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Act-On Software

Salesforce Integration Guide


Learn how to set up Act-On's integration with Salesforce. Includes instructions to install the Salesforce  package the first time, customize Salesforce with Act-On components, integrate for Sales users, sync opt-outs, hard bounces, set up hot prospects, and sync your lead score.

What You’ll Need

  • Your Salesforce version (Enterprise, Professional, or Unlimited)
  • Salesforce admin login credentials
  • Salesforce security token

Important! If you have previously installed an Act-On package in your Salesforce account and need to upgrade, please see How to Upgrade your Salesforce Package for further instructions.

Connect Salesforce to Act-On

Requirements to get started:

  1. Username, password and security token for Salesforce account with administrative privileges
  2. Pop-up blocker disabled


The recommended best practice for connecting Act-On with Salesforce is to create a generic Salesforce user account specifically for use with the connector. The benefit of this practice is that it allows you to distinguish between what was automatically updated by Act-On and user-specific actions in Salesforce Activity History. 


  1. Navigate to Settings > Connectors > CRM > Salesforce
  2. Click Connect
  3. Enter your Salesforce login, password and security token (security token should immediately follow password with no space in between)
    1. To retrieve your security token from Salesforce:
      1. Navigate to the Setup area in Salesforce
      2. Navigate to My Settings (dropdown on upper right corner of screen)
      3. Navigate to Personal settings in the left navigation panel and select 'Reset my Security Token'

If you reset your security token in Salesforce you will need to update the Act-On Connector credentials to include the new token.

  1. Install the Act-On package using the 'Install Package' button on the Salesforce Connector page
    1. Login to Salesforce using a Salesforce account with administrative privileges in the popup window
    2. Follow the Salesforce prompts to install the package
When choosing a security level for the package during setup, select 'Grant access to all users'. Even though access will be granted to all users, they will not have access to Act-On until it is exposed to them via Salesforce page layouts and privileges
  1. Navigate to your Act-On account, paste the following into your address bar and hit enter/return.
• Replace <serverurl> from the example above with the text preceding /acton in the URL for your account (For example:    would be the serverurl for
• The first time you click this link, you will receive an error. This is expected. Please try the link again and it should go through the second time.

Remote Site Setup

Act-On's inline activity history view for the sales team requires you to authorize two Act-On URL's as remote sites in your Salesforce account.

  1. In Salesforce, navigate to: Set Up > Security Controls > Remote Site Settings > New Remote Site
  2. Configure two new remote sites with the following settings:
  • First site
  • Second site
    • Remote Site Name - Act_On2
    • Remote Site URL - <serverurl>

The <serverurl>should match the URL shown in your browser when logged into Act-On. For example:    would be a remote site of in Salesforce.

  1. Ensure that the Active checkbox is checked and save your changes.

Act-On recommends creating custom fields for use within Act-On, such as "Act-On Behavior Score" to calculate the lead score of your leads and contacts, and "Owner ID" to associated Sales ownership. These custom fields should be created for both Leads and Contacts records, the next section describes this process for the Leads object.

Remember: Custom fields rely on field alignment between your CRM and Act-On. If these field names change in your CRM but are not updated in Act-On to match, syncs will fail going forward.

First, set up you custom field for Act-On Behavior Score:

  1. In Salesforce go to Setup > Customize > Contacts > Fields.
  2. Scroll down to Contact Custom Fields and Relationships.
  3. Click the New button.
  4. Select the Number radio button under Data Type then click Next.
  5. The field label should be something like: Act-On Behavior Score, Behavior Score or Lead Score. The field length should be six digits.
  6. Click Next.
  7. Establish the field level security for all users who will use the behavior score field.
  8. Click Next.
  9. Click Save & New.

Next, create a Formula field radio button:

  1. Select the Formula radio button under Data type then click Next.
  2. The field label must be called Owner ID, the field name Owner_ID, and the Data type Text.

It is important that the field name is created exactly as Owner_ID since Act-On will use this field for personalization and lead and contact ownership.

  1. Copy the short text below and paste it into the Simple Formula text box within Salesforce. This code will also be used when creating the Lead Owner ID field. Make sure pop-up blockers are disabled. 

Note: When creating the OwnerID fields for Contacts and Leads, it is not necessary to make the OwnerID field visible to your end users or add it to the layout since this will only be used for Salesforce reports that are pulled into Act-On.

Lead fields setup 

  1. Go to Setup > Customize > Leads > Fields.
  2. Scroll down to Lead Custom Fields and Relationships.
  3. Click the New button.
  4. Select the Number radio button under Data Type then click Next.
  5. The field label should be something like: Act-On Behavior Score, Behavior Score or Lead Score. This field label name should match the same name as your Contact page layout field.
  6. The field length should be six digits.
  7. Click Next.
  8. Establish the field-level security for all users who will use the behavior score field.
  9. Click Next.
  10. Click Save & New.

