How to Implement Subscriber Opt-In Using Salesforce Marketing Cloud

By Pankaj Namdeo

Subscriber Opt-In enables businesses to increase their Subscriber base of prospective or existing customers sharing their contact details with these businesses willingly, to get timely and personalized content.

When it comes to Salesforce Marketing Cloud, you have 3 choices for implementing subscription functionality:

  • Smart capture
  • DEManager
  • Email studio Web collect

This article focuses on the “Smart Capture” method.

What is Smart Capture?

Smart capture is functionality in Salesforce Marketing Cloud that captures an individual’s details from a website or a landing page into Salesforce Marketing Cloud’s List, Data Extension or an external data source.

In the steps below, let us look into the step-by-step process to capture the Name and Email Address of the subscriber into the desired Salesforce Marketing Cloud’s Data Extension [DE].

This tutorial is suitable for Digital marketers, Salesforce Marketing cloud beginners who are exploring various MarketTech Tools.

Step 1: Create a Landing page in Web Studio

Step 2: Create a new Data Extension

Step 3: Use Smart Capture block

  • Add Smart capture block
  • Point to the correct data extension
  • Set the other properties like Submit action etc
  • Publish the Landing page

Step 4: Test the Smart capture form

Step 1: Create a Landing Page in Web Studio

Go to Web studio and create a new Collection.

After creating a new collection, create a new Landing page within it and Save it.

Step 2: Create a New Data Extension

Create a New Data Extension in the Email Studio.

Create a Standard Data extension and save it with basic details like name, retention policy and two fields namely Name & Email Address.

Choose the correct data type for both the fields and mark the Email address field as the Primary key.

Step 3: Add a Smart Capture Block

Open the newly created Landing page and add a Smart capture block by dragging from left to the right side on the canvas. Refer to the image below for guidance:

Point the Smart Capture form to the newly created Data extension by setting the Target Data Field. As you can see both fields get added to the form on the right-hand side.

We can also set other Smart capture properties like:

  • URL redirection i.e. what happens after you click the submit button on the form
  • Add CSS styling to the page via Javascript & HTML
  • Add Personalization
  • Use AMPscript

Publish the Landing page onto the web by clicking on the Publish button.

Step 4: Testing the Opt-In/Subscription Form

Open the published landing page’s URL, and enter the Name & Email address for your subscriber.


The Name and Email address are added to the desired Data Extension:


In this tutorial, I have shown you how to implement Smart Capture for Marketing Cloud in 4 steps:

  1. Creating the Landing page in Web Studio
  2. Creating a new Data Extension
  3. Adding the Smart Capture block
  4. Testing the Smart capture form.

You will now be on your way to capturing happy subscribers and keep them informed with updates about your brand. I hope that you found this useful, and please feel free to ask questions in the comments section.

The Author

Pankaj Namdeo

Pankaj is a Salesforce Marketing Cloud Consultant, Blogger and a Runner.


    December 30, 2019 12:32 pm
    Hello, thanks for this article. Could you please tell me how to auto generate a subscriber key in the CloudPage Data Extension. I use a cloudPage DE to fire a JB. Regards, Charles
    January 24, 2020 10:34 am
    Hi Charles There is no direct way to autogenerate a Subscriber key in a Cloudpages Data extension. However, you can use the SQL function named NewID() in Query activity and then you can generate the auto-number aka subscriber key for the Data extension Pankaj
    June 01, 2020 11:06 am
    Hi Charles , Pankaj You can try to hide the field SubscriberKey in the form and to fill the value with this line of AMP Script : %%=GUID()=%% That function will auto-generate a random number to the SubscriberKey field of your DE. Carmen.
    September 22, 2022 4:03 pm
    Hi Charles, does Smart Capture have any SPAM filter features? It does not seem possible to also use reCAPTCHA with Smart Capture. Thanks!

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