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You are asking separate questions.
Question 1: Program Type
Not sure anyone can answer that for you. I do recommend narrowing it down like that and then getting used to nurturing. I would personally pick ONE person, one brand, one vertical with 1 Stream to start. Unless you already have tons of content and a team of email coders, I doubt you'll be able to fill the streams on day 1.
Question 2: How should I setup the system in Marketo?
There are a few threads on Child Programs vs. Emails. I believe the Engagement Purgatory issue was cleared up by engineering awhile ago. I personally use emails. It's faster, simpler. Programs offer attribution options IF you use RCE well. I don't recommend it.
Be careful when dropping in random emails because it will go to everyone BELOW that email.
As for your matrix of verticals, etc. That's what I'd do. Do a big grid and decide how to do this. I prefer one Engagement per Persona box, with Streams focused on lifecycle stage, but perhaps the slides above can help. Sometimes I prefer one Engagement per Stage and Persona. In the slides I talk about having a goal to get the lead to more specific tracks, which would typically be in separate Engagements.
Question 3: How should I track success?
There isn't a standard method. You can certainly track email metrics. You can track the waterfall of people. You can track entry/exits/goals (i do), but that's tedious. You can use Statuses to track lifecycle stages, which has issues too. Pick one.
Josh Hill, Thank you for the suggestions! Answer to Question 1 and 3 were v helpful! I have a few follow-up questions for Question 2:
The reason I'm using nested programs is to prevent contacts from receiving the same piece of content twice - with an exclusion status.
- Since you can only add default programs to engagement programs using a batch send - what cadence do you set for the nested program?
- Do you know if contacts flow through the stream the same way they do for engagement emails as for the nested programs? (i.e. once you add the program with the batch smart campaign to the engagement program, how does that work with the cadence of the stream?)
- Do you recommend the emails at the engagement program level or the nested program level?
- Lastly, what's the best way to add people to the engagement program - a smart list at the engagement program level?
1. Not sure what you mean - you usually set it to Once, but I suppose Every Time is ok. Marketo isn't going to send the lead through the Program in the Stream more than once anyway. Once reason to use Programs is to leverage an Asset across the system, yet ensure the lead won't get that email again if it did outside of the Engagement.
2. It works the same way...assuming I understand your question. This is all on docs.marketo.com
3. I prefer straight emails, no child programs.
4. Please read my slides. You must use an Entry Smart Campaign (trigger or batch) to Add to Engagement > Stream X.