Want to add images to your emails with Pardot’s new email template builder?  You need to set up your Salesforce CMS.

Salesforce CMS (Content Management System) hosts all the Pardot email builder images.  In general, Salesforce CMS lets your team create content in a central location and syndicate it to any digital touchpoint.

The start-to-finish process for setting up the email builder is defined in Salesforce > Setup > Email Setup.

This blog only covers the “File Hosting” section for Salesforce CMS (highlighted in red).  At some point, you will need to complete all the steps for a successful install.

Follow the complete set up guide here: Pardot Email Builder – Helpful Set Up Guide

Salesforce Pardot Email Setup

Pay attention to the construction worker below.  He will appear in two places in this blog where many marketers are having trouble.  Carefully reading the steps ensures an easy CMS setup.

construction guy


1. First, ask a few needed questions

Before you start, you need to do a little planning.  These are the five questions to ask your team at the very beginning:

Who needs access to the email builder and CMS?

What do you want to name your CMS workspace?

A workspace is the primary organizing and security principle in CMS.  The workspace holds your images and defines which users are allowed access.  You cannot delete workspaces, but you can rename them. I suggest a name like “Images” or “Email Images.”  More on workspaces here.

Salesforce CMS workspace and channel

What do you want to name your CMS channel?

A channel lets you share content in your CMS workspace with other endpoints.  You can create channels to connect to the Pardot email builder and other destinations like Commerce Cloud, Marketing Cloud, Heroku or other third-party site using APIs. I suggest a channel name like “Pardot”.  More on channels here.

What role do you want to assign your marketers in CMS?

You have two options:

Content Admin – This role has full access to the workspace and can manage contributors, languages and sharing.

Content Manager – This role has full access to the workspace

What language?

You have a choice of 18 different languages.


2. Add a domain to Salesforce

Back to Salesforce > Setup > Email setup.  Select “Manage Domains.”

Salesforce email setup - Hosting a file

Select “Add Domain”

Add a domain

You need to add a specific type of domain. (Remember to pay attention here.)

construction guy

Ask the IT person at your company to create a new subdomain (or domain) with your domain registrar.  An example of a domain registrar is GoDaddy.

The subdomain needs to be configured with the second option:  Salesforce serves the domain over HTTPS, using a Salesforce content deliver network (CDN) partner and a shared HTTPS certificate  (see the big, orange arrow below).

Send the IT person a screenshot from your Salesforce similar to the one below. (The alpha-numeric text after the [domain] is specific to your Salesforce instance.)

For example, in the screenshot below, the field “Domain Name” has a subdomain with a CNAME record pointing to [subdomain].00di0000000gddeeae.live.siteforce.com.

It would look like this: cms.greenkey.com with CNAME cms.greenkey.com.00di0000000gddeeae.live.siteforce.com.

CMS domain setup


Add the correct domain with the needed requirements and hit Save.  Once complete, the domain will go into a “provisioning” status.  (This process takes time.  My first setup took somewhere between one to six hours.)

Once you see a status of “Awaiting Activation,” you can Activate it.

Salesforce CMS Email Builder

You should get a message that says, “Activation was successful.”


3. Create a workspace and channel

Go back to Salesforce > Setup > Email Setup, and select “Open CMS.”

Salesforce CMS Select Channel

Now that you have answers to your planning questions from an earlier step, you can breeze through the CMS set up with the wizard. (High five!) The first step is selecting “Create Workspace.”


CMS setup wizard

Here’s the construction guy reminding you to stop and pay attention again.

construction guy

You still need to add the domain to the channel.  Go to the App Launcher and select CMS Channels.

CMS channel

Choose “Edit” on the right.

Note: If you can’t see the drop-down to choose “Edit,” you need to add a permission set called “Use CMS with Email Templates and Email Content.” (Point #3, User Access on this Email Builder blog.)

edit channel

Select Domain on the left and “Enable Domain.”  Choose the appropriate domain in the dropdown.

channel settings

4. Select a channel to use when designing email content

Go back to Salesforce > Setup > Email Setup and choose “Select Channel.”

CMS select channel

This is the easiest step!  Choose your channel in the dropdown.

select channel for email builder

Done! Now you can add images to your shiny, new CMS workspace!


5. Double-Check

If the CMS is set up correctly, you should be able to select “Salesforce CMS” in the email builder when adding images.  If it’s still grey, something is still missing in the setup. (Often, something is wrong with the domain setup.)

Salesforce CMS Pardot email builder

Nice work!


Construction guy dancing



Other helpful Email Builder blogs:

Pardot Email Content – Sending an Email

Pardot Email Builder – Explore Your Image Hosting Choices

Email Content – See Your Email Metrics