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      Demand Generation

      Marketo Email Best Practices

      Aug 17, 2012

      2 minute read

      Emails are a key touch point in lead generation and nurturing campaigns; and if you are using a marketing automation tool like Marketo, life becomes much simpler.

      Below are best practices, including the dos & don’ts – all combined into one, which we have put together after completing a bunch of successful projects in Marketo.


      1. Make Emails Simple
        • Ensure your most compelling content is at the top.
        • Keep your email text short and simple. Do not make the reader scroll-down too much.
      2. Links should be easy to identify and clearly labeled
        • Make the links identifiable to readers by making them colored or underlined.
        • Summarize the content of the page in the hyperlink, to allow readers to make a choice to click on the link on not.
      3. Tie your emails to the landing pages
        • Landing pages and emails need to have a common design.
        • Emails should prepare a case for what the landing page has to offer.
      Marketo Email Best Practices


      1. Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) Styles
        • Use Inline CSS for styling – internal CSS is ignored by few email clients, and external CSS is not supported in Marketo.
        • Avoid padding property of style attribute – Marketo does not support it.
      2. HTML Code
        • Use table layout for best delivery.
        • Avoid code redundancy – create and use templates where possible.
      3. Mobile Friendly
        • Maintain email template width between 500-600px.
        • Keep the subject line short so that it can be read in one go.
        • Keep the content concise and highlight the links to separate them from the main content.


      1. Use Images Wisely
        • Avoid using images for important content like headlines, links, and any calls to action.
        • Add height and width attribute to the image tag. This ensures that your design doesn’t get squeezed or bleeds on the edges.
        • Always use alt attribute of an image so that if the reader doesn’t download the images or images fails to load, the email still gives the required information.
        • Always use border attribute of an image (border=”0”) as few email clients and browsers add borders to images by default.
        • Avoid Image Sprites, as Marketo (An image sprite is a collection of images put into a single image) does not support them.
        • Avoid background images as they are not supported by email clients.
      2. Test the Email
        • Test your emails on popular email clients before sending. Marketo provides the option to send test emails – making email testing easy.
        • Always add text version of your email to the instance so that if any email client doesn’t support HTML, a text version is delivered.


      1. Manage user preference and opt-out
        • Always give the user an option to unsubscribe, if he is not interested.
        • Add a privacy policy link in the footer is a good practice.
      2. Give readers a sense of security
        • Use relevant subject lines.
        • Add a recognizable and trusted sender name and address.
      3. Segment the List
        • Get a separate list of prospects who are interested in your newsletter/campaign.
        • Respect the reader who unsubscribed the email, remove them from the list, and nurture them with their interests.

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