”.
  • Step 2: After deciding on the recipients for your list email, proceed by clicking the arrow icon located at the top right corner to access more options from a drop-down menu. Here, select “Send List Email” to move forward.
  • Step 3: Using the available classic email composer, add any files that need to be included with your email. When everything is set, hit “Send” to distribute your email to the list of selected contacts.

For handling contact groups of larger sizes, like 100 individuals, adopting a refined filtering approach is recommended to streamline the selection.

  • Initiation: Start by navigating to “All Contacts”. In the upper right section, locate and click on the “Settings” icon, selecting “Edit List Filters” from the menu.
  • Adding Filters: Initially, you’re presented with a single filter option. Expand your filtering capabilities by clicking on “Add Filter”. Choose the appropriate filter from the drop-down, for instance, “Campaign Member Status”, to refine your list specifically for a targeted email campaign.
  • Compiling List Emails: Post filtering, proceed to organize a new list email. Click on the corresponding arrow icon and select “Send List Email”.
  • Email Template Selection: Opt for an existing email template that meets your campaign’s goals or personalize by integrating specific details through merge fields. Access available templates by hitting “Insert Email Template” observed above the “Send” control. Should the existing templates not meet your needs, the flexibility to craft a bespoke email template exists within Salesforce. Incorporate “Merge Fields” as necessary. Select your inclusions and click Insert. Once satisfied with your email composition, click “Send”.
  • Completion Notification: A confirmation email will be dispatched to you upon successful sending of your Salesforce email. And that concludes the process.

Scheduling Your Mass Email Campaigns in Salesforce

Perfect timing is critical for the success of your mass email campaigns. Here's how to nail the timing of your mass emails:

  • Identify Peak Engagement Times: leverage Salesforce Analytics to review historical data and identify the times when your email recipients are most active. Peak engagement times could vary based on industry, target audience, and geographic region, so a thorough analysis of your specific dataset is paramount.
  • Utilize the Send Time Optimization Feature: Salesforce’s Send Time Optimization feature uses machine learning to suggest the best times for scheduling your emails to maximize engagement. It considers when your contacts are most likely to open emails based on their past interaction behaviors, ensuring that your emails are not lost in a cluttered inbox.
  • Test and Refine: the best practices are not one-size-fits-all. Run A/B tests on different days and times until you find the optimal send time for your audience. Continuous testing and refinement are key to discovering patterns and behaviors unique to your recipients.

Understanding Salesforce Email Sending Limits and Best Practices

Understanding the email sending limits and best practices is crucial to avoid being flagged as spam or hitting your email governor's limitations.

  • Know Your Email Governor Limits: Salesforce operates under a strict set of email governor limits to ensure the deliverability of emails. Familiarize yourself with the daily email sends allowed in your edition of Salesforce, and plan your campaigns accordingly to avoid hitting these caps and risking blocking your organization’s email capabilities.
  • Maintain Opt-In Lists: only send emails to recipients who have opted in to receive communications from you. This not only helps maintain your sender reputation but also ensures that you are sending emails to engaged and interested recipients, improving your campaign performance.
  • Open Rate and Click-Through Rate (CTR): the open rate and CTR are fundamental metrics that gauge how engaging your email content is. High open rates indicate that your subject lines are compelling, while a high CTR reflects that your content encourages action.
  • Bounce Rate: the bounce rate measures the percentage of emails that were not delivered to the recipient’s inbox. Minimizing your bounce rate is essential for maintaining good sender reputation; regularly clean your email lists to remove outdated or incorrect email addresses.
  • Conversion Rate: the conversion rate tracks the percentage of recipients who completed the desired action after clicking through from your email, such as making a purchase or signing up for a webinar. A high conversion rate signals that your emails are effective at driving user engagement and action.

Utilizing Salesforce Einstein for Predictive Insights and Campaign Optimization

Salesforce Einstein is an artificial intelligence tool that can be an invaluable asset for optimizing your mass email campaigns. By harnessing predictive insights, you can fine-tune your approach and achieve better results.

  • Predictive Scoring: Einstein can predict the likelihood of an email being opened, clicked, or converted based on historical data and recipient behaviors. Use these predictive scores to focus your efforts on high-performing email campaigns that are most likely to drive positive outcomes.
  • Personalization: leverage Einstein’s personalization capabilities to create highly personalized email content that resonates with your audience. Personalized emails have been shown to deliver six times higher transaction rates, so use predictive insights to personalize and improve campaign performance.
  • Automated Insights: Einstein can also provide automated insights into the key drivers of your campaign success, such as the best performing email elements or the most effective subject lines. Use these insights to continuously refine your email strategy and achieve better results with each campaign.

VI. Advanced Techniques and Resources

Regardless of the method you choose, your mass email campaigns must comply with international regulations like CAN-SPAM (in the U.S.), CASL (in Canada), and GDPR (in the EU). You’ll need to ensure you have the consent of your recipients, provide clear opt-out methods, identify your messages clearly as advertisements, and include your physical address. Salesforce’s tools typically help enforce these guidelines, but it's important to stay vigilant.

For those ready to sail into deeper waters, advanced techniques within Salesforce email marketing include creating custom HTML email templates and using the platform’s automation tools for more complex campaigns. Integrating social and mobile marketing features can also open up new avenues for customer engagement.

Best Practices:

  • Segment your audience for more targeted messaging.
  • A/B test different elements of your emails for optimization.
  • Monitor and analyze customer engagement constantly.

Helpful Resources:

  • Salesforce Trailhead is an excellent learning resource with modules on email marketing.
  • The Salesforce community is vibrant, with many users sharing their experiences and best practices.
  • Consider hiring a Salesforce consulting partner for dedicated support and knowledge-sharing.

The course for your email marketing endeavors within Salesforce is entirely based on the goals of your campaign, the scale of your operation, and the level of personalization and analytics you require. Consider these methods not as competing, but as complementary, and choose the right mix that unlocks your potential to connect with your customers at scale.

Navigating mass email campaigns requires a blend of strategy, technical understanding, and a keen eye on compliance. With the right approach, you can use this powerful tool within an already impactful CRM to its fullest extent, creating meaningful interactions with your audience and driving business growth.

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