Tag: Marketing automation


Dealing with Plain-Text Email Recipients

Lindsay Khan, Ashley Gordon and Caryl Mostacho, all Senior Consultants at Perkuto, responded to user questions during Perkuto Public Office Hour. Amarjit asked them how to manage plain text emails. Amarjit reports that the html links are being stripped, probably on the client-side server, as a security measure, for example, when subscribers have a government email address. They receive the emails but aren’t able to click through. 

Plain Text Emails

Caryl hasn’t seen this happen personally, so she recommends that the full URL be placed in the content, since she doesn’t know what mechanism is stripping the links on the user’s end.  Ashley has experienced this and says that whenever you’re emailing users at government domains, put the URL in brackets for a registration page or download page instead of placing a hyperlink so they still have the information. Amarjit, however, is concerned about this solution. He doesn’t want the email to look ugly or unprofessional for subscribers who are able to see the html version. Caryl agrees, and says it’s going to be tough to get around. She recommends leveraging things like dynamic contents so that the non html users can get a different version of the email that has a different format so that the call-to-action is legible and clearly defined in the absence of hyperlinks.

In addition to Caryl and Ashley’s responses, it’s worth noting that one of the main difficulties in marketing to clients who can only access plain-text emails is that tracking pixels aren’t accessible, so marketers won’t know if an email has been read.  Setting up a separate list for plain-text recipients may mean creating custom URLS to track their activity once they click through.  Marketo allows you to set up tracked links for text-only recipients, and it does take a little more time to manage a separate list but if a significant portion of your clients are on servers that strip the html content from their emails, then it may be worth the extra steps to create plain-text versions for those clients. 

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Dealing with Duplicated Leads During SFDC to Marketo Sync

During a recent Office Hour webinar, the Perkuto team was asked:

“When we upload lists in Marketo, does it not check to see if an email already exists? Could it allow duplicate records to be created?”

The individual that asked the question suspected that sync errors are the source of his duplicate contacts and hopes to find a solution during this call.

Duplicate Leads

Justin clarified that Marketo should be eliminating duplicates when a SFDC database is being uploaded, but that the parameters for de-duping need to be clarified. Adam offered insight about the source of the duplication and offered suggestions for setting up the process of removing the duplicates.

It may be that a contact in SFDC with no email address listed in the primary field isn’t being recognized as a duplicate. Marketo ignores contacts with no email address, since the purpose of it is to send emails.  Additionally, SFDC allows contacts to have multiple email addresses, and in the database one will be a “primary” while the second will be an “alternate.” Marketo ignores the “alternate” email address and retains only the primary email address.  If a subscriber opts in with an alternate email address, Marketo will not realize that it’s a duplicate entry because the email address is different. There are plenty of people in the world with the same first and last name.

De-Duplication

Justin also says that Marketo can be programmed to de-dupe based on additional input lines, so that if you’re syncing a database with multiple variables, you can set it up to respond to multiple sources of input. This is beneficial when your SFDC and email campaigns are being used for multiple product lines, filtering contacts into more than once mailing list.

Troubleshooting sync issues can be a major issue and there are a wide range of factors to consider. Data handling can be amazing when it’s working flawlessly, but getting everything set up isn’t always fun. Designing a functional sync flow is one of Perkuto’s specialties. Seamless communication between SFDC and Marketo makes data analysis more accurate and helps users fine-tune their marketing efforts. Watch the video for more: 

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Best Practices for Setting up Lead Scoring in Marketo

During Perkuto’s Public Office Hour, Senior Consultants Lindsay Khan, Ashley Gordon, and Caryl Mostacho were asked about the current best practices for setting up lead scoring in Marketo.  Lead scoring is a shared sales and marketing process for identifying the hottest leads for future sales, based on qualities you define as success indicators. Many companies struggle with lead scoring, but it’s wise to get the most out of your Marketo and CRM integration and scoring increases your sales team’s efficiency and effectiveness. It’s an important aspect of sales and marketing automation strategies.

