Transactional eDM's through Marketo?

Not applicable

Transactional eDM's through Marketo?

To put it simply we are wanting to use Marketo for transactional email purposes for a platform that we are in the process of creating for all current and future customer/leads. This will include trigger comms such as email address confirmation, update password, update preferences and notifications (e.g service reminders, financial information and notifications), all of which will of course require custom content.

Some use cases for the platform are as follows:

  • User forgets password and requests a password reset link. Marketo submits this notification with a custom link for this user to update password
  • User updates specific preferences that require 2 step validation, email being of those steps. Again requiring a custom eDM with a custom link
  • Multiple user registrations against a single lead which required 2 step validation, again requiring multiple custom fields to populate this detail. E.g one owner, two contacts (husband and wife)

Our preference would be of course to avoid creating additional Marketo fields as there are already approximately 500 created within the current instance due to the clients SFDC sync.

We do have a few ideas (Conceptual and yet to be tested) that would be great to get your feedback/validation on if there isn't already a solution to the above issue. These are as follows:

Use of Custom Fields

  • For each request type we create a new custom field within the lead object and in addition to this we also create a specific trigger campaign for that flow action, which would use tokens to populate the information (text/links/Image) required
  • The pro of this is we can easily create these new fields as we go and new requirements come up
  • The major cons of this solution is we are:
    • We are very restricted with regards to the flexibility of the content within each notification/email
    • We would have to create a custom field for each new request
    • We would be required to setup a campaign for each request type, meaning management of this would be quite difficult further down the track
    • If there are any bugs/updates etc it would mean we need to address each campaign individually rather than a parent campaign or code base
    • Multiple campaign ID (API identifiers) to manage


  • Use of a single token that references an external data link within a set content area.
  • This Token would then populate custom HTML code that has content (Text and links) referenced in the external data base.
  • This would still place this against each lead object but would use only a small amount of custom fields to ensure this process works.
  • We are yet to test if this will work as yet, its conceptual at this stage.
  • The pro of this is we:
    • Only required to create/manage one/two custom fields
    • Only required to manage one campaign that achieves multiple requirements
  • Cons are:
    • Hard to track history within lead object
    • Restrictions around the content that tokens can populate
    • Formatting and testing
    • Is this even possible?

Email scripting

  • Unsure how this could potentially work as yet, but could this help with this approach?
  • Would potentially be an extension to the above option or a safer option?

Any example plugins or external vendors that could assist with this request would also be appreciated.