Salesforce Marketing Cloud Postback

Drive revenue and list growth at scale by connecting Attentive to Salesforce Marketing Cloud (SFMC). You can sync your contacts from Attentive to Salesforce so that you can use Attentive's high performing sign-up units to collect emails and text messaging sign-ups. You can also send click events from Attentive to Salesforce that can be used within Salesforce journeys.

Here’s what we cover in this guide:

  • How to create an API user account in SFMC with the relevant permissions
  • How to install the Attentive app from the Salesforce AppExchange
  • How to create an Event Entry Source in SFMC
  • How to collect relevant information from your SFMC account to set up the integration
  • How to set up the integration in the Attentive platform
  • How to verify the Attentive and SFMC connection

Step 1. Create an API user in SFMC

Log in to your admin Salesforce account and complete the steps to create a Marketing Cloud API user. Ensure that the following are configured for the user:

  • Roles: Ensure that you selected both Administrator and Marketing Cloud Administrator as your roles.
  • Reply Email Address: We recommend adding your work email address. This ensures that you have access to the email inbox of the account.

Step 2. Install the Attentive app

Complete the following procedure to install the Attentive app from Salesforce AppExchange:

  1. Install the Attentive app from the Salesforce AppExchange.
    Note: We recommend using Firefox when installing the Attentive app, due to an issue found in Salesforce.
  2. Select the Access tab on the Attentive - AppExchange Prod package page, and then click License All Users in the top-right corner.

Note: Ensure you have an Event Entry Source present in your SFMC account. If an Event Entry Source is present, continue to Step 4. If an Event Entry Source isn't present, continue to the next procedure.

Step 3. Create an Event Entry Source

Note that you must complete this section if you plan to use Attentive in the Salesforce Journey Builder. See Attentive and Salesforce Journey Builder for more information.

Attentive relies on existing Entry Sources to properly connect the integration to SFMC Journey Builder.

If an Event Entry Source is present, you can skip this step and continue to Step 4. If an Event Entry Source isn’t present, you can create an event of any type in the SFMC Journey Builder. Complete the following procedure:

  1. Navigate to your Salesforce Journey Builder account.
  2. Select the Entry Sources tab, and then click New Event.
  3. Select API Event from the list of options; then click Next.
  4. Enter details for the Name and Description fields. Note that the Event Definition Key is automatically generated. Then, click Next.
  5. Select an existing Data Extension, and then click Next. If there are no Data Extensions in your account, see Create a Data Extension in Marketing Cloud.
    Note: Attentive doesn’t reference or read data from this Data Extension. However, SFMC requires you to select an existing Data Extension in order for this setup to work. We recommend creating a separate, empty Data Extension for this step.
  6. Click Next in the Contact Filter step. Note that you're not required to select a contact filter.
  7. Click Done.

Step 4. Collect SFMC information

Log in to your admin Salesforce account and collect the relevant information you’ll need to set up the integration in Attentive.

  1. Ensure you have Installed Package > Administrator permissions in Salesforce.
  2. In Marketing Cloud, go to Setup > Apps > Installed Packages.
  3. Click New.
  4. Save the package.
    Note: After you save the package, you can view the package details.
  5. Under Components, click Add Component.
  6. Make the following selections:
    • Component Type: API Integration
    • Integration Type: Server to Server Integration
  7. Once you’ve created the new API Integration, click Edit and select the following permissions to add to the API Integration:
    • Journeys > Read
    • List and Subscribers > Read & Write
    • Email > Read & Send
    • Data Extensions > Read & Write
  8. Click Save.
  9. Navigate to the installed Attentive application to find:
    • Client Id
    • Client Secret
  10. Copy the section of the Rest Base URI between https:// and .rest. (This will be the Subdomain you need in Step 5.)

    Copying section of Rest Base URI between https:// and .rest

  11. Click the drop-down in the upper-right corner, and copy the MID number. (This will be the Account Id you need in Step 5).

    Clicking dropdown in upper right corner and copying MID number.

Step 5. Set up the integration in Attentive

Complete the following procedure to set up the integration in the Attentive platform.

