Salesforce Tip of the Week: Email External ID

Salesforce is a very robust platform which provides the framework for a sales, marketing or service department. The system is specifically designed to be highly customizable allowing developers to build solutions and products that specifically meet a specific need. With every plus there is usually a minus, it is for this very reason that the system is also complex and heavily nuanced.  We are dedicated to releasing one tip a week to help share our knowledge of common "gotchas" with the Salesforce Platform.

Tip #3

Email External ID

Question

I am integrating my Salesforce system with a Marketing Automation tool which requires email address to be used as the External ID. However, there is no way in Salesforce to set Lead or Contact Email as an External ID or even to ensure they are unique. How can I set this up correctly?

 

Answer

It is accurate to say that you don't have extensive ability to modify standard fields in Salesforce. Many Marketing Automation tools do required Email Address to be the unique identifier (External ID) for the integration with Salesforce. What we recommend to our clients who need this functionality is to create a custom email address, this allows you to set the new field as an External ID and make it Unique. Since the standard Email field does provide some specialized features that a custom one does not such as sending mass email from Salesforce so we want to make sure this Email field is also filled out. To do this build a Field Update Workflow Rule to update it every time. Click here to watch the "How To" video.