Intro to Marketing Cloud APIs

The Marketing Cloud offers two APIs that share a common authentication mechanism based on OAuth 2:

  • The REST API exposes broader access to Marketing Cloud capabilities.
  • The SOAP API provides comprehensive access to most email functionality.

To use either API, you need a client ID and secret, obtained from Marketing Cloud | Installed Packages. The APIs don't have full parity, and you may need to use both SOAP and REST to accomplish your business goals.

You do not need a Marketing Cloud user to call the APIs, but you do need a Marketing Cloud user when creating an API integration in Installed Packages. The Marketing Cloud user must have the Installed Package | Administer permission.

REST API

The REST API uses JSON request and response bodies and resource endpoints to support multi-channel use. All new Marketing Cloud technologies implement REST API. REST calls are synchronous, with timeout values of 120 for non-tracking operations and 300 seconds for tracking and data retrieve operations. The maximum payload of any call is four megabytes.

Use the REST API for this functionality:

  • Contacts
  • Content Builder
  • Journey Builder
  • Mobile Connect
  • MobilePush
  • Campaigns
  • Triggered Sends (may also use SOAP)

Web Services SOAP API

The SOAP API uses SOAP envelopes to pass information between you and Marketing Cloud. We recommend a limit of no more than 2k per minute for SOAP calls. Support may request your SOAP envelope to troubleshoot issues.

Use the SOAP API for this functionality:

  • Tracking
  • Subscribers and lists
  • Automations
  • Triggered sends (may also use REST)
  • Content
  • Most other email activities