Circular reference of smart lists

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Level 3

Circular reference of smart lists

I'm trying to compile a list of those people who infrequently open our weekly newsletter so I offer them a change to monthly (starting with a limited number of people). Unfortunately Marketo only has an option for the minimum number of times someone has opened an email, not the maximum. Due to that I tried to make a smart list of frequent openers and then another smart list of subscribers not in the frequent openers smart list... It says that is a circular reference and won't work.

Here is the frequent openers smart list:

frequent-openers.png

And the list that should include everyone not on the above list:

infrequent-openers.png

Is there another way to do this or is this just a limitation of Marketo?

5 REPLIES 5
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Re: Circular reference of smart lists

Hi Liz,

A circular reference is when smart list A uses smart list B in it's filters and smart list B uses smart list A. It can also be an A->B->C->A reference or an A using A itself as a filter.

You have not provided the smart lists names in your screenshot, so we cannot check, but give it a close look or provide us with screenshot that include the SL names

-Greg

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Level 3

Re: Circular reference of smart lists

I know what a circular reference is, is this example:

A: Subscriber list

B Frequent Openers

C In Frequent Openers

B references A minus infrequent openers

C reference A minus B

Marketo doesn't like that they both reference A even though I need to determine A minus B.

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Level 10 - Community Moderator

Re: Circular reference of smart lists

Determining whether references may cause problems w/live data is not always within the capabilities of a language, so they take the better-safe-than-sorry approach and block the reference. (Remember, this is all being done by a custom rules engine sitting on top of SQL. So it's not using the native language compiler, which would be more accurate because there are fewer things to scan.)

In this case I'm not clear why you have to include List_Trendlines_2018 in both the inner and outer lists.  Why not have it in just the outer list?

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Level 3

Re: Circular reference of smart lists

Hi Sanford! Thanks for responding. Turns out it was user-error/weird system glitch. Marketo's name reference in the logic wasn't changed when I changed the list name, since it normally does that automatically it took me a bit to notice. I must have confused the system with my bouncing around. Thank goodness comparing smart lists does work. I just wish I didn't need two lists for this, but that's the nature of Marketo.

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Re: Circular reference of smart lists

BtW Liz,

You do not need to add the member of list at the end of the exclusion list (the first one).

In boolean logic, A - B = A - (A AND B)

-Greg