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Marketing Automation, Marketing Technology, Education

The 5 Marketo Settings You’re Overlooking

There are a lot of decisions, big and small, that go into making your Marketo instance fit for your organization. We have to think about program channels and tags, naming conventions and templates just to name a few…which can lead to us making decisions on autopilot without fully considering the effect they will have on our marketing efforts. Recently, Demand Spring has decided to make ourselves our own client and undergo an Audit and Optimization of our Marketo instance. As we ticked off big items such as naming conventions and our archiving process, I took a deeper look into the Marketo settings and methods that are often overlooked or under-developed.

1. Communication Limits

What are they? Communication limits dictate how many non-operational emails a lead can receive from you in a given time frame. The two-time frames are: 

  • Per Day – the number of emails that can be sent to a person in a single day.
  • Per 7 Days – the number of emails that can be sent to a person in any 7 day period. (Note this is a rolling 7-day window, not a set weekly period).

How are they overlooked: When setting up a Marketo instance there are so many settings and options that our instinct can sometimes be to check off items as quickly as possible. When it comes to communication limits, the conversation generally goes something like this:

Marketer 1: How often can we send people emails without making them mad?

Marketer 2: I hate getting 2 emails from one place on the same day.

Marketer 1: Ok 1 email per day, what about per week?

Marketer 2: Umm I don’t … 3?

Marketer 1: Yah sounds about right.

Don’t worry if this is you, I have been a part of several conversations like this.

Why this is a problem: We’re marketers. That means walking a fine line between instinct, emotion, and data. So, when we pick arbitrarily based on we would want, we are basing that decision purely on emotion, not data. 

How do we solve the problem? Data. That’s it. Nice and simple, right? Well… kind of. If you have historical email information, you can use it to help you determine if you are sending too many emails, or if you are unnecessarily limiting yourself. Run reports of unsubscribers and dig into the numbers. If people unsubscribing after an unusually large number of emails in a given time frame, you may want to lower your limits. If you find that leads tend to receive several emails before opening one, then you may want to experiment with raising your limits.

You mustn’t forget your target market. I put myself into two buckets: Work Matt and Personal Matt. Work Matt gets a lot of emails for services, and while I don’t mind hearing about them, if I start getting 6 emails a week because I gave you a business card at a trade show, I’m going to unsubscribe. Personal Matt, on the other hand, will take those pizza promo emails 7 days a week. 

2. Notification Subscriptions

What are they? Marketo gives us a notification at the top bar of our screen when we log into our instance. These notices are for a variety of issues such as sync failures, smart campaign issues, and aborted subscriptions.

How are they overlooked? The notification tends to blend in pretty well, so you may avoid clicking on the icon altogether, forcing you to rely on yourself to notice an issue occurring inside your instance.

Why is this a problem? Because you could miss something important! I will admit that I don’t necessarily need to know every time an engagement program has exhausted content, but if I’m having syncing issues or campaign failures you can bet I want to know about it ASAP.

How do we solve the problem? Simple. Set up subscriptions to notifications. This is particularly useful if you have different team members responsible for different issues. Engagement programs have exhausted content? Set up a subscription to engagement notifications that sends to your content manager. Campaign failures? Send an alert to your operations team. This way you know the person who can fix the problem actually knows about it.

3. Custom Layout Designer

What is it? The Custom Layout Designer lets you create a tab in lead records that are tailored to you and the information you want to see. Marketo can store a lot of information about leads, and often all of those fields are broken up across different groupings. This means we’ll see a lead’s email and phone number under the info tab, but have to swap to the company tab to see the company name. 

How is it overlooked: Well, it just isn’t used. Or, it was set up ages ago and hasn’t evolved with the new fields and info that has been added to your Marketo instance over time.

Why is this a problem? In the grand scheme of things, this isn’t affecting any of your marketing activities. The only problem is that your team has to click around a bit more when looking at individual leads. That being said, those clicks add up. Why scroll through hundreds of fields looking for that MQL Date when it could just be set up a custom layout? Us folks as Demand Spring love finding more efficient processes.

