What is GDPR and How Will It Help Marketers Build Customers’ Trust?

Marketers commonly assume and build their campaigns based on the ‘more is better’ notion and they end up sending more emails, more invitations and event registrations to achieve greater re-targeting goals. However, engaging and winning customers’ trust takes on offering utmost personalized experiences based on their needs and respecting their preferred mode of use of their personal data. That’s why GDPR is devised – to end unethical data use practices which damage the effectiveness of the marketing campaigns.

Contrary to common belief, marketers should not consider GDPR as a hindrance, rather an opportunity to ascertain their marketing efforts will live up to customers’ expectations with ethical and personalized experience based on their preferences. With the implementation of this GDPR legislation, marketers can evaluate their present data management practices and market their products better. So, what is GDPR, actually?

What is GDPR?

May 25th, 2018 onwards, the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, based on the European Union’s (EU) new data protection framework, will take effect as the most important piece of data protection legislation. It will control organizations which use European Union (EU) resident customers’ personal data for marketing and selling products and services. The legislation will also hold rights to control marketers’ practices of tracking and web browsing behavior of EU residents. Implementing GDPR will help ensure fortifying EU residents’ rights to their data privacy wherein stringent policies will improve customers’ rights on personal data, limit processing of personal data, and will enhance transparency in using their personal data.

The term ‘personal data’ in accordance with GDPR means the set of data that will relate to the specific or identifiable person. For this, the GDPR aims at reinforcing rights to personal data of EU residents in how it can be protected and utilized. GDPR is being devised based on six major principles:

  1. Transparency in how and in which the personal data needs to be utilized.
  2. The personal data must be used only in the purpose for which the data got collected and was mentioned to the customers.
  3. Reducing the procedure of collecting personal data right to the necessary steps that are required for the purpose as specified to customers.
  4. To ascertain the accuracy of the data collected.
  5. To check and avoid unauthorized collection or use of data and loss of the data by deploying necessary data security procedures.
  6. Limiting the practices of storing customers’ personal data strictly to necessary purpose.

Furthermore, a new accountability is now required to show how compliance will be implemented, managed and monitored. This will also demonstrate and protect how and why personal records get collected and used.

Now the question is – to whom will this GDPR legislation be applicable?

The GDPR legislation will be applicable to all organizations marketing products or services as well as monitoring web browsing behaviors of EU residents – whether these organizations are operating within or outside the European Union.

In a nutshell, if your business is marketing to and using personal data of Europeans, then this GDPR legislation is applicable to you. Moreover, if your business fails to comply with the legislation, then large penalties are to be borne by your organization which can be as much as 4% of your annual worldwide turnover or €20 million, whichever will be greater.

How to get consent from EU customers under GDPR?

The term ‘Consent’ under the GDPR means -

“which is freely given, whether specific, informed and unambiguous indication of the data subject’s wishes by which he or she, by a statement or by a clear affirmative action, signifies agreement to the processing of personal data relating to him or her”.

There will be ‘affirmative action’ to help collect customers’ consent specific to the purpose for which the data is getting collected and used before marketers will process the same data as well as respecting and protecting customers’ preferences. Also, in terms of customer preferences, which may vary at times, this also can be regulated by GDPR which will state organizations must enable their customers to make changes in their choices and even withdraw their consent, as and when they want to. All organizations will require auditing, evaluating, and identifying all existing data points wherein they are collecting personal records for marketing pursuits.

After GDPR implementation, all marketers are required to provide links or references to online privacy policy and statement in their online forms which they use for collecting data. The references will inform customers of:

  • Purposes in which the data will be intended to be processed
  • Tenure for which the records can be stored
  • Criteria that can be set in order to regulate the period
  • Legal grounds of processing personal records collected
  • Contact details of data controller and representative in EU
  • Type of recipients who will receive the data when distributed
  • Details on international transfers of data
  • Detailed information on customers’ rights to restrict the processing of their personal data
  • Customers’ rights to revoke consent to process data
  • Customers’ rights to get authority for supervision
  • If there is a contractual or statutory requirement in terms of provision of data and if customers are obligated to furnish their records.
  • Probable consequences when customers fail to provide any specific data
  • The requirement of automated decision-making, consequences of processing for the data subject and significant information about the rationale behind it.

