Skip navigation
All Places > Champion Program > Blog
1 2 3 Previous Next

Champion Program

195 posts

As a Marketo admin, your job is to make sure your instance is running in tip-top shape, and it’s important to establish routines to keep your instance healthy. You’ll be done with your Marketo Morning before you’ve drained your coffee cup, and you’ll start your day with a quick pulse on the health of your instance and be able to identify any issues before they get out of control.

 

1. Notifications

 

The notifications tab is on the very left of your top navigation bar, and it is the place you’ll most frequently find issues. Notification types include CRM sync failures, API errors, quarterly idle trigger cleanups, and ad platform sync failures. 

 

Screenshot of Marketo Classic top navigation, with arrow pointing to Notifications tab

 

You’ll want to click into any records that had CRM sync failures, click “Activity Log” and see if  there was a successful “Sync Person Update” action. If not, correct any field validation errors, and re-sync the records with a “Sync to CRM” action. If a large number of Person records all had the same error, select all and sync all of them. Make sure to click on the “View Results” link to confirm that they all synced successfully.

 

Web services errors happen occasionally, and usually resolve themselves. But if you start seeing a pattern of the same errors in high numbers, you can contact Marketo Support and they will tell you which sync user is causing the error. 

 

Screenshot of Marketo notifications web services errors, with error codes and counts

 

Champion Tip: I keep a log of all notifications in a spreadsheet, and when I see a pattern of sync issues, I work with my CRM admin to research and fix the root of the issues.

 

2. Campaign Queue

 

The campaign queue is a bit hidden, but it’s a great way to check on the health of your instance. It gives you a quick snapshot of how the plumbing is running in your instance. To find it, click at the top of your Marketing Activities navigation bar (if you have multiple Workspaces, there is a separate queue for each). 

 

Screenshot of Marketo Classic Marketing Activities, with an arrow pointing to the Campaign Queue

 

Here you’ll see all Smart Campaigns that are running or waiting to run. It’s key to remember that your Marketo has a finite amount of processing power, so if you have too many smart campaigns all trying to run at once, they’re going to get clogged in the queue.

 

Having a full queue is not necessarily an indicator of anything going wrong—if you have just sent out a big email blast, or there is a lot of activity on your website, there will naturally be a lot of activity in Marketo. However, it’s a good idea to scrutinize the active campaigns and see if any one campaign is processing a high volume of person records and preventing other smart campaigns from running. 

 

If you want to learn more, Marketing Rockstar Guides has a detailed explainer on load balancing your campaign queue.

 

Champion Tip: If your campaign queue looks full, take a screenshot, and check it an hour later and compare.

 

3. Salesforce Sync

 

Next, I head over to the Admin section to do a quick check of three key areas of integration. First, I check on my SFDC sync. In the “Integrations” section of Admin, click on the icon for SFDC. On the top right, you’ll see a datetime stamp of when Marketo last synced with SFDC. As a reminder, SFDC sync will update any records that have changed in either platform, and the next sync will start 5 minutes after the last one has completed. If you have a lot of records updating in one platform or the other, your sync may take longer than usual. Spot checking this once a day will help give you an idea of if you have any sync issues that you should investigate.

 

4. Launchpoint

 

Launchpoint is the home for all your non-CRM integrations, whether they’re native Marketo integrations or custom API connections. Give this a quick once-over. Are there any disconnected services that are showing errors? Or is one of your services set to expire and needs to be re-authenticated?

 

5. Web Services

 

Finally, click into Web Services to keep an eye on how many API calls are being made between Marketo and all those API connections you reviewed in steps 3 and 4. You want to ensure that you’re staying well below your daily limit—if you hit your limit, Marketo won’t be able to communicate with any other systems for the rest of the day!

 

First, you’ll see your Daily Request Limit and Requests in the Last 7 Days. Requests in the last 7 days is a nice quick snapshot of a rolling 7 day period. 

 

Screenshot of Marketo API Call Information

 

If you click in to that number of requests, you’ll see a table of the number of calls made by each service over the past week. If anything looks higher or lower than expected, you know where to investigate further.

 

Screenshot of Marketo API calls over the past 7 days

 

Do you have a Marketo Morning routine? Is there anything else that you like to check regularly? Comment below!

We often think of the end of the year as a time of wrapping up and getting ready for the next year. However, the beginning of a new year might be even more suitable for that. The main reason is that lots of processes have to be fully finalized before we can start making adjustments; there are often last-minute campaigns – who didn’t send Happy Holidays emails right before going home? Besides, approaching infrastructural and strategic work is better with a clear mind, refreshed and recharged during the holidays’ break, and a solid understanding of what we want to achieve this year.

 

Generally speaking, the beginning of the year is a kind of reset for marketing operations people. It’s a time to clean up and organize our work for 2020, dig into what was done last year, learn and share the lessons, and make improvements – before jumping into the 2020 fever. It’s so much easier to accomplish before the primary activities are rolled out, so you don’t need to change horses in midstream.

 

What might you look for? How to start the new year to secure the best possible results?

 

  • 2019 Reporting and 2020 Reporting framework.
    Reporting is probably the key task that can’t be done immediately. In many environments, you need to let data “settle down,” ensure that users have enough time to load, update, and tag data before you can start crunching numbers. As a good citizen, you might want your business counterparts to review the reports before they go to upper management. Comprehensive reporting is commonly causing rounds of data cleansing, troubleshooting, and correcting – make sure you allocate enough time for the data prep.
    When reporting, keep track of all the ripples you come across. That might include missing data, double counting (when the same action is logged twice due to non-optimal program setup), duplication, difficulty with tagging, and sorting. That is also a perfect way of diagnosing overall marketing/revenue operations and processes – something less tangible, but super important.
    If that is your first “big” reports, don’t expect them to be perfect, but rather consider this work as finding baselines, gathering key observations that you can develop over time into a robust reporting framework.

  • Setting up goals and KPIs and Roadmap 2020.
    It’s time to finalize your priorities for 2020 and the way you will measure your progress. It is also a useful exercise in expectations management. Think of both measurable results as well as principles your team wants to follow. If you were overwhelmed and overloaded in 2019 – what can you do better this year? What resources do you need? What boundaries do you need to establish, what partnership to develop, new behavior to encourage?
    Depending on the marketing ops’ structure and functions, your KPIs might have neither number of leads, nor sourced opportunity, but instead implementing strategic projects that enable the business to generate that revenue. It's beneficial to think of your KPIs not retrospectively, in terms of activities you usually perform, but rather where you can add the most value, and bring the right focus and priority into your daily routine.
    A roadmap is aiming to translate your strategic goals into tactical plans and milestones, especially in a framework of enhancing Marketo and martech stack. A great example of Marketo Maturity model can be found here.  
    Need some inspiration for 2020 initiatives? Take a look at B2B marketing prediction for 2020 in the CMO blog.

  • CCPA Readiness.
    On Jan 1, 2020, CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act) went into effect, and strictly speaking, your company should have already been ready. Here are a few resources to check your CCPA readiness (DigitalPi Webinar, Champion blog post, Certification Study group post).
    It’s important to note that in 2019, there were a few more state laws enacted - Nevada’s Consumer Privacy Law, New York Privacy Act (the “SHIELD Act”), and Washington State’s Privacy Law. It is evident that consumer privacy is getting high traction with legislators, and we can undoubtedly expect more regulations to come. The main direction is to ensure that business is transparent about the data collection, enable individuals to opt-out from unnecessary data gathering, as well as request personal data to be shared, corrected, and deleted.

  • Archiving.
    Archiving is another big part that often has to wait until all Marketo reporting is done. I find archiving a sort of therapy or symbolic procedure: you finally move on, put away your darlings, and start a new chapter. Also, it gives a good sense of the volume and variety of the work done last year, helps to spot execution related issues (e.g., too many assets were created, but underutilized; programs were set up, but never launched; redundant programs, etc.).
    A few tips on archiving:
    • Keep the same folder structure in the Archived folder as in active folder. When archived, assets are no longer “searchable”, so you do want to keep them as organized and easy to find as possible.
    • Archiving is not stopping your campaigns from running. Ensure deactivating trigger campaigns and recurrent campaigns, turning off your engagement programs.
    • Unapprove landing pages and consider deleting forms. The challenge with the forms is that once approved, there is no way to unapprove a form, so technically, you might unapproved all landing pages, but an old and non-compliant form can be out there, embedded in a web page.
    • Multiple LP deleting and unapproving tips are here.
    • If you are using Revenue Explorer, archiving is hiding your programs from it. However, in Marketo analytics, you can pick both active and archived assets.

  • Center of Excellence / Admin Set Up Review. 
    Remember the hurdles you struggled with when pulling reports? This is the time to prevent them from happening again. What would make you reporting much easier in 12 months from now?
    • Program and Asset Naming convention
      Program names should be reportable, searchable and sortable. The more consistent and logical they are, the better it works for Boolean rules of reports and smart lists. Not only programs might have naming convention, but also landing pages, forms, images, etc.
    • Program Statuses and Tags
      Look for non-used or obsolete tags, and hide them. At the same time, think if you need to add any new tags, especially in the case of reorganization, new units/products/geos/teams, etc.
    • Folder structure
      Create a new folder structure for 2020 before someone else starts creating random folders. At the same time, it’s very helpful if your folders follow a general usability principle, so frequent Marketo users should be able to navigate and find programs without extensive search. Normally, a folder tree is organized very similar to the way Marketo users are organizing their work (by team, geo, product line, channel), while grouping programs by month or quarter.
    • Users and roles review
      You can extract a list of users, check the last logins, licenses that never were used, users that need to be deleted. Do not be afraid of deleting a user – their activity will still be kept for your reference, but you have your user list cleaner and shorter.

 

  • Data Management.
    It’s an excellent time for database cleaning, auditing, removing obsolete records, as well looking into data processes and defining the next steps for improving data integrity. What you might look for:
    • Database audit – identifying and quantifying main categories of your data, as well as data completeness and validity. You can create standard reports and only refresh and update your spreadsheet or dashboard. Also, collect all oddities for further investigation. It’s handy to have one at the beginning of the year so you can track the data dynamics, and potentially, demonstrate your input.
    • Data management campaigns review – going back to your reporting and data audit: whatever doesn’t make sense, what creates data noise or even exposes your company to any legal risk – go ahead and adjust your DM campaigns. Whenever possible, document your data processes for your reference, as well as sharing with your team.

