Learn Marketo: A Definitive Guide

Cara Bowles    By under Marketo Marketing.

Marketo is one of the most powerful marketing automation platforms in the industry, as well as being one of the most robustly and comprehensively integrated. As a natural consequence, it's also not necessarily the easiest thing in the world to use. This isn't really a mark against it. Marketo has a pretty intuitive interface for what it is. A semi truck is more difficult to operate than a consumer vehicle too, and it couldn't necessarily be any other way.

Marketo's vast feature set can be overwhelming to the point that it's not necessarily clear what core usage of the product looks like.

That's what this guide is for.

This guide serves to explain the basics of how to use Marketo, how it works, how to use it for lead nurturing and marketing automation, and puts you on the road to success.

What it won't do, what it's intentionally designed not to do, is explain how to do everything you possibly can with Marketo. Our goal here is to introduce what Marketo is, what it does, the purpose it serves, and to introduce you to the most important features and how they work together.

Here's what we'll cover:

What Does Marketo Do?

Is Marketo A CRM?

Where Is Marketo Based, And Similar Questions

Marketo And Generation Z

What Is A Lead In Marketo?

What Is A Program In Marketo?

  • How To Create A Marketo Program
  • How Leads Join Programs

What Are Smart Campaigns? How To Use Them

  • How To Create A Smart Campaign
  • Create A Smart List After Creating Your Smart Campaign
  • Define Your Smart Campaign's Flow
  • Schedule A Batch Campaign

Creating Emails, Landing Pages, And Forms

  • Emails
  • Forms
  • Landing Pages

What Is A Marketo Token?

What Is A Marketo Snippet?

Let's dive in!

What Does Marketo Do?

What is marketo software? The short answer? Marketo is a comprehensive piece of marketing automation software designed to help you manage your email campaigns and sales leads.

Smart Campaigns are the heart of Marketo. A Smart Campaign allows you to send promotional materials to sales leads based on specific actions that the lead has taken, using criteria that you define, and a wide range of preexisting filters and triggers.

A typical Marketo cycle looks something like this:

  1. A user visits your website and their actions are tracked using Marketo's tracking code (Munchkin code), a browser cookie which stores their interactions with the site.
  2. The user fills out a form in response to a promotion and transitions from an "Anonymous Lead" to a "Known Lead."
  3. Once the user becomes a known lead, their previous interactions with your site and any resources that have marketo tracking code are connected in the Marketo instance.
  4. Based on previous actions they have taken, the lead may be filtered into a "Batch Campaign" in which they join other leads who have taken the same actions in the past. They are then automatically sent promotional materials in a sequence that you create and define, tailored specifically to target them based on interests that they implicitly have as a result of their previous actions.
  5. The lead can also become a part of a "Trigger Campaign," in which they immediately join a sequence of promotional actions based on an action they take, the first of those typically being in response to the form that they filled out.

Is Marketo A CRM?

Not exactly. Marketo is designed for tailored marketing campaigns with a high degree of personalization, not specifically for call or sales management. However, Marketo integrates with various platforms, and its integration with SalesForce is arguably the best in the industry. In particular, the Marketo Sales Insight add on for SalesForce enhances SalesForce users' ability to identify promising sales leads in various ways, which we discuss in detail in the link.

Where Is Marketo Based, And Other Questions About The Company Itself

Marketo is based out of San Mateo, California. Marketo was founded in 2006 by Philip M. Fernandez, who was CEO and President until November of 2016, when Steve Lucas took his place and Fernandez joined Shasta Ventures. Marketo went public in May of 2013 and Vista Equity Partners bought Marketo in the process.

Marketo is a Software as a Service (SaaS) and does not need to be installed. However, there are various integrations that we discuss here which do require various types of installation. It is pronounced "market" "oh."

How big is Marketo? It's valued at $1.79 billion, is used by approximately 13,000 websites, 100,000 users, and has over 300 employees.

Marketo And Generation Z

Before we dive in here, I want to take one more moment to consider why programs like Marketo are important for the future of marketing.