How Marketo will help your campaigns comply with GDPR?

Marketo will help marketers comply with the General Data Protection Regulation legislation by enabling them to incorporate a ‘Consent Field’ to every form which will be intended to collect personal data of EU residents. Lead Fields which will be required to document customers’ consent include:

  • Consent to Processing
  • “Consent Last Updated”
  • “Consent Notes” (which states purposes for which the data will be processed as well as information on past records of consent given should be documented here)

Do you need in-depth information on General Data Protection Regulation and how to implement the legislation in your marketing campaigns? You can simply get in touch with us with your GDPR queries at (408) 502 6765 or via services@ShowMeLeads.com. Additionally, you can check out latest updates on our social pages Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


Ultimate Guide to Guard Your Campaigns from the Dreadful “Oops” Email Mistakes

By now, we know that email marketing is here to stay, and it will continue to contribute to the nurturing of your prospects, your customers, and profits for your business. However, email marketing campaigns could be extremely susceptible to flaws and failures. That’s why we put our clients’ email marketing programs on high alert to steer clear of common email mistakes. Sadly, some email mistakes are extremely deadly: they can cost the sender’s reputation while wasting resources and a portion of the marketing budget. However, no matter how common and dreaded are these, all email marketing mistakes are avoidable with proper planning and strategic execution.

Here are some of the most common email mistakes and how these can impact your business –

1. No ‘Unsubscribe’ button

Do you worry that a bold and visible “Unsubscribe” button may encourage your subscribers to back off from your email marketing campaign? The truth is the absence of one can harm your email program more, as recipients who are not willing to receive communications may simply report your email as spam! However, with a button strategically placed with the right call-to-action (CTA), your subscribers will feel no compulsion to continue receive your content and offers, knowing that they can leave and return whenever they wish to. Moreover, you can use an “Unsubscribe” page linked to the button, which you can use to get feedback on the reason a recipient might wish to exit from  your list. This information will enable you to personalize emails more efficiently based on the data.

2. Not testing emails sufficiently

A/B testing is never an option but a necessity. We remind email marketers repeatedly to do this, no matter how pushed they are by the schedule. Many marketers may also mistake not testing their emails enough simply because they reveal the skeleton in the closet! Wouldn’t that be more fearful when emails will fail to perform as intended and show negative results? There are many areas that play the most essential parts of email marketing programs to be periodically tested. Open rates, hyperlinks and link texts, bounce rates, CTA, subject lines should be the top priorities amongst those.

3. No apology emails

Seeking apology will not put your sender’s position in jeopardy, whereas not sending one may tarnish your reputation. With an apology email, you can reduce the risk of repelling your prospects and customers on the event of mistakenly sending an incorrect, unpleasant or duplicate offer or information. These mails come exceptionally handy to clear the air in case you have sent an invalid or repeat the same offer to same customers, or present inaccurate information or insights, rub their sentiment wrongly – sending an apology email even before they spot the mistake will work a great deal in mending the mistake. So, do not skip these quick fixes of accidental email mistakes.

There are many more severe mistakes email marketers commit and make their campaign doomed to failure, and you may be making them too! Learn how every minor (you thought!) email mistake negatively impacts your campaign and reputation, and to what extent – and the best practices experts recommend to guard your campaign against them. Join in and hear our email experts sharing their best practice. Put your doubts to bed by joining us for

Our next webinar: Preventing the Dreaded “Oops Email” — All You Need to Know!

