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In the ever-evolving world of marketing, automation has become an indispensable tool. One of the critical components of marketing automation is operational campaigns. These campaigns, when executed correctly, can streamline your marketing efforts, improve customer engagement, and enhance your overall efficiency. In this blog post, we’ll explore what operational campaigns are, why they are essential, and the best practices to make the most of them.

What Are Operational Campaigns?
Operational campaigns are an integral part of marketing automation. They are a subset of automated email campaigns that are designed to manage and optimize various operational aspects of your marketing strategy. These campaigns are not focused on promotions or sales but rather on customer service, information, and engagement. Their primary purpose is to guide and nurture the customer journey and ensure smooth interactions with your brand.

The Benefits of Using Operational Campaigns

1. Enhancing Customer Onboarding
Operational campaigns are instrumental in creating a seamless onboarding experience for new customers. They can provide vital information, product tutorials, and support resources, helping new customers get acquainted with your offerings quickly. By facilitating a smooth start, you increase the chances of retaining these customers in the long run.
2. Personalized Engagement
With operational campaigns, you can gather data on customer behavior and use it to deliver personalized content and communications. This personalization leads to better customer engagement, as individuals receive information relevant to their interests and needs, making them feel valued and understood.
3. Reducing Customer Churn
Operational campaigns can play a significant role in customer retention. By addressing customer queries, concerns, and needs promptly, you can reduce churn rates and increase customer loyalty. This can be achieved through automated responses, helpful tips, and proactive customer service.
4. Streamlining Internal Processes
Operational campaigns are not just for customer-facing communication; they can also be used to automate internal processes. For example, you can use them to alert your sales team when a lead takes a specific action, ensuring timely follow-ups and efficient lead management.
Best Practices for Operational Campaigns

To make the most of operational campaigns, consider the following best practices:

1. Segment Your Audience
Segmentation is key in operational campaigns. By dividing your audience based on behavior, preferences, or needs, you can send highly targeted and relevant content. This improves the chances of achieving your campaign goals.
2. Automate Where Possible
Operational campaigns are all about automation. Use automation to trigger emails, responses, and actions based on customer behavior and interactions. This saves time and ensures consistent, timely communication.
3. Monitor and Analyze Performance
Regularly analyze the performance of your operational campaigns. Track open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates. Use this data to refine and optimize your campaigns for better results.
4. Keep Content Relevant
Ensure the content in your operational campaigns remains relevant and up-to-date. Review and refresh your messages to reflect changes in your products, services, or customer needs.
5. Encourage Feedback
Encourage customers to provide feedback on their experience with your operational campaigns. Use this feedback to make improvements and fine-tune your campaigns for better results.

Operational campaigns are a valuable component of marketing automation, focusing on streamlining customer interactions, enhancing engagement, and ensuring a seamless customer journey. By adhering to best practices and understanding the benefits of operational campaigns, you can harness their power to improve customer satisfaction, boost loyalty, and ultimately drive business growth. With the right strategy and tools, operational campaigns can be a game-changer in your marketing automation efforts.

Connect with a Leadous expert today to learn more about operational campaigns.

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In the realm of digital marketing, email marketing and marketing automation are like two costumes at a Halloween party. They may look similar from a distance, but get closer, and you’ll see the stark differences. However, some email marketing companies don their clever disguises, attempting to pass off as sophisticated marketing automation platforms. In this blog, we’ll unravel the tricks these “ghosts” use to disguise themselves, so you can unmask them before you’re haunted by limited capabilities.

Zombie Autoresponders

Imagine you’re at a Halloween party, and you spot someone in a zombie costume—slow and lifeless. Some email marketing companies mimic this disguise with what they call “autoresponders.” They claim it’s automation, but it’s more like a zombie marching to a pre-set schedule.
True marketing automation isn’t constrained by set intervals. It adapts to your subscribers’ behaviors, sending emails triggered by specific actions like clicks, form submissions, or abandoned carts. Watch out for zombie-like autoresponders, and opt for a marketing automation platform that can dance to the rhythm of your audience.

Vampire Segmentation

Vampires are known for their shape-shifting abilities, and so are some email marketing platforms. They claim to have advanced segmentation capabilities, but they’re more like vampires with limited transformation skills. They can segment your list, but their capabilities are far from the dynamic, real-time segmentation that true marketing automation provides.
Genuine marketing automation platforms offer dynamic behavioral segmentation that adapts to subscribers’ interactions, ensuring your emails are tailored to their preferences and actions. Don’t be fooled by vampire-like segmentation; choose a platform that can transform with the changing tides of your audience.

Werewolf Workflows

Some email marketing companies disguise their rigid, time-based sequences as “workflows.” But don’t be tricked by this werewolf in sheep’s clothing. True marketing automation workflows are versatile and respond to real-time triggers and conditions.
Real marketing automation empowers you to create complex, branching workflows that adapt to your subscribers’ behavior. It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach; it’s dynamic and responsive. So, beware of the werewolf workflows and opt for a marketing automation platform that can change with the phases of your audience’s journey.

In the world of digital marketing, “Halloween” disguises can be entertaining, but when it comes to choosing the right tool for your marketing needs, transparency and genuine capabilities are key. Don’t be lured by email marketing companies wearing the costumes of marketing automation platforms. Seek the authentic features that provide you with the flexibility, adaptability, and real-time engagement necessary to grow your business.

As you navigate the realm of email marketing and automation, be vigilant for the clever disguises and choose a platform that truly embodies the spirit of marketing automation. After all, you don’t want your marketing to be a spooky ghost story; you want it to be a thrilling adventure where your audience’s needs are met and their actions drive your strategy. Contact Leadous for help to make sure you don’t get spooked.

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In the world of marketing automation consulting, it’s often said that comparing different agencies is like trying to compare apples to oranges. While this analogy holds true in many cases, Leadous stands out as the orange in the bunch. We’re not aiming for gimmicks or over-the-top claims; instead, we’ll explore how Leadous differentiates itself from other marketing automation consulting agencies.

Tailored Solutions
One reason Leadous distinguishes itself is our commitment to providing tailored solutions for our clients. Our approach is customized to address the specific needs and goals of each business we work with. We don’t offer one-size-fits-all solutions, recognizing that every organization is distinct and requires a personalized strategy. We meet you were you are at, and take you wherever it is that you want to go.

Proven Expertise
Our 100% certified team of consultants at Leadous brings extensive expertise and experience to the table, setting us apart from the competition. We’ve spent years mastering the intricacies of various marketing automation platforms, allowing us to offer unparalleled insights and guidance. Our track record of successful results speaks volumes about our capabilities.

Ongoing Support
Unlike some consulting agencies that may disengage after the initial implementation, Leadous is dedicated to your long-term success. We offer ongoing support and maintenance to ensure that your marketing automation system evolves with your business. We understand that staying competitive in the digital landscape requires continuous attention and improvements. We partner with the Big 4 players in the space investing in our certifications and training and building deep relationships within their ecosystems.

Zest for Innovation
We keep a close eye on industry trends and updates, ensuring that your strategies remain current and relevant. In a world where digital marketing is constantly evolving, staying ahead of the curve is vital, and Leadous is your partner in this endeavor.

Exceptional Customer Service
A successful consulting relationship goes beyond just delivering a service; it should be a true partnership. Leadous places a strong emphasis on exceptional customer service. Our team is readily available to address your questions, concerns, and ongoing needs, fostering a collaborative and communicative relationship that builds trust and ensures your success, so much so that the CEO refers to it as ‘Client Obsession”.

Leadous, like an orange in a world of apples, offers a distinctive and valuable perspective in the marketing automation consulting industry. We provide tailored solutions, a proven track record backed byy 100% certified expertise, ongoing support, a forward-thinking approach, and exceptional customer service. We’re not here to make extravagant claims; we’re here to deliver results and help your business thrive with marketing automation technology. Orange you glad there’s Leadous!

To learn more about partnering with us on your marketing automation initiatives connect with us today.

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In today’s fast-paced, data-driven marketing landscape, leveraging automation tools is no longer a luxury—it’s a necessity. Marketing automation platforms have revolutionized the way brands engage with their customers, from personalizing content to automating repetitive tasks. While numerous brands have embraced this technology, some stand out for their exceptional use of marketing automation. In this blog, we’ll explore five of these power players and the platforms they use to drive their marketing initiatives.

1. Amazon
Marketing Automation Platform: Amazon Personalize and Adobe Marketo Engage
Amazon, the e-commerce giant, has set the gold standard for personalized customer experiences. They use Amazon Personalize, a machine learning-based marketing automation platform, to curate product recommendations and tailor user experiences. By analyzing a vast amount of customer data, Amazon Personalize helps drive customer engagement and increase sales by providing product recommendations that are highly relevant to individual shoppers.

2. Netflix
Marketing Automation Platform: Apache Kafka and Apache Flink
Netflix’s success isn’t just about its streaming content but also its highly effective personalization engine. Netflix utilizes Apache Kafka for data streaming and Apache Flink for stream processing. This combination allows them to process massive amounts of data in real-time, providing personalized content recommendations and keeping viewers engaged on the platform.

3. Spotify
Marketing Automation Platform: Google Cloud Platform (GCP)
Spotify, the music streaming giant, relies on Google Cloud Platform for its marketing automation needs. GCP enables Spotify to analyze listener data and create personalized playlists and recommendations. This personalized approach keeps users engaged and helps Spotify maintain its status as one of the leading music streaming platforms.

4. Airbnb
Marketing Automation Platform: Salesforce Marketing Cloud
Airbnb, a global hospitality marketplace, leverages Salesforce Marketing Cloud to automate its email marketing campaigns and deliver tailored messages to hosts and guests. This platform helps Airbnb maintain an active and engaged user base by sending automated emails with personalized recommendations and updates, which, in turn, drives bookings and guest satisfaction.

5. HubSpot
Marketing Automation Platform: HubSpot Marketing Hub
HubSpot, known for its inbound marketing expertise, practices what it preaches by using its own HubSpot Marketing Hub. This platform enables HubSpot to automate lead nurturing, segment its audience effectively, and deliver highly personalized content. The result is a seamless user experience and a robust sales and marketing funnel.

These five brands showcase how different marketing automation platforms can be leveraged to foster deeper engagement with their customers. While Amazon and Netflix utilize machine learning and real-time data processing, Spotify and Airbnb rely on cloud-based solutions to tailor their customer experiences. HubSpot, on the other hand, demonstrates the power of using an all-in-one marketing automation platform to drive inbound marketing initiatives.

In an era where data-driven personalization is king, these brands have mastered the art of using marketing automation to create highly engaging and relevant experiences for their customers. Whether you’re an e-commerce giant like Amazon, a streaming service like Netflix, or a hospitality marketplace like Airbnb, marketing automation is the key to success in today’s competitive landscape.

To learn more about how to leverage marketing automation to expand your brand awareness connect with a consultant today.

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In the ever-evolving landscape of marketing, understanding the impact of your efforts is crucial. Attribution and marketing measurement tools have become indispensable for businesses seeking to optimize their marketing strategies. Adobe Marketo Measure, formerly known as Bizible, (hereinafter Marketo Measure) is a trailblazing solution that provides invaluable insights into the effectiveness of marketing campaigns. In this blog, we’ll explore the latest feature updates for Marketo Measure and how they are reshaping the world of marketing attribution.

1. Multi-Touch Attribution: A Deeper Understanding
One of the standout features of Marketo Measure is its multi-touch attribution capabilities. This allows marketers to understand how different touchpoints contribute to conversions and customer journeys. The latest updates have enhanced this feature, offering more sophisticated modeling and analysis. Marketers can now gain a deeper understanding of how various interactions influence the customer’s path to conversion, enabling more precise budget allocation and campaign optimization.

2. Seamless Integration
Marketo Measure integration offers a holistic view of marketing efforts and allows for data to flow seamlessly between platforms, ensuring a more comprehensive understanding of the customer journey. The synergy between Marketo Measure and other Adobe solutions enhances data-driven decision-making and campaign optimization even further, but don’t get it wrong – the original Bizible was built to work with any marketing automation platform, and still does.

3. Advanced Reporting and Visualization
Marketo Measure’s latest feature updates include advanced reporting and visualization tools that make it easier for marketers to analyze data. Customizable dashboards and reporting templates provide a clear snapshot of marketing performance, while data visualization tools simplify the interpretation of complex attribution models. This means marketers can quickly identify what’s working and what needs adjustment.

4. Predictive Analytics
The incorporation of predictive analytics into Marketo Measure empowers marketers to go beyond mere analysis and into anticipation. These predictive features can help identify potential bottlenecks in the customer journey, predict future conversions, and offer insights for future marketing campaigns. This forward-looking approach enables marketers to proactively shape their strategies.

5. Custom Attribution Models
Flexibility is key in marketing attribution. The latest updates to Marketo Measure provide the capability to create custom attribution models. This means that businesses can tailor their attribution models to align with their unique customer journeys and marketing strategies. Whether it’s first-touch, last-touch, linear, or a custom model, this adaptability ensures that businesses can attribute value accurately.

6. Cross-Device and Offline Tracking
The customer journey is no longer confined to a single device or online interactions. Marketo Measure’s latest updates offer cross-device and offline tracking capabilities, allowing marketers to track customer interactions across various devices and offline touchpoints. This level of detail in tracking is invaluable in understanding the full customer journey.

7. Enhanced Customer Journey Mapping
Understanding the customer journey is at the heart of effective marketing. The latest updates to Marketo Measure include enhancements to customer journey mapping, allowing marketers to visualize the path to conversion with greater clarity. This feature enables businesses to identify touchpoints that have the most significant impact and adjust their strategies accordingly.

Marketo Measure is at the forefront of marketing attribution, providing businesses with the tools they need to make data-driven decisions and optimize their marketing strategies. The latest feature updates enhance multi-touch attribution, seamless integration into martech stacks regardless of marketing automation platform, and offer advanced reporting, predictive analytics, and custom attribution models. These enhancements are designed to empower the journey makers to understand their customers better, anticipate their needs, and drive more effective and efficient campaigns. With Marketo Measure, the future of marketing attribution is brighter than ever. Looking to learn more or get help with your Marketo Measure instance connect with one of our experts.

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Marketing automation platforms have revolutionized the way businesses engage with their customers. These tools offer a wide range of capabilities, from email marketing and lead nurturing to data analytics and personalized customer experiences. However, the true power of marketing automation can only be harnessed if users fully adopt and utilize the platform. In this blog post, we’ll explore essential techniques to drive user adoption and make the most of your marketing automation investment.

Comprehensive Training
A robust training program is essential to ensure users understand the platform’s features and functionalities. Offer a mix of online tutorials, webinars, and one-on-one sessions to cater to different learning styles. Additionally, create a comprehensive user guide or knowledge base to serve as a reference point. Continuous training and support can help users become confident in using the platform. For training options review our course menu.

Implement an onboarding sequence to guide new users through the initial setup process. This can include setting up essential features, importing existing data, and creating their first campaigns. A well-structured onboarding process can significantly reduce the learning curve and increase user adoption.

User-Friendly Interface
A user-friendly interface is critical for user adoption. Invest in a platform that offers an intuitive design, with features that are easy to locate and use. Conduct user testing to identify any pain points and address them promptly. Regularly update the interface based on user feedback to enhance the overall user experience. The Hubspot Marketing Hub offers the most user friendly interface.

Marketing automation platforms should be adaptable to the specific needs of your business. Encourage users to customize their dashboards, reports, and campaigns. Personalization allows users to tailor the platform to their workflows, making it more appealing and user-friendly. Oracle Eloqua offers one of the most customizable platforms.

Implement gamification elements to make using the platform more engaging. Create leaderboards, badges, or other incentives to encourage users to complete tasks or achieve specific goals. Gamification can turn the learning process into a fun and competitive experience, motivating users to explore and utilize the platform more effectively. Salesforce interfaces are known for including elements to drive engagement.

Regular Updates and Enhancements
Stay updated with the latest features and enhancements offered by your marketing automation platform. These updates often include new tools and capabilities that can simplify tasks and improve overall user experience. Regularly communicate these updates to your users to keep them informed and excited about the platform’s potential.

User Feedback Loop
Maintain an open feedback loop with your users. Create a dedicated channel for users to provide suggestions and report issues. Actively listen to their feedback and make improvements based on their input. This not only helps in resolving any problems but also fosters a sense of ownership and engagement among users.

Data-Driven Decision Making
Encourage users to utilize the data analytics and reporting capabilities of the platform. Show them how data can provide valuable insights and drive better decision-making. Offer training and resources on how to interpret and leverage the data effectively to achieve marketing goals. Adobe Marketo Measure, formerly Bizible, links to any marketing automation platform and helps give visibility to attribution essentially driving the data driven decisions enterprises strive to make.

Support and Community
Provide responsive customer support for users who encounter difficulties or have questions. Additionally, consider establishing a user community or forum where users can share experiences, tips, and best practices. A supportive community can be an invaluable resource for users seeking guidance and solutions. The Marketing Nation, Adobe Marketo Engage’s user community is one of the strongest in the market; groups meet locally, annually at Summit, and are active on the online community website.