  • Marketo user training.
    Depending on the scale of your organization, you might need to have a formalized process of getting new Marketo users up to speed, as well as having regular upskill training and communications. It is important not only to learn the Marketo platform but get familiar with the processes and operations of your marketing organization. If you have consultants or agencies working in Marketo, include them in onboarding and training – they need to understand your business and environment, and how it’s all supported by the marketing ops.

  • Plan on your own training and development. What conferences and events do you plan to attend, which classes to take? The marketing automation and operations are evolving so frenetically, constant learning, reading, and following are not optional. If possible, consider attending the Adobe Summit – “Superbowl” for Marketo users with intensive agenda. Don’t forget your local Marketo User Groups. Also, think of not only attending but also speaking at events – that is the best way to get very deep in the topic, explore it, get feedback, and ideas around it. Getting or renewing certifications, signing up for new courses, committing to learn a few new skills – you’d better plan this ahead.

  • Finally, Copyright update to 2020. You have it done long ago, right?

The new year is a great time to think about adding capacity to your team, and it’s often easier to get budget to hire a consultancy than to hire in-house. Bringing in outside help is a great way to add capacity to your team, tackle complex projects, and get access to a team of experts. However, hiring consultants is no different than hiring employees—you need to find a partner that fits your team’s needs. And just like managing employees takes time, managing consultants also takes time. Here are my top 10 tips for hiring Marketo pros.

 

1. How long has the company been working in Marketo?

You want to hire a team with extensive experience in not just marketing operations but Marketo specifically. If they’ve only recently expanded into supporting Marketo, they’re not going to have the internal resources to support you on complex projects or tricky issues.

 

2. Who will be assigned to your account?

At a minimum, your consultant should be a Marketo Certified Expert several times over. If they’ve been at this for a while, expect that they have been certified as a Marketo Certified Solutions Architect. You can check their credentials at the Marketo Certified Professional Locator. Bonus points if they are a current or former Marketo Champion.

 

3. How many team members do they have that are Marketo pros?

One of the biggest advantages to using a consulting agency is that you have access to not just your assigned consultant but also their colleagues. If your assigned expert is the only Marketo pro at their company, you’re at a disadvantage because they don't have internal resources to lean on when they run into something new or tricky.

 

4. Do they build everything from scratch or import templates?

An experienced consultancy brings their own best practices to your marketing organization and your Marketo instance, including their road-tested Program Templates and common operational Programs. They can import their customizable Programs in your instance and tweak them for your needs, saving a ton of time (and billable hours) and reducing errors.

 

5. How do they structure the SOW, and do you understand it?

There’s no right or wrong way to put together a Statement of Work, but you want to make sure it works for your company’s needs—and that is has the information that your Finance team needs to approve it. Make sure to drill down into the details to understand exactly what’s included in the project so there are no surprises down the road. If they prefer to do a retainer-based SOW, it should outline priority projects with projected timelines. They should also be sending you weekly or fortnightly updates on how you’re progressing through projects and billable hours.


6. Can they pivot when needs change?

Even the most well-structured SOWs will fall by the wayside when your company’s needs shift. You want to work on projects that are going to move the needle. Ask about their flexibility to shift priorities as business needs change.

I’ve seen this kind of flexibility structured in several ways. Some companies will have very structured project-based SOWs but also a bucket of flex hours that can be added to those projects or used for ad-hoc requests. Some operate on a monthly retainer model and can quickly change gears as needed. I personally prefer the latter, but it can be harder to get approved by Finance.

 

7. How do they communicate and how responsive are they?

You need to make sure that their communication style works for you. Find out how easy it is for them to schedule meetings—if you have to wait several days to get on their calendar for an urgent issue, your progress will be slowed. Bonus points if they use Calendly or another self-service scheduling app, which reduces the dreaded email chain.

If your company relies heavily on Slack, consider getting approval to add your consultant as a Guest in your Workspace so you can have quick chats instead of long email threads.

 

8. Can they meet your security requirements?

The last thing you want is to go through the vetting process and pick a great partner only to get roadblocked by your own internal team. Work with your Information Security and Legal teams to find out what their process is for vetting third-parties and what their requirements are (background checks, encrypted computers, etc.), and make sure the partner can meet those requirements.

 

9. Do they have references for clients that are similar to your team?

Ask to talk to happy clients—and here’s the key—whose organizations are similar to yours. If they’re much larger or smaller or have different needs, you may not get a good feel for how the consultancy will work for your organization.

 

10. What is the escalation policy and out clause?

Hopefully, if you follow steps 1-9, you’ll pick a partner that’s a great fit for your business. But you should always prepare for the worst so that you can right the ship if things go astray. What’s their internal policy for escalating issues? And will they put an out clause in the contract in case you decide that they’re not a good fit for your organization?


Whether you’re looking for a team to handle your Marketo implementation, need help on specific projects, or just need some extra highly-skilled hands, hopefully these tips will give you a framework for finding a great partner for your team.

Do you have plans to add consultants to your team in the new year? Any tips or pitfalls you want to share? Comment below!

When stepping into an admin role in an unfamiliar instance, the most important first step is to understand how that instance is set up. This post walks through the admin section of a Marketo instance and points out some best practices and red flags to look for as you start to audit your inherited instance.

 

Reviewing the Admin Section

Once you’ve logged into Marketo, click on the “Admin” tab at the top of the screen to find the Admin Settings. The easiest way to check on these settings is to work your way down the list.

Admin Section

What To Look For

Tips

Users & Roles

·       Which roles are there and what are the permissions? 

·       Are there users in there that shouldn’t have access?

·       Are there employees who should have access but don’t?

You can create custom roles with high levels of granular permissioning. If you do, be sure to add descriptions so it’s easy to understand the purpose of that role.

Workspaces & Partitions

  • Are your workspaces partitioned or do you employ a shared database?
  • How is the data in each of these spaces controlled?

Smart Campaign Settings

  • Is there a limit set on the number of leads that users in your instance can run through a batch campaign?

Setting this can help prevent accidental sends to the entire database (yes, it’s happened before)! 

Email Settings

  • Is SPF/DKIM set up? If not, partner with a member of your IT team and learn more about the setup process on the Marketo Product Docs.
  • If SPF/DKIM are set up, are they set up correctly? Be sure to double check for typos!

You can test your deliverability with third party tools like Litmus or Email On Acid and ensure you’re passing spam checks.


Want to improve your deliverability even further? Consider setting up your DMARC! If you haven’t heard of DMARC, check out this
blog post to learn more.

Communication Limits

  • Are there communication limits set? If not, it’s a great idea to establish limits to ensure you don’t over-email your database.

Tags

  • Which tags, channels, and statuses do you have? Are they being used? 
  • Do you have success statuses properly noted?

Having your tags and channels properly in place will help you effectively use out-of-the-box reports like Program Performance Report and add-ons like Opportunity Influence Analyzer

Field Management

  • How many fields exist in your instance? To find this, click Export Field Names. This will download an Excel file with SOAP API, REST API, and Friendly Label field names.
  • How many fields are actually being used in your instance? To find out whether a field is in use, click into the field and check the Field Used By line.
  • Are there any fields currently in your CRM that need to be synced to Marketo? Are there any fields in Marketo that need to be synced to your CRM?
    Note: Keep in mind that it’s recommended to add new fields to Salesforce CRM first and have it automatically sync to Marketo. If you have a field in Marketo that needs to be added to Salesforce, you’ll need to reach out to Marketo Support and provide them with the API and Friendly Label names.

·  Tip: Any changed info in a synced field is synced over regularly. If you have a lot of fields being changed constantly, it can slow down your sync, so it’s a good idea to audit all your Salesforce and Marketo fields and check to see what needs to be synced and what can be skipped over.

·  Tip: In some cases, Marketo Support can export a list of the 50 most updated fields in your instance. This can help you determine whether the fields that are taking processing power to update are actually being used in your marketing programs. 

·  Tip: You can only change the field type on a custom field that is NOT in use. For example, if you’re trying to change a field from a string field to a boolean field, you’ll need to go to each program that’s using that field, remove the field from those programs, make the change to the field, and add it back into your programs.

CRM

  • Are you on the native connector, a custom connector, or a third party data connector? 

Sales Insight 

  • Do the scoring systems make sense?
  • Are there any Email add-in licenses issued?

Landing Pages

  • Do you have a Fallback page and a Homepage set up? If not, any failed links will go to the default Marketo 404 page (which, admittedly, is pretty rad). 
  • Is your instance set up with SSL certification for both LPs and forms? if you don’t know, contact your CSM or Customer Care (customercare@marketo.com) and check out this Marketo Product Doc.

Munchkin

  • Make sure you have the Munchkin code set up on your site so you can track lead activity. Not sure how to do that? Check out the Marketo Developer Docs.

Web Services

  • How many APIs are making calls against your instance per day? Are you close to your daily limit?
    Note: The API Call Information provided here is only for REST API calls. Marketo no longer supports SOAP API. Find out more on the Marketo Developer Docs.

Launchpoint

  • Which Launchpoint integrations are set up, if any? Are any set to expire?
  • Are there any tools that are no longer in use that you should clean up?

If you have any social media pages connected to Marketo, make sure you’re using a general email address for the company and NOT a personal email address. Otherwise, you’ll lose access to that integration if the person who owns that email address leaves the company.

Treasure Chest

  • All the features here have a use and a function. Read the description of each to determine if it is a fit for your organization.

 

What interesting things have you seen in your admin settings? 

Are you stepping into a currently running Marketo instance with no documentation in sight? There are a lot of helpful resources in your Marketo instance, on your Marketo support team, and within your own team that you can reach out to for insight into what exactly is going on in your inherited Marketo instance. 

 

Inside Marketo

There are some great resources right in your Marketo instance that you can dig into.

 

The Campaign Inspector can give you insights into which trigger and batch campaigns are currently running in your instance. If the Campaign Inspector is not turned on, you can enable it in the Admin section under Treasure Chest.

 

The Admin section is also filled with ways to see what is currently set up and running in your inherited instance. You can look into Custom Services, Additional Integrations, Users/Roles and more. Brooke Bartos has a great post all about Navigating and Auditing the Admin Space.

 

Adobe Status Page

The Adobe Status page is a great place to learn about current issues Marketo is experiencing including minor issues, maintenance events, and more. Check on Adobe Marketo Engage under the Experience Cloud tab to find a timeline with status updates. Be sure to subscribe to updates by clicking on Manage Subscriptions in the upper right hand corner so you’re always kept up-to-date on all the important issues that could face your Marketo instance.