Lead Scoring in Marketo

Caryl explains that this is often one of the first and most important questions new clients ask and all three consultants agreed that it was fun. She says that new clients are right to be eager to begin scoring each new subscriber as soon as they engage with content.  However, she cautions that lead scoring should be as centralized and as consolidated as possible. It should be its own dedicated program, and she recommends leveraging myTokens, which allows you to easily change the value of each variable as you go, to keep your program flexible and responsive to real users.

Marketo offers a best practice program that can be downloaded and applied to your first Marketo instance, which will give you a feel for how this is set up and Ashley recommends this as a good starting point for users who are unfamiliar with how lead scoring works. Also, in the Marketo community, there are implementation resources, guides and tons of advice for things you can score, including demographics brought in from other databases via web hooks, or based on user behavior and specific engagement patterns that you recognize or are alerted to in analytics. The Marketo resources include a Lead Scoring Cheat Sheet, The Definitive Guide to Lead Scoring, The Big List of Lead Scoring Rules and also The Who, What, Why, How of Lead Scoring.  Spend some time exploring these resource materials  for a better understanding of how lead scoring in Marketo works and how you can optimize Tokens for more effective scoring.

Caryl advises users to periodically review the tokens that you’ve put into place and make sure that the sales team is involved in the conversation, since they’re the ones using the score. Don’t be afraid to make changes based on what you’re learning about your users.

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How Perkuto & Uberflip Migrated from Hubspot to Marketo in Three Weeks

Challenge

Uberflip is a platform for marketers to create, manage, and optimize content experiences, so that content can be fully leveraged by all company stakeholders at every stage of the buyer journey. By providing marketers with the tools they need to boost engagement, generate leads, and fuel demand generation, they can better leverage content to meet their goals.

Several years ago, Uberflip had selected Hubspot as their marketing automation platform. HubSpot was a great tool to start building processes for campaigns, but as Uberflip marketing got more complex, certain limitations were hit. These limits prevented the Uberflip team from being able to execute their marketing vision fully in the system. It also decreased their efficiency and ability to rapidly deploy campaigns as they scaled the volume of marketing initiatives.

Uberflip:

  • Had outgrown Hubspot
  • Needed more customization
  • Desired a deeper integration with Salesforce
  • Needed scalability to meet the needs of a growing company

Solution

After a competitive selection process involving both Marketo and Pardot, Marketo was chosen as Uberflip’s new marketing automation platform. With 90,000 records in the contact database, a marketing team of four, and the Hubspot license expiring in a month, it was clear that migration help would be needed. 

 “We recruited Perkuto to help us manage the project and minimize team disruption, since our team still had our regular demand generation programs to run,” said Shannon Dougall, VP Marketing at Uberflip. “With a project of this scale, we had to ensure the business and operations kept running while we slowly switched things over on the back end.”

Why Perkuto:

  • Long-standing partnership
  • Experience with multiple migrations
  • Expertise (Multiple MCSAs, MCEs and Marketo Champions on staff)
  • Commitment to deliver project within near-impossible timeline 

Results

Migration kicked off with a discovery session between Uberflip and Perkuto, walking through the operational workflows, scoring models, landing page templates, email templates, hand-off processes, data schema, sales processes, and general business roles in Salesforce and HubSpot.

Based on discovery, the Perkuto team put together a Technical Design Document (TDD) that served as the bible for the migration. The TDD acted as a project management document, and also detailed a strategy of Minimum Viable Project (MVP): the minimum to migrate for normal functionality while hitting the deadline. The MVP scope included migrating the database, campaign templates, and operational workflows. Full funnel nurtures, more templates, and in-depth scoring models would come later.

Usually migrations of this scale take a few months to complete, but with Perkuto’s strategic guidance and extra hands, along with the MVP strategy and team dedication, Uberflip was up and running in three weeks. As Kamil Ali Rextin, Growth & Demand Generation at Uberflip, recounts, “I still remember Perkuto saying, “Typically a migration takes months, three weeks is unheard of!” 

For more detail, please visit Uberflip’s post “Migrating from HubSpot to Marketo — How We Did It in Just Three Weeks” on the inbound.org blog.

