How to Remove Records from Marketo That Submit an Unsubscribe Form

10 Steps to Reduce Bad Data in Marketo: Step 5


Marketo will not send email to persons that submit a Marketo unsubscribe form. As with records that have no email address or have bounced and been flagged as invalid, records of persons that have unsubscribed are of little value. This video shows you how to identify those records, so you can remove them from Marketo once you no longer need them for historical performance reporting. 

You can use the Marketo system smart list, “Unsubscribed People” to identify those people that have unsubscribed from your emails. When prospects unsubscribe, Marketo won’t send them bulk emails and you may want to remove them from Marketo since you can no longer do that, Or you may leave them and continue to monitor their page visits to your website and other digital activity. In the case of customers, however, while you can’t send them promotional emails, you can continue to send them operational emails, so be careful not to delete these records. 

So, the system smart list uses a simple filter, the unsubscribed field with a value of true. So, if you want to delete those records in Marketo, you would create a “Delete Records” system smart campaign And you would have a Smart List with, again, the unsubscribed filter where the value is true.

You also might want to add a filter, such as the SFDC type, so that you can exclude customers and partners to whom you may continue to send operational emails, from being deleted. And then the flow action itself would be to delete the lead. And if you no longer need them in your CRM, to set this to true, as well.

However, if you don’t delete them from the CRM, you still need to make sure that you have a sync filter in place, such that if its value Let’s say the name of that filter would be “Sync to Marketo” that you change the value from true to false, and allow time for those records to sync their updates over to Salesforce. And then you can safely delete them from Marketo. 

Now, if someone is deleted from Marketo and they subsequently fill out a form, attend an event, etc. and become added to your database again, Marketo’s durable unsubscribe will automatically change the record’s Unsubscribed field value from ‘false’ to ‘true’. In countries that allow for implied opt-ins, you may want to create a ‘Resubscribe’ smart campaign that when a customer or prospect submits a form and their Unsubscribed field value is changed to ‘true’ by Marketo, the value is changed back to ‘false’ by the smart campaign.

So here’s an example of a smart campaign that will resubscribe people. The Smart List will have a Data Value Change where that value is changed to true. And the important part of this is that the reason set by Marketo when it automatically does it is resetLeadEmailStatus.

So, it’s very, very important to add that because the person may have unsubscribed and then a salesperson may have entered the record into Salesforce and it synced over to Marketo. In that case, the person didn’t have an implied opt-in and you would not want to automatically reset their unsubscribed field value to false. You would also want to have it set up, so that you’re looking at records that have had a recent form submission.

So, in this case, I have a smart list that I’ve created that identifies records that have had a recent opt-in. Implicit opt-in. So a filled out form in the last five minutes. Or, potentially, the lead was created to a web service API in the situation where, maybe they’re coming in from integration with a webinar provider or a Drift, or ZoomInfo, or somebody like that. So, then, in addition to your smart list, You would have a flow action that would then change the unsubscribed value from true to false. The unsubscribed reason would be nulled out. And I would suggest that you create an Interesting Moment that indicates that the person was resubscribed because they had a form that they submitted so if they ever did wonder why they started getting emails again, you can explain to them that there was an implied opt in when they filled out your form.

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