Email Program or Smart Campaign Sent Email to a Fraction of Leads in Smart List


You have an Email Program or Smart Campaign with an expected audience size, but when it is run, only a small number of leads are sent the email.  For example, in an Email Program with 250 people in the audience, only 15 people were sent the email.



There are several things we need to check to determine why this happened. The easiest way to start is to create a separate Smart List with the exact filters as the program or campaign.

  • Check the number of leads in this recreated Smart List. Does it have the same number of leads as the original Email Program or Smart Campaign audience? Email Program audiences do not automatically refresh and update when the Smart List is changed, so if you did not refresh the Audience before sending the email, it may be displaying an out-of-date number. This is a particular risk if your program or campaign Smart List references another Smart List. If that secondary Smart List is changed, it will affect your program or campaign audience without you being aware of it. This is one reason why we recommend avoiding nested Smart Lists.
  • Use your testing Smart List to determine how many leads you have that may have been excluded from the send:
    • Leads that are unsubscribed, marketing suspended, blacklisted, or flagged as invalid
    • Leads that with no email address (sometimes due to a mistake in a list upload)
    • Leads that have a duplicate email address in the program or campaign audience. If there are duplicate leads in the Smart List for an email send, Marketo will send to the first one and skip the rest
  • Look in the View Results/Campaign Results for your program/campaign to see if any leads were skipped due to Communication Limits.

Add up the number of leads that may have been skipped for these various reasons and see if that accounts for the missing audience members. If it doesn't,

Check the Audit Trail to see if the Smart List has been changed between now and the time the emails were sent.  If you still can't figure out why your email went out to fewer people than expected, open a support case and include the results of the above troubleshooting, and Marketo Support will investigate further.