One Engagement Program or Multiple?

Not applicable

Let's imagine that you have a nurture campaign for prospects with four emails, each relating to a product. If someone clicks the link in a product-specific email, you want them to get a series of three emails related to that product and then move them back to the previous set of emails if they did not engage in the product-specific stream. Do you put this in one engagement program or two or more?

Here are some factors you should keep in mind when you're trying to make this decision about program design:

  • Will this nurture program always remain as it is? Are there any possibilities that the client might decide to vary the initial set of emails in some way, such as making industry-specific variations, sending the emails in different time zones to different regions, or adding more emails that are based off a different set of rules? Would they do this to the product-specific nurtures as well - potentially make the current set an early stage stream but then add mid and late stage emails also? If you anticipate changes that would involve expanding your nurture program, you may want to split these out into two or more nurture programs to give yourself room to adjust the rules later without having to redo everything.
  • If you separate them into more than one nurture program, you're going to need extra smart campaigns to pause people in one nurture program and unpause them in the other. This is a relatively minor consideration but if you have relatively new Marketo users, it can be overlooked and it is possible people might be active in both at one time when you don't intend for that. If you have everything in one nurture program, the system automatically ensure someone is only in one stream at a time.
  • You also need to consider reporting. Do you have a different measurement of success for the first set of four emails than you do for the different product-specific streams? If you want to measure success of the entire program of 16 emails based on these leads being passed to sales, then you are fine to report on them in a single program. If you want to report on how many people engage with the first set of emails but you want to report on conversion for the product-specific nurtures, you would want to put these into separate programs.

Anyone have any other factors they think should be included?

Level 9 - Champion

This is great!

Level 4

Great write-up. Thanks Kristen Carmean

Level 4

My first suggestion -- Don't hesitate to just build it. You don't need a detailed plan, just a white board with a solid outline of the flow/journey you want your visitors to embark on, internal/external goals and KPI. Just build it you can always load in a set of test leads to run real time testing with out affecting your actual lead database . Test it, see if it works as you expect -- and see where any gaps may lie. Revise, test again, revise test with a small live sample group, revise and launch.

This is a great post! While each case will be different I thought I'd share a few things we did that seem to work and scale quite well.

  1. I created a default program to manage my "global/cross-engagement program" assets and campaigns
    1. There I setup a static list that that triggers pausing and unpausing engagement program cadence based on a simple addition or removal from that list.
    2. Adding to the list pauses via one smart campaign across all engagement programs -- Trick -- use your constraints
    3. Removing from the list unpauses their cadence across all my engagement programs -- Trick -- use your constraints
    4. There are also some other exclusion lists and a few other things tucked in there for safekeeping.
  2. I went ahead and created an engagement stream for each industry served.
  3. Individual Streams are similar across most programs as they are based loosely on our Revenue cycle model in an effort to deliver the appropriate content at each stage of the funnel.
  4. I leverage external evergreen programs to manage our asset distribution ebooks, blogs, demo calls to action etc. The main advantage here are tokens, tokens, tokens. each contains...
    1. Assets/Campaigns: Landing Pages, Email Auto Responders, Smart campaigns for Status, etc.
    2. Nested Email Program - Nurture: Email | Smart campaign -- send email | Smart campaign -- add to Engagement Program
    3. Nested Email Program - Drip: Emails | Smart Campaigns -- Send Email[x], Send All Email, Remove from Drip
      1. Smart campaigns
        1. TR 00 -- Send All Emails: Send all Emails | Request Campaign: "TR 00 -- Remove From Drip"
        2. TR 00 -- Remove From Drip: Remove from all Send Email Campaigns
        3. TR 10 -- Send Email 1: Add to Nurture Pause List | Send Email 1 | Wait X days | Request Campaign "TR 20 -- Send Email 2
        4. TR 20 -- Send Email 2: Send Email 1 | Wait X days | Request Campaign "TR 20 -- Send Email 2"
        5. TR 30 -- Send Email 3: Send Email 3 | Remove From to Nurture Pause List
      2. To overcome potential unsubscribes, we include a small paragraph at the bottom of the AutoResponder and each drip that mentions they will be receiving [x] emails containing "bonus content" about the [asset]. They are then offered the ability to receive all the bonus content now, or skip the bonus content this time.

While a bit complicated, it's actually quite scalable since you can templatize the Evergreen program with the nested programs intact, or separate them out and clone them individually as needed. I find that leveraging a nested email program is quite handy especially when using campaign sync with sfdc. This enables the email program to house all the members who have taken part without affecting the member status of the parent Evergreen program that is in sync with SFDC. This means only those that "Fill Form, Download Asset, or Lead Converted" are captured ensuring we have all the meets min requirements to sync them to salesforce.

Just be sure to add any members of the evergreen program to the nested nurture program so the end user doesn't receive the same content again after self selection... you can also add a filter in the engagement smart campaign connector that excludes members of either campaign -- up to you.

There are 10 ways to do anything. this is one way that worked really well for us and made it easy to tuck in segmentation, leverage tokens and even split our drip email reporting from nurture reporting... Another handy advantage is that you can get all the email details at the parent campaign folder level. We also went so far as to prepend 4 digit codes to our programs so we knew what they were, and post-pended 4-digit codes for each asset. That way when we export the details with very little excel magic we can sort pivot and report on specific email types across programs and program types...

  • Example of exported program/asset name: EGEB 2017-05 -- Best Ebook Ever.EMNU -- Best Ebook Ever.EM10 -- EMNU
    • Program: EGEB 2017-05 -- Best Ebook Ever
      • EGEB = Evergreen Ebook
    • Nested Program: EMNU -- Best Ebook Ever.
      • EMNU = Email Nurture
    • Asset: EM10 -- EMNU
      • EMNU = Email Nurture

Again this is what worked for us, but there may be a few ideas in here to help you along your engagement journey...

Please pardon any typos, this was written as a stream of consciousness.