Driving user adoption of marketing automation platforms is a continuous process. By focusing on comprehensive training, user-friendly design, customization, gamification, regular updates, user feedback, data-driven decision-making, and a strong support system, you can create an environment where users are not only comfortable with the platform but excited to leverage its capabilities. Successful user adoption will ultimately result in improved marketing efficiency, better customer engagement, and a significant return on your marketing automation investment.

Questions about adoption, please reach out to one of our experts who will be glad to discuss your automation initiative and provide best practices to help you ensure user adoption.

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In many ways, robots are one of the foundations of modern luxury and comfort. From heavy industrial manufacturing to something as commonplace as vacuuming our homes, robots have been incorporated into nearly every facet of our lives. Despite their general utility, robots do pose a particular problem for email marketers. Bot traffic clogs up our databases and can interfere with the expected actions of our own attempts at harnessing the power of automation using the Adobe Marketo Engage platform.

Automated Interference

B2B marketing frequently runs into a problem where email service providers “test” links in emails as part of their efforts to categorize spam. Out of the box, Marketo lacks the ability to automatically tell the difference between an ESP testing links and a human click. Without the ability to properly discern actual, actionable clicks, your records can end up improperly triggering the actions you have spent so long planning and building in your Marketo Engage instance. 

One of the most obvious impacts occurs in the realm of scoring. Since scoring is one of the most impactful connections between Marketing and Sales, keeping everyone’s trust in the system is paramount. The false positives from the spam testing performed by email service providers could push more records into a MQL status which could in turn increase the amount of records Sales team members reject as not actually qualified. Similarly, email alerts and interesting moments generated by click throughs could be negatively impacted by common bot behavior.

Automated Protection

Marketo Engage has an option to enable bot activity filtering. However, this option is not activated by default. As a Marketo administrator, it falls on you to toggle this useful feature on. If you find yourself inheriting an old instance, we would always advise you to take a look to see if the feature is enabled, and immediately turn it on if it is not. 

Adobe recently released an update to the bot activity filter. Marketo Engage now allows two different kinds of filtering behaviors. You can either use the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s (IAB) bot list or use proximity matching. Proximity matching identifies when two activities, such as two clicked links, are taken in under two seconds and considers that proof of bot activity. We recommend turning on IAB filtering in nearly all cases. Proximity matching is more aggressive in its filtering. Therefore, we typically recommend only activating proximity matching if bot activity continues to be a problem after you enable filtering by the IAB list. 

When using the IAB list, you are able to completely filter any bot activity identified by the list from being recorded by Marketo at all, but be prepared to see possible declines in your open and click rates in your reporting. Either method allows you to have Marketo log the noted bot activity in lead records. If you keep the activity logged, you can use smart filters and their constraints to filter out the bot activity from your intended audience. 

Human Intelligence Beyond the Automation

Leadous has years of experience dealing with bot activity and its deleterious impact on the Marketo Engage Platform. We would be happy to explain to you in greater detail why you should care about and how you can mitigate the problems that bot activity can introduce. While we are certainly happy that Adobe now includes native support for identifying bot activity, we have actually been helping our clients deal with it for longer than that feature has been available. If you find yourself in a place where the automated filtering still does not bring your bot activity in line, you can trust Leadous to provide you with other options and solutions.

Reach out to see what Leadous and our team can do for you.



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You’re Playing the Game, It’s Halftime

What do your analysts tell you to reset your strategy to get you to the W?

Hopefully your team is giving you feedback and providing insights by data – numbers, percentages, and ranges. Just like the end of a game, the end of the year is approaching, probably faster than you think it is. How has your team measured up against the benchmarks it set for itself? Were your plans realistic? Are you on track to deliver? If you have not started asking yourself these questions yet, know that the stakeholders behind you have. You can get ahead of the end-of-year crunch by setting up a reporting framework and get insights from your data. This framework could also allow you to assess what, if any, corrective actions you need to take as we close in on the last quarter of the year, whether that is focusing man hours on a specific area or maybe just adjusting everyone’s expectations.

The Goal Line

While every deal and sale are unique, when you look at your company in aggregate, you can put together an “average” journey for your prospects and customers. What does the average new sale net in revenue? How long does it take to go from unknown to a sale? How likely is an unknown prospect to end up as a customer? Do you know what these statistics are for your business? Once you do, you can start reverse engineering how far you are from your revenue goal.

Without a proper reporting framework across the entire sales funnel, you are left trusting your intuition. However, modern Martech stacks include platforms like Adobe’s Marketo Engage include robust reporting tools. If you properly utilize these tools, the typical nebulousness of marketing begins to take shape into more concrete figures. You can then take those figures and make decisions based on data rather than a gut feeling. 

Let’s take a look at a very basic theoretical case. Back in January, your company set a goal of $500k in net new revenue. You know any given prospect has about a 25% chance to turn into a closed-won opportunity (and a tip of the hat to your team for their high numbers). You also know that your average sale brings in $1,000. Working backwards, it takes marketing to four prospects to bring in every $1,000. Now that we are entering the last quarter of the year, you know you need another $150k to meet the yearly goal. So, unless you can also change your averages as the year closes, you know you need to be marketing to roughly 600k prospects to meet your revenue goals.

Calling the Right Play

When you know what worked and when it worked, you can leverage that knowledge in forming your game plan, choosing which moves to make, and when to make those moves. However, it takes preparation to make sure every campaign can be measured in such a manner. Adobe’s Marketo Engage has a vast array of features that can be utilized to get you this kind of data. Obviously metrics like clicks and opens are available, but a well developed reporting framework goes beyond that to include even more data points like program statuses.

As you dive into reporting, it can do more than just show what you have done. It will start to guide what you choose to do. Say, theoretically, as you evaluate your reports, you come to find that your webinar series is a short circuit in the sales process. You can prove that you always gain new prospects from it, and that these prospects actually have closed sales at double your average. Once you see this pattern, you can start leveraging your webinars at crucial times by perhaps  scheduling a webinar event for a sales push.

Working with Your Team

A proper reporting framework breaks everything down to a very granular level. You can report on marketing programs in aggregate, by program type, by individual program, down to individual email. Marketing, as a department, has to work with other departments and under executives. Communication with those other groups becomes much more effective when you can use the common language of math and statistics, that in many cases also connect the data points through integrations. Facts carry more weight when they are backed up with data.

Collect. Analyze. Report. Connect with an expert today!

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Even under ideal circumstances, navigating unfamiliar terrain is a challenge. Depending on just how far out of your element you are, you can end up in a situation where even basic observations can become guesses. Is that a harmless patch of vines or is it a bunch of poison ivy? If you are wrong, you could be dealing with the uncomfortable consequences for weeks. Even someone generally knowledgeable about nature can still make mistakes if they venture into areas they have never been. To avoid making mistakes, you can hire a local guide that will make sure you avoid any rash decisions. The same is true of your company and its business decisions. Consider Leadous and its team of Marketo Certified Experts to be your local guide for your Marketo Engage platform.

Getting the Lay of the Land

Perhaps internal staffing changes mean your in-house Marketo expert left without anyone to truly take over in their absence. Whatever the circumstances, you might find yourself in charge of a Marketo instance and not know everything you should about it. An inherited Marketo instance can have a lot of moving pieces interacting with each other. Before you get overwhelmed, you can have the Leadous team perform an in-depth review of your instance. 

Our review starts from the ground up, beginning with a check of your technical setup. Did you get Marketo’s Munchkin tracking code installed on your company’s website? How about using branded domains to send your emails and host your landing pages? These might seem like very basic questions, but we make no assumptions during our discovery. We want to make sure that the foundations are sturdy for whatever advanced lead gen initiatives you have planned.

We will go on to more generally familiarize ourselves with the instance looking through the programs and campaigns in your instance. We also check in on the general state of the records in your database. We work with Marketo customers across all industries, both B2B and B2C, so we can help provide industry-specific best practices suited to your particular use case.

Producing a Detailed Map

If you want to figure out where you are and where you want to be, often the first step is to get a map. As we gather our information, we start mapping the path for your instance. Are your folders and programs named and structured consistently? Does that consistency conform to typical best practices? Do you have a center of excellence and what does it look like? What do your data hygiene practices look like? We have a standard set of areas we know are important to chart, and we will make sure to check all of them for you. Of course, if you have any specific areas of interest, you can let us know, and we will add that as a focus during our discovery.

As we begin to clearly see everything, we can start to make some recommendations about what would make your instance better. For instance, think of your folder structure and naming conventions as the trails on your map. If you are trying to hike on overgrown, unmarked trails, you can easily get lost. However, if the trails are properly maintained and have legible signage, getting around the area becomes much easier. Establishing and sticking to a standardized folder structure and naming conventions is how you maintain those trails in Marketo.

Looking Toward the Unknown

Maybe you are looking for more than just discovery. You know you need an expert’s help because you want to venture out into entirely new territory. Once we become familiar with your instance, we can recommend new initiatives that companies in your position typically implement to further leverage the power of the Marketo Engage engine. Whether you have a particular goal in mind or a more general drive to continue building out your marketing automation, we lay out a plan that gets you ready to expand your operations.

Marketo is an incredibly versatile and powerful tool. It is very capable of driving a global, omni-channel marketing strategy that gives you very granular information about your prospects’ journeys through your revenue cycle. However, that endgame relies on smaller initiatives and campaigns that build on each other and themselves. Leadous has developed a next phase marketing automation progression model audit with benchmarks that show you how to build from simple email blasts to a top of the line, best in class Marketo instance.

The audit  goes a long way toward understanding where your company fits on that model. It also identifies the steps you need to take to reach the next phases. As your company advances through the phases, they will find increased personalization for their targeted audiences, more robust reporting, and generally better returns on their marketing budgets.

Leadous Brings Expert Support

Whether you find yourself completely overwhelmed or just want an independent opinion about your Marketo instance, Leadous and its team of experts will meet you where you are. Whether that is extra man hours, access to our deep pool of specialized knowledge, or to get some training for your staff, we can help your company fill any of its present gaps. Reach out to have one of our experts talk to you about an instance review and see how you can better leverage your Marketo instance to support your marketing strategy. 

Get in touch with an expert today to review your current setup!

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The approach to staffing marketing resources has always toggled back and forth between hire or contract.  Budgets and resource requirements have steadily drove the decisions of which, in 2022 that is no longer the case. With the use of marketing technology exploding and the connection between creative and technically savvy intertwines it is often hard to find the right generalist that can provide a depth of technical expertise to help initiatives accelerate. Many times those generalists teach themselves how to use platforms and end up getting things to move forward, but by necessity instead of best practice, leaving large messes for the next to clean up as soon as they can market themselves with that specific technology experience and move on.

Although the marketing technologies have done tremendous jobs at building out certification and training programs, many companies and individuals are not willing to make the investment to ensure the technology can be fully utilized and don’t understand how to evolve from a foundational approach to one that is more advanced.

We have watched the market for automation platforms over the past 8 plus years, and this is what we know.  First, it is hard to have experience in one platform and move to another without a ramp period – the platforms are not the same no matter what they tell you. Second, the companies that believe in a cross discipline approach of having marketing and technology on the same team excel. And lastly, there is no comparison to the speed of trying to troubleshoot and figure things out on your own versus seeking the advance of an expert.

So how do you accomplish this? Staff for the generalist that can help push the strategy forward, the one who understands your industry and how to connect the dots between data, content, messaging, and technology.  Next if headcount is open, staff for the email campaign and social execution resources due to sheer volume and associated cost.  Then augment for the detailed expertise. The resource you need to do the one time things and/or provide a flux of help when needed and an expert that can align with your team so if resources move on your progress won’t take a hit.

Managed services options allow clients to control the amount of expert support they need to augment their teams and drive initiatives to success.  These services include everything from troubleshooting support for execution teams, to feature enablement, to custom integrations, instance administration, and just sheer extra hands when the team can be overloaded. Usually, organizations that offer these types of staff augmentation resources offer flexible plans for hours and volume pricing to make the investment worth it, letting organizations throttle up or down based on the support needed at any given time. 

The biggest challenge in this approach is knowing  how to partner with an organization that is top notch. This list is the top 5 must haves:

  1. They are an official part of the ecosystem of the technology provider, whereby they receive advanced training and insider updates to keep their joint clients happy.
  2. They are certified.  This is often overlooked by someone who has ‘experience’ but you can’t trade experience for the breadth of best practice training that a certified consultant has experienced.  
  3. They have a long term vision or methodology of how they help their clients evolve and have customer references to back it up.
  4. They are a cultural match and easily fit like a puzzle piece with the other resources you have.  Almost to the point you feel like they are on your team and not a partner resource.
  5. They have a track record of flexibility so they can morph to what is needed at any given time and have a history of going above and beyond.

At Leadous, we refer to our managed services offering as Campaign MentorTM. These services offer support in any area that touches the automation platform. We are a 8+ year 100% certified Adobe Platinum partner for Marketo Engage and leverage the Marketing Automation Progression ModelTM to help our clients realize the value of automation.  

To learn more about augmenting your staff with the dedicated expert support of Campaign MentorTM services or to learn more about the Marketing Automation Progression ModelTM feel free to download our informational one pagers or connect with us

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Even if you aren’t one yourself, everyone is familiar with the work of the farmer. You plant your seeds. You tend your crop. You reap your harvest. It takes a lot of effort, patience, and attention to details. However, the work is critical to the foundation of everything else. Without a steady supply of food, this whole enterprise we call society would evaporate pretty quickly. The same can be said for supplying a company with leads and sales. Those leads are your seeds, you tend them with your marketing initiatives, and your sales team comes in to harvest those closed opportunities.

Planting the Seeds

You have new contacts. It is time to plant some new seeds. If those seeds are going to successfully grow, they will need proper attention. You have to make sure that the dirt they grow in is tilled and clear of weeds. In terms of a Marketo Engage instance, that means having operational programs to manage your scoring, status tracking, and data hygiene. Then those seeds will need sunlight and nutrition. This will come from your marketing campaigns.

Working the land is a never ending task for the farmer, and so is maintaining the operational programs that sustain a healthy Marketo instance. The Sales and Marketing Teams should be constantly collaborating with each other to identify the actions with the highest predictive value for an eventual sale. Scoring programs need to be developed and kept up to date. Other programs will move records through your sales lifecycle based on the criteria your company determines. This kind of constant maintenance leads to healthy soil for your seeds, and healthy soil means a better chance for a bountiful harvest.

Those seeds need their own food, water, and sunlight to grow. This sustenance is provided by your marketing initiatives. From simple email sends to webinars to advanced nurture programs and everything in between, Marketo Engage can automate your processes and help you track your audience’s actions. You can set your own controls to make sure you supply the right combination of nutrients and avoid overexposure. 

And They Sprout!

Your Marketo programs will make sure your crops stay watered and fertilized. Every time one of the records interacts with your campaigns, it stores just a little more energy and grows a little more. Maybe it was your monthly webinar series, or maybe it was your presentation at a tradeshow. All of these pieces of marketing start to add up, and the seed is now sprouting toward the heavens.

Eventually a seed has grown enough that you consider it ready to pass along to your Sales team. This is one of the primary purposes of your scoring program, to determine when a record meets this qualification. Upon meeting this threshold, the record becomes what is known as a MQL (Marketing Qualified Lead). Through their ongoing collaboration, Marketing and Sales have agreed that a record with that score will typically be ready for the sales process to start.

The Sales Team will then do their own assessment of the lead. If they like what they see, the Sales Team will accept the MQL turning the record into a SAL (Sales Accepted Lead) as it continues through the sales process. If the Sales Team thinks the record is not quite ready, they can simply recycle the lead back into the general marketing initiatives.

Continuing to Care for Your Leads

In real life, you tend to make your harvests all at once. However, a Marketo instance using a well maintained lifecycle model will utilize in its design a series of campaigns listening for triggers to recycle those records rejected for whatever reason by the Sales Team. So instead of having to harvest and discard a record that did not bear fruit, you can instead continue to nurture it. As the record once again engages with your content, it will start accumulating points again leading it back to its status as a MQL.

This kind of per record analysis and sorting allows you to take as long as you need for each contact to be at its perfect opportunity to harvest. You can keep records in your automation flows with minimal staff effort. In fact, advanced marketing strategies can be developed to specifically target those records that have been recycled by Sales, hopefully bringing them back to Sales with a higher chance of success. This automated process keeps your salespeople free to focus on the most fruitful records.

SALs Need Love Too

Even if a record is a SAL and being specifically targeted, it remains rooted in the soil of your Marketo instance. Using the proper logic, you can use Marketo to automate announcements, reminders, or other notices to your SALs. These automated processes again can free up your salespeople to do what they do best, sell, instead of having to reach out personally in every instance.

As Sales continues to work with the record, they could determine that they were too overeager in their assessment, and the record should not have become a SAL. They can still choose to recycle a record to a previous status in the life cycle. Or, if they continue to like what they see, they can decide the contact is ready to become a SQL (Sales Qualified Lead). Usually, a SQL becomes associated with a sales opportunity which means those records are ready for harvest.

Harvest Season

The Sales Team actively works with their sales opportunities, answering questions and keeping the contact engaged. Marketo can still be leveraged at this point in the life cycle with the ongoing collaboration between Marketing and Sales determining its role at this late stage.

