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Here is additional information about native de-dupe behavior for form submissions to supplement the great article John Mattos wrote about "The Unintended Consequences of Duplicates in Marketo."


During form submissions if the record isn’t cookied and their email address is in Marketo multiple times, Marketo will match with the one which was most recently updated (by last modified date in the “updated” field).

  • The data value changes in Marketo will only affect one record if there are duplicates; they will not affect the duplicate records. For example, if a record changes their title, the change will not occur for the duplicate records.
    • There is one exception to the rule highlighted above. If the unsubscribed (SFDC opt-out) field changes to true, Marketo will automatically unsubscribe all records with a matching email address. Thus, if the SFDC opt-out field changes to true all records with the matching email address will change to true. The data value change will be noted in the Marketo activity log for each of the records.

  • Assuming that the Marketo cookie information is included in the form (standard for Marketo landing pages or embedded Marketo forms), the web page visits will now be tracked on the most recently updated record.
  • If there are duplicate records in Marketo and one of the records is cookied, the cookied record will be associated to the form fillout regardless if a duplicate record was updated last. Thus, the cookied record in a browser will always be matched/win versus a duplicate record which clicks on a link in an email.
  • The form fill-out activity may not be associated to a record which was sent the email directing them to the form fill-out
  • Pre-fill and progressive profiling will work when a record is cookied or sent an email


Cookie Behavior:

  • If a record is not already cookied it will become cookied when they fill out a form or click a link in an email which takes them to a web page which contains the munchkin tracking code
  • Any anonymous web activity will appear once the record is cookied

Here are the steps for syncing a lookup field on the SFDC Lead Object.


Step 1. Make the lookup field visible on the SFDC Marketo Profile

Step 2. If the lookup field is referencing a SFDC Custom Object, make sure the SFDC Custom Object is visible to the SFDC Marketo profile by setting the object permissions (Set to read only and view all records)

Step 3. If you want all the values of the field to sync over to Marketo immediately you can have your SFDC admin use the SFDC Data Loader to change the last modified date/system mod stamp for all the records.


Note: It is recommended you confirm with your SFDC Admin that the last modified date/system mod stamp is updated when the value of the lookup field changes.


A lookup field will translate to an id in Marketo. If you want the value to appear in Marketo so it will be easier to use, have the SFDC Admin create another field which populates it with the value.


See this article for part I of syncing a previously hidden SFDC field.


Additional resources for learning about the Marketo integration with SFDC.

When you have a flow step with many choices, the order in which you put those choices matters. I sometimes see flow steps like this one:

This campaign has 13 choices, and it's basically normalizing the country name for Australia and several of the nearby islands. Now why is this a bad order? Well, let's take a quick look at the population differences in these countries, courtesy of rampant Wikipedia thievery:


So, this tells me that I am far more likely to have someone from Australia go through this campaign than from any other country. And when they do go through it, I am going to perform 13 checks before I actually run a flow step on those people.


If I instead reorder the campaign like this:

Now the vast majority of people running through the campaign will be resolved within three choices and the other 10 will almost never be evaluated. This same concept applies to almost any other situation where you are using choices with flow steps.

When using triggers to either update lead data or to act upon that data, it's important to understand that triggers could cause smart campaigns to "compete" with one another. Consider the following scenario – taken from a Marketo client situation but revised for a fictional organization that sells animal products and services. This organization require two separate campaigns - one to set the brand (animal) preferences of prospects and another to specifically sets a new lead's emailability for that brand (animal).


The Case:

Smart Campaign 1 - Set Animal Preference: This triggered campaign qualifies prospects as a dog lover, cat lover, etc. This campaign updates the mkto_Loves Dogs field to "true." The campaign is constantly qualifying new prospects based on specific forms they fill out, opportunity activity, etc.  SM1-SL.png



Smart Campaign 2 - Set Communication Preference by Animal: This triggered campaign qualifies prospects in the database as emailable for dog-focused content. One of the filters in this campaign is that mkto_Loves Dogs = true. If they qualify, the Marketo field mkto_Emailable Dog Lovers is updated to "true." This field must be true for a prospect to receive any promotional communications about dogs and is leveraged by the dog brand marketing team in all of their smart lists to simplify identifying emailable prospects.




Over the next several weeks, most prospects that should have qualified for Smart Campaign 2 didn't. Several thousand dog-loving prospects were not getting their emails about dogs. So what happened?


The Investigation:

If you haven't already guessed from the title of this post, the two triggered campaigns were "racing" one another and, often times, the second smart campaign setting them as emailable for dog communications was the *****. The triggers in each smart campaign could initiate at the same time - and often did, as the same activities that might tell the system the prospect was interested in dogs could also indicate they were emailable. 


In Smart Campaign 2, the prospect has mkto_Dog Lovers = true as one of its filters to determine emailability for dogs. But many times, Smart Campaign 1, which set the Dog Lover value, hadn't finished running at the same time Smart Campaign 2 triggered. The prospect would then fail to qualify for Smart Campaign 2 and would not be marked as mkto_Emailable Dog Lover = true.