  1. Navigate to the integration setup page and select Salesforce Marketing Cloud.
  2. Click Install.
  3. Enter the following details, which you collected in Step 4:
    • Client ID
    • Client Secret
    • Account Id
    • Subdomain
  4. Click Complete Setup.

Your Salesforce Marketing Cloud account is now connected to Attentive.

Note: The Salesforce integration connection expires after 60 days if no new emails are captured.

Step 6. Verify connection

Log in to your Salesforce Marketing Cloud account and confirm the following:

  1. Check for the new Data Extension—Complete the procedure to View Marketing Cloud Data Extension Records. A new Data Extension, AttentiveAPIEvent, should appear. This is the new destination for email postbacks.
  2. Use the entry source, AttentiveAPIEvent, in Salesforce Journey Builder. Complete the procedure in Admit Contacts Via API and select AttentiveAPIEvent from the list of possible API Events.

Salesforce API event postback

With the Attentive and Salesforce Marketing Cloud (SFMC) integration, Attentive offers the ability to post back email addresses and phone numbers* collected through Attentive’s sign-up units to your SFMC account. With this integration, you install the Attentive app that adds emails to a data extension called AttentiveAPIEvent, which can be used in the Salesforce Journey Builder. Each of the following event types (as described below) triggers a call to the Salesforce Marketing Cloud endpoint and populates the associated data extension. You can learn more about the data extension in Step 6.

Note: Attentive's SFMC postback uses EmailAddress as the SubscriberKey. If your organization's Marketing Cloud instance uses a different SubscriberKey, we don’t recommend that you set up this postback. Please contact our team for alternative solutions. Additionally, passing phone numbers must be approved by the White Glove team ( at Attentive.

View the following section to learn more about what data can be passed to your SFMC account.


Parameter Description Type Notes
ContactKey The client’s email address. string  
EventDefinitionKey The external identifier used to populate the Data Extension and trigger Salesforce Journeys related to the integration. string  
Data This includes a list of objects about the subscriber. object  
  EmailAddress The email address of the subscriber. This is the primary key for the Data Extension and is required when forwarding events. string  
  Phone The phone number of the subscriber. string Passing phone numbers must be approved by the White Glove team at Attentive.
  SubscriberKey The client’s email address. string The Attentive AppExchange package uses email address as SubscriberKey.
  Source Where the event is coming from. string  
  DateAdded The date that the subscriber opted in. date ISO 8601 format


Event types

There are three event types that trigger a call to the Salesforce Marketing Cloud endpoint: EMAIL_SAVE, JOIN and LINK CLICK EVENT. The following sections outline each event type and provide an example payload.


This event occurs when an email address is captured through Attentive’s sign-up unit. The following is an example of the EMAIL_SAVE payload:

"ContactKey": "",
"Data": {
"Phone": null,
"SubscriberKey": "",
"Source": "Attentive",
"DateAdded": "2020-09-21T12:00:00:00Z"


This event occurs when a user subscribes to SMS through Attentive’s sign-up unit. Note that this information is sent to Salesforce only if there is an email associated with the subscriber. For example, this would occur when a user submits their email address and phone number through Attentive’s sign-up unit. The following is an example of the JOIN payload:

"ContactKey": "",
"Data": {
"Phone": "+15555555555",
"SubscriberKey": "",
"Source": "Attentive",
"DateAdded": "2020-09-21T12:00:00:00Z"


This event occurs when a user clicks a link in a message sent from the SFMC Journey Builder integration. This can be used to target users who DON’T click the link from the first text with a subsequent text or email within Journey Builder.

You can enable the Link-click event on the Attentive Salesforce Marketing Cloud integration page by toggling on the Message Link Click Forwarding option.

Toggling on Link Click Forwarding


"ContactKey": "123456789",
"EventDefinitionKey": "AttentiveMessageLinkClickEventXXXX",
"Data": {
"attentiveSubscriberId": 123456789,
"messageId": 123456,
"emailAddress": "",
"phone": "+15555555555",
"dateAdded": "2022-04-18T22:07:33"


We’re here to help! Contact our White Glove team ( to ask about the Attentive + Salesforce Marketing Cloud integration.

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