This session was all about using tokens. A token is a variable that you can use across your emails, landing pages and smart campaigns to make your life easier. They could also be called a placeholder or merge tag. Typically, people are familiar with person (contact) tokens and company tokens, but Marketo allows you to create “My Tokens” that exist at either folder or company level and are not contact- or company-specific. Tokens cascade down folders, so they are available to sub-folders. The tokens can be changed in subfolders, but keep the same name for the token, and attach different values: for example, having a footer token that changes content for country folders.

My Tokens are great for reducing typos or consistency errors, so are good to remove mistakes. To create a token, at the program level go to My Tokens, drag a token, then give it a name. Once you have defined it, you can add to your assets – for example to the email subject line. Simple!

One of the key benefits of using tokens, particularly when used across different assets (e.g. landing page, email, etc) is that it’s very quick to make changes to campaigns – e.g. add/remove an exclamation mark from a webinar title.

Tokens are ideal if you use one template over again, removing the time copying and pasting templates. By using tokens in templates, you’ll also be more consistent. So, landing pages for webinars, for example, could consist entirely of tokens. It means that the same template can be used to create consistent webinar landing pages.

It’s not all plain sailing as there are some potential problems that you might encounter using tokens:

  • Cloning campaigns works well, but if you move the asset into different workspaces you can lose the tokens
  • A My Token can’t ever be empty (although doesn’t need default value). If the token is empty you can’t save it
  • Tokens are live across all assets, so typos in tokens can be reproduced on many assets

We also got some nice ideas for using tokens:

  • UTM tracking – e.g. https://{{}}{{my.utmParameters}} – where you just need to define the UTM parameters once and then can have them automatically inserted for each link. One point to note if you are tokenising links, you shouldn’t put the http:// or https:// in the token as Marketo then doesn’t track the link
  • Reuse of email templates or LP templates to replace elements can replace logos, social media, etc. So, a great way to re-use creative templates for multiple clients or brands within an organisation
  • You can use a script token that has the code to achieve complex things such as dynamically changing the language of the footer. Changing the copyright date in footers is also a great use of tokens

The My Tokens are a nice feature in Marketo, and something that would be good to see appearing in other marketing automation platforms.