5 Best Practices All Marketing Automation Administrators Should Follow

Novice marketing automation users feel overwhelmed with plenty of features and tools of Marketo available at their fingertips to automate their entire marketing process. However, most of them start marketing automation without adequate preparation on how to deal in stream of changes that occur and needed to make the most of the marketing process on Marketo platform.

Hence, we have mapped the 5 best practices for new marketing automation administrators to help them manage and make the most the automation platforms after marketing automation implementation took place successfully.

Step 1: first of all, consider your marketing Data

Data is the cornerstone of the functioning of CRM system and marketing automation platform on which your marketing process is built upon. That’s why it is imperative to pay heed to the insights which these platforms, programs and processes are based upon. In addition, maintaining good data health and periodical data quality report in every month is a good practice to identify progress, gaps and scope of improvements in your marketing process. Marketers must also make sure they have set of rules for maintaining data for their data management team and practice those rules rigorously.

Step 2: Alignment between teams is a key

Although the name implies, marketing automation needs a close-knit collaboration of diverse teams involved in generating leads, managing customer relations and conversations, and converting leads – that’s why these automation platforms include multiple functionalities from marketing to sales to coordinate and collect data from different teams. Marketers can collect input from sales reps as well as they need buy-in from reps and other teams handling customers. Companies beginning with their marketing automation process, migration or implementation, need to touch base with the key player from each department and take account of and incorporate their experience while planning for the system.

Step 3: Create Visualization of your marketing process

As a marketer, one needs to create the visuals of the entire marketing plan of the process for other team members to comprehend what marketers have in mind. Moreover, marketers also need a complete diagram of plans and activities planned to remind them when they themselves might forget any step of actions and the rationales behind some actions. That’s why a detailed diagram or a visual board is a must to communicate with and presenting a clear picture before all the departments involved in the automation process. Create a process chart to discuss all the marketing actions and scopes of improvements – this will also bring marketers faster approvals from leadership teams. Make sure you have meticulously incorporated everything from statuses of current processes, desired marketing goals and objectives, a viable plan to attain the goal and detailed mapping of workflows of all departments and teams. If you want to make use of marketing automation as a medium of change, then a thorough planning of all the goals, touchpoints, actions and metrics must be planned well in advance and mapped scrupulously.

So, start working on creating your marketing whiteboard exercise before you jump into the actions with all the steps to success planned at your fingertip.

Step 4: Be well-aware of the automation systems

Marketing automation administrators must be well-aware of the automation and CRM platforms they are working with. However, that’s not enough. Marketers must be informed and knowledgeable about the marketing automation platform you are using whether Marketo or any other. The marketing automation administrator needs to know the automation system and instances from inside out. In addition, marketing automation admins should also be well-acquainted deeply with the CRM which is synced to the marketing automation platform and how it functions, impacts the corporate websites, blogs, landing pages and your products or services so that administrators can train other people and teams on how to articulate and explain the solutions intended to sell to the targeted accounts or market. Even though all the products, solutions or services cannot be implemented on the marketing automation platform or CRM platform, the administrator and the teams must be well-versed about those to connect with the customers and prospects.

Step 5: marketing automation administrators must play the role of teachers and custodians

That’s right and the role of the marketing automation administrator will also be as critical as those of server-side or database administrator or a CRM administrator. They will also take up all the key responsibilities of the automation system similar to what a CRM or database administrator engage in their roles. They will need to become the guardian of the functional marketing automation system as well as they need to monitor the system on regular basis. They should also play the role of a efficient gatekeeper to protect and control the access other marketers, sales reps, customer relation team players or other people involved in the marketing automation process. While allowing fellow or reps of other departments to the process, administrator also needs to be their teacher and guardian as to train them to enable them to start working on the platform as well as be attentive of their activities, progress and flaws by closely watching over their use of the system.

Admins also need to ensure they nurture and enhance their skills, how they can get more efficient with the system and perform their bits on the system well without causing any errors or issues to the platform or the process. They also take up critical responsibilities in maintaining seamless workflows and managing data points. All the changes that are made to the marketing automation system need to be monitored, recorded, and communicated with other staffs, teams and departments, clients and people who need to be reported of all those changes.