Next, create a Formula field radio button:

  1. Select the Formula radio button under Data Type then click Next.
  2. The field label must be called Owner ID, the field name Owner_ID, and the Data type Text.
  3. Copy the short text below and paste it into the Simple Formula text box within Salesforce. Make sure pop-up blockers are disabled. 

Buttons and Activity History 

There are three custom page buttons: Act-On Activity History, Send Act-On Email, and Add to Act-On List for Salesforce Campaigns that can be exposed within Salesforce. The Inline Activity History widget is also available to Salesforce users.

Note: These features are accessible only after the administrator has granted access to the users by placing them on the page layout(s) for leads or contacts.

  • Act-On Activity History – This feature lets users view a summary of lead or contact interactions with Act-On marketing materials and your website.
  • Send Act-On Email – This feature allows a Salesforce user to send an email to a lead or contact using Act-On’s email servers and tracking capabilities. You can also allow a Salesforce user to send an email message to up to 200 leads or contacts through the Contacts or Leads view.
  • Add to Act-On List for Salesforce Campaigns - This feature allows a user to import the Salesforce campaign into their Act-On account under Contacts > Marketing Lists.
For Enterprise and Unlimited versions of Salesforce:
  1. Navigate to Setup > Customize > Leads > Page Layouts. Contacts follow the same path in terms of setting up the Act-On buttons.
  2. Click Edit next to the page layout on which you would like to expose these custom buttons.

Note: If you are using the Professional Edition of Salesforce, you can edit the Page Layouts by locating a lead or contact in your Salesforce account and clicking to view the individual record. On the layout in the upper right corner you will see a link to Edit Layout.

  1. Choose Buttons from the top left palette.
  2. Locate the Send Act-On Email, Act-On Activity History, and Add to Act-On List for Salesforce Campaigns buttons and drag them into the custom button area of your layout, which is generally located directly above or below the Contact or Lead detail area.

Next, add the Inline Active History widget to your page layouts. Perform the following process for any layouts in the Leads or Contacts menus.

  1. Locate the Visualforce Pages in the upper menu.
  2. Drag and drop a Section Heading onto the layout.
  3. Name the section heading, the title should be something like: Act-On Activity History .
  4. Choose 1 Column as the layout.
  5. Click OK.
  6. Locate the activityHistoryInlineLead in the top menu.
  7. Drag and drop it directly into the new section you created.
  8. Click Save.

An optional step in this process will be to expose the mass email functionality (up to 200 Contacts or Leads):

  1. Navigate to SetUp > Customize > Leads > Search Layouts. Contacts follow the same path in terms of setting up the Act-On buttons.
  2. Locate the Leads List view and click Edit.
  3. In Custom Buttons look in the Available Buttons area and click Send Act-On Email.
  4. Click Add.
  5. Click Save at the bottom of the page.

The final step in this process is to expose the Act-On Tab for Salesforce users:

  1. Navigate to the homepage of your Salesforce account and click on the ‘+’ sign to the right of the tabs at the top of the screen.
  2. Click Customize My Tabs in the upper right corner.
  3. In the Available Tabs section, locate Act-On and add it to Selected tabs.
  4. Click Save and the Act-On tab will now be visible.

If you don’t have the ability to customize a tab, you will need to set the proper privileges for your profiles:

  1. Navigate to Setup > Administrate Setup > Manage Users > Profiles in the lower left corner.
  2. Click Edit next to the profile of any users you would like to expose the tab for.
  3. In the editing area of the profile section scroll down to the Tab Settings area.
  4. Locate the tab labeled Act-On in the Custom Tab Settings area.
  5. Set the tab setting to Default On.
  6. Click Save.

Act-On features like Website Visitor and Hot Prospects use Sales Prospect Reports to identify which leads and contacts are assigned to your sales representatives. You will need to create a report within Salesforce to identify contacts that are in active opportunities for use with the Hot Prospects functionality, which we will go into more detail about later in the article.

  1. Start by creating a custom report. Under the Select Report Type area choose the Opportunities folder and locate the Opportunities with Contact Roles report and hit Create.
  2. On the next screen, select All Opportunities from the Show menu and Open from the Include menu
  3. In the Date field choose Close Date and for the Range select All Time. This will ensure that you are looking at all open opportunities.
  4. Drag and drop the following required fields into your report.
    1. Company Name
    2. First Name
    3. Last Name
    4. Email
    5. Contact ID
    6. Owner ID
  5. Click Save and title this report Act-On Report Prospects in Opportunities. Be sure to save this report in a public folder so that it can be accessed by Act-On.

Import Sales Users

To allow a Salesforce user access to Act-On features like the Act-On Inline Activity History, Send Act-On Email button(s), Hot Prospect, My Sent Messages and Website Visitor information they must be set up in Act-On as a Sales User. 

