Mike Harris, the author of today’s blog post, is someone for whom I have a tremendous amount of respect. Actually, our career paths with Infusionsoft haven’t been all that different. We were hired around the same time, we’ve both run Infusionsoft University, and we both have logged the hours to call ourselves campaign experts. Mike has helped a lot of small businesses and I’m pumped that he’s taken the time to share some of his insight.

Confessions of a Campaign Expert: Compartmentalized Campaigns

Throughout my Infusionsoft career (going on 4 years) I’ve learned a lot about the campaign builder.  It was a new tool when I was hired so I simultaneously learned the old legacy Follow-Up Sequences as well and the brand new Campaign Builder.  I learned what worked well, and what didn’t, through my own experimentation as well as the experience of other customers.

One thing I noticed was that people seemed to try to cram as much as they could into a single campaign.  I understood the reasoning behind it (to keep everything related in one spot) but what they ended up with was a giant spider web that looked more like a mess than a business process.  Did they work? Sometimes.  Did they break? Yes, quite often, and with a huge campaign it’s harder to find a breaking point.

So the solution: Compartmentalize Your Campaigns

Side note about myself: I have ADD and I get distracted easily. If there’s too much going on all at once, I find it hard to focus.  This actually worked to my advantage when building campaigns or helping customers build theirs.  I tried to keep things in smaller, intuitive chunks or compartments and found that it not only worked for me but for my customers as well.

When processes are separated at natural breaking points a couple things happen.  The first is that things just tend to work better. Fewer moving pieces in a campaign usually leads to a more reliable and efficient campaign. So, try to exercise some restraint when you get a big idea.  I’ll lay out how to break that campaign up a little later.

Another benefit of breaking campaigns up into more manageable chunks is that you start to see multiple uses for certain pieces.  This means you won’t have to keep duplicating your work.  You can just piggy-back off the work you’ve already done which not only saves you time but keeps your messaging and processes consistent.

So, how do you compartmentalize your campaigns, Mike? Well, I’m glad you asked.

  1. Look for natural points of separation.
    • For instance, if you have a web form offering a free report and then guiding them towards a purchase, the purchase is a natural point of separation.  The contact goes from prospect to client at that point.  Our relationship has changed and, with it, communication should change, as well.
    • Another point of separation is where a handoff occurs.  Whether you are handing a task off to another employee or having a third-party plugin run an action, those can be good points to consider a separation of process.
    • Just remember, if it feels like you shouldn’t be starting a new campaign at a certain point, don’t do it. Make sure the separation make sense to you and those you work with.
  2. Link the campaigns together
    • There are only a couple campaign goal types that can link one campaign to another: tags and purchases are the two biggest ones.  If you are not using Infusionsoft’s Ecommerce or integrating another solution, then tags become your primary option.
    • Linking campaigns is easy.  The first campaign will have an end goal of “Tag A” being applied.  This will conclude that first campaign for the contact.  Then, the second campaign will start with a tag applied goal that also looks for “Tag A” to be applied.  So when a contact has “Tag A” applied to their record it will end the first campaign and start them in the second campaign.
  3. Recycle
    • The key with this approach is not just to break everything up but to be able to reuse pieces of different processes.  For instance, if you have a process that captures information then sends out a series of reminders, you may be able to reuse those reminders for another event.  When you start to involve merging in custom fields, it really becomes easy to reuse these smaller campaigns. (Ex. “Don’t forget about your ~Contact.EventName~ on ~Event.Date~ at ~Event.Time~.”) Using a custom field to populate an event name turns it from a single-use campaign to a multi-use campaign.
    • Another example of recycling a campaign is for fulfillment after a purchase. If you have ten lead capture campaigns all driving toward the purchase of a product, you wouldn’t want to build the fulfillment into each one of those campaigns; but if you conclude them all with the purchase of Product A, then you can trigger a single campaign that starts with purchasing Product A and consolidate all those different channels into one, streamlined process.

How about a demo? Here’s a campaign that needs to be broken up into smaller campaigns.

And here’s the plan for breaking that campaign up, using the Purchase Goal (blue) as the natural point of separation. The section highlighted in yellow will be the first campaign, and the orange section will become a second stand-alone campaign.

Once we’ve made the break, here is how our first new campaign looks:

And here’s the second half of that campaign, broken out on its own as well. Notice how the “Register for Event” purchase goal concludes the first campaign AND is the trigger to start this new one.

These steps may not feel particularly groundbreaking but it really helps to consider them when we get lost in the myopia of building the “perfect campaign”. We all tend to roll our eyes when someone mentions the phrase “work smarter not harder” but, in some cases, it really rings true.

Remember, Infusionsoft gets easier each time you log in. And hopefully these tips simplify things even further. Please feel free to post any questions you may have below, or reach out to me on twitter.