The Amazing Power of Variables in Marketo Editor 2.0
21 Dec, 2016
Marketo admins: If you've already made the switch within your Marketo instances to Editor 2.0 and your users aren't falling on your shoulders, tearing with joy, read on.
It's hard to overstate the degree to which Marketo's Email Editor 2.0 has improved on the previous generation. In fact, it has become, in one fell swoop, the most powerful email editor in the marketing automation space - and we know quite a few of them very well.
One of its most striking features is the use of variables to expose many aspects of email design and functionality to the editor's user interface, enabling users to quickly and easily manipulate their email's elements, without resorting to source code edits or fighting the whims of the rich text editor.
To fully benefit from this feature, though, it's important to understand the two types of variables available to you: global and local. Mastering them and configuring your templates accordingly can greatly improve your (or your users') email editing experience in Marketo.
The four building blocks of email templates in the Marketo Editor 2.0 experience
These are the building blocks of 2.0 templates: elements, variables, modules and containers. ( read more
: the content areas in your email that you define as editable. Available elements include rich text, video, images and snippets.
: similar to tokens, allow you to expose a certain content element to manipulation in the editor. Variables are sensitive to scope and can apply to either a specified module (local variables) or the entire email (global variables). Available variable types include: string, list of values, boolean, color picker, image picker and HTML block.
: templatized sections which the user can drag in and out of the email editing canvas. Must reside within a container.
: hold modules and define where the user can insert a module or how it can be re-ordered.
The difference maker: setting variables as local vs global
Understanding the above distinctions, and knowing how to define modules and configure their variables, can make a real impact on the usability of your 2.0 template. Let's see why.
As part of the Email Editor 2.0 experience, whenever you set off to create a new email, the Template Picker comes up, where you can select from Marketo's built-in templates, or your own. To illustrate our tip, we've done just that, and picked the Basic template. Here's how a section of the email looks in the editor:
We want to add more call-to-action buttons to the email, so we drag in the conveniently placed Call to Action module from the 'Modules' selectors on the right sidebar. Now we have another CTA button on our email. Great, right? all that's left to do is modify the call-to-action text and change the button's URL.
We locate the new module, call-to-action-1, in the available content sections in the sidebar selector, we find the 'Button Text' variable, and we edit it as needed, in our case to 'SECONDARY CALL TO ACTION'. Awsome, right?! not so fast.
As the canvas refreshes, we notice that the original CTA button's text has also changed. That's not a desirable effect. In fact, we immediately notice that any variable we change within the module affects all the other similar elements in the email.
The problem is that the variable Button Text is not defined as local (by default each variable we create has the global scope), and thus is not limited to the scope of the module in which it is contained, even though the editor's UI makes us think it is, by showing the UI control to edit the Button Text within the module. What we need to do is access the email's code and set the variable's mktoModuleScope attribute to 'True'.
Here's the result. Much better, eh?
Pretty neat, don't you think? By carefully placing modules in your template, and configuring their variables correctly, you can make your emails 10x more user friendly than before to work on within Marketo's editor. Now tell us your users won't love you for it. We dare you.
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Disclaimer: this article and anything written in it does not constitute legal advice, and any interpretation of it as such is the sole responsibility of the interpreter. Our purpose is to collect and organize in a single location the information we’ve gathered about GDPR from public domain sources, such as the UK’s ICO, as a service to the public, and specifically to our clients, actual and prospective.
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