Email Programs

Watch this step-by-step tutorial to learn how to create an email program with an A/B test.

Hi, I’m Jessica Myers, and I’m currently the Director of Marketing Operations and Technology at Tebra. I’m a 2022 Adobe Marketo Engage Champion. I’ve been in the Marketo Engage space for seven years, and I’m a certified Marketo Engage Architect. Marketo Engage programs represent a single marketing initiative and can be thought of as a container with all of the appropriate assets that support that initiative. There are four different program types, email, event, default, and engagement. In this video, I’ll be talking about the email program, guiding you to create one, showing you how to measure success, and sharing my tips and tricks along the way. The email program is incredibly versatile and is a great program type to master first because email is one of the foundational building blocks of modern marketing. The email program is best used when you want to send a single standalone email to an audience, and one of the best benefits of the email program is the built-in A-B testing capabilities. And now, to build. Within the correct folder in your marketing activities, create your program or clone one of your instances’ program templates. From there, I like to work left to right, top to bottom on the control panel. One of the great things about the email program is that the home screen, or the control panel, walks you through the necessary components of the program. I’ll provide an overview of each section of the control panel, and then I’ll talk about each one in a little bit more detail. The audience tile. Here is where you define who should be receiving your email using a smart or a static list. This is the who of your program. The email tile. Choose the email that you will be sending. This is also where you would set up an A-B test. This is the what of the program. The schedule tile. If you aren’t A-B testing your email, this is where you would configure the send details of the email. This is the when of the program. Once all of the above is done, this section is the go button. Don’t forget this section where your email won’t send. Before we get into building the program, let’s click over to the setup tab where we can define some of the important operational aspects. Here you can do a number of things that aid in reporting, including adding any programmed tags applicable to your instance. Adding a period cost. Sync the program to a Salesforce campaign. And define the analytics behavior, which would impact if the program is available in Revenue Explorer and Analyzer. I start with the audience tab. If you go into the top menu of the control panel and navigate over to the smart list, you can build your audience right within the program. Again, this is where you define who receives your email. Clicking here will automatically populate the audience tile. Marketo will apply basic marketability filters to your email send, but it is a best practice to include them here as well so you can get an accurate view of your audience and send size. Up next is building your email. You should be using the approved email template within your instance, but if you don’t have one, there are some great options out there for more robust email templates. Here you’ll use Marketo’s easy to use editor to update your email content, images, and CTAs. Remember to use segmentations and tokens to personalize your email in a relevant way. For example, you may want to personalize the salutation with the recipient’s first name. And as always when using personalization, be sure to include default values. Here’s a helpful tip that I like to keep in mind when building my emails. If you’re pasting copy from somewhere external, think like a Word doc or a Google doc, these can contain sneaky HTML formatting. You need to make sure this is removed. An easy trick is to paste this into a notepad and then directly into Marketo, or you can right click and paste the text only. Once my email is built, I always send myself a sample. If you’re personalizing the email at all, it’s a good idea to send your sample as someone who will be receiving the email to test that personalization, which you would do by selecting send as on this screen. Once I receive my sample email, I have a list of things I check for, including the from name and address, the subject line and pre-header text. I review all of the email copy, paying special attention to any personalization. This is why when sending the sample, I sent as a recipient of the email. I make sure to check all links and review the text version as well. Within the email square, you select the email you just built. Up next is setting up the A-B test. Marketo Engage allows for four different types of A-B tests to be built into this program and the A-B test screen walks you through how to set up. The test settings screen is where you select the type of test and emails if relevant. The test sample size slider allows you to configure how many people are getting the The test is split, so if you have it set to 10% and you have two emails, 5% are getting version A and 5% are getting version B. The winner criteria screen is where you select how to determine the winning email. Be sure to pick a winner criteria that reflects what you’re testing. The schedule screen allows you to set up when the test and when the winning email would get set. You can also configure a report to be sent to you or other stakeholders with the results. And finally, the finish screen is where you review the test settings before closing out. If you aren’t A-B testing, you can just set up the date and time of the send in the bottom left panel. A quick note on the bottom two check boxes. The recipient time zone allows you to deliver to users in the time zone that they are in or your instance time zone if unknown. This is a really great feature for global orgs. And Head Start allows Marketo to start the behind the scenes work to send your email ahead of time so that things deliver more efficiently at your scheduled time. If your audience is large or your instance is really active, this is a great tool to ensure efficient delivery. If you’ve taken core concepts, you might remember that smart campaigns are how Marketo executes automations. One great note about the email program is that the canvas itself takes care of sending the email without a smart campaign. It is, however, pretty common to have smart campaigns within your program to track success or how many people ultimately did the action that your email was driving towards. If the email was driving towards a gated white paper, building a smart campaign that tracks conversions specifically tied to this email would be extra helpful in measuring the email’s efficacy. I do that with a trigger on my smart campaign that is my goal action and in the flow I change their program status. Now that you’ve learned to build an email program, let’s discuss reporting. It’s important to understand how your program is performing, optimize for success, improve the impact of your marketing efforts. With all my emails, I like to create reports within the program to track my primary email performance metrics like my opens, engagement, and unsubscribes. When looking at the email performance report, I read left to right. Standing on the left, we have some important deliverability metrics. How many people were sending your email and how many hard and soft bounces did you have? Strong deliverability is a good indicator of the health of your list and your Roquetto Engage instance. Up next, you have your open metrics. My advice here is to focus on trends. Did this email have a significantly larger or smaller percent of your audience open your email than your instance benchmark? If so, make note of that and refine for the future. And finally, you have your engagement metrics, things like clicks and your click to open ratio. This can be used to report on how many people actually engaged with the content in your email. One additional note with email programs, once the send is complete, the home screen actually turns into a reporting canvas so you can see some of this information at a glance. The email program is a foundational building block of Marketo Engage. And now that you’ve gotten some tips and tricks under your belt for building a great email program, you can apply them to many other programs in your Marketo Engage instance.

Additional resources:

See the related product guides for more information:

Watch additional videos for more help on this feature:

Learn from your peers on how to use Email Programs: