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Forward to Friend Deep Dive

Marketo Employee
Marketo Employee

An overview of the native Forward to Friend functionality in Marketo.

Using the Forward to Friend token in your emails allows you to track leads who have received a forwarded email through this link, and automatically adds them as a new lead if they are not already in the database. The token used in the hyperlink in the email is {{system.forwardToFriendLink}}. When you click the Forward to Friend link in an email a light box appears on a web page. The Forward to Friend feature is in English only and can’t be edited.

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  • If the friend’s record is already in Marketo and is unsubscribed, email invalid or marketing suspended the Forward to Friend email will not be sent if it is an non-operational/promotional email. The Forward to Friend email will be sent if it is an operational email. 
  • The friend’s First Name and friend’s Last Name are automatically blocked from field updates. Thus, if the friend’s record is already in Marketo the name fields won’t be overwritten.
  • The Marketo activity log will capture the Forward to Friend request and when the email is sent and delivered to the friend.

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  • The Marketo activity log will capture if the friend’s email address bounces.

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New Records

  • A new record is created in Marketo if the email address of the friend is not already in Marketo.
  • Marketo sets the new record’s email address by default as unsubscribed. You can use a triggered smart campaign to change the unsubscribed field.
  • Marketo sets the lead source automatically to Forward to Friend.

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  • If the email is a local asset of a program, the program is marked as the lead’s Acquisition Program.
  • Unfortunately the Original Source Info and Registration Source Info will be empty and there is no way I know to use Marketo to set these fields.

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Marketo activity log

  • Marketo will capture that a Forward to Friend email was sent from the person who received the original email.
  • Marketo will capture which Marketo ID was sent the forwarded email however no personal information such as name or email address will be captured.

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There are two Forward to Friend triggers in Marketo

  • Sent Forward to Friend Email trigger can be used to increase the score or write an interesting moment for the person who forwarded the email.

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  • Received Forward to Friend Email trigger can be used to increase the score or write an interesting moment for the person who received the forwarded email.

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Sales Insight

  • Emails sent to the friend will automatically be displayed in Sales Insight if the record is already synced to SFDC.

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  • Emails sent by the friend will not automatically be displayed in Sales Insight. You can create a campaign to write an interesting moment.

For additional information see the Forward to Friend article on docs.marketo.com

Here are some suggestions you can vote on to improve Forward to Friend

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10 Comments
Anonymous
Not applicable

Hi, thank you for this explanation.

We try to forward an email to a specific person who doesn't exist in our data base Marketo, but he doesn't receive it and the scoring of the person who forward the email doesn't change.

Can you tell me why we don't receive the email forwarded? any idea?

Thank you

Marketo Employee

If a person filled out the F2F dialog box, the email may not be delivered for several reasons including an invalid friend email address or a spam filter caught it. Typically Marketo will track the bounce in the activity log. If the friend’s record is already in Marketo and is unsubscribed, email invalid or marketing suspended the Forward to Friend email will not be sent if it is an non-operational/promotional email. Thanks!

Hey Brian trying to learn a little more about the F2F functionality and wondering if this deep dive is still relevant.

My question is specific to the information pulled in by Marketo when someone either sends or receives an F2F email.

I checked people with the person source "Forward to Friend" and had received a F2F email and they have their name and email fields populated. These leads have no activity except the F2F email so it must be populating these fields based on the values filled in the F2F form.

Can you confirm the captured data has since changed?

Level 10 - Community Moderator

First Name, Last Name, and Email are all gathered (there's been no change here) -- and that coincides with your observations, no?

Yea that's exactly what I'm seeing. Thanks Sanford!

Follow up question Sanford Whiteman​.

We currently use the Sent f2f trigger in our acquisition smart campaigns and I'm thinking it makes more sense to use the Received f2f trigger (or even both). But it looks like people who received an F2F email are already being pulled in to the acquisition campaign, even though I haven't added that trigger to the smart list yet. Here's an example:

I ran this smart list to include people who have only been created by the F2F email and have not sent an F2F email, thus must be created from the Received F2F:

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Person A who is in this smart list is acquired by the program that she was sent the f2f email. I don't have the received F2F trigger in this program so does Marketo automatically tag these people to the program?

Level 10 - Community Moderator

Person A who is in this smart list is acquired by the program that she was sent the f2f email. I don't have the received F2F trigger in this program so does Marketo automatically tag these people to the program?

Yes!

Good to know! Thanks!

I would really like to use the Forward to a Friend logic on the confirmation page of a program ("thank you for downloading, do you know anyone else who would be interested in this?"). Is there any way to make this work?

Level 10 - Community Moderator

No and yes.

What you're describing isn't "Forward to Friend" because it doesn't relate to an email directly.  F2F specifically means re-sending an email in the context of another (potentially new) lead.

What you're talking about is just a referral form. The form can have a hidden Lead Source Detail field including the original download link.  Then just send the referred lead an email with the link.  There are many threads on correctly constructing a referral form.