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#MAfails: Knowing Just Enough About Marketo Campaign Design to Be Dangerous

We all like to try new and innovative things to push our marketing initiatives to the max.

Whether you are trying to impress your boss or just one-upping your last campaign, the truth is, sometimes things do not go as you expect.

Back when I was a newbie in Marketo, I felt very confident about basic marketing automation concepts, like nurturing. After all, I had a background in email marketing and experience in other marketing automation software. I decided that I wanted to push the limit and use some new (to me) methods to facilitate a nurture campaign I was launching.

I wanted to use the advanced combination of engagement programs and separate “content” programs to make my nurture campaign more effective.

If you aren’t familiar with this method, you create an individual content program for each unique asset. This content program has two purposes:

  • It keeps track of all individuals who consume the specific asset, regardless of how, where, and when it is promoted.
  • It contains the email you will send in the engagement nurture program.

When you incorporate these content programs into your engagement program, the individuals in your nurture will only receive the nurture emails for the assets they have not yet consumed.

Meaning, your audience will only receive targeted content that they have not already downloaded from you—making you a smarter marketer. Go you!

All sounds great, right? Well, I knew just enough to be dangerous

As I previously mentioned, these were new concepts that I personally had never implemented beforehand.

Knowing this, I put together a bunch of tests to make sure that I was setting everything up correctly.

However, there was one key item I missed and when we launched the nurture campaign: no emails were sent out.

After doing some initial troubleshooting, we thought we discovered the issue, so we addressed it and rescheduled the launch. To our surprise, (again) no emails were sent out.

As you can imagine, this caused a chain reaction and a lot of frustration.

Long story short, once I got the set up corrected, I learned a lot about content programs and how they interact with engagement nurture programs.

To this day, I still refer to it as “Marketo black magic.”

Bottom line, not all campaign implementations will be perfect.

In fact, some will fail completely. Don’t let this discourage you. Instead, use it as an opportunity to understand what went wrong and learn from your mistakes so you don’t make them again.

Have your own #MAfail to share? Leave a comment or hit us up on Twitter using #MAfails

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