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2016

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As 2016 is coming to a close, a lot of us in marketing are winding down our schedule for the year: sending out holiday cards, making year-end articles, and building flight plans for 2017's initiatives. However, there's one common thing that can trip you up.

 

Ever looked at a website and wondered if it is still in operation? Maybe a thing or two looked like they could have been updated – and then you notice the copyright notice the in the footer. "2012. Right, this site must be dead. Let's move along."

 

Because Marketo lacks any sort of year token out of the box, it's very common for email and landing page designers to take the easy way out: simply add the year as plain text – and then as a new year rolls around, their content is stuck without updated values. But we can do better than that: let's set year dates so they're constantly up to date.

 

Setting Dates in Emails

Since Marketo only has {{system.date}} (which displays the current system date) and {{system.dateTime}} (a standard datetime stamp), we'll need to do two things: format Marketo's current date to your company's current locale, then set up the token to update in perpetuity (so we're not stuck doing this next December). To do this, we'll utilize folder tokens and Velocity scripting.

 

Need a refresher on folder tokens? Marketo Tokens: Ins and Outs and My.Tokens of Affection: Develop a Token Strategy You'll Love cover this topic at length. Remember that with something as generic as a year, you'll likely want to put this in the highest folder available.

 

You'll also want to check what timezone your Marketo instance is on--for instance, app-aba has its internal clock set to Central Standard Time, which means any datetime calculations it performs are going to be set to CST until you tell it otherwise. Now, for a year that may not matter so much to your company, but if you're sending something time-critical around the holidays or are on a very different timezone than your instance, this may not be ideal.

 

Once you're in your folder, create an Email Script Token  called  {{my.year}} with the following:

 

#set($timeZoneObject = $date.getCalendar().getTimeZone())

$date.format("yyyy", $date.getDate(), $date.getLocale(), $timeZoneObject.getTimeZone("EST"))

 

In this case, I'm setting the timezone to EST, but you should put in whatever timezone is relevant to you. From here, any emails you send with {{my.year}} that are inside this folder will correctly render the right year.

 

Setting Dates in Landing Pages

 

Thankfully, when it comes to editing dates for landing pages, the process is much more straightforward. Simply open up your template and swap out your typed date for the following:

 

<script type="text/javascript">

document.write(new Date().getFullYear());

</script>

 

Because JavaScript calculates dates on the end user's local machine, this means the year that displays will be whatever that person's current year is--whether that's 2016 or 2017, depending on the date.

I always tell people who are new to Marketo - or Marketing automation in general - you don't make mistakes with Marketo (or any other tool.) You make 60,000 mistakes, simultaneously. Yes, while we've all experienced the embarrassment of a typo or forwarding an email to a friend and forgetting there was something at the bottom of the thread they weren't meant to see, Marketo allows us to have these failures professionally in front of tens, if not hundreds of thousands of people.

 

Fear not, you're not alone. A quick scan through my Gmail at any given moment could probably snag two or three, from my gym inviting me to host my daughter's June birthday party there to a wrong price being put on a sales flier. By the way, I don't have a daughter - two sons - neither of whom have a June birthday (that was a real example.)

 

With that, I give you the ten "Oops" moments you'll have at some point or another and how you can recover from them professionally.

 

Fail early, fail often and fail forward

Look, the single most important piece of advice I can give you is this: own it, accept it, learn from it, move forward. At the 2016 Marketo summit, Will Smith said to "Fail Forward." Learn from your mistake, don't do it again, and prove that it was a valuable lesson.

 

There's a famous story about the CEO of IBM in the late 50's through early 70's. His name was Thomas Watson. He had a young exec who made some mistakes that cost the company millions - and back then, millions were like tens of millions today. So anyway, this young man shows up into Mr. Watson's office, head down, expecting to be fired and says "I suppose you're firing me."  Mr. Watson responds "Not at all, young man, we just spent a couple of million dollars educating you." (Source: Edgar Stein, Organizational Culture and Leadership)

 

We all make mistakes, we'll all continue to make mistakes. The important thing is that you don't blame anyone, don't state that someone handed you something wrong or insinuate in any way that this is someone else's fault. You're responsible, take responsibility. Own the error, even if you don't think it's on you.

