How to Branch Out in Marketing Automation Nurture Programs - dummies

How to Branch Out in Marketing Automation Nurture Programs

By Mathew Sweezey

In marketing automation nurturing programs, you need to be able to take people through different scenarios based on their behavior within the program. One way to provide the various scenarios is by creating different campaigns and linking them together; another way is to branch your nurturing track.

Branching means to have different paths within a single nurturing campaign. This approach allows you to have a single screen managing very complex nurturing paths, rather than having to manage many different nurturing tracks tied together. Many of the same campaigns can be executed with either approach; branching just makes it much easier to manage.

Your tool dictates the level of branching you can accomplish — if you can accomplish it at all. To find out whether your marketing automation tool can branch programs, ask your vendor. Here are some helpful tips for how to correctly use branching when building your nurturing programs:

  • Main line: Have a main line of your nurturing program. The main line is the core of your nurturing program. It is the work horse. Branches should be broken off of the main line. A branch may or may not lead back to the main line, depending on your campaign.


  • Branch lines: The branch lines of your nurturing program are for very specific and granular actions. These are the times when you want to take just one person down a very personalized experience based on very specific actions. The following shows the branch line in a nurturing program.


  • Connecting the branches with the main line: Depending on your tool, connecting the lines can be very complex or very easy. If your tool supports branching in the nurturing functionality, connecting the lines is very easy, and you should definitely do this.

    Connecting the lines allows you to test new ideas but also put the lead back on the main line if you decide to do so. This capability can save you tons of time and make your nurturing programs much more versatile.

  • Testing: Learn to use branching to test new ideas while keeping those ideas as part of one overall nurturing program. This approach allows you to do split testing with your nurturing programs in real time.