The Solution:

Since Smart Campaign 2's ultimate priority was to identify prospects who are Dog Lovers in order to then determine if they can be emailed about dog communications, we modified the campaign. Instead of using the mkto_Loves Dogs as a filter, we made a change to it a trigger, then kept the remaining filters around email validity, unsubscribes, etc. With this in place, Smart Campaign 2 remains a triggered campaign but will never fire prior to the prospect's Loves Dogs value being set via Smart Campaign 1.


As we all know, there are many ways to build things in Marketo and this is just one way to achieve brand communication preferences. The CRM and sales processes of this fictional organization required that the two processes - establishing brand preference and establishing brand emailability -  be separate and be triggered in real time off of some specific events as part of their process. Creating batch campaigns with coordinated schedules would be another option to resolve this issue. So just keep in mind that if you have two campaigns triggering off of similar criteria, and one campaign relies on the values set by the other, they may "compete" with one another. You may have to take a second look at what your triggering criteria really needs to be.


Bonus Tip! Don't forget that triggers never operate together as "and" the way filters can. They are always "or." So in smart campaign 1, being added to a K9 opportunity OR filling out the dog form would trigger the smart campaign.

Hello members of the Marketing Nation!


As you may have noticed when you logged in today, the homepage is slightly different. We hope you like it!

We are always trying to make it easy for you, our customers and partners, to navigate the Community and easily find what you need to be successful. We even did some research in June to get your feedback. SeeWhat are your top 10 pages in Community?


Here is what has changed :


  • Hero: As you can see the large image at the top (what we call the hero) has remained. We will continue to promote important events, announcements and opportunities in this spot regularly.
  • 6 CTAs: We tried to simplify these CTAs based on your feedback and based on key areas of the site that will help you navigate Community as well as get started with Marketo. These buttons are to help all levels of Marketo users as well as newbies to Community find what they need. We chose only 6 (opposed to the 10 I got feedback on) to make the page cleaner.
    • NOTE: Don't forget to utilize the top global navigation and the super ball drop down to find important pages also!
  • 3 smaller buttons: If you remember, these were larger stock images used to promote other announcements, opportunities and events, like upcoming webinars. We decided to adjust the real estate these CTAs were using to put more focus on the 6 CTAs above, but we will still use them to promote secondary events and announcements. Some may stay more constant than others, such as Join a User Group.


If you have feedback, please feel free to provide it here in the comments!

One of the hardest things about using targeted web personalization campaigns is testing the campaign before launching it. Within Marketo’s automation platform, there are a host of testing techniques available including being able to see how emails and landing pages look in different browsers or email clients, viewing dynamic content as a specific person or as part of a segment within a segmentation, and creating seed lists or using filters to run smart campaigns to perform an end-to-end test of a program.


With web personalization, testing web campaigns is trickier since the IP information of the person doing the testing might not qualify to actually see the campaign.


Here are the various ways to work around IP information limitations in increasing complexity and level of effort:


1.  Preview on site

Preview on Site .png

The preview on site functionality allows you to see a campaign on a specific web page before launching it. In fact, by checking “Via Proxy” you can use this functionality to see how a campaign will look on any website regardless of if the web personalization tag has been installed on that site.  Clicking the share button will generate an email with a link for someone else to preview the campaign. When using the share feature, the campaign link is still based on session times so keep this in mind if you are sharing widget or dialog campaigns.


2. Sandbox segment


Screen Shot 2016-07-25 at 4.09.11 PM.png

Create a specific test segment where the rules of the segment are based on specific URL matches of Sandbox=1 (or similar). Update the Target Segment of your campaign to the Sandbox segment and launch the campaign.  Then, visit the web page where the campaign should appear and add the sandbox URL parameter to the end (e.g.  When using the sandbox segment, if edits are made to the campaign, the changes will not show on subsequent visits without a person clearing their browser cookies or a session time expiring.


3. Configure a QA site as a separate domain


Depending on your contract, you may be able to add your development site as a separate domain within your instance. However, the IP restrictions of segments still apply so you will need to ensure that anyone performing testing still meets the criteria of the segment. Usually test websites are only accessible behind a company firewall so people performing any tests need to be able to access the test website. Given the level of effort and maintenance, this method is usually only used for an initial implementation and occasionally to test new In Zone and/or API campaigns after web personalization is live on a web site.


Want more how to details on using these different test methods? Visit

Many of you already know how to Create an RTP Segment Using Known Lead Data, but what do you do if you want to test that segment?


It’s easy – here’s how you do it…

  1. First, you must clear all browser cookies (or go incognito or create a private browser session depending upon which browser you are using).  This a key step and if overlooked your test will fail.
  2. Next you should fill out a form on your website using a brand new email address that isn’t already in your Marketo Lead/People database.
    • In this case, your form must be synced with MLM either because you are using a Marketo embedded form or a Marketo form on a Marketo Landing page that has the RTP tag installed, or you are using your own forms along with the Marketo Forms 2.0 API. Click here to read more about the use of forms and Web Personalization (RTP).
  3. Once you submit the form locate the newly created Lead/Person in the MLM database to ensure the lead exists.
  4. Next, in Web Personalization (RTP) create a segment that uses the Lead Database attribute found under Know Leads filters and select Email Address as the field you want to target.  Use the ‘is’ operator and fill in the email address you just used to fill out the form.


Lead Database Filter.png


Note: In order to use email address as a value you must first be sure it’s been synced over – here’s what that looks like:


Add Email Address.png


5. Wait about 5-10 minutes and then refresh the webpage where you submitted the form.

6. You can then check to confirm the test email address matched the segment:


Test Known Lead Data.png


Happy testing!

A client recently asked me if a sales rep used Marketo Sales Insight to send an email which was in an engagement program, would that email be sent again in the nurture or skipped.


In theory, it seems like the nurture program would not send the email since it is the exact same email – it was just enabled for Sales Insight in the email settings.  This, however, is not the case when using out of the box functionality of Marketo.


While the email is the same content and just one email to edit within the UI, the Marketo platform sees this one email as two individual emails on the back end. 


Why?  Because every Sales Insight email is assigned a unique ID to help Marketo’s system distinguish between a “marketing” email and a “sales email” when it is sent. It is this functionality that allows the Sales Email Performance report to be generated and grouped either by Email or Sales Rep.


The engagement program looks for the unique ID of its email, and since the nurture email has not been sent to the person, it will indeed be sent again.


Because seeing is believing, here are the test results that show how the system considers the email two separate emails.




Now, you can set up a more complex engagement program using nested default programs, program statuses and add choice flow steps to trick the system into thinking an email has been sent to someone before and therefore have it skipped inside of an engagement program. But this is a topic for another day. If you would like to learn how now, reach out to and learn how our professional services team can help. 

When creating a segment, one of the Know Leads filters in Web Personalization provides the ability to create personalized campaigns based on a Marketo Email Campaign.  This provides a very powerful way to create custom campaigns that take your conversation from email campaign to the web and will likely result in increased session times as well as more page visits.


Start by creating the segment

Simply drag over the filter and choose either the Program Name or Campaign Name (this is the Smart Campaign name), then set your operator (is, is not, etc.) and begin typing in the empty field.  As you do, your MLM Programs or Smart Campaign will be available in the drop down. 


c conversation 1.png


Let’s take a look at how this works

What’s important to note is that you can't build a segment off of program membership. Like I mentioned, Programs & Smart campaigns in segments are used to continue the conversation from email to web. In order to match the segment a person (lead or contact) in MLM would need to click on a link in an email that's referenced in the Program or Smart Campaign used in the Web Personalization segment.


It’s also important to note that Web Personalization segmentation logic does not always work the same way as smart list logic does.  Read more about how Web Personalization segmentation works here:


An example of how you would set up a segment that uses both an email program and lead attribute can be found in the below screen capture.  In this example, when someone clicks a link in an email sent by the Smart Campaign and if they have a lead score that is greater than 30 they will match the segment. You can then use this segment to create a relevant Dialog, Widget or In Zone campaign to show to that visitor.


c conversation 2.png


Keep in mind that this is creating a definitive campaign that requires that web visitors meet a very specific set of criteria to be able to match and be eligible to see the campaign.  That being said, it’s a very powerful way to continue the conversation from email to the web.


Some other things to consider

So let’s say a user visits your website the day after the email was sent to them.  Will they see the campaign?  The answer is no.  Why? Web Personalization happens in real-time using real-time segments that match at that moment. In other words, the segment won’t match a future visit from a person going directly to the website if they did not click on email link again. It works in the moment, and will personalize content to that visitor during that visit -  it’s not created and built retroactively.  This is unlike a filter or trigger of smart lists in MLM, which bases the flow (action) on existing or past data and filtering.


And another thing to keep in mind is that segment matches can vary if users are, for instance, clicking on a link on their phones which takes them to a mobile version of your website where no RTP tag has been deployed.


In web personalization you must always remember that a visitor must EXACTLY match a segment BEFORE they can become eligible for a campaign and they must be visiting a page on which the RTP tag has been deployed.


Thanks to David Myers as usual for his input and to Michaela Iery for a solid use case on which this blog was based.

I was recently reminded about a great session from Summit called:


Mo Marketo, Mo Money

How to grow your career with Marketo

by Inga Romanoff and Jason Seeba


If you want to know be reminded about why you put in all those hours learning Marketo, then you need to watch this presentation.


You can find the video recording here: Mo-Marketo Mo-Money Video

You can find their slides here: Mo-Marketo-Mo-Money


Inga and Jason are leaders of the New York and Silicon Valley Marketo User Groups for a hip-hop themed look at how you can use Marketo to grow your expertise, influence and ultimately your career. We’ll put the East Coast-West Coast rap feud to bed and share three tangible ways you can immediately step up your game. You'll learn:

  • How to quickly deepen your Marketo experience - “(I) Get Around” (2Pac)
  • How to easily get plugged into the Marketo Community - “Get Involved” (Q-Tip)
  • How to simply understand your worth in the market and maximize it “Get Money” (Biggie)

[We create/share this news so you can share it with your peers and executives, which will show that you are on top of the latest happenings in the industry]




Marketo Inspires Student Success Through Second-Annual Global Volunteer Month

Press release

Month of service mobilizes nearly 1,000 employees worldwide on a mission to support education and career pathways for underserved students


The evolution of marketing platforms: From automation to journeys

Marketing Land

The next generation of marketing automation is emerging, and it’s more focused on machine-informed journeys than rule-based campaigns. Shankar is quoted with a reference to Project Orion.


What Marketers Need to Know About Project Orion

Customer Think

Considering the influence Marketo has on the marketing world in general, this was not an announcement to take lightly as Project Orion represents a major upgrade to Marketo’s existing platform, one that looks to capitalize on recent advances made in big data and predictive analytics.



Fight the skills shortage: SME relies on training

Wirtschafts Woche (Germany)

More mileage out of Sanjay’s interview with one of Germany’s leading business pubs. The article quotes him on mining for internal talent.


CDO, CMO or someone else? Who is responsible for digital?

Emerce (Netherlands)

Article quotes Sanjay's Information Age article on CDOs.



Press Release: Nisha Printing - Marketo Customer


Businesses looking ahead with marketing automation (translated)

IT Media (Japan)

Coverage from Summit in Vegas.


ABM, predictive analytics -- is this the way for tomorrow's marketer to live? (Translated)

IT Media (Japan)

Additional Summit coverage from Vegas.


Dentsu look to digital establishment, of the marketing industry "super diversification" (translated)

Huffington Post Japan

Pick-up of Digiday Dentsu Japan article.



·       Article 1

·       Article 2

·       Marketo VP Chandar Pattabhiram’s Interview Report@Japan Summit2016




How customer insight and content are helping this Aussie fintech startup to flourish

CMO Australia

Prospa's first CMO talks about how he's tackling strategic marketing, mentioning his use of Marketo.


Insights from the chief marketing technologist of an $18B firm

Customer Think

Scott Brinker interviews Duane Schulz, Chief Marketing Technologist at Xerox and a member of the Marketo Executive Council. Duane gives Marketo a shout out.


GE and Microsoft work together on IoT services in the cloud


GE's Predix software has come to Microsoft's Azure cloud platform.


Talend CEO: Businesses seek simplicity and control with a new “centres of mass” approach to analytics and cloud

Computer Business Review

Mike Tuchen, CEO, Talend, told CBR that increasingly businesses are building ecosystems around a Salesforce, SAP, NetSuite, or Marketo.


Box moves telephony, Web conferencing to the cloud


Box's CIO mentions how the company is using data from Marketo in its quest to build a new data management architecture to support real-time analytics and insights, a key ingredient for identifying new customer leads and improving operational efficiencies.


RIAs boost profitability while gaining clients, Charles Schwab study shows

Investment News

Profitability rose about 4% last year and is up 27% since 2011 as firms become more efficient through technology, according toCharles Schwab's RIA benchmarking study.


Interview: Synching up with dropbox


Video interview with Dropbox’s Dennis Woodside at Fortune's Brainstorm Tech.


Combining Data Sources to Drive Smarter Decisions


David Abramson, Director of Product Management at Logi Analytics, discusses how the advent of new and disparate data sources means we must rethink the way we manage data, with a mention of Marketo.


The Digital Disruption In Industrial Sales And Marketing

Industrial Distribution

A recent report from the respected global consulting firm, Bain & Company, interviewed 370 marketing and sales executives working in the industrial and technology sectors. The numbers are impressive. Almost half of those surveyed said that digital capabilities have significantly changed their customer’s behavior. The report estimates that nearly two-thirds of all industrial B2B buyer research is now done online, meaning that customers have access to more information, and as a result, more power than in the past.


Steve Rotter Named OutSystems CMO to Expand Leading Low-code Platform

Press release

Having led innovative marketing teams for more than 20 years, Rotter established himself as a brand champion at technology companies such as Brightcove, Adobe and Motorola. As a marketing trailblazer, Steve has been recognized as one of the top 100 influencers in content and online marketing, received a CMO ROI award from IDC, and a prestigious “Stackies Award” from ChiefMarTec.


ReachLocal Enhances Marketing Analytics Features for ReachEdge

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With ReachLocal's new analytics features, ocal businesses can see which specific websites and campaigns drive results, and they can use that insight to guide online marketing investments that will grow their business.


Amplero Raises $8 Million In Series A Funding

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The makings of a great marketer

CMO Innovation

Nutanix CMO professed that he had always been fascinated with storytelling, noting how the best sales, marketing and business people are phenomenal story tellers.


How to Drive B-to-B Loyalty by Celebrating Customers

Advertising Age

CMO Spotlight: Stephanie Anderson, Time Warner Cable Business Class


Snowflake Computing Extends Executive Team and Board of Directors to Support Growing Business Demands

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Snowflake Computing Appoints Denise Persson Chief Marketing Officer; Adds Altimeter Capital's Kevin Wang to Board of Directors.


Webgility's Unify for Infusionsoft Simplifies e-Commerce Data Management -- Streamlining Workflows, Saving Money, and Stopping All Data Entry

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Fishbowl and MonkeyMedia Software Announce Strategic Partnership

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Amazon Just Bought This Hot Cloud Startup


The retail giant’s cloud-computing arm, Amazon Web Services, bought a small startup called Cloud9 that specializes in software development tools.


How brands are tackling the emotional heart of customer experience

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'Founder's Mentality' Is a Company's Best-Kept Secret, Bain Chiefs Argue


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Viewpost Receives Highest Enterprise-Ready Rating from the Skyhigh CloudTrust™ Program

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eBay Agrees to Acquire SalesPredict

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ANNUITAS and its Clients Named Finalists for Content Marketing Awards

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New data shows how Facebook and Instagram users are different

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Facebook Blames Lack of Available Talent for Diversity Problem

The Wall Street Journal

Many observers say talent pipeline isn’t primary factor for Facebook.


Native videos posted by publishers’ Facebook Pages average 268% more shares than article links

Marketing Land

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Google launches new visual search ads for retailers

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Google’s Programmatic Video Biz Is Growing Like A Weed


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Microsoft’s UK CMO on artificial intelligence and his visionary inspiration

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Centrify Strengthens Executive Team with Appointment of Chief Marketing Officer

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Interview with Daniel Incandela, SVP Global Marketing at Return Path

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Inside the Agency: Razorfish's sleek New York headquarters


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5 Ways MA Can Help Your Enterprise Grow-1.png
These days, growth-oriented, ambitious companies increasingly have the opportunity to gain the upper hand in the market because they are taking advantage of digital tools to maintain and even amplify their competitive edge. As prospective customers determine their own purchase journey, emerging enterprises must use digital tools to build personal relationships with them, win their business, and grow that business—and those relationships—over time.


The cornerstone of building your digital competitive advantage is an engagement marketing platform—a marketing automation platform that includes all the applications and solutions you need to engage your prospects and customers at the right time, in the right place, and with a relevant and personal message.


Download this ebook to learn five ways that you can use an engagement marketing platform to outsmart the competition—even those with a much biigger presence and budget.


Ebook: Best Practices for Mobile Marketing: How to Acquire, Engage, and Retain Users



Website Description:


As a mobile marketer, you need to deliver the cohesive experience that your audience expects and that’s no small challenge as you work to acquire, engage, and retain users across a variety of platforms. So how do you earn and keep your consumers' attention with so many apps competing for their attention?


The key is cutting through an exceedingly noisy world to engage individuals continuously, in a meaningful and personalized way, across channels and devices?


Download this ebook to learn how you can ensure you’re driving deep engagement with users wherever they are by delivering relevant, cross-channel experiences through the entire mobile customer lifecycle.

This checklist can be used when testing an engagement program with emails in the streams (It is not comprehensive for the use case when you have programs within your streams also.)


  • Turn off the program in the Setup tab.
  • Remove the cadence from the streams.
  • Right click on each email used in the nurture and use Send Sample to test the HTML and text versions of each email. Choose an example lead to see what the email would look like with personalized and/or dynamic content for that specific individual but always send to your own email address. Make sure to test the links within each email, including those in headers and footers.
  • Make sure the emails are active in the streams.
  • Use the test stream functionality to mimic a cast to just one specific lead. Repeat this to test that the content in each streams comes in the correct order. Use your own email address
  • Deactivate all of the content.
  • Make sure your add to nurture campaign rules are active, if they are triggered campaigns.
  • Create one test record that meets the qualification criteria for each stream. Use a common email domain for each.
  • Add a filter onto the smart campaign for Email Address and include the email address(es) for all of your test records.
  • Test the positive scenario: Run the campaign(s) that add people to nurture streams. Confirm that each of your test records moves into the right stream.
  • Create one test record that does not meet each of the qualification criteria for each stream. To be thorough, you should only negate one criteria for each record, e.g. if your list criteria excludes people who are unsubscribed and who are located in Canada, create one test record who is unsubscribed but in the US and another who is not unsubscribes but lives in Canada. Use a common email domain for each.
  • Add a filter onto the smart campaign for Email Address and include the email address(es) for all of your test records.
  • Test the negative scenario: Run the campaign(s) that add people to nurture streams. Confirm that each of your test records does not move into the stream.
  • Make sure your stream transition rules are active, if they are triggered campaigns.
  • On one of your positive test records, take an action that will move you to the second stream. Confirm that the person moves into the next stream.
  • Repeat for all streams and all transition rules.
  • On your negative test records, take an action that would move you to the second stream. Confirm that the person does not move into the next stream.
  • Repeat for all streams, all transition rules, and all exclusion criteria.
  • On one of your positive test records, take an action that will pause you from communications. Confirm that the person’s cadence changes to paused.
  • Repeat for all actions that could pause you from communications.
  • On one of your negative test records, take an action that will pause you from communications. Confirm that the person’s cadence and engagement program membership does not change.
  • Repeat for all actions that could pause you from communications.
  • On one of your positive test records, take an action that will unpause you from communications. Confirm that the person’s cadence changes to normal.
  • Repeat for all actions that could unpause you from communications.
  • On one of your negative test records, take an action that will unpause you from communications. Confirm that the person’s cadence and engagement program membership does not change.
  • Repeat for all actions that could unpause you from communications.
  • On one of your positive test records, take an action that will mark you as successful. Confirm that the person’s program status changes.
  • Repeat for all actions that could mark you as successful.
  • On one of your negative test records, take an action that will mark you as successful. Confirm that the person’s program status does not change.
  • Repeat for all actions that could mark you successful.
  • Deactivate smart campaigns.
  • Remove all test records from the nurture streams.
  • Remove the email address filters from the smart campaigns.
  • Run batch smart campaigns to add historical records to the nurture streams. Spot check streams to make sure the right people are in each stream.
  • Once ready to go live: set cadence, activate smart campaigns, and turn the program on.

I get to experience all the effort and time that we marketers spend on building awesome content and creative assets for emails, crafting perfect subject lines and investing hours on building reports that reflect our efforts on Open Rates, Clicks Through Rates and hopefully having an impact in Conversions.

As a user, what surprises me is that I receive dozens of emails with lots of small errors that only inspire me to delete them. I delete those unwanted emails from my mobile phone so I will never see the result of those long hours of work. Maybe your audience is doing the same with the emails that you craft.

If your emails are not being opened... where is all that hard work going?

Let's see what are the most common mistakes from marketers when building emails.   Ideally you would be able to see what your readers see and do the extra bit of work that will make the difference between having  your emails opened or deleted. 

These are some of my good, bad and ugly examples that I have gathered. Hopefully they could help you spot the mistakes that you are making. Small changes on the details below will make huge differences. Believe me!

Let's get started...

1. The Good. This is a perfect example of how emails for mobile should be crafted.  This email has a very clear Call to Action for their subject line ("Become a Journalist", they also mention an "Exclusive..." Offer? Maybe?") The preview is greatly crafted. It describes a benefit of their offer, something that is important for a person considering to become a journalist ("You can become a freelance journalist in as little as 12 weeks. No pre-requisites...). 

2. The bad. normally crafts beautiful content for entrepreneurs. On email #2 we can see that sender and subject line are really good, short, clear and specific but as you can observe the preview element was not properly looked after.  (How horrible it looks for the reader to see this message: "This email was sent as HTML...").

3. The ugly. The preview on email 3 is ugly: code, code, ugly slashes? Inviting?  No! Even when the subject line is inviting, it is a shame that this preview encourages me to delete this one.

4. The bad and ugly.  I get an email from someone called 'anil' - all small letters?.  The subject line sounds spammy and the preview? Not inviting?

So, can you tell how many of these emails were opened?

Let's talk about the small details that you should pay attention to when building your email if you want to increase your Open Rates on mobile.

1. Check your preview content.  It could make the difference on having your emails opened. Avoid the bad and the ugly!

2. Test your emails on different devices.  Make sure you like how your emails look on the most popular devices. You can use to test them.

3. Think as a receiver: What would encourage your readers to open that email that took you so long to build and get approved.

Marketo has released another very interesting take on WYSIWYG: Email Editor 2.0.

With this gallery- and module-enabled interface, life becomes easier for the boots-on-the-ground marketer.

Though, just like with Guided Landing Pages, our developers will need to rethink their templates and include some important elements.

What’s new and cool?

Template Gallery replaces the “New Email” modal and gives you the ability to navigate Template thumbnails and preview in Desktop or Mobile formats. There are also 17 “Starter Templates” from Marketo that can be used for emails immediately or copied into your instance’s Design Studio for customization and future use.

Modules enable moving content within your emails to change order, hide and add more sections. We are only allowed to use one Container to store Modules in, but let’s talk about that more later.

All new editable elements and variables gives Developers more control over what the End User can edit and gives them more tools to get it in….

Save As Template is just a click away when editing an email. This stores your module order, tokens and other updates so the average Marketer can create their own version of a Template without calling on Developers.