 

#1 - At some point, you will send an email to your entire database.

No, you didn't mean for that email to go to your entire database. It was meant to go to MAYBE 1,000 people and your database has over 1 million records. Here are the most common reasons as to why you'll do this:

You used an OR condition (or selected "Any") when you didn't mean to.

As a parent, something I've learned is how difficult the concept of "OR" is to learn. Ask a kid "Do you want candy or video games" and they'll say "Yes" and then throw a fit when they don't get both. In database terms, OR can be one of the single most destructive forces on earth. You can craft a beautifully eloquent and complex statement and kill it by using an OR outside of parentheses.

 

You used a negative clause when you really needed to be more specific.

When you say "Show me everyone who doesn't own this product" you could very well end up with the majority of your database. What you probably meant was "Show me everyone who has expressed an interest in this product but doesn't own it."  When you build a smart campaign using a negative filter, BEWARE!!!

 

This happy little smart list will cause you to email almost your entire database. It doesn't filter it by people who RECEIVED it and didn't open it, just people who didn't open it. That is to say, almost everyone.

not opened email.PNG

 

You thought that there was already filtering expected

This can happen for a few reasons:

  • You didn't realize that smart lists and campaigns in a program aren't limited to people in the program

  • You didn't realize that smart lists and campaigns in a workspace aren't limited to people in that workspace

This simply isn't the case. You have to be VERY EXPLICIT in defining the exact rules you want used. You can't overstate it enough. If you're worried about being redundant, don't. Go ahead and use the filters in a smart list the SC references AND the SC itself. You won't hurt anything.

 

You referenced a Smart List that wasn't well formed.

Never trust a smart list you didn't build. Check it, check the number of leads it pulls, check all the lists it references. You might find that some crazy person created a smart list that's simply "Lead was created" and somehow it got plopped next to an OR in your smart campaign. These things happen, always check your references and make sure you know your lists.

 

How to protect against emailing everyone:

Ask your admin to turn on smart campaign limits.

Marketo now has a feature that will abort a smart campaign if too many people are pulled into it. Caviet: No one will get anything if it's over the limit. You can adjust this at a Campaign by Campaign basis but the Admin will set a default.  Figure out what's typically the max you should be mailing and go with that number. Maybe it's 5, 10, 100 thousand. Figure out your average list size and go with it.

 

Wait on the schedule tab till you see a number. Yes, it may take forever and it may fail.

In the case that it fails, chances are you have too complicated of a smart list. Simplify it, quit referencing smart lists that reference smart lists. These little buggers can become a virus - causing you to keep emailing people you shouldn't. If it fails time and time again, you may have too many people. Trace through it and find the defect.

 

#2 - Sooner or later, you'll get blacklisted for spamming

Here's the dirty little secret you may refuse to admit to yourself:

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I know, I know...but we're the good ones.  Still, you do things consistent with that which a person who typically sends email described by some as spam does.  And, while Marketo does a fabulous job behind the scenes of protecting the reputation of your company and your IP, there's only so much they can do after you get flagged. It's really on your to protect yo'self from these problems.

 

 

But I don't want to be a spammer!

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Create a spam suppression list!

I've written a blog post about just such a thing so I'll just post that right here:

Spam spam spam eggs spam spam spam

 

Have your admin do the whole SPF / DKIM / DMARC thing.

Courtney Grimes has written an excellent article on this: Boost Your Deliverability (and Credibility!) with DMARC

Sanford Whiteman has also blogged about DMARC and DKIM: http://blog.teknkl.com/dkim-brainteaser-answer-2/

Kiersti Esparza has contributed this article about it: Cracking the Inbox Code: Google

 

If you're new to the Nation, these three are kinda the Big Dawgs of the email credibility world. This is a difficult thing to understand but take some time to learn your trade. At its essence, it's credentials stating that Marketo has permission to send emails using your domain name and they should be accepted as your own.

 

Really talk to your users about email limits and, if necessary, enforce them

Maybe you don't keep communication limits turned on for reasons and then maybe you'll find someone who will push you to that point. I recently had a team tell me they couldn't possibly figure out any way to send a person less than 5-7 emails per week so I kicked them out of my Marketo instance and told them to learn 2 newsletter.