Act-On uses Single Sign-On (SSO) with Salesforce to authenticate the user. The sales user will be able to use the Act-On features within their Salesforce software. 

To provision Sales Users in Act-On:

  1.  Click on Settings > Users > Sales Users (tab).
  2. Click the button labeled Import Sales Users from CRM

Note: If you do not see this button please ensure that your Salesforce connector is established or contact your CSM.

  1. Check the boxes next to the Salesforce users you would like to grant access to and click Add Users at the bottom of the window. Your sales users information will be updated whenever the Salesforce connector is reset or updated. However, you can always manually refresh by clicking Update Sales User Profiles from CRM.

Note: Your agreement with Act-On allows for a certain number of sales users to be added to your account. To increase your sales user limit, contact your Act-On sales representative or Customer Success Manager.

To begin marketing to your Salesforce database from Act-On, you will need to import your Leads and Contacts.

  1. Click on Contacts > Marketing Lists.
  2. Click the Import button in the upper right corner of the page.
  3. Click the radio button next to All Salesforce Leads. Your Act-On list name will autopopulate but can be modified manually in the "New List Name" field. Once you've named your list, click Next.
  4. In the next screen select the fields you wish to import as Columns in your Act-On list and click Finish.

Note: After your initial field selection you can always import additional fields. To do so, click the dropdown menu next to your Salesforce list and select Import/Export > Salesforce Sync Setup > Add List Columns.

  1. Verify that your new list has been created in Marketing Lists > Default Folder. Once the import is complete, repeat the same steps for All Salesforce Contacts. 

The next step is to set a schedule for synchronizing the two databases, to ensure that Act-On has the most up-to-date information from Salesforce and to allow Act-On to create leads for your sales team. This is covered in the Sync Setup section of this article.

See this page.

Once you've imported your CRM data into Act-On as lists, you may choose to schedule these to synchronize on a recurring basis or do so manually as needed. 

Note: Our recommended best practice is to implement Master Lists for Leads and Contacts and to schedule these for recurring synchronization. This ensures that your contact data is up to date and helps keep your Act-On instance running as efficiently as possible by minimizing the number of regularly recurring syncs. 

  1. Click on Contacts > Marketing Lists.
  2. Hover over your list and click the drop down arrow > Import/Export > Sync Setup (for a Salesforce report, select Re-import from Salesforce.)

Note: Our recommended best practice is to maintain your CRM as the database of record rather than using Act-On for that purpose. This practice has implication for how you will set up your data synchronization, which are described in this article. 

There are multiple options for synchronizing data between Salesforce and Act-On, these options and applicable setup steps are described below.

  • Push to Salesforce enables the options to add data to Salesforce from Act-On (available for Leads, Contacts and Campaigns).
    • The Add new records to Salesforce option will allow Act-On to create new records from this list in Salesforce as a new lead or contact.
    • The Update existing records option will allow Act-On to update fields in Salesforce for existing leads or contacts. Note that no fields are selected to update by default.
      • The Select Push-Update Fields option allows you to select which fields in Salesforce to update with data from this list (for Salesforce campaigns, campaign status will always be pushed if the Update existing records option is enabled).
  • Pull from Salesforce enables the options to add data from Salesforce to your Act-On list.
    • The Add new records to the list from Salesforce option will allow you to add new leads or contacts from Salesforce to your Act-On list. 
    • The Update existing records option will allow Salesforce to update fields in your Act-On list on sync. Note that no fields are selected to update by default.
      • The Select Pull-Update Fields option allows you to select which fields in your Act-On list to update with data from Salesforce.
    • The Remove records from this list option will delete records from your Act-On list if not found in Salesforce on sync.

The Add List Columns section, available for All Salesforce Leads and All Salesforce Contacts, allows you to import any additional standard or custom fields you did not choose when initially importing your Salesforce list. To import additional fields:

  1. Click Add List Columns.
  2. Check the box next to the field names you want to import, and click Save. These fields will then be added to your list in Act-On the next time you synchronize with Salesforce.


For a custom field to be imported into Salesforce correctly, it must contain basic alphanumeric data. Fields such as External Lookup Relationship that perform a calculation in Salesforce to get data will not sync properly by default. Your Salesforce administrator may be able to help you convert these fields into a new text field that will sync as intended.

The Add List Columns option is not available for Salesforce Campaigns or Salesforce Reports, since all fields available to the campaign or specified in the report will be automatically included when the list is imported into Act-On.

List Sync Scheduling

To set a schedule for regular synchronization of list data between Act-On and Salesforce:

  1.  Navigate to the dropdown menu for the list you want to synchronize and select Import/Export > Sync Setup.
  2. Click the Schedule button. Choose the desired frequency, intervals and start times.
  3. Click Save at the top of the window.

