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Reason #1 You serve up bad leads.


No really.  They are bad leads and you are wasting your sales team’s time.  One of the joys of inbound marketing is that we are attracting prospects to our sites to download the content we painstakingly produced.  The negative is we also attract junky leads. Thankfully marketing automation makes it easy to control the flow of junk leads into your sales team’s hands.  Thing is you need to actually take some time and build in flows to block junk leads. Data hygiene and data quality should be as integral to your marketing as good copy writing. Take pride in the quality of leads that you send over.



None of these are real leads. They have no place in your Marketo or CRM.


More over you can’t do a lot of the fun things in Marketo with bad data. Your emails wont get delivered. Building segments and personas for dynamic content gets really hard. Lead routing by geographic territory is near impossible if you don’t have appropriate state and country information.

Recommendation: Look into adding a honeypot on your site to prevent spam bots from filling out your forms.  Also build in some data management smart campaigns to routinely remove leads with email addresses like or Look into technology to help augment your lead profile with valuable information such as location, website, revenue, phone number.  There are many companies out there that offer easy to install webhooks for data append.



Reason #2 You’ve never shown sales where to find the “good leads”


Are you actually producing MQLs? Does the form on the website go anywhere? Is there an email alert built to let sales know when someone starts a free trial?


These are the basics.  But I have seen FAR too many instances of Marketo where the forms on the website go no where and sales doesn’t know when someone takes action.

Recommendation: Make your sales team a lead view in their CRM for “My MQLs” and let them know that is where they can always find their qualified leads every day.





Reason #3 You haven’t given your sales team a process on how to manage leads. It needs to be a closed loop system. They have to be able to reject or accept the leads you send over. Make it simple. Everything should flow around the field Lead Status.  Teach them to use Lead Status. You give them “lead status = MQL” they either accept it and move it to SAL/SQL or reject the lead as Disqualified or Recycle it to send it back into Nurturing. 




Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years is filled with gift giving and family which we all love. It’s also filled with hangovers, crazy mall drivers and tons of “overdue lead” alerts.


I can’t help you with hangovers and mall parking but I can give you a few tips to stop those unpleasant alerts from hitting during your holiday dinner.


Alerts are Important—Just not on Holidays

Unless you are Santa, alerts generally should be suspended for certain times of the year.  You don’t want your VP of Sales getting a notification while opening presents that his BDR hasn’t call a lead from two days ago. Examples of alerts companies use to help make sure they move through the lead lifecycle:


  • Overdue MQLs. These alerts usually hit reps and their managers after a certain amount of time if the lead is not reviewed.
  • Leads Not Called. If a rep puts the lead into an Attempting Contact stage but fails to log an activity, this alert can trigger.
  • Stagnant Leads. Here, leads are sitting in a certain stage for too long which can trigger notifications to management.


Do Marketo Do That Automatically?

Marketo does not support suspending communications during holiday periods without manual intervention. Unlike the post office, there is no Vacation Hold capability

If you think Marketo should have a Holiday wait step, vote it up here.


Your Elf to the Help

Think of this method as the master switch to your lead alert system. Yes, you could get more accurate but here are a few quick and easy ways to make sure alerts don’t go out.


Option 1. Turn off the Alert

Go into the alert campaign and disable it before the holidays and reenable it after the holidays. If you have a simple flow step that only sends the single alert, this might be your best bet.


This method can get tricky if other flow steps like Sync to Salesforce, Increase lead Score, etc are part of the campaign. Additionally, people may already live in the flow step from a few days ago meaning alerts would still fire after deactivation.




Option 2. Create a Vacation Removal Campaign

For many companies, #1 won’t work because their alert system has multiple flow steps. In this case, create a campaign that removes members daily. This allows you to keep the original alert system in place but ensures the alerts never get sent during the holiday time period.


Follow the steps below to prevent those alerts from happening.




