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Marketo's "Change Lead Owner" action triggers alerts from Salesforce: Why?

Question asked by Liliana Cheng on Oct 31, 2018
Latest reply on Nov 8, 2018 by Liliana Cheng

Hey guys, for the past year, our general flow for web form leads looks like this:


Lead fills out form >> Marketo creates lead in Salesforce >> Marketo changes lead owner to a Salesforce queue (or more rarely, a specific Salesforce user) >> Distribution Engine picks up leads in a queue and assigns to a rep >> after a few minutes, Marketo sends an alert to the lead owner (this flow step is tied to the form fill trigger)


Over the last 24 hours or so, we've seen an onslaught of new lead assignment emails for every single Marketo-created lead (all web form leads).


Here's what we know:

  • These email alerts look like default Salesforce lead assignment alerts. Our Marketo alert assets look completely different. They are definitely being sent within Salesforce on behalf of the Marketo user/integration.
  • The timing for these email alerts always match the step where Marketo changes the lead owner to a queue or to a user directly (step 3 in the flow above).
  • Hot Lead Queue has "Send Email to Members = True" and Marketo Queue has "Send Email to Members = False" (screenshots are attached). But strangely enough, leads that are sent to BOTH queues are triggering these email alerts so it is happening regardless of that checkbox value.
  • Hot Lead Queue listed our Sales Team as the queue members and the Marketo Queue listed all of our Salesforce users (eComm team, Customer Care team, various Engineering users, etc) as queue members.
    • When Marketo changed the lead owner to the Hot Lead Queue, it emailed the whole sales team that a lead was assigned to them.
    • When Marketo changed the lead owner to the Marketo Queue, it emailed the entire Saleforce user base to say a lead was assigned to them.
    • After we noticed the whole org was incorrectly getting email notifications about leads assigned to them, we removed the majority of users from both queues (Distribution Engine is the tool who makes the actual assignment to a rep so we don't need our users as queue members anymore). We allowed SF admins to remain as queue members and the email alerts are currently being sent to the admins only.
  • We know that alerts are also sent to a user if Marketo changes the lead owner directly to a user (ex: leads assigned directly to Customer Care users will send an alert to the user).
  • We tested the creation and assignment of leads between two Salesforce admins (non-Marketo created leads) and the email alert function works as advertised, meaning the email alert will only send if you check "Send Notification Email = True" upon assigning a lead. So it seems like these email alerts are only sent to people when Marketo is creating the lead/changing the lead owner.
  • Our admins have gone through our workflows and process automations in Salesforce and there is nothing indicating email alert triggers based on lead ownership changes. We have not made changes related to notifications/assignments recently. We don't know where these are coming from, or why they are suddenly being triggered. This was not an issue in the past.


To be clear, the issue is not the assignment of leads to a sales rep. The issue is related to the email alerts that we cannot track down and seem to only be related to the Marketo user/integration with Salesforce.


Has anyone experienced this before? Could something have changed on the Marketo integration that's affecting the notifications when Marketo changes the lead owner in Salesforce?


We already have our Salesforce admins investigating the issue and they opened a case with Salesforce support as well, but I wanted to see if the Marketo community has seen this before.