Back to Posts

Using Marketo Custom Objects in Automated Direct Mail

Written By Amber Breeden

April 21, 2022

If you’re using a CRM or marketing automation platform (MAP), you’re probably familiar with custom objects. These are records that allow you to connect supplemental data to a contact or account record in a scalable way. They can have a one-to-one, one-to-many, or many-to-many relationship. The information in a custom object tends to be related to the company rather than the contact, and it can change over time.

When combined with contact and account data, custom objects allow you to create highly relevant, personalized marketing communications. Marketers have been leveraging custom objects in automated emails for years, but pulling this data into automated direct mail can prove more challenging. It usually requires a webhook and then a separate API call to connect and merge the data from various systems. Doable but clunky. Luckily, for Marketo users, our automation tool Banjo Pro streamlines this process to pull in custom object data automatically behind-the-scenes through the API. 

As the name implies, custom objects contain data specific to your business. Therefore, how you can use them in your marketing completely depends on what information you’re containing therein. Here are three popular ways some clients have leveraged custom objects in their direct mail.

Purchase History

Referencing a customer’s purchase history when sending a thank you or welcome message makes it instantly more personal and relevant. A car dealership, for example, can use a custom object that contains the type of car a customer purchased. A few days after the purchase, they can send the customer a welcome booklet with details about their new car. It includes the maintenance schedule, “hidden” features of the vehicle they might not have discovered yet, and helpful account information for them to keep on hand as a reference. Sprinkled throughout the booklet are photos of the interior and exterior of the exact vehicle model and color they purchased. All of this content stems from the data in the custom object, combined with their account data.


Businesses with multiple locations or franchises can use information stored in custom objects to drive location-specific messaging in their direct mail. Each customer’s contact record contains a Store ID for their nearest location. This ID then ties to store information in the custom object to render a map or directions to the customer’s nearest store location. It could also include things like store contact info and hours or even a QR code to that location’s website or online ordering platform.

Product Offerings

What if you offer a variety of products or services, each tailored for a different audience? You can use custom objects to organize that information and offer the right product to the right person or company. B2B education companies, for example, offer a plethora of courses and products to organizations of various sizes in all sorts of industries. Certain courses may be best suited for mid-sized companies; others are best for healthcare organizations or large retail companies. While account records contain industry, location, and size information for each company, custom objects store each of the courses or products. This allows the education company to offer different combinations of products and courses to their customers based on the company information.

These are just three examples of how you can use data in custom objects to make your marketing more personal and relevant. Let’s talk about your business and marketing strategy to figure out how you can best leverage this data to achieve your goals.