Do you find these tips on how to prep up for the role of marketing automation administrators useful? What are the best practices do you follow in your organization to get the automation started under the supervision of a marketing automation admin? We are keen to learn and share your tips with the world – drop your words of wisdom in the comments section below.  Or else, do you need professional assistance to set up, migrate or implement marketing automation or need to set up training sessions for administrators in your organization, just pick your phone now and type in “(408) 502 6765” to talk to our friendly Marketo specialists. And yes, you can also find us and chat with us via social channel Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn – let’s catch up soon.

7 Key Takeaways from Marketo Winter ’19 Release Notes

Winter months have been harbinger of good cheers! The winter wind fills the air with fragrance of festivities, feasts, good news and some extra merriment for marketers as we anticipate winter release notes. Now that Marketo has announced its latest Winter 19 Release Note updates, winter has indeed turned extra merrier. So, let us find out what Marketo Winter 19 Release updates have in store for us and dissect how these product updates will impact our upcoming marketing efforts and effectiveness of campaigns.

7 Major takeaways of Marketo Winter 19 Release are

1. Core Platform Enhancements

Key system enhancements introduced in Marketo Winter 19 Release include –

Email CC for Marketo Emails

When you plan for some specific email campaigns that require sending multiple CC recipients, the Marketo’s Email CC is what you have wished for! With this feature update, Marketo allows adding up to five CC recipient addresses to emails to be delivered through its automation suite and it is made available to all Marketo email assets irrespective of the method used for sending the email, whether trigger or batch campaign. Emails sent to CC recipients will deliver the exact copy of the email which is being sent to the main email recipient. And similar to the main email recipients, engagement rates from these CC recipients are also monitored. Marketo users can track basic engagement from these emails such as, email opens, email clicks which are logged under the ‘Marketo Person’, from the “To” line of these mails. However, delivery incidences other than “soft bounce” cannot be logged such as, email sent, email delivered, hard bounce and others. Marketo can CC up to 100k recipients at once.  If the smart list goes beyond the 100k, then user needs to break up the smart list to ensure that every contact in the list receive CC email.

Munchkin v155 Beta Version

Opt-Out Management allows managing opt-outs by tallying the Munchkin tracking cookie domain with the opt-out cookie domain.

API-Only Mode allows Marketo users to now define and decide the time and methods to trace members of the database by using single-page web apps. Users can call web apps as they want to track a webpage visit instead of using Marketo’s automatic tracking.

Domain-Level Decider Parameter is a two-letter domains such as, “website.nz” which will be able to record Marketo activities automatically, without any further setup hassles.

API

Email CC Support for Asset API Marketo – this will come to use in approving, users cloning, and processing emails via the API in order to maintain parity with the UI settings.

Multi-Branding Domain Support for Asset API – With this feature, cloning and approving assets will generate the same output within the UI and API.

2. Account-Based Marketing

Personas are considered excellent means to segment the audience of ABM and engage a specific subcategory of people. Marketo’s ABM introduces this new ABM Persona-Based Segmentation & filtering feature in Winter 19 Release. This segmentation and filtering will help improve personalizing ABM campaigns for specific segment and subset of contacts within named accounts. This Persona feature will also help create job titles and other personas based on segmentation and enable configuring further persona segmentations.

3. Web Personalization

This personalization feature will help Marketo users make use of domains and subdomains more effectively by allowing users to add subdomains to the RTP account settings. Marketo users can manage subdomains of their specific RTP Javascript embedded in their primary domain. We recommend implementing Javascript tag to the subdomains they have added. Adding subdomains to the primary domains can be performed from ‘Account Settings’ options.

4. Marketo Sky

Marketers often point to the Marketo Sky as its one of the latest state-of-the-art experience. Sky is created to design high impacting and engaging campaigns more effectively and faster. The Sky features an astonishing look and feel paired with productivity-improving capacities from the Marketing Nation community. And starting from Marketo Winter 19 Release Notes, the Marketo Sky will feature these additional capabilities:

Improved User Interface:

Marketo Sky is upgraded with new set of look and feel features including new modals, icons, buttons, new color palette that render its striking and functional new design.

