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As you know in your lead scoring settings you set up the values/ranking for relative score and relative urgency


Marketo has an algorithm running in the background that takes those scores and gives the lead a ranking or priority this is now called 'engagement" in Salesforce.


In this case the engagement number of  110 is  the new naming convention for "priority".


Screen Shot 2016-01-30 at 2.02.45 PM.png


To understand how Relative Score Value and Urgency Score are calculated refer to:


Credit to: Veronica Holmes who kindly explained this to me.

Intro | Part II

Create your nurture test roadmap


Having a roadmap discussion ensures program alignment before jumping into implementation phase. Set up a Roadmap meeting, use my template, and set an agenda. Before you do anything in Marketo, it’s important to understand the framework of your test. Get aligned on what part of the business you’re trying to impact, and who your target audience is. Here’s the template you can use to write out your testing roadmap.


What we’ll cover:

  • Target audience
  • Test variable
  • Baseline conversion rate
  • Your nurture goal
  • Hypothesis


Target Audience


You won’t have a successful nurture program if the target audience is “everyone in the database.”  Who will benefit most from receiving this content? The more specific the better. Ideally, it will be a larger dataset so your test will be as impactful as possible. Some examples could be: tradeshow sourced leads, Enterprise customers in the retail vertical, or prospects who signed up for a free trial.


For this post, our example target audience will be prospects created from Tradeshows.


Once you have identified who you want to target, write down the total number of people that make up this segment.


Test Variable

What are you trying to improve?


You’re not going to solve all of your business problems with one nurture.  An ineffective variable is:  “to get more SALs, opportunities and more customer retention. Oh, and increase product usage by 50%.” This is actually 4 variables. A nurture program’s primary goal should be an action that can happen soon after someone clicks an email.


What is the primary activity you want to drive with your nurture? Click rates? Product engagement? Demo signups? Write it down on your roadmap doc.


In this example, our variable is accounts created.

Baseline Conversion Rate


Historically, what has the conversion rate been for your target audience and your primary variable? In this example the question would be: how many trade show leads have created an account in the past?


  1. Using the same list of people in your target audience list, find how many of those have executed the goal you’re looking to improve
  2. Divide the number of leads that completed the goal by the total number of your target audience list. Then multiply by 100. That’s your baseline conversion rate.
  3. Your baseline conversion rate will be the number you want to *beat* with your new nurture program.


E.g. Currently 20% of our new tradeshow leads create an Optimizely account.


Nurture Goal


Here’s where you define what success looks like for your nurture program. In this example, we want to increase that conversion rate by 15%.




How will this nurture program meet your goal? You’ve done most of the work already, now you just have to crystallize it.


Example: My hypothesis is that by sending a 4 touch email nurture to our tradeshow leads, they will be more likely to create an account than if they weren’t sent it. By staying top of mind after the trade show is over, leads will be curious to explore what Optimizely can offer.


Intro | Part II

Part I | Part II

Why your nurture programs flop.


Nurture programs should be not taken lightly. They take a long time to plan, prepare, and implement. I’m going to show you how to make every nurture program you create successful.


The two biggest reasons why your nurture program flops:

  1. You can’t measure the program’s success
  2. You waste time creating a nurture program that doesn’t deliver value


It is downright *challenging* to prove Marketing ROI on something you’ve built! I have been there: busting your **** for over a quarter to outline a nurture program strategy, get copy finalized, implement the HTML, create a slide deck for the announcement, only to get from your CMO: “Can you show me some data on how this has positively impacted the business?”




On top of that, nurture programs require a lot of upkeep and vigilance. As a Marketing Automation Manager, it’s your responsibility to ensure you are spending time on programs that are make an impact to the business.


There are millions of (valid) reasons why marketers just want to throw up their hands up in defeat. To create a high impact nurture program, you need to own your success metrics and reporting, and easily determine whether it’s making an  impact on the business.


In this 2 part blog post, I’ll show you how to address the two biggest challenges faced when creating a nurture program, using split testing as a framework. With the right preparation, and by owning your reporting, you will create high impact nurture programs, every time.


If you haven’t tried A/B testing your nurture programs, I cannot recommend it enough. A/B Testing allows you to report clear results, and cuts down time spent debating over what programs to run or maintain. A/B testing may sound technical and analytical, and in some ways it is. But it is the simplest way to empower yourself to be a data-driven marketer, with minimal implementation time.


Part I | Part II

Intro | Part I

Build a data-driven engagement program in Marketo

The hardest part is behind you, the pre-work will not only force your team to align, but you now have a clear roadmap for what to track in Marketo! You will thank me, I promise. Now for the fun stuff.