Unfortunately, nature can still ruin a harvest through no fault of the farmer. Likewise, even the most seemingly likely opportunities can fall apart through no direct fault of Marketing or Sales. You have nourished and guarded your crops, but a small twist of fate can ruin your harvest. You can only fight so hard against a drought. If that turns out to be the case, and the opportunity was lost, the Sales Team can make the decision to recycle the record to a previous status or move on to other contacts.

Sure not every individual seed will grow into a useful piece of produce, but taken in aggregate, your well tended crop will yield a bountiful harvest of closed won opportunities. What started as a load of stored potential inside your tiny seeds has grown into delectable fruits and vegetables that your company sustains itself on. From their humble beginnings as anonymous seeds in the dirt, your records were nourished and cared for by well designed marketing initiatives until the Sales Team was able to come and pick all the valuable yields.

Reach out to Leadous today to see how we can help you make sure you produce a bountiful cornucopia from your fields.

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Webinars have long been a very productive marketing tool. Their use in overall marketing plans has only grown over time as video conferencing technology continues to advance.  The circumstances created by the Covid-19 pandemic only increased their prevalence and effectiveness. The companies powering the various webinar products allow you to sort through attendance and invite data. Once this data is brought into the Marketo Engage platform, it can be leveraged to trigger an advanced set of automation tools that were built to save you and your staff time and missed opportunities, let us explain.

Webinar Acceptance

The internet changes at a rapid pace. Whereas it was the stuff of science fiction films in the 80’s, video conferencing has since become a de facto part of everyday life for virtually everyone with a smartphone. Since most people are now familiar with video interactions over the internet, even putting the pandemic as an accelerating issue aside, it makes perfect sense that taking conferences and presentations online has become a popular, cost-effective way to market products and services.

As more and more companies incorporate the practice into their business plans, webinars have become and will continue to be central in the execution of marketing strategies. They are a great way to provide a personal, human touch but still allow that interaction to scale across multiple users. Webinars can also increase your credibility as an authority. It can really demonstrate your understanding of the subject matter when you can participate in conversational dialogue on the topic. You can also bolster your credibility by inviting other experts into your conversations potentially leveraging any audience those experts have as well.

Marketing is often judged on its ROI. Webinars usually offer a great ROI because they can contribute to so many tasks early in a sales lifecycle. Webinars are about creating awareness in your audience and building engagement simultaneously. Webinar formats that include Q&A sessions are literally combining both aspects in real time. They also offer your team a chance to showcase particular people and their personality. You can allow them to lay the foundation of a relationship with many potential customers at once by putting a face, voice, and personality to otherwise written communication.

Making Sense of the Data

As you host your webinars, you will also be producing a significant amount of data around who was invited, who RSVP’d, and who actually attended, and even who asked qualifying questions during the webinar. Some of this data will be useful in an after the fact analysis. Some of it can be leveraged during pre webinar communication to hopefully nudge the overall success of the program upward. In any case, sorting through all of this data in any sort of manual fashion is unwieldy and prone to error. However, all of the information can be managed by the Marketo Engage platform which will remove human error in processing all the data points.

Using your own customized logical flows, you can manage an entire webinar campaign from the initial invites to scoring the attendance of each member of the campaign. Outside of managing the webinar program itself, Marketo also allows you to merge the individual webinar into larger strategies your organization may be pursuing. For instance, as previously mentioned, your audience’s actions can be incorporated into your scoring strategy, or the very conception of your webinar could be rooted in an ABM strategy, essentially accelerating conversion and visibility of leads through the funnel.

As a leader in marketing automation, Marketo Engage offers integrations with the major webinar providers. These direct integrations for platforms such as Webex, GoToWebinar, and On24 make managing webinar events even easier by automatically sharing information like attendance status. However, even if you are using a smaller webinar platform without a pre-built integration, all it takes to get the pertinent data into Marketo is the invention and adoption of procedures around exporting lists from your provider and importing them into your Marketo instance. You could even look into your own custom API integration if you don’t have the resources for the more manual transfer. 

Enter Leadous

Since we want to make sure we can always provide our clients with the best Marketo experience possible, we are of course well versed in running webinar campaigns using the platform. If you are looking for the technical knowhow to put together a best practice webinar program, our team can provide you with a fully tested build. If you need help targeting your audience, our team can help you strategize. We stay on top of trends and can help guide your company when questions come up such as, “What day of the week should we host this event?” or “How far out should we start promoting our webinar?”

Whatever your individual needs or limitations, Leadous’ experts can help bridge the gap between where you are and where you need to be. Get in touch with our team to find out what Leadous can bring to your webinar strategy.

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Science fiction has long promised us a future where we are assisted in our day-to-day lives by robotic assistants. While we haven’t progressed to our own personal robo-butlers quite yet, we have started to see technologies like chatbots begin to rise to prominence. Adobe has now released a Marketo Engage-integrated Dynamic Chat solution that your company can leverage to provide targeted, personalized engagement for your audience.

Design Your Virtual Assistant

Dynamic Chat allows you to build multiple dialogues that will define how you want to approach your audience. Each dialogue will have three components to its design that control its behavior. The first two components are logistical in nature. First, you will need to define where you want the chat to appear. In other words, which web page(s) should your bot use to engage your customers? Next, you need to define who you want to engage. The dialogue you present to an unknown visitor could be designed entirely differently from the one you give to someone you know is a member of the C-suite at a company you are specifically targeting.

The third, and most involved, aspect will be designing the actual prompts, content, and logical paths you want the conversation to use. Each prompt can lead to one or multiple paths as your bot assists your visitor. Obviously, as a savvy marketer, you have a desired outcome in mind that you are driving your audience toward. For your reporting and analytics, you can mark steps in the conversation as goal steps. Think of a completed goal step kind of like a successful status in a Marketo program. This will help you track how successfully each dialogue is performing.

The visual aesthetics of your chatbot are yours to design. You have control over the coloring, font, and even the avatar you show. Take the time to make sure your bot follows your brand guidelines. Before you send your chatbot out on to the world wide web, you will need to give it a name. Some brands choose to be transparent, naming their chabot something that clearly indicates you are dealing with a machine. Other brands choose to use a human name. Find what works best for your brand. Dynamic Chat’s UI allows easy control when implementing these decisions.  

Dynamic Chat also allows integrations with your sales team’s calendars in Outlook or Google. Once the setup is complete, you can offer your website visitors the option to schedule a meeting directly from the chat window without anyone on your payroll taking the time to set it up. In case your sales team is worried about being flooded with unqualified leads, you can reassure them that you can set up the dialogue to only present the option to those records that meet certain qualifications.  

Take Advantage of the Marketo Connection

Make sure to take advantage of the Dynamic Chat solution’s integration with the Marketo Engage platform. The conversations you design can fully leverage Marketo’s token functionality. This will grant you the ability to personalize your messages. We all know personalized marketing campaigns perform better than marketing to a generic audience.

Dynamic Chat will also open up a new suite of smart list filter/trigger options that you can use. With access to this new logic, you can seamlessly incorporate chatbot interactions into your overall Marketo plans. This allows you to perform actions like basing a triggered email upon reaching a dialogue goal, targeting all the people who interacted with the chatbot, and scoring the action of scheduling an appointment with one of your representatives. Most organizations will start their deployment of the chatbot small with some specific use cases. However, if you take the time to plan out what the projects need, the chatbot can be fully incorporated into advanced ABM strategies and play an important role in your multi-touch attribution model. 

The Future is Now

We are likely just on the cusp of what automated assistants like chatbots will be able to offer to you, your organization, and your customers. Industries such as retail, healthcare, and banking are all already adopting chatbots meaning consumers’ familiarity and comfort with them is likely only to increase. Younger generations that have grown up on the internet already expect instant service 24 hours a day. Chatbots help fulfill this need.

Here at Leadous, we pride ourselves on staying at the forefront of delivering the best Marketo experience possible. The Dynamic Chat solution will be available to all new Marketo Engage customers, and Adobe is currently in the process of rolling the feature out to existing accounts. No matter your history with Marketo, we can help you incorporate this new engagement stream into your instance and marketing strategy. Let us guide you through your launch and then help you develop advanced campaigns that help improve your customer experience and ROI.

Reach out to a Leadous expert today to discuss Dynamic Chat in more detail.

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Unicorns are considered mythical creatures, the flying horse with the horn, a rainbow mane, this rare creature is so unique one has never been captured and has only been seen in fairytales and as a design on men’s dress socks.  Could you imagine having a unicorn, this thing so unique and special there is just one?  You might be saying ‘a unicorn’, I would never want one.  When in all practicality you probably do want one, just not in the form of a flying horse with a horn.

A Marketing Unicorn

As marketing has moved more from creative to technical and also now spans into sales, the job description has turned into a laundry list of attributes that are so difficult to find – making these marketers ‘unicorns’ – mythical creatures that cannot be captured.  So you want someone with two different automation platforms because you are migrating from one to another, CRM experience, know design products, can write a press release, and can align efforts to sales goals to help the team win?  That is actually about six people and would cost a company upwards of $750,000 all in with benefits.  But, alas, instead we look for the unicorn. 

Companies spend months combing through the interwebs trying to find these specialized resources.  Meanwhile, marketing is losing traction to hit their lead gen goals and time is wasting away. The fact of the matter is they do not exist.  At least in the form that is being sought after.

How to Find a Unicorn

The most specialized skill sets require support from an organization that is connected to the industry and understands the requirements.  If you are migrating – do you really need someone with both automation platforms or the one you are moving forward with? Could you use a third party to provide that level of expertise for 30 days and then be done?  Your CRM – do they need to know how to run the CRM or be able to simply add a field? Would an online training course get them the skills set they need? Do any other resources on any other teams share any of the responsibilities?

This type of questioning can help you quickly target what type of unicorn you are really looking for.  Three simple steps to get you ready for the hunt:

  1. Decide on the key attributes, must-haves, of the candidate.  Note ‘culture fit’ should be on that list. You should also consider other characteristics that would ensure they can get up to speed quickly.
  2. Decide on key long-term priorities.  The short-term ones you should outsource. From the scenario above, they need to know your old automation platform – but only for a minute, let that requirement go.  Is the skillset general enough that a training course could get them enough knowledge?
  3. Take those lists along with your job description to experts in the field. You wouldn’t take a fishing guide turkey hunting? So why would you go hunting for a unicorn without a guide?

Expect to hire someone in 60-90 days. If they come sooner, great.  But plan for a longer-term strategy to find the right person. In the meantime, don’t be afraid to fill in the gaps.  At Leadous we find ourselves helping with the recruiting from our industry connections, at the same time, filling gaps with our consultants to help clients stay on track. It’s not a bad idea to have a guide, a trusted partner who knows the path that can lead you on your hunt and knows how to support you along the way.

You’ve Caught a Unicorn

It’s not impossible to find the perfect candidate, so long as your expectations are aligned, you can get close. By close, it may not have the horn or the rainbow tail, but you get one of them. Your work however isn’t done there.  Unicorns, as one would imagine, require special handling, so make sure you have a development plan in place and are willing to pay to keep the unicorn healthy. Because just when you think you’ve captured one. They will escape.  And you’ll be on the hunt to capture another one. 

So how do you find a unicorn, you create one with the help of Leadous. Talk to an expert today! 

Happy hunting.

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Originally published on Chili Piper

Let’s face it: if you’re not converting in-person or online visitors into customers, you won’t be in business for long. Sales drive revenue, which powers everything you do.

Lead conversion is the ultimate goal of your marketing. To be successful, your lead generation campaigns and marketing efforts must convert leads into business opportunities and sales.

Lead conversion is a significant challenge for many marketing professionals. This issue is made worse because many business owners and marketers don’t know their lead conversion rate, so they don’t know how well or poorly they are converting.

It’s important to understand lead conversion and how to measure it. You can then develop strategies to improve your lead conversion rates and get more value from your lead generation activities.

What is Lead Conversion?

Lead conversion is the point at which a visitor performs an action that turns them into a lead. Anytime a prospect transitions from one stage to another in the lead generation process can also be considered as lead conversion (e.g., a lead converting into a paying customer).

Lead conversion involves using a combination of strategies to convert visitors into leads. It can involve a different set of strategies to convert qualified leads into customers.

Leads follow several steps on the way to becoming customers. This is not what we do at Chili Piper, but the traditional conversion process involves nurturing:

  • Visitors to become leads
  • Leads to become marketing qualified leads (MQLs)
  • MQLs to become sales-qualified leads (SQLs)
  • SQLs to become customers

At each step, you must create opportunities for the lead to take some action to move to the next step. Every business follows a different process, but the ultimate goal of lead conversion is the same: to convert leads into customers.

Lead Conversion Metrics

Lead conversion metrics help you to objectively measure the success of the marketing and sales teams to generate leads, convert them into customers, and do it efficiently. Two of the most common metrics are lead conversion rate and lead-to-sale conversion rate.

Lead Conversion Rate

The lead conversion rate is the ratio of the number of leads to the total number of visitors. It measures the effectiveness of your ability to convert visitors to your website into leads.

To find the lead conversion rate, you must calculate the ratio of leads within a period against the total number of visitors in that period. Use the following formula:

Lead conversion rate = (Number of leads / Total number of visitors) x 100%

You take the number of leads divided by the total number of website visitors and then multiply it by 100%.

Example: A company generates 200 visitors to its landing page. Of those 200 visitors, 15 fill out the lead capture form and become a lead. The lead conversion rate is: (15 / 200) x 100% = 7.5%

Lead-to-Sale Conversion Rate

The lead-to-sale conversion rate measures your company’s effectiveness in converting a lead into a customer. This metric focuses on how many leads turn into sales and drive revenue.

To find the lead-to-sale conversion rate, you must calculate the ratio of the number of converted leads to total lead volume. Use the following formula:

Lead-to-sale conversion rate = (Converted leads / Total lead volume) x 100%

You take the number of converted leads divided by the total lead volume and then multiply it by 100%.

Example: A company generates 500 total leads through its lead capture forms. Fifteen of those leads convert into customers. The lead-to-sale conversion rate is:
(15 / 500) x 100% = 3%

Relationship Between Rates

There is a direct relationship between lead conversion rate and lead-to-sale conversion rate. The quality of the leads will affect the conversion rate.

So, if you convert a lower ratio of visitors into leads, but the leads are properly qualified, then your lead-to-sale conversion rate will be higher. Therefore, rather than focusing on the number of leads, you should focus on the number of qualified leads.

For example, one way to improve your lead-to-sale conversion rate is to use Chili Piper’s Concierge. You can double the number of inbound leads by instantly qualifying, routing, and booking meetings with sales reps.

Other Lead Conversion Metrics

You can use other metrics to measure the effectiveness of your lead conversion activities. Use the following lead conversion metrics to dig deeper into your lead conversion rates.

Lead to Opportunity Conversion Rate

Lead to opportunity conversion rate is how many of your leads convert to opportunities, shown as a percentage. It’s a really important metric you should be constantly optimizing.

Cost per conversion

Cost per conversion is how much it costs to acquire a customer. To calculate cost per conversion, you divide the total advertising and marketing cost by the number of conversions.

Conversion ROI

Conversion ROI is the return on investment per conversion. To calculate conversion ROI, you subtract the cost from the lead value and divide that by cost.

Lead Value

Lead value is the value of the leads to the success of your business. To calculate lead value, you take the total sales value and divide it by the total number of leads.

Time to Conversion

Time to conversion is how long it takes a visitor to become a lead. To calculate time to conversion, you take the total time spent by website visitors and divide it by the total number of leads.

How to Increase Lead Conversion

According to Unbounce, the median conversion rate for landing pages for businesses involved in the SaaS industry is 3%, with most pages ranging from 2% to 12%.

The top performers have a conversion rate benchmark of up to 25%.

The form conversion rate for businesses involved in SaaS is 2.4%. Compare this to the click conversion rate, which is 10.1%.

Consider the following tips and strategies for improving your lead conversion and lead-to-sale conversion rates. These lead conversion strategies will help to turn more visitors into leads and turn more qualified leads into customers.

1. Optimize Your Lead Capture

Before you can convert a lead into a customer, a visitor must become a lead. That means qualifying the lead and capturing their information.

The key to lead capture—and to improving lead conversion—is to capture the right information. Beyond their name and email address, you’ll want to consider what you need to know (and how much you should ask for) to properly qualify a visitor before they become a lead.

There are many ways to capture visitors’ information for the purposes of qualification and eventual lead conversion. Some methods include:

Once you’ve selected a method for capturing leads, you should then focus on optimizing that method to convert more visitors into leads. Optimization should include lead qualification, which will improve the quality of the leads you capture and increase your lead-to-sale conversion rate.

Some strategies for optimizing lead capture can include:

  • Customizing the lead capture method for specific campaigns
  • Ensuring the lead capture method maintains your marketing promise
  • Tailoring the call to action (CTA) to the message and method
  • Including a valuable offer that matters to visitors

2. Improve Lead Qualification

Quantity is not better than quality, especially when it comes to dealing with leads. Lead-to-sale conversion improves when you have better quality leads.

Spend more time upfront to qualify leads before spending time to convert them. This requires getting sales and marketing on the same page for what’s required to qualify leads.

