How to Build an EXTERNAL Subscription Center

At some point in time, you may have come across this blog post:

This approach is really handy for posting to Marketo forms in the background, but I don't think all of our customers are aware of what a powerful tool this can be, especially for unsubscribe scenarios. A common question we often get from customers is, "How can I setup an external subscription center on a page that does't have Marketo's munchkin code or a Marketo form on it?"

Below, I'll outline a technique that you can use to setup your very own subscription center (Note: This doesn't require that Munchkin code or a Marketo Form be present!) to manage this process:

Step ONE:

Grab an ID for any form that is approved in your Marketo subscription. Reference the blog post mentioned earlier to learn how to find a form ID.

Step TWO:

Insert code like shown below into your external page that will serve as the subscription center (again, this page doesn't require Munchkin):

<p>If you wish to unsubscribe, click below:</p>

<form id="myform" action="" method="POST"><input type="hidden" name="munchkinId" value="XXX-XXX-XXX" /><input type="hidden" name="formid" value="1000" /> <input type="hidden" name="Unsubscribed" value="true" /> <input type="hidden" name="_mkt_trk" value="" /> <input type="hidden" name="Email" value="" /></form>

<div><button id="clickme" onclick="document.getElementById('myform').submit();" style="color: red; background-color: black;">UNSUBSCRIBE ME</button></div>

Note that this is the pod that your sub is on, this is your munchkin ID, this is any active form ID in your sub (doesn’t matter what’s in the form), and this is the lead's email that you wish to unsubscribe in your sub. When you implement this on your own page, you may want to prompt the user to enter their email address, then fill this value accordingly. Another option is to add the email address as a query parameter on the unsubscribe link you will be including in your emails (see step three), then use JavaScript to parse this and fill the value accordingly.


In Marketo, either change the Unsubscribe information in the Admin page to link to this external page OR override Marketo's default unsubscribe text and add your own tracked link (including mkt_tok) to the footer of all your emails.

Step FOUR:

Continue sending emails out of Marketo, as usual. When a lead clicks your "unsubscribe" link in your email and reaches your new external subscription center, they'll be able to process their unsubscribe request. An unsubscribe request can be processed from this page at anytime but if the page was reached by clicking a tracked link (including mkt_tok) in a Marketo email, it will show up correctly in your subscription as an “Unsubscribe from Email” activity. This also means that your Email Performance Report, Lead Activity Log, and Campaign Results Tab will correctly reflect the unsubscribe.

You may have already noticed that it would be pretty straightforward to add even more options to customize your external subscription center even more. Try this method out and let us know if you find it useful!