It’s Holiday Time – Stop those MQL Alerts

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Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years is filled with gift giving and family which we all love. It’s also filled with hangovers, crazy mall drivers and tons of “overdue lead” alerts.

I can’t help you with hangovers and mall parking but I can give you a few tips to stop those unpleasant alerts from hitting during your holiday dinner.

Alerts are Important—Just not on Holidays

Unless you are Santa, alerts generally should be suspended for certain times of the year.  You don’t want your VP of Sales getting a notification while opening presents that his BDR hasn’t call a lead from two days ago. Examples of alerts companies use to help make sure they move through the lead lifecycle:

  • Overdue MQLs. These alerts usually hit reps and their managers after a certain amount of time if the lead is not reviewed.
  • Leads Not Called. If a rep puts the lead into an Attempting Contact stage but fails to log an activity, this alert can trigger.
  • Stagnant Leads. Here, leads are sitting in a certain stage for too long which can trigger notifications to management.

Do Marketo Do That Automatically?

Marketo does not support suspending communications during holiday periods without manual intervention. Unlike the post office, there is no Vacation Hold capability

If you think Marketo should have a Holiday wait step, vote it up here.

Your Elf to the Help

Think of this method as the master switch to your lead alert system. Yes, you could get more accurate but here are a few quick and easy ways to make sure alerts don’t go out.

Option 1. Turn off the Alert

Go into the alert campaign and disable it before the holidays and reenable it after the holidays. If you have a simple flow step that only sends the single alert, this might be your best bet.

This method can get tricky if other flow steps like Sync to Salesforce, Increase lead Score, etc are part of the campaign. Additionally, people may already live in the flow step from a few days ago meaning alerts would still fire after deactivation.


Option 2. Create a Vacation Removal Campaign

For many companies, #1 won’t work because their alert system has multiple flow steps. In this case, create a campaign that removes members daily. This allows you to keep the original alert system in place but ensures the alerts never get sent during the holiday time period.

Follow the steps below to prevent those alerts from happening.


A few notes:

  • This process only works if you send overdue alerts at least 24 hours after a triggered event occurs. Otherwise, you’ll need to figure out a different solution.
  • Alerts don’t ever get sent. This campaign totally removes the person from the alert campaign (as opposed to suspending the alert). I’d recommend creating a special Smartlist right after the holidays to capture leads the Sales team has not caught up on.
  • Let Sales know. As a marketer, you’ll score a few points with the Sales team by reducing stress around the alerts.


May your holidays be filled with joy—not with alerts in your Inbox. Hopefully these steps will assist you with this process. If you have any great ideas that help other readers, please make sure to comment below.