 

Marketo Customer Service Representative

There’s a couple of key Marketo contacts that can be key in helping you dive a little deeper into your specific Marketo instance. Your Customer Service Representative can answer many important questions about what’s been purchased (including any add-ons), your database limits, key contacts at your account, and can also help set-up any additional training for your or your team. To find out who your Marketo contact is, email the Customer Care Team at customercare@marketo.com.

 

Marketo Support

Make sure you’re an authorized Support contact either on your own or by contacting Marketo Support. Marketo Support can also provide insight on previous cases your organization had submitted which can shed light on where potential issues may lie. They can also share who else is an authorized Support contact at your organization and you can add them to your list of internal stakeholders to contact. 

 

Internal Teams

Perhaps your greatest resource when diving into an inherited Marketo instance is your own internal team. Whether or not you have a large Marketo team, there are several resources within your own organization that can give you insight into what is happening in your Marketo instance.

 

Web Development Team

●     Are the proper security protocols in place, such as SPF, DKIM, and DMARC?

●     Is Munchkin Code implemented on your website?

Marketing Team

●    Does the team use any tokenized Program templates or a Center of    Excellence?

●     What is the campaign creation process (including intake and quality assurance/testing)?

●     What on-going campaigns are running in Marketo?

CRM Admin

      ●     What’s syncing between your CRM and Marketo?

●     What is the CRM structure (Leads vs. Contacts, Accounts, Opportunities)?

●     Are add-on features integrated (e.g. MSI, Sales Connect, etc.)?

●     What other data sources are connected to the CRM?

●     Are there other parts of the tech stack?

Sales Team

●     What is the Lead Qualification process including lead scoring, hand-off, and SLAs?

●     What is the Lead Lifecycle?

●     What are Sales’ expectations of Marketo?

●     Who are the key Sales stakeholders?

Leadership

●     What was the motivation behind implementing Marketo?

●     What are important KPIs/metrics?

●     Who are the upper-level stakeholders (who are they, who should you contact, etc.)?

●     What are the business goals for Marketo?

 

By setting up a series of fact-finding meetings with the appropriate internal stakeholders, you’ll begin to shed light on everything at work in your Marketo instance. Ashley Langford’s blog on starting in a new instance has great pointers for the questions you should ask in these meetings.

 

What are your go-to resources when you come into a new instance with no documentation? What key stakeholders do you turn to for help?

Kia ora community

 

I'd like to introduce you to a little passion project that Josh Pickles and I have been working on over the course of the year - The Automation Geeks!

 

Josh & I are both total Marketo geeks who spend a lot of our spare time running the Auckland User Group, hanging out, and just generally nerding out about the system & marketing automation best practice. We've set up TAG to give us a way to share some of it with the wider community!

 

 

Check out our channel to see what we've been doing so far...

 

We're #superpumped to release this little passion project into the wild - we'll be posting new videos on the regular and would LOVE your input on what topics we should cover

 

Enjoy!

Honey I Shrunk the Kids was one of my favorite movies growing up. It’s all about surviving in a new environment, while working together to solve a problem. While it can seem daunting to jump into an unfamiliar or new Marketo instance, here are 5 easy steps to start to review your new instance in an effective and efficient way.

 

 

 

 

STEP 1: Communication is Key

 

When you join a new company, you should get to know who you’ll be spending 40 hours a week with every week for the foreseeable future. It’s also a good way to get a lay of the land and understand everyone else’s expectations of Marketo. I like to set up 1x1s with various team members throughout the organization focusing on Marketing & Sales. Have a conversation with them, but don’t interrogate them. Try setting up a lunch with a member of your team and having a true conversation. Conversations should look like a ping pong match. Just like in ping pong you’ll want the conversation going back and forth over the net.

 

Sample questions to ask:

-What do you most enjoy about working on/with the marketing team?

-How have you succeeded in your role?

-What are some landmines I should avoid?

 

Try this: Try to ask people the same set of questions. By doing this you can identify prevalent views, and avoid being swayed by the first or the loudest person you talk to. Once you’ve gathered your data you’ll be able to plot all the pain points you’ve uncovered during your interviews and your own investigations in the instance. Listen for common pain points.

 

 

STEP 2: Plotting Pain Points

Once you've gathered your information from your Interviews you can plot all of those pain points and others that you’ve uncovered through your own findings and group them into common themes. I like to organize them by larger digestible categories such as Database, Data Management & Campaigns.ase

 

                                                                                                 

Governance

Lead Management

· XX% of Marketo is unmarketable
· No Test naming convention

· Lack of documentation of campaign process and tool usage

· List import process is challenging and not saleable

· Lead Source isn’t tracked

Campaigns

Salesforce

Reporting

· Lack of nurture programs

· Inconsistent building process due to lack of templates

· Zero visibility in SFDC fields

· Marketo has Read Only Access to certain fields

· Lack of top of funnel reporting

 

STEP 3: Test your own Instance

 

A quick way to figure out what has been set up in your instance is to test your forms on various pages. I always start by testing the Contact Us page. First fill out the form, then check the Marketo Activity Log of the record that was tested and see what happens.

You’ll be able to see all the campaigns that have been triggered by your actions and dig deeper into them. The campaigns are linked on the right-hand side of the activity log  so you can easily jump straight to the right place in your Marketo instance to investigate.

 

 

Next go ahead and download some content. Try this with both new records that aren’t in the system and your own record that is in the system. See what happens: how does Marketo process the record? 

 

Try this: I always test new records in Incognito mode. This will make sure cookies aren't carried over.

 

 

STEP 4: Review Program Templates

 

How were programs built previously? Does the instance have a center of excellence or program templates to clone? Or is everything in the system built from scratch? You should be able to uncover the process flow from the interviews that you conducted earlier.

 

If your instance does have program templates, take a closer look at them. How are they set up? Do they use tokens? What do your campaign flows look like? If you are using embedded forms are you making sure you have an acquisition program? you overwriting lead source? Are you listening for any UTMs? Do all your tokens populate?

 

Some of these items can be caught from our earlier tests on the contact us and web content download pages.

 

Try this: I think of tokenized programs as Mad Libs. Do you remember that game from childhood, where you fill in blanks with certain types of words and you create a crazy story? Same concept, but real information and they’ll help you create a crazy fast program. After that you can clone one of the program templates and play mad libs with all of your predetermined values.

 

 

Did you get the result you thought you were going to get? If not rework the template, fix and test. Testing is your best friend in this situation. The goal is to be able to build a program in 15-30 minutes.

 

STEP 5: Quick & Dirty Tips

 

Tip 1: Standardized Test Records

 

Use a test record format to easily differentiate test records from live data. You'll be able to easily find and delete them as well. 

                                                                                                                     

First

Last

Email

Company

altest10012019-01

Test

altest08052019-01@test.com

Test

altest10012019-02

Test

altest08052019-02@test.com

Test

altest10012019-03

Test

altest08052019-03@test.com

Test

 

Tip 2: Phone Number formatting Using Mask Input

 

Using the Mask Input feature in your forms will help you standardize how your data is coming in. Here’s how to use this in Marketo:

-On your form, set the phone number field type to text

-Set Mask to desired format type. For example: (999) 999-9999 

-Now when anyone fills out that form, it will appear in the format you built. 

 

Tip 3: “Used By” Feature

The “Used By” feature in Marketo is a hidden gem, and doesn’t always get noticed. In the summary view of an asset or field, you can easily identify where an asset or a field is used in the Marketo instance. This can be very helpful when retiring or cleaning up fields or unapproving assets, since you can’t unapproved an asset that is being used somewhere. But remember, this isn’t all encompassing. Remember if you are embedding forms on your website the used by feature will not show that the form is in use.

 

Moving to a new instance can be scary, but change can also be empowering. With these tips, you’ll be able to make a quick, thoughtful impact in your new company. You got this! 

 

If you’re just getting started with Marketo it’s easy to put folders and naming conventions in place, but even if your existing instance is a mess, you can still use these tips and tricks to get organized. You might have folders that don’t make sense or vague campaign names, but you can follow these steps to help add structure to Marketo, no matter what stage you’re at in your usage.

 


 

FOLDER STRUCTURE

Start by thinking about how your business is structured and how it makes sense to group your campaigns for your folder structure. Depending on the complexity of your business, you may have only a handful of folders or 100s.

 

Think as granular as you can – is it by Business Unit or Department? In our case we have a few high-level folders for Central Marketing, Product Marketing, Platform Marketing, etc. and a more granular breakdown within that.

 

Then think by time frame to break it down even further. It makes sense for us to break the year into two key parts – Spring and Fall – since we work with higher education institutions and that’s how our campaign seasons run. Depending on your company and the amount of campaigns you’re going, it might make sense to categorize on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis.

 

Here is an example of one of our folders and the internal structure:

 

We also have two other key folders within each of these main folders:

  • Archive Folder - By breaking out the year into sections, it’ll make it easier to find your campaigns and archive them as they are completed. Click here to learn more about how to archive your folders.
  • On-Going Folder – We keep an on-going folder to separate those campaigns that are always running like website forms, landing pages and reporting.

 

PROGRAM NAMING CONVENTIONS

Think about how Program Naming conventions can work with your folder structure.

 

First, make sure your naming conventions are easily searchable and identifiable. A Program named “Sale Campaign” probably won’t jog your memory if you have to go back and search for it. But one called “CM19F – End of Year Close Out Sale” will help you find when it was created and what it’s about.

 

For our naming conventions, we use the same Business Unit and Time Period from our folder name, along with the Campaign Name used when it’s submitted.

 

  • Example: CM19F – Back-to-School Instructor Campaign

 

You could also add specific codes to your naming conventions to identify certain types of emails or even exclude certain emails from your reporting:

 

  • “AR” for auto-responder
  • “EM” for a standard email
  • “OPER” for an operational email

 

If you want to have more advanced naming conventions including things like region, channel, etc. you could also use a Google Sheet or Microsoft Excel document with formulas to input your campaign values and have your Program name generated.

 

How are you using Folders and Naming Conventions? Share your ideas and best practices in the comments!

As a Marketing Operations Manager, you’ve probably found yourself in a situation where your CMO says “we need to do this now – make it happen”. “This” could be anything from a specific task to a more strategic initiative, often with little direction. Either way, our job as MOPs Managers is to efficiently execute these tasks that come bubbling down from our leadership and roll them out effectively.

 

So what does it really take from an operational perspective to roll out a strategic marketing initiative in a marketing automation tool like Marketo?

 

I asked some of our 2019 Marketo Champions to get their thoughts on the matter and have put together 10 examples of strategic marketing initiatives and what a Marketo Champion recommends to do about them.