Once your push/pull options and scheduling preferences have been set, click Save at the bottom of the window. To discard all changes, click Cancel.


  • Most accounts have a limit of 10 scheduled syncs. To increase this limit, speak to your Account Manager.
  • If you are using Salesforce Lightning you are unable to push reports from Lightning to Act-On. This is available in Classic, so switch your view to Classic in order to push reports.
  • The shortest possible interval between syncs for a single list is 4 hours.
  • Only a single synch can occur at one time. Therefore, it is recommended that you stagger your sync schedule.

Syncing Hard Bounces

It is best practice to sync Hard Bounce data bi-directionally between Act-On and Salesforce to ensure that your Hard Bounce records are standardized and up to date between the two systems.

  1. Navigate to Contacts > Other Lists > Bounces and Opt-Outs.
  2. Hover over the Hard Bounces List and select Push to Salesforce.
  3. Select the Push to Salesforce checkbox.
  4. Click Select Hard Bounce Field.
  5. Enter or select the field name to be updated in Salesforce anytime an email address hard bounces. If no field is specified, the value will default to EmailBouncedReason.
  6. To sync this data a single time, select Run Now. To schedule a recurring synchronization select Schedule.

Standard Field Names

The Standard Field Names feature allows you to define a set of Field Names to be used by default when creating new lists and map them to the internal 'System Usage'.

Note: System Usage is leveraged by Act-On to do things like provide email personalization across multiple lists. For example, which field will contain your contact's email address, or first name? You can map your field names to these key values from the System Usage column on the page.

  1. Navigate to Contacts.
  2. Select Standard Field Names.
  3. Select Optimize for Salesforce to pull in all custom and standard fields from your Salesforce Leads and Contacts page layouts.
  4. Confirm the System Usage mapping and modify where needed to match the intended purpose of your field names.

The CRM Administration Panel allows you to select fields from your CRM to sync to Act-On for use with Personalization, Segmentation and Reporting but does not import the field data into a list. To import fields to a list for use with other Act-On functionality (e.g. message sends) see the List Sync Setup section above. Follow the steps below to setup your CRM Administration sync.

Note: Some fields are required for out-of-the-box reporting and other standard functionality in Act-On. These fields are pre-selected in the Field Selection section of the CRM Administration page and cannot be removed.

  1. Select the fields you want to sync from each of the Salesforce Objects represented in the Field Selection section.
  2. Select a Recurring Synchronization from the options provided, we recommend a daily sync outside of peak business hours.
  3. If you choose to utilize Act-On's built in Opt-In/Out Synchronization, that can also be configured here. 
  4. Select Update to save your changes.

Note: The Synchronize Now option will synchronize all selected fields on-demand. You can use this to sync newly added fields for immediate use rather than waiting for your regularly scheduled sync.

The Hot Prospects feature identifies the most active and engaged leads or contacts based on scoring rules defined in Act-On and displays the top 20 records for a particular owner in the Hot Prospects tab in Salesforce. Before setting up this feature in Act-On you will need to import your All Leads and All Contacts lists from Salesforce and the Active Opportunity report you created earlier- doing so will allow Act-On to correctly identify the owner of each contact or lead.

To import your reports:

  1. Navigate to Contacts > Marketing Lists and select the Manage button in the upper right corner of your folder list (this will be hidden until you hover over it).
  2. Click Add and create a folder titled Salesforce System Lists.
  3. Click Add again then click Save.
  4. Click the Import button in the upper right corner.
  5. Scroll down to Import Salesforce Saved Report Results locate Act-On Report Prospects in Active Opportunities, use the radio button to select this report and click next.
  6. On the Marketing Lists page you will find your report in the default folder at the bottom of the page. In the dropdown for that list click Move and select the Salesforce System Lists folder.

Note: We recommend scheduling this report to sync on a recurring basis so that your Hot Prospects stay up to date. To do so, follow the instructions provided in the List Sync Scheduling section.

The final Hot Prospects setup step is to identify your reports/lists within Act-On to associate the sales ownership.

  1. Navigate to Contacts > Other Lists > Account Lists and click on the Sales Prospects folder.
  2. Hover over Prospects Assigned to Sales click the three dot icon and choose Select.
  3. In the pop-up window, locate and select your All Salesforce Leads list and click Submit.
  4. Next hover over Prospects in Active Opportunities and repeat the selection process choosing the report titled Act-On Report Prospects in Active Opportunities and click Submit.
  5. Next, hover over Existing Contacts Assigned to Sales and repeat the selection process choosing your All Salesforce Contacts list.

Note: In order to provide your sales team with qualified hot prospects, you will need to set up your Scoring Rules in Act-On. Once you have done that, you can sync your lead scoring rules with Salesforce.

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