Originally, the database count was based on marketable records but it was at least 3 years ago now that Marketo starting counting all Known records in the database for the contract limits. So you weren't imagining that it was only marketable leads... it changed.
The problem with the issue raised in this post is that it turns anonymous leads (that are not supposed to count) into known leads. If we delete these leads, we loose the historical information. If we keep them, they count, although they are not supposed to be there, since Marketo created them erroneously...
I had an issue like this too and came to the same conclusions after long threads with support. We had a high score webhook writing to the lead that was causing leads without an email to be considered known. This also caused our total number of "known" leads to grow a lot since they'd never be deleted.
Although I hit this years ago and worked around it, I recently got hit again by this on a related issue where webhooks were causing anonymous leads to become known, thus breaking automatic lead deduplication. Since the webook would make people "known" the deduplication by email address wasn't kicking in, even for leads directly added to Marketo via form or REST API (not via Salesforce where we'd expect duplicates to come from).
Support said this issue would be fixed with Munchkin v2, but also said we weren't fully migrated and didn't know when... Very frustrating as you've noted.
Hi @Jon_Wu - I know this was a long time ago but do you happen to know if the issue of Webhooks promoting anonymous leads to known was indeed fixed in Munchkin v2?
@DeniseGreenberg yes it's been a while, but IIRC this is not an issue anymore. FWIW I did just search our database for ones without emails and nothing came up also.
Can't speak officially for something I'm not personally familiar with, and webhooks were never really my personal strong suit. I'd have to defer to the Support ticket on this one.
As for the lead promotion part, the smart campaigns not triggering off of anonymous leads will only apply after the instance has been moved to Munchkin V2. Not all instances have actually been moved to Munchkin V2 yet. There was a rolling deployment of Munchkin V2. The removal of access to anonymous leads was done already, but the next step after that is the changeover to Munchkin V2, which is a more complicated upgrade being made and is taking time to implement. So if you're not seeing the Munchkin V2 behavior (anonymous leads go through trigger campaigns while still anonymous, not through the campaign replay activity used in Munchkin V2), then your instance likely hasn't been switched over yet.
The issue is that we have no clue whether or not a given instance has been upgraded. And honestly, more than a year after the announcement, I am very surprised that not everyone has been upgraded yet. Furthermore, there is no calendar available, and we find out the hard way, which is, IMHO, not the best of customer friendliness
I just got bitten by this, too. We have over 5K leads now with no contact information. And it's only the Webhook that "promotes" the anonymous leads to known. We don't see them in any other campaigns so I don't think this has anything to do with Munchkin V1 vs V2. AND... I have found the same thing that Jon Wu reported - which is that this create duplicates. My initial interaction with Support on this issue seems to indicate that they think this is normal. It strikes me as major failure on Marketo's part that they do nothing to prevent duplicate creation when a Webhook adds the lead to the database.
When I discovered all this was happening last week I added a filter for Email Address is not empty to the campaign that calls the Webhook so I hope that solves the problem going forward. But I don't yet know what to do with the 5K records with no contact info already created since they are a sitting invitation for dupe creation (not to mention bumping up the DB size).
It strikes me as major failure on Marketo's part that they do nothing to prevent duplicate creation when a Webhook adds the lead to the database.
You can avoid the duplicate creation by ensuring that associated sessions get a form that doesn't have the Email Address field on it. That is, use Known Lead HTML ("If Known Lead, show Custom HTML" in Form Editor) to decide what form they see.
Already-associated sessions shouldn't be able to enter a new Email Address (which creates a new lead). They should only be able to enter a proxy field (like Email Address 2) that then updates their Email Address in a Flow step.
When I discovered all this was happening last week I added a filter for Email Address is not empty to the campaign that calls the Webhook so I hope that solves the problem going forward.
Yes, that works around the problem, but then you're no longer scoring leads in the same way.