Reimagined My Marketo:

This feature will help personalize Marketo experience by adding custom widgets to enable users extracting critical information, updates, and access to the mostly visited areas.

Event-With-Webinar Programs:

The Event-With-Webinar programs will debut in Marketo Sky starting with winter release notes. These programs will also support GoToWebinar functionalities with additional integrations to be established later.

Global Search:

Marketo’s Winter 19 Release Notes are introducing a faster and far improved global search function throughout its platform. The search queries can now be used in all workspaces to look for assets, whether active and archive), campaigns, labels, and programs. Marketo fetch these search results through an overlay, giving the file location to notify where the asset can be found.

Design Studio List Views & Detail Pages:

Marketo users will now benefit from an improved level of organizing capabilities and correctness with Design Studio. The design studio adds a newly improved Design Studio List Viewed and Detail Pages offer searchable and filterable list views landing pages, emails, and forms. The Asset Detail Pages present significant information related to all assets, the programs that are using those assets and the number of snippets the programs use and other factors.

Optional Default Experience:

Marketo users with Admin access or if users provided access by Admins, can now set Sky to be the default experience.

Email Program Usability Enhancements:

Marketo considers parity in Email Program functionality between the new Marketo Sky experience and Lead Management platform.

5. Marketo Mobile Engagement (MME)

Marketo has updated Marketo Mobile Engagement (MME) Software Development Kit (SDK) for Android. The automation platform features upgraded SDK for Android to present users a more improved, stable, state-of-the-art and scalable framework. This new framework consists of new engineering options and enhanced flexibility. Android app developers can now enjoy direct use of Firebase Cloud Messaging (FCM) of Google starting with this new improved SDK framework.

6. Marketo Sales Engage

The following features are added to improve sales engagement on Marketo platform.

Salesforce Customization will enable users deleting redundant custom activity fields helping them to set up Sales Engage in their CRM system more proficiently.

Salesforce Custom Profile will now benefit Marketo users with unlimited custom profiles.

Email Service allows Marketo users taking advantage of enhanced email deliverability with added capabilities of connecting to Microsoft Outlook, both via Email Connection tab and Office365. Hence, users can enjoy other additional benefits such as improved bulk email functionality, scheduled email functionality, and reply tracking.

Improved Admin Settings contain two admin pages which are added to customize the Sales Engage instances including –

  • Team Management which supports smooth account set-up process by enabling admin users to edit team access and subscriptions.
  • Salesforce Admin Settings allow users to configure SFDC sync more efficiently than before.

OWA Plugin for Windows is a single add-in that will support all Windows Office365-based clients in Sales Engage that will be available from the Microsoft Store. This plugin will provide additional ability to make use of Live Feed in Outlook.

Activities Pusher helps sync Sales Engage with core Marketo automation platform to source real-time marketing insights.

7. Analytics

Marketo Winter 19 Release will enable users to use Bizible attributes to create custom fields which they can use for dashboard reporting and segmentation. Users will also get benefit of SOC II Type II Certification, a new level of security and privacy certification, that helps build on Type I accreditation.

Do these Marketo Winter 19 Release Notes product updates and improvements augment your campaigns? How do you plan to maximize the benefits of these new and improved features and tools? Share your marketing campaign goals to let us help you amplify the results and give your campaign modern look by making the utmost use of Marketo Winter 19 Release Note feature – let’s start chatting by dropping your comments below.

5 Cool Tricks to Keep Marketo Data Clean & Spotless

“How do I clean duplicate records out of my Marketo database?”

“Is there any way to maintain Marketo database immaculate and perfect condition for campaigns?”

Do these types of Marketo questions cloud your mind and hinder your marketing efforts? Some of our clients come seeking solutions and best practices on how to keep their Marketo database cleared of duplicate records and other issues. There are super cool ways to prevent duplicate data and other data management errors to impede the performance of your marketing automation campaign. You should know how badly this duplicate data problem can affect your Marketo campaigns.

