Multiple Product Line/Topic Nurture Program

Level 2

Multiple Product Line/Topic Nurture Program

Hey Nation,

I'm working on revamping our nurture programs. We have 4 different product lines, and 6 different "topics" that we'd like to run people through based on actions they've taken, and I could use some additional brainpower working through our complex nurture logic.

For this scenario, let's say the emails are grouped into letter groups, and each email under would be a number following that letter code...

Product Line and Topic CodesEmail Codes

Product 1 - "W"

Email 1 - W1

Email 2 - W2

Email 3 - W3

Email 4 - W4

Product 2 - "X"

Email 1 - X1

Email 2 - X2

Email 3 - X3

Email 4 - X4

Product 3 - "Y"

Email 1 - Y1
Email 2 - Y2
Email 3 - Y3
Email 4 - Y4

Product 4 - "Z"

Email 1 - Z1
Email 2 - Z2
Email 3 - Z3
Email 4 - Z4

Topic 1 - "A"

Email 1 - A1
Email 2 - A2
Email 3 - A3
Email 4 - A4

Topic 2 - "B"

Email 1 - B1
Email 2 - B2
Email 3 - B3
Email 4 - B4

Topic 3 - "C"

Email 1 - C1
Email 2 - C2
Email 3 - C3
Email 4 - C4

Topic 4 - "D"

Email 1 - D1
Email 2 - D2
Email 3 - D3
Email 4 - D4

Topic 5 - "E"

Email 1 - E1
Email 2 - E2
Email 3 - E3
Email 4 - E4
Topic 6 - "F"Email 1 - F1
Email 2 - F2
Email 3 - F3
Email 4 - F4

We've then prioritized these emails and ideally would just run down a single engagement stream. If the person qualifies for only one of the product or topic tracks above, then they would simply run through those 4 emails. HOWEVER if they qualify for 2 or more tracks, then we'd like to insert the Second Track's first email right before the First Track's last email.

Here's an example:




W1 (if they meet the criteria)




B1 (if they meet the criteria)




X1 (if they meet the criteria)





Any ideas on how I should structure this? Ideally, if they ran through the whole thing (only qualifying for one topic), then they would run through it again if they later qualified for another topic.

I was initially just going to drop all the emails into individual programs in one Engagement Stream, but wanted to ask you all first in case there's a better idea.

Level 10 - Champion Alumni

Re: Multiple Product Line/Topic Nurture Program

Certainly using Programs instead of simple emails will allow you to run the condition checks within the Smart Campaign. I suspect that will get unwieldy with the number of variations you have.

Other thoughts:

  • Prioritize Topic > Product if you aren't sure of their engagement level.
  • How do you know which Topic or Product they may be interested in? Score? Visit Page? Form fill?
  • Why would you switch it up on them? For example, if they like Product 1 and then you start sending them Topic 3 or Product 4, would that really help them reach the next purchase step?
  • Perhaps use a Traffic Cop to determine incoming records for this system and prioritize the Choice Steps.
  • Then run a batch to move people around if their behavior warrants it. For example, they Exhausted out of Product A emails, and have an interest in Topic X, switch them over.
  • Create a matrix of this: In my view you can have an Engagement by Topic OR by Segment. Your Streams will then be either by Segment/Stage OR Topic. Think of each of your scenarios as little boxes of people and decide if those  are large enough to create an Engagement+Stream?
Level 2

Re: Multiple Product Line/Topic Nurture Program

Hey Josh,

Thanks for the feedback. I've reconfigured this a bit after thinking through these comments. I've been instructed that we want to mix it up on them if they're interested in multiple topics.

With that in mind, we would run through the emails like this

   A1, B1, C1, A2, B2, C2, A3, B3, etc

My next concern is making sure that they are eligible to go back and receive emails that maybe they didn't qualify initially for, but at some point have qualified to receive down the road. Maybe they only qualify for Topic A for their first pass...

   A1, B1, C1, A2, B2, C2, A3, B3, C3, ...

...but a couple of weeks later they show interest in Topic C, so I'd like them to run back through (where red = emails they've been sent already)

   A1, B1, C1, A2, B2, C2, A3, B3, C3, ...

Does it make any sense to use individual programs for each email, or am I over-complicating this?

Level 10 - Champion Alumni

Re: Multiple Product Line/Topic Nurture Program

You could do this because the Stream will only send the next email they have not yet received.

But to the points below, the bouncing back and forth is complicated.

Something to consider is the narrative you want the person to understand about your firm or product. If you keep changing it up, will that confuse them? Will that keep them from advancing in the funnel overall?

Level 3

Re: Multiple Product Line/Topic Nurture Program

Hi Alex! From what I know about email programs nested within engagement programs, this tactic is helpful when you have a person jumping from one bucket into the next (and sometimes back again). But in this case, it sounds like you're trying to put one person into multiple buckets at the same time. Soo.. one person with their feet in different buckets? Bucket twister! (If you accomplish this, you should totally name it the Bucket Twister.)

What do you want to be able to measure/gauge on this after the fact? What would you define as a success for this tactic? Keep this in mind as you're setting all of this up to avoid any messes with trying to report on this later!

