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Webhook making an anonymous lead known

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Webhook making an anonymous lead known

Dear all,

We had a weird surprise today. A customer of ours has its database full of empty leads (no names, no emails). About 3000 of them. e.g.:

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When looking at the activity logs of these leads, they all have in common to have navigated the web site and suddenly the score triggers have fired, following the ones that computes total score, which is done through a webhook (as you will see, all this happens in the same second...):

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The very weird thing is that the detail of the "new person" activity shows that the lead was created by the webhook:

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The smart campaign that call the webhook fires on the following triggers:

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I just cannot make any sense of this!

All of these smart campaigns are not supposed to fire on anonymous leads in the first place, but only when the lead becomes known...

we have opened a support ticket, I'll let the community know.

-Greg

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Re: webhook making an anonymous lead known

Hi Grégoire Michel

Can't speak officially for something I'm not personally familiar with, and webhooks were never really my personal strong suit. I'd have to defer to the Support ticket on this one.

As for the lead promotion part, the smart campaigns not triggering off of anonymous leads will only apply after the instance has been moved to Munchkin V2. Not all instances have actually been moved to Munchkin V2 yet. There was a rolling deployment of Munchkin V2. The removal of access to anonymous leads was done already, but the next step after that is the changeover to Munchkin V2, which is a more complicated upgrade being made and is taking time to implement. So if you're not seeing the Munchkin V2 behavior (anonymous leads go through trigger campaigns while still anonymous, not through the campaign replay activity used in Munchkin V2), then your instance likely hasn't been switched over yet.

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Re: webhook making an anonymous lead known

Here is the answer from support:

"In order to prevent anonymous leads from going through campaigns that call webhooks, which in turn convert the lead records to "known" leads, I would recommend adding a filter to the smart list of any campaign calling a webhook. This filter can be anything like Email or First name > Is Empty. You'll want to use some filter based on a field that you know anonymous leads will have empty, so that adding the filter to your campaign's smart list will keep them from getting to the webhook flow step."

The fix is easy, but this is really amazing to me since nowhere I have read that webhooks could make an anonymous lead known!

-Greg

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Level 10 - Champion Alumni

Re: webhook making an anonymous lead known

Thanks for sharing this with us, Greg.  I, too, didn't think this was possible to create a new lead from an anonymous lead.  I need to ensure this isn't happening to us!

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Re: webhook making an anonymous lead known

That would be a funny way to come back to Marketo previous behavior, when the anonymous leads were accessible. Just create a dummy webhook that updates a field and call it on a "visits web page" trigger. That would make all web page visitors known... And also probably kill the performance of you instance if you have some volumes.

The database size would increase dramatically, though, but if I remember well, the contract says that only the leads who can be reached (email, phone, address) really count. So these ones would not...

-Greg

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Re: webhook making an anonymous lead known

So, uh...

If you theoretically wanted to create anonymous records in controlled circumstances, am I reading correctly that Marketo isn't going to patch this? Because there is absolutely a use for this that has pained me since anonymous records were removed a while back. However, I don't want to build this solution just to see this patched next release.

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Re: webhook making an anonymous lead known

Yeah, this is totally messed up.  This behavior was specifically supposed to be turned off.  I don't understand if this is a regression or whether we're now resuscitating old behavior w/r/t Anonymous leads.

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Re: webhook making an anonymous lead known

Hi Courtney,

I do not have the slightest idea on whether this will be patched or not... This is so unexpected that I would not bet that it will last as long as income taxes

The very surprising part is that support seems to be considering this as perfectly normal. Here is the second answer we had when we requested the records to be sent back to anonymous:

It's not that the webhooks convert the leads per se, it's more that the webhook sends data about the lead out to whatever service it calls, and when the data comes back to Marketo is has to have somewhere to put it so it creates the new lead.

Unfortunately there is no way to turn these records back into anonymous records, so if you must have them removed from the lead list the only way would be deletion.

as a result, we have a database with 3000+ empty leads that might never convert and we now have the choice between deleting them (and loosing all the historical data) and keeping them and cluttering the database with them, expecting an hypothetical form fill out.

-Greg

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Re: webhook making an anonymous lead known

It's not that the webhooks convert the leads per se, it's more that the webhook sends data about the lead out to whatever service it calls, and when the data comes back to Marketo is has to have somewhere to put it so it creates the new lead.

Sidestepping the question of how Anonymous leads are going through trigger campaigns without explicit promotion.

This is really frustrating because people like us are getting the wrong info, and we're relied upon to be in the know about "what not to do or attempt"...

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Level 10 - Champion Alumni

Re: Webhook making an anonymous lead known

The database size would increase dramatically, though, but if I remember well, the contract says that only the leads who can be reached (email, phone, address) really count. So these ones would not...

We're currently going through contract negotiations as we speak, and I was surprised to learn that ANY RECORD in Marketo will now go against your database size (even if email, phone, address are blank).  So be careful with this.

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Re: Webhook making an anonymous lead known

Hi Dan

Thx

-Greg