Date: Thursday, September 07, 2017

Time: 10:30 am – 11:30 am PST / 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm EST

Register now and save your spot:



4 Tricks to Improve Personalization Leveraging Direct Mail on Marketo

Many marketers consider direct mail to be an opportunity to enhance the performance and personalization of campaigns and to build trust. The Marketo automation platform gives marketers the ideal playground for that. With Marketo, they can automate the direct mail process with educational, informative, product updates, promotional, and many other different types of content. They can also add call-to-action phrases to their intended content to encourage recipients to register for a product demo, a meeting or a product query. The Marketo platform has plenty of features that facilitate sending automated direct mail campaigns to improve customers reach and influence purchase decision. But if you wonder how you can achieve all these objectives with email campaigns, then why allocate marketing budget for direct mail?

Why direct mail in an age of email?

Direct mail impacts engagement programs in a variety of ways –

  1. Recipients tend to keep good looking cards and direct mail pieces, such as catalogs, gifts, or other items. They often may choose to display items or even share with their friends and family. Thus, direct mail presents better opportunities for engagement with the brand.

  2. Physical coupons and gift cards with call-to-action in direct mail impact more in fetching customers to the store, thus, speeding up the purchases.

  3. Direct mail delivers newsletters, cards and offers straight to the recipients and get noticed, engaged, interacted or take desired actions with your mails. Prospects find direct mails less intrusive and easier to engage with than electronic mails.

  4. Direct mails can be synced with any online campaigns – these can be automated, aligned with email, social and other online campaigns and optimized based on insights collected from previous purchases.

  5. Direct mails make customers feel more valued and connect emotionally thus, making subscribers more charged up and responsive to communications.

Furthermore, many people not only want to open and engage with direct mail pieces, but many also want to receive direct mail more than email. About 70 percent direct mail recipients have expressed their interests in discerning content in their direct mail, while 74 percent recipients have shared that they noticed ads in direct mail more than any other online campaigns.

Now the question is – how to create direct mail campaigns that will improve engagement and responses with campaigns?

We recommend these four effective tips to boost the direct mail marketing efforts using Marketo:

1. Create the Program for the direct mail

First things first: create a Marketo program by adding multiple assets to support direct mail programs. We suggest creating following assets for direct mail programs:

  1. First, you need to create ‘Members’ for subscribers who request direct mail by filling out forms. This asset will also include those who are expecting and interested in company’s direct mail programs.

  2. Next, create a campaign to queue direct mails and ensure that they are automated with the right list of people.

  3. Create another campaign to track all these direct mails sent. As well, you need to set the campaign so that status is updated as soon as the physical mail items are sent.

  4. Create this campaign to track all direct mails that are successful. Here you can monitor the mail pieces received by subscribers.

  5. After you have set up campaigns for automating and tracking received mails, you need another campaign to monitor recipients who are responding to your direct mails. Track recipients who are taking the actions guided by the call-to-action phrases in mail pieces.

  6. Create a trigger campaign to trace those recipients who have proceeded to the funnel after receiving and responding to direct mails.

2. Identify people who can be mailed (who are not)

After creating campaigns, next thing to focus on is to define the list of people to trigger the direct mails. Because most companies and marketers will focus on email marketing campaigns, direct mail processes are not something they are familiar with. In this direct mail process, marketers need to make suppression lists for subscribers listed with invalid/incomplete/inaccurate email addresses. In order to ward off people with bad physical addresses, marketers can create a segment which will filter those people who should not be sent emails. Marketers who find segmentation difficult to handle, can opt for creating Smart List with Marketo to eliminate people with bad or wrong physical addresses.

3. Time to evaluate the nurture process in place

After you have zeroed in on the people to target, created the Smart Lists, segmentation, and assets, assess the nurture engagement program to decide where this direct mail program fits.

Now go into your nurture engagement stream and figure out when the direct mail should become part of your prospect’s nurture journey. This example leverages programs within nurture engagement programs, as many organizations do. In this example, PFL chose to make the direct mail the fifth piece of content.

Don’t worry, you can also send direct mail as part of standard Marketo flow steps if you aren’t using engagement streams.