 

Take a look and let us know what you think!

 

Marketing Strategy #1: Ensure Marketing & Sales alignment for passing on lead assignment/follow up.

Marketo Tip #1: Create operational programs that assign the leads that enter your system to SDRs or Sales Reps based on geography / demographic behavior, based on department / role, or even better, based on their specific request or entry source. There are hundreds of options, but pick one to start out with and build from there.

Contributor: Chloe Pott

 

Marketing Strategy #2: Be an inbound marketing “machine” & attract new names in a short amount of time. Be able to quickly turn around the launch of a new piece of content once it is ready for promotion.

Marketo Tip #2: Template, template, template! Template emails, template programs, template flow steps and even smart lists. Add relevant tokens to all programs and emails so that when new content is ready to be promoted, your MOPs team can roll it out the door in minimal turnaround time by simply cloning the appropriate template and editing it to fit the new initiative.

Contributor: Chloe Pott

 

Marketing Strategy #3: Communicate only with our most engaged leads to improve deliverability and potential blacklisting.

Marketo Tip #3: Create a “Last Activity Date” field so you can timestamp important activities, filter on interesting moments, and set up bounce management campaigns to monitor deliverability. Using these in combination will help determine who’s active and suppress anyone who’s not.

Contributor: Jenn DiMaria

 

Marketing Strategy #4: Only emailing people who are compliant.

Marketo Tip #4: Set up a mailability segmentation. Segmentations process faster than nested smart lists (which are used in OTHER smart lists) and help eliminate human error. Just drag in your “Mailable” segment to help save Marketo time when it processes undesirable contacts from your email blasts.

Contributor: Jenn DiMaria

 

Marketing Strategy #6: Target your customers with the right content and messaging.

Marketo Tip #6:  Create customer/prospect segmentations based on your business model. This effort allows you to develop dynamic content in your emails and on your landing pages to create a personalized experience for your prospects and customers.  A side benefit is that segments process more quickly than smart lists and provide a more accurate view into your contact database. Most companies that implement dynamic content and messaging see significant results and return in generating business (leads and closed-won).

Contributor: Trent Cross

 

Marketing Strategy #5: Track lead attribution from quarter to quarter.

Marketo Tip #5: Have a Last Touch UTM set of fields (most recent), as well as a First Touch (UTM values existing on person creation) and a Multi-Touch (concatenating history) set of fields to record information on leads who have interacted with campaigns containing UTM parameters. The Multi-Touch field will be especially important in reporting if you don’t have a 1:1 for your marketing campaigns to a Marketo Program or SFDC Campaign, but still want to see who has a field containing that value and who opened an Opportunity around that product prior to campaign launch in order to attribute revenue credit. 

Contributor: Brooke Bartos

 

Marketing Strategy #7: Ensure your data is accurate and clean up bad or missing data.

Marketo Tip #7:  Create and build data management smart campaign batch programs that run on a daily basis to correct, update, and include data to ensure your database has accurate values. Examples include standardizing country abbreviation, language codes, name capitalization, and many other similar items without a 3rd party tool.

Contributor: Trent Cross

 

Marketing Strategy #8: Track success based on campaigns

Marketo Tip #8: When setting up campaigns, ensure that you are using the correct campaign progression statuses and that you’re recording those statuses in Marketo and your CRM.  You must also make sure that your ‘success’ statuses are added too. Do you want to call someone who registers for a webinar a ‘success’ or someone who attends? Or both?  However you set it up in Marketo you need to make sure that the campaigns correspond correctly in your CRM and that the same statuses are successes too.

Contributor: Julz James

Marketing Strategy #9: Improve alignment around the sales-marketing handoff.

Marketo Tip #9: Ensure that you have spent time with Sales to find out their process and make sure that the leads you’re passing over to them are relevant to their needs. There is nothing worse than MOPs created tons of MQLs for Sales to just reject them all. Work with Sales to understand what is a good quality lead for them - they will have the best understanding of what type of leads are converting. The more in-depth the definition of an MQL from Sales, the better quality leads you can deliver.

Contributor: Julz James

 

Marketing Strategy #10: Drive more marketing campaigns faster across a larger marketing team.

Marketo Tip #10: Creating canned Center of Excellence (CoE) programs and reports will keep your instance clean and consistent, and it will make processes easier if there are multiple Marketo users. Create a folder or workspace for a CoE and have the most commonly created programs in that area with the proper tokens, email modules in the emails, LP variables and form fields so when it is cloned, every program is aligned the same way and executed the same way. Make sure to have that go-to point person in your organization to ask questions so all answers are consistent. This will eliminate a lot of headaches in the future and make your instance beautiful.

Contributor: Chelsea Kiko

The Marketo-Qualtrics Integration provides a great framework for sending your survey invites out of Marketo, tracking the results as custom activities in Marketo, and triggering Marketo campaigns off those responses.

 

SET THE GROUNDWORK

Before you get started there’s some key components that need to be set-up in Marketo and Qualtrics. Follow the steps in the Marketo Integration Basic Overview to set-up the integration, create a new API user, and more.

 

SEND YOUR SURVEY INVITES

Once the integration is set-up, you can start Sending Invites Through Marketo. By sending your survey invitations through Marketo you ensure the email observes your communication limits and all opt-out regulations are followed.

 

As a part of this process you can set-up personal links for your survey. This allows you to embed certain Marketo fields as Embedded Data within the personalized URL and send it behind the scenes to the Qualtrics survey. This means you no longer need to waste precious survey fields on information you already have like:

 

  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Company Name
  • Email Address

 

 

SET UP CUSTOM ACTIVITIES

In addition to sending your survey with Marketo, you are also able to set-up Custom Activities in Marketo to store your survey results in Marketo. This allows for your complete survey results to get pushed into Marketo and you can trigger additional actions off the completion of the survey or a specific answer.

 

TRIGGERING CAMPAIGNS BASED ON RESULTS

Think about how you can use your survey results to provide the customer with a better experience:

 

  • Is there something you can alert Sales or the survey owner of?
  • Is there additional information you can provide the customer?
  • Are there other ways you want to provide sales feedback based off the results?
  • How can you use the information for future campaigns?

 

There are three filters you can use in your Smart List:

 

Here are some ways you might use your survey data in Marketo:

 

Send Alert

Send an automated alert to Sales or the survey owner to let them know of an account that may need attention or an answer that may need specific follow-up.

 

Send the Customer Additional Information

Based on a customer’s response, you can send them an additional email with more information or enter them into a specific marketing campaign catered to their needs.

 

Add Information to Salesforce

If a customer’s response doesn’t require action, you can add an Interesting Moment to SFDC or push them to a specific Salesforce Campaign, which will allow the rep to see that someone completed the survey as a part of their activity with your campaigns.

 

Segment for Future Campaigns

You can use the information on the customer’s survey for future campaigns. This could be as simple as sending anyone who completed a survey a specific email or capturing the answer to a specific question to build a list of customers based on that interest.

Hitting that big "launch" button can be a scary thing to do. I've sent a lot of email campaigns in my time, but I still get a bit of that big-red-button-anxiety bit each time. What if I've misspelt something horrendously? What if the links break? What if the world explodes?

 


Well, the good news for starters: no mistake you make in an email will cause the world to explode. So don't put that on your head. Most mistakes are also mistakes you can recover from - there's plenty of great examples out there of companies bouncing back from mistakes in ways that are actually quite endearing.

 

BUT. Ideally you don't want to have to bounce back - you want to avoid making those mistakes in the first place. How do you do that? Pre-launch checklists. But the trick is that a lot of the time you don’t know what to check for until you've made a mistake with that thing (ugh). So - rather than learning from only your mistakes, it's helpful when you can learn from everyone else's, too.

 

What you need to know about checklists

Fortunately, I've made a lot of mistakes! And here's a few key things I've learned…

  • Yes, pre-launch checklists are a time investment. If you’re not doing them now, it will add time to your process. And it’ll take users a while to get used to them.
  • But, they’re a great training tool. Having pre-launch checks in place forces users to check their work, and - more importantly - understand it. As they get familiar with the process, they’ll be better able to avoid mistakes before they happen, because they’re training themselves to look out for them.
  • Which actually makes pre-launch checklists a time saver. Once you’ve invested the time to set them up, and users have invested the time to get to know the process, the checklists often take very little time to fill out, and less frequently reveal errors - because users become more accurate through the practice of using them. 

 

The Ultimate Pre-Launch Checklist

 

So here’s the goods.

 

Over the years, I’ve cobbled together every mistake I’ve made, or seen someone else make, and used it to form a pretty comprehensive checklist. And I’ve pooled details from other champs to help make sure I haven’t missed anything (big thanks to Joe Reitz, Natalie Kremer, Jessica Kao, Amber Hobson and Marketo's own Meghana Rao!).

 

Obligatory disclaimer


This is not a short checklist - if it was, it wouldn’t be the ultimate checklist.
I am not recommending that you make your users go through this whole thing every time. Most people will not need every piece of the checklist, and no one should ever need every piece of it every time. That would be a bit insane. 

 

So here’s the general idea:

  • Use what’s relevant, ignore/delete what’s not, and customise it for your needs: in general (e.g. don’t have revenue cycle modeler? Delete those steps), and in specific cases (e.g. program doesn’t have a form? Ignore that section this time).
  • Set your requirements: being clear about what answer is acceptable at any point helps users understand why you’re asking these questions.
  • Two is better than one: in an ideal world, the person who built the program should never be the only person who reviews it - sometimes it’s also good for them not to be the ones who launch it. Building programs can be a deep process - and sometimes a bit of distance is key to spotting issues. 
  • Check as you go: don’t roll through a checklist and tick things off by memory - memory is fallible, and (generally) flattering. Need to confirm the channel is correct? Look, then check it off. Assets approved? Look, then check it off. Always check!
  • Leave the last steps to last: the last steps ask you to repeat some key checks - for a reason. Sometimes things need to be changed along the way - and whenever something changes, there is a possibility that a mistake was made. The last steps should always be checked over just before you hit send!

Got it? Good. Here you go then!

 

Key Details and Planning

Check

Builder Review

Peer Review

Requirement

1

Program type: Is it appropriate?

(e.g., if Engagement program, is it logical? if Default, is it logical?)

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes. If you cannot answer this question with a yes you may need to change your program type (see Programs - Marketo Docs - Product Documentation )

2

Channel: Is the channel appropriate? Do the Channel Steps (a.k.a. program statuses) support the program's success management?

(e.g., if set up as a newsletter, does this make sense and do the program statuses support the purpose of the program, or are you trying to twist something pre-existing but not suitable?)

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes. If you cannot answer this question with a yes, you will need to either change your channel or discuss the creation of a new one with a system admin. (see Understanding Tags - Marketo Docs - Product Documentation)

3

Program Naming Convention: Is this set following your naming conventions correctly?

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes. If you cannot answer this question with a yes, or aren't sure, review your naming conventions and if necessary, update the name of your program.

4

Period Cost: Has the program had a cost assigned?

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes. If you cannot answer this question with a yes, add a period cost in (even if it's just zero! - see Understanding Period Costs - Marketo Docs - Product Documentation)

5

Success: Has the program's objective and success metric been clearly identified? Do you know how you're going to measure it? Is it being marked with a program status change?

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes. If you cannot answer this question with a yes, you will not have an easy means of understanding whether your campaign had any impact identify what your primary objective is, and then a means of measuring it - even if it's a manual list import after 7 days!

6

Audience: Has the program's audience been clearly identified?

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes. If you cannot answer this question with a yes... well you're not sending. So find out!

7

Tokens: Have all required program tokens been updated?

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes or N/A. If you can't answer with a yes, or don't know whether it applies, check your program tokens tab and see whether the program contains any local tokens that need to be updated. (See Understanding My Tokens in a Program - Marketo Docs - Product Documentation)

 

Web Personalisation Campaigns

Check

Builder Review

Peer Review

Requirement

1

Design: Is the design consistent with the brand?

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes. If you cannot answer this with a yes you either need a good reason for it or you need to redesign it.

2

Testing: Has it been tested across devices? browsers? Does it both render cleanly and function?

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes. If you cannot answer with a yes you should test this.

3

Data: If there is a form in the campaign, has the form been tested?
Do all triggers flow as expected? Do all form fields map accurately? Can you prove this, having checked a lead record's activity log - not just the fields?

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes. If you cannot answer with a yes you should test this.

4

Tracking: If you have a form in the campaign, are hidden UTM fields in place to track sources of submissions? Have these been tested?

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes or no. If answering no, understand that your ability to track what sources directed people to this form will be more limited.

5

GDPR/CASL Compliance: If data is captured through the form, is the opt in compliant and do you provide collection statement w/functioning Privacy Policy link?

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes. Know your relevant compliance environment: if you cannot answer this question with a yes, you need to update to ensure it is compliant. If you do not know, seek appropriate advice.

6

GA Integration: Is your Web Personalisation integrated with Google Analytics?

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes or no. If answering no, understand that your ability to track what web personalisation impact will be more limited.

7

Segments: Is the segment chosen appropriate, and does it apply to the right domains? Is the segment being sent to GA?

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes. If you cannot answer with a yes you'll need to update it.

 

Landing Pages

Check

Builder Review

Peer Review

Requirement

1

Design: Is the design consistent with the brand? Does it use the appropriate template?

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes. If you cannot answer this with a yes you either need a good reason for it or you need to redesign it.

2

Testing: Has it been tested across devices? browsers? Does it both render cleanly and function?

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes. If you cannot answer with a yes you should test this.

3

URL: Has the page URL been customised? is it logical/does it follow naming conventions?

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes. If you cannot answer with a yes you should update this.

4

Meta/OG tags: Have the OG tags been set? The title, descriiption, images, etc. (Note that these will impact how the page displays in social sharing!)

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes. If you cannot answer with a yes you should update this.

5

Robots: What are the settings? Do they make sense given your needs?

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes. If you cannot answer this with a yes, you should update it.

6

Personalisation: If your page has any personalised elements on it, have you tested them? Do they all work as expected?

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes / N/A. If you can't answer yes or n/a, go test!

7

Images: have all images used been compressed properly? If there is text overlaying any images, is it clearly legible? Do you have the rights to use these images & are they on brand?

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes / N/A. All images (if any are used) should be compressed to improve load speed! (See Demand Lab's fantastic guide to image compression

8

Copy: Have you reviewed the copy for any grammar errors? Is the copy on tone for your brand? Does your copy make it clear what the page's objective is?

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes / N/A. If you can't answer yes or n/a, review your copy!

9

Forms: If the page has a form on it, is the right form being referenced?

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes / N/A. If you can't answer yes (or n/a), fix it!

10

Thank You: If there's a form on your page, does the page display a success message/redirect to a thank you page on submission as appropriate?

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes / N/A. If you can't answer yes (or n/a), fix it!

11

GDPR/CASL Compliance: If data is captured through the form, is the opt in compliant and do you provide collection statement w/functioning Privacy Policy link?

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes. Know your relevant compliance environment: if you cannot answer this question with a yes, you need to update to ensure it is compliant. If you do not know, seek appropriate advice.

12

Tracking: Do you have google analytics, tag manager, and / or munchkin settings applied to the page as intended? Should this page have munchkins on or off by default?

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes / N/A. If you can't answer yes or n/a, ask!

 

Forms

Check

Builder Review

Peer Review

Requirement

1

Responsive: Is the form device responsive?

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes. If you cannot answer this with a yes, you should update the CSS to make it responsive or it may impact your performance.

2

Design: Is the design of the form brand consistent?

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes. If you cannot answer this with a yes you either need a good reason for it or you need to update the CSS to make it on brand.

3

Data Flow: Does all data map to fields as intended? Have you checked a test record's activity log to prove this?

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes. If you cannot answer with a yes you should fix and test this.

4

Tracking: Are hidden UTM fields in place to track sources of submissions to this form? Have these been tested?

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes or no. If answering no, understand that your ability to track what sources directed people to this form will be more limited.

5

GDPR/CASL Compliance: If data is captured through the form, is the opt in compliant and do you provide collection statement w/functioning Privacy Policy link?

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes. Know your relevant compliance environment: if you cannot answer this question with a yes, you need to update to ensure it is compliant. If you do not know, seek appropriate advice.

 

Smart Campaigns

Check

Builder Review

Peer Review

Requirement

1

Accuracy: Have all necessary smart campaigns been checked, reviewed, and considered accurate?

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes. If you cannot answer with a yes you should fix and check these before proceeding.

2

Send count: If your email sending campaign is a batch campaign (not triggered) look at the count of leads in the "schedule" tab - do the numbers align to what you expect? Is it below the abort threshold?

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes. If you cannot answer with a yes you should fix and check these before proceeding.

3

Master Rules: Are master segmentations/lists being used if/where appropriate?

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes / N/A. Master lists/segmentations are designed to reduce the number of fields you must reference and reduce the risk of human error. You should be VERY confident of your rules if not using master lists/segmentations.

4

Attribution: If the program will be acquiring new leads (e.g., an event program) are attribution settings included as required? Is acquisition program being mapped?

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes / N/A. If you are importing leads to your program, or your program will be acquiring new leads, you should have acquisition program settings used.

5

Engagement Programs: If documenting an engagement program, are there campaigns in place to ensure members are added, paused, and restarted as appropriate? Have these steps been sense-checked by others?

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes / N/A. If this is an engagement program, and you cannot answer with a yes without good reason, don't activate until this is in place

6

Subscription Preferences: Have all necessary subscription preference factors been included?

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes / N/A. If you're unsure, ask! You'll need a good reason to say N/A (e.g., operational sends).

7

Program Status: Are there flow steps included to update program statuses?

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes. If you cannot answer with a yes, you should to add these into your smart campaign flow steps (see Change Program Status - Marketo Docs - Product Documentation)

8

Broader Impact: Are any flow steps sending alerts/writing to fields that sync to other teams/systems? If so, has volume been considered and have stakeholders for those teams/systems been advised?

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes / No / N/A. Any answer is okay but if it does map you should usually inform the team that owns the system. If you're not sure, ask!

9

Scoring Impact: Have any implications to lead scoring been considered?

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes / N/A. If you can't answer yes or n/a, ask!

10

RCM Impact: Have any implications to the lead lifecycle model been considered?

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes / N/A. If you can't answer yes or n/a, ask!

11

Nurture Impact: Have any implications to existing nurture programs considered? Have you ensured people will not be bombarded?

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes / N/A. If you can't answer yes or n/a, ask!

12

Reporting Success: Is program success being measured logically? Is the success reasonable - not too close in the process? Not too far? Do you have a strategy for HOW you will report on and measure success?

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes. If you can't answer yes, rethink your success metric!

 

Lists

Check

Builder Review

Peer Review

Requirement

1

Logic: If smart lists are being used to identify any part of the audience, has the logic been checked, reviewed, and considered accurate?

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes. If you cannot answer with a yes you should fix and check these before proceeding.

2

List Import Processes: If static lists are being used to identify any part of the audience, is the data source trustworthy and has the import been done accurately & according to your list import processes?

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes. If you cannot answer with a yes you should fix and check these before proceeding.

3

Exclusions: Are any required exclusions being included (e.g. competitors, unsubscribe, black lists)

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes / N/A. You must have unsubscribes filtered out unless you have a very good, legally compliant reason not to. You should be very confident of your content, campaign rules and legal basis if not including any of these.

4

Master Lists: Are master lists/segmentations being used where appropriate?

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes / N/A. Master lists/segmentations are designed to reduce the number of fields you must reference and reduce the risk of human error. You should be VERY confident of your rules if not using master lists/segmentations.

 

Audience

Check

Builder Review

Peer Review

Requirement

1

Legal Basis: You have an appropriate legal basis for contacting your audience - either:

  • Explicit: They have explicitly opted in to receive marketing comms from your brand
  • Inferred (where compliant): They have provided you with their contact details and can reasonably expect that you will use this information to contact them.
  • Deemed (where compliant): You have obtained their contact details from a public source and can reasonably assume the content is relevant to them, given the public source.

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes - & state the basis. Be sure whatever basis you choose is valid in your compliance environment. If you cannot answer with a yes, STOP and seek clarification regarding the legal basis for contacting this audience.

2

Data Sources: If you are identifying your audience through a list import, is your data source trustworthy?

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes / N/A. If you cannot answer with a yes, seek clarification on the data source.

3

List Purchasing: Has audience has been sourced through list purchasing or sponsorship activities?

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

No if source = list purchasing. List purchasing is bad practice, illegal in many places, and often a breach of your contract with your Marketing Automation platforn,

Yes if source = sponsorship. In sponsorship & competition cases, ensure the data capture was compliant. It is best practice to be clear in the first comm how you received their info, and to make opt out easy.

4

Relevance: The information you are about to send this audience is relevant to them and to their relationship with you.

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes. If you cannot answer with a yes, STOP and consider very carefully why you are sending to these people. Sending information that is not relevant to them or their relationship with you is likely to adversely affect performance, deliverability, and may be a breach in your compliance environment.

5

Expectation: This audience expects to hear from you.

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes. If you cannot answer with a yes, STOP and consider very carefully why you are sending to these people. Sending to an audience who do not want/expect to hear from you is likely to adversely affect performance, deliverability, and may be a breach in your compliance environment.

 

Email Testing Checklist

Check

Builder Review

Peer Review

Requirement

1

Sender email address: checked with brand owner, confirmed to be safe for use.

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes. If you cannot answer with a yes you should check before proceeding.

2

Sender name: checked with brand owner, confirmed to be safe for use.

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes. If you cannot answer with a yes you should check before proceeding.

3

Reply-to address: checked with brand owner, confirmed to be safe for use.

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes. If you cannot answer with a yes you should check before proceeding.

4

Preheader settings: pre-header has been set according to best practice (min. 80 char, full sentences, front load the valuable bits!)

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes. If you cannot answer with a yes you should update before proceeding.

5

Copy Proofing: no spelling or grammar issues found, tone is brand appropriate

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes. If you cannot answer with a yes you should fix before proceeding.

6

Scannability: can you comprehend the key information in this email at a scan?

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes / N/A. Email best practice suggests that it's important to ensure your email's key message can be understood at a scan. If you choose not to apply this practice, be aware it may impact your email's performance.

7

Unsubscribe: The email has a functional unsubscribe link, which you have tested.

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes / N/A. N/A should only be valid if the email is operational. Be confident that unsubscribe will not be required, if in doubt, inclusion is safer.

8

Text Version: A text version of the email has been created, and you have sent yourself a test of the text version.

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes. If you cannot answer with a yes you should test before proceeding.

9

Text Version Optimisation: the layout of the text version has been optimised. No HTML comments are visible, all relevant content is included.

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes. Auto-generated text versions can be awful to read - it's worth optimising them!

10

Text Version Hyperlinks & UTMS: hyperlinks work & include UTMs, across:

  • header section
  • image areas (if included)
  • body
  • cta(s)
  • footer

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes. If you cannot answer with a yes you should fix and check these before proceeding. Be aware that automatic text versions don't pull through variables reliably! 

11

HTML/Main Version: An HTML / primary version of the email has been created, and you have sent yourself a test of it.

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes (unless plain text only). If you cannot answer with a yes you should send yourself a test before proceeding.

12

Images: All images have alt text, and none are broken.

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes / N/A. If you cannot answer with a yes you should fix and check these before proceeding (unless there are no images).

13

Image Compression: All images were saved for web from your image editing software, and then compressed prior to uploading, and email load time is acceptable.

(note - hero images should be below 120kb, and all smaller images should be smaller! High load times WILL impact performance).

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes / N/A. All images (if any are used) should be compressed to improve load speed! (See Demand Lab's fantastic guide to image compression

14

HTML Version Hyperlinks & UTMs: hyperlinks work & include UTMs, across:

  • header section
  • images
  • body
  • cta(s)
  • footer

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

 

Yes. Don't send broken links! If you can't answer yes, fix before continuing.

15

Dynamic content: Does your email have dynamic content in it? Have you tested it across multiple scenarios?

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes. If you cannot answer with a yes you should test this before proceeding.

16

Legal requirements:

  • you have not misrepresented any offer
  • any required disclaimers are included in accordance with your compliance environment

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes. If you cannot answer with a yes you should fix and check these before proceeding.

17

Peer reviewed

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes. If you cannot answer with a yes, this should be done before you send.

18

Operational sends: has the email been set to operational (meaning it will bypass unsubscribe settings)? If so, do you have a valid reason for this?

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes / No. If answering with yes, you should have a valid reason for sending as an operational email. If you're not sure, ASK!

19

A/B & Champ/ChallengerTesting: Are you running any champion/challenger testing on the email?

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes / No. If you're not doing any testing, think about whether you may be missing an opportunity to make some learnings!

20

Client Testing: Have you run the email through your client testing software? (e.g., Litmus or Email on Acid)

  • Any display issues with major email clients have been identified and either corrected or logged as a non-urgent template fix.
  • Any load speed issues have been identified and attempts made to improve.
  • Any subject line/preview line issues have been identified and resolved.

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date | URL

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes / N/A. If you cannot answer with a yes (unless you don't have testing software) this should be done before you send.

21

Spam Testing: Have you run the email through spam process?

  • Any blacklisting flags are raised for awareness
  • Any inbox placement/email client flags are identified, potential causes sought and attempts to resolve are made.

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date | URL

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes / N/A. If you cannot answer with a yes (unless you don't have testing software) this should be done before you send.

22

Additional Analytics: Does the email have additional analytics code included?

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date | URL

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

yes or n/aYes / N/A. If you cannot answer with a yes (unless you don't have additional analytics software) this should be done before you send.

 

Final Checks - BEFORE YOU HIT SEND

Test

Builder Review

Peer Review

Requirement

1

Asset approval: Ensure that finalised program assets and champion/challenger tests are fully approved and have no final changes in draft mode. 

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date | URL

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes. If you cannot answer with a yes, this must be done before you send.

2

Smart Campaign accuracy: Do the smart campaigns reference the right assets?

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date | URL

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes. If you cannot answer with a yes, this must be fixed before you send.

3

Checklist steps: Have all the above checks been completed?

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date | URL

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes. If you cannot answer with a yes, this should be done before you send.

4

Stakeholder approval: Has the campaign received final sign off from stakeholders?

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date | URL

Yes/No/N/A + notes | Your Name | Today's Date

Yes. If you cannot answer with a yes, this should be done before you send.

 

There you go! It's a lot, but hopefully you can pick some tidbits from the list to help improve your pre-launch testing. Got any important checks that I haven't included? Share them in the comments!

Another Summit is behind us and with it came a bunch of FAQs. As with any conference, information overload is a very real thing and 45-minute sessions can’t cover everything we want to say or answer every question asked (hence why we preface each year’s session with the words “rapid-fire”).

 

Julz James and I were lucky enough to get a bunch of really great questions after our session, “Skinning Schrodinger’s Cat II: Fearless MOPs in the Face of the Unknown” and we promised you we’d answer them all in a follow-up blog post. Without further ado, here's what you wanted to know:

 

What are the two "not mailable" segments you had?


(Jenn) This question is in relation to creating mailability segments so when you filter by mailable records, you’re left with a clean list of who you can actually target when sending an email.

The order of segments that I use is usually something like:

 

  1. Employees
  2. Not Mailable - System (these are your records who can’t be reached for technical reasons like invalid emails)
  3. Not Mailable - Policy (these are your records who can’t be reached for compliance reasons, namely things like GDPR and CASL)
  4. Mailable (this is what you’ll pull into your email blasts to filter only marketable records)
  5. Default (there should be 0 people in this segment because everyone should have been caught by the above filters)

 

(Julz) The mailable segments I use are very similar to Jenn’s but I would set it up slightly differently and split Leads and Contacts up into their own segments.  The reason behind this is because in some instances there are requests to send campaigns just to leads or contacts, and it saves having another filter in the send campaign.

 

When setting up segmentations always remember that you can decide on the order that you want your records to be filtered out, so for mailable segments you’ll want to filter out the bad records first.

 

Do you have any tips for dealing with spam bot clicks AKA Voldemort McSauron

 

(Jenn) It depends on your instance so you should really go through your records’ activity history to see if there’s anything you can filter out when setting up your tracking campaigns. For example, I discovered that one of my clients was getting a lot of spammy clicks on their emails but none of those emails were ever recorded as opened. Although you can’t suppress that information from Marketo’s default reporting, you can set up your campaigns to prevent them from getting added as “clicked” to your programs.

 

(Julz) One of the ways I try to avoid spammy clicks in programs is by adding filters to the smart campaign that is looking for the clicks.  So I’ll set up a Smart Campaign that has a trigger of ‘Visited Web Page’ with the filter of ‘Clicked link in email’ that has the matching link in it.  I also put a time filter on the trigger sometimes as sometimes the timestamp between the page being visited and the link being clicked sometimes has a delay.  One of the caveats to this is that when people have disabled Cookie tracking we can’t track the page visits. But it is at this point where you have to weigh up the options and look at what Jenn suggested and see how many spammy clicks you are getting - run a couple of smart lists on your biggest email sends and see how bad the problem is.


Where can I find the resource for bounce management program covered in the presentation?

(Jenn) You can find the Community blog post detailing where more information about bounces and how to track them here (https://nation.marketo.com/community/champion/blog/2015/07/14/making-sense-of-marketo-email-bounce-categories) and download the presentation slides going into detail about how to set up the program and campaigns here (https://resources.digitalpi.com/presentations-2/jenn-dimaria-skinning-schrodinger-s-cat-ii-fearless-mops-in-the-face-of-the-unknown). I also filmed a PiPointer giving an overview of how it works here (https://resources.digitalpi.com/blog/pipointer-why-managing-bounced-emails-is-like-herding-cats).

 

Why do you keep email addresses that you can't email in your segmentation / Marketo instance?

(Jenn) Mostly for compliance purposes, although a case can be made that you can delete these records out of Marketo if you have other ways to keep track of if/when they opted out or couldn’t be contacted. For technical purposes, it can help to keep a binary sync between systems (ie: have all the records in Marketo that are in your CRM) to prevent duplicates.

For example, if you delete a record out of Marketo only because they unsubscribed but that person comes back to your website, fills out a form, and downloads content, they’ll re-sync to your CRM and create a duplicate because Marketo can’t tell that record already exists.

If you have a duplicate management system in place within your CRM, that may not be a problem for you but it’s definitely worth noting because I see it happen all the time in my clients’ instances and it can become a huge headache to manage.

 

(Julz) I’m the opposite to Jenn.  I tried to purge email addresses as much as possible as long as the CRM system is keeping track of the invalid emails, unsubscribes, no longer with account, do not contact, etc etc. This is down the Database size being one of the pricing factors in Marketo. But I’m also in total agreement with Jenn that this is only possible due to the CRM keeping all of the records and also a good duplication system to prevent too many duplicates happening.  I always think there will be 2 differing opinions of what to remove and what not to remove.

 

How much does using segmentation affect processing? I've heard each segmentation transaction is a single batch campaign run per lead. Does that slow down larger instances?

(Jenn) I’ve heard this is an issue, as well, but have never experienced it. By optimizing your segments (ie: not including filters like “contains”), you can ensure they’re functioning quickly and efficiently. Segmentations themselves are also much faster to use in smart campaigns (partially because a lead can only be in one segment) and can often take preference over smart lists if you’re targeting a broader group.

That said, the first time you run a segmentation could take quite some time - I’ve seen my mailability segments take up to 24 hours to run on larger databases.

Here’s a great resource in community about common segmentation issues and how to correct them (https://nation.marketo.com/community/product_and_support/blog/2018/12/18/segmentation-health-check-updates-tips-and-tricks-for-keeping-your-segmentation-updated).

 

Have you ever had issues with the history smart campaign not always running to record the field updates?

 

(Julz) I’ve never seen an issue with the UTM history fields not updating.  This is probably due to the fact that I’ve got all UTM updates happening in one campaign, so that the smart campaign is only for one change per field.  Its set up in a way that the trigger is just looking for just the UTM ‘most recent’ field to change. This change then triggers the ‘original’ and ‘history’ field updates.  I also put a filter on the smart campaign settings so that people can only run through the campaign once an hour, so that you don’t get someone who is clicking all over your website and landing page with UTM parameters.  That might be one of the causes of the history field not being updated.

 

One more thing to note - always make sure that your forms have the correct UTM parameter fields, and that your URL’s are built correctly too.

 

Have you noticed a processing slowdown with the bounce campaigns due to the volume?

(Jenn) I haven’t but it’s important to always monitor these type of campaigns in relation to your other initiatives to diagnose any processing delays or race conditions.

That’s why it’s also important to keep tabs on the sources of your invalid emails. For example, if you determine that a specific source is sending over loads of bad emails, you can consider dropping that source and fewer bad emails will flow through your bounce management program.

For your first few bulky sends after you set up a bounce management campaign, you can expect to see a lot of traffic and data value changes. But if you’re acting on the results and not batch-and-blasting willy nilly to your non-engaged database, that should slow down.

Note: this shouldn’t be a replacement for a deliverability monitor but it can help give you an idea of how your marketable database is performing and allow you to quarantine potentially bad records for further investigation.

 

Can you track the link click inside the velocity content token?

 

(Julz) Yes, you can track link clicks inside Velocity tokens.  The Velocity Scripting was used for the Real Time Content Delivery program that I spoke about in our session has a different token per piece of content, and different variables based on different fields.  It’s a bit more work, but after running reports after each event that has a content delivery email set up for it it's worked without any issues so far.

 

If I wanted to use 1 Velocity Script Token for all of the content then it would be a different story.  For that you can check out Sandy Whiteman’s blog here for a more in-depth break down of how to get work arounds for tracking links in Velocity: https://blog.teknkl.com/multiple-marketo-tracked-links-in-velocity/https://blog.teknkl.com/multiple-marketo-tracked-links-in-velocity/

 

Where can we find out more about velocity scripting and where those live?

 

(Julz) I’m still learning Velocity but Sandy will always be my go to for this: https://blog.teknkl.com/tag/velocity. There is also any work on the developer site for Marketo: https://developers.marketo.com/email-scripting/ and a full site dedicated to Velocity: http://velocity.apache.org/engine/devel/user-guide.htmlhttp://velocity.apache.org/engine/devel/user-guide.html

 

I’m excited to spend more time playing with velocity and also javascript to see what fun things I can set up in Marketo.

 

======================

 

Have more questions for us? Let us know in the comments and we’ll answer as soon as we can.

 

If you weren’t able to get into our session or if you did and want to review any of the info, you can play the session recording here: Adobe Summit 2019—The Digital Experience Conference | March 24–28, 2019 .

 

PS: Julz and I will be presenting "Schrodinger's Remix" at the Marketing Nation Roadshow: Boston on June 18th where we'll focus on our Summit highlights and your Q&A. If you want to see us in person and are in the area, register here: http://fieldevents.marketo.com/marketingnationboston

Email is complicated.

 

And surprisingly enough, it's rarely given the attention it deserves - especially considering the foundational role it tends to play in marketing automation. For people who are new to Marketo, or new to email marketing, it can be a hard nut to crack - as I see it, for two main reasons:

  • Email requires a multitude of skill sets - a good email relies on good copywriting, graphic design, UX design, HTML and CSS, analytics, and more.
  • Email is constantly evolving - technology moves quickly, and as email clients, devices, operating systems, deliverability and networks do, so does best practice.

 

If coding isn't really your jam, you don't really find design comes naturally to you, or you're just really stretched (aren't we all?) then getting your head around it all can be a real challenge. But it isn't impossible.

 

The first step is not falling prey to the many myths surrounding email. So, here's a breakdown of five myths I hear (and see in action) most frequently...

 

MYTH #1: EMAIL & WEB DEVELOPMENT ARE THE SAME.

Matrix Code

Nope. Email really is a whole other beast, and will still be a learning curve for those with experience developing for web. There's a reason why people joke that email code looks like it's from the 90s… because a lot of it has to be. Where web typically tests across a handful of browsers, operating systems and screen sizes, there's far more to contend with in email. Litmus estimates that every email send has (conservatively) 15,000 possible renderings (see their exploration of why email rendering is so complex). Just look at:

 

With so many variables, each their own unique and often unpredictable quirks, creating a robust and reliable email email template can be challenging for even the most patient of developers.

 

Key takeaway: If you want truly great, responsive, consistent and on brand emails, you have to be prepared to invest in creating and maintaining them - whether by hiring an experienced email developer or someone with the ability to grow that skill set (combined designer/developer roles are common), training internally, or hiring an experienced third party.

 

 

MYTH #2: I DON'T NEED A CUSTOM EMAIL TEMPLATE

Sherlock shrugging

Well... actually, you probably will. This isn't to say it's something everyone needs out of the gate - but there's a tipping point on the maturity curve where, really, you probably do need to invest in designing and developing a bespoke email template.

 

Marketo's starter templates are called “starter” templates for a reason. After a while you'll probably start to find them limiting, and frustrating. But frustration is good - it means you've developed a sense of what you do and don't want in a template; from a design perspective, and from an in-editor usability perspective. The particular needs of each use case are entirely unique - and the best way to meet them is with a custom template.

 

Your in editor experience is critically dependent on your email template - the vast majority of complaints I've heard about the editor are not the result of inherent flaws in the editor itself, but problems with the template. Going custom can enable you to...

  • Fully customise the look and feel of your emails;
  • Run all your emails on a single “master” template (making updates much easier) by including a variety of flexible modules (see: Add Modules to your Email - Marketo Docs - Product Documentation);
  • Utilise Marketo's email syntax to enable greater in-editor experience;
  • Include My Tokens to maximise efficiency and ensure consistency;

… and much, much more.

 

But: make sure either you or the developer/third party you work with is specifically experienced in Marketo. You'll get the best results by considering not just best practice dev, but also in-editor usability - someone with strong experience is more likely to have a good sense of where modules should start and end, which kind of Marketo variables (see: Email Template Syntax - Marketo Docs - Product Documentation) are best suited in different spots, which sections may need to cater to dynamic content, etc.

 

Key takeaway: Don't expect starter templates to cater to advanced use cases, and do expect to invest in a custom template at some point - just get it done by someone experienced, and expect the template to be continuously added to and evolved over time.

 

 

MYTH #3: OUR EMAILS WILL LOOK EXACTLY LIKE THE DESIGN

Michael Scott from The Office tearing up

We wish it were so... Unfortunately, unless your designer(s) are familiar with the ins and outs of HTML & CSS support in email, or you're okay with emails being completely image based (hint: you shouldn't be) then… yeah. No.

 

If you're looking at creating a custom template, or even just working on a custom element within a single campaign, it's really beneficial to ensure the designer knows the complexities of email, or that they're in close contact with someone who does. Even better if they're the one who will develop the template. Not only will it save you a lot of time (and potentially money) in revisions at the end of the process, it'll also save a lot of disappointment if people fall in love with a concept that can't reasonably be executed, or simply isn't best practice.

 

Now - none of this is to say that your emails can't be beautifully designed. It's more to say that you'll benefit from being mindful of what limitations exist - and how you can work around (or with) them. For example…


Limitation:
Not all clients accept custom fonts.

Best Practice Solution:
Provide custom fonts for the clients that can accept them, with closest possible resemblance fallbacks for those that can't. Avoid or minimise heavily stylised fonts where possible (both for legibility and fallback reasons). In cases where a specific font is really important, images (with alt text!) can be used, but should always be kept to an absolute minimum (preferably headlines only) - live text is always preferred.

 

Progressive enhancement is always good to be thinking about here: just because 20% of your audience are using a client that doesn't support a feature doesn't mean you shouldn't enable it for the other 80%. Provide those features to those whose clients do support them, and make sure the fallback is graceful for those whose clients don't. So… It's also helpful to know what your database's client split is (Gmail, Outlook, etc)! It'll start to dictate what features you work hard to enable, vs which you avoid like the plague.

 

Key takeaway: involve email/dev experts in the design process, and aim for a balance of what's practically achievable and what's beautiful - but always within the context of how email clients are actually represented in your database.

 

 

MYTH #4: SENDING A SAMPLE TO ME + A COLLEAGUE = TESTING

Matt Damon in The Martian making stuff explode

It's... not a particularly rigorous test. While it's better than nothing, if this is all the testing you're doing, you're probably missing a lot. We've already covered here how complex email is, and how many different possible renderings a single email can have. If you're using Outlook 2016 on Windows and your colleague is using Gmail on Chrome, you're only looking at a tiny tiny percentage of the possibilities - and it's entirely possible that you're not looking at the clients that are most heavily represented in your database.

 

In an ideal scenario it'd be every email you send - but at least every template, and any emails with custom dev, at a minimum of 1x test per month - should be tested using email testing software (Email on Acid and Litmus are two of the key players in the market here).

 

There's a few major benefits to this (though they'll vary according to tool/subscription)...

 

You can test...Why this matters...
How your emails look across a large number of clients.It gives you the opportunity to fix those breaks and ensure your emails look consistently good.
Whether your subject line and preview text are following best practice, and be able to preview how they appear in different clients.Identifying issues here can directly impact your open rate.
How your email looks in text only, with images disabled, and for colour blind users.Accessibility is becoming increasingly important in email, with many suggesting it will quickly become a critical factor in deliverability and compliance.
How long your email will take to load for most users, and be able to see the size of each individual file.Load speed can have a significant impact on the overall performance of your email, so checking your file size and ensuring you're using appropriate file formats, compression, and scaling settings is not only massively important, it's also actually pretty easy. Check out this guide from Demand Lab.
Whether your emails are at risk getting flagged as spam due to missing/incorrect settings, content, sender reputation or IP issues.Deliverability is complex (check out Send Grid's guide for some insight). While these tools are not always going to be perfect, they'll help you keep tabs on whether things are going wrong and can also help you get a sense of why.