In this example, we are going to create a 50/50 split test! First, create your Engagement program*. Once you’ve done that, we will add the following elements to it.


*If you’re interested in the naming conventions we use I stole this from Edward Unthank, who’s naming convention I really like.


What we will create:

  • Smart Lists
  • Static Lists
  • Reports
  • Smart Campaigns


Smart Lists


I like having reports to reference and play with in Marketo. I’ll walk you through how I create Baseline reports and Smart Lists for the engagement program.


You’ll be making 3 Smart Lists:

  1. Baseline Target Audience
  2. Baseline Conversion TA
  3. Target Audience (All Time)


Smart List: Baseline Target Audience


You should already have identified how your target audience has performed in the past against the variable you want to improve. We are going to create two smart lists in Marketo so that you can easily refer to the leads meet this criteria.


Here’s my Baseline Target Audience list. You won’t always need to restrict it by year, but it may make you more confident in the numbers.

Smart List: Baseline Conversion Target Audience


Now from that list, I want a smart list that shows how many of those leads converted. Clone the TA 2015 list, and add an additional filter, for the variable you’re tracking

Smart List: Target Audience (All Time)


As a nice to have, I also create a Smart List that looks for any lead that qualifies, despite the year, for easy reference.


Static Lists


Static lists are helpful because they don’t need to cache. Super complicated smart lists can take a long time to load.


You’ll be making 4 Static Lists:

  1. Target Audience
  2. Control Group
  3. Variation Group
  4. Converted Group


Static List: Target Audience

This list will be a catch-all bucket for all leads that, moving forward, qualify for the nurture.


For this example, I’m not going to retroactively put leads into this program. When I activate it, it will only be effective for new leads that apply moving forward.  I think it’s cleaner to start fresh.


Static List: Control Group


Half of the leads that qualify for this nurture will go into this list. This is the group that *won’t* be receiving the new email nurture.

Static List: Variation Group


The other half of the leads that qualify for this nurture will go into this list. This is the group that *will* be receiving the email nurture.


Static List: Converted Group


This is going to be where you add any lead that qualifies for nurture, and that performs the desired activity you wish for them to do. They could be a member of either list!



Let’s create some basic reports so you’re ready to check on your nurture program’s progress at a moment’s notice! Reports can be a little clunky to set up, and if you’re using smart lists, they can take a while to load. Fortunately, you’ve set up Static Lists that will automatically be up to date once you have your Nurture Program running. Your reports will load super quickly.


You’ll create 3 reports:

  1. Baseline Conversion Lead Performance
  2. Control Group Conversion Lead Performance
  3. Variation Group Conversion Lead Performance


Report: Baseline Conversion Lead Performance


This is the report you can link to in your Nurture Framework doc when presenting the baseline conversion rate for your target audience.

Smart List:

Member of Target Audience 2015


Lead Created at: 2015, Group Leads by Account Created Date (variable metric)

Report: Control Group Conversion Lead Performance


This report will allow you to monitor the Control Group’s conversion performance. Select a Lead Performance Report out of the Report options.


Smart List:

Member of Control Group List


Group Leads by Account Created Date (variable metric)


Now you’ll see anyone that has that field populated v. those who doesn’t!


Report: Variation Group Conversion Lead Performance


Now, clone your Control Group report and simply replace the list with the Variation Group Static List.


Smart List:

Member of Variation Group Static List



Group Leads by Account Created Date (variable metric)


Now when someone asks you how the campaign is going, you can easily look at your reports to give an answer. Proactively preparing for these ad-hoc sort of questions is really valuable. It can be deflating to have to respond with: “let me email you the results once I pull the numbers” when you’ve already done so much work!


Smart Campaigns


OK! Now you’re going to set up campaigns that will automate the testing for you. I won’t go over how to make sure the flow of your campaigns are set up correctly. Please prioritize at least a week to insert test leads through: it will save you work in the long term.


You’ll create 5 Campaigns:

  1. Add to List
  2. Add to Test
  3. Add to Stream
  4. Converted


Campaign: Add to List


I like the “Add to List” trigger as much as the “Request a Campaign” trigger. It ensures you aren’t bogging up your campaign queue in Marketo (description here).


This campaign is going to be your Trigger List: using whatever action the lead takes in order to qualify for this nurture program. This example nurture is for new leads created from a particular source. I do not recommend using the Lead Created trigger in engagement programs. Ideally you are only using the Lead Created trigger once in your entire Marketo instance. If your target audience is TOFU, I recommend doing a Daily Batch campaign. That way you don’t have crazy backlogs, and it’s easier to control. Here’s how I would set up this example:


Smart List

Note these filters should be very similar to your Target Audience Smart List!