4. Develop the Direct Mail Program

The most important element for creating direct mail programs in Marketo involves automating and queueing the program. You can line up multiple direct mails for lead nurturing program instead of just one current mail. The Queued email campaign allows sending an email and automating the direct mail in the proper intervals between email and other online campaigns. You can set email campaigns that will collect information on delivery of the package which may ask recipients such as, “Have you received the package? Tell us if you liked the surprise in the package” or contain similar other messages to generate interests of subscribers and also prompt them to receive and open direct mail packages.

In that way, you can create a combination of direct mail, email and other online campaigns as part of an evergreen nurture stream.

Do you need expert help creating direct mail campaigns using Marketo? Get best practices and make the most of your direct mail efforts. Contact our Marketo Certified Professionals at (408) 502 6765 or via social channels Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

We’d love to hear from you – kindly drop your query or tips on your Marketo nurturing program below in the comment box.


Marketo Attribution 101 – Types, Rules & How to Make the Most of It

How do you attribute a value to the role that any particular marketing effort plays in the conversion of any leads or customers? This is one of the most frequently asked questions by our customers. Setting up this kind of attribution is one of the best practices they can follow to augment their digital marketing and advertising campaigns. However, owing to the intricacies of rules, types, touchpoints, values and other features of Marketo attribution, they fail to make the most of it and get utmost results.

In this complete Marketo attribution guide, our goal is to help you understand what Marketo attribution is, how to play by its rules, and how to make the most of it.

What is Marketo attribution?

Attribution enables users to understand which Marketo programs help to influence opportunities and sales, and even the role the programs play in helping move people through the sales funnel. It helps measuring the effectiveness of programs whether they are being used for generating sales or new names, and for improved decision making before investing resources, efforts and time in future programs.

Major rules of and functionalities of Marketo attribution are –

  • Marketo attribution helps monitor the impact of a range of programs on specific opportunities
  • To meet the criteria of attribution, the date for ‘Success’ or ‘Acquisition’ should be on or before the day a specific opportunity has been created or the date it has been closed.
  • Marketo measures attribution by taking account of the date a program first touches a lead or contact. That’s why the exact time an opportunity is created or won will be unrelated.
  • The contact record must have a ROLE or be the Primary Contact for the opportunity
  • The First-Touch (FT) attribution helps identify programs that qualify for acquiring new names which will boost revenues.
  • On the other hand, the multi-touch (MT) attribution helps identify a more complex program that is proven influential in shifting names in the in the sales funnel.

Acquisition Program

  • Acquisition attribution also enables marketers to add opportunity credit to Marketo programs that are appended with new records
  • All acquisition credits given to any specific opportunity, whether created or won, the records are get added to an acquiring program
  • Records are not required to meet success to be qualified for the acquiring program
  • Acquisition attribution will be a tiny proportion if too many leads are associated to a single opportunity that are acquired by different programs
  • Acquisition must take place either at the same time as, or before, any opportunity gets created, advances through the sales pipeline or if it wins revenue.
  • When an opportunity has been created before the record has been acquired, the program will not get qualified for an acquisition attribution.
  • The acquisition attributions are found as the (FT) in Marketo.

Success Program

  • On the other hand, the success attribution enables marketers adding opportunity credit to programs of which the records have met success
  • In success attribution, credit given to an opportunity is equally divided within all programs which have achieved success. The record doesn’t have to be acquired by any of these programs.
  • Success attribution can be considered small portions when a record reaches success in multiple programs.
  • This success attribution can also be measured as small parts when multiple records are associated to same opportunities which have already attained success in various programs.
  • In order to qualify as success attribution, the success must take place either on the day or before an opportunity has been passed to the pipeline or won revenue credit.
  • Successes attained by programs after the opportunity is created will not be given credit for sales pipeline
  • Success in programs the day after opportunity creation but before they are closed will get credit for revenue won
  • Success attribution is found as multi-touch (MT) attribution in Marketo

Do you often get into the dilemma when to focus on the pipeline and revenue then, use this small assessment chart will guide you through as well as how to use pipeline against revenue and vice versa.