 

#3 - That wasn't the right link!

Oh, this one will happen and happen and happen, especially if you have casual users. I see this happen in a couple of different ways:

 

  • The link was just a placeholder link.
  • The link was copied from a previous email sent through Marketo
  • The link was copy and pasted from a webinar provider personalized email
  • The link was from the email you cloned
  • The designed ended up creating a new landing page and didn't link it.

 

Always test every single link

Before hitting send, test EVERY. SINGLE. LINK.  Read the HTML to make sure it's not already a personalized link. Make sure it goes to the right place. DO NOT LET SOMEONE TELL YOU "Just schedule it for me so I know it's set to go and I'll make the changes." This is like taking candy from strangers. This is a time bomb in your email.  Make sure your end user looks at the destination and approves it goes exactly where they expect it to go.

 

#3 - That wasn't the right email!

Eventually you'll notice that 90% of your emails are called Email 1 because you got lazy. You should really be more descriptive, but I can't dictate behavior.

 

Reduce the chance of linking to the wrong asset with this one weird trick!

 

asset number.PNG

 

If you look in the URL you'll see I highlighted a number. Every Marketo asset has a code like this. For an email, it's EMXXXXXA1LA1 (with 3, 4 or 5 numbers). If you copy those numbers and put them at the end of the name of your email you now know how to call this distinct email.  It's a good trick to learn.  Then you can just type that number into the flow step and Marketo will suggest the right email.

 

Did you know you can click on this one weird icon?

email icon.PNG

 

If you click it, it will open the email in Preview mode so you can be absolutely sure it's the right email. Go ahead and try it - it'll blow your mind. Works in regular Smart Campaigns as well as Email Send programs. Guaranteed to make sure you don't use the wrong email.

 

#4 - The personalization looks HORRIBLE!

Did you forget to change the default from "Edit Me" to "Valued Customer"?  I've seen this one happen a lot. Even the best companies make this mistake.

Tim Lamb recently shared this link in a question:  <pat on the back, Southwest guy, been there>

 

name not found.PNG

 

I'm not a fan of personalizing emails. No one really believes you personally wrote that email and if you have a prankster who uses foul language when filling out a form he now possesses an email where you're calling him a foul name. Whenever I see an email that says "Dear Robert" I know it's from a form-fill. Only judges refer to me as Robert.

 

#5 - The subject line was wrong!

There's no getting around this one. You updated the content but didn't update the subject line, now the two aren't in sync. It's highly noticeable and it looks like something went wrong to your subscribers.

 

 

Bottom Line

We all have different ways to verify our emails prior to send. Dory Viscogliosi recently told me she wants everything in writing. Juli James doesn't rely on verbal verification. She states "eye witness reports are rubbish," when it comes to getting approval and written is her choice for error-free execution. I personally do everything live via WebEx with several people on the phone and a checklist of things I run down:

  • Is the correct email linked?
  • Are all the links correct?
  • Does it display correct in Outlook / Gmail / iPhone / Android?
  • Are there any noticeable typos? (Difficult, because I sometimes work on international pieces)
  • Is this going to the correct lists?
  • Is the target size what's expected?
  • Do we have the exact right date and time scheduled?
  • Is the "From" address correct? How about the Reply To?
  • Is the subject line correct?
  • Do all personalized fields have valid defaults?

 

Ultimately if something goes wrong, it's my fault. I once was on a call with the Director of Marketing and he said "I have final approval on everything that goes out" and I said "With all respect, actually I have final approval." If anything goes wrong, it's on me since I push the button. It doesn't matter who else is on the call with me watching, it comes down to the fact that it's my job to be 100% correct. Doesn't matter if the President of the United States says "I approve this," it's your job to say "Mr. President, I'm going to make this email great again by pointing out you have 4 typos, none of your links work and you literally have garbage text in a call out box." (Those errors were actually on an email I was told was 100% approved and ready to go today - although someone far lower ranking than the POTUS.)

 

Now, these things will all happen to you at some point or another. Chances are, you'll have at least one of these once a year if you send a lot of emails. Own up to it, explain what went wrong, take the blame - you were rushing through it, you missed a step, you made an assumption (but end it there). The mistake happened.

