So what's the issue with forms prefill?

July 8, 2020 Mihaela Bisnel

Hello everyone,

I’ve decided to write this short blog about form pre-fill here as there has been a lot of discussion on this topic both around Marketo Engage - as well as Oracle Eloqua.

What is pre-population or pre-fill?

It's a method marketers used to provide visitors with pre-population on their forms. This would help validate current data but also INCREASE form submissions. Pre-fill is an excellent technique which has become a must for customer experience.

Why is this important?

Of course, more importantly than fun, pre-fill is also pretty good for your conversion rates! Studies show that up to 86% of users will leave a page instantly when they’re required to fill out a form.

So, what is the issue?

Well… GDPR didn’t help. It was a cold shower in terms of data security and made both vendors as well as companies more alert to security and why it matters.

Both Eloqua as well as Marketo providers (including many other smaller vendors) have been under fire because various pre-fill solutions they offered were simply not secure. Eventually, they stopped supporting various pre-fill scenarios on thus opening the gate for a lot of external, not at all secure hacks.

Simply put - most pre-fill solutions are a security hole that could expose your company's data by allowing someone (malware or person) with just your email address, to read/get your data out of your Marketo instance.

Some of the criticism came also from Marketeers who maybe didn’t quite get timely and clear/ transparent enough communication from the vendors before they decided to stop these solutions. See here some from the Marketo community And here some older discussions around Eloqua.


There are a lot of current pre-fill solutions out there that might not be in line with the requirements of your IT/ Security departments.

If that is the case for you, please reach out to us for a 100% Secure and Scalable solution to pre-fill your forms (both on Marketo/Eloqua landing pages as well as EXTERNAL webpages ;-))

We've built the form prefilling in a way that works for a lot of different scenarios and setups. If you need help setting this up or you'd like to discuss how it can be developed further feel free to reach out to us here *

*This solution is pretty new and creative and in order to know more we might need you to fill in an NDA ;-)

"Especially the openness between our suppliers, willingness to work together and thinking beyond the wishes of us as customer is something that I will remember. Thank you all!”
- Ebo Eppenga, Manager Online, Lely

We also want to leave you here with impressions & thoughts from our incredibly techie and brilliant client whom we developed the Data Prefill Solution and APP with:

“Data driven marketing is not just a random combination of two words. Marketing means to me that I have to facilitate our target audience in their customer journey. Their experience must be as pleasurable as possible. Having prefilled webforms will surely enhance our conversion and need for data. All in the trusted environment of our own website. And that’s where we had a challenge. Prefilling is possible via Marketo, but not on your own website.[...] Thanks to perseverance combined with creativity and high skilled professionals from all parties involved we were able to deliver.

Especially the openness between our suppliers, willingness to work together and thinking beyond the wishes of us as customer is something that I will remember. Thank you all!”
– Ebo Eppenga, Manager Online, Lely

Kudos to Ebo Eppenga for his professionalism, to Mark Dibbets for his security and web expertise and our very own Mihai Dobrescu for putting it all together!

About the Author

Mihaela Bisnel

Global Marketing Manager with 10+ years experience in Marketing Technology (Marketing Automation, CRM) and Integrated Digital Marketing Campaigns.

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