Set a clear framework for the sales funnel and the buyer’s journey. Answer the following questions:

  • How do you differentiate between MQLs and SQLs?
  • What is required for an SAL (sales-accepted lead) to become an SQL?
  • What actions and criteria indicate that a lead is sales-ready (i.e., showing sufficient interest and intent to buy)?
  • Who is responsible for verifying the quality of the leads?

Being able to instantly qualify leads from your lead capture form will result in more qualified held meetings (QHMs). This also means less time spent on leads that are less likely to convert into customers and better lead-to-sale conversion rates.

For example, you can install Chili Piper’s Concierge on your lead capture form to instantly qualify leads.

3. Nurture Your Leads

Once a visitor becomes a lead, it takes some work to convert them into customers. That involves nurturing the lead along the path you want them to follow.

Lead nurturing is an effective way to convert qualified leads into customers. It involves segmenting the leads into groups and using targeted content to market to leads within those groups to engage and lead them toward a decision to purchase.

Once you’ve captured the lead through your landing page, lead capture form, or other methods, the nurturing process begins. It involves:

  • Following up with relevant messaging
  • Grouping the lead according to their interest and behavior
  • Using triggers to send email marketing messages based on specific actions and responses
  • Forwarding the leads to sales when they’re ready to buy

4. Increase Speed to Lead

Did you know that a lead is 21x more likely to convert if you call within five minutes than if you called after half an hour?

Speed to lead is an effective strategy for converting leads into customers. The faster you can make contact with a lead, the more likely the lead is to convert.

One way to reduce the time to connect with a lead is to instantly qualify them through your web form. You can add an appointment scheduling app that enables leads to book a time to speak with a sales rep.

For example, adding Concierge to a lead capture form enables the lead to immediately arrange a telephone call or make an appointment with a sales rep. This reduces the speed to lead to its minimum, as the lead will be reaching out as soon as they are ready to meet.

The Bottom Line

It’s important to know your lead conversion and lead-to-sale conversion rates so you can measure the effectiveness of your lead management process. You can then apply lead conversion strategies to improve your results, turning more visitors into customers in the process.

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Let’s talk about hygiene. We all know there are some things we do have to do in the background to keep up with our own. When you neglect your hygiene, it might not always be immediately apparent, but inevitably, something unpleasant will make itself known. This is true for your personal habits, and it’s true for your Marketo database.

What are the consequences of poor database hygiene? There are a few common ones discussed below. None of them are positive. Any marketing automation strategy developed on top of a poorly maintained set of records is going to be flawed in its execution over time. 

Deliverability. Poor deliverability is probably the most consequential over the long term. Keeping a clean database reduces the chances of sending email out that reduces your deliverability credibility. If your credibility is poor, you are more likely to be classified as spam. Being spam is obviously going to reduce your effectiveness as an email marketing machine. Recovering credibility after sustained losses is not typically an easy undertaking. 

Cost. On a financial note, poor database hygiene increases the difficulty of managing record bloat. Marketo Engage licenses include size limits for each instance’s record database. When those limits are reached, Adobe will alert the account owner that they need to reduce their database’s size or license a larger database. At bare minimum, good database maintenance will allow for timely identification of records that can be purged, keeping costs down. More aggressive database hygiene will automate at least some of the record removal process slowing down the database’s growth rate in real time.

Data.  Lastly, on a more personally strategic level, poor hygiene leads to flawed data. Clean databases keep their records up to date. Marketing teams spend a lot of time making important decisions about who to target for their campaigns. The realization that the audience or trend is not, in fact, what everyone thought it was because of flawed data leads to frustration. Frustration leads to finger pointing, and no one enjoys finger pointing.

Leadous has plenty of experience helping clients implement and expand their database hygiene plans. Typically, the first thing we see and recommend is clients setting up different campaigns to handle various kinds of potentially problematic records. For instance, the response to a record that received one soft bounce response is going to be different from a record that received an email is invalid response. Our consults help our clients identify the various categories. Once the categories are defined, we can also advise what to do in each case. Then we can build out smart campaigns to comb through all of the records and take those actions. 

Once the problematic categories start being identified, some of the responses taken in response to those records will help address record bloat. How aggressively they choose to do so is another strategy the Leadous team can help guide. In any case, once the time for an active purge arrives, previous database maintenance will have identified the categories that are likely targets for elimination. From there, it would be a relatively simple task to actually remove the records.

Keeping records accurate is also part of the maintenance required for a healthy database. An important part of that is data normalization campaigns. In a pretty traditional example, country names typically need to be normalized into an expected value. Automation enforcing standardized names prevents future ambiguity. Why include “USA, US, United States, United States of America” in all future filters? Instead, one campaign can look for all the potential variants and change them to a singular, preferred standard. Some data fields that typically benefit from a data normalization campaign include state, professional title, and professional role among others. 

These ideas represent just the beginning of database hygiene. All of the advanced phases of Leadous’ Marketing Automation Progression Model depend on the foundation created by trustworthy data. The effort required for this foundational work pays off in the short term, but it also yields additional dividends down the line. Team Leadous loves helping our clients address their data challenges and ensure they have a funnel that is quality from the bottom up. 

Questions about your data? Talk with an expert today

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Everyone knows you need a trusted mechanic. We all trust this person to diagnose and maintain the vehicle we use to navigate our lives. We can often take for granted how complex the machine we depend on daily actually is. Everybody can relate to the frustration and helpless feeling when your car breaks down unexpectedly leaving you stranded. So, you go to your trusted mechanic for preventative maintenance to try to make sure you are not caught stuck on the side of the road, right? Speaking of complex engines we too often take for granted, when was the last time you had a Marketo Certified Expert audit your operation? Let Leadous take a look under the proverbial hood.

An Ounce of Prevention Is Worth a Pound of Cure

Just like with your car, you need to make sure your Marketo instance is running efficiently. It’s worth the time and effort to catch a problem before it becomes a mess that needs to be dealt with. So, a platform audit starts from the bottom and without assumptions. From the basic technical setup to the general state of marketable records in the database, the Leadous team wants to make sure the foundations of your instance are sturdy and ready to support your lead gen initiatives. This includes checking that your website uses Marketo’s Munchkin tracking code, making sure you are using custom domains for your landing pages and emails, and analyzing the health of your database. 

From there, our experts will familiarize themselves with your instance. That means looking through your workspace(s) at how your programs and campaigns were built and how they currently operate. We can analyze how your habits compare to industry best practices. Even if you think everything is running well, an engine can usually use some form of tune up.

A Full Diagnostic Check

Does your instance have a center of excellence? Do all of your programs follow a best practice folder structure? Do you even have a consistent folder structure, much less one that follows industry best practices? A Marketo instance has so many moving parts, it can be difficult to make sure everything everywhere is working at its top capabilities. 

Leadous will look your instance over from top to bottom. Any area where we see room for improvement, our team of experts will lay out a plan to get your company to the top of its potential. We will then take all those various recommendations based on immediate, short-term and long-term priorities and the benefit they would bring, and work with your team to refine everything into an action plan tailored to you and your goals. 

Upgrading the Engine Parts

Maybe you are looking for more than a tune up. You decided you need an expert’s help to increase the power of your machine. Once we know what’s going on in your instance, we can recommend the typical next steps to continue leveraging the power of the Marketo Engage platform. When we compile our list of recommendations for improving your current build, we will include new processes you can introduce that will enhance your marketing efforts.

The Marketo Engage system is a hugely powerful and expansive tool. Leadous has developed a phased progression model with benchmarks that build toward a full Marketo implementation for a true global, omni-channel approach that is tracking and analyzing your contacts’ journeys through your lifecycle. Think of it like putting higher and higher performance parts into the engine getting more and more power out of it. 

Our platform audit goes a long way toward understanding where a new client is on that model and what steps they can take to reach the next phase. As a company works their way up the progression model, they will see greater personalization in their campaigns, more thorough reporting, and improved return on marketing. 

Everyone Needs Some Help Sometimes

Even the most savvy at-home gearhead eventually runs into a problem that’s better solved with some professional help. Maybe the shop has an expensive tool that is not worth personally purchasing. Leadous and our staff of experts can be your trusted answer for when Marketo requires more resources than your team can currently bring to bear. 

Sometimes a company just lacks a resource for a specific project. Leadous can certainly help finish out whatever project you have planned. Other times, your company needs to learn a new set of skills. The Leadous team is well equipped to train your staff with the knowledge they need. Even a very Marketo-savvy company sometimes just needs some reinforcement of man hours for a large project. Whatever we uncover in our platform audit, the Leadous Team can help your company get the most out of your Marketo engine.

Click here to reach out to a Leadous expert today.

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Consumer Privacy and Marketo

Change has already come to the online marketing space. International law such as the GDPR and Canada’s CASL already affects the way online marketers are forced to operate. While the United States has yet to enact any similar legislation, the passage of California’s CCPA shows that individual states may be willing to experiment with their own versions of legislation addressing consumer privacy.

Meanwhile, outside of government regulation, companies such as Apple and Google are implementing their own changes that are making marketers rethink their strategies. These new options for the public have begun to impact metrics and the way they should be evaluated. For instance, Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection means companies relying heavily on email opens will need to pivot to new strategies. When Google Chrome phases out third-party cookies, even more changes will be coming to the world of online marketing.

Reacting to the New Normal

All of these changes restrict what online marketers can see and do with consumer data. There is really no getting around that these particular changes will be difficult for anyone comfortable with the status quo. From a work-process standpoint, online marketers will need to literally perform more work to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations. Even trickier, from a brand perspective, the new normal is going to require building even more trust in the relationship with target audiences.

Building and maintaining trust in the relationship between brand and consumer is a difficult problem to solve, and it will never be solved permanently. Your communications and calls to action need to encourage the kinds of behaviors that can still be tracked and measured. Future calls to action should incorporate ways to have your audience volunteer information to you.

While not a direct substitution for the loss of tracking cookies, information willingly given feels less invasive when leveraged. However, keep in mind that frequent calls to action need to be balanced against annoying the audience. Balancing the need to get audiences to interact against overwhelming them with noise will be a stunt worthy of a circus acrobat.

Create Trust with a Preference Center

One of the key elements in a trustworthy relationship is not feeling bombarded with unimportant communications. Using a preference center helps ensure that people in your database only receive emails they want to receive. This is a simple way to have audiences volunteer their interests, valuable information under any circumstance. A successful preference center will be carefully considered so the variety of options presented represents a useful array of distinctions to help categorize audiences while not overwhelming people with perceived minutiae. Yes, thought should be put into building trust at all levels of this undertaking.

As an additional bonus, a preference center can potentially save a record from unsubscribing in a couple of ways. First, if someone has stated they want to receive emails about a topic, they are much less likely to be annoyed at seeing an email they do not care about and unsubscribe on a whim. Second, if someone does want to unsubscribe and is instead presented with a well-designed preference center (which should include the option to totally unsubscribe), they may instead opt to update their communication preferences potentially turning what was going to be a person lost forever into volunteered information.

Once your audience has volunteered their interests to you, make sure to respect them. After a preference center is up and running, consider which subset of your overall audience would care about the new content. Imagine the sense of betrayal a consumer would feel if they took the time to fill out their preferences stating they only want to hear about certain content, and you do not filter out anything after they do so. No one likes wasted effort.

Making the most of Marketo

By building out best practice programs, Marketo can ensure you comply with all the pertinent laws and regulations. Fortunately, doing this work is a one-time investment. Build the campaign, test it, set it, and forget it. Until regulations change, assuming the programs built satisfy all the necessary requirements, Marketo will continue to meet those requirements in perpetuity.

That’s not the end of Marketo’s usefulness for building trust. Use Marketo reporting to determine when your audience’s still measurable behavior is shifting. This means decisions should be based more on trends than any one particular action. Guide your decisions by following the data.

Finally, one of the most concrete and impactful actions to start building trust in this new era is the implementation of a clear, concise preference center. You can of course build out a fully customized preference center using Marketo.

As a smart man once said, “The only constant in life is change.” This change is already underway and is still evolving. There will surely be a period of transition as consumers gain more privacy protections. Fortunately, there is a light at the end of this tunnel. The average MQL should increase in value because their interest in the product will be more demonstrable. Additionally, since consumers will be voluntarily receiving solicitations and submitting personal information, the confidence level in leads should increase.

Leadous can help make sure Marketo Engage is doing all the work it can for your company.

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The 2021 Adobe Summit was a record-setting event, virtually connecting with 50,000-plus companies and driving more than 20 million video views to date — and the excitement and innovation were just beginning. 

Shantanu Narayen, Chairman, President, CEO at Adobe, kicked off the keynote reflecting on the past year, “We’ve gone from a world with digital to a digital-first world, and there’s no going back,” said Shantanu. The rest of his speech focused on what it takes to excel as we all shift into a post-pandemic landscape.  And how best to follow up that message, with none other than tennis champion Serena Williams, sharing her perspective on the impact of digital.

You don’t have to imagine what 2022 will bring! ‘Reimagining Experiences’ Summit 2022 is taking place March 15th – 17th.  Register HERE.

If you missed last year, here are a few highlights:

Moving Forward | Bringing the in-person experience online
Anil Chakravarthy, EVP, GM Digital Experience Business at Adobe, noted that while we move forward and everything is still being shaped, we know it won’t go back to how it was even a year or two years ago. Every business has to rise up and rapidly pivot as customers expect deeper engagement, more personalization, and a deeper experience, virtually.

“Customer personalization done right drives business growth.”

-Anil Chakravarthy, EVP, GM Digital Experience Business at Adobe

‘Sneaks’ previews the future of customer experience
An annual favorite, Adobe Summit was also a chance to present the latest from the Adobe labs. This year, Emmy winner Dan Levy hosted Sneaks, walking through seven finalists:

  • Catchy Content, which uses Adobe Sensei’s AI technology to “read” content and gauge everything — from colors and objects to compositions and writing style — so it can deliver more personalized experiences.
  • Daily Content, an AI assistant in Workfront that helps reprioritize and re-organize tasks intuitively as needs shift throughout the day.
  • Account Ace, a tool that taps into AI technology to manage customer journeys by analyzing cross-platform “signals” and building personas.
  • Segment Tuner, an AI-powered data cleansing and repair tool.
  • Dimension Builder, a drag-and-drop tool for fixing data on the fly.
  • Live Wired, which brings together APIs to turn Adobe XD into a drag-and-drop interface that syncs with Adobe apps via a developer-friendly, low-code platform.
  • Savvy Search, is an actionable search bar that sits across Analytics, Target, and Journey Optimizer and helps customers find what they need to complete specific actions.

Adobe hints that what is coming next is…EVERYTHING
Learn more about the cutting-edge innovation by tuning into on-demand sessions, including all Innovation Super Sessions, Sneaks, and keynotes. Then, go to the Community to revisit networking opportunities, explore customer success stories, and discover some great work-from-home tips in Take 5. You can also learn more about your Experience Maker type and get tailored on-demand session recommendations in our interactive Adobe Experience Maker Type quiz.


Join a community of Experience Makers from around the world to learn, be inspired, and make connections that will empower you to create better, more personalized customer experiences.






Leadous is a revenue performance agency focused on maximizing high growth and enterprise brands that invest in Adobe’s Journey Orchestration products, specifically Marketo Engage and Bizible, to drive predictive revenue. Leadous’ certified consultants support digital marketing transformation initiatives, giving Marketers the confidence to increase the capacity, efficiencies, and effectiveness of their marketing operations to drive measurable growth. The Marketing Automation Progression ModelTM is the foundation for how Leadous guides brands through their evolution based on the people, process, and technology it takes to be best in class. 8-year proud platinum Adobe partner.

Let us lead you  |  WWW.LEADOUS.COM   |  844-LEADOUS

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Batman & Robin, Han Solo & Chewbacca, Will Smith & Carlton Banks, Marketing Automation (MA) & Account Based Marketing (ABM) — they’re all iconic duos but only one can leverage the power of your data to grow revenue across your key accounts.

Combine the technology of a MA platform like Marketo Engage  and the focused data used in ABM and a more powerful strategy is produced: Targeted Account Management (TAM). Marketo Engage users can use TAM to identify the best matches in your lead database for your sales teams and monitor engagement just for that group. Ultimately leveraging different channels to creatively target specific leads using ABM can accelerate customer acquisition while supporting retention, and expansion revenue opportunities for your marketing, customer success, and sales teams.

Teamwork is key to success with this strategy. Like the classic duos above both marketing and sales must be stakeholders – aligned and working together.

Identifying the Target
Pull lists of accounts that can be targeted together by industry, location, company size or what makes sense to your company. Determine account personas that can be reached across multiple channels. Get sales and marketing teams to align on definitions and share what is currently working to move leads through the funnel.

Creating Content
Have touch points across many channels.  Marketo Engage allows your team to create multi-channel content and create campaigns that allow you to analyze and learn how to optimize your approach.

Highlighting Lead Scoring
Marketo Engage allows for scoring to measure behaviors that indicate engagement. Make sure both marketing and sales have agreed on what qualifies the best leads and analyze lead behavior to reveal how leads turn to opportunities. Review lead scoring campaigns regularly to determine the level of engagement of your accounts.

Leadous’ Marketo Certified Experts can walk through this live to get a feel for where you think your team is at as 2021 draws to a close. Depending on how in-depth your team would like to get with training and how much strategy is already in place we can assist with optimizing your company’s ABM and TAM- Contact Our Experts today.

