By Danielle Langenderfer

A previous post by my colleague Caroline Graham, covered key tips and technical considerations for running a great webinar with GoToWebinar (GTW) and Marketo. Read that post first if you haven’t already, then come back here for detailed setup steps.

From the customer’s experience, a webinar is all about great content and interaction. On the back end, success is content agnostic. Success means automatically moving people between touchpoints, tracking which touchpoints mattered, and saving yourself time. Anything you build should be set up correctly and something that you can reuse.

With success in mind, here’s a rundown of how to set up a great webinar program in Marketo. I’ll use the GTW tool as an example, but the process is similar for most webinar tools.

1. Sync Marketo and GTW

LaunchPoint is the Marketo equivalent of Apple’s App Store or the Salesforce AppExchange. You can follow these instructions to find the GTW connector in LaunchPoint. It links GTW and Marketo. 

Once set up, you will be able to see and use all of your GTW webinars in Marketo. You can have people sign up on a Marketo form and that information will appear in GoToWebinar. After a webinar, GoToWebinar will update who attended in Marketo.

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2. Create Your GTW Webinar

Creating a webinar in GTW is easy, and if you are a marketer in 2020, at this point you can probably set up a webinar in your sleep. For an effective sync though, here are a few notes:

  • Don’t schedule recurring webinars: The Type field will need to be “One Session.” Recurring webinars don’t play nice with Marketo event programs.
  • Don’t forget to refresh: If you ever need to update times or dates in GTW, make sure to refresh your Marketo sync after making the updates. 
  • Don’t get sloppy on naming conventions: Give each webinar a name that will make sense to you when you go to look for it in Marketo. You will thank yourself later for including date, time, and topic in names. Think you are running a one-time webinar? If it is a success you may repeat it, either the next day or the next year. A consistent naming format will also keep your reports much more readable down the line.

3. Build Your Marketo Event Program

Your program setup is where you really get to set yourself up for success. Your program is where you store and send all the communications for your webinar: invite emails, reminders, and follow-up. It is also where you track who attended so you can use that information for future communications, reporting, and lead scoring.

If you are new to Marketo, review our guide to program types before you get started. This video is a handy guide to program setup in general. 

To build your Marketo Event Program, you should take the following steps:

1. Create a new program.

For a webinar, you will create an event program. In the setup tab, choose the channel “Webinar.” Channels help you organize your data for reporting on return on investment (ROI) down the line. For event programs, the webinar channel is also what makes the GTW sync available. 

2. Set up your MyTokens. 

Next, go to the “MyTokens” tab. Program-level MyTokens capture information you will use in multiple event emails, like date, time, and description. You will insert them into your emails and landing page so you don’t have to re-write those details. 

Tip: When you set up your emails, you will be able to use the token to send unique GTW URLs and the token to add a calendar link. 

3. Create your Marketo registration form.

First Name, Last Name, and Email are required for the GTW and Marketo sync, so make sure to make those fields required. Registration can occur using either a Marketo or GoToWebinar form, but using a Marketo form will make your program management easier. Since you can re-use your form for multiple webinars, create it using tokens in the  Design Studio rather than at the program level. 

Later, you will use a smart campaign to add people from this form to your program. Make sure to add a flow step to mark this as the acquisition program for any new leads. Acquisition program powers your first-touch attribution reporting. It is set automatically for forms stored at the program level, but not for forms stored elsewhere.

4. Connect your Marketo event program to GTW.

Right below the tab name, you will see a calendar icon called Event Actions. Click that, choose Event Settings from the dropdown, choose GTW, and find your webinar. You will need to repeat this step if you update start and end times in GTW. 

5. Push registrants to GTW. 

Event programs have a folder for each of your emails and another folder for the smart campaigns that send each email. You will push your list of registrants into GTW in the smart campaign for the first email. In that smart campaign, take the following steps:

      1. Click the Smart List tab and create a smart list of everyone who filled out your form. 
      2. Click the Flow tab and add a flow step to change Program Status to “Registered.” This will register everyone who filled out your form. “Registered” is the only status GTW recognizes, so don’t futz with the naming convention.

6. Set up your remaining emails and smart campaigns.

You may want to customize follow-up emails based on whether or not people actually showed up. If so, know that GTW will automatically change Program Status from “Registered” to “Attended” for people who came, but it may take an hour or so for that data to show up in Marketo. Schedule your follow-up emails accordingly. 

Tip: Use our email guide to automate email customization and make this program even easier to clone for your next webinar.

7. Build your template for next time.

In the best-case scenario, you will have your emails so tokenized that you can run similar programs in the future without needing to update individual emails at all. 

Once your first webinar is a success, use what you learned to build a program template for next time, complete with all the program and email-level tokens you need. For your next webinar, simply create your webinar in GTW, clone your program template in Marketo, connect the two, and your MyTokens should populate your emails. Simple, scalable success!


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Danielle Langenderfer

About the author

Danielle Langenderfer was formerly a Marketing Automation Manager based in Cleveland, OH. Dani provided Marketo expertise and support in everything from implementation through to strategy and execution. Outside of work, you can find Dani playing with her daughter, crafting, or cooking/baking. Read more articles by Danielle Langenderfer.

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