Perkuto services provided:

  • Hubspot to Marketo Migration
  • Marketo Strategy
  • Technical Documentation
  • Project Management
  • Extra Marketo Expertise

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Centralized Programs for Lead Source and UTM Tracking

In a recent Office Hour session, the Perkuto team was asked about having a centralized program for lead source tracking and multi-touch UTM tracking.

Lead Source Tracking

First, Justin Norris, Solutions Architect at Perkuto, discussed the option of building or buying a tracking infrastructure. An out-of-the-box solution works well for the majority of businesses.  With the build-your-own model, custom tracking scripts can be deployed and converted to cookies in a user’s system, using that data to sort potential clients and users into campaigns. While the customization possibilities are enormous in that environment, a marketer would still need analytic software to process the data. Justin recommends Visible Analyst because the tracking is built into every touch point. It’s like having Google Analytics plugged into every step of your campaign. Unfortunately, however, the reports aren’t robust enough to manipulate the data and tie the results into your life cycle. So it works well for tracking but the data it serves isn’t  always useful for strategic planning. Different tools have their own distinctive features and benefits. Other popular options are:

  • Marketo RCE
  • Salesforce
  • BrightFunnel

Lead Processing

On the topic of centralized lead processing, Justin says that it’s important to have a working model of the life cycle of each lead, so that each event triggers the next logical event in the process. Justin gives a typical example of a lead processing life cycle:

The lead is created, a web hook retrieves additional data to enrich the lead’s profile, a lead is scored, and then routed to the CRM. If those processes are occurring in the wrong order, sales staff can receive incomplete data. Each of those processes needs to be daisy-chained together in a way that makes sense and makes it easy for the sales team to do their job.

A rigorous testing grid should be applied before the system is determined functional. Life cycle processing is the heart of your system and little things that don’t work can snowball into missed opportunities. Here’s a short video that captured part of the conversation: 

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Tips and Ideas for Using Webhooks

If you’re ready to unlock one of the most powerful tools in the Launch Point Ecosystem, start integrating webhooks. Webhooks are a data interaction tool that gives marketers the power to create custom flow actions based on a network of hundreds of pre-existing and user-defined databases. Consultants Justin Norris and Adam Hodgden recently shared helpful information about web hooks during one of our free Office Hour sessions.

Use of Webhooks

Justin believes that webhooks are not used frequently enough. Webhooks push or pull data from another URL when a user takes action, creating an engagement or enriching your database, automatically. In response to specific actions when using marketing automation, some users have set up webhooks to:

  • trigger tactile marketing moments
  • send gift packages, thank-you cards and post cards
  • automatically send a text message to sales representatives when a prospect or client attends an event
  • push lead data directly to an external analytics platform or Salesforce

ClearBit and CrunchBase integration aggregates user data from public social media profiles and other external sources. Imagine using big data to see that a large portion of your most loyal clients were cigar enthusiasts. Information like that might impact your decision to publish a lung cancer article on your company blog or place ads directly targeting cigar smokers. A bigger tool kit broadens your horizons. Instead of analyzing revenue cycles intuitively, you can use data to tweak your pipeline and funnel, maximizing what works best and minimizing what’s ineffective. With just a few clicks, you can create visual timelines of engagement. For an individual client, your organization looks professional and organized. For large groups of clients, you can ensure that your process is meeting their needs. If 40% of your users in Minneapolis decide to purchase or unsubscribe after reading the week 3 email, you’d want to know about it.

Get More from Webhooks

For search engine marketing, social campaigns, and online advertising, webhooks really shine. You can measure ROI from demand generation media campaigns, retrieve a list of new users and their Klout score, optimize media programs based on their highest converting parameters, and improve lead quality by providing early insight into potential data issues. Make the most of available data on your current users, and future prospects by integrating webhooks with your marketing and customer relationship experience. Watch the video clip to hear more from their conversation:  

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Practical Tips for Managing Events in Marketo

Events are excellent ways to engage with your audience. Events, whether online or in person, add an increased level of engagement with you audience, helping build stronger relationships with them. Events such as webinars and trade shows are also a great way to position your company and display the knowledge of your team on a range of topics. Marketing automation tools, like Marketo, can be used to help you manage and promote your event.