Focus on Pipeline if you are –

  • Analyzing those Marketo programs that are created with sole purposes of demand generation. Those may include online forms, PPC, tradeshows and other events.
  • Scanning first-touch or acquisition attribution for the acquisition of new names.
  • If the buying cycle takes an unusually long time.
  • In B2B environment, if marketing activities do not have much impact or involvement in buying cycle.
  • If you are measuring the performance of your marketing teams based on the number of leads or on MQL values.

Focus on ‘Revenue’ if you are –

  • Analyzing Marketo programs, including emails, product demos and trial campaigns etc., that are created with the primary objective is to generate sales.
  • Evaluating the influence of campaign progress on records, multi-touch, or success attribution.
  • Interacting with a shorter sales cycle.
  • If your marketing activities have a significant influence on the sales cycle in a B2C environment.
  • Measuring the effectiveness of your marketing teams based on their contribution in revenue generation.

Do you need in-depth help and professional assistance in understanding, setting up Marketo attribution for programs and assuming the best practices to make the most of attributions? Then get in touch directly with our Marketo Certified Professionals at (408) 502 6765 or via our social channels at Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Watch for this space for more tips, help and updates, as well as winning techniques to set up Marketo attribution. In the meanwhile, we want to hear from you – so, please feel free to leave a question or story below in the comment box.



Exactly How Bad is Bad Data for You? Step-by-Step Tips to Delete Bad Data

Bad data is detrimental for any marketing program. Even worse, bad data that ranges from duplicate data, incorrect data, broken links, missing files, corrupt files, outdated and invalid data exceed the limit and burden the database and marketing budget.

According to an estimate by Sirius Decisions reveal that organizations spend about $100 for data maintenance in their database, including those bad data records. Approximately, 20% data are inaccurate with 100,000 records in a database which cost about $2M of the marketing budget. In addition to marketing costs and oversized occupancy, bad data affects a brand in many other ways – unnecessary software expenses, poor marketing performance, system slow down, and inaccurate segmentation and personalization are just a few to mention.

Bad Data hinders marketing performance

One of the areas where bad data badly affects performance is low click-through rates and engagement with the audience. Bad health of your database will deter your marketing results and degrade them below the industry standards if your marketing campaigns are based on a range of prospects who might not need your products or offerings. Also, if your data set comprises invalid data, then bounce rates will increase and your campaigns will suffer from poor email delivery and negative reputation. Thus, overall performance and results of marketing campaigns will take a downturn due to bad data range.

Bad Data increases software costs

Do you often see this message pop up in Marketo, or other platforms, stating “You are over your data limit”? If you do, then blame it on bad data which is causing your platform to exceed data space allocated to your package. You may use some SAAS platforms for diverse marketing programs and campaigns including marketing automation, CRMs, ABM, and any other which charge you based on the data range. And as the number of records and campaigns grow, requirement for a larger database increases. At that, with 20-30% of the data set containing poor data, your company is spending more on those software subscriptions than is required.

Bad Data Leads to Poor Segmentation/Personalization

Are you running your marketing segmentation and personalizing your campaigns based on poor data? Then, your campaigns are doomed to failure as your segmentation data may contain inaccurate, duplicate, outdated or invalid data which will hinder delivery of personalized experience. Thus, your campaign is performing no better than a generalized campaign.

Slow Marketo performance due to bad data

All marketing and CRM software platforms perform at its peak in the first six months. Later, these platforms start slowing down with consistent use and data addition and alteration. Each of these platforms are used for updating records, syncing data, segmenting data, creating and running campaigns, measurement and optimization and other marketing activities. And each of these activities takes power and results in addition to additional records with every campaign. Thus, the bigger your database swells, the longer your SaaS platforms take to process data and activities, leaving your system less efficient.

For example if your Salesforce platform is working with as large as one million sized database, small changes made on records will impact the entire database and all data will automate a data sync with the Marketo platform to complete the data update process. Thus, your software platform will experience sluggish performance issues.

If your bad data is ruining the results and eating up hundreds of dollars from your marketing budget, then here is what you need to know. Check out the following step-by-step instructions to delete or trash bad data to prevent loss of performance, resources and effectiveness of your Marketo campaigns.