My initial thought is to create a separate stream in one program for each product/topic and then if they exhaust the content of the stream they're in, still haven't taken the desired action and are flagged as being interested in a different product/topic, then ship them to the stream for that product/topic. BUT...

Going back to your original ask regarding sending them the first email for the new product right before the last email for the old product, you might be able to accomplish this by using Smart Campaigns instead of or in conjunction with transition rules (disclaimer: this definitely goes against best practice). 

You could set up a smart campaign to listen for someone transitioning into a new stream (you'll want to verify this is even possible), then assemble a series of flow steps to fire the last email of the previous product stream depending on which product/topic (stream) they came from. At this point they're already in the new stream so the new emails will be teeing up to fire. If you go this route, you'd want to make sure you have some exclusionary rules to avoid sending the email twice (this would happen if they were exhausted). You'd also want to make sure that the smart campaign won't trigger or run until AFTER the final email in the old product/topic stream would send so your exclusion will work. And take a look at the timing of this because if you have different cadence settings on different streams it could impact this. (This is also assuming that the only transition rules would be on the 2nd to last email of every stream and would only fire based on that email being sent, they haven't taken the desired action and have been flagged as interested in a different product/topic.)

As for the second ask, you might want to look at setting that up as a drip campaign with choices (also a bit of a nightmare). This might make a mess with reporting though. I'm trying to imagine how this would work out in an engagement program and it's making my brain melt. lol

Disclaimer: Trust no one, test everything!

Level 2

Re: Multiple Product Line/Topic Nurture Program


From your experience with nurture campaigns, how do you speed up testing? We are testing a 5 stream engagement campaign. The transition steps are a bit complex and from testing so far, it's best to have nested programs. We've used the Test Stream function, for each cast, but I would like to run a test group through the entire program without waiting each week for action on each email. What would you recommend for this? How can we speed up the process to document it.

Thank you,
Level 3

Re: Multiple Product Line/Topic Nurture Program

I saw your original question on the community and posted a possible testing method on your post there. Another approach would be to update the cast date/time to speed it up. So your testing would go like this: is your test lead (make sure no actual leads are qualified!)

Set Stream 1 cast for 2:30pm every Thursday

Email 1 fires to at 2:30pm

Set Stream 1 cast for 3:00pm every Thursday

Email 2 fires to at 3:00pm

Set Stream 1 cast for 3:30pm every Thursday

Email 3 fires to at 3:30pm

It's not pretty but it should work if the Test Stream tool doesn't work but I would try the Test Stream tool first!

Level 2

Re: Multiple Product Line/Topic Nurture Program

Hi Ellie,

Wow! Actually seeing it outlined - I believe the process can go like this (see below). At least streams will be firing as they should. In sequence, since I will have nested programs instead.

Set Stream 1 cast for 2:30pm every Thursday

Set Stream 2 cast for 3:00pm every Thursday

Set Stream 3 cast for 3:30pm every Thursday -- and so forth.

Do you think this will be "trippy" for Marketo. Thank you for helping me - this really confused me.

Thank you,
Level 3

Re: Multiple Product Line/Topic Nurture Program

I would outline your test cases before you begin so you know exactly which streams to schedule and when. What you outlined would mean that your test lead would be getting pulled into a new stream with each cast. If all of your transition rules are set up on the first email of each stream then that would work but I'm guessing that's not the case. If your first transition rule were on say Email 3 of Stream 1, your testing would go:

Schedule Stream 1 cast for 2:30pm every Thursday (this sends Email 1)

Schedule Stream 1 cast for 3:00pm every Thursday (this sends Email 2)

Schedule Stream 1 cast for 3:30pm every Thursday (this sends Email 3)

-Transition rules are met so Marketo pulls lead into Stream 2-

Schedule Stream 2 cast for 4:00pm every Thursday (this sends Email 1)

Yes, there could be a delay, so if I were testing this I would wait until the email showed in my inbox before scheduling the next run. It would also be ideal to test it at a time where the workload in your instance is a bit lighter if possible.

Level 2

Re: Multiple Product Line/Topic Nurture Program

Yes, that would be right. For what we are doing we have a welcome program with 4 primary emails. It will be successful if the lead goes through email 1 through 4 (opens, engages, clicks, etc.), buys - that is goal.

However, if emails 1 through 4 have no engagement, no opens, then each email will send a customer down a different path:

Say email 1 from the Primary Program is not opened then the lead is sent to Stream 1, if email 1 is opened but 2 is not, then the lead goes to Stream 2, and if email 1 and 2 are opened, but email 3 is not then Stream 3 is activated, and so forth. 1 through 4 are the gates so to speak and then the streams are subpaths for the corresponding emails. The great thing is once a lead is sent to a stream, then the aren't sent back - they will stay down whatever Stream they have been moved too until content is exhausted.

I've outlined the lead journey to show the paths. The transition rules look promising - but from reading feedback from so many sites I see that having a lead hop from Stream to Stream may be problematic - since the Streams lead via email sequence, and not necessarily letting a user jump from one stream and back. I know our next engagement programs will have this transition (moving leads in and out of Streams).

Thank you Ellie

Thank you,