Managing Events in Marketo:

From program setup to reporting, here are some practical tips and strategies for managing events in Marketo:

Plan Your Event Wisely

Events will be successful if you offer the right message, delivered by the right speakers, to the right people. Choose a speaker or speakers that are known to the audience and have a reputation for being a thought leader on the topic of the event – this is critical in the case of webinars and speaking sessions at conferences and other live events. If you are planning a webinar, include multiple speakers, as it will make for a more engaging conversation and you will likely hold the audience’s attention for a longer period of time.

Choose a day or days, and time that gives you enough time to plan your event and promote it properly. If people have to travel to the event, consider adding additional time between the initial promotion of the event and the event date, as people have to make additional arrangements in order to attend. Webinars can be attended remotely and generally require less time between the initial promotion and the event date. Also in regards to webinars, choose a time that isn’t too late or too early in the day for your audience. Consider the main time zones of the potential attendees, and if needed, hold different sessions at different times so that people in all areas of the world can attend at a time that is better for them.

Marketo Program Setup

Before creating your event program in Marketo, review the available program channels. You want to ensure that the program statuses available within the channel are reflective of the journey that someone would take throughout the program. You can add and remove statuses to meet your needs – especially when it comes to program reporting. Here are some common program statuses for different types of events:

Webinar:

  • Invited
  • Registered
  • No Show
  • Show
  • Attended on-demand

Live Event:

  • Invited
  • Registered
  • No show
  • Attend

Trade Show:

  • Invited
  • Attended show
  • Visited booth
  • Engaged
  • Influenced

Assets and Campaigns:

Before you can begin promoting your event, and once you have finalized the event topic, date/time and speakers, you can begin creating the necessary assets. The assets involved often include a landing and thank you/registration confirmation page, a registration form and multiple emails – invites, reminders, additional event details and follow up emails, to name a few. Once you have created your assets and approved them, you can move on to building the campaigns for the event program. Campaigns often include:

  • Initial invite – send the invite email to a defined audience.
  • Confirmation – send a confirmation email to those who register.
  • Reminders – these can consist of reminders to register and reminders of the upcoming event.
  • Followups – send emails to those who attend and to this who were not able to.
  • Alerts – if there are certain activities or leads you want to follow up with, create a campaign that would send alert emails to specific members of your team.

Reporting and ROI

Planning for an event also means that you have to take ROI into consideration. After the event has taken place:

  • Provide real-time insights and reporting
  • Optimize the sales and marketing follow-up process ultimately leading to faster buying cycles
  • Accurately report on sales and revenue results linked to specific event activities
  • Prove the value of the event
  • Make necessary improvements to future events for all stakeholders

By analyzing your investments in all of your marketing activities – new names generated, opportunities created, opportunities influenced, revenue won, etc., you can determine where to allocate future marketing budget by investing in the events that bring you the greatest return.

For more information of event marketing, check out Marketo’s Definitive Guide to Event Marketing.


Email Best Practices for Today’s Leads

 

Email-Marketing Best Practices

image via iamwire.com

According to the Email Statistics Report by the Radicati Group, there are 182.9 billion emails sent per day worldwide. That’s a lot of messages landing in peoples inboxes. How do you ensure that your messages break through the clutter and get read by recipients? Below you’ll find some key tips to help your email messages stand out from the crowd and generate more conversions.

Best Practices for Subject Lines:

Aside from the sender’s information, the subject line is one of the first things that someone reads. The ‘from’ name and email address must be recognizable to the recipient or they will dismiss the email right away. Subject lines need to be catchy, but also need to evoke that “I must read this email” feeling in the recipient. Some important tips to keep in mind when crafting subject lines include:

  • Keeping subject lines short so that they are readable in full across multiple devices.
  • Using the lead’s name in the subject line when possible – personalization in the email and the subject line catch attention.
  • Using questions and incentives have been linked to increased open rates.
  • Avoiding the word ‘free’  in a subject line – messages with ‘free’ in the subject line can get caught in SPAM filters. Also avoid using all caps in the subject line for similar reasons.

