Making Marketo Alert Emails Dynamic

We recently worked on a project with Panasonic where they wanted to enable their event managers to be able to accept or decline a person’s event registration with a click of a button. This event manager was not familiar with Marketo, and did not have access to the system.

So what can you do?

Well – we decided to use Marketo Alert emails, with a bit of a twist.

Marketo Alert emails are able to send an email to someone (anyone really) with another person’s information in it. It is the only type of email available in Marketo, where you can have a standard token in the email, but the email actually gets populated with someone else’s information, not necessarily the recipient’s information. This makes it quite powerful.

What we wanted to setup was an alert email that would be sent to the event manager, that contained the following information:

  • Name, title and company name of the person who registered
  • 2 buttons: Accept or Reject

By clicking Accept, the program status of the person who registered would automatically move from Registered to Approved, and if they clicked Reject, it would move from Registered to Declined.

All of this without the Event Manager ever having to go into Marketo. So… how did we accomplish this?

Step 1:

Create Event Program Channel. This Channel has the following program statuses:

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Step 2:
Create your Event program. We won’t go until too much detail here since we’re assuming you know how to build an event program. Here is a view of how we built ours.

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Step 3:

Create a token called {{my.Event}}. We’ll explain more about what you’ll use this token for later. Make sure the value you provide for this token does not contain any spaces. Spoiler: it is going to be used in a URL parameter so you can’t have any spaces.

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Step 4:

Create a form. This form is very simple. It’s going to have the email address as a hidden field.

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*Make sure your parameter name is exactly the same as what you include in your alert URLs. This is case sensitive.

Step 5:

Create your landing page. This can be a completely basic landing page, with a bit of javascript. This javascript will do the following:

  • Hide the form
  • Add a slight delay to allow time for the form to pre-fill
  • Upon form submit, cookies will get deleted. This will be really important as you don’t want your event coordinator to wind up tracking as one of your registrants.

Here is our landing page template so you don’t need to worry about coding any javascript.

Step 6:

Create your alert email. The unique bit here is that you are going to pre-populate the URLs of the ‘Accept’ or ‘Decline’ hyperlinks with some key parameters that will indicate whether someone will be accepted or declined.

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Accepted:

https://yourmarketosubdomain.pagename.html?email={{lead.Email Address}}&approved=y&event={{my.Event}}

Declined:

https://yourmarketosubdomain.pagename.html?email={{lead.Email Address}}&approved=n&event={{my.Event}}

Step 7:

Setup smart campaigns to listen for the form to be submitted with the proper URL parameters being passed through:

Approved:

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Declined:

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Step 8:

Kick back and relax as Marketo does the work for you and your event coordinators love how effortless and easy it is for them to approve and decline people for your events.

There are so many more possibilities for this use case. The main benefit is being able to take an action on a certain lead from an email. This really opens up a lot of opportunities. This same process can be used to disposition leads from emails, trigger nurture programs and more.