Operational Emails - Important Information

Setting an email to "operational" does the following

  • No unsubscribe link automatically added
  • Email will be sent to leads set to Unsubscribed
  • Email will be sent to leads set to Marketing Suspended


Note - when sending an operational message, Unsubscribed and Marketing Suspended leads will still be included in the "blocked from email" count on the schedule tab of the campaign.


When is it OK to use the operational setting?


Sending marketing email to unsubscribed addresses is illegal. For this reason, you should be extremely careful to only use this setting in extremely limited circumstances. Using this setting incorrectly violates Marketo's Terms of Service, and most antispam laws.

There may be legal consequences for using this setting incorrectly.

Good uses of the operational setting fall into two categories:

  • Transactional messages
  • Relationship messages


What's a transactional message?

A transactional message is part of a transaction that a lead has initiated and you are responding to.

Here's some examples of transactional messages:

  • Receipts for purchases
  • Registration confirmations
  • Download links in response to form fill-outs
  • Requested assets (whitepapers, spec sheets, etc.)


What's a relationship message?

A relationship message describes something that affects your business relationship with the lead.

Here's some examples of relationship messages:

  • Downtime notifications
  • Changes to terms of service
  • Recall notices
  • End of service notifications


Operational messages should not contain any marketing content at all. In other words, do not use the operational setting to send a message that contains a receipt and a promotion, only a receipt.