Five Simple Solutions Every Marketo User Should Know

Marketo is perhaps the best-known and most-used marketing automation platform–and for good reason. It’s a mature platform that has a full suite of features that provide marketers the functionality to automate a wide spectrum of marketing tasks.

However all this functionality may cause anxiety for the uninitiated marketer. I can recall my many head-banging moments that occurred over the simplest things that I tried to do with Marketo when I first started with it. Over time I learned not to give in to frustration, because there were probably multiple solutions to my current problem.

The first step in winning the battle is to believe that a solution to your current problem exists. For those more seasoned Marketo technologists, the tips listed below may seem elementary. However, for those Marketo newbies still working through Marketo’s vast functionality, you will find that sometimes the simplest things are the hardest to find. To that end, I am sharing some of those hard-won lessons.

Here are five of the most common issues that I can remember struggling over:

1. Adding superscript to an email: Marketo’s email editor lets you insert symbols into your content, but they are full-sized text, not superscript–even when you cut and paste superscript copy from Word.

The Solution: Simply add superscript tags on each side of the symbol in the HTML editor. For example, place in front of the symbol and after the symbol. It would look something like this:

Important Product ®. rViola! You now have superscript.

2. Save to Unicode Text from ExcelImport special characters in a list: Anyone who deals with international lists knows that special characters do not always display correctly when imported into Marketo using a “CSV (Comma Delimited)” file.

I used to spend hours cleaning up my lists by replacing special characters with North American standard characters. But then I learned something about the CSV file type that saved me time and energy.

The Solution: Do not save your file as a “CSV (Comma Delimited)” file. Instead save the file as a “Unicode Text” file. Marketo accepts this file format and will interpret your special characters correctly.

3. Mass-Approve emails or landing pages after changing a template: Anyone that updates an email or landing page template will encounter this situation. Once a template has been modified, all the emails or landing pages that use it will be switched to drafts. When this happens, all the drafts must be re-approved before the template changes can go into effect.

I used to spend hours seeking out all of the drafts in Marketing Activities and manually approving each – not fun.

The Solution: Mass approve all drafts from the Design Studio, even if the asset is located in Marketing Activities. Do not spend hours manually approving each asset. Instead, navigate to the Design Studio and select the type of asset you’re approving from the left-side navigation tree. Marketo will display ALL assets of that type in your instance (even if it is located in the Marketing Activities). Select the assets you need to approve using the Shift or Control keys then use the Action menu to approve all.

4. Modify the color of the “*” on my forms to match my company’s branding guidelines: The red asterisk is commonly known as the symbol for a mandatory form field. But, who says it has to be red? Why can’t it match the color scheme of the website?

The Solution: Insert the code below into the custom CSS within your form setup. Make sure you replace the color code with the color that matches your color scheme. Also, be sure to choose a color that is vibrant enough to draw attention to your mandatory fields.

.mktoAsterix {rcolor: #fa0 !important;rdisplay:none;r}r

You can find other great tips about Marketo Forms 2.0 at

5. Change the auto generated URL for a landing page: Did you know that your Marketo landing page URL’s are customizable? The ability to edit your landing page URL is very important especially when cloning from other programs. As you know, Marketo’s auto generated URL’s can become quite long, and misleading, by default. Not only do you want to shorten the URL, but making it easy-to-read will help with SEO (search engine optimization) too.

The Solution: Use Marketo’s URL Tools. After you’ve created your landing page go to the URL Tools and select “Edit Settings”. Here you will be able to customize a portion of your URL and discard the old URL.

The Bottom line when working with Marketo is that there is usually at least one way to solve any requirement that you come up with. Don’t give up on finding the right solution to your challenge. If you find yourself saying, “There has got to be a better way,” then there probably is!

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At Digital Pi, we use technology to connect revenue to marketing efforts. We fuse marketing strategies, processes, data and applications to make marketing technology solutions work for clients' businesses.

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