A few notes:

  • This process only works if you send overdue alerts at least 24 hours after a triggered event occurs. Otherwise, you’ll need to figure out a different solution.
  • Alerts don’t ever get sent. This campaign totally removes the person from the alert campaign (as opposed to suspending the alert). I’d recommend creating a special Smartlist right after the holidays to capture leads the Sales team has not caught up on.
  • Let Sales know. As a marketer, you’ll score a few points with the Sales team by reducing stress around the alerts.



May your holidays be filled with joy—not with alerts in your Inbox. Hopefully these steps will assist you with this process. If you have any great ideas that help other readers, please make sure to comment below.

A version of this post appeared on my blog and it is similar to Christine Tran's approach. I thought I would post the full version here so you can see more detail on the planning and field detail.


The process involves four phases to achieve pages in dynamic languages.

Every customer receives the standard Unsubscribe page when they first turn on Marketo. This page helps you conform to the minimum legal standard in most countries. If you are smart, you will want to build out a subscription center fast to reduce total unsubscribes and encourage people to subscribe to different kinds of communications.

For example, you may want to provide options like:

  • Newsletter
  • Event Invitations
  • Webinar Invitations
  • Solution A Content
  • Blog Posts
  • Unsubscribe All

Remember, these are examples. You may want to add more like Fax, SMS, and other channels. When I create these fields, I usually use a picklist in Salesforce first, with Yes, No, "null" as values. This way, the system is easy to understand whether you are an engineer, salesperson, marketer, or machine.


Email Preference Center Phase 1: New Channels


  • Program – Operational
  • Email Preference Center Page
  • Confirmation Page to display results
  • Email Preference Form
  • 01 – Unsubscribe All campaign flow
  • Additional fields as desired

Step 1: Create a Program

This program should be Channel=Operational. In some situations, I have created a separate Channel called “Subscriptions” where the statuses are Opted In, Opted Out and the Type is Operational so reporting is not affected. This only helps you with the counts and is totally unneeded from a technical perspective. Up to you.


Step 2: Foldering and Naming

This is how I setup my folders, which is largely the same across all Program Channels. Note the leading number ensures the order is how I want it.The basic subscription center program

Step 3: Create a Confirmation Page

The reason we create this page first is to ensure the Form is completed more quickly. You will use this page several times, so might as well do it first.Most of my clients request the Confirmation page to reflect the new values provided. This is pretty easy with some tokens.confirmation-page-1confirmation-page-2

As I mention in the sidebar above, it is possible to display a human value. This is why I almost always use a picklist for each field with Yes/No/Blank. Blanks mean that the lead hasn't made a selection and we cannot send to them yet. The default token will say "Not Selected".Example URL SLUG:

  • Add requisite fields.
  • Modify the Values as needed. In this case, I want Unsubscribe All to encourage people to do what I want, but you can leave it as a simple checkbox.
  • On this form, we will keep everything as Not Required and Prefilled to show the current settings. You may want to mention that on the page.
  • Set the Confirmation page on the Form to ensure that it always goes to the right place.


Step 5: Create an Email Preferences Page

This is the main page you will point everyone to. The URL slug should look like this:

  • Must replace with full URL

The entire URL we created above is fine, alternatively you can append the URL slug to%mkt_opt_out_prefix%email-preference-center.html

  • Allowing people who find the page to Add themselves to your database. (Yeah, rare, I know).

To make this happen is fairly easy. There are two methods: Easy with more assets; and Hard with coding. Let’s talk Easy.

URL Slug:


  • Preferences Page – Not You


Add link to Not You under the original Email Preference Form as shown.



If you really want to go the Hard way, you can do one of two things:

  1. Have the Not You link reset the page without the munchkin identifiers.
  2. Go to the second page without any munchkin.

I like Easy and it takes advantage of Marketo’s existing features.


Email Preference Center Phase 3: Dynamic Snippets by Region/Language

If you are operating programs internationally, especially at a fairly large firm, you will eventually need to implement a regional or language friendly system. The process is fairly simple, however, I would urge you to test it carefully.