How do we solve the problem? For this effort, you’re going to want to build a consensus with your team. Unlike custom list views, which can be customized by each user to their own preference in Custom Layout, this is global to your instance. That means you will need to make sure it displays the values the entire team uses the most. Start by identifying the fields you routinely go to view. Once you have that list, group fields together in the layout designer. Make sure to limit the number of fields you are displaying. We recommend that you never have to scroll on this tab.

4. List Views

What is it: List views are customizable views you can set up when viewing lists that display a different set of fields. Think of these as similar to the Custom Layout designer except instead of looking at the info of one lead you are looking at the info of many leads.

How is it overlooked: A lot of users will just edit their default list views every time they have to export a list. 

Why is this a problem: Because it wastes time and creates cluttered exports. If you need a specific field for an export you might just add that to your default view and then export with all of the other fields you already had listed.

How do we solve the problem: We set up a series of list views for our most common export situations. Running a direct mail campaign? Set up a view with just address information. Digging deeper into attribution? Set up a view with all of your source and attribution fields. You can quickly switch between views and know you aren’t missing a field, and you will have less unnecessary data in the report. Keep in mind that list views are user-specific, so every user can create the views for the tasks they do most.

5. User Roles

What is it: User roles dictate permissions within your Marketo instance. They control who can edit content, access specific areas, and approve assets.

How is it overlooked: This is a unique situation because roles are usually thought through and created in most instances, they just get forgotten about. It usually goes something like this: A series of roles are built out that would fit different use cases. Then one user asks for additional access, then another, and before long everyone is given admin permissions, just in case they need them.

Why is this a problem: It’s a problem because, particularly with large teams, not everyone needs admin access. This creates far more opportunity for someone to make a change they didn’t mean to make. It can also make people’s jobs more difficult. If you have a content marketer who is only responsible for editing asset content why clutter their view with the database and analytics options.

How do we solve the problem: Stick with the roles. Define the needs of your users and give them the access they need. Keep roles as simple as possible while minimizing overlap. Remember individual users can have multiple roles.

6. Login Settings

What is it: Marketo’s login settings control several security features.

  • Security Settings: Set the required user password complexity for your instance needs, how often passwords should be updated, as well as timeout lengths for inactive sessions.
  • IP Restrictions: Limit login access to your instance to specific IP addresses or IP ranges.
  • Require login and URL Expiration: Controls access to emailed reports and alerts with lead information.

How is it overlooked: Usually to make access as simple as possible for all users, these settings are kept quite non-restrictive.

Why is this a problem: We live in a time when personal data and privacy are huge concerns. If you aren’t taking the time to discuss what security features will make your data more secure, you are not doing your due diligence.

How do we solve the problem: Let’s look at each of these settings individually.

  • Security Settings: Marketo’s baseline password strength requirements are 6 characters and 1 number. If you can trust that no one is planning on using Password1 then you can leave it there, otherwise, we recommend at least 8 characters and a special character.
  • IP Restrictions: Your ability to limit logins to certain IPs is somewhat related to how your business operates. If everyone works out of the same office with a static IP you can probably limit logins to that one location. However, if you have remote employees you may need to leave this disabled (or invest in a VPN).
  • URL Expiration: If you are sending alerts that link to lead details, this allows you to limit how long those links are active. Think about how long it should take someone to investigate a lead from an alert, it is probably pretty quick. A good starting point is 3 days, this allows the links to remain active over a weekend. 
  • Require Login for Smart List Download: This setting controls whether or not smart list subscriptions can be downloaded. Are you sending reports to people who don’t have Marketo access? In that case, you may need to leave this set to no. If you are only going to be sending reports to Marketo users your data is safer by requiring a login.

This isn’t an exhaustive list of the little things to keep in mind in Marketo. But once you start thinking through the little details you’ll find yourself noticing places all over your instance where you can add efficiency.

Matt Tonkin

Matt is a strategic marketer with a knack for building marketing systems. As a Marketo Certified Expert he loves to be challenged, taking complex problems, and solving them in a way that makes everyone’s job easier.

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