Best Practices for Email Body Copy:

Once you’ve got someone to open your email, you want them to keep reading, and hopefully convert. Emails don’t need to be lengthy – save the details for landing pages. If you want people to continue opening future emails from you, use personalization whenever possible to provide them with useful, relevant content. Some additional best practices to keep in mind for the body of your email include:

  • Keep the copy relevant to the subject line – when there’s a disconnect between the subject and the body, readers get frustrated and may start dismissing future emails from you.
  • Use readable font sizes.
  • Focus on one CTA per email – when the reader is presented with too many things to do, it’s difficult to determine what you want them to do, and it can also be more difficult for you as a marketer to find out what works and what doesn’t.
  • Use direct language – you, I, we.
  • Include information about the lead when possible – name, company name (make sure to put a default in place if a piece of information is missing from a lead record so that the email makes sense).
  • Use buttons to reinforce the CTA – use action calls for CTA button text, such as ‘Download Now’ and ‘Watch Video’.
  • Consider using video –  video can be used to personalize the message or to increase engagement and allow you to get your message across without jamming words into an email.

Email Must Haves:

Whether for compliance reasons or for the sake of creating a professional looking email, make sure that all emails include the following important details:

  • Unsubscribe link – language must be clear that this is the link people click on to remove themselves from receiving communications.
  • Physical business address – complete mailing address must be placed somewhere on the email, usually found in a footer near the unsubscribe link.
  • Emails must be responsive for multiple devices – there are many tools in the marketplace such as Litmus or Email on Acid to check email display across various browsers and devices
  • Company logo – usually located in one of the upper corners or across the email in a header, put your company logo at the top of the email for quick recognition.
  • Permission/opted-in – emails sent from Canada must be CASL compliant, emails in the US need to comply with CANSPAM. Make sure you are familiar with all of these laws when sending email communications.

Responsiveness

In 2017, your emails have to be responsive. Stats from the Pew Research Group show that 95% of Americans own a mobile device. In their Mobile Fact Sheet published in January 2017, Pew Research Group writes:

“…a growing share of Americans now use smartphones as their primary means of online access at home. Today just over one-in-ten American adults are “smartphone-only” internet users – meaning they own a smartphone, but do not have traditional home broadband service.”

With this information in mind, emails need to display properly on a wide range of devices. Emails need to be easy to read on smaller screens, which also means that you want your email copy to be to the point, and have the important information stand out.

To create responsive emails:

  • Find the right designer – Work with an experienced designer who can code email templates that display beautifully across devices. There are different ways of coding an HTML email, and reputable designers will be up to date on the methods that work – and those that don’t – to help you create an email template that suits your needs, and those of your intended audience.
  • Test – Use services, such as Litmus, to test emails and templates for responsiveness across devices. Testing is important because the email will render differently in different browsers and on various devices, so you will need to keep this in mind when developing the code for your email.
  • Use single column emails – The smaller the screen, the more difficult it is to read emails containing multiple columns. There are methods for coding an email so that you can take a multi-column email (designed for desktop) and make it a single column email when viewed on a mobile device, but there are various factors you’ll have to consider when defining the code for the email.

Do you have any additional tips to add? We invite you to share them with us in the comments section below.

 


Marketo Programs: Why do QA?

When building a program in Marketo, testing can be as (or more) important than building. Testing ensures that there are no build defects that will compromise your end result, ensuring that your program operates the way it is intended to.

Marketo Program QA

First let us review what you always should QA in Marketo.

Smart Lists:

Triggers and Filters give you plenty of options when defining your audience. However, there are a few things you should always check twice:

  1. The filter operator. For example, the filter operator “is” (exact match) will not give you the same result that the filter operator “contains” (any words together in the string match). If you have any doubt about which operator you should use, check the Marketo Smart List Filter Operators Glossary
  2. The rule logic. The rule logic should be verified to ensure it is reflecting the combination of filters that you want. If you are using advanced filters, double check all the filters numbers and their order.