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A quick search for ‘Lead Scoring’ tells you all about the methodology of assigning leads points for their demographic and behavior data to better qualify people for sales teams.  Adobe has ‘The Definitive Guide to Lead Scoring’ and countless other docs to tell you what and how. They all agree and so do we, that without automation and CRM integration lead scoring is a nightmare! This spooky season I want to share more eerie, spine tingling stories of ghostly lead scores that decay, scoring models brought back from the dead and leads that never die, they live on as lifelong customers.

Ghosts and Decay
A simple first step for implementing lead scoring is to initially grant points for specific demographic and firmographic data. Marketing teams are often stuck at this level of scoring and scoring models are abandoned because a solid scoring model needs more data. To build a robust lead scoring system a company needs to account for behavioral data as well. Marketing Automation platforms allow for tracking how the lead interacts with company communication. It also allows for tracking when a lead stops interacting with the company and how long it has been since the lead showed interest. In other words – how long have they been ghosting you? If a lead hasn’t interacted with the company, hasn’t opened emails or visited your site it’s time to implement score decay and begin to subtract points from their lead score. This insight helps sales teams filter which leads are responsive and which are unresponsive.

Leadous Brings Scoring Models Back From the Dead
Many companies have some version of scoring in place but lead scoring is a dynamic process; it requires constant attention or it dies.  Refreshing your existing lead scoring process produces the most current and effective lead scoring model. It allows marketing and sales to collaborate on the Ideal Customer Profile and strengthens alignment between the teams as they work toward a common goal.   Leadous will help you maximize your efficiencies, develop a strong lead generation strategy and build out your lead scoring capabilities to bring your current system back from the brink of death or help you iterate your model so it works for today.

Leads that Never Die (They Just Live On as Customers)
Lead Scoring models are built to qualify leads so that sales can start conversations with the most qualified leads and eventually turn those sales accepted leads into opportunities, but often these leads are lost to marketing once sales is involved. By utilizing marketing automation and CRM integration in lead scoring, marketing teams can track the quantity and value of their work from the first moment a customer raises their hand throughout the entire sales process. By tracking the amount of MQLs that turn into SQLs, marketing can prove their effectiveness and provide efficiencies for their sales team or uncover opportunities to redefine the Ideal Customer Profile or the entire scoring model. The best leads don’t die, they live on as your best customers.

Want more information on starting or re-starting your company’s lead scoring program contact us now or visit our Resources page.

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The Role of Marketing Automation for Customer Service Teams

As you know Marketing Automation plays a crucial role in the sales and marketing world, and automation in the customer service space can be a way to drive new value from your investment in a marketing automation platform like Marketo Engage. Since this business function is key to driving overall growth and developing deeper relationships with customers and other partnerships within your organization we have highlighted some areas where you can optimize your marketing  automation platform to increase customer service response and deepen engagement.

  • ConsistencyAs we all know it can be a challenge to constantly engage in a meaningful way with customers.  Marketing Automation facilitates an overall cohesion across all communication which increases brand trust and builds customer loyalty. 
  • PersonalizationBased on how people are engaging and where their interests are, Marketing Automation can personalize content, trigger product suggestions, suggest solutions and customize an experience based on each individual’s preferences or areas of interest. 
  • MeasurementBuilt in reports and key measurements that tie back to the success indicators help build a story and create deeper customer engagement opportunities.
  • ResponsivenessMarketing Automation makes it easy to be more responsive so customers are not left unaddressed with their questions or changes in interests.  Triggers can be set up accordingly to respond throughout a customer’s lifecycle.  
  • GrowthAs organizations grow, attention to each customer is key.  Marketing Automation can scale with your growth and become increasingly adaptive to the changes your customers experience with their unique needs.  

Have any questions about how to leverage Marketing Automation to drive Customer Service and take your success to the next level? Contact us.

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The way to take your business to the next level is making successful automation principles work across your enterprise. In other words, Marketing Automation isn’t just for your marketing team anymore! From Finance and HR to Recruiting and Customer Service, automation drives efficiency and reduces costs – no matter how big or small a project.

By applying trusted automation functionality teams reap immediate benefits.

Even with the fastest technology at your fingertips, manual tasks such as sending follow-up emails, responding to texts, updating social media, creating event updates and collecting data can slow productivity for anyone, in any part of your business. Automation is designed to streamline and optimize your outreach while tying activities to goals. Leveraging a powerful Marketing Automation technology like Marketo Engage in business units across your organization is a way to make the most out of your company’s investment in a marketing automation platform and uncover opportunities for growth and cost savings.

Leadous can share step by step best practices in leveraging Marketo Engage’s Marketing Automation across key functional areas to improve alignment, efficiencies, and effectiveness. Contact us.

Have any questions about how to leverage Marketing Automation across multiple business functions and take your success to the next level? Contact us.

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Melisa Day from Chemours

Author: Melissa Day, Global Digital Marketing Leader at Chemours

How do you determine your martech maturity?

My thirteen and fifteen year old stepsons recently had an argument on a car ride home about who was more mature and asked me to intervene. I knew they wanted a clear-cut answer and were not asking for a life lesson, so I compromised and hit them with a thoughtful question: What does maturity look like to you?

They both had different answers, and each reflected their strengths. The younger one has a tidier room and of course said, “It’s mature when you keep your things neat!” The older one retorted “Well, it’s more mature when you help other people like bringing in groceries.” They went back and forth a few times and ultimately did not name a victor, as they ironically got distracted, laughing and making fart noises.

Maturity Factors

So what are the factors of maturity? Before the fart noises, we discussed homework, pet responsibilities, helping others, making the bed, even choosing to eat healthy foods. All of these factors can indicate mature choices, of course, but the combination of multiple factors better depicts overall maturity level.

When it comes to digital marketing, specifically marketing automation, measuring your maturity similarly comes down to your balance. I’ve seen martech stacks that involve AI-driven content based on predictive analytics… but are missing automated data cleansing programs to optimize their operations.

Leadous offers a comprehensive Marketing Automation Progression Model that outlines maturity factors to check off the list, some of my favorites including:

  • Initial Target ABM Assessments
  • Behavioral Segmentation
  • Advanced Email Personalization
  • Insights for Non-Marketing Teams


My boys were quick to point out each other’s flaws (“it’s not like you make your bed every day!”) but unsurprisingly had a more difficult time realizing their own.

In a similar way, leaders, strategists, and technicians in the digital marketing space can turn a blind eye to missing maturity factors. We are constantly moving towards the next technical advancement or preparing for the newest capability, and sometimes forget to account for those foundational factors. To determine your true level of maturity, it’s not enough to check the boxes of the areas your digital marketing operations model covers. You must also highlight the areas you are missing.

My eyes always run to the last “stage” of a maturity model to see how far away I am from being the most mature. Seldom do I focus on the first stages to ensure I have the foundational elements in place to start evaluating the next one!

Back to that Leadous model, some of the less-exciting factors, but arguably more important are these:

  • Basic Segmentation
  • Basic Scoring
  • Preference Center
  • Campaign Reporting

Advanced email personalization sounds glorious, but if my current martech is not supporting batch email programs to a segmented audience, I may have skipped a few steps, especially if I’m missing a solid preference center to ensure I’m emailing people who want to hear from us.

Back to my boys. The youngest claimed to be the most mature because he mows our lawn. The eldest was fast to point out the fact that his brother must be reminded (loudly and often) to brush his teeth. Thus, even though he had mastered a high maturity factor, he couldn’t possibly be the most mature because he didn’t have a handle on a more basic factor.

Growing in Maturity

While my car ride home ended in giggles and arm-pit sounds, most digital marketing maturity conversations end with a maturity goal in mind. The continued need for growth in the digital world is crucial to success in marketing, but equally important is the need to properly and honestly assess your current standing.

The art of digital transformation and onset of new technical capabilities are constantly promoted in forums, on LinkedIn, and sometimes from the mouths of our leaders in their expectations of us. In the last year I have personally felt that pressure to be delivering the next-best-digital-experience for our customers, and have to admit I’ve been momentarily caught up in the shiny glow of a new campaign instead of closing the loop on the basics.

What my boys (accidentally) reminded me was the right (and wrong) way to advance the maturity in my own marketing operations model. Before we can start leveraging behavioral segmentation in our Marketo instance, we are focusing on ensuring our lead scoring model is buttoned up.

When is the last time you audited your own maturity? Take a look at the progression model from Leadous to see where you land. Be honest! It’s the only way to grow in your maturity and beat your brother, or whatever your reasoning is for seeking victory.

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Driving results from your marketing automation strategy is always going to circle back to one key area: data. That’s right. Data is the key to your success as a marketer. 

From preparing data for customer onboarding and implementation, to launching new demand gen programs, or simply keeping data storage costs down, clean data is central to it all. Ensuring you have clean data ready to go for your next big marketing initiative comes down to your data hygiene processes and workflows.

Data hygiene processes usually look for the following data records to either update, merge or delete:

  • Bad Emails
  • Duplicate Records
  • Incomplete Records
  • Unsubscribes
  • Unstandardized Contact Information
  • Suppression Lists
  • Hard/Soft Bounces

By implementing best practices and workflow data management rules centered on data hygiene, you can root out where the above data may be causing issues, and ensure you are setup for success. Ultimately, you’ll also be able to deliver improved lead tracking, personalization, and engagement from a clean database.

So you’re on board with revamping your data hygiene processes, but where do you begin? Here are 5 best practices to keep in mind as you embark on your data cleaning journey (and remember, you can always call on a partner like Leadous to help).

Think beyond the admin

How are you or your team using your database now, and how do you plan to use it in the future? 

If you don’t know what your internal stakeholders (including marketing, sales, customer success, c-suite leadership and of course, database admins) are looking for in the data, it makes it harder to keep a well-ordered database that works for everyone. It also probably means you’re saving a lot of superfluous data that’s costing you money to store.

Take a look at the data your teams need, and make sure it matches up with the data and fields you’re currently collecting. 

Consider each of your internal stakeholder’s needs for the CRM (what are they trying to accomplish with the data or analyze within the data) and list out the information you’ll need in order to achieve those goals. 

Setting up the data with your end goals in mind ensures you’re using the right fields, collecting the right data, and getting the most out of your system.

Data standardization is your friend

Once you’ve got a firm understanding of who is using the data and why, start applying some common standardization across it all. 

Use the same field labels and define terms for team members that may not know them. Stay consistent, and encourage anyone using the database to do the same – in fact document your standards and share them. And then share them again in a quarter and the quarter after that!

Simple workflows to add include verifying email addresses, standardizing mailing addresses, abbreviations, and numbers. 

Make sure it’s all in one place

If you already have your CRM and marketing automation platform working and talking together, kudos! (If not, let’s talk, we can help.) But are there duplicate contact records across systems? Do you have automated workflows to flag and merge those records? 

Map out the journey of your data and start documenting and standardizing the workflows that need to happen to keep that data clean across systems. Make sure your organization is in agreement with where the single source of truth is for all your data, and stick to it.

Roll up your sleeves

Your business goals and the extent of your existing data hygiene processes will dictate how extensive your database cleanup needs to go. Do you need a database overhaul? Or  just to update a few contact record fields? It helps to go back to the goals of your database and start there. 

Are you trying to find loyal clients to run upsell campaigns? Re-engage stale leads? Start organizing data according to the goal you’re looking for, all the while building programs to clean out duplicates and inactive contacts (or putting them into a re-engagement campaign).

This process can be tedious at times, but there are many experts out there who can take on that burden to quickly and efficiently clean up your data. Check out our data hygiene services and contact us if you’d like more information.

Mark your calendar

The purpose of a good data hygiene strategy is getting processes and automated workflows in place that mean you won’t have to do it all the time. Once you have these processes in place, try to still schedule regular data check-ins to make sure all is running smoothly and nothing needs to be adjusted. Even a weekly 10 minute check on your various data hygiene cleanup workflows is usually sufficient to stay on top of any new data issues. 

Looking for more information? Leadous experts are ready to help, with best practice driven strategies to get your data clean.  Contact us now. 

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Check out the updates coming to Marketo Engage this month as well as details regarding a bounce error from Gmail.

Marketo Engage January ‘21 Release

Marketo Engage will release the following updates starting on January 15, 2021

What’s New?

    • Additional features supporting workspaces and partitions, which includes the ability to share folders between workspaces.
    • The enablement of multi-channel personalization with continuous syncs to the Adobe Experience Cloud, Google, Facebook and LinkedIn as well as the ability to use tokens for program member custom fields.
    • A new API which allows Marketo Engage to pull data from non-Marketo Engage forms and mimic the same functionalities.
    • A new Landing Page Preview API which can render fully personalized previews of landing pages without logging in to Marketo Engage and enable end-to-end editing with integrated third party applications.

Additional information on the upcoming product release can be found here: Marketo Product Docs – January 2021 Release

Gmail Bounce Error

Marketo Engage was made aware of an error at Gmail that caused sends to valid emails to hard bounce in error. The error impacted sends between 12/14/2020 at 6:00 AM PST and 12/15/2020 at 3:51 PST.

For more details on this issue and how to correct it in Marketo Engage please check out Marketo Nation. Of course we’re always here if you have questions as well, contact us.

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Marketo Engage is making changes that may impact your URLs and forms.

Customer Specific URL Changes

Starting January 21, 2021 Marketo Engage will be making changes to the structure of URLs for landing pages, forms, and images/files for subscribers without a configured landing page domain.  These changes will not impact users who currently have a configured landing page domain.

What’s Changing?

  • Paths for each asset type will change to a unique hostname for your individual  subscription. 

What Actions Should Be Taken to Prepare for the Upcoming Changes?

  • Configure landing page URLs with a CNAME.
  • Enable SSL on your landing pages.
  • Update secure pages hosted outside of Marketo Engage that utilize Marketo Engage forms with the new embed code released in October 2020.
  • Audit where Design Studio assets are referenced on the web to update the existing URL structure. 

When Will Changes Be Implemented?

  • For new subscriptions, Marketo Engage will begin gradually provisioning the updated URLs starting January 21 – March 4, 2021
  • For existing users, changes will gradually roll out starting April 1, 2021,  with more details on the timeline to be released in March.
  • Complete depreciation of current URLs will begin in 2022.

As additional information becomes available we will pass it along but in the meantime you can find more info here: Marketo Nation Post

Form Updates

What’s Changing?

  • Forms 1.0 will no longer be functional and submissions will not go through.
  • Marketo Engage will reject form submissions through unsupported methods such as programmatic form POSTs due to being frequent targets of bot attacks. 

What Actions Should Be Taken to Prepare for the Upcoming Changes?

  • If your subscription was provisioned before December 31, 2014 you may still be utilizing Forms 1.0 assets, those will need to be updated in Forms 2.0 and replaced wherever they’re being used.
  • Check to see if any third parties are using the form POST method to send information to Marketo Engage as workarounds will be required.

When Will Changes Be Implemented?

  • The above changes will be a part of the May 7, 2021 Marketo Engage release.

Find out more about the form changes here.

Of course we’re always here if you have questions,  contact us.

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Leadous is so honored to receive the Adobe Accredited Partner Solution badge for our Marketing Automation as a Service offering (MA-aaS) to support our best-in-class customers as they level up their marketing automation results. 

What is MA-aaS?

Marketing automation as a service essentially gives customers “rented” access to Marketo Engage’s full platform capabilities, while keeping the complex setup and tactical work in the hands of Leadous marketing automation experts, so you can simply focus on results.

It’s a value-driven approach to marketing automation for organizations looking to improve their digital marketing ROI, without needing in-house expertise or an expansive budget immediately at hand.

Our MA-aaS offering helps organizations test, refine and plan for a potential expanded use of Marketo Engage, without the immediate investment. Leadous’ service includes:

  • Strategy, technical prowess, and campaign execution by Marketo certified experts
  • Marketo Engage License
  • Access to the full feature set
  • Data backed results

What is an Adobe Accredited Partner Solution?

Adobe Accredited Partner Solutions solve a repeatable, industry-focused business challenge using the versatility of Adobe Experience Cloud technology combined with the domain expertise of an Adobe Solution Partner. It provides:

  • Adobe solution endorsement
  • Shorter implementation times
  • Exceptional delivery quality 
  • Maximized cost savings
  • Cost & risk reduction 
  • Accelerated time to value 

We couldn’t be more excited to offer MA-aaS to our customers as an Adobe Accredited Partner Solution. If you’re interested in learning more about Marketing Automation as a Service, or simply get more marketing automation best practices, read our new white paper on The Rise of Marketing Automation as a Service here or get all the details on Leadous’ MA-aaS offering here.

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There are some upcoming changes that will impact your Marketo instance and marketing automation activities in general in the coming months.  They include:

Updated Marketo UI

If you didn’t know already, Marketo is getting a facelift!  

What’s changing? 

  • More intuitive navigation header with easy access to different product areas & global search. 
  • Cleaner tree with a simplified icon set and advanced filtering options. 

With these updates, users can expect improved efficiency and simplified workflows as Marketo Engage continues to make enhancements to the platform.  The rollout of the new UI is phased so some users may already be using while others are not, unfortunately a schedule is not available at this time.

