3 ways to Accomplish Personalization in Marketo

As marketers, we understand the importance of creating a personalized experience for our customers. According to Litmus’ 2021 State of Email Report, “80% of customers are more likely to purchase from a brand that provides personalized experiences.” Personalization in email marketing can be as simple as inserting the customer’s name into the salutation, the product of interest into the subject line, or more complex with customizing the content, messaging, or timing of the overall campaign. As customers feel that you understand who they are and what they need, engagement will increase which ultimately leads to warmer leads and higher conversions.  

Personalization in Marketo can be accomplished through tokens, snippets, and dynamic content. Let’s walk through the steps to creating and using these elements in your emails.


A token is a variable that can be used across multiple areas of Marketo. Specifically for personalization, they can be used in emails, landing pages, and snippets to merge in data from person, company, and campaign fields. Examples would be first name, company name, and campaign description. If you would like to create a personalized salutation in your email, you can simply insert the first name person token in your email as, {{lead.First Name}}, and the data that is in that field for the particular person receiving the email will be inserted. 

Pro tip: make sure to include a default value when inserting your token. If the field you are referencing is blank it could have a negative impact on your email. In the ‘First Name’ example, using ‘there’ may work if saying ‘Hi [First Name]’. If ‘First Name’ is blank the email will populate with ‘Hi there,’ instead, making the recipient never the wiser. 

3 ways to Accomplish Personalization in Marketo

There are two other types of tokens that can be customized within a campaign or program to populate with non-system related items like webinar urls, calendar event files, event dates, webinar speakers, etc. These are called ‘My Tokens’ and ‘Member Tokens’. Find out more about how you can use these here.


In order for snippets and dynamic content to be personalized, rules, or segmentation, have to be created. These segments are groups of people who share common data points like region, country, or persona. Only 20 segments are allowed per Marketo instance so you will want to be strategic in the creation of them. 

Once your segments are created, you can use them as rules in your snippets and dynamic content to identify which versions of the content each group should receive. For example, if you want to create region specific email footers and email sender names you would create a segment using country or region person filters. Then in your email, you can choose to make the sender name dynamic by selecting the ‘Make Dynamic’ icon and the footer a snippet by selecting the editable area, clicking the gear, and choosing ‘Replace with Snippet’ option.

Dynamic Content

Dynamic content is content that populates in an email or landing page based on sets of rules, helping to personalize the content for each recipient. Marketo will refer to all dynamic assets as ‘Dynamic Content’ so snippets will technically fall under that category. The main difference between dynamic content and snippets is that dynamic content is local to the email or landing page you are editing which snippets can be used across multiple assets. 

Entire sections of an email, a specific image, the email sender name, or subject line can all be made into dynamic content to help personalize based on the intention of the email. For example, if you want to change the product copy and image in your email header depending on the recipients’ persona, and persona is a segment in your instance of Marketo, you can select that area of your email and choose the ‘Make Dynamic’ option. You would then customize the copy and image as needed for each persona.


Snippets are dynamic content blocks that can be used in emails or landing pages to insert personalized content based on segmentation rules. Snippets can be used across multiple assets, so items like email footers, sender names and addresses, and sales rep signatures can be created once and used over and over again with consistent messaging and branding. When creating snippets, tokens can be used within the content to further personalize based on the data as needed.

Personalization can be very powerful when used to your advantage but like with most things, moderation is key and making sure you are taking the time to be strategic with not only your segmentation criteria but also when and where to use personalization so that it can be tested and proved to be impactful. If your campaign includes any of these dynamic elements, remember to include your segment in your reports to help drill down how each performs. 

To learn more about personalization in Marketo, visit their Guide or feel free to reach out to us, we’d love to hear from you!

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