Marketo has an interesting infographic on Generation Z in which they describe some things to expect as this post-millenial generation of teenagers enters adulthood (the oldest of them are just now old enough to drink). Some of the takeaways:

  • 25.9% of the country are Generation Z, larger than any other generational demographic (with millennials at 24.5%, boomers at 23.6%, Gen X at 15.4%, and The "Silent" Generation at 10.5%).
  • The post-9/11, post-recession times that they have grown up in has made them highly self-directed and resourceful.
  • They are concerned with wanting to have jobs that make a positive impact on the world, and are concerned about the future of the planet.
  • They have grown up with far more visual information than their predecessors, expect it, and use Instagram as often or more than Facebook.
  • They prefer non-boastful messaging platforms over public social media platforms.

What's the takeaway? Generation Z uses 5 screens, not 2. They want their content to be "snackable" and have a more entrepreneurial spirit than their predecessors. They expect personalization and online collaboration. They want things to be tied to social causes, and they like to be self-taught.

Platforms like Marketo tap into these changing expectations, particularly the need for personalization and the desire to be self-taught. These are trends to keep an eye on as marketing evolves.

What Is A Lead In Marketo?

It probably goes without saying that "lead" is shorthand for "sales lead," and that a sales lead is a potential customer of a product. Typically, a "lead" is differentiated from the more broad class of "consumers" when they take an action suggesting that they are interested in the product, especially by providing contact information.

What is a lead according to Marketo, though? A lead is essentially any individual that Marketo is able to collect information on, one way or another.

Marketo collects information on leads in one of two basic ways.

  1. "Anonymous" Leads

The idea that a lead can be "anonymous" is an example of how the term is slightly bastardized, but still useful, within the framework of Marketo, since a lead traditionally provides information.

Anonymous leads are users who have visited a URL that contains your Marketo tracking (Munchkin) code. We explain how to install the tracking code on your site here. Landing pages created in Marketo automatically include the tracking code. Anonymous activity is also recorded whenever a user clicks the "View as Web Page" link in your Marketo emails.

The Marketo tracking code collects information such as which pages the anonymous lead has visited. This information is connected to an anonymous profile stored in a cookie on that user's browser.

Anonymous leads contain no contact information until they become "known" leads. It is, however, possible for you to view a report of this anonymous web activity to get a handle on how users are interacting with your site and resources:

  1. To create a report, start by going to "Marketing Activities" in the left sidebar.
  2. Right click the appropriate program in Marketo and select "New Local Asset" from the drop down menu.
  3. Hit "Report."
  4. Select "Web Page Activity Report" from the "Type" drop down menu.
  5. Enter a "Name" and "Description" for your report and press "Create."
  6. Click the "Setup" tab.
  7. Double click on "Activity Source."
  8. Select "Anonymous Visitors (including ISPs)" or "Anonymous Visitors (not including ISPs)" from the "Activity Source" drop down menu, and hit "Apply."
  9. Click the "Report" tab to view your report.
  1. "Known" Leads

Anonymous leads become known leads once a cookied browser becomes associated with contact information provided to Marketo.

The most common way this happens is when a cookied user fills out a Marketo form. The historical user activity associated with that browser then becomes associated with the contact information, allowing for you to send triggered campaigns and take other actions based on their historical data.

An anonymous lead can also become a known lead by visiting a Marketo tracked page from a Marketo email. Since the Marketo email is associated with an email address, the email address and any other contact information associated with it can be combined with the browser cookie data.

If you have access to developers, the SOAP syncLead or REST Associate Lead API calls can be sent to Marketo. Additionally, a Munchkin associateLead call can be sent to the Marketo instance. These are primarily useful for integrations with other software containing contact information, although many existing integrations are available.

You can view a report of your known leads by creating a report as discussed in the section on anonymous leads above. If you already created a report, you do not need to create a new one. To view the known leads, just make sure that the "Activity Source" is set to "Known Leads" in the "Settings" tab of the report. You can do this by double clicking on "Activity Source" and selecting "Known Leads" from the "Activity Source" drop down menu, and hitting "Apply," then viewing the "Report" tab.

