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!
... View more