How to Activate a Marketing Automation Solution - dummies

How to Activate a Marketing Automation Solution

By Mathew Sweezey

After you’ve done your initial preparation of your marketing automation solution, you should be ready to start playing with the technology. You want to take setting up the system very seriously. Doing the setup wrong will cause you a lot of frustration. Make sure that you have all your team members ready to go and have time booked on the calendars of both your IT admin and your webmaster.

How to import assets into your marketing automation tool

Assets are any piece of content that you plan to use with your marketing automation tool, such as

  • A form

  • A template

  • Web content

Assets are the key for lead generation. Make sure that you understand the difference between assets you host and those hosted on other sites, and how you need to connect these assets.

Uploading assets into your marketing automation platform is usually as simple as copying and pasting. The only difference is the fact that you might be asked to put some special automations on the asset. Although the steps you take after your asset is uploaded depend on your tool, it’s usually easier than falling off a log.

Assets such as white papers, videos, forms, and landing pages that are hosted on your site are uploaded into your marketing automation platform. Your marketing automation platform allows you to publish these assets and track individual leads engaging with them.

If you are hosting assets on another site, one that you don’t control, you still upload the asset to your marketing automation tool, using a custom URL to paste to the other site.

The URL is the key item. Whether a site is hosted by you or by someone else, as long as you can obtain the URL and use a custom redirect, you can track the asset. You can therefore track many more assets than you can normally host on any given solution.

How to integrate traceable content

Traceable content is any content that can be tracked when your audience engages with it. Tracking a user’s interaction with your content allows follow-up automations to take place. There are many different types of content, including videos, white papers, podcasts, sales sheets, and so on. Treat all content the same to make this process easy.

All content that you upload into your marketing automation solution becomes accessible through a URL and traceable back to each person who interacts with the content. You can use your content URLs as links on your website or as links in a tweet on Twitter to promote your latest white paper.

Uploading content is as simple as uploading a picture to Facebook. If the content you want to use exists on a third-party site, your vendor needs to show you how to include that content in your tools with custom redirected URLs.


How to set up SPF/Sender ID

SPF stands for Sender Policy Framework, which is an industry-standard form of email authentication designed to prevent email spoofing. To implement SPF, you need to add a TXT record to your domain name server (DNS). A TXT record is a text record in your DNS that can verify a domain to send emails on your behalf.

Domain name server is the technical term for the way your email domain name connects with your email server through various Internet protocols. You have different ways to set up your SPF record depending on how your email is currently configured.

If you’re not familiar with your SPF, consult your current email vendor to find out how to set it up. The following list helps you to know what your next steps are depending on your current situation:

  • If you do not have an SPF record: Check with your vendor for your SPF TXT record. It is likely to look like the following:

    v=spf1 mx ~all
  • If you already have an SPF record listed: Consult with your IT staff or the person responsible for maintaining your domain’s SPF statement. Let that person know that you’d like to add a new SPF record to your existing SPF statement. It’s important to note that the SPF protocol allows a maximum of ten lookups total.

  • Sender ID will set up automatically: The SPF record in your domain’s DNS setup will automatically be used to authenticate mail servers through Microsoft’s Sender ID program because SPF and Sender ID are now merged. You do have to make sure that the SPF information is complete and accurate.

How to set up DomainKeys

DomainKeys is an email authentication system designed to verify the DNS domain of an email sender to verify message integrity. This protocol is largely backed by Yahoo!. To implement DomainKeys, add two new TXT records to your DNS.


The first record contains the general DomainKeys settings: TXT "t=y; o=~;"

The second record is your actual key: TXT  "k=rsa;
9JrAdUAsqln8YYA0jkARmuox2EdWkU5fkrzQKJHSGB" TXT "k=rsa;