What Is A Program In Marketo?

In the context of the Marketo interface, a program is essentially a folder containing all of the marketing elements needed for a single marketing initiative. The most important thing to understand is that it is less granular than a smart campaign, landing page, or email, but more granular than a company name. Listing the four types of programs is an easier way to elaborate than to try and define the word more precisely:

    1. Event Programs: These are tied to specific dates and times and help you coordinate the connection between an event and your leads. Events can refer to something that takes place physically, such as a conference, or online, such as a webinar (see these links for integration with WebEx and GoToWebinar).


  • Engagement Programs: These are meant for Drip Nurturing. The purpose of a drip nurturing program is to keep your brand or a specific promotion or topic at the forefront of your leads' minds. It keeps leads warm by sending them periodic content on a set schedule.
  • Email Programs: This is built around the concept of the "email blast," with the intention of sending a single email or series of emails to a collection of leads. A/B testing is built in as a way of testing which messaging is most effective.
  • Default Programs: These are programs created with as few assumptions as possible about what you want to do with the program, allowing you to use as many Marketo features as you want in the program and get creative with the capabilities.


How To Create A Marketo Program

  1. Go to "Marketing Activities" in the left sidebar navigation.
  2. Still in the left navigation, select the folder that you want to place the Program within.
  3. Under the "Learning" tab, click the "New" drop down menu and select "New Program."
  4. Enter a "Name" for the program, select the "Program Type" from the types discussed above, and enter a "Description." Choose a "Channel" for the program from the "Channel" drop down menu. The "Channel" is the primary method used to feed leads into the Program.
  5. Push the "Create" button.

How Leads Join Programs

Leads become part of a program in a few different ways.

  1. Filling Out A Form On A Landing Page That Is Part Of The Program
  1. After creating your program, select the program from the left navigation in the "Marketing Activities" section, if it is not already selected.
  2. Under your program's name tab, click "New" and select "New Local Asset" from the drop down menu.
  3. Choose "Form" in the "New Local Asset" section.
  4. Give the form a "Name" and, optionally, a "Description."
  5. Click "Create."
  6. In "Field Details," select the "Email Address" field and make sure "Is Required" is checked. Do the same for any other fields that are necessary for the program to function.
  7. Click "Next" and select a "Theme," then click "Next" again.
  8. In "Thank You Page," choose an option from the "Follow Up With" drop down menu. You can use an "External URL" if you have already created a URL to use as the "Thank You Page" for users who fill out the form (make sure the Munchkin code is on the thank you page if so). Otherwise you can choose "Landing Page" and select a landing page that you created in Marketo.
  9. Push "Finish" then "Approve And Close."
  10. Now it's time to create a landing page for the form. Select "New" and "New Local Asset" again, and choose "Landing Page" from the "New Local Asset" section.
  11. Enter a "Name" and optional "Description," then select a "Template" for the landing page from the drop down menu, and push "Create."
  12. You will enter an editor where you can edit your landing page. You can do a lot here, but the crucial part is to drag the "Form" element onto the canvas.
  13. Find the form you just created from the "Form" drop down menu in the "Insert New Form" section and press the "Insert" button. Make any other stylistic changes to the Landing Page that you want.
  14. Close the landing page editor. Your changes will have already been saved.
  15. Once your landing page is ready, select it in the left navigation under your program and press "Landing Page Actions" followed by "Approve" on the drop down menu.
  1. Importing Leads Into A Program
  1. Create a CSV file in your spreadsheet program of choice. Contact information should be arranged into columns, with an "Email" column at minimum. You may include other columns such as "First Name," "Last Name," "Job Title," and "Date." If you include dates, they should be of the form month/day/year
  2. Select your Program in Marketo and click the "Members" tab.
  3. Click "Import Members."
  4. Click "Browse" next to the "File" field, and use your operating system to select the CSV file you created.
  5. In most cases, you can click "Next" here.
  6. Use the drop down menus in the "Marketo Field" column to map each column of the CSV file to a form field in Marketo. Click "Next."
  7. Choose "Visited" or "Engaged" from the "Member Status" drop down menu. Unless the contacts were collected using an exterior method and you can verify that they visited the website, you should generally select "Engaged" here.
  8. Click "Import." Wait for Marketo to import. A confirmation will appear in the top right. Click the "X" to close the confirmation screen.
  1. Using Smart Campaigns

