Has wait step behavior changed recently?

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Has wait step behavior changed recently?

We have a handful of smart campaigns that have a wait step duration: wait 1 min, wait must end Mon-Fri at 4 pm ET. The next step is to send an email. We are doing this, obviously, because we do not want these emails to go out over the weekend.

This past weekend, it seems that the wait step completely ignored the "wait must end Mon-Fri at 4 pm ET" requirement, as the send email step was executed on both Saturday and Sunday, hours before from the specified end time at 4 pm ET, and so I submitted a support case.

Support responded, completely ignoring the fact the wait step did not end Mon-Fri, with this:

Wait steps with durations work by trying to satisfy two conditions. In this case the conditions are 1 minute and by the end of the day at 4:00 PM EDT. Marketo will try to qualify the person for what comes first, the 1 minute or by 4:00 PM EDT. The closer it gets to 4:00 PM EDT, the more Marketo starts to "look" at this part of the condition and less at the 1 minute condition so as not to miss the cut of time of 4:00 PM EDT.

My experience up to this point, which is confirmed by this product doc, is that the wait step ends AT your specified time, not BY your specified time. Has this behavior changed? Is anyone else experiencing this issue with wait steps? I am waiting to hear back from support, but was hoping someone from the community would have some insight.

TL;DR version: Wait step that must end Mon-Fri at 4 pm ET actually ended Saturday and Sunday, nowhere near 4 pm ET, effectively ignoring the time constraints. Support is trying to chalk this up as intended behavior and/or misunderstanding of intended behavior. Looking for community input.


Accepted Solutions

Re: Has wait step behavior changed recently?

Hi Elizaveta,

Marketo has confirmed that what I am experiencing is indeed a bug. For me, it is happening on brand-new campaigns (created from scratch, not cloned) with advanced wait steps that have a "Must end M-F" requirement.

However, I am still waiting for a fix. The last update I received was 5 days ago saying that they'd let me know when a patch would be pushed out. Good luck in trying to resolve your issue. It took a lot of effort on my part to convince support that this was a bug and not a user error and get it escalated.

12/9 Update: I forgot to update this sooner, but a patch was pushed out to my instance at the end of November and the wait step is now working as intended.

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Re: Has wait step behavior changed recently?

If that's what they're saying, that sounds completely different from what I would have expected. I would have expected the email to wait 1 minute + however much time it was until 4PM Monday-Friday. So if someone came in at 4:02pm Friday, they would wait until 4:00PM Monday to send.

Re: Has wait step behavior changed recently?

Thanks, Dory. That's what I'd expect, too, but that's not what's happening. I'm thinking there is a bug and they don't want to own it.

Level 10 - Champion Alumni

Re: Has wait step behavior changed recently?

Yes, this is the documented and expected behavior. I haven't personally seen an error like this, but I do have several drips leveraging that exact type of wait.

Re: Has wait step behavior changed recently?

Thanks for confirming, Josh. I guess I'll have to push a little harder on support to get a fix. Bummer because these are all brand-spanking new nurture campaigns that we are set to go live with this week and we'll have to go live without them working as intended.

Level 8 - Champion Alumni

Re: Has wait step behavior changed recently?

The response from support is also counter to my understanding of the behaviour and Marketo's own documentation:


Scenario: A lead triggers a smart campaign on Friday at 5pm. The wait step is advanced. (48 hours and must end on Mon-Fri at 9am.)

The result would be that the lead would continue in the flow on Monday, 9am. This is the first M-F date after 48 hours.

Re: Has wait step behavior changed recently?

Thanks, Justin. I thought I was going nuts. Glad others understand it the way I do

Level 5

Re: Has wait step behavior changed recently?

Jessica Biblis​ - the answer you got from support doesn't make sense to me either.

I ran into a problem similar to this in a overly-complicated smart campaign with multiple wait steps. In my case, a wait step was ignored because we added and removed multiple actions in from the smart campaign after the campaign was already active, and leads were in a wait step. Could that be the case here for your campaign? I kinda doubt it, but just wanted to ask.

Re: Has wait step behavior changed recently?

Thanks for your response, David. The campaign isn't complex at all, and has just two steps:

  • wait 1 minute, wait must end Mon-Fri at 4 pm ET
  • send email

Now it is the campaign is triggered by being requested by another campaign that has a 4 hour wait step, but that shouldn't really matter. Today, I sent a test lead through at 10 am ET -- it waited the 4 hours before requesting the second campaign, but I got the email send at 2 pm ET and not at 4 pm ET. So it is respecting the wait step, just ignoring the Mon-Fri at 4 pm

Level 5

Re: Has wait step behavior changed recently?

Oh goodness, I cannot think of a good reason why this is happening. Good luck troubleshooting with Support.