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Send Log in Marketing Cloud – What, Why, and How

By Pankaj Namdeo

Send Logs are data extensions that store email, SMS, and MobilePush send information that is not captured in the standard Salesforce Marketing Cloud reports.

Subscriber engagement data within Salesforce Marketing Cloud is extracted via Audience Builder reports, Automation Studio Query activities, Data Views – and also in Send Logs. This guide will explain what Send Log in Marketing Cloud is, why it’s used, and how to create one.

What is Send Log in Marketing Cloud?

Send Logs are data extensions that store email send and SMS send information that is not captured in the standard Salesforce Marketing Cloud reports.

This information can be stored in standard attributes as columns, and Marketing Cloud admins have the flexibility to add custom columns to accommodate more valuable information related to emails and SMS sends.

Email Send Log can capture information from the following types of sends in Salesforce Marketing Cloud:

  • User-Initiated Sends (via Automation Studio)
  • Triggered Sends (including all Journey Builder types)
  • A/B Test Sends
  • Guided Sends
  • Salesforce Sends

Email send log data can be captured from various types of email sends, provided that the column within the Send Log data extension matches the column name within:

  • The sendable data extension.
  • AMPScript variable name.
  • Personalization strings and the system default personalization string in the email.

To illustrate the above points, let’s take an example where the marketers are sending the Welcome email to the newly signed-up customers.

The Sendable data extension has values like FirstName, LastName, Country, and MobileNo. The email has AMPscript code with the variable named SubjectLine which helps to populate the subject line in the email.

SFMC admin should add the Send Log data extension column names as FirstName, LastName, Country, MobileNo., and SubjectLine so that once the emails are sent, the Send Log with capture the data in the above-added columns too.

SFMC admin can also add a column for personalization strings with a similar name to replyemailaddress. This will add the sender’s email address in the Send Log data extension.

Send Log has standard attributes which capture the email send details:

  • JobID: The numeric identifier associated with an email send.
  • ListID: The unique identifier created by the application.
  • BatchID: A number that identifies the batch associated with a Triggered Email Send event. It is used to differentiate between multiple sends to the same Subscriber using a single Job.
  • SubID: The SubscriberID associated with the receiver of the email
  • TriggeredSendID: The numeric identifier of the triggered send.
  • ErrorCode: Identifies any error found in a send.

Salesforce Marketing Cloud admins have the flexibility to add additional columns in the send log data extension according to the use case.

Send log can be activated in an Enterprise 2.0 org by raising a support ticket. From there, it can be activated at two levels:

  • Enterprise Send Log or Parent Business unit: This is useful if the requirement is to capture the email sent details across all the business units. Since the data volume increases rapidly, you should take extra care around the retention settings.
  • Child Business unit: This option is useful if the requirement is to report in a specific business unit and not on the parent business unit.

Why Use Send Logs? (Send Log Examples)

Send Logs can cater to multiple use cases, such as those, mentioned in the section below:

  1. A food delivery company wants to track various weekly promotional emails sent so that they can analyze the results. This can be achieved by adding the email name, subject line, and send date columns in the Send Log to identify the weekly campaigns separately. Remember: the column names in the send log have to be the same as in the send data extension.
  2. A mobile company wants to track the email send fails that happened for each campaign. This can be achieved by using the field name ErrorCode as a column in Send Log as it will capture the send time error in the form of codes e.g. 1, 2, 3, etc.
  3. An education startup wants to track the email performance and the campaign details like name, and subject line date. This can be handled by combining Send Log and data view in Salesforce Marketing Cloud. This is an advanced use case and would require knowledge of Automation Studio and SQL to implement it.

Create a Send Log

As mentioned above, there are prerequisites to creating Send Log data extensions within Email Studio (i.e. have the Send Log template enabled by Salesforce Support and configure it to either a specific child business unit or on parent business unit).

After the above steps are completed, follow the Send Log creation process described below.

1. Go to Email Studio Data Extension Click on the Create button.

2. Select the Standard Data extension and click Ok.

3. Select the creation method as Create from Template.

4. Choose the SendLog option from the list.

5. Choose the appropriate name, and description for the Send Log. Leave the Is Sendable? checkbox unchecked.

6. Choose the right data retention setting for Send Log extension.

The best practice is to store the data for not more than 10 days since data volumes are huge.

7. Choose custom fields that need to be captured as per the requirement. As you can see the default fields are already configured.

To add the custom fields, we need to make sure that the names of the columns are the same as the ones used in the sendable data extension. The common examples of customer columns are Data, Subscriber Key, Campaign Name, etc.

8. Click the Create button to complete the process.

Send Log data extension is by default created in the root data extension folder. It can be moved to other folders as well. If the Send Log data extension is configured at the parent business unit then it can be stored in the shared data extension folder so that it can be accessed by other business units.


Send Logs are a great asset for marketers as they can provide vital information about their Email and SMS sends. This information in combination with other data views can work like magic for them.

There is a saying that ”data is the new oil”, however, data extraction, storage, and its representation are what actually make data valuable.

We have detailed the basics of Send Log, why it is used and step by step process to create it in the Salesforce Marketing Cloud org. Hopefully, this information is useful for all the stakeholders.

The Author

Pankaj Namdeo

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

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