Segmenting Your Database with Campaign Combiner

Segmenting Your Database with Campaign Combiner

When it comes to getting your nonprofit’s message out there, list segmentation is as important as content construction. Savvy nonprofits know that blanket solicitations, whether through direct mail or email, rarely yield the best results.

Out of the box, Salesforce offers flexible reporting that allows you to build lists of contacts and leads based off of relevant and available criteria, such as where constituents live or the last time they donated. These lists can then be added to campaigns so that your targeted message reaches its intended audience. But what if you want to leverage your existing campaigns to create a segmented list based off of which communications your constituents received from you, or better yet, how they responded? Sure, you could start from scratch in reports, but that isn’t very efficient. Plus, segmenting gets a bit messy when you begin adding multiple inclusion and exclusion criteria based off of campaign and response.

This is an issue that I’ve run into a few times with clients. For instance, a client recently wanted to create an email list of everyone who did not open the last email they sent and exclude everyone who was about to receive their upcoming direct mailing. While this isn’t impossible in reports, it can be difficult to keep the filter logic straight, or to even know which report to start with, especially for non-DBA staff who may not spend much time in Salesforce Reports Luckily, I found Campaign Combiner by Groundwire which allows you to take list segmentation in Salesforce to the next level. With Campaign Combiner, you can build off of your existing campaigns, creating both inclusion and exclusion lists, with just a few clicks and no reports needed.

Campaign Combiner allows you to:

  • Easily copy campaign members from one campaign to a new campaign
  • Merge campaign members from different campaigns into an existing campaign
  • Combine campaign members from different campaigns to create a new campaign
  • Exclude members of existing campaigns from other campaigns

You can also refine your results with additional merge criteria. Perhaps you only want members who appear in every campaign you’re combining, or maybe you want to exclude members of a specific campaign, but only if they have a status of “responded”. With the options in Campaign Combiner, you can take your list segmentation pretty far. However, Campaign Combiner has some limitations that require some creativity and forethought to work around.

Consider this scenario:

You have three campaigns that you ran recently, and you know there is some overlap in the lists. You want to run a forth campaign targeting individuals from the first three campaigns, but you don’t want to include those constituents that were in ALL three original campaigns. You could use Campaign Combiner to create an exclusion list by creating a new campaign that includes constituents who appear in all three campaigns. Then you could create your final campaign by combing your three campaigns and use the exclusion option to remove members that are on your exclusion list.

Since there are so many options with Campaign Combiner, it’s good to map out your segmentation strategy before you get started. This way you can know exactly what steps you need to take to get the final list you want.

If I were making a list of “must have” apps for nonprofit organizations using Salesforce, Campaign Combiner would definitely be at the top of my list. It’s easy to use, provides some great shortcuts for building campaigns, and it’s FREE on the Salesforce Appexchange.

What other Salesforce apps would you add to a “must have” list?

Sarah Lisenbe

About Sarah Lisenbe

Prior to joining Heller, Sarah worked with American Friends of UNRWA where she had the opportunity to play a role in virtually every aspect of nonprofit operations and fundraising. Sarah oversaw their conversion to The Raiser’s Edge and NetCommunity Pro and served as the CRM and CMS administrator and email campaign manager. She has more than four years of experience in development and event planning for local and national nonprofits. Sarah enjoys sharing the lessons she learned implementing the Raiser’s Edge conversion while working at a nonprofit and optimizing CRMs to work seamlessly with available online marketing tools. She has a bachelor degree in science in Political Science from Sam Houston State University and a master degree in arts in International Affairs from American University in Washington, DC. Sarah is also a certified Salesforce Administrator.


  1. Susan Kenna Wright

    I love Campaign Combiner. It adds the one missing peace needed for efficiently creating lists.

  2. Brooke Belott

    Campaign Combiner sounds like a very useful tool! Trying to create segments with reports can involve a lot of complex logic, especially when your criteria involve constituent types, giving levels, recent activities, etc. But regardless of your method, Sarah’s point about mapping out your segmentation strategy ahead of time is key!

  3. Managing recurring or related campaigns can be cumbersome. Thanks for the write-up. This is a great tool to test out.

  4. One of my favorite tools for monitoring data in Salesforce is Field Trip. You can use it to see the percentage of records that a field is being used on any object. It’s very handy to analyze User trends, can help you pinpoint documentation that might need to be updated, and can help you de-clutter page layouts if you find some fields are never used!

  5. Sarah Gray

    Conga! It’s a must-have for generating donor acknowledgements. Unfortunately, it can’t beat Campaign Combiner’s pricing, though…

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