How badly does duplicate data hurt your Marketo campaign?

In most instances, duplicate records pop up in from diverse sources such as, through manual data entry attempts, list imports or any other manual activities of data entry or issues such as –

Erroneous lead scoring activities: one of the worst cases of duplicate data is from an incorrect lead scoring outcome. Inaccurate lead scoring resulting from duplicate records may lead to a miscalculation of MQL and often leave behind hot leads in Marketo. Apart from causing duplicate errors, these also cause lost opportunities for conversion by leaving leads which could generate revenues.

Higher cost of Marketo: Marketo charges its users based on the size of the database in it. And the volume may often take in presence of duplicate data and chances are, Marketo users are unfortunately being charged for unwanted duplicate records in their database.

Incorrect data analysis: Duplicate records of leads in the Marketo database will also cause miscalculation of data analysis and reports that result in reduced opportunities of ROI.

But, marketers can sidestep the loss and issues that duplicate data triggers, by adopting periodic data cleansing practices to keep pesky duplicate records at bay. The following five steps are best recommended to minimize the risks of duplicate data and other data errors to maintain good health of your Marketo database.

1. Spot duplicate records

As soon as marketers start with data building activities, duplicate records start surfacing inevitably. That’s why it is important to take proactive action and to develop routines to spot and scrape off the bad duplicate data from time to time. It is possible to maintain the good health of your database, free of duplicate leads.

In this process of eliminating duplicate records, marketers must take adequate caution in deleting records even though they are found as duplicate. We recommend a deep dive that carefully examines both records to ascertain which lead data is more useful for campaign whether email addresses or mobile number. They can also merge both the data accordingly.

2. Set rules for automatic de-duping

Another way to spot and get rid of duplicate records from the large volume of thousands of data is to set rules for the automatic elimination or de-duplication of lead data. Such practices of automatic de-duplication helps marketers with saving hours of valuable time and efforts in scanning through their both marketing automation and CRM database manually. This process is more feasible when Marketo users are adding lead lists when they can append bigger sets of lead data and avoid duplicate records as and when new contacts are getting added to the system.

3. Eliminate Junk Contacts

Many anonymous lead records may contain inaccurate, bad data such as “xyzw@gmail.com” or “meh@hotmail.com” with no accurate details of lead contact. Such records are generated when contacts are unwilling to share their actual email addresses. These kind of contact details are unnecessary that marketers do not need and have to pay for the space these take in within the Marketo database. Marketers can set up and run smart campaigns to spot and scrub off these garbage data automatically from their database. They can set campaigns in ways that will identify such bogus email addresses, remove and suspend or even blacklist those spam contact details.

4. Set Up Alerts

Marketo users can also play this card of setting up alerts which bring them to the top of the game of their database. Spotting and deleting duplicates leads based on their email address is easy, but what if first name and last names are duplicate but both records contain different email addresses? In such cases, marketers need to set up alerts to be automatically notified of existence of such duplicate records. As soon as they get notification, they can determine if the record is simply a duplicate entry or those are of two different persons.

5. Scan data for uniformity

We recommend that companies and marketers work to ensure uniformity in order to maintain clean and good health of their Marketo database. However, there is a difficulty – if contacts choose to type in the country instead of selecting from the drop-down list menu, chances are the database will contain same country with different country values such as, for United States there can be multiple types of data input as “U.S.”, “US”, “USA,” “United States of America” or “U.S.A.” Make sure the form users can get to only choose from the drop down menu of list and cannot type on their own.

Marketers can also apply filters to get rid of lead records that become inactive for a considerable amount of time. In such cases, they can set filters to determine if those leads are engaging with their marketing campaigns or if they have left the company. As soon as they can verify those are inactive and useless leads, marketers can simply decide if they want to keep those records to run re-activation campaign or cleanse those records.

