10 Replies Latest reply on Nov 19, 2015 6:33 AM by Robb Barrett

    Using tokens to completely drive your programs

    Robb Barrett

      Hi everyone -


      I wanted to provide some insight into ways to use tokens for your programs.  I've recently become a token-head, using them all over the place in many unique ways.  As a result, I have templated complete programs that have everything from emails, landing pages, URLs, images, EVERYTHING driven by tokens.  And I think you should too.  Here's why:


      1. Tokens are separate from your assets.  When you need to change a template you need to rebuild your asset, right?  WRONG!!!

      2. Tokens can be stored in templates. 

      3. Tokens are easier for non-HTML folks to use.


      As a result of using tokens for everything, I've created a Gated Asset template. This allows ANYONE to quickly and easily gate ANY asset. Even external assets! Doesn't matter where it's stored or what it is, you can quickly and easily gate it. I'll use this for my first example.


      Here's the landing page template for my Gated Assets. You'll see several tokenized areas: {{my.Asset-Type}}, {{my.body-headline}}, {{my.Body-Copy}}, {{my.Body-Footer}}. The form isn't tokenized....we'll get to that later...


      GA Template.png


      Now, for the form itself, the destination IS tokenized...




      All of these tokens are stored in the program.


      GA Tokens.png


      So think about it - if you're a Marketer who doesn't know HTML and wants to quickly create a gated asset program, all you need to do is clone an existing program and go through the tokens to set the correct values.  Copy and Paste in your destination URL, Copy/Paste your body copy (they can even design in Word!) and voila! You have a program ready to go.  No approvals needed!


      I've demo'd this 4 or 5 times using a YouTube URL. Each time I showed the room full of people how quickly and easily they can create their own programs and they're all amazed. Instead of waiting days or weeks for someone to create for them, they can make their own in minutes.


      So....here's a real world example I recently went through...



      I run 7 nurture campaigns. Recently, we needed to shuffle them around and create new templates.  This was a nightmare, especially with the complexity of my nurture campaigns. Frustrated, I started to think about how to make it easier next time and .... TOKENS!!!


      My campaigns each have up to 14 emails.  Some of the content is repeated, sometimes it's the same email with a new subject line. I found it best to use all tokens to drive the emails so that changes wouldn't mea hours of recreating emails.


      I now think of the actual email as a template....stationary if you will.




      As you can see, my actual email is a mess of tokens.  Not very pretty, right? There's a header area, a body area and a footer area with buttons and links. Right now, this isn't something you probably find beautiful.


      Behind the scenes there's code for the white part. 


      {{my.Email 1 - Body:default=edit me}}

      <p><a href="{{my.Email 1 - Asset - Link}}" target="_blank" title="{{my.Email 1 - Asset - Link - Title}}"><img title="{{my.Email 1 - Asset - Link - Title}}" src="{{my.Email 1 - Asset - Link - Button}}" alt="{{my.Email 1 - Asset - Link - Title}}" width="236" height="56" /></a><a href="{{my.Contact Us - Link}}" target="_blank" title="Contact Us"><img title="Contact Us" src="{{my.Contact Us - Button}}" alt="Contact Us" width="155" height="56" /></a></p>


      Now, to populate the Body portion, I put everything in a token. I used Rich Text so that I could put in formatting and images.




      There are a lot of other tokens in there.  Take a look:




      The thing I like about this is that I now have a dashboard.  I can see - at a glance - all of my content, what it is, my subject lines, etc.  I can also really easily re-order things if I want.


      So, when I do a true preview on the email, it looks like this:




      So there you have it.  I just saved you all HOURS from your job.  Use tokens. Use them extensively.  Token everything. 

        • Re: Using tokens to completely drive your programs
          Grégoire Michel

          Hi Robb,


          You should probably consider moving to guided landing page templates instead of free form. They will enable you to better control the respective layout of your tokens.


          also, when using a token in the "href" of a link, always write it href="http://{{my.Email 1 - Asset - Link}}" and exclude the http:// from the token value, otherwise Marketo will not be able to detect the clicks.



          3 of 3 people found this helpful
          • Re: Using tokens to completely drive your programs
            Grégoire Michel

            Hi again Robb,


            This work reminds me a few years ago, when I discovered programs and tokens and created programs with tokens everywhere. Their power seemed almost incredible, but then I discovered on the long term that putting everything in tokens was not really scalable, for various reasons:

            1. You cannot put tokens within tokens, which somehow will limit what you can do.
            2. When you will start cloning programs, there will always be some reasons for doing something custom that will not fit within you token structure. Such as removing or adding 1 CTA, for instance.
            3. Tokens content have the inconvenience to display differently from the end result. This is especially true for rich text tokens, which final rendering will depends on the actual CSS on the email or the landing page.
            4. You personally feel comfortable with tokens, but most standard users don't. Tokens is a technique that looks like programming language variables. People with a technical background like and understand them, but people who come more from the communication part of marketing have a hard time with them. They feel it as complex and, therefore, putting too many tokens makes it harder for them to understand.  I have been training over 200 people on Marketo over the past few years and I have experienced this many times.



            4 of 4 people found this helpful