We will talk more about smart campaigns later on. For now, all you need to know is that smart campaigns are a way of automatically changing lead statuses so that they start receiving certain promotional materials based on certain criteria. You can use Smart Campaign "Flow Actions" to create a "Change Program Status" action, which can be used to add leads to a Program based on certain criteria. This begins happening immediately after the flow action is created, so this should be a final step, after you have already tested the rest of the program.

  1. When A Lead Registers For Or Attend A Webinar

When you create an Event Program using Webinar as the channel, leads are added to the program during registration. See what we've already written on integrating Marketo with WebEx and GoToWebinar to see how this works. Attending a webinar can also be used as a method of adding a lead to a program using a Smart Campaign.

  1. When A Lead Uses The Marketo iPad Check-In Application

This is also for Event Programs and it is a method of adding people to a Program when the sign in at your live, in person event. Here is how you can check people in from your tablet.

  1. Through Salesforce SFDC Sync

Marketo has a very robust integration with Salesforce which we talk about in depth here. You can sync Salesforce campaigns with Marketo Programs, so that when a contact is added to a Salesforce campaign, they are also added to the Marketo Program. Here is the Marketo documentation on the syncing process.

What Are Smart Campaigns? How To Use Them

As we discussed above, in Marketo, a Smart Campaign is a tool that you use to control which leads receive which marketing materials at what times based on criteria that you define.

It is the heart of Marketo, in that it is at the core of what makes it a "Marketing Automation" platform. Without Smart Campaigns, Marketo's campaigns would not be particularly "automatic." Smart Campaigns allow you to set up rules so that specific leads will receive specific, targeted messages, based on specific actions they have taken or specific circumstances that make them more relevant.

Each Smart Campaign is composed of three primary sections:


  • Smart List: Adds people to the campaign based on specific criteria: "Filters" and "Triggers." A "Filter" adds leads to a campaign based on a specific action they have taken or another criteria that is already present. It adds them to the campaign but does not immediately cause them to receive a promotion. A "Trigger" immediately pushes a lead into the "Flow," discussed below, causing a series of actions that you define to trigger immediatley.
  • Flow: A series of steps that make up the actions taken by your campaign. These steps can include waiting a set period of time or splitting the lead into one or another series of actions based on their criteria.
  • Schedule: This determines when the Smart Campaign is run, including recurrences allowing it to repeat at specific times.


How To Create A Smart Campaign In Marketo

  1. Go to "Marketing Activities" in the left sidebar navigation and select a program that you created as discussed above.
  2. Under your Program's name tab, click the "New" drop down menu and select "New Local Asset."
  3. Select "Smart Campaign" from the "New Local Asset" section.
  4. Enter a "Name" and optional "Description" in the "New Smart Campaign" section.
  5. Press the "Create" button.

Create A Smart List After Creating Your Smart Campaign

As we said above, a Smart List determines who becomes a part of your campaign. There are two types of Smart Lists that you can create for your Smart Campaign: "Batch" and "Trigger" lists.

Create A Batch List

Batch lists are based on filters. They add leads to a campaign but do not immediately throw them into the Campaign Flow. It acts on a batch of leads, rather than executing on one lead at a time.

  1. From inside of your Smart Campaign, select the "Smart List" tab.
  2. Start typing to search for a specific filter, or browse through the filters in the right hand tree menu. Drag the desired filter into the canvas on the left.
  3. You can repeat this for as many filters as you want to include as restrictions on which leads will be included in the campaign.
  4. Use the drop downs in the filter to define the logic that determines how the filter will be applied to your leads. If you see a red line under any of the fields, it indicates that it is required and that the Smart List will not function without it.
  5. Carefully examine the Filter logic to ensure that is including the leads you want to be a member of the campaign.
  6. If needed, press the "Add Constraint" selection to add additional constraints to the filter.