Do you need professional assistance in setting up campaigns and managing your Marketo database? Do you need help to keep your database spotless and free of bad data? Why delay? Contact our Marketo specialists at (408) 502 6765 or connect with us via  Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

3 Benefits of Email Preference Center Will Make You Want to Start Now

Have you set up your Email Preference center yet?

Most marketers look at the concept of an email preference center as an unnecessary part of their email marketing activities, and frankly some view it as a waste of resources. But in our privacy-conscious world, and contrary to what many people think, a Preference Center can give you peace of mind. Without these centers, marketers cannot get a self-reported and even comprehensive set of insights and information on their targeted customers. Nor can they identify if they are interested in their products, newsletter, periodic updates content, or other offers.

Here are a few things about email preference centers that can help you to move forward with one – what it is, how it works and how an email preference center can help boost the performance of your email marketing campaigns. In short: a simple way to improve your long-term client relationships.

First things first: Define the email preference center

An email preference center, or a subscription center, should be the first part of an email registration process, because of the unobtrusive way it can help collect information from your targeted customers.

It is a check point where email subscribers can update data about themselves, including their own preferences in receiving emails. By offering this kind of choice, you enable your subscribers to take control over the type of content and information they want to receive from you. Also, they are given choices to decide their preferred frequency in which they want to receive mails and how many mails they want to receive. That will give marketers with useful insights about their prospects, which they can use to personalize campaigns and customize messages, based on subscribers’ preferences, leaving overall powerful impacts on their email campaigns.

For an in-depth look at how an email preference center can benefit and empower your ongoing email campaigns, scroll down and check out these bullets on the advantages of setting up an email preference center.

Benefits of email preference center

1. Lessen incidences of unsubscribes and spam reports:

Often marketers have no idea why their subscribers choose to unsubscribe from their email lists – but with an email preference center, they can collect information on why prospects are unsubscribing from their campaigns. In addition to that, an email preference center also helps marketers by giving alternatives to their subscribers who are contemplating unsubscribing, giving them reasons to keep the relationship at least somewhat intact.

Broadly speaking, there are three things your subscribers do to exclude themselves from your email list and these are

  • unsubscribing from the list

  • managing their email preferences

  • reporting your email address as spam.

With an email preference center, and a “manage your preferences” option, you take a powerful pre-emptive step so that they are far away from clicking the ‘Report as spam’ button. That option to regulate how many or frequently they will receive your communications, and the type of content and information they want to receive, is powerful preventive medicine.

2. Showcase your email offerings:

Another major benefit of having an email preference center is to be able to showcase marketers’ email offers and content. If you have multiple email lists, then take advantage of an email preference center to make your subscribers aware of your multiple email lists. Email preference centers not only allow subscribers to unsubscribe but also, choose the email lists they are interested in to get periodic updates and newsletters. Thus, they can select their preferred and most relevant email list and communications.

Here one thing you need to make sure of: you must have adequate content ready for every email list you have created to maintain a steady flow of good quantity and quality of content for your subscribers. For example, if your subscribers prefer tips and tricks or DIY type of content, make sure you have enough relevant content of that type. Similarly, if you let them choose lists by their professional profile, roles or industry, your content inventory must feed them with relevant content useful for those profiles and industries.

3. Get help in segmentation:

Email preference centers are of great help in segmenting prospects and targeted customers. These centers free marketers from doing the guesswork for their email marketing campaigns by enabling them to give their subscribers choices and personalize campaigns based on their insights on their preferences.

Based on subscribers’ email preferences, it becomes easier to accurately segment them and deliver personalized campaigns to keep subscribers engaged and take actions as stated by CTA. For example, you can create email preference center similar to Groupon which has categorized their centers based on multiple factors that are location, notifications, and types of deals.

Other factors that you can consider for creating email preference center and delivering personalized emails can be –

Type of messages:

Use email preference center to allow your subscribers to self-select their choice of content they want to receive and engage with. By this, we mean that let your subscribers choose topics of content, offers that attract them the most, type of news and their choice of new product updates which will bring them closer to your product and service lineup. Thus, you can target better with an email preference center by sending them customized promotions and product announcements and in return, you will decrease high attrition rates of your subscribers.

