Marketo Tokens: Types and Tips

September 20, 2014 Laura Kirkland


Tokens are the magic tools we use to personalized assets and campaigns for individuals. They're what makes the salutation in an email read, "Hi, Jane."  They are also a little magical when creating program templates because they make the cloning process much more efficient. Some common places to use tokens when building a program would be to fill in dates, times, locations, presenters, URLs and event names. Tokens can be used for visual elements in landing pages/emails or logic creation for smart campaigns too. If you're not using tokens to their full potential, read on!

Token Types

There are different types of tokens in the Marketo system. Familiar tokens include:

Campaign Folder Tokens (my.token name) – Unique to each campaign folder, but can be across any program within the folder.

Program Tokens (my.token name) – Unique to each program and are created at the top program level.  Tokens created here will overwrite any inherited values at the folder level (if applicable).

Below are common types of my.tokens:

System Tokens (system.token name) – Out-of-the-box functionality used for global purposes such as {{}} which gives the actual time or {{system.forwardToFriendLink}} which appends the Forward to a Friend functionality to an email or the most recognizable {{system.unsubscribe}}.

Company Tokens (company.token name) – Appends data fields that are specific to a company such as {{company.SIC Code}} or {{company.Billing City}}.  These tokens are automatically created whenever a field is created on the account level in SFDC.

Lead Tokens (lead.token name) – Write to data fields that are specific to a lead, such as {{lead.First Name}} or {{lead.Job Title}}.  Similar to company tokens, lead tokens are automatically included in the drop-down menu upon creation of a field attached to the lead and contact object. So, if there's a field in the lead database, there's a token!

Token Considerations

While tokens, in most cases, are like a fairy godmother's magic wand sprinkling awe, wonder and ease through your Marketo instance they have a dark side so remember this when using program or campaign tokens:

  • If you change the name of a token, it does not automatically reflect this change in other places where the token is used.
  • If you delete a token, the token does not disappear from places where it is used.
  • So far, there's no global view or a master list of where each token is being used.
  • Only stylize tokens on individual assets, not at the program level.
  • Sales Insight does not support tokens in subject lines.

Don't let this list of considerations deter you from using tokens though. Just remember them when as you discover the magic world of tokens!

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