 

...and plenty more!


With the right subscription and tool, you can also use additional analytics to get more insights into what clients are most heavily represented in your database, and how people are engaging with your emails.

 

Key takeaway: if you're not using an email testing tool, you may be sending broken or sub-optimal emails without realising it - a relatively small investment in a testing tool could improve your email performance and increase your confidence & performance significantly.

 

 

MYTH #5: I DON'T NEED TO KNOW ANY OF THIS.

I'm going to assume that if you're reading this, it's because you're interested in creating great emails - if so, you should definitely know these things.

 

Email is complex and constantly changing - but for many of us that's part of what makes it kinda fun. You don't need to be an expert in all of the above, but you having at least a peripheral and conceptual understanding of both what they entail and why they matter will help you make major strides towards creating great emails, every time.

 

Jeff Goldblum clapping

 

 

BONUS TIPS!

Because I can't end a post about email without mentioning some of these other points...

  • Don't expect to copy+paste your HTML from a past system into Marketo and have everything work like magic. Every email editor - including Marketo's - has specific requirements in order to enable functions. Marketo's syntax is simple and powerful - and you'll notice the difference if it's missing!
  • Don't edit the code of individual emails! Editing the code (outside of editable areas) breaks emails from their templates, and prevents any template updates from being applied to them.
  • Minimise the number of templates you have. Creating a new template for every product, every channel, or every send? Chances are, you're missing a major opportunity to optimise.
  • Use Tokens! If you're not utilising tokens within your emails - especially My Tokens - start! They're a great way to control things like brand colours, unsubscribe links, copyright dates, legal disclaimers, etc. But...
  • Test your tokens! Don't be the person who sends emails that say “Hi DUMMY.”
  • Be cautious with velocity script if you're not familiar with it. Velocity is an incredibly powerful way to enable awesome functionality in marketo. But with great power, comes great responsibility… use it carefully!
  • Ask Community for help - within reason. Community is a great resource for advice and support, but don't forget that this is a volunteer community of users! Ask for help pinpointing problems, advice on best practices, but don't expect people to develop whole modules or provide complete strategies.
  • Help community help you! If you're looking for help from community, you're more likely to get assistance quickly if you provide as much information as possible from the get go - including screenshots and full code where relevant.

 

P.S. Enormous thanks to the fab minds that contributed to this post, especially Juli James, Sydney Mulligan, Courtney Grimes, Josh Pickles & Amber Hobson.

It’s been one year since GDPR went into effect, what was the impact, what did we learn and what’s looming ahead?

 

In the first few months after GDPR went “live,” our headlines were filled with stories of complaints and violations. According to a report by DLA Piper, over 59,000 data breaches were reported in the first eight months of GDPR going into effect, ranging in severity from errant emails to the wrong recipient to major cyber hacks affecting millions. Large, prominent organizations were “easy” targets, often singled out by specific consumer advocacy groups. While many consumer groups want to hate the “villains,” as marketers, we can learn from their vulnerabilities:

 

  • Netflix, YouTube, Amazon, Apple, and Spotify have reported violations in Austria for failure to provide information regarding how user data is bought and sold.

 

  • The Irish Data Protection Commissioner is investigating Twitter regarding a breach notification received from the social networking site, examining if article 33 was violated. (And if you don’t have your GDPR articles memorized, you must provide notification to users within 72 hours of becoming aware of the breach.)

 

  • The Dutch Data Protection Agency (DPA) cautioned several organizations who denied visitors access to websites after the visitors refused cookies or declined to provide requested data. Of course, cookie consent and data collection must be specific and freely given; requiring permission to access a website is in violation of the visitor’s free choice.

 

And while we’re on the subject of the Dutch DPA, the Netherlands is also the first country to release a GDPR fining policy, introducing a scale for less severe violations. Factors that can influence where you fall on the scale include duration of the infringement, number of people involved, how quickly the offending organization reacts, and what type of personal data is involved.

 

But probably the most notorious GDPR event of the year was news of the first major fine issued to Google, a whopping $50 million by the French CNIL for failure to secure user consent to serve personalized ads.

 

What should we expect next?

Compliance: The Next Phase

Preparing for compliance was just the beginning; now, it’s about maintaining compliance. As marketers, we’re tasked with continuing to be mindful of data collection and storage practices, amidst ever-changing rules. I like the analogy given by Ruby Zefo, Chief Privacy Officer of Uber: “GDPR is a lot like raising a baby. We waited two years for the GDPR baby to be born, and now that it’s here, we can’t leave it in its high chair to fend for itself.  You still need to take care of it.”

 

How should you prepare for the next chapter in compliance and data privacy?

 

  1. Cookie practices. We’ve already seen Marketo take proactive measures related to this area, with the newly announced pre-fill form changes. Previously, Marketo landing pages relied on Munchkin cookies to identify known person records and would pre-fill data based on that cookie, regardless if the actual known person was the one viewing the page. (think shared computers here) As a security enhancement and to better align with GDPR requirements, form pre-fills will now only display when the known person clicks through from a link in a Marketo email, to confirm the identity of the data.

  2. US privacy legislation. We mostly hear about California’s bill, CCPA, but Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, New York, Maryland and most recently, Washington state, all have proposed legislation as well. Requirements for companies include disclosing personal information collected and providing the individual opportunity to access, correct, and in some cases, delete their information. Additionally, some proposed state legislation obligates organizations to perform risk assessments regarding their data processing activities. For marketers, all this could translate to a state-level data nightmare— a significant plot twist in our novel. Ironically, the US Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on March 12— the actual anniversary date of the World Wide Web launching— to “examine GDPR and CCPA, focusing on opt-ins, consumer control, and the impact on competition and innovation.” Of course, much is still to be defined, including if Federal legislation will preempt state laws, such as CCPA, or set the baseline requirement and allow states to make tighter requirements as they deem appropriate? As our government works through the unknowns, one thing we do know: privacy legislation IS coming to the US and organizations can no longer ignore it.

 

  1. Privacy policies and subscription management centers. It’s time to revisit your privacy policy to ensure it’s current and accurately reflects how you collect, use and store user data. Additionally, make sure your subscription center allows users to easily manage their preferences, including an opt-out from sharing or selling their personal data, a CCPA requirement.

 

  1. Best data practices. If you haven’t audited your instance recently, now is a great time to clean-up your database and remove outdated, duplicate, incomplete and junk records, which only creates unnecessary compliance liabilities for your organization. To assist in the process, download our free 41-point audit checklist.

Marketing Happily Ever After

My best advice for those following the compliance story: don’t take a wait-and-see approach to protecting your data, enabling transparency of data usage or capturing user consent. We’re one-year in with GDPR and six-months out from CCPA going into effect. As evidenced from the many other state initiatives emerging, data regulation is here to stay and will only gain momentum in the months to come. Those who embrace the new realities will be the companies marketing happily ever after.

“Work it harder,

Make it better,

Do it faster,

Makes us stronger.”

 

--From “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” by Daft ****

 

If the Daft **** lyrics above could double as the mantra for your organization’s MOPS department, you aren’t alone. Today’s marketers are being asked to work harder to deliver better results more quickly than ever before. Why? Because the competitive pressure is intense, meaning that your company not only relies on the strength of your products or services but also on your ability to market them effectively and efficiently. Squeezing out every bit of productivity from your MOPS people and processes isn’t an option; it’s a necessity.

 

Our consultants have previously shared with you time-saving Marketo hacks--quick “lightbulb moment” tips aimed at helping ensure you’re getting the most out of Marketo. Today, we’re sharing advice on enhancing your MOPS productivity so your team can tackle work more quickly and marketing can deliver on its financial goals.

Tip 1: Get Smart about Smart List Subscriptions

 

Marketo smart list subscriptions aren’t just good for getting lead reports—they’re also great to use to keep updated about system-related issues that may have an impact on your productivity. You can also set up a subscription to alert you about any other situations you may need to address.

 

One of the most common use cases is to monitor duplicates. Duplicates can wreak havoc on your system, so being proactive and catching them early is important. Set up a smart list like the one above and turn on a subscription to run each day. This will allow you to get a quick snapshot of any duplicates that have been created, allowing you to take quick action to address the person or process that is creating them.

 

Other examples:

  • List of leads created and their lifecycle status
  • Lists of leads missing critical info
  • List of high value leads that unsubscribe or are marked invalid.

 

—Carey Picklesimer, Director of Consulting

Tip 2: Use the Awesome Features in Google Sheets

You want to build and send error-free emails consistently and efficiently. But are you setting yourself up for success every time? If your MOPS team doesn’t have a clear, documented QA process, you’re effectively taking a risk every time one of your marketers hits the send button. By creating a template QA grid for each email send and ensuring that your team fills it out and follows the process, you will improve communication within your team and reduce the chance for any errors.

 

Here are some specifics on using Google Sheets to make a top-quality QA grid.

 

Use Checkboxes to Note Finished Elements

Did you know that Google Sheets now has the functionality to add a checkbox? It's a perfect way for the email builder to mark when they are done building each element in the email—and there’s nothing more satisfying for us list-lovers than the feeling of checking off a box to indicate we’re finished.

Employ Data Validation

As a part of the QA check, you can add Data Validation to your Google Sheet to mark each element as Ready for QA, Pass, or Fail. You can add a Questions drop-down and a notes column for the QA person to document their comments.

 

Some questions that a QA person may ask would be, “should we set up an A/B test?”, or “are you sure that this image is correct?”. The QA person can add to the Notes on Fails column with comments such as, “this sentence is missing a period.” Then, after the email builder makes the fixes, they should note in the Notes on Fixes column that the fixes are done.

Conditional Formatting Shows At-A-Glance Status

Adding conditional formatting allows you to color code your Google Sheet so that you can quickly view the status of your build, at-a-glance. Red indicates QA tasks that have failed; green tasks have passed and yellow tasks are those that have questions.

Tabs

It is useful to add tabs to your QA grid so that every asset within the program belongs in the same document. For example, you may want to have one tab for the program set up, one for email content, and one for the smart list check. Tweak this to meet your specific needs; the main thing is to keep it consistent.

 

—Hilary German, Consultant

 


Get Justin Norris’s third tip for improving your MOPS productivity by changing your approach to marketing operations by reading the rest of this post on the Perkuto blog.

Filter Blog

By date: By tag: