Brian Law

Tips for Identifying Bad Data – Accidentally Importing Records with the Unicode Replacement Character

Blog Post created by Brian Law Employee on Jul 1, 2017

The Unicode replacement character � (often a black diamond with a question mark in it) will often appear when imported data is invalid.


Here is a smart list you can setup and subscribe to be alerted of an issue with a list import.


In this example, I created the smart list in my master data management program.


Smart List - Unicode Replacement Character- List Import (Created in past 24 hours): Set the subscription to this list.

In this case I sent the date of activity for the past 24 hours but you can customize the time frame.

Set Subscription

Now you can trouble shoot issues more quickly.


Additional Resources

  • Instructions for importing records with Unicode data into Marketo. Here is some test data if you want to try out the instructions.


Email AddressCompany NameFirst Name
testrecord05@record.comGermanä ö ü
testrecord06@record.comSpanishá é í ó ú
testrecord07@record.comSwedish/FinnishÅ å Ä ä Ö ö
testrecord08@record.comDanish/NorwegianÅ å Æ æ Ø ø
testrecord09@record.comFrenchÀ à Â â Ä ä È è Ô ô


Here is a recent thread about Unicode issues in Marketo. There are other ways to import Unicode as stated in this thread.


Here is a wiki article if you are interested in learning more about the replacement character.