Each step will require you to define the criteria, evaluate and identify processes, and carry out the cleanse to flush out the data.

Step 1: De-duplicate the data

Duplicate data is one major type of bad data you need to focus on – hence, first things first, you need to spot all the duplicate records in your database. If you are using Marketo, then you get a one-time offer to de-duplicate the database. Though Marketo may not let you de-duplicate the data multiple times, it lets you spot duplicate records.

To identify and access duplicate records, you need to create a Smartlist which will detect multiple duplicate records which contain the same email or other contact details. Two types of records can be duplicates within Marketo, which are leads and contact details. To prevent duplicate records in Marketo, you need to choose API or Marketo forms. Another way to prevent duplicate data is by syncing all Marketo leads with the salesforce platform, searching for leads in SFDC by first name or email address and then updating the data. You can also import all lists in Marketo by selecting ‘Normal.’

Step 2: Get rid of records which do not have email addresses

Your Marketo platform may contain some records that are devoid of email addresses. Since you cannot send them emails, you cannot include them in your campaigns. Hence, those records are unnecessary data that you need to purge from your database to prevent the likelihood of duplicates.

In SFDC, lead records that do not have email addresses are not marketable and thus, get removed after 30 days. However, contact records need complex analysis. For example, if you have an account payable contact that does not have an email address, the address cannot be deleted since the address can be used for billing. Some records you may need to remove from Marketo, but need to retain in Salesforce in order to lessen the risk of removing data crucial for the sales team, but not for marketing activities.  If you want to delete records from Marketo, but retain them in Salesforce, then you need to set the criteria in Salesforce so that that data will not get synced with Marketo unless an email address is available with those records.

Step 3: Eliminate recently removed Salesforce data

By default, records that are deleted from Salesforce do not get deleted from Marketo automatically. To remove deleted SFDC records, you need to create a campaign in Marketo which will run and detect deleted Salesforce records and will purge on spot regularly.

Users can also set up automated batch campaigns to cleanse data and repeat the process weekly. You may keep the process monthly in case you need to trace some deletion occurence in Salesforce.

Step 4: Get rid of disqualified data

In this step, Marketo users need to detect disqualified data and eliminate them to maintain good data health. For this, you need to set up a process that will identify if the disqualified data is bad data.

You can set custom criteria to avoid the risks of deleting recycled records that were mistakenly marked as ‘Disqualified’. You can also choose to delete disqualified data based on reasons of disqualification.

Step 5: Delete hard bounce data

Many marketers choose to delete contact data when the email bounces on that email address – should you? For certain reasons, you may not. Some records that had bounced you may want to retain for reporting purposes. You may need to send those addresses a few more emails to extract data from bounced emails. One way of deleting bad bounced data is to delete data when the ‘Email Invalid’ turns true.

Step 6: Get rid of Inactive records after reactivation campaigns

That’s true, marketers should not delete data if a contact has stopped activities with your emails. There are many ways you can run reactivation campaigns to encourage response and engage with  your correspondence, content, offers or products. After multiple reactivation campaigns, you need to determine the following: if those contacts are inactive over the span of 15 or more months; if you don’t find any opportunities for activities; if those inactive records are Salesforce leads only; if those records are no longer part of any lifecycle stage. You need to perform this as a one-time process to delete inactive data once you have set the criteria. You can also run this process quarterly or yearly to remove and repeat the process to get rid of inactive data as per the set criteria.

If you need to delete bad data and maintain good health of your database in Marketo by using professional assistance, you can discuss strategy with our Marketo certified experts (408) 502-6765. Check out more tips, tricks and updates on our social pages LinkedIn, Twitter (@ShowMeLeads) and Facebook. Keep in touch with our leaders Madhu Gulati on LinkedIn and Twitter (@mgulati) and Prash Shenoy on LinkedIn and Twitter (@shenoyprash) to get in know of the latest Marketo and ABM updates.