[FAQ attached below this article]
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.
Beginning i n January 2021, we will be rolling out two e mail tracking-related security improvements over the course of several months . In Q 3 of 2020 , a new version of the Outlook Plugin will be available that also contains a security improvement. This document serves to provide a high-level overview of the changes that are coming. We will follow up with additional information as th ose date s draw near.
Email Link Tracking
By default, links in emails have tracking embedded which allow s you to see who clicked which link, how many total links were clicked, etc. Link tracking is configured via the Insert/Edit Link dialog box from within the email editor .
Predictive Image Tracking
When using Content AI, you can configure email images to be predictive. Predictive image s have an URL and are configured via the “Make Predictive” menu item within the email editor .
Alternatively, you can select “Enable Content API” menu item within the email editor.
Tracking Link Length
When link tracking or predictive image is enabled, the original URL specified is converted into a “tracking link ” that points to a Marketo tracking server. The format of a tracking link looks something like this:
After this change, the identifier at the end of the URL will be slightly longer .
Tracking Parameter Expiration
When a tracked link or predictive image is clicke d from within an email , the Marketo tracking server logs a “Click Email” or “Click Predictive Content” activity and then redirects user to the original URL specified. The tracking server appends the “mkt_tok” query parameter which is used in conjunction with Munchkin JS to associate the Munchkin cookie with the known lead that clicked on the email link , and with the campaign that sent the email . After this change, mkt_tok will expire 6 months after the email was sent. As a result, if a lead clicks on a link in an email that is older than 6 months, the webpage visit activity will be anonymous, and campaign association will not occur. This is the same behavior as when tracking is disabled.
With these changes a new upgrade of the Outlook plugin will be released. The new plugin will no longer support offline mode, and users will be required to have an active connection to the internet when sending emails. Users who do not have an active connection will see the following message when clicking the Marketo Send and Track button:
Why is this change being made?
The t racking parameter e xpiration and tracking link change are additional step s in providing a more consistent and more secure experience with Marketo’s forms. This change is a continuation of the work done last year when we released Form Pre-Fill Feature Upgrade . The Outlook Plugin update was made to standardize on using common email tracking-related functionality across our products.
What customer action is required?
Aside from the Outlook Plugin upgrade, no additional action is required. The new plugin will be available as part of the Q3 2020 release so customers can upgrade. As part of the Q4 2020 release users will receive a message in Outlook asking them to upgrade before continuing to use the plugin.
How does this impact customers?
Tracking Links and Predictive Image s
If a tracked email link or a predictive image is clicked by an anonymous lead in an email that is over 6 months old, the known lead will not be associated with user’s Munchkin cookie . This is the same behavior when tracking is disabled.
If a tracked email link or a predictive image i s clicked i n an email that is over 6 months old , and the click sen d s user to a landing page containing a form with pre-fill enabled, the form will not pre-fill. This is the same behavior as when tracking is disabled .
All users must update the Outlook Plugin by Q1 2021.