Best Practice HELP: Unsubscribe Management

Highlighted
Anonymous
Not applicable

Best Practice HELP: Unsubscribe Management

Looking for best practices on how to manage a large unsubscribe list without paying for the non-marketable leads.

We have about 47,000 marketable contacts and in addition, we have a substantial amount of unsubscribed/inactive contacts. We don't want to pay for those inactive/unsubscribed contacts but don't know what the best approach would be for management now and moving forward.

  • How is your team managing unsubscribes and inactive contacts?
  • Do you pull those unsubscribed and inactive contacts into Marketo?
  • How do you determine what contacts to sync to Marketo vs. remain in your CRM?

Appreciate any advice! Thanks in advance!

13 REPLIES 13
Highlighted
Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: Best Practice HELP: Unsubscribe Management

Hi Mary,

It is always good to keep a record of your unsubscribed data. However, if you are concerned for the cost of this, may be it would be a good idea to do the following.

Keep in your database unsubscribed records, and get rid of those unsubscribed records that have not re-subscribed in the past x time (may be 4 months?). I would still keep a list of these records, but the list doesn't have to live within your automation systems.

Highlighted
Level 5 - Champion

Re: Best Practice HELP: Unsubscribe Management

I was wondering if you had any specific ideas in mind of how/where a separate unsubscribed list would be maintained outside Marketo. For instance, we could keep on a secured server a spreadsheet with all our unsubscribed records (that were then deleted from Marketo), but it wouldn't automatically update with any new unsubscribes or remove anyone who had since then resubscribed... I saw there was a partner on Launchpoint that might manage unsubscribe lists across different ESPs so I'll look into that.

Highlighted
Level 6 - Champion Alumni

Re: Best Practice HELP: Unsubscribe Management

Highlighted
Level 10 - Community Moderator

Re: Best Practice HELP: Unsubscribe Management

As Rachel notes, if a lead is removed when they have Unsubscribed = true, Marketo remembers their Unsubscribed status in case that same email is added again.

So the primitive way users manage suppression lists is to add, unsubscribe, then delete the leads.

But in some situations (for example, partner relationships) the total suppression list can be massive -- possibly millions of email addresses or whole domains* -- and even if you might not see more than a fraction of their suppression list in your database, you have to churn through the whole thing. And the partners will likely not provide a delta file with just adds/removes, they'll send you the whole list again. Eventually, it becomes impractical to keep using the primitive method. In such cases it makes way more sense to have the suppression list in a separate file (can be stored in your Marketo instance) and call a webhook to look up in the file as new leads come in. FlowBoost (obviously*) can do this, allowing you to consult a list of potentially millions of unwanted addresses.

* Also note whole domain blacklisting doesn't work with the primitive method at all.

** I'm the tech lead for the FlowBoost platform

Highlighted

Re: Best Practice HELP: Unsubscribe Management

Hey Sanford,

For the whole domain suppression... 

Have you handled this in Marketo before, without webhooks? I was thinking you could have some combination of smart campaigns that would trigger after a record is created, where the individual is then:

  1. Put into a holding list (that would either trigger a marketing suspend or put them in an "unmarketable" segment)
  2. When added to holding list, trigger a check on the email's domain against a "contains" <domain1,2,3,N> 
  3. If matched, mark as unsubscribed then delete

Question on the durability of "Unsubscribe = True"...

What if they are added back in with the value of Unsubscribe explicitly set to "False"? Will Marketo override this using their persisted "Unsubscribe = True" from the time of deletion?

Thanks for any info!

Re: Best Practice HELP: Unsubscribe Management

Highlighted
Level 5 - Champion

Re: Best Practice HELP: Unsubscribe Management

Thanks, Greg! From what I saw on another thread the actual email addresses associated with the durable unsubscribe can't be seen/exported (once the lead records are deleted). Our use case for retaining the list of unsubscribed emails is primarily for use outside Marketo - to provide unsubscribed email addresses to our media partners to exclude from messages sent to their list on our behalf, or even within our organization for departments who have separate ESPs. Any ideas outside keeping the unsubscribed lead records in Marketo?

Highlighted

Re: Best Practice HELP: Unsubscribe Management

Hi Beth,

This is correct, you will not be able to access the content of the durable unsubscribed table.

For your use case, you will not have other choice than either keep them in Marketo and occur the license cost or keep them elsewhere. The choice depends, amongst other things, on the volume you have and the origin of the unsubscribed info. If the volume is not that big and the source is Marketo forms, you should rather keep them in Marketo. Before you decide on not to keep the in Marketo remember to factor in the cost of maintaining that external file and keeping in in sync with Marketo for your own campaigns.

-Greg

Highlighted
Level 10 - Champion Alumni

Re: Best Practice HELP: Unsubscribe Management

Out of curiosity, if you delete a lead record that has unsubscribed and re-import them down the road - will Marketo automatically mark their unsubscribe = true?