Personalization in Marketo: 5 tips to get started

Marketing to a person will require engaging with them based on interactions. Nobody wants to be overwhelmed with emails, especially if they are not personally tailored to their interests. You can achieve personalization in Marketo in a few different ways, both on a simple level and on a more intricate data-driven level.

To get you started, here are five tips on where to start out with personalization:

1. Lead Tokens (now Person Tokens)

This is a basic method that just requires adding tokens for any data fields you want to present. An example of doing this just with First Name:

Hi {{lead.First Name}},

For me this would print: “Hi Erik,”

Now, most likely you have data on this field but it is good to add a default value if this field would be empty:

Hi {{lead.First Name:default=there}},

For any person with a blank value this would print: “Hi there,”

If you are nurturing new leads who have engaged with your content, you can use tokens in Subject Lines or Preheaders for catching a recipient’s attention.

Side note on preheaders

Email subject line real estate is very important since there are so many incoming emails in an inbox. Preheaders are a great way of using more space to display your message.

I just went through my private email and grabbed three examples from the past week on how not to use a preheader:

In these screenshots, you can see that the ones from COS and ion interactive are basically repeating the subject line twice and the Finnair email showing the unnecessary message for viewing the email in a browser.

Preheader in Marketo

In Marketo, a preheader can be added to your email from the Email Settings menu when editing your email. It shows a maximum of recommended characters (80) while you write the text.

2. Personalization with Segments

Marketing to different target groups, job roles or industries, you will want to split your groups into segmentations for presenting relevant content. Segments can be defined in your Database (formerly Lead Database) and use filters for determining requirements.

Your segmentation works in a way that you have multiple segments within it. A lead will only be a part of one segment and the order you define will determine which one has priority. The default segment will be valid if previous segments don’t apply.

You can create multiple segmentations and leads can exist in all of them, although only within one segment.

3. Personalization with Dynamic Content

Dynamic content uses segments to adjust an element of an email or landing page. Some use cases for this are:

  • Changing text and form language on a subscription center based on region
  • Adjusting content in an email for a specific segment
  • Displaying a local address for your company if you have a global presence

In order to make an element dynamic, you simply need to choose the Make Dynamic option. Here is a screenshot for making a subject line dynamic:

Dynamic Subject Line

4. Re-using Snippets with Dynamic Content

Snippets are a great way to store a snippet of code to re-use in an email or on a landing page. These by default have a segmentation option to change the content based on a segment. Some examples of where you can use this:

  • Address snippet with localized addresses and contact details based on region
  • Content snippet with content recommendation based on previous interaction and relevant demographic data

5. Personalization on email frequency and preferences

Even if you are using personalization in your communication, you should take frequency into account. Some people may not want to receive emails as often as others. Some may want to choose which content they receive from you. These are reasons for implementing a subscription center instead of an unsubscribe page. If you give people the option of choosing what and how often you send to them, you will be able to move towards communication on a person’s wishes.

Using these tips will get you going on your way to personal communication, let me know if you have any questions!