As additional information becomes available we will pass it along but in the meantime here are some additional resources:

Setting Up SSL for Your Landing Pages

Data security is becoming more important since online threats can result in lost revenue, data and trust. These issues have led Marketo to require secured domains for every instance in 2020. Marketo instances who have not enabled SSL will experience issues with image rendering and links. 

To see if SSL is enabled in your instance, go to the Admin section and navigate to the Landing Page section. Under Settings toward the bottom you should see ‘Use Secure Pages:Yes.’

If you have not enabled SSL for your instance our step-by-step guide outlines the steps you’ll need to take to ensure it is done properly.  

Mixed Content 

In conjunction with enabling SSL in your Marketo instance it’s important to note that Google has announced a plan to block mixed content in Chrome to protect users from insecure downloads.  

What does this mean?:

  • If a user is viewing a secure (HTTPS) page and any of the content or images are hosted on non-secure links (HTTP) the content will not display (i.e. a picture will display as a broken image.)
  • Downloads will face the same issue as images, the only difference being an error message will display instead of a broken image.

Marketo has already started finding solutions to this issue with updates to Munchkin tracking code and RTP.

Cookie Tracking

Changes to cookie tracking will impact the Original Search Phrase and Original Search Engine fields in Marketo, which are intended to populate if the first webpage visit comes from a search engine link click.  Search engines no longer pass this information due to security and privacy concerns but Marketo will hold on to those fields so previously acquired data can be retained.

If you have questions on these topics you can contact us .

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Your audience list is carefully curated, your email flow steps are ready to fire and you’re just one click away from sending your next impactful email campaign… but wait, is there something preventing your hard work from ever seeing the light of the inbox?

After putting the time and effort into building out your email campaigns, the most important factor is that your email actually makes it to your subscriber’s inbox. Without ensuring that your email makes it to your subscriber’s inbox – your catchy subject line and beautifully designed HTML simply won’t matter.

Below we lay out key steps to optimizing your email deliverability and maximizing your reach by covering three key areas you should know about email deliverability:
•  What deliverability is and why it matters
•  Major factors that affect deliverability and how marketing automation platforms can help with some of the heavy liftings
7 best practices you can implement to improve your deliverability

What is email deliverability?

You can’t improve email deliverability without first understanding what it means. Often when we think about email deliverability we consider the email delivery rate (ie 98% emails delivered). 

Deliverability is the rate at which emails arrive at the inbox, not just those emails that are delivered. The difference here is important. Your emails can have a great delivery rate, and still not be making it to the inbox. 

Maybe only 2% of your emails are bouncing, but actually, an additional 10% are making it to the Email Service Provider (ESP) server and then being pushed into a SPAM folder. Sometimes deliverability rates can block out entire ESPs. For example, if Gmail flags you, all your emails that are currently sent to a Gmail inbox could be going to SPAM, which may equate to a significant portion of emails that will never be read by your subscribers. 

ESPs and IT teams are always on the lookout for SPAM to keep emails out of subscribers’ inboxes that they deem irrelevant or potentially a security risk. If your email is flagged as SPAM continuously, this potentially significantly lowers your deliverability rating and can further damage your sending reputation.

Why deliverability matters

You’re most likely not coding, designing, and meticulously writing and proofreading emails just for fun, right? 

You (or your marketing team) are most likely creating emails with a purpose: upsell a new product, announce an upcoming webinar to get more attendees, overall provide value to your subscribers. 

If your emails look like they’re being “delivered” (not bouncing) but they’re never actually making it to the inbox, your subscribers never get the chance to engage, and you just wasted a lot of effort for an email that will auto-delete in a SPAM folder in 30 days. That’s not going to get you closer to that upsell goal, or that webinar attendance goal. No one wants that!

Major factors that affect email deliverability

So it’s clear you want your emails delivered to the inbox so you get the chance to meet your marketing goals. 

There are a few hoops your emails need to jump through first in order to get there. You can distill the inbox deliverability of your emails down to three areas: authentication protocol, reputation, and email content. 

Authentication Protocol

The first step of deliverability is confirming that you are who you say you are. ESPs use Sender Policy Framework (SPF), Domain Keys (DKIM), Reverse DNS and Domain-Based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance (DMARC) to verify your sender identity. These protocols prevent spammers from forging your email address and passing off messages on your behalf. 

SPF and DKIM can be configured with most major market automation platforms (including Marketo, the platform we use and support at Leadous). If you’re sending high volumes of email, go through this process (you will likely need the help of your Network Administrator) to configure and prove your sender authenticity. 


Your reputation is the next factor in deliverability. This is calculated based on how trustworthy your emails are to subscribers and a number of factors play in here, including whether your IP has been blacklisted or reported as spam, the percentage of bounces in your email list, and engagement levels of your subscribers. 

You can use tools like to closely monitor your reputation metrics. Sender score will look at your IP address’s “sender reputation including spam complaints, how many unknown users you email if you’re on any industry blacklists, and more.” By keeping an eye on all these factors, you can more closely hone in on where you may need to improve your deliverability strategy for reputation management. 

If you are on an email blacklist, you can then get started on a strategy to improve your reputation. There are multiple free tools out there that can help you determine if you’re on a blacklist and which one. By remediating any issues with sending spam messages and contacting the blacklist with your remediation steps, you can often do the heavy lifting to get off the blacklist. 

Marketing automation tools, like Marketo, can help to sort out what your blacklist issues are as they maintain relationships with major blacklists to control their own sending reputations. If you think you’re on a blacklist, contact your marketing automation provider, or partner, first to go through the steps to ensure your database is clean and remediate any of your reputation issues.

Email Content

The last factor affecting your email deliverability is the actual email content. Whereas authentication protocol and reputation are partly out of your control and up to ESPs and subscribers to determine, optimizing your emails for deliverability is 100% within your control. 

Optimizing your email content for deliverability involved avoiding spammy subject lines (a lot of punctuation and capitalization is out; clear, simple language is in). Everything down to the images, content, links, and code making up your email is analyzed for a deliverability rating. 

How Marketing Automation Platforms Help With Deliverability

In full disclosure, Leadous is a Marketo Engage platform partner. So from our experience here, we focus on the features Marketo has, but we can confidently say that many marketing automation and email marketing platforms have some type of email deliverability support. 

Talk to your marketing automation platform provider about their deliverability features. Many platforms have built-in tools to test your emails for clean code and images or subject lines that could get flagged as spam, and even help you preview your emails across different ESPs to make sure it’s rendering correctly. For Marketo customers, check out this article on the email deliverability features they support. 

Best practices to improve your deliverability

  1. Institute a deliverability initiative

Improving your deliverability starts by taking up a clear initiative to monitor, manage, and improve on existing deliverability. Make deliverability a central tenet of your email marketing strategy, not a side project that you look at for a month and never look at again. It’s an ongoing process. Create a standard email deliverability checklist that you can go back to for every campaign. Set recurring checkpoints to go back and monitor success. Here’s a great in-depth design and deliverability worksheet from Marketo to get you started. 

  1. Clean your data 

Much of your deliverability rating will come back to the quality of your subscriber lists. If a significant portion of your lists is unengaged, this will lower your deliverability rating. Consider archiving subscribers who haven’t engaged in 60 or 120 days, or simply segment them out for a “last chance” nurture and allow them to choose whether they re-opt in or not. Keeping stagnant subscribers in your lists who never open your emails sets you up for possible spam flags and lowers your success rate. Re-engagement campaigns are also an excuse to get a little more creative with your emails, it’s your last chance to capture their attention after all! Here’s a few creative examples:

Sidenote: cleaning your lists also means taking a look at where you are getting your subscribers from. Stop buying lists. We’ll say it again, stop buying lists! Purchased lists (with no verified opt-in) can seriously harm your deliverability with spam traps at worst, and will likely be completely unengaged from your emails anyway, also harming deliverability ratings.

  1. Segment your audiences

Related to cleaning up your audience data, also consider more detailed audience segmentation. How can you ensure that the emails you’re sending are going to subscribers who will be interested and engaged?

As an overarching example, if you have an event that is only available in a certain area – are you segmenting your audience invite list to the targeted geography?

More granularly, when you opt-in new subscribers, are you asking them what subcategories they’re interested in? Segmenting your audiences and campaigns allows you to keep your content relevant, increase your engagement, which improves your deliverability. If they’re already opting in to get communications from your brand, they likely have a sub-area they’re more interested in where you can provide more value. Try to approach the opt-in process with subscriber value in mind (what will they get out of these emails) instead of just the value to your marketing program to help you keep your messaging relevant to your subscriber needs!

Check out our next best practice for some cool examples!

  1. Launch a Preference Center

You may not want to think about the audience members you want to unsubscribe when you’re building out your email programs, but your subscribers really need a clear way to unsubscribe. You need to have unsubscribe links clearly marked in all your emails. You’d much rather have an unengaged reader unsubscribe than just become unengaged or hit the SPAM button–both of which will much more negatively affect deliverability than just an unsubscribe would.

Beyond a clear path to unsubscribing, consider launching a preference center to help your subscribers customize their email experience with you. Let them choose subcategories they’re interested in or email frequency. It just might be what you need to get them re-engaged and subscribed to your emails! Ust doesn’t forget, you need to make it easy to unsubscribe. If you’re going to allow subscribers to opt-in and out of multiple lists, always include an option to “unsubscribe from all” at the same time as well. 

Here’s a few examples of preference centers with clear opt-in preferences for segmentation, as well as an easy way to unsubscribe.

  1. Create engaging & personalized content

This one seems like a no-brainer, but it needs to be said. Subscribers opted in at some point to receive emails from you, so please, make sure that you’re sending the emails that they asked for!

 Keep your messages clear and provide actual value related to your business. Don’t take advantage of their trust, you’ll only receive unsubscribes, disengagement, or worse, SPAM complaints as a result. 

By taking the time to be thoughtful with your email strategy, you can ensure your subscribers will be glad to see your email hit their inbox. 

And don’t forget to test your emails before you send them. Use tools like Litmus or others included in your marketing automation platform to evaluate your deliverability rating and make sure your emails will render right across ESPs. Litmus in particular can send a sample of your email across 90+ different ESPs in seconds, so you can quickly check for rendered images. It also checks for bad links, missing alt tags, excessive load times, and more. Don’t lose subscribers from simple fixes you could’ve caught if you had just spent a few minutes testing before sending. 

  1. Send consistently and not too often

Don’t overwhelm your subscribers with too many messages, you don’t want to lose their trust or interest by bombarding them with messages! Plus, if your subscriber has 4 emails in their inbox from you to wade through, chances are they will ignore some, affecting the engagement rates of those emails.

Email deliverability can also be affected by the timing of your sends. Sudden large increases or drops in email sends can negatively impact deliverability significantly. This became a potential deliverability issue during the beginnings of the COVID-19 pandemic, when many brands, particularly in the retail and travel industries, began sending increased amounts of emails to more subscribers.

Marketo sent out deliverability strategy reminders as some customers started contacting their entire audience to “announce business closures, event cancellations, crisis response, health precaution measures, and other COVID-19 information.” 

Create an email sending schedule (it can be the first thing you implement with your deliverability initiative!) and stick to it. 

  1. Monitor… and then monitor again!

As you implement more best practices, your deliverability should improve, but it’s a constant ebb and flow that you need to monitor. Keep an eye on your sender scores and check blacklists through sites like, and prioritize areas where you can continue to make headway on your deliverability. 

There are many factors that go into your email deliverability, some more technical like SPF and DKIM, where you’ll need the help of a network administrator to set up. Others are as simple as deleting all those exclamation points from your subject lines. No matter your technical prowess, you need to start somewhere. 

Because if you’re going to put the time, budget, and hours into email marketing (which you should, since the ROI of an email is $38 for every $1 spent), then it’s a no-brainer that you want that email to actually get read! Follow these initial best practices and you’ll be well on your way to inbox placement. 

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In our last blog post, we walked through the steps in the Expanded phase of the Marketing Automation Progression Model that marketing teams take when planning, building, executing and managing complex campaigns. 

For this post, we’ll dive into Phase 3, the advanced phase of the model, where predictive engagement takes center stage. 

In truth, not many marketing teams are in an advanced level of predictive automation, because it’s hard to achieve. Your martech stack needs to be fully implemented, your data needs to be clean, your funnel needs to be clearly defined, and your marketing operations team needs expertise across a growing, complex tech stack. 

Only then can you start to move your marketing automation into the predictive realm. In order to apply predictive engagement tactics, it’s important that the foundational data you’re basing your predictions off of are sound, otherwise your results start to get murky. 

With predictive engagement, you can start to build out optimized ABM campaigns, predictive website personalization, full marketing attribution, and better funnel visibility. Here’s a bit more on each of those areas of advanced marketing automation: 

ABM Optimization

In the advanced stage of the model for organizations taking an accounts-based marketing approach, optimizing your campaigns using intent data and predictive models based on your current customer journey, will help optimize your ABM campaigns.

Web Personalization

Once your tech stack is ready for advanced personalization, you can start to scale mass-personalized content across emails, landing pages, and your website, so that every experience is tailored to the audience consuming it.


With advanced marketing techniques, proving marketing’s impact on the business becomes more important than ever. As you optimize campaign spend for conversions, tying back revenue to marketing programs should show clear ROI for your marketing automation strategy.

Funnel Visibility and Lead Lifecycle

All of your marketing campaigns in the advanced stage should map to your marketing funnel and customer journey. Fully understanding the lead lifecycle of your customers and where they fall in the funnel helps you to better tailor the predictive model for future customers as well.

Advanced marketing automation is not for the faint of heart. And it’s definitely not for an inexperienced marketing team to just try and see where you end up. Don’t be afraid to engage with a partner with proven experience across the predictive realm: ABM, intent search, web personalization, revenue attribution and lead lifecycle management. 

Leadous provides key services including MarTech Stack Roadmapping and Automation Platform Audits to support organizations in the advanced stage of  the Leadous’ Marketing Automation Progression Model to fully optimize across the customer lifecycle. 

For more information on our Marketing Automation Progression Model, contact Leadous!  

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In our last blog post, we level set the pre-adoption steps marketing teams take in the Experimental phase of the Marketing Automation Progression Model in order to prepare for the next level of marketing automation. 

For this post, we’ll dive into Phase 1, the foundational phase of the model, which revolves around integrations. 

From your CRM data to your marketing automation tools, a central tenant of marketing automation is automating the flow of data between each of these systems. In order to scale up marketing programs, your systems need to be able to talk to one another, otherwise you’re still manually managing systems that need to be automated to progress to more advanced channels campaigns. 

But integration isn’t just a flip of the switch. For your data to stay clean and your campaigns to be both efficient and successful, you need to take the time to map out the workflow and the buyer journey in your systems. 

That’s where the marketing automation progression model comes in. During the foundational phase of the model, you’ll build the groundwork for successful marketing automation integrations by outlining your strategy in 7 areas:

Establish Target Audiences

The first foundational step in your marketing automation program is defining your target audience. Will you kick off with campaigns to new prospect audiences? Upsell campaigns to customers? Stick with a clear direction of who your target audience is so you can more easily define the following steps.

Align Content/Messaging to Your Audiences

After you have a clear idea of who you’re marketing to, outline what you’re saying to them and what content you have (or need) to support that message. Will you need additional thought leadership to supplement your campaigns or do you already have the white papers, brochures, case studies, and so on to provide the backbone of your programs?

Map out Organized and Repeatable Automated Campaigns

Now that you know who you’re marketing to and what you’re saying to them, it’s time to map out clearly defined, repeatable campaigns. Whether it’s a welcome email nurture program to new email subscribers, or a regular upsell campaign to customers who hit certain milestones in your database, consider the data you need to signal when and how the campaign will start running to new audience members to remove as much of the manual process as possible. 

Data Hygiene

As you start to build out automated campaigns for your database, data hygiene will need to be a constant feedback loop. Ensuring that the fields you use, the information and signals you gather, and the new audience members you add to campaigns are tying back between your marketing automation and CRM systems is vital. For example, if you launch your first marketing nurture and someone unsubscribes in your marketing automation system, will they be marked as unsubscribed in your CRM? How will that affect sales outreach to that lead? Which system is your source of truth and how will that data flow between the two? These are just a few of the questions you need to think through as your campaigns get more and more complex to build out.

Tracking Sources

Another important element in the integration process is to think through how you will track and assign the marketing campaign sources to your leads in your marketing automation and CRM systems. Will you use UTMs? Will you consider the first touch campaign as the “converting” campaign for a lead or the last touch before the lead passes to sales? Determine your process for tracking lead sources and campaign attribution early so you don’t have to unravel this later.

Tracking Costs (ROI)

Another element that’s easy to set up in the beginning and harder to unravel later is your campaign ROI. Get into the habit early of assigning and tracking costs with your campaigns so you can later dig into campaign ROI and the lifetime cost of a lead or opportunity. 

Sales and Marketing Alignment

All of these steps tie back to one key area – sales and marketing alignment. If the sales team is not informed on where their leads are coming from (sources), what certain fields mean and their triggers (data hygiene), or even who you’re marketing to and how that aligns with their sales goals (audience) – your campaigns are going to have a much harder time succeeding. 

The foundational phase of the marketing automation progression model takes time, patience and strategy to build to completion. Make sure to consult with a partner through this stage if you lack an advanced marketing automation team to guide the initial strategy setup. 

