Re: Building a Lead Purging / Contact Retention Policy

Level 1

Building a Lead Purging / Contact Retention Policy

Hello Marketo Nation!

I've tried searching Marketo Docs and Marketo Nation for advice on this piece, but I haven't found anything yet. My organization is approaching its database person limit. We do not yet have a formal lead purging protocol, but we are a nonprofit that is interested in purging inactive leads in advance of needing to pay for an additional 10,000 contacts. We have approximately 4,000 contacts that are invalid, unsubscribed, and another few thousand that have been inactive for over 6 months. 


  • Does anyone have experience crafting a lead purging policy? Do you have an example or tips to share?
  • I know that fully purging a lead also purges their activity log and subscription preferences. What advice do you have to address these notes?

Thank you for any insights! Cheers,



Tags (2)
Level 6

Re: Building a Lead Purging / Contact Retention Policy

Hey Zack - 


You may have already found these, but including some resources:

I'd love to hear what others are doing (especially around data retention), as we're going through this right now, too. We're focusing our efforts on cleaning out invalid and inactive leads.

Level 1

Re: Building a Lead Purging / Contact Retention Policy

Hi Carrie,

Thank you for sharing these resources! I hadn't seen the first one you listed, and that gives me a lot of food for thought already. I've thought through which leads we would want to purge. I'm very curious to hear how others handle purging unsubscribed leads. I have an idea that I haven't thought 100% through yet:

  1. Transfer all unbsuscribed folks to a Salesforce campaign.
  2. Our former SF admin created a "Block from Marketo" checkbox on the SF end. This cuts off all data pushes/pulls from SF-Mkto on the SF lead records. Check this.
  3. "Remove from CRM" in Marketo. 
  4. Set up a global operational campaign in Marketo to flag any new signups/form fills/"acquired by" to consult this SFDC campaign and send an alert to me (Marketo Admin), and send a unique "do you want to resubscribe?" email to the lead.
  5. Marketo Admin unchecks the "Block from Marketo" checkbox in SF to open the sync again.

I'd love to hear how others have approached this question too!

Level 4

Re: Building a Lead Purging / Contact Retention Policy

Hi Zack,

How is your progress on this topic?

We're working on developing the same type of policy and process, except on the corporate side. Do you think it's likely someone who has unsubscribed will come back and resubscribe? If they do, is it important to have their historical data, even if the person is with a new organization?

Are there invalid email addresses or hard bounces you could look at purging first?

We use the Marketo email deliverability program from the program template library. It's been very helpful for us to monitor our database. Don't let the age of this post scare you, it's still relevant information.

Tags (1)