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Marketo is now standardizing language across all subscriptions, so you may see lead/leads in your subscription and person/people in These terms mean the same thing; it does not affect article instructions. There are some other changes, too. Learn more.


Removing flow steps, especially wait steps from active smart campaigns, can have unexpected results. Read this article carefully.

First let's do the basics. Here's how to remove an unwanted flow step from a smart campaign.

1. In the smart campaign Flow, click the X icon to delete any flow step.

2. Click Delete.

Simple and easy, right? Well, most of the time...


Deleting, adding, and moving steps inside an active campaign can definitely have unexpected results. Consider creating a new campaign, testing it, and then switching.

Making Changes to an Active Campaign

Changes can be made to an active campaign but may have unforeseen consequences. Here are the details:

Batch Smart Campaigns

If your campaign:

  1. Never ran. Make all the changes you want. It won't affect anyone until you run that campaign.
  2. Is a recurring smart campaign. The changes will affect people in the future runs, not previous runs.
  3. Already ran WITHOUT wait steps. No people will be affected because the campaign is dormant after running.
  4. Is running right now. Changes can cause unexpected behavior depending on the timing and details of the delete. We strongly recommend NOT editing a batch campaign that's actively running. For emergency cases, learn how to abort a running smart campaign.
  5. Already ran WITH wait steps. Several details on this one.
    When a person enters a wait step, the person jots down the duration and which NUMBER STEP to return to. See example below.

Trigger Smart Campaigns

  1. No wait steps. If you delete a normal step, only people who run through the campaign in the future will be affected.
  2. With wait steps. See example below for batch campaigns. The same logic applies.


  1. A smart campaign has 3 steps. 
    STEP 1. Send Email #1
    STEP 2. Wait 1 week
    STEP 3. Send Email #2
  2. People who hit Step 2 will wait 1 week before moving on to Step 3.
  3. You delete Step 2 during the week.
  4. People will continue to wait the 1 week. (They do not automatically pop back into the flow.)
  5. When they finally return, they will try to go to Step 3. They will not find it.
  6. IMPORTANT: Since there are now only 2 steps, the people will not receive Email #2.

Understand this feature and you'll master smart campaigns. Wooh!