How Do Communication Limits Work?

Anonymous
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Recently, I had to remind one of my clients about the ability to set communication limits in Marketo. We were brainstorming new email and nurture campaigns, and she was concerned about over-communication with leads who qualify for multiple campaigns.

So she asked: “How do communication limits work?"

There’s some information about this on the community, but it took me some digging around so I’m collecting all that info here for others who might also be curious.

The simple answer is: Marketo allows you to set the maximum number of emails a lead will receive per day or per week.

A more detailed answer follows in the form of FAQS:

  1. How is “per day” and “per week” defined? The per day limit is based on a calendar day from 12 am to 12 am. The per week limit is on a rolling basis from 12 am to 12 am between. (Time zones are defined in your Admin - Location panel).

  1. How do you turn on communication limits? You can enable and define communication limits globally in the Admin tab.

  2. Can you override communication limits? You can override global communication limits at an email program level or smart campaign level.

  1. What happens if a lead has reached their communication limits? These are the scenarios:

  • For plain ole’ scheduled or triggered marketing emails: The lead will NOT receive the email.
  • For operational emails: The lead will still receive the email.
  • For engagement programs: The lead will receive the email in the NEXT cast.
  • For sales insight emails (sent through our Salesforce or MS Dynamics app, not through the Sales Insight email plug-ins for Outlook or Gmail): The lead will receive the email if the email includes an unsubscribe footer. If not, the lead will NOT receive the email.
  • For alerts: The lead - more likely, an internal user - will receive the alert.

  1. What emails count towards communication limits?

Almost all emails, even operational emails are counted against communication limits. Here’s an idea in the community to exclude operational emails from communication limits. A couple notable exceptions:

  • Any sales insight emails without the unsubscribe footer and alerts, or those sent through the Sales Insight email plug-ins for Outlook or Gmail.
  • Marketo Mobile Engagement push notifications are not counted in communications limits, and you are not able to apply these limits to push notifications.

  1. What’s the best way to make sure leads who’ve reached their communication limits get the email later? As mentioned above, you can override the communication limits for this one email program or campaign. But if you want to respect your communication limits, I found some great tips on the community for this, such as:

  • The absolute best way to ensure leads who've reached their communication limits get an email later is to send emails through an engagement program. If leads reach their communication limits, they’ll simply receive the email in the next cast.
  • If you aren’t using an engagement program, do the manual thing: run a smart list for “not was sent email” and resend after the fact. Some of these leads could have been blocked for other reasons of course.
  • Or similarly, automate this process in your emails by including in your campaign after the “send email” flow: “remove from flow” if “was sent email," “wait X hours/days,” then “send email” again.

Thanks to Kristen Carmean, Cecily Gardner, andKenneth Elkington for their contributions to this post.

Did I miss any other scenarios? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll update this post.

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16 Comments
Anonymous
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Christine Tran    Thanks for sharing this very helpful information. Just wanted to add that other way to look at the leads who were skipped because of communication limits is by looking at the Results tab of email programs or smart campaigns.

Additionally I really like your way to automate the process to send an email to leads who were blocked because of communication limits. I feel that we might have to increase wait step or include multiple remove and wait steps depending on what are the communication limits that have been set up for the instance.

Thanks for the great post !!

Anonymous
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Hi Christine Tran​ - is there any way to make the communicate limits unique to each lead i.e. have a preference center where leads can set the number of emails they want in a week?

Anonymous
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Good point, Tim. I haven't build that myself yet but am thinking about writing a post on preference centers next and would want to include that info. Thanks for that reminder.

Anonymous
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+1 for this. I would love to be able to set comms limits for specific lists

Anonymous
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Very helpful. Thanks!

Anonymous
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Hi Christine Tran, this is very helpful - particularly the Protips to either use an EP or use Remove from Flow/Wait Steps. Do you have a tip/trick for identifying prior to sending your email what is the # of qualifying leads that will not receive the email due to Comms Limits? This is a helpful stat to provide to marketing management, and allows for subsequent adjustments prior to the send. This seems to be related to the question in the link  Communication Limits Notifications​ you posted in bullet #6.

Level 10 - Champion Alumni

This is very helpful.  But just wanted to point out should anyone copy the logic used in the screenshot above (for re-sending an email x days later to those that were blocked), the flow step should look like this (not "Not Was Sent Email" - as this would send the same email to those that already received it):

pastedImage_0.png

Anonymous
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Hi everyone, quick question - which email status count towards communication limits, email SENT or email DELIVERED?

My dilemma is that there are many soft bounces in one email program and we would like to re-send to those people, although we clearly already exceeded 1 email per week limit. Does anyone know the answer?

Thanks in advance!

Level 10 - Champion Alumni

It looks at SENDS (not delivered).

Anonymous
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How do the communications limits work with workspaces and partitions? For example,  say you have a workspace partition? would the limit still apply?