I leave you with my favorite quote of all time.....

 

"The Moving Finger writes and, having writ, moves on:

Nor all your piety nor wit shall lure it back to cancel half a line,

Nor all your tears wash out a word of it."

--Omar Khayyam, Rubaiyat.

Hi, everyone!

 

This was the 12th and FINAL episode of #Krewechats for 2016! We'll be back next year with a full schedule of content to share and discuss, but in the meantime, check out the most recent episode here:

 

#KreweChats Episode 12: Changes You Should Know About! (2016 Year-end Edition) - YouTube

 

Last week, we discussed basic changes to the Marketing landscape that just about everyone needs to be aware of. If you don't know what CASL is and you're emailing people in Canada, the first half of this episode is for you! Beyond that, we got into the upcoming deadline regarding the Marketo Lead Management package for Salesforce CRM, as well as the "Fall" Release (that came out on the 9th day of December, in the two thousandth and sixteenth year of our Lord).

 

Special thanks to Geoffrey Krajeski, Jenn DiMaria, Ande Kempf, Dory Viscogliosi, Juli James, Rachel Egan, and Sydney Mulligan. Almost a full Krewe for the first time ever!

 

/joe

You already know that Marketo isn't going to send the same email to the same person via the Customer Engagement Program. BUT. . . those aren't the only people that you want to exclude when you are running a nurture program.  You might be promoting a piece of content across 5 different channels and using multiple different emails.

What if someone attends a Webinar on “How to Snag Cool Marketo Swag at Summit” and you want to offer the recorded webinar in your nurture stream, how do you make sure that the person who attended that webinar doesn’t get that offer AGAIN.  Here are 4 steps to make sure that doesn’t happen.

 

Here's what we are going to build:

Screen Shot 2016-12-11 at 2.36.40 PM.png

 

Step 1:  Set up a Content Program for each piece of content that you are also promoting via nurtures. 

 

In this program "Content - Webinar Cool Swag", anyone who attended the live webinar, or watched the recorded webinar already needs to be added as a member in order to exclude them from receiving a nurture email with this webinar as the offer.   This would work the same way if it was a white paper.  Anyone from any channel that has downloaded a specific white paper would live in this program.  This program can be operational or not depending on your reporting needs.  But the important thing is that everyone you want to exclude for this specific nurture email resides in this program. 

 

Step 2:  Set up a Nurture Library

 

This step isn’t actually required to make the above happened but it’s more of a best practice and helps you keep things organized.  In this operational program, you can keep all your nurture emails here so that if you choose to use the same email (by email ID) in multiple streams or multiple programs, you will guarantee that folks definitely won’t get the same email twice. 

 

Step 3:  Set up your Smart Campaign to send the Nurture email from the Content Program

 

Hold up. What!?!  Yup that’s right.  Create a Smart Campaign (ie Nurture Send) in the Content Program, the same program where the members reside where you want to exclude folks from receiving the email.  This is the part where marketo logic just got flipped on it’s head.  Just stay with me.  Smart List must be Member of Engagement Program = True, Nurture Program Name. Add another filter to exclude Member of Program = False, Content - Webinar Cool Swag.  In the flow step, Send Email - email is choose your nurture email from the Nurture library.  You do not have to turn anything on.  You do not have to schedule anything. 

 

Screen Shot 2016-12-11 at 2.37.21 PM.png

Go to the Nurture Stream where you want this email to go out and click Add, select program, select the campaign “Nurture Send” and voila that’s it. 

Screen Shot 2016-12-11 at 2.35.45 PM.png

What will happen is anyone who is a part of the Content - Webinar Cool Swag program will not receive Nurture Email 1 offering this very cool webinar, but will get the next email in the stream all is good. 

 

You may be tempted to drag other filters in the smart campaign smart list. Resist the urge.   They will not work.*  When you use other filters, member of list not in XYZ (and these folks are not members of the Content - Webinar Cool Swag program,  those people who you want to exclude will be excluded from the nurture email, BUT they will not get another email.  They will be stuck in email nurture purgatory.  You have to turn the cadence off then back on for them to leave purgatory.  There have been lots of articles written on this. 

