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#MAfails: New to Marketing Automation and Looking With Your Eyes Shut

August 24, 2016 | Kim Para Allen | No Comments |

My most memorable fail in the marketing automation world happened when I was still pretty new to it all.

I’d been working in Marketo probably just a few months and pretty much just using it as an email platform at that point.

So as you can imagine, a newbie in the workforce in the role operating this awesome new tool (Marketo) and just owning at sending emails is beginning to feel a little too comfortable and maybe work a little too quickly… see where this is going??

A campaign manager just had an event and sent me the spreadsheet of attendees to import and email. The email was using a first name token (this was way back in the day with Marketo so we thought this was pretty slick). It ended up that the spreadsheet was all one line off in the First Name column. SOOOO that meant that each lead that received the email was addressed with the incorrect name. This is definitely not an email you want to receive – in fact I’d probably delete and unsubscribe right away.

But with every failure you gain some sort of “moral of the story”, and usually those are learning points not just for yourself but also for others.

In this case, the campaign managers made sure to start paying more attention to the lists they were receiving and cleaning. I also learned to start triple checking the data I was importing into Marketo!

Lessons learned – “Are you looking with your eyes shut??”

Here’s how to make you NEVER make this Marketo mistake:

  1. Every time you get a spreadsheet, don’t skip the simple stuff – we often have a process to check data formatting here but also make sure things align. Does the first and last name make sense with the email address in the column next to it?
  2.  Once imported, spot check a few leads on the list for the same thing – data alignment
  3. When you are testing your email (which I know you are, right?), send a test and use one of the test leads as your sample lead. With the functionality in Marketo this would allow a sample to be sent to me but as if I was xyz lead (let’s call him Chipper Jones). If I then get the email and the information or tokens don’t align (ex: Dear John Smoltz, instead of Chipper) you know things need to be fixed!

It’s always worth the time to be extra careful with any work you’re given and when possible get a second set of eyes on it. Don’t get me wrong, there will ALWAYS be slip-ups because we are humans and this is fast-paced, complex work, but we can at least cut down on error and the extra time and worry spent on the “fixes”.

Have your own #MAfail to share? Leave a comment or hit us up on Twitter using #MAfails

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