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Unsubscribe Management for Templated Emails Sent from Salesforce CRM

If you use Salesforce as your CRM tool and Marketing Cloud as your email tool, unsubscribe management is taken care of by SFMC. If you send emails via a journey, the emails include an unsubscribe link which when your email recipients click, it updates their unsubscribe preference in the system. So when you send an email next time, the system will not send it to anybody who has unsubscribed in the past.

You can also send Marketing Cloud emails to your Salesforce CRM Leads and Contacts through the Report or Campaign Send feature through the Marketing Cloud connector. In this method, you create a report of leads/contacts to whom you want to send an email or a campaign and add members to it. Then you can initiate an email send from within Salesforce through Marketing Cloud connector that allows you to select the email from your default business unit, add the subject line, update the recipient list and send out the email. The email goes out from Marketing Cloud and it takes care of unsubscribe preferences.

When your Salesforce CRM and Marketing Cloud accounts are connected, the Marketing cloud connector also updates the unsubscribe preferences of leads & contacts by checking the email opt-out field in Salesforce. So next time when you try to send someone an email whose email opt-out field is set as True, they will be excluded from the email send.

However, there is another situation where your customer service agents or salespeople might be sending templated emails to your customers from within Salesforce with no Marketing Cloud connection. These emails do not usually have any unsubscribe link or any native feature to manage unsubscribes. I found a scenario where the unsubscribe link in a templated email was email tosomeone link with an unsubscribe subject line. The person responsible in this case was supposed to update the email opt-out field on the lead or contact record who requested unsubscribing. This process is all manual and may result in compliance issues. One possible solution in such a scenario could be to create:

  • A dynamic unsubscribe link to pass lead / contact id with reference to VF page
  • VF Page to invoke apex class and show the unsubscribe page
  • Apex Class /Controller to update the email opt-out field as true on the lead / contact record

When the customers will click on the unsubscribe link, the apex controller will update the unsubscribe preference of the customer on the lead/contact record thus automating this process. This will help in compliance with GDPR regulations.

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