In Leadous’ Marketing Automation Progression Model, we support your team through the foundational phase with key services including Implementation and Onboarding and Migration to give you the baseline foundation and metrics to build and measure the success of your demand generation efforts.   

For more information on our Marketing Automation Progression Model, contact Leadous!  

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Every business needs to start their digital marketing journey somewhere. Maybe you’re just dipping your toe into marketing automation by procuring a tool like Marketo. Or maybe you’re on the opposite end, with too many tools, and too much complexity across marketing systems. 

No matter where you are on your journey, Leadous has put together a Progression Model to help you increase efficiencies and drive opportunities in your pipeline.

Successful businesses know that in order to execute with focus and effectiveness, you need to know two key things about your marketing journey:

  • Your base level marketing performance (where you’re coming from).
  • Your strategic marketing and sales goals (where you’re going).

By establishing these two things, you’re well on your way to more strategic, efficient marketing campaigns. We call this journey the marketing automation progression model, and here’s more about what that looks like. 

The Leadous Marketing Automation Progression Model

PHASE 0 – Experimental – Prior to Adoption

The journey to leveraging the power of marketing automation always starts here. Have you been only doing batch and blast emails to one huge email list? This is the place for you.  Make your budget dollars go further by driving efficiencies across programs. You’ll need to start by laying the groundwork for automation with your technology stack, scheduling out time to measure and adjust regularly based on the findings, and outlining a strategy for your long-term marketing goals and processes. 

PHASE 1 – Foundational – Single-Point Engagement

The next key foundation of your marketing automation progression is integrations. If your CRM and marketing automation tech stack aren’t talking to each other – you’re still relying on manual processes and the whole “automation” piece of marketing automation will fall flat on its face. By building out your foundational CRM integrations, you can then start to build out repeatable basic programs and campaigns leveraging more comprehensive automation technology.  

PHASE 2 – Expanded – Multi-Touch Nurture

Once you’ve got the automation machine humming, it’s time to solidify marketing and sales alignment to make sure you’re all marching toward the same goals. Once you’re speaking the same language you can get to work planning, building, executing and managing complex multi-channel campaigns to increase revenue and marketing results. 

PHASE 3 – Advanced – Predictive Engagement

After your multi-channel campaigns are in place, you can start to use that information for more advanced, predictive campaigns. Advanced automation takes time and patience to reach. You need to have a solid marketing and sales funnel with data you can trust in order to make actionable decisions. From there, you can optimize your revenue acceleration model using advanced reporting and predictive data to fuel advanced strategies like ABM and predictive web and email content. 

PHASE 4 – Global – Omni-Channel

Finally, truly omni-channel marketing programs tie marketing spend to revenue to show the full lifecycle of marketing attribution in your funnel. This phase enables you to use predictive modeling to forecast marketing-influenced pipeline, and better adjust and track marketing KPIs globally across all multi-touch and predictive campaigns. 

Next Steps 

So how do you go from phase 0 (or maybe even phase -1) to phase 4 in your marketing automation programs? Well, it takes people, process, technology and patience. 

  • People – The right staff with the right mixture of competencies to support the technology and process.
  • Process – A clearly outlined process for the handoff between your MarTech stack systems and the different teams that support those systems.
  • Technology – The right technology to support your company’s ever-expanding needs.

At Leadous, we take care of the people, process, and even the automation technology to get you all the way to marketing automation dominance. Contact us for more information on how we can help your organization level up through our marketing automation progression model. 

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As the world turns increasingly digital, we’ve seen marketers pivot their plans to meet the moment. In our last blog we covered in depth how marketers are pivoting from in person events to webinars, and why the need for virtual events will likely never go away from here. 

We’re also seeing an increase in email marketing over the last few months, which isn’t surprising. Email is a direct line of communication to your subscribers. Whether you’re talking to prospects, customers, or even employees, your emails allow you to get front and center in the inbox for the chance to have their full attention. 

How you take advantage of that position to engage and serve your audience is what we’ve been watching closely. Across businesses, email marketers are rising to the occasion to create communications that provide value to their subscribers, with empathetic messaging, creative and engaging designs that capture attention. 

Leveraging our knowledge on email deliverability and marketing automation as a service, we at Leadous are passionate about sharing tips and tricks with our audience to better the digital experience. 

Here’s 5 of our favorite recent engaging email examples from savvy email marketers.

1 – Feather uses creative design to offer a WFH solution


Feather is meeting the moment by providing a very relevant business offering – rentable home office furniture – and packaging it in an easy to digest, fully 100% mobile email that’s downright pretty to look at. 

Their email ticks the boxes of empathy and trying to highlight their business offerings that will appeal to subscriber needs. They make a point of highlighting contactless delivery, a discount and the need to serve in the email, making sure that they’re leading the message with care. 

2 – SurveyMonkey leads with listening


In this email, SurveyMonkey is leading with an empathetic message that focuses solely on resources related to the pandemic. 

By cutting out any superfluous content and sticking straight to the point on how to stay informed about public perceptions, get templates to survey your own audiences and even receive discounts for customers who may be struggling, they’re making it simple to follow the call to action, while increasing brand loyalty by not coming across as tone deaf. 

3 – InVision re-engages customers with helpful product tips


A part of speaking to the moment is making sure current customers understand how to best utilize your product or service during a changing environment. That’s what InVision understood when they sent out best practices and examples on how to use InVision Freehand to collaborate remotely. 

Of course, the email is also well structured, full of examples and custom product imagery that tells a story, and short, concise content with simple calls-to-action that also help keep it engaging. 

4 – Webflow stays short and to the point


We love a good virtual event, and maybe even more, we love a good virtual event email invite. 

Webflow keeps their invite short and to the point with custom imagery that brands the virtual event experience – so you know exactly what you’re signing up for before you’ve even clicked the link. 

By connecting a topic that’s currently top of mind – remote work lessons learned – with a catchy webinar theme that also speaks to a need for connection in an increasingly virtual world, Webflow is making sure they stay relevant and interesting to engage their subscribers. 

5 – Asana stays relatable


By leading off their newsletter with a personalized note directly from an Asana employee describing their own remote work transition, this email hits all the high notes on making a personal connection with the subscriber. They’re leading with relatability. Asana makes a genuine connection and then follows it up with helpful tips and tricks for remote work. 

From there, the email is bright, in brand, and concisely structured so you can skim for the high points and click through to their website. 

During unprecedented times of uncertainty, it’s clear that smart email marketers are leading with genuine, helpful messaging. 

Ignoring our current situation in your emails is only going to come across as tone deaf when the way we work and live has been turned upside down for the foreseeable future. Taking the moment and using it to deliver something good, or helpful, or just informative will engage your audience far more, and for far longer, than any other quick email fix could. 

For more guidance on how to build engaging emails that build community during uncertain times, reach out to Leadous, with our new badge accredited by Adobe as a solution that solves a strategic problem, we’re glad to help. 

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In our latest Leadous digital transformation podcast, Tracey Ellis, CEO at Leadous, and Holly Hartling, Consultant at Demand Chain, joined us to talk what’s new and what’s next with Account Based Marketing (ABM). Below is a quick highlight reel from the podcast, for the full episode you can listen on YouTube here

Advice for teams looking at where ABM fits in their digital marketing strategy

While ABM may feel like the next big thing on the block, Tracey reminds us that we’ve actually been doing ABM for awhile. Most sales teams call it account-based penetration, where they base their sales efforts off a list of top target accounts. The only difference now is we’re plugging marketing into the equation earlier and more often so that before sales can even reach out, the accounts are warmed up and familiar with your brand story. 

Just getting started with ABM? Start here

We say it often on the blog, you can’t know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve been. Your ABM strategy is no different. Holly suggests starting off your ABM strategy with a serious audit, including:

  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of your marketing programming? For your weaknesses, do you have the budget and buy in to level those up? 
  • Is your marketing funnel working?
  • Are you tracking all the way through the funnel? If not, do you have the data and tracking to get you there? 
  • Are you tracking the leading and lagging indicators along the marketing funnel? 
  • Is your database clean? Do you have the contacts you need to make ABM work? 

These are just a few of the areas to fortify to get you off to a running start with ABM. 

The next step is to assign a sponsor for someone committed to the success of the project. With a clear owner, you have someone ready to take the project all the way forward. 

Your sponsor should be pulling together documentation, aligned across both sales and marketing (and ops!) that governs the rules of engagement for leads and contacts through the funnel. Everyone needs to be on the same page about who can be communicated with from your database and at what points during the buyer’s journey before you get started. 

Finally, your sponsor will want to clearly lay out what success looks like. Outline clear SMART goals, and make sure you have a plan for what you’ll do in the event of both success AND failure. Both are likely to happen at some point, plan ahead for mis-steps and you’ll be able to recover faster in real time. 

For the full podcast, including more tips on preparing your sales and marketing teams for ABM and some of the measurable results Holly and Tracey have seen from organizations implementing ABM for the first time, listen here.

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In our changing work from home landscape, the way we connect (and market) has altered drastically in just a few short months. One of the clearest places we’ve seen incredible change is the rise of virtual events. You probably can’t open your inbox on any given week without getting at least one webinar invite. 

So, as marketers we have to ask, are webinars oversaturated? Or are they here to stay?

In On24’s recent Webinar Benchmarks report, they pulled some key statistics on webinar usage year over year. They saw a near 300% increase in webinar hours consumed on their platform in April, with viewers watching more than 168,000 hours of webinars per DAY. That’s a lot of webinar content. 

And it seems this increase is here to stay. According to the On24 report, webinar viewers are watching three times more webinar content than in 2019. If you’re a digital marketer this should be music to your ears. Here’s 5 reasons why we think virtual events are here to stay (with good reason!)

Easier on the budget

This one is a no brainer. Take out the travel and expenses from getting to in person events. Or shipping a large booth, and replace that with an entirely virtual event. Your cost savings are going to be huge. And hopefully you still have budget to put into your platform, your promotions, and even your follow up (hello direct mail!)

Get more granular with your topics

Webinars take less time to pull together than in person events, which feasibly if you have the subject matter experts on hand, allow you to diversify your content even further. Get into the nitty gritty with your marketing topics to give more value to your audiences. 

Reach more people 

Another great benefit of virtual events is the reach. Even at the largest tradeshows, you’re limited by space. With a webinar you can reach entire countries at the same time with your message, as long as your content is intriguing and your promotions are pulling them in. 

Spin them out into bigger campaigns

Your webinar campaign doesn’t end when the recording does. With on demand webinars you can turn your content into spin off campaigns in email nurtures, social media posts, blogs, the choice is yours! 

Gather more data and analytics

With most webinar platforms you get direct insights into what attendees are paying attention to, what questions they ask, and exactly how they got to your webinar. You can also more easily get them to engage with polls and surveys that would be more difficult to pull off in a booth setting. 

And of course we have to mention how easy it is to setup a webinar program that can promote, register, track and follow up with your attendees automatically in Marketo. If you’re interested in building out your webinar strategy and need help with the campaign logic, contact Leadous!

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We’re well into months of remote work from the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite all the uncertainty of what will happen next, it’s clear the old way of doing business, and really business globally, will likely never be the same. 

As we all shift to our “new normal” ways of work, one constant that our team has been relying on, along with the marketing teams we support, is email. As a platinum-level Adobe partner and a Specialized Marketo Certified Partner, we found ourselves leveraging email more than ever to  communicate, offer support, and simply connect with our existing customers in new, personal ways. 

After looking at some of the data that has come through on email marketing in the times of COVID-19, it’s clear we aren’t alone in our reliance on email. After digging in, here’s a few trends we found. 

Email sends increased during the early stages of the pandemic.

We’ve seen a huge spike in emails related to the coronavirus pandemic during the first few weeks of stay-at-home orders in the United States. Just look at this chart from Sparkpost showing the increase in coronavirus-related subject lines:

Email engagement increased. 

The good news is that mapping to that increase in sends, we saw an increase in email engagement. According to Grit News, some email marketers have seen anywhere from a 5% open rate increase to a 30+% engagement increase. One of our clients successfully sent  4X the number of emails monthly which has led to 300X the previous engagement level among their audience. 

Messaging has become an even more delicate balance.

With or without a pandemic, the golden rule of email still applies. Send relevant content to the right people at the right time. During times of crisis, there’s a lot more pressure on what relevant content (and good timing) will mean to your audience. In recent research from MarketingCharts, they found that 79% of marketers were somewhat concerned (52%) or very concerned (27%) about “making missteps that may harm their brand image.” 

No one wants to be the brand sending tone-deaf messages to an audience already going through impossible circumstances because you forgot to turn off a smart campaign or didn’t adjust next month’s newsletter content to fit our current realities.

Thankfully, we’ve seen some great examples of thoughtful, engaging communication in the last few months. They’re empathetic and clearly composed, and they offer real value to the audience.

Deliverability challenges were rampant.

Understandably with uncertainty, some businesses overshot and sent too many messages to audiences they may have not communicated with in a long time. Marketo and other providers did send out helpful guidance on managing your reputation and inbox placement during unprecedented times of email volume.  Much of this was spurred by quick changes in team members and emails hard bouncing.

Depending on whether you are on your own or shared IP, there are risks in sudden spikes or dips in email volume. Now is a good time to familiarize yourself with your email deliverability situation and make sure you have a strategy and are staying consistent. And as always, you should have an email strategy to weed out people who have not engaged with your email content for some time.  Leadous does offer a special program focused on this process specifically.  

What’s Next

As we enter the next phase of the pandemic in the U.S., we’re likely to see new trends in email and marketing as a whole. However, it’s reassuring in a time where not much is certain, that email is here to stay and the guiding principles remain the same:

  • Be empathetic in your messaging
  • Understand who your audience is, what they’re looking for from you, and how that aligns with your brand goals
  • Don’t overstay your welcome in the inbox

Keep those in mind through every campaign to make sure you’re providing shared value to your audience. And as always, if you’re looking for more insights into developing your email strategy now and in the future, contact Leadous

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Marketing and sales often get the most attention when we talk about cross-department collaboration in marketing. Although we love our sales friends, and even specialize on making the marketing and sales teamwork tick here at Leadous, we know that marketing often collaborates with many areas of the business outside of sales. 

From product, to customer service, to IT, marketing teams need to constantly work across departments to gain insight and meet their different audience needs to ultimately drive revenue. 

For our next Deep Dish event on February 6th, we’re going to dive deeper into one of those cross-collaborations: marketing and customer service. 

Marketing and customer service share one overlapping goal: gain and retain customers. There are many ways that the two departments can better work together in order to achieve this goal. 

From tag teaming social media inquiries, to sharing data and insights that inform new content and messaging, both teams are serving the customer along a different stage in the customer life cycle. 

During our event, we’ll take a closer look at the opportunities available when better aligning marketing and customer service. We’ll spend the morning discussing: 

  • What customer service data is important in marketing?
  • How does customer service represent branding and up-sell opportunities?
  • How can you align marketing and service goals to provide a better customer experience?
  • What technologies serve as the best integration points?

Join the discussion (and enjoy free breakfast!) as we share strategies that result in happy customers and revenue – something both customer service and marketing can agree is a good thing. Learn more about the event here

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It’s no secret that today’s marketers are constantly being asked to do more with less. As consumers get more and more savvy, the demands on businesses to provide increasingly personalized, tailored experiences continues to grow. 

But the hard truth is there’s only so many hours in a day. Marketers can’t be expected to create personalized experiences that will speak to the situation of every potential consumer. We need a way to work smarter, not just harder. 

That’s where Artificial Intelligence (AI) steps in. According to Marketo, Marketing  AI “advances and accelerates marketers’ ability to transform from one-size-fits-most marketing, to delivering value through deeply personalized communication at an individual level instead of volumes of interruptions that leave consumers exasperated.”

Here are three ways AI can empower marketers to better personalize your outreach, without taking up all of your waking hours. 

Bucket consumers into the correct programs

By inputting your criteria and goals, AI can bucket your broader consumer base into segments that fit their stage.

Personalize your content

AI can help to tailor the content themes and messaging to each individual, so the right message is being received at the right time on the buyer journey.

Maximize your data

By gathering, and learning from, your audience data, AI will continue to improve on personalized experiences. This means you’re continuing to optimize your marketing processes without all the manual work. 

As customer expectations continue to grow, marketers need a way to work smarter. AI takes the manual work out of campaign optimization to make sure you’re exceeding customer expectations by providing the right message in the right channel at the right time. 

So you can focus on providing insights and tracking campaign success, instead of the manual program tweaking that takes up much of the marketing automation strategist’s time. 

If you’re looking for more guidance on implementing Marketo AI in your marketing automation strategy, drop us a line! We can help make your Marketo campaigns work smarter for you. 



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During the holiday season your marketing team’s “wish list” probably includes a little time off, a little less noise from that “squeaky wheel” in sales, smooth sailing into 2020 budgeting, and… a Marketo expert?

Seems odd but after years of working with marketing teams on their Marketo instances, this definitely makes the top of the wish list for many of them.

Are you looking for a vetted team member who understands the platform inside and out, who can jump in and quickly push your team to new levels of automation prowess? All while seamlessly architecting and launching emails and analyzing data to drive more lead generation?