Links in emails and on landing pages:

Imagine that you send an batch email with a link to a registration page or to download a white paper and that after sending this email to the half of your database, you realized that the link is incorrect? This nightmare will considerably impact your credibility and happens more often that we think. You can test the links easily using the “Send sample” action. Also, don’t forget to test the text version as well! *Be extra extra careful when using program tokens as links in your assets*

Flow steps:

When building a smart campaign, it is very important to verify that all your flow steps work properly. To bring your QA process to the next level, clone the smart campaign (or program) you want to test. In the smart list for the smart campaign you are testing, drag in the ‘email address’ filter and set it to: is (your test email address), and then active the smart campaign. Using the information for your test lead, complete the behaviour that should trigger the flow steps (fill out a form, click link in an email). If your smart campaign is a batch, add the trigger “lead is created” and use a test address email that is not in the database. To ensure that the flow steps work properly, check the Activity Log of the test leads. If some flow steps failed, you will find some information as to why in this section.

The Importance of QA

Testing should be part of a strictly defined process. This ensures that your program is doing what you expect it to do. As a precaution, QA should be assigned to another person who is NOT the builder. Putting a fresh set of eyes on the program will help to spot any design/build defects (even small ones). Small errors in builds could potentially compromise your database, impact your reputation, and harm your relationship with your clients.

Ensure that your programs run smoothly and have a seamless user experience? Then QA! Comment below with your horror stories about why you should have QA’d your programs in Marketo!


5 Tips for Wonderful Webinars

Webinars are a great marketing tool, allowing you to connect with your audience without requiring travel or significant financial investment. Webinars provide you with a stage to demonstrate your expertise in specific areas, interact with your audience in real time and drive great conversations. In order to ensure you host a successful and engaging webinar, here are some tips you should always follow:

Choose the Right Speakers for your Audience

We recently released a blog post about how to manage events with Marketo and the benefits of incorporating events into your marketing mix. To make your webinars appealing to your audience and enhance their experience, we recommend having two speakers lead a webinar. Multiple speakers allows for additional conversation and different opinions and insight into a topic.

Think of the people you consider to be great presenters and session speakers at a conference. When selecting webinar speakers, consider your audience and find a speaker that is a fit for them. Select subject matter experts that are engaging and entertaining to hold your audience’s attention and enable them to learn during the webinar session.

Choose the Right Webinar Platform

There are a number of Webinar Platforms on the market. Some of them offer different features and support different audience sizes, so you will have to select a tool that best meets your needs. You will also want to consider the platform’s ability to integrate with your marketing automation tool. Once connected to your marketing automation tool, there are many webinar platforms available that will automatically sync registration and attendance information to the program, reducing the need for manual work, such as list uploads. We are currently using GoToWebinar at Perkuto to set our Office hours webinars every week.

Here’s a look at some of the Webinar platforms that are Marketo Launchpoint partners:

Webinar Platforms

Use Tokens

Tokens allow you to dynamically insert information into emails and landing pages in Marketo. Tokens can be leveraged to help you save time when creating a webinar program, as you can use lead and program specific tokens to automatically update content – significantly reducing the amount of time it takes you to build the program and its assets. As always, automation is key!

Webinar AssetsWebinar Tokens

What’s cool about tokens is that anytime you need to program a recurring webinar or display it on-demand, you will be able to use your Webinar templates and change your tokens for speakers, dates, links, pictures, etc.

Plan for live and on-demand versions

Webinars and especially On-demand Webinars is a great way to have gated content. Among the follow-ups, you better keep an option for people who couldn’t attend live and send them the link to the recorded webinar.

Thus, you could also make this content gated and available to other leads that weren’t even registered to the original event. You will have to create a separate program that makes the recorded webinar available, through form fill, to leads who never actually registered to the original event.

Checklist for a Successful Webinar

A lot of work goes into coordinating a webinar. There are a lot of moving pieces and you want to ensure that the entire event runs smoothly for your audience. For a complete checklist of items to review and address when preparing and hosting a webinar, download our ultimate webinar program checklist. This eBook contains checklists for all aspects of a webinar, including:

  • Planning
  • Promotion
  • Execution
  • Measurement