 

Step 4: Test the Nurture Program

 

Screen Shot 2016-12-11 at 2.35.57 PM.png

 

I mean really test it, not with just the test cadence (shown above) where it just sends out an email like send sample email.  Here’s a way that I came up with to quickly test whether the right people are getting the right email and being excluded from the right nurtures. And you don’t have to wait for Marketo to send out a cast.  The shortest amount of time that the program will cast is 24 hours.  I don’t know about you but I don’t have that kind of time to just sit and wait around. 

 

Say for example you have 4 nurture emails. 

Create a test list of leads that are new to the database.  This ensures that there aren’t any gremlins that are going to mess up your testing.

 

Screen Shot 2016-12-11 at 2.42.04 PM.png

 

I have 5 test leads.  The first will proceed as normal through the flows of all 4 emails.

Each of the others, I will add 1 lead to each content program for them to be excluded.

So Jess1 will be in the content program for Nurture Email 1 so it will not get Email 1

Jess 2 will be added as a member of the content program for Nurture Email 2 so it will not get Email 2 and so forth.  The chart delineates which email will be sent to whom and it what order. 

 

Upload these 5 test leads.

Add them to the appropriate content program.

Add all 5 leads to the engagement program and nurture stream.

 

When you are ready to test, set the first cast for an immediate cast.  (Make sure you are not sending to actual real people.)  Wait for the emails. Once you’ve received the emails, you can go back in and set a new time for the first cast (ie within the next 15 minutes) and let her roll and voila you can test your nurtures pretty quickly.  

 

And there you have it. 

Hi Marketo Community!

 

Last week we hosted our latest episode of #KreweChats, which can be seen again here: #KreweChats Episode 11: Email Editor 2.0 & Audit Trail - YouTube!  I can’t quite believe we’re already up to 11 episodes.  So, for this one we looked back at some of the most sought after releases of 2016.  These were Email Editor 2.0 and Audit Trail. 

 

On the chat was Joe Reitz, Rachel Egan, Geoffrey Krajeski, Ande Kempf, Dory Viscogliosi and Myself.  It included a couple of Live Screen Shares (Thank you Joe!) to show what Email Editor 2.0 and Audit Trail look like within an instance.  We discussed the benefits and disadvantages of both new features and looked at why they were needed and how they could be improved for the next release – we wouldn’t be Champions if we didn’t always have ideas for improvements!

 

Hope you enjoy watching this eposide and we look forward to seeing you for our last epsodie of the year on 12/16/16 @ 3:30pm ET.  On this episode we will take a look back at 2016 and see how the world of Marketing, Marketo and KreweChats has grown.  Come along and get Merry with us!

 

Thanks

 

Julz

 

#KreweChats Episode 11: Email Editor 2.0 & Audit Trail - YouTube

Hey #MKTGNation!

 

Thanks for your interest in the Marketo-Fu series thus far! Personally/selfishly, having a down-to-earth video link I can share has saved me so much time in training clients or further edifying other Fathomers & Marketo-enthusiast friends. I'm also up to like $14 in ad revenue between this and #KreweChats, so I'm well on my way to my personal financial splurge goal. #LeicaLyfe #IMayRetireSoon

 

I mentioned before that there would be an intermediate/advanced track once I filled in the beginner track a bit. I've done that! So for your viewing pleasure, here's the first 10 episodes of Marketo-Fu for Intermediate/Advanced Users:

 

Marketo-Fu (Intermediate) - YouTube

 

ICYMI: Marketo-Fu (pronounced like "kung-fu") is an on-going how-to series delivered on a semi-daily basis via YouTube live. The purpose is to help you make your Marketo-Fu strong, so you can impress your management, get a raise, and have an awesome Bruce Lee-esque montage (hush, you. I'm funny, dang it...). It's super informal and genuine, and best of all you get to see me forget how to Marketo sometimes .

 

^Spoiler: anyone that tells you they don't have anything left to learn is straight-up lying to you.

 

Please feel free to post additional topics you'd like to see on this channel below, and keep the conversation going here!

 

PS: Once again, YUGE shoutout to Sanford Whiteman for his massive technical expertise!

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