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Reinvent New Horizons of Business Growth With Marketo’s Smart Campaigns

Create a New Smart Campaign

Marketo comes with a host of useful features for an email marketing professional, namely segmentation, personalization, automation, and analytics. It takes care of all your email campaign management needs. And one such important feature is Marketo’s smart campaign. 

Let’s try to understand how it empowers marketers to send out more relevant messages. 

What is a smart campaign?

A smart campaign is the driving force of Marketo, and it allows you to reach out to a specific segment of subscribers according to the actions they take. 

It includes three main components:

1.Smart List

As the name suggests, a smart list signifies the way in which you want to define your target audience in the smart campaign. 

It consists of two parts: Filter and Trigger

i. Filter

A filter will allow you to separate the prospects who have qualified at a given point in time.

For example: “clicked link” would work as a filter. 

ii. Trigger

The trigger means whenever a subscriber performs any activity, you must instantly fire the flow.

As an instance: you can have “clicks link” as a trigger.  

A good idea would be to bring together different filters and use them along with triggers. Just try out different combinations and see what works the best for your business. 

For example, You can set up triggers such as:

Email is/was opened

As far as filters are concerned, you can have filters such as “subscriber was sent email” or inactivity filters that keep track of the action. 

Points to Remember:

  1. If you want to set activity filters or history filters, you must limit the date range you provide so that the searchable data set does not become too huge. 
  2. If you are using the filter “member of smart list” in the new smart list, it is known as nesting smart lists. Doing so will add to the processing time. Therefore, you must take help of segmentation or use reference static lists. 
  3. Rather than using negative filters like “NOT”, you must use positive operators like “IS”. It will make the smart campaign easier to execute with better search algorithms. 
  4. Keep your campaigns as simple as possible. Avoid using multiple independent rules or constraints in the smart campaign.

2. Flow

In the flow, you must mention the steps to be performed in your smart campaign. It includes Wait steps as well as split choices. 

Step 1:

If you want to send an email as a part of the “flow”, you can select the “Send Email” flow step. (You can either use it as part of your campaigns or as a single flow step to deploy emails to your target audience.)

Step 2:

Subsequently, you can preview the selected email right from the flow step. 

Step 3:

Search for the email you want to send and select it. Just make sure that the email is approved before you select it in the flow step.  

Step 4:

Click on that tiny preview icon to view the selected email. 

Step 5:

It will open a new tab or window where you will be able to preview the email. 

3. Schedule

The Schedule tab represents how you will run the smart campaign. If you want to put it on a repeating schedule, Marketo allows you to set up a recurring event.  

According to your preference, you can set up the schedule recurrence along with the first run and end date. 


Now that we have a hang of the basics, we will switch to building a smart campaign. 

How to build a smart campaign?

Step 1:

Click on Marketing Activities.

Step 2:

Select a Program and click on New Local Asset from the tab “New”.

Step 3:

Click on Smart Campaign

Provide the name of the smart campaign and description. Then click on Create. 

How to define smart list for smart campaign – Batch?

Step 1:

Choose the smart campaign and go to Smart List

Step 2:

Look for the filter and drag and drop it to the interface. You can choose several filters for a single campaign. 

Step 3:

In the drop-down, pick the filter operator according to your selected filter. 

Step 4:

Provide the Filter value. 

How to define smart list for smart campaign (Trigger)

If you want to build a smart list for smart campaigns in Trigger mode, you must look for the trigger and drag and drop it to the canvas.

Next, pick the operator from the drop-down. 

Go to the drop-down and pick the operator of your choice. 

How to run your smart campaign without any errors?

1. Fix Smart List Errors.

If you see any red squiggly lines in the Smart List, you must revise it to resolve any issues. 

2. Check for any Flow Errors

Just like in smart list, remove all the red squiggly lines you see in the Flow tab of the smart campaign. 

3. See for any issues in the Schedule Tab

Smart list status in the Schedule tab will let you know if there are any incorrect rules to be fixed before making the campaign live. 

4. Audit the Person Restriction Limit

Check whether the person restriction limit is greater than the number of qualified people in the campaign. 

Wrapping Up

Marketo Smart Campaigns can get confusing and overwhelming at times, amidst the numerous marketing activities going on. If you want to focus on your business growth, just get in touch with our Marketo certified professionals and we will get you covered. 

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