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Collect Data with a Send Log

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • Explain what a send log is and how it is used.
  • Configure an email send log in your account.
  • Enable send logging in your send interactions.

What Is a Send Log?

A send log is a data extension that is created to store specific data about your email sends—beyond the information already stored in tracking. Standard tracking options in Marketing Cloud store email send performance based on a job ID (or a system created ID) at the time of send. You can use a send log to track additional information about the send, based on what matters most to your business. 

Things to Consider

Before you create your send log, confirm that your account has send logging and data extensions configured. Additionally, if you have an Enterprise 2.0 account, determine if you want to have the send log in the enterprise account or in the individual child accounts.  

Enterprise “Parent” Send Log
Business Unit “Child” Send Log
Pros
Good for reporting on emails across business units.
Good for reporting on business unit specific campaigns.
Cons
Can get very large, quickly, therefore it is important to establish a data retention policy.
Doesn’t show a big picture across lines of business.

Send Log Fields

Next, review your current reporting and determine what data is most helpful to have to enhance those reporting options. Review your sendable data extensions and notice commonly used fields. While you can add new fields later to the send log, it is better to add all possible required fields at the beginning, since historical data can’t be added after the send log has been created. 

Email Send Log
Default Data in Template:
  • JobID: The numeric identifier of a traditional 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 to the receiver of the email.
  • TriggeredSendID: The numeric identifier of the triggered send.
  • ErrorCode: Identifies any error found in a send.
Common Custom Fields:
  • Subscriber-level info (email address, subscriber key, anniversary date, and so on)
  • Email or campaign name
  • Internal campaign ID/code
  • Send date (dates added are in UTC-6)
Note

Note

It’s best practice to add 10 or fewer custom fields to the send log.

Create Your Send Log

It’s a great idea to set up your send log before you start sending campaigns—since you can’t add historical data—but that’s not always possible (and that’s okay). Let’s check in with Maggie, Cloud Kicks’s solution architect, to see how she configures the company’s send log. She starts by navigating to the Subscribers tab in Email Studio. Next, she follows these steps. 

Properties

  1. Click Data Extensions and Create.
  2. Select Standard Data Extension method and click OK.
  3. Select Create From Template in the Creation Method dropdown list.
  4. Choose the template called SendLog and click Select.
  5. Enter a name, an external key, and description, if desired.
  6. Leave the checkbox next to Is Sendable? unchecked.
  7. Click Next.

Create a Send Log New Data Extension

Data Retention Policy

  1. Select retention setting to either On or Off.
  2. If on, determine what to delete: Individual Records, All records and data extensions, or All records.
  3. Set the period of time for deletion.
  4. Click Next.
Note

Note

While not required, we strongly recommend you use a data retention policy on your send logs to limit the amount of data stored. Send logs can grow quickly and retaining unneeded amounts of data can cause performance issues.

Fields

  1. Create additional fields for all fields you want recorded in your send log data extension. (Default fields are preadded and uneditable.)
  2. Click Create when finished.

Send log creation screen

Note

Note

To help with data processing, minimize the length of the fields to the size required for the expected data.

Prep Your Messages for Logging

To make the most of your send log, it’s important to ensure your sendable data extensions use the exact same names as the columns in the send log data extension. It can be helpful to create a template that is used for all sends that need to be tracked using the send log. 

Additionally, make sure your emails are enabled for send logging. It’s as easy as checking a box (seriously). Every send, whether from Content Builder, a User-Initiated Send, or a Triggered Email Send interaction, needs to have the checkbox selected for Retain Send Log Data.

Retain Send Log Data checked in Send Email screen

Note

Note

FYI, Content Builder test sends are not recorded on Send Log Data Extensions.

Now that data is flowing into the send log, you can do lots of cool things with this information, including running a query activity within the send log data extension. New to query activities? No problem. You learn more about query activities using SQL in the next unit. 

Resources