I’m sure you’ve never had a problem in your Marketing Automation system. Never found that leads had been added to the wrong program/campaign or found that the people you thought were receiving your communications actually weren’t. That’s never happened to you, right?

If you live on simple batch and blast emails (which we don’t recommend), then these things may never happened to you. For those who rely on more complex programs and campaigns though, there are many moving parts and all it takes is a simple error to create a big problem.

While errors are inevitable – we’re all human, after all – it is possible to minimize their impact.

Take stock of your major campaigns and programs. Where have you seen errors occur before? Make a list of the most common errors you’ve seen. I recently created an error management program for a client; here are some examples of what I’m talking about.

  • This client has a set of complex rules governing what makes a lead marketable. Among other things, leads must sync with the CRM before they are eligible to receive marketing communications. If you are not paying attention, it is easy to miss that leads were created but, for some reason, did not meet those criteria. For this client, we track marketability using a segmentation in Marketo. To keep tabs on new leads, I created a process which is triggered when a new lead is created. If, after a week, the lead has not been added to the “marketable” segment, it is added to a list.
  • Another issue we have seen is that, due to an intricate system of nurture campaigns, sometimes leads “drop out” of the flows as they are being moved from one flow to another. For example, perhaps a filter on the flow that a lead is supposed to be moved to prevented the lead from being added successfully. To track this, I created a campaign that looks for leads who have not received an email in the past month. Again, these leads are added to a list.
  • Lists are great, but want to know how many leads are actually affected by these issues? Create a lead report with custom columns for your different error types – you can set up a subscription and stay on top of just how many leads have not been processed correctly.

Of course, the examples above may not be representative of issues you face in your use of MA. No two companies use MA in exactly the same way, but the principle holds – identify your most likely points of failure and create a way to identify when that failure occurs.

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