Deleting Invalid Leads

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Anonymous
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Deleting Invalid Leads

Hi there, 

We have worked on building our database for the past three years. Now it's time for us to come up with some data maintenance to keep our system clean and healthy. Would like to know others processes and type of criteria used in order to determine which leads to keep or remove. Also, when you decide to remove leads, do you delete them or keep them. As of now, we've kept all our leads. Would like to know more of the pros and cons of deleting leads. 

Thanks!! - Erica 
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Re: Deleting Invalid Leads

Pros-- you get more space in your database!

Cons-- you lose history (but if it's invalid, then you're losing nothing). However you do lose account information. 

I generally delete once we hit a certain amount of invalid leads and I pull a number of smart lists to see how they were created (IE lead source, are they associated with an account in Salesforce, etc). I think you should take a look at how many, how often, and where they're coming from because often this can open the door for additional data cleansing measures.
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Re: Deleting Invalid Leads

We delete our Invalid leads usually once a month. As Kristen M said above, most likely the history isn't worth keeping because they often have bad / junk data. This is just our own internal policy though -- might not be okay for everyone.

Check out this great article by @Josh Hill on things to look for when cleaning up your database:
http://developers.marketo.com/blog/how-to-clean-your-marketo-database/

In addition to his suggestions, we also have a couple of Smart Lists that search for junk / invalid data entry in certain fields, like First Name, Last Name, Email Address, Company.

For example:  If the First or Last Name contains "test", "demo", "asdf", "abcd", etc. ... we consider those as junk leads and purge them each month.  Same criteria can apply for Email address or Company Name too.
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Anonymous
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Re: Deleting Invalid Leads

Thanks for responding to my post Kristen and Bruce. That article you provided Bruce gives me a great starting point for tackling this clean up task. 

I do have questions for both of you about your responses. 

Kristen, 
That certain number of invalids you need to hit, is that amount always consistent and is that a very large number? 

Bruce, 
For those leads that are considered Junk/Invalid for having missing information, do you consider removing those leads from your system or how do you handle those? We sponsor a lot of white papers and sometimes people who download don't include all their correct information and sometimes leave blanks. 

Thanks again! 
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Re: Deleting Invalid Leads

Hi Erica,

The number is proportionally based on the number of leads in the database. I compare them against each other to see when it makes sense to delete (ideally before you go over your lead number).
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Re: Deleting Invalid Leads

Kristen Malkovich​, when you delete the invalid leads, do you only delete them from Marketo or also from your CRM system? I'm getting a lot of push-back about deleting leads in SFDC (due to losing history) so trying to figure out the best solution.

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Re: Deleting Invalid Leads

Always defer to your SFDC admin. If they don't want to delete them out (and you're cool with losing history in Marketo, which you should be!), then go ahead and just delete them in Marketo.

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Anonymous
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Re: Deleting Invalid Leads

Kristen, I'm looking to delete leads from my instance now. However, I'm concerned that if I delete them in Marketo, they will only resync from our CRM since they have not been deleted over there. Any idea on how to prevent this from happening?

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Re: Deleting Invalid Leads

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Re: Deleting Invalid Leads

You could also specify to have Marketo delete the leads from your CRM as they delete from Marketo.

However if you don't want the leads to be deleted from your CRM (deleted from Marketo only), then as suggested above you'll need to make sure your CRM can be set up to "not see" the leads that are being deleted.

CRM Sync - Marketo Docs - Product Docs  would be a good place to start, and you may need to contact Support if you end up needing to modify your CRM field mapping or permissions.