Marketo Engage engagement programs – your questions

James T Fletcher
CEO, Principal Consultant


This blog summarises the Q&A section of our webinar on Marketo Engage engagement programs from July 8th 2021. You can also read the presentation slides, read some key points in  the webinar summary, or watch the full webinar on-demand.

Q – What’s the benefit of a program vs. an email in a stream?

The power comes from the segmentation capabilities. Embedded programs allow you to have an additional rule set to be really specific about who receives that piece of content.

For example, if you only want to target directors with a specific event vs. practitioners, the additional rules will help you to pick out that target group from the data points you have in your database. 

An email won’t let you add this additional logic, so embedded programs can be really useful for getting granular about who gets what. 

It’s important to note that anyone who doesn’t fit an embedded program’s filters won’t receive that piece of content at all and will automatically skip to the next piece in the stream. If you have no content lined up after that program, those who skipped the embedded content won’t receive anything.

Q – How do I manage the cadence on multiple engagement programs?

Your Marketo communications limit will come into effect and stop some level of over-communication across all of your non-operational programs. As you build a complex automation machine, this will make sure you’re not bombarding your prospects with content across all your different outgoing emails – a big no-no if you want them to stay subscribed!

Another way to make sure you’re not over-communicating is to utilise preferences within the transition rules, or embedded program settings, within your streams. 

Q – How do we set up the next send and the time between send? 

Once you’ve set the time for your first send, your cadence setting manages how often that stream will send out content. You can pause and change cadences between sends, but it can get messy. We advise not to do it, and instead focus on routing the leads into different streams depending on behaviours and data points.

The idea is to balance out your engagement programs so you’re sending based on your prospects’ preferences, but they’re not receiving it all bunched together. For this reason, it can be difficult to use both batch-and-blast programs and engagement programs at the same time, and we wouldn’t suggest a hybrid approach on an everyday basis.

Q – How many streams should I use? What should go in each stream? 

You can customise these quite heavily – we love a revenue model-driven structure that lets us tailor our messaging and structure depending on how far along in the sales funnel a lead is. 

Aligning content to our revenue model makes it easier to manage where there are content gaps, and (most importantly) helps us to understand the whats and wheres of our conversions.

Q – Is there a limit on or specific number of engagement programs I should be using?

Each instance is limited to 100 engagement programs, which is quite a lot! Our advice is to always draw this out before you build it out. As with any complex build, a framework can make things heaps easier than muddling it out.

A framework helps give you clarity on expectations and potential behaviours within the engagement program. Often you’ll find that you will keep optimising these campaigns either through structure, content or transition rules. 

That isn’t a bad thing though; especially if you’re using a revenue model for visibility, optimisation over time should be an integral part of learning what’s working and what isn’t. 

There are many ways you can develop a revenue model, but it all starts with the customer journey. Learn how we can help you to develop a Marketo Engage revenue model aligned to your business goals.

For more further useful information on engagement programs, including how to gauge Program Performance and aligning your lead nurturing to your buying cycle stages, watch the full webinar on-demand!