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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.

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.

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.

These 3 points will help you to understand calendar better.


1. Calendar views are sticky.


This means that if you your last calendar view will remain until you change it for a new one. Let's say you selected the below view,  you leave your calendar and go to a different place in Marketo, when you come back to your calendar you will find the same view that you had before.


In the example below you can see that you have Email Programs, Main Events, Email Program Tests and Webinars as entry types and APAC and Default as Workspaces.

If you leave your Calendar, go to Marketing Activities and then you come back to Calendar you will find the same view that you had before.


Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 10.38.49 AM.png


2. Save views as filters


You can save a view that you use frequently.


Go to filters / Type in Custom


Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 10.46.48 AM.png


A new box will appear, enter a name for a view.

I entered 'View for community'



Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 10.45.14 AM.png


You can share a view with someone who has a login access to Marketo.

Click on the share symbol as indicated below.


Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 10.39.27 AM.png


You will be provided with a link.


Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 10.39.43 AM.png


Share this link and as long as the other person can login, they would be able to see the same view.

It is very easy to add 'view as a web page' link to your emails.


Step 1:

Click on edit settings on your email draft.

Screen Shot 2016-05-25 at 11.06.05 AM.png


Step 2: Select "Include View as Web Page"


Screen Shot 2016-05-25 at 11.07.40 AM.png


Step 3: Test it. Your email should include the vie as web page link as you can see in the image below.


Screen Shot 2016-05-25 at 11.10.02 AM.png

If you want to add leads into another stream in the same Engagement Program once they have exhausted their content, you won't be able to do it by creating a transition rule. Instead, you need to set up a smart campaign where you define this rule.


This is what you need to do:


Screen Shot 2016-05-02 at 9.42.40 AM.png

Screen Shot 2016-05-02 at 9.43.26 AM.png

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.

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.

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:




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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