Updating & Building Templates for 2.0

With all the shiny new features, we need to think about how the end user works and what kind of content they will need to add. Here’s how to get started:

1. Build a responsive email template. Make sure you are using a clear <table> structure with defined content sections as <table> or <tr> within the parent. You still get all the features if it’s just scalable or fluid, but why spend the time? The one I am working with looks like this:


2. Test it in all clients. Since we are going to add a bunch of custom Marketo variables and functions that browsers do not understand, I always like to make sure templates render right beforehand using Litmus.

3. Decide where Container needs to be, inject Modules and hide them if you want. AContainer is used to hold multiple Modules and allows the Editor to reorder or remove the Modules within it. Our template has one <table> with each section in a <tr> so our Container & first two Module <tr> look something like this:

<table class=”mktoContainer” id=”mainContent” mktoName=”container” width=”100%” border=”0″ align=”center” cellpadding=”0″ cellspacing=”0″ bgcolor=”!{bgColor}” style=”padding: 0; margin: 0;”><tr class=”mktoModule” id=”onecolumn1″ mktoname=”onecolumn1″></tr>
<tr class=”mktoModule” id=”threeColumn” mktoname=”threeColumn”></tr>


4. Start Adding Elements. This is where most of the work goes in. Go through each section and discover how the end user should/ wants to fill in content. Do you want marketers writing HTML or just type in the box?

I suggest starting with Tokens, replace colors, fonts, etc. with a find & replace. Start by creating your <meta> in the <head> then cmd+f…

String Tokens can be used for CTA Buttons, as link urls or the text itself. In our example, the button text is “Read Me” across the template, though the link is unique for each button.

<meta class=”mktoString” id=”ctaCol1” mktoname=”CTA Column 1″ default=”” />
<meta class=”mktoString” id=”ctaText” mktoname=”CTA Button Text” default=”Read Me” />
<a href=”!{ctaCol1}” style=”font-weight: normal; color:#FFFFFF; text-decoration: none;”>

5. Decide if you need Color & Number variables. Since every section has it’s own bg and style attribute, using variables makes it easy for the Editing User to make global changes.

Color variable for head:

Screen Shot 2016-06-27 at 3.30.50 PM

<meta class=”mktoColor” id=”headerBand” mktoname=”Header Band Color” default=”#333333″ />

Number variable for Height Spacers:

Screen Shot 2016-06-27 at 3.30.57 PM

<meta class=”mktoNumber” id=”spacerheight” mktoname=”Spacer Height” default=”40″ min=”10″ max=”80″ units=”px” step=”1″ />

Lets say you have a Header section, like the one below:

Start defining your non-module sections with editable elements.


Users need to replace the Logo image, but never the link so I used a mktoImg class in a <img>, set a default image with src and wrapped everything in my ‘hard-coded’ link url.

<a href=”” style=”color:${headerBand};”>
<img src=”” class=”mktoImg” id=”logoImg” border=”0″ alt=”LeadMD” width=”160″ height=”90″ mktoname=”Logo Image” />


Social icons are similar, they don’t really change unless we want to remove them for a send. The mktoText class works similarly to mktoEditable and displays a Rich Text editor for the end user.

<div id=”socialIcons” mktoname=”socialIcons” class=”mktoText”  align=”center” style=”height:30px; width:150px; ” >
<a title=”Facebook” href=”#”img src=”#” alt=”” width=”30″ height=”30″ border=”0″ style=”padding-left: 4px;” /></a>
<a title=”Twitter” href=”#”><img src=”#” alt=”” width=”30″ height=”30″ border=”0″ style=”padding-left: 4px;” /></a>
<a title=”Linkedin” href=”#”><img src=”#” alt=”” width=”30″ height=”30″ border=”0″ style=”padding-left: 4px;” /></a>

5. Decide how Modules are used & Methods for editing. Since Modules can be duplicated, but their Variables are global we need to think about what the Editing User will do. Some training will be needed here as we can’t prevent this action by the User.

Our 3 Column Section uses Variables for the CTA Links in the Header, Image & Button of each Column to ensure consistency of links. If the Editing User wants to duplicate the section, both Left Columns would have the same CTA Link. You could build the Variable into an editable area and allow the Editing User to add their own link. Instead of adding an image as we did above, use a <div> with mktoImg class like this.

<div class=”mktoImg img_scale” id=”columnImg_3-3″ mktoname=”3/3 Column Image” border=”0″ align=”middle”>
<a href=”${ctaCol3}”>
<img src=”×110″ alt=”LeadMD” width=”160″ height=”110″ border=”0″ />

6. Check your syntax again & Validate in Marketo. The new Editor is a bit more picky than before and does not display in Preview if there is any ‘broken’ code. You can check standard HTML syntax with a validation tool but beware, all the Marketo attributes will log errors. Also, don’t forget, Marketo classes cannot be nested this means you can’t put an mktoImg inside an mktoText. Luckily, Marketo’s built in validator will alert on these items.

