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Engagement Program cadence clarification/work around?

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benk
Level 1

Engagement Program cadence clarification/work around?

TL;DR - How to use engagement programs to send on a schedule relative to each person's entry?

 

Background first: I've used Eloqua as my primary tool for about 10 years, way down in the weeds. I know this stuff but I'm almost a year into my first gig using Marketo and I can't seem to get my head around engagement programs. They have a lot of advantages (some important tasks are very easy, like pausing while they get a specific event follow up, skipping emails they've already received, etc; In Eloqua the management tasks between programs are much more complicated).

 

But I don't understand why, with all the features that make them the obvious choice for a long-term nurture program, they only send on a fixed schedule. I want to send emails every X weeks, but I don't want someone who enters the program the day after the batch sends to wait the whole X weeks before they start getting nurtured.

 

A common suggestion I've read here in the community is to send the first email from a triggered smart campaign and then add them to the engagement program after that, which could work. Then at least they receive something right away, and then wait. But I'd rather everyone who enters the program to receive the emails on a schedule relative to their entry. This seems very basic. "Right message, right person, right time" is almost a universal marketing goal. Requiring your audience to align all of their nurture schedules seems to disregard the "right time" bit.

 

I believe I understand how it works (product docs, this post, this post), and I guess I don't need to know why Marketo is set up this way. I just want to know if I'm missing something. Am I blinded by my Eloqua tunnel vision? Is what I want to do just not as important as I've come to believe? Or is there a way that everyone does a true "right time, right message" nurture that also gets the management benefits of the Engagement stream engine? Or am I totally confused and not understanding the way the engagement cadences work? Thanks for reading and I appreciate any insight!

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Accepted Solutions
Darshil_Shah1
Level 10 - Community Advisor

Re: Engagement Program cadence clarification/work around?

You can set the stream cadence to run every day and have a campaign that pauses people after they receive the nurture email for X weeks. The flow for people entering into Nurture program would be something like this - 

 

1. Enter the engagement program stream, with cadence set to Normal.

2. In the next cast (following day or the same day if the cast has not ran before person was added to the stream), the person is sent the nurture email.

3. A campaign updates the engagement program cadence of the person to Paused state from Normal state, adds the person in to a wait step of X weeks, and then flips the cadence back to the Normal state. This campaign flow needs to be requested/executed after every nurture content email send.

4. Person goes through the steps 2 & 3 till the nurture content is exhausted or the person is removed from the EP.

 

This method will allow you to add your cadence/duration b/w nurture emails using the wait step (b/w the cadence flips) on top of the cadence defined in the engagement program stream, this will help build a set up where-in new people entering in to the EP don't have to wait for upto X weeks for receiving the first nurture email.

 

Hope this helps! Please let us know if you have any question. 🙂

 

Best,
Darshil

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7 REPLIES 7
Darshil_Shah1
Level 10 - Community Advisor

Re: Engagement Program cadence clarification/work around?

You can set the stream cadence to run every day and have a campaign that pauses people after they receive the nurture email for X weeks. The flow for people entering into Nurture program would be something like this - 

 

1. Enter the engagement program stream, with cadence set to Normal.

2. In the next cast (following day or the same day if the cast has not ran before person was added to the stream), the person is sent the nurture email.

3. A campaign updates the engagement program cadence of the person to Paused state from Normal state, adds the person in to a wait step of X weeks, and then flips the cadence back to the Normal state. This campaign flow needs to be requested/executed after every nurture content email send.

4. Person goes through the steps 2 & 3 till the nurture content is exhausted or the person is removed from the EP.

 

This method will allow you to add your cadence/duration b/w nurture emails using the wait step (b/w the cadence flips) on top of the cadence defined in the engagement program stream, this will help build a set up where-in new people entering in to the EP don't have to wait for upto X weeks for receiving the first nurture email.

 

Hope this helps! Please let us know if you have any question. 🙂

 

Best,
Darshil
benk
Level 1

Re: Engagement Program cadence clarification/work around?

Thanks Darshil! That is a great solution. After posting yesterday I was starting to think along these lines and this clarifies the issue for me. Thanks for saving me a ton of time. I'll give it a try and report back!

 

Michael_Florin
Level 10

Re: Engagement Program cadence clarification/work around?

benk
Level 1

Re: Engagement Program cadence clarification/work around?

Thanks Michael! I hadn't come across that one; very applicable to my case, plus some other insights that are sure to be helpful as well.

ThaísMacedo
Level 2

Re: Engagement Program cadence clarification/work around?

I believe  already shared a valid solution.

Another workaround would be ditching the stream and doing all the automation in Smart Campaigns. For example:

Trigger: Fills out form

Flow: Send email 1

Wait 7 days

Send email 2

Wait 7 days

And so on...

 

I've done this in the past and it worked fine.

benk
Level 1

Re: Engagement Program cadence clarification/work around?

Thank you Thais! I've been doing variations on that for some of my short engagement response nurtures, but the size and scope of my long term awareness nurture was going to be too top heavy to easily maintain a smart campaign this way. Plus I'm sending out content that some of my audience has seen before so I wanted an easy way for them to skip those emails. I found the engagement program to be an easy way to do that using nested programs. If the person is in the nested program already (they meet a handful of criteria that identifies them as having engaged with the content in some way, then adds them with a status of "Skip" or similar), then the engagement program just skips that default program and goes to the next.

I'm interested to know though - what is your decision making process for when you would choose an engagement program over a smart campaign?

ThaísMacedo
Level 2

Re: Engagement Program cadence clarification/work around?

I see. In that case, an engagement program is the best way!

 

I usually choose engagement programs when I have a longer cadence of emails and a complex strategy, so it's easier to control, add, remove or change streams. For example, welcome to the product nurtures (1 email right after conversion, then 1 per week in the next 3 months, changing streams if they convert for a paid plan or are flagged by our sales team)

 

I use smart campaigns for shorter cadences (maybe up to 5 emails) with less complexity. For example, for post-event nurtures: 1 follow-up email right after the webinar + 2 in the following weeks.