Frequency options:

Build an email preference center which gives you the ability to regulate the frequency with which your subscribers want to receive emails from you. That way, you can reduce the risks that your subscribers will become annoyed with too many emails and eventually unsubscribe from the list.

If they have a choice to set frequency, they can now receive emails at their preferred intervals. In the same way, you can use their frequency choice information to set the right timing and automate campaigns accordingly. This insight about frequency can help you determine how many emails they want to receive as double assurance that they won’t hit the “unsubscribe” button down the road.

Preferred channels:

An email preference center will also allow your subscribers to set their preferred channel through which they want to receive content, engage with your brand, and communicate with your campaigns, letting them self-select from various channels such as, websites, email campaigns, social media channels, mobile, paid ads etc.

This way, you can not only reduce bounce rates and complaints about your campaigns, but you can improve engagement rates, email deliverability, and sender reputation with most Internet Service Providers.

Formatting:

Email experts repeatedly recommend this email best practice which is to allow subscribers to choose desired format of emails. And it is another major benefit of email preference center that it lets prospects to choose if they want to receive emails in their preferred version such as, mobile, HTML or text. Thus, you can deliver emails to your subscribers in their preferred readable format and increase engagement with your emails.

Address update:

These email preference centers or subscription centers are extremely beneficial for both subscribers and marketers, also by easing the address update process with the email list. For many reasons, subscribers may want to change their address whether they have relocated, changed of jobs, etc. An email preference center allows updating their contact address, without much difficulty. This can include information such as physical residential address, email address, home phone numbers, work phone numbers and mobile numbers. It greatly helps marketers to stay updated of their prospects and marketers contact details effortlessly.

An email preference center is imperative to enhance your personalization, relevance, email deliverability, and engagement. As well, it will decrease bounce rates, unsubscribe rates, spam reports, complaints and the possibility that you will get stuck with a negative sender reputation.

Now, the question is what type of email preference centers do your email marketing campaigns require? Find out which kind of email preference centers you need, how to create and dos and don’ts to remember while building here – Types of Email Preference Center – Dos and Don’ts of Subscription Centers.

If you’d like some expert professional guidance and assistance to set up a Preference Center, let us know. Call us at (408) 502 6765 or connect and chat with us via social channels Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn – we have it all you need.

Are you ready for CANADA’S ANTI-SPAM LEGISLATION?

Are you communicating with Canadian customers, prospects, suppliers or partners via the internet? Then CASL* will affect you! Your business will need prove their opt in consent. This means need to prove that you gained consent from each individual with whom your business communicates. You need to capture the date and time the person granted your company permission to contact him or her via email, event business card exchange or webpage, etc.).

If you have not already done this, follow these quick steps to create Canada Anti-spam Email-Opt In Program before July 1, 2014.

1. Assets:
a. Target Audience-
i.  All the email addresses that have country or inferred country as Canada.
ii. If you do not have country for all email address then to be safe consider those too.

b. Create an email. Here is the sample email image.

c. Create a landing page confirming the opt-in.


2. Create following campaign flow:
a. Send this email to the target audience.
b. Unsubscribe the target audience.
c. If anyone from the member of the target audience list, click on the link (consent link), then mark “Unsubscribe” to be false.

For Marketo Users, here is the link to create program : “Steps to create Canada Anti Spam Email Opt-In Program

3. Remember to launch it before July 1, 2014(Canadian time zone)

This blog is provided as a resource, but does not constitute legal advice.

*CASL is a federal law governing electronic messages sent from organizations and individuals to Canadians for commercial purposes. It’s intended to prevent, or at least limit, the number of unwanted and unsolicited commercial messages (spam) that Canadians receive daily. Broad and stringent, this law will dramatically affect how businesses can use email, text messages and social media to contact customers and prospects. The legislation begins to take effect on July 1, 2014.From a business perspective, the central element of CASL is the need to acquire the consent of individuals, granting the business permission to send commercial electronic messages.