Create A Trigger List

Trigger Smart Lists execute on one lead at a time. This isn't to say that multiple leads can't be a member of the campaign at a time. It means that the campaign starts at a different time for each lead, based on when they take an action (or in some cases, inaction) that causes the campaign to trigger for them at that time.

  1. From inside your campaign, click the "Smart List" tab.
  2. Type to search for a specific Trigger or select one from the tree menu, and drag the desired trigger into the canvas on the left.
  3. Use the drop downs for the trigger to define the logic that will cause the Trigger to execute as True.
  4. Use the "Add Constraint" selection if you need to place additional constraints on the filter.

Define Your Smart Campaign's Flow

To add a new step to your Smart Campaign's Flow, instructing what the Campaign should do next:

  1. Go to "Marketing Activities" in the left navigation, select your Smart Campaign from inside of your Program, and click the "Flow" tab.
  2. Select a flow action from the tree menu on the right, or search for one by typing in the search bar above it.
  3. Drag the flow action from the tree menu to the canvas on the left.
  4. Use the drop downs in the flow action to define the logic for the flow action.
  5. Continue adding flow actions in sequence to define how the the flow of the full campaign runs in sequence.

Schedule A Batch Campaign

Remember, batch campaigns are based on batch lists, which use filters to define who is in the campaign. Leads all go through the campaign flow at the same time, the campaign is not immediately triggered by an action taken by the lead. For batch campaigns, then, you need to schedule when they run. By default, they run immediately.

Here's how to schedule the campaign for later:

  1. Select your Batch Campaign from the left navigation, under your Program, in the "Marketing Activities" area.
  2. Select the "Schedule" tab and press the "Run Once" option.
  3. Select "Run later."
  4. Click the calendar icon and select a date. Select a time from the drop down menu next to the calendar icon.
  5. Press "Save."
  6. Confirm the schedule in the main Schedule tab.

You can also schedule a batch campaign to run on a recurring schedule:

  1. Go to the "Schedule" tab followed by selecting "Schedule Recurrence."
  2. Choose "Daily," Weekly," or "Monthly" from the "Schedule" drop down menu in the "Schedule Recurrence" section.
  3. Select a date and time for the "First Run" drop downs, which will determine the first time that the campaign executes.
  4. Manage the "Repeat Every" settings so that it repeats every specific number of days, weeks, or months, and select which days you want it to occur on.
  5. If you want the campaign to run indefinitely, make sure that the "No end date" bullet point is selected in the "End on" section. If you want a set end date, select the other bullet point and use the calendar drop down to select when you want the campaign to stop.
  6. Click "Save."

Creating Emails, Landing Pages, And Forms

Smart campaigns won't do you a lot of good without emails, landing pages, and forms, of course. These are the most basic pieces of content your leads will interact with. Any one of them can be used as part of a campaign flow, or as a trigger or filter for a campaign.

How To Create An Email

You can create emails from the Design Studio or through Marketing Activities. If you create it through the Design Studio, it will not be associated with a specific Program until you add it later. If you create it through Marketing Activities, you will select a Program for it to be added to.

Creating An Email Through The Design Studio

  1. Click "Design Studio" from "My Marketo."
  2. Click "New" and select "New Email" from the drop down menu.

Creating An Email Through Marketing Activities

  1. Click "Marketing Activities" from "My Marketo."
  2. Select the Program that you want your email to be added to
  3. Click "New" and select "New Local Asset" from the drop down menu.
  4. Click "Email."

Customizing The Email

Whichever method you choose, these steps follow:

  1. You will be sent to the email template picker.
  2. Enter an easily identifiable "Name" and optionally a "Description" for the email you will create.
  3. Select a template that appeals to you or that most appropriately fits the format you need for your email in this stage of the campaign.
  4. Press "Create" with the "Open in editor" check box checked.
  5. Give the email a "Subject" line, which is the first thing a lead will see when your email enters their inbox. You can insert a "Token" here to add dynamic content such as the lead's first name. (See the section on tokens below.) A counter to the right lets you know if you are under the recommended 50 character limit, above which the lead may not be able to read the full subject line.
  6. Use the email editor to customize the email.
  7. Some email templates allow you to add "Modules" to give the email a professional looking layout. If so, these are accessible from the "Modules" tab on the right hand side.
  8. If Modules are available, after clicking on the tab, you can drag modules from the right side of the screen to the editor on the left. A "Drop Here" section will appear in the location where the module will be dropped. You can drop the module between text or other modules.
  9. You can move your module after dropping it by selecting it, clicking on the gear icon, and selecting "Move Up" or "Move Down." You can also move it up and down using the "Content" tab on the right hand side, in which you can select it by name and drag it up or down.

How To Create A Form

Forms are absolutely vital to the function of Marketo as a marketing automation platform, since they are the most common way an anonymous lead provides contact information and becomes a known lead. Forms can then be used as triggers, filters, or as part of the flow of Smart Campaigns.

  1. Go to "Marketing Activities" and then find and select the Program you want the Form to be associated with.
  2. Click "New" and select "New Local Asset" from the drop down menu.
  3. Click the "Form" icon in the "New Local Asset" section.
  4. Give your Form a "Name" and optionally a "Description."
  5. Press the "Create" button.
  6. In your form's "Edit Form" tab, select "Form Settings" on the left side.
  7. Use the arrows on the left and right hand side of the form to select a form template that works for you. The form can be further edited later. This is just a starting point.
  8. Click "Next" to further configure your form, or "Finish" if you are satisfied with the form as it is, in which case you can skip the remaining steps.
  9. To add a field to your Form, from inside your form's "Edit Form" tab, click the large "+" (plus) button.
  10. Use the drop down menu to select which field to include. Add as many fields as you like and then press "Finish," followed by "Approve And Close."
  11. You may want some of your field forms to be required in order for the lead to proceed forward. From your form's "Edit Form" tab, select the form in question, make sure the "Is Required" box is checked, and click "Finish," followed by "Approve And Close." You should almost always make sure that the "Email Address" field is required.

In general, you will want to send leads to a "Thank You Page" after they fill out and submit a form. To do this:

  1. Click "Settings" under "Form Settings" from inside your "Edit Form" tab.
  2. Scroll to the "Thank You Page" section.
  3. The "Follow Up With" drop down has three options: "Stay On Page," "External URL," and "Landing Page." Use "External URL" if you want to send them to a non-Marketo landing page (in which case you should have the Muchkin tracking code installed). Use "Landing Page" if you want to use a Thank You Page that you created inside of Marketo.
  4. If you select "External URL" you will need to paste the URL of the Thank You Page. If you select "Landing Page" you will need to select your Marketo Landing Page from the drop down menu.
  5. You may also click "Add Choice" and set up logical operators using drop down menus to send them to a different landing page based on criteria that you define.
  6. Click "Save," "Finish," and "Approve And Close."

Finally, you need to approve the form for use:

  1. From the "Marketing Activities" area, make sure your form is selected in the left navigation.
  2. Click "Form Actions" in the top menu.
  3. Click "Approve."
  4. You should see a green check mark next to your form in the "Marketing Activities" area.

How To Create A Landing Page

Unless you are posting Marketo forms directly to your site (which we talk about in this section of our Marketo Integration guide), leads typically fill out forms by reaching them from a Marketo Landing Page. Marketo Landing Pages can also themselves be used as triggers, filters, or steps in the flow for Smart Campaigns.

There are two ways to create landing pages. You can create them as local assets of a Program, or you can create them in the Design Studio where they will be globally accessible to all programs.

Create A Landing Page In A Program

  1. Select your Program from the "Marketing Activities" area and click the "New" drop down menu, then select "New Local Asset."
  2. Click the "Landing Page" icon.
  3. Enter a "Name" and optional "Description" for the new Landing Page.
  4. Select "Free-form Template" from the "Template" drop down menu. (Guided templates need to be created beforehand.)
  5. A cleaner URL than the one created by Marketo is recommended. Change the "Page URL" field to make it clear, memorable, and keyword-focussed.
  6. Press "Create."

Create A Landing Page In The Design Studio

  1. Go to "Design Studio" in the left navigation.
  2. Click "New" followed by "New Landing Page."
  3. Continue through the steps as you would when creating a Landing Page in a program above, starting at step 3.

Add A Form And Other Components To Your Landing Page

  1. With your Landing Page selected, click "Edit Draft" at the top of the page.
  2. Drag the "Form" element from the "Insert Elements" section on the right onto the page on the left.
  3. An Insert New Form section will appear.
  4. Select your form from the "Form" drop down menu.
  5. You may define a follow up page for the form here if you did not do so as described in the section on creating a form.
  6. Press the "Insert" button.

You can add other elements to your landing page in a similar manner, by dragging them from the "Insert Elements" section onto the landing page, then making selections and entering data from the pop up section associated with that element.

Once the Landing Page looks how you want it, you need to approve the landing page so that it is operational:

  1. With your landing page selected, click "Landing Page Actions."
  2. Click "Approve" from the drop down menu.

What Is A Marketo Token?

A token is a variable. If you don't know what that means, it's a stand-in piece of code that you can add to a step in a Smart Campaign's flow, to a Landing Page, to an Email, or to a Snippet (more on snippets in the next section). The token then gets replaced with another value, such as a lead's name.

Tokens take the form "{{TokenType.TokenSubtype}}". The double curly brackets alert Marketo that the text inside is the variable that needs to be replaced. The double curly brackets are not visible when the lead sees the token in, for example, an email. The lead will instead see whatever value the token is replaced with, such as their own name.

To see how these are used, here is a possible introduction to an email:

"Welcome, {{lead.First Name:default=subscriber}}"

If the lead's first name is "Dave" and this is in Marketo's database, Dave will see this in his email:

"Welcome, Dave"

The "default=subscriber" part indicates what the lead will see if the information is not available. So if we sent an email to a recipient who had not given us their first name, this is what they would see:

"Welcome, subscriber"

Any field in Marketo has an associated token that you can use, including the custom fields that you create yourself. Here's is Marketo's list of the default tokens.

What Is A Marketo Snippet?

A snippet is a block of content that you can insert into a larger content asset, namely in a Marketo Email or a Marketo Landing Page. This allows you to reuse content in various places so that you don't need to retype it or copy and paste it wholesale in every location.

To Create A Snippet:

  1. Choose "Design Studio" from the left navigation.
  2. Under the "Design Studio" tab, select the "New" drop down menu and then hit "New Snippet."
  3. Give the Snippet a "Name" and "Description," then press the "Create" button.
  4. From the "Design Studio," select your snippet in the left navigation, located in the "Snippets" section of the tree menu.
  5. Select "Edit Draft" from the top of the page.
  6. You can drag and drop a "Token" from the right hand section and drop it into the canvas on the left in order to insert dynamic content (such as the lead's name). From the "Insert Token" section, select a "Token" from the drop down menu, and enter a "Default Value" for the token if the token is not present in the database. Press the "Insert" button and Marketo will add the token code in the format discussed in the section on tokens above.
  7. You can drag an "Image/File" element from the right section into the left section to include an image in the snippet.
  8. You can type text directly into the canvas to add text to the snippet if you are viewing the "HTML Version." After doing so, for an email, click the "Text Version" tab and then click the "Copy from HTML" button to add the text to the email.

What Next?

This should give you a solid foundation which you can use to accomplish the core of Marketo's marketing automation capabilities. To get even more value out of Marketo, take a look at our guide: How To Integrate Marketo With Anything.