Daily, Each Lead can flow through ONCE

Campaign: Add to Test


Smart List



Request Welcome Email (if you want an email to go out right away), Add to List using Random Sample



Campaign: Add to Stream


Smart List



Note that I’m only adding those who receive the email as members of the Engagement Program. That means I’m going to perform my A/B test analysis outside of the Program metrics. This way the Engagement Program only looks at conversions for those who actually received the emails. If the program is successful, all I have to do is deactivate the Add to Test Campaign, and change the Add to Stream trigger to be Add to Target Audience (If it does go through however, I’d probably create a clean static list. But I’m OCD like that).



Campaign: Converted


Smart List

Triggered, based on a field update. My filter is member of both variations.



if they are part of the variation (leads receiving the email) their status will change. All members will be added to the list. If they are part of the variation (leads receiving the email) their status will change. All members will be added to the list.



Intro | Part I

If you make changes to the email template that you are using for your Engagement Program Emails be aware that those emails will become unapprove.


You just need to approve them again.


Just a quick note in case this is happening to you, if you don't know why those emails are unapproved this is why.

With one simple test, I was able to get a 165% increase in our survey responses. Here's how I did it.


Optimizely takes our customer's feedback seriously. We've created tight feedback loops that allow customers to share their experience with us.


I A/B tested the support feedback email copy that's delivered to customers who submitted a support ticket. Check out our test stats and learnings:


ElementsSupport Survey Test
Target AudienceEnterprise customers who have submitted a ticket to our support team.
HypothesisIf we send a support survey that references the exact support ticket information, then the customer will be more likely to click on the survey to provide feedback. This personalized email will give the customer immediate context and empower them to act immediately.
VariableEmail copy
GoalIncrease clicks by 50%
Result165% increase in clicks from variation recipients at 100% Statistical Significance*


Here are the two email variations:



Note how we added the support engineer who helped with the ticket!


We updated the subject line so the customer would find this email in the same support ticket thread.


We also added a link to the ticket so the customer could review the ticket they were asked to provide feedback for.


The biggest learning is that it's important to personalize. Our customers have reached a level of sophistication that they expect a catered experience with us, even with a support ticket. Every little bit a marketer can do to personalize will result in huge wins from a marketing campaign.


*I'm a geek, so I like to track statistical significance for our AB tests. If you don't understand statistical significance, that shouldn't deter you from AB testing! Marketo's Email Program Champion feature is a simple way to prove yourself as a data driven marketer.

If you want to create a report that tells you the number of leads that have been created per day this is what you need to do.


1. Go to your Analytics Section and select the Leads Created by Month Report - this is one of your Leads Created by month reports.




How to build it?


2. Go to Leads Created by Month / Setup

Click on ‘Group Leads by’






3. Change Units to Days:




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How to send an invitation reminder to someone who received the first invitation but has not filled a form.


This person is still not registered for our special event.


You need to create some campaigns within your event program.



Screen Shot 2016-01-13 at 3.22.46 PM.png


This is an example of how I set up these campaigns.


Email was sent

Program Status has not changed




Screen Shot 2016-01-13 at 3.22.40 PM.png




Screen Shot 2016-01-13 at 3.28.11 PM.png


The email will be sent out to those who received the initial invitation but haven't completed a form.

Screen Shot 2016-01-13 at 2.39.04 PM.png


If you want to know how to manually change the program status of a specific lead this is what you have to do.


Go into the Lead Database and search for the lead, once you find the desired lead you have to select it.

Click on Lead Actions / Programs / Change Program Status


When would you need to do this?


Say for example, you are running an event and some people haven't filled the form but you know that they are attending.

You want to mark them as registered. In this case you would use this method.


Or you want to manually change the Program Statuses for the No Shows to your event.

Unsubscribe System Token


1. Allows the “Unsubscribe” link to be placed anywhere in the email, and even to be set on the template level.

2. Functions EXACTLY as the appended unsubscribe link

3. Doesn’t count as “Clicked link in email”

4. Reads record as “Unsubscribed from email”

5. No need to “Clicked link and was not unsubscribe link”

6. Automatically removes the appended unsubscribe if the link is in the email.

7. Token renders the link to the unsubscribe page, so the token should be placed inside the anchor tag; for example

<a href=”{{system.unsubscribeLink}}”>Unsubscribe from our Newsletter</a>


Source: Marketo System Tokens for "Unsubscribe" and "View As Web Page" - Elixiter, Inc.

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