Marketo and Web Forms: Use Cases, Pros, Cons and How-Tos

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Since I always go through web forms and web integration options with clients during enablement, I wanted to document this here as a reference guide.

You have a few options when it comes to web forms and Marketo. I’m going to cover the 4 primary methods that my clients choose.

Here’s a quick summary of the primary use case and pros / cons for each:

Header 1

Primary Use Case




Marketo form on Marketo landing page

Gated content, promotional contentEasy for marketers to deploy, i.e. clone and apply tokens!

May prefer to have visitors on your website, instead of Marketo landing pages


Marketo form on website within iframe

Forms you want to keep on your website like contact us, demo forms

Keep visitors on your website while retaining most Marketo form functionality, like form pre-fill

May be more difficult to implement responsive design


Marketo form on website with embed code

Same as Option 2Keep visitors on your web and may be easier to implement than iframe, responsiveRetains less Marketo form functionality than using iframe, e.g. form pre-fill


Use your own form on your website and post data to Marketo using our API

You need to keep your forms bc of other back-end and business requirements
Meets requirements of your existing non-Marketo forms, yet still gets data to MarketoRequires custom development and you don't get Marketo form benefits

OPTION 1. Use a Marketo form on Marketo landing pages.

Use Case: Gated content, promotional content

Pros: Easy to clone, can apply tokens! Great for marketers because it’s easier to execute then going back into your web CMS or bugging your web developer.

Cons: Sometimes you want to keep people on your website, instead of sending them to a separate landing page. For example, you might not want to have your contact us form on a Marketo landing page.

How to Do it:

  • Create a form. Likely you’ll want to create a global form in Design Studio that you can use many times for one use case, e.g. a content download form, a webinar form, an event form.
  • Create a registration page for your form and a thank you landing page, likely within a marketing program that contains all your related campaigns and local assets.
  • Put your global form on the local registration landing page, and edit the form settings within the page to define the thank you page. You can do this at the form level, but you’ll want to do this at the local landing page level if each program has a unique thank you page.




OPTION 2. Use a Marketo form on your website, using an iFrame.

Use Case: Forms that you’d want to keep on your website like contact forms, demo forms.

Pros: Retains most Marketo form functionality like form pre-fill (see the chart on this page which compares features of each form option.)

Cons: May require web help to get the form to look nice.

How to Do it:

  • Create a form. It could be a global for in Design Studio or a local form within a marketing program, like a Contact Form program using a Web Form channel.
  • Put the form on a Marketo landing page using a blank landing page template, then edit the form settings within the landing page to define the thank you page.


  • Grab the URL of the blanking landing page with the form on it and put it on your website using iframe code like this: <iframe src=""></iframe>.
  • You can go back and edit the form CSS as well.
  • In your program, be sure to include a campaign to capture acquisition program because Marketo can’t do this automatically on non-Marketo pages.




OPTION 3. Use a Marketo form on your website, using embed code.

Use Case: Same as above

Pros: Easier to implement, responsive.

Cons: Retains less Marketo form functionality than using an iframe (see the chart on this page which compares features of each form option).

How to Do it:


OPTION 4. Use a non-Marketo form on your website, but post that data to Marketo using our API.

Use Case: Sometimes you just can’t use a Marketo form but you want to post that data to Marketo, for example, if you’re collecting data for a software app, membership portal, e-commerce shop, etc.

Pros: Meets requirements of your current forms that are not available with Marketo forms, yet gets your data into Marketo.

Cons: Requires development resources and you don't get the benefits of Marketo forms (see the chart on this page which compares features of each form option).

How to Do it:

Additional Resource:

I often refer clients to the chart on this blog post because it’s a great summary of the feature benefits of each method above, and then some:

Marketo Forms - Which application is right for you?

Level 8 - Champion Alumni

Great summary Christine

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Hi Christine,

Thanks for this great post! Do you have any ideas for the following scenario: We have a customer who wants to have their CRM operator, in response to a customer who calls their call centre, navigate to an iframe that contains a pre-populated form containing preference (opt-out/in) settings. The CRM operator will have identified the customer in the CRM system first. I can see that we can follow option 2 above, however, as cookies will not be an option (the CRM operator is navigating to the form, not the Lead), is there a way the preference centre form can be pre-populated? Is it possible to pass the Lead's email address into the iframe, and then have the Marketo form retrieve Lead data based on the email address?

Grateful for your thoughts!



Level 5

This is a really great summary Christine! It's helpful to know all the different options available and their pros/cons.

Not applicable

Thanks Christine.


Level 9 - Champion Alumni

I suggest that the HTTP Post method be used to send non-Marketo form data to Marketo rather than using ReST or SOAP API calls. This will create a Fill Out Form activity in the Marketo lead record just as though a Marketo form had been submitted, which can be used wilh the Fills Out Form and Lead Was Created triggers / filters.

Level 10

Agreed, the lack of "fills out form" activity will soon turn out to be a problem. For instance, for scoring or for auto-response emails.


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Is it possible to embed or iframe a Marketo form onto a web page and style it with custom CSS?

Level 10 - Community Moderator

Of course.  You can search the Community for many, many examples of CSS customizaton.

Not applicable

Can you tell me how to integrate non marketo form with Marketo ??????. Because i found nothing on this no documentation no nothing.

Please guide me it will really helpful for me and it's very easy in eloqua but in marketo i am not able to find anything.

Level 10 - Community Moderator

Vinay Pathak​ you should open a new discussion in Products​ -- this isn't the place for it.

The basic guidelines are at Make a Marketo Form Submission in the background​. The methods for adding values to a background Marketo Forms 2.0 form object (addHiddenFields()) and submitting the background form (submit()) are straightforward. How you read info from your non-Marketo form varies depending on how that form is built. If you open a new post with specific details and a sample URL, I can tell you more.