Tag-level exclusion lists

Tag-level exclusion lists

One of the recurring issue in the Community is to exclude some lead population from some content type. e.g. Exclusion List​ and also automating management of subscription center. It's a cumbersome and very error prone process as it entirely relies on user discipline to exclude people who chose to receive only certain type of content. The Community readings on subscription centers is comprehensive, but at the end of the day, no matter how well designed is the subscription center, enforcing visitors choices in smart campaigns is always the weakest part of the process.

This idea is to enable admins or some users with specific roles to link an exclusion smart list or some segments from receiving content with this tag. This would work only for mandatory tags, so all content would be submitted to these exclusion leads.

For instance, when creating a subscription center, we would create smart lists for :

  • people who do not wish to receive newsletters, called "No Newsletter"
  • people  who do not wish to receive event invites, called "No Invite"
  • ...

We would then create a program tag with the following values:

  • Newsletter -> Exclusion list = "No Newsletter"
  • Event Invite -> Exclusion list = "No Invite"
  • Content promotion -> Exclusion list = "No Gated Content"
  • ...

When preparing and sending email in a program, which tag value = newsletter, Marketo would automatically filter out all leads belonging to the "No Newsletter" smart list, exactly as if the lead was suspended.

These tag exclusion lists would apply to program tags and channels.

Additionally, if this idea: ​ is implemented, the Tag Exclusion Lists would also apply to asset tags, so that we could filter not a whole program but a specific email.

The interest of this approach is that it would be very systematic and even if a user forgets to exclude, Marketo would automatically manage it.

[EDIT] When implemented together with workspaces, it should be possible to set the tag-level exclusion lists per workspace. This is because is a  multi-BU organization, each BU may have a different approach of the subscription center.

[EDIT] asset level exclusions would enable to mimic the behavior of operational emails : some emails would be filtered based on their tag, and some would not. If the asset has no tag, the program tag exclusion list would apply. Another possibility would be that operational emails would not be impacted nor filtered by tag exclusion lists.


Level 4


Great idea.  Funny because I was just talking about this situation.  We have a prospect that recently submitted an RFP and requested that we do not send them any marketing messages during this process.  So we suspended the company's domain, but half of the employees on that domain are subscribed to our newsletter.  We would prefer to send those subscribed the newsletter, but like you say it is an approach that involves human error.  If I or someone else in Marketing forgets to exclude that smart list in one marketing campaign, they get the non-Newsletter email and our relationship is damaged.    

I explained to my Sales team that I could not guarantee that someone would not get a marketing email if we kept them subscribed to the newsletter, so we took the risk averse approach and no one on that domain is getting the newsletter until the process is finished. 


Level 10

Would also benefit from this one:


Level 10

Also, tag level exclusion lists would automatically be combined. Let's say I have a program with 1 channel and 1 tag, each of them with an exclusion list. The lead would receive the communication from the program only if he/she is not a member of both exclusion lists. When a lead is not sent an email because it belongs to an exclusion list, the activity log of that lead would display the reason with enough details (the name of the exclusion list).


Level 10

Edited for the workspaces environment.


Level 10 - Champion Alumni

just came into this issue, we need this now!

Level 10

With the GDPR, subscription centers will become more common, if not mandatory. This idea needs to be implemented ASAP.


Not applicable

I would love to see Marketo prioritise important improvements like this rather than all the RTP stuff. Get the fundamentals of the system right first, I reckon.

Level 2

Any response from Marketo on this one? Time to build a solution to manage preferences for GDPR is getting a bit tight... would be great if we had this functionality ahead of any training that we need to build out for our marketers...

Level 5

As per Grégoire Michel​, with GDPR on the horizon there is going to be a need for a lot more control of what we can send to leads.  We're going to need a preference center and have avoided it so far, precisely for some of the reasons listed above.  Anything Marketo can do to help this is going to be well received.

Level 3

+1 to this idea. It was important before... but it's extra important with GDPR coming!