7. Create an email from the Template and make edits. Once I had my template built out, I needed to create a few emails based on it to ensure everything worked as intended. It also helped me understand how everything was working together and what would happen if…

8. Test send your email and do it again.

I strongly suggest reading through Marketo’s syntax guide before really diving in as there are specific requirements for each element and email structure.


This is a long awaited update that is actually what I was hoping for. There are some elements that could use work, such as the bulky UI and consistent load errors when navigating to a re-approve template. But this tool really does everything it had promised.


Link to post: What #MKTGnation Needs to Know About Marketo Email Editor 2.0 | LeadMD  | Authored by: Max Suckle

I believe that understanding some basic facts about triggers is really useful.


Let's talk about some facts about triggers:


1. Triggers listen


Triggers are there listening for actions to occur. If we set up triggers as part of smart campaign, a trigger will be there listening. It is in the flow where we define what we want Marketo to do once that action takes place.


A common example and use of triggers is the auto-responder: Once a lead fills in the form (Fills Out Form) we want Marketo to send out an Email that includes the link to our PDF.



2. Triggers are ORs.  They are not ANDS. 

If we use multiple triggers, triggers act as ORs.  Marketo is listening for action to occurs and if we go back to our previous example Marketo will execute the flow action as soon as one of the actions that we list in our smart list takes place. 



What does this mean?


Let's say that our Flow Step in this case is Send Email

If I set up a campaign that includes 3 different triggers like:


- Opens Email

- Fills out form

- Program Status is changed


What will happen?


Marketo will send the selected email to whoever fills opens an email, fills out a form or has a change in program status.

Whatever happens first.


Let's say:

- Marie opens the selected email -> Marie will receive my test email

- John fills out a from -> John will receive my test email

- Sandra has a change in program status -> Sandra will receive my test email.


I have observed that there is a confusion on how multiple triggers work and in my opinion this is one key element that we need to understand so our campaigns are set up properly and they perform the actions that we need.


Fact 3. Multiple triggers do not mean that multiple things have to happen.


I have see this as common misunderstanding, multiple triggers do not mean that multiple things need to happen.


Using this example, it doesn't mean that we the 3 actions need to occur so Marketo could send that email out.


Fact 4. Triggers speak Present Tense

You can observe that triggers always speak present tense:





Fact 5. Campaigns using Triggers get activated


This means that we need to make sure that we are happy with the flow steps that we have defined because as soon as someone qualifies with the rule the action will take place. Let's say we said. Fills Out Form -> Send Email.  As soon as someone fills out a form that email will be sent.

Hot off the press: New eBook:

  • True business growth comes from more than acquisition; it’s sustained by keeping your customers happy and introducing them to complementary products. According to eMarketer, it costs 10 times more to acquire new customers than to sell to the ones you already have. Yet most marketers still focus their investment and activities primarily on driving acquisition. Today, more than ever, marketers must focus on providing value through the entire customer lifecycle.
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Screen Shot 2016 07 08 at 9.46.23 AM

I believe this is an idea worth trying: Set up program statuses as part of your lead scoring model.


You need to  creete a new program that would be your Lead Scoring Program.


They way we normally set up lead scoring is through an operational program, therefore it could be tricky to define status.

So this is my recommendation on how program statuses could be used in combination with Lead Scoring.


1. Create a lead scoring channel

Go to Admin / Tags / Channels

Create new Channel:  Lead Scoring (Make that applicable to your default program)

When you create the channel choose Operational from Analytical Behavior


2. Define your different steps

Step 10: Membership

Step 20: Score over 50

Step 30: Score over 100



4. Define your success step.

In this case my success step would be Score over +50



Screen Shot 2016-05-10 at 3.27.17 PM.png


3. Set up your campaigns that will change the Program Statuses depending on your score values.

I would build this campaigns in the same program.

I've been keeping a chart of differences between custom fields, custom objects, and custom activities to help my customers choose the right place to store data. Not all of the functionality is immediately obvious but it can have a big impact down the line.



Custom Field (person)

Custom Object

Custom Activity

Can be used to personalize email




Can be used to personalize mobile




Can be used to segment/target/trigger off value upon insertion




Can be used to segment/target off current values




Can be used to trigger off changes to an attribute


X (Since 2017)


Can be 1:N with a person




Can be aggregated over time period (frequency)




Can be created by a Marketo admin




Can be added (individual entries) via SOAP API




Can be added (individual entries) via REST API




Can be programmatically updated and deleted (individual entries)




Can utilize text attributes (>255 char)




Back by popular demand. Joe Reitz talk to the Nation about @Nation Talk - Naming Conventions & Program Structure

Check it out.

We just launched a new Virtual User Group:

Certification Study Group

The group is in beta so check it out, add content and make suggestions. Here are the Tutors / Leaders of the group


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