In our July 22nd service pack we will be making a change to Program Builder and how contacts exit programs.
Unless you explicitly use the "Remove from Program" step action, contacts build up in dead end steps. Over time this leads to a significant build up of contacts in programs that have no future action, causing performance degradation for your database. To solve this potential performance issue, after 3 months of a contact sitting in a dead end step, they will automatically exit the program. If the contact is sitting in a retry step, wait step, has an error or there is any possible future action, they will remain in place. If contacts automatically exit from a program they will be still be included in the standard program exit history report.
In preparation for this change, we have identified the two primary use cases related to leaving contacts in programs and how to leverage Eloqua functionality to support these use cases.
1. Reporting buckets for error checking or followup
Having contacts build up in dead end steps can make it easy to identity the path a contact flowed down for troubleshooting or even identify contacts with an error that require manual action. For reporting on errors that require follow up, typically follow up must be immediate, so keep in mind they will remain in the dead end step for 3 months before automatically being removed. You can also add an 'Add to Contact Group' step to the end of your program that will allow the contact group to act as your reporting mechanism.
2. Prevent contacts from re-entering the program
A contact can only live in a program as one program member. Re-entry can only occur once the contact has exited the program. Some of you may leave contacts in dead ends steps because as long as they are in the program, they cannot process through it again. Instead of relying on leaving all of these stale contacts in the program, there is an option in the program details that by default allows contacts to enter multiple times. Unchecking this option means that once a contact has been through the program once, they will never enter it again. See screenshot below:
Finally, the best practice and most efficient method to avoid issues is to make sure all your exit points have a proper "Remove from Program" step action. This will remove contacts from the program right away and avoid the 3 month automatic exit.