Option 1: one subscription page per Region.The overhead increases because you have to manage the links in your email template footers.

Option 2: one subscription page per Region with Dynamic SnippetsThis option takes partial advantage of dynamic content.

Option 3: one subscription page to rule them all.This is much better, however, I urge you to test it a lot before going live. We’ll talk about this one in Phase 4.With Option 2, you get to try your hand at Dynamic Snippets. This is a fairly underused feature of Marketo, which can be very powerful if thought out.



  • Segmentation by Region or Language
  • Email Footer Snippet
  • Add to Emails

Step 1: create a Snippet

Go to Design Studio > Snippets

Step 2: create the dynamic content for the snippet



I recommended using one Segmentation per asset to avoid confusion.Once this Snippet is ready, test it on an Email that uses a Template with a Footer as editable. The results should flow through automatically in preview or a Live Test.


Email Preference Center Phase 4: Dynamic Languages on One Page

Of course, the holy grail is Option 3: just using one page for everything. In this situation, we will add new ingredients and modify the original Email Preference Page to be dynamic.I will go through most of the steps, but be sure to read the docs on setting up Dynamic Content and Segmentations in order to follow along. Please remember that your Segmentation Segment order and smart list criteria will determine which Language is visible to the lead.New Ingredients:

  • One Form for each Language
  • Modify the original Email Preference Page to use Dynamic on the Form and any other text.


**The Not You Page will still be the Default Form because new leads won’t have a Segment yet. Remember to set the Default to English or the major language of your audience.



Here is an example in Japanese I made using Google Translate.


Step 3: Test the Forms in a Clone Page

If you already have a live Preference Center, I highly recommend that you clone the original Preference Page and Confirmation Page to test these Forms before going live.


Step 4: Set the Form in the Email Preference Page to Dynamic



Step 5: Set the other page content to Dynamic

Step 6: Make the Confirmation Page Text Dynamic

Look how cool this is! Is it all clicking now for you?


Step 7: Update the Unsubscribe All Campaign

You will have to add all the Forms to the Trigger. Feel free to test it.Wow, after all that work, you now have a fully functioning, international web page. What more could you need? Some options to consider for the future:

  • Double Opt In – this is required in Germany and some locations. Pro bloggers swear by it (including me) because it ensures email validity and engagement. All you need to do is add a flow or two to send out a confirmation email and link whenever someone subscribes. They click on the link and your second flow handles the final steps. See my Guide for an example.
  • Confirmation Email – please avoid this unless it is for Double Opt In. If I unsubscribe, I don’t want a final email. Use the Confirmation page for this.
  • Leave me alone for awhile. This option was first made famous by Marketo years ago. In this system, you ask people if they want to suspend emails for 30 days or more. The challenge is in setting up the workflows and lists to properly suspend someone for that period. Remember, the simpler methods work best.
  • List Setup – of course you will want a set of smart lists and even static lists to manage people who are Opted In vs. Out by Subscription. You will also want to update any suppression lists.

Call it an early Christmas present...


I recently created the attached email template to use as part of a product launch, and did some fairly extensive testing between various email clients. This is my favorite template to use for mobile, so what the heck. Spreading a little nerdy joy this holiday season!


I stripped our images, text, and links out of this version, but everything already lives in a Marketo-editable section for you. All you should have to do is edit the color palette for your needs, save the template, and create emails. If you want to duplicate or remove sections, they're marked out pretty well with HTML comments.


To that end... here's some helpful hex codes for swapping out the colors (use find/replace in dreamweaver or whatever HTML editor you prefer).


Yellow Banner: #ffdb0a

Dark Gray background: #444444 (caution: some of the text is also this color, so find/replace all is not necessarily your friend here)

Section 2 Background: #f7f7f7

Section 3 Background: #dedede

Blue Buttons: #2faeff


Screenshot 2015-12-02 15.56.47.png

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