Unfortunately for many of the companies we work with, that expectation nets out to a bit of (unrealistic) holiday magic.

Most experienced Marketo pros are self taught by situational learning at one company after another. Their instances are left to collect dust when they move jobs and often no one understands how to pick up where they left off. Sometimes, by the time a new team member is in place, they decide to start from scratch rather than work through the mess without documentation (which is often the stage Leadous gets called in to rebuild!).

That’s why we’ve started offering our Staff Augmentation Services for Adobe and Marketo experts.

Instead of jumping in to pick up the pieces of an unused, undocumented Marketo instance, we provide certified, vetted experts from the get go, with the best practices and proven experience to get your demand generation efforts going the right way, right away.

With Marketing Automation Staff Augmentation, Leadous provides:

  • Expedited placements for resources managed by Leadous
  • A bench of dedicate Marketo experienced professionals
  • An advanced team with specialized Marketo skills to support custom requests around technical integrations and custom HTML
  • Staffing plan created just for you

Don’t worry, in this marketplace where Marketo talent is always hard to find and quick to leave to the next spot…we are constantly preparing a bench so you never go without the expertise you need to leverage your investment in Marketo.

Looking to get yourself into the Marketo job market? Digital Marketers with Marketo experience can take part in Leadous MCA Training Programs to create more value for themselves in the marketplace and to elevate themselves for their next career move.

So for Christmas this year, don’t wait for Santa to bring you your open marketing wishlist, fill your open Marketo role with an Adobe + Marketo certified expert. It’s like buying insurance for your expensive gifts, making sure that you’re always covered no matter the circumstances.

To learn more about marketing automation staff augmentation contact us today.

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Leadous is proud to be one of the first Adobe solution partners globally to achieve the Marketo Engage Specialization (read the full press release here).  

Adobe specialized partners must demonstrate trusted expertise, tested skills and customer success to be considered. Specialized partners are certified by Adobe for their proven capabilities and successful implementations — the best of the best in the partner ecosystem.

“Our team is dedicated to ensuring every Marketo user is successful and becomes an unwavering advocate for the platform. We are proud to be collaborating with Adobe/Marketo to become partners in our customers’ success,” said Tracey Ellis, CEO of Leadous.  

As a Marketo Gold Services provider and Adobe Bronze Partner, Leadous serves over 140 clients worldwide, from fast growth companies to large enterprises. We’re excited to continue to bring our in-depth Marketo and Adobe expertise to even more customers!

If you have a question for one of our experts, or are looking to learn more about our Marketo and Adobe services, reach out to Leadous today

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SEO is consistently one of the top lead generating sources for B2B marketers. And it’s a no brainer why. Without showing up in the top three results on Google, it’s likely your website (and products or services) will never be found by your prospects. 

But it’s not enough to know that SEO is important, write a few more blog posts, and call it a day. Integrating good SEO into your wider lead generation strategy is hard work. It takes time to improve your rankings, and it’s equal parts art and science to do so. 

In this post, we’ll review a few of the best practices for optimizing lead gen with SEO, to help you start (or continue on) the journey to better demand generation with your SEO marketing. 

1) Know your baselines

As with any marketing strategy, you need to begin with an audit of where you’re starting, to know where you’re going. Use Google Analytics for a full picture of what’s working, and what’s not, on your website. Then, go deeper into whether you’re following the SEO basics. Do your pages have meta titles, descriptions, and keywords? Use an audit tool like SEOmater for a quick and easy way to get a picture of your SEO successes (and challenges). 

2) Use Pillar Content

You spend a lot of time or resources on content marketing – make sure you’re getting every benefit out of that content! Creating long form content like e-books, blog post series and videos are great for your SEO content. So make sure you’re breaking those up into bite sized chunks like infographics and worksheets that can help you support your lead generating efforts!

3) Repurpose Existing Successful Content

Have a piece of content that did really well at driving leads but is dated? Update it! Re-release it with a “mid-year update” or any other spin on it to refresh for your audience. There’s a reason it performed well the first time and you want to make sure to take advantage of that to again streamline your work as much as possible. 

4) Let Your Competition Be Your Guide

One of the biggest barriers to optimizing SEO is the time it can take to build your foundational strategy. Bypass some of the research and go straight to seeing what’s working well for your competition, using tools like SEMrush. Take the best of their strategy and build your own campaigns from those keywords. 

5) Align Across Marketing

It’s clear that SEO isn’t just about your website content. It’s also about social, your advertising landing pages, your email marketing strategy driving traffic, the list goes on. Foster collaboration across the entire marketing team (including linking together your agencies) by providing clear, overarching project objectives, using collaboration and project management tools to stay in sync, and reporting on common held metrics so the entire team is driving to the same goal. By combining forces, your lead generation tactics will only be stronger. 

SEO marketing is a top marketing strategy for any business looking to amp up lead generation. Looking for guidance on integrating your SEO more strategically into your lead generation efforts? Contact Leadous and let us lead you!

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The landscape of marketing is constantly changing. Being able to keep up with the pace of martech is vital to not only your career success, but the success of your company as a whole! Not a week (or a day!) goes by where we’re not learning something new.

Thankfully, you’re not alone on that journey. In the Minneapolis/St Paul area especially, we’re lucky to have a vibrant community for continued, supportive marketing learning. Supporting these communities and events isn’t only good for your career (hello, future promotion!) but it helps you streamline your day to day, expand your network, and improve your self confidence with your work. It’s a win – win – win!

Here’s just a few of our favorite ways to get involved and start boosting up your marketing education locally.

Minneapolis Marketo User Group

The Marketo User Group in the Twin Cities meets regularly as a community of Marketo users to share common learnings, collaborate and solve challenges face to face. Not local to the Twin Cities? Marketo User Groups exist in 50+ cities globally. There are even virtual groups you can join!

Hands On Marketo Workshops

If you’re ready to take it a step further and really hone in on the continuing Marketo education, Marketo holds deep dive workshops prepping for their certification exams. A Marketo expert will be in the Twin Cities to lead a 2-day interactive MCSA preparation workshop this summer. Learn how to use Marketo to solve real customer use cases and solution for the future. If you’re already a Marketo expert and are looking to take a dive into advanced uses of Marketo features and functions you should definitely check it out!

BMA Minnesota

The BMA Minnesota is a gathering of local B2B marketers to network, learn from each other and share best practices. They meet regularly around the cities for events, and our very own CEO, Tracey, volunteers as president of the Twin Cities chapter!

These are just a few of the many many ways to take part in building up the community of marketers (and Marketo users) locally in the Twin Cities.

Whether it’s joining the Minneapolis Marketo User Group, joining an upcoming workshop like the MCSA training, saying hi to Tracey at an upcoming BMA event, or even signing up for a Marketo training class at Leadous, we hope you’ll take advantage of the many opportunities to connect, learn and improve on your Marketo skills right here in the Twin Cities.

Are there other organizations or events that you’re a part of that we should know about? Let us know in the comments below, we’d love to hear more!

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At Leadous we love marketing. We love Marketo. And we love our local Twin Cities community.

That’s why we’re so excited to announce our new initiative, Leadous Loves, where we’ll be giving back to our local community, with a twist of Leadous orange.

Leadous Loves

Kicking off in June, our team members are regularly going out into the community to volunteer our time and talents. We’re starting with Hearts and Hammers, which provides exterior home improvement assistance for Senior Citizens, Disabled Adults, and Veterans of the United States Armed Forces or their Surviving Spouse so that they may continue to live independently. Read more about their amazing mission here.


Leadous will also be supporting The American Red Cross and Union Gospel Mission Twin Cities at future community giving events this summer.

We’d love for you to join us at a future volunteering event, suggest your favorite nonprofit, or just send some positive encouragement our way as we step a little outside of our comfort zones and trade in our keyboards for power tools!

If you are interested in partnering with Leadous and being a part of giving back with a twist of orange love, please reach out today.  




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Are you considering outsourcing a portion of your marketing automation operations? You’re not alone.

According to a study conducted by Marketo & Ascend2, 75% of successful marketing automation software users outsource a portion of their marketing automation strategy.

And it’s no surprise why. In today’s market, it’s difficult to find and retain top marketing talent. It takes serious skill to manage marketing automation operations, and not every organization has the time and budget to recruit and train for those skills.

That’s where Lead Generation as a Service (LG-AAS) comes in.

LG-AAS changes the way marketers look at the world. At Leadous, we partner with Marketo to bring best in class automation into organization’s hands, so you can see results from your lead generation strategy without the headache.

Our LG-AAS process takes a crawl, walk, run mentality. We give organizations the ability to fill all of the gaps, test, refine and plan for an expanded use of Marketo and its powerful features to drive digital demand generation.

What type of organizations see value from LG-AAS?

We work with organizations from B2B to B2C to maximize their marketing automation systems and drive results without the hassle of managing operations day in and day out.

  • Are you finding it difficult to recruit the right team in your budget to manage marketing automation operations?
  • Would you like to focus more of your time and efforts on results instead of processes?
  • Do you need to get tools setup quickly so you can start seeing results?
  • Are your revenue goals closely tied to your marketing demand generation?
  • Are you having difficulty scaling up your marketing operations to meet sales goals?
  • Do you often work with agencies or other vendors and have experience managing them?
  • Do you want to implement marketing automation, but need to take a methodical approach?

If you’re nodding to one of these scenarios, LG-AAS is for you! The key to success in marketing automation is driving results. So if your organization isn’t in a spot to drive those on your own quite yet, LG-AAS could be a fit.

Let us lead you to better lead generation. Contact Leadous today to learn more about our LG-AAS offering.

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Close your eyes (metaphorically). Imagine your perfect, home run of a customer. The one in that industry that looooves the value you bring to the table. With the size, location, business model, pain points, etc that sit smack dab in the middle of your sweet spot.

Now imagine you had the chance to talk to that prospect, with a message that speaks directly to who they are and their pain points. Seems like a no brainer situation, right? That’s every sales and marketing person’s dream! Making that fantasy a reality is what Account Based Marketing (ABM) is all about, and why it’s become the new hero of marketing strategies.

ABM is a strategy that finitely targets your marketing tactics to your highest value, best fitting, prospects. And it works. In fact, more than 87% of B2B marketers say that ABM sees a higher ROI compared to other demand gen tactics.

So, how can you use tools like Marketo to reap the benefits of an ABM strategy? In this post, we’ll look at four key steps to get you on your way to implementing ABM using Marketo.

1. Select target accounts

ABM centers on knowing and targeting those “perfect fit” customers. Look at your ideal customers and their geographical and behavioral data that you can target. Get finite into industries, technologies, or any other distinct niches. This will help you focus your ABM campaigns with more personalized messages that are likely to convert those leads.

2. Establish effective goals

It’s ok to start small with your ABM strategy, as long as you know where you’re going. Make sure you’re working closely with Sales on what success looks like for your ABM campaigns, what data you’re going to collect to tell you if you’re reaching that success, and setting time constraints around that data.

3. Plan out your campaigns

ABM doesn’t replace all of your marketing channels, it enhances them. So make sure you’re thinking through both the personalized content for your accounts, but also what channels you’ll be using to make sure you have a unified, cohesive message that your prospects can’t ignore!

4. Evaluate success and optimize for the future

Check in with your sales team periodically and see if any of your account lists need to be retooled. Use marketing automation tools like Marketo to build, track, optimize and report on results so you can continue to tweak your strategy as you go!

Interested in implementing an ABM strategy for your business? Join us for our ABM Deep Dish with Marketo Consultant, Freida Bou, on May 15th. Or contact us here and let us lead you to success with ABM!

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It feels like just yesterday we were at Adobe Summit, traveling back in time to the 90’s ad agency and getting the scoop on the latest and greatest updates coming to Marketo and Adobe. In case you missed it, we’ve compiled a quick rundown of our three most important takeaways from the Marketing Nation Summit!

  1. B2B & B2C are gone, but not forgotten… B2E is where it’s at!

Steven Lucas, Senior VP of Digital Experience at Adobe had a very interesting message for marketers. Traditionally we have looked to B2B & B2C when delivering a marketing experience. Lucas cracked that concept wide open to reframe how marketers create the ultimate digital experience. B2E (Business-to-Everyone) is where it’s at!

Find out what B2E means for your business.

  1. Develop your inner CLO (Chief Listening Officer)

We all have work to do that sometimes distracts us from what our real business purpose is, like what our customers REALLY need. It’s crucial to always have our ears and eyes open to purposefully listen to what the market is telling us. Leadous can help you deliver the energy and expertise needed to maximize every one of your customer’s marketing automation experiences with your brand.

Explore today!

  1. Personalization is the ultimate digital experience.

We know that all our marketing efforts center on the customer, but now we have the right tools and much more knowledge to personalize each customer experience with your brand. Marketo has made it even easier to build automated marketing campaigns across all channels, tacking the full customer journey and utilizing Marketo’s innovative AI solution to create a personalized experience.

Take personalization to the next level.

Looking for more Marketing Nation takeaways? We sent a team of Marketo experts there, drop us a line for more info!

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You’ve (hopefully) seen the emails. Tomorrow, August 15, 2018, Marketo’s updated data retention policy goes into effect.

But what does this mean for you and your Marketo data?

The new data retention policy has two parts, high volume activities will now only be retained for 90 days and then deleted. Other lead activities will be retained for 25 months and then deleted. The only exception to this is new lead activity – you will always be able to see in your activity log when and how a lead was created.

Here is the data that will be deleted in Marketo after 90 days (same as today):

  • Add to List
  • Change Score
  • Change Data Value*
  • Visit Webpage
  • Click Link on Webpage
  • Sync Lead to SFDC
  • Sync Lead to Microsoft
  • Sync Lead Updates to SFDC
  • Update Opportunity
  • Request Campaign

Here is the data that will be deleted via Marketo after 25 months:

Activities Retained for 25 Months

If you need to retain more of this data beyond the specific time constraints you have a couple of options. You can bulk extract the data periodically and store in another system (see here for more information on the bulk extract API). The main limitation to the bulk extract API is a daily export allocation of 500 MB. If you plan to export extremely large files, an upgrade in export size will be necessary. The date range filter also maxes out at 31 days, depending on how far back you want the data to cover.

Your other option is to upgrade to Marketo’s premium Extended Data Retention subscription, which will extend your 25 months worth of data to 37 months.

Overall, the effect of the data retention is two fold. Beyond ensuring that your data is compliant with GDPR, you could see speedier load time in Marketo with less data to sift through. Depending on usage, you may see faster email sends, faster smart list processing, and faster campaign execution overall.

The other area where you’re going to see changes are smart list filters and flow steps where you can filter by an activity within a certain time period – those actions will only apply within the data retention period. Similarly, for engagement programs and smart campaigns, you will only be able to see membership within the data retention period.

To workaround these limitations, think through specific activities you want to record and try creating static lists or trigger campaigns (with custom fields) to update when specific activities occur. That way you can still segment based on this activity after the data retention period is over.

Have questions about how to retain your data? Need help exporting high value data so your reports stay clean? Contact Leadous, we can help!

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Marketing automation has changed the way marketers look at the world.  Leadous has Partnered with Adobe to bring best in class automation into the hands of those that are resource and fund constrained to leverage automation for lead generation so that everyone can experience the value of automation.

This model works best for companies that see a vision for marketing automation but want to take a step by step approach to ensuring they have all of the components in place to fully leverage marketing automation.  MA-AAS gives organizations the ability to fill all of the gaps, test, refine and plan for an expanded use of Marketo and its powerful features that drive digital demand generation.

The three options below are based on organizational and database size and are priced to provide the resources, time and investment necessary to drive results and prove ROI.

  *Pricing starting at $15,000 for three months 

Includes Marketo Workspace License fee.  Does not include content development or copywriting.

Additional items may be added to any of the above packages and will affect the monthly fee.

At the expiration client agrees to rollover their workspace to a stand alone Marketo instance.

Got questions? Contact us for more details!

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For Leadous’ first Deep Dish Mini Workshop, we wanted to tackle a subject we get a lot of questions about: Account Based Marketing in Marketo.


Marketo Account Based Marketing (ABM) helps marketing and sales work together to engage their target prospects from a high-level account-based mindset.  It’s a logical approach – there are different decision makers and influencers that sales need to talk to in order to close a deal – now marketers can align their strategy and execution to target those same contacts in an organized fashion.


Of course, it’s easier to successfully execute Account Based Marketing when you have a marketing automation platform in place that supports this strategy. Thankfully, there’s an Account Based Marketing Add On for Marketo clients.


In our Deep Dish mini workshop, we walked through some of the benefits our clients have seen from turning on Account Based Marketing in Marketo, including:


ROI –  ABM sees the highest ROI compared to any other B2B marketing strategy.

Efficiency – ABM helps marketers focus resources efficiently on target accounts, reducing waste.

Personalization – Targeted customers are more likely to engage with content that is geared specifically to their account in ABM.

Analytics – Draw clear conclusions by looking at a smaller set of target accounts that both sales and marketing are reporting on instead of a  sea of metrics.

Sales + Marketing Alignment – Align marketing to the sales mindset and get everyone working within the same parameters.


Looking for more details on the benefits and details of ABM? Download the slides from our Deep Dish Mini Workshop here.


Interested in setting up Account Based Marketing in your Marketo instance? Let us know, we’re happy to help!