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2 Posts authored by: Kim Allen


[Insert final Jeopardy music here]

How many times in a day do you look at your phone or watch or desktop clock – just waiting – waiting for a call, or lunchtime, or the end of the work day. Most of the time we think of waiting as a bad thing – securing a new license at the DMV or anxiously anticipating riding Space Mountain.

Waiting doesn’t always have to be bad and unnecessary. Sometimes things are worth a wait – letting your food simmer a minute longer may make all of the difference, or allowing an extra month for your perfect next home to become available.

How does this relate to Marketo? Wait steps!


Wait steps can be powerful, but there are certain things to keep in mind to avoid wait step dangers.

Common uses for wait steps:

  • Before sending emails (one of the most common uses) – want to separate webinar invites so that one goes out this week and one next week, all in one smart campaign? Throw in a wait step!
  • Changing data values, statuses, alerts, and adding to lists – waiting to see if the email gets delivered before changing the program status to “invited”? Include a short wait step.
  • Sync related – Marketo is syncing constantly, but in short intervals. Sometimes we want to make sure a lead has time to get assigned or get other SFDC values associated before then taking the next flow step, example sending an email from their newly assigned lead owner.

Wait steps even allow not only setting time durations but specifying days, dates, etc. making them a very flexible tool!marketo_wait_steps_3

Wait step dangers:

  • Too many wait steps – it is too easily to go over the top with wait steps. The danger then is not knowing what campaigns are waiting the different intervals and how that is affecting other related campaigns. Tip: use the Campaign Inspector to check out how many wait steps your instance is using – type “Wait” into the search bar at the bottom. You may consider “fast-passing” some of these and removing the wait steps.
  • Changing wait steps – If you want to change the timing of a wait step or add additional flow steps, the wait steps act with a certain behavior (stamping the original wait time and looking for the next numbered step). Keep this in mind as at this point it’s usually easier to build a new campaign.
  • Incomplete campaigns and cancelled campaigns – this is a BIG one, so let’s look at this more in-depth…

Can’t finish what you started?

Example: You have a campaign set to send one email, then wait 2 weeks and send a second email. You all of a sudden realize that the second email never got finalized and there’s no material. Or perhaps the marketing campaign got cancelled. What do you do? Usually you would navigate to the schedule tab and deactivate that campaign. Does this do the trick? No.Once leads are in the flow and in the wait step, they will continue on whether the campaign is deactivated or not. You could find yourself dealing with a database receiving a lorem ipsum email – leading to higher unsubscribe rates, spam issues, and overall untrusting prospects/customers.Instead, when you want to “finish the un-finished” you can do a few things:

  • Remove leads from the campaign flow – build a simple smart campaign like this:
    • Smart List: Member of campaign xyz (extra hint: if they have already started getting the junk email or running through the junk flow step you can add that extra criteria here to speed up the other leads being removed)
    • Flow: Remove from flow xyz
  • Remove the flow steps following the wait step. Just delete the following flow steps and when the lead is done with the wait, nothing will happen. This has to be done before in advance.


Your waiting is over, get back to it!

All in all, wait steps are very powerful tools in Marketo but they can also be tricky. Keep the above points in mind when using them – use them sparingly when it makes sense and be prepared to remove leads from flows if necessary.

And now the wait is over – get back to it!

Marketo Wait Steps: Beware of These Hidden Dangers! - LeadMD

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

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