Sent & Delivered Email Activity – Retention Policy Change FAQ

[FAQ attached below this article]


What's Changing?

On August 31, 2020, Marketo Engage will implement a new retention policy specifically for Sent & Delivered Email activities. Under this policy, data for these two activity types will be stored for a rolling 90-day period from the activity date for use in Smart Lists. This is a change from the current default retention period of 25 months, and from the current Extended Data Retention subscription option period of 37 months.


Upon the policy taking effect, data older than 90 days for these two activities will be deleted and no longer available for export. Any Smart List with the “Was Sent Email” and “Was Delivered Email” filters (including NOT Was Sent and NOT Was Delivered) should be updated to ensure the maximum lookback date is 90 days.  If the lookback date is greater than 90 days, the Smart List will continue to function, but only activities that are 90 days old or less will qualify.



In 2020, we are improving critical parts of the underlying Marketo Engage infrastructure, including Batch campaign processing, similar to the Trigger campaign improvements made in 2019. This new infrastructure, in combination with the new retention policy, is expected to result in shorter lead time with large email sends and faster segmentation processing to deliver significantly faster processing to our customers. Note, the revised retention policy is one, among several, aspects that come together to deliver this improved performance, but broadly speaking reduced retention helps with faster database look ups and search across the run-time infrastructure.  


What's NOT Changing?

Aggregated data – including Reports, Dashboards, and Analytics – will not be affected by this change (unless they reference a Smart List with these activities).  The new policy will not affect any activity type other than Sent and Delivered (for example, Was Opened activity data is not affected). Further, this change does NOT affect Engagement Program casts.


What Customer Actions Are Needed?

First, you'll want revisit where and how you're using these two activity types. Audit your Smart Lists and ensure the date ranges for these two activity types are less than 90 days - if you must use a date greater than 90 days, we suggest running a process to export to an external system. You will need to create this before the new retention policy takes effect on August 31, 2020.  Information on how to export activities using APIs can be found on our Developers Documentation website.


We appreciate you understanding as we move toward an enhanced Marketo Engage experience for all customers. Please download and review the FAQ attached below for further suggestions, workarounds and additional information.