[These instructions refer to Eloqua 10. For Eloqua9 instructions go here.]
Sometimes when a user clicks a link in one of your emails you’d like to be able to do more than simply track the click-thru. The method below describes a ‘trick’ so that you can do just that! The basic premise is that you will build a form within Eloqua (that you can use again and again). In your email message you will insert a specially created URL that points to this form. When the user clicks this link in your email, they are actually submitting an Eloqua form – although they don’t know it and it’s seamless to them (which is where the term “blind form submit” comes from). You can then use Form Processing Steps to perform many actions, such as associate them to a campaign, change their campaign status, add them to a group, notify a salesperson, etc. All of the normal Form Processing Steps are available to you as options. An example of this might be an RSVP link in an email. You could have two separate links “No, I cannot attend” and “Yes, I’ll be there”. Each one of these links can point to the same form. But in the “rsvp” variable we can pass along a No or a Yes. Then, with conditional processing steps on the form, we can add these people to one of two contact groups.
Create Your Form
Go to Assets > Forms > New > Choose "blank form"
In the Settings area set the Form Name to “Click Thru Tracking” or whatever makes sense for your organization. This form name will appear in your CRM activity history section when this form is submitted (if you have an integration between Eloqua and your CRM, and if you have Form Submission activity turned on).
You can then click on "Generate" to create a unique HTML Name or type this in yourself. Make sure you take note of this HTML Name as you'll need it later on
Open Notepad and begin pasting the information you see in these two boxes like this:
In case you want the details, here is an explanation of what we have so far:
- Everyone who uses this process will have the same beginning part of the URL. All Eloqua forms are processed through this URL: now.eloqua.com/e/f2.aspx
- The ? is the beginning of the first query string. (Query strings are a way of passing along additional information with a URL. The first one always begins with a question mark and subsequent query strings are joined by adding an ampersand [&]. )
- The first query string is the elqFormName. Everyone will have this same parameter, but the value (the part after the equal sign) will be unique to you. For example, if you named your form something other than ‘click’ that name will appear here. In this case, it's clickThruTracking-1297453884557
- The & is the beginning of the next query string.
- The second query string is the elqSiteID. Again, everyone will have this parameter, but your Site ID value is unique to you.
Note: This first part of the URL (up through the SiteID value) will always be the same every time you use this feature.
To see the SiteID, go to View Form HTML > Integration Details:
Add More Fields To The Form
Just drag and drop the fields you want. There are two fields you MUST add, then additional fields are optional.
Set the HTML name to “e” (this will help keep our URL shorter).
Similar to above, set the HTML name to "url"
Additional fields you may want:
Campaign ID (recommend “cid” as the HTML name)
Campaign Status (recommend “status” as the HTML name)
RSVP – if you intend to use this similar to the example at the beginning of this document
Finish Building the URL
Now continue building your URL. At a minimum it will now look like this:
It may even look like this:
You can add as many fields as you like – simply connect each of the fields/query string with an ampersand.
NOTE: That the recipient’s email address will be inserted correctly into the link when the Batch or QuickSend is sent to them.
NOTE: The Destination URL that you enter must be a fully-qualified URL. (That means it must begin with http:// or https://) This is the location that you want the person to end up after they have clicked the link in the email.
Building the Form Processing Steps
The number of Processing Steps you have will depend on your needs for this functionality. You will probably use some conditional Processing Steps as you begin to use this form more and more. For example, if you want to use the RSVP functionality example, you may have two “Add to Shared Contact List” steps – one for “yes” and one for “no”.
At a minimum, you must have the step called Redirect to URL. Change the properties from Constant to Form Field (as shown below) and then point to the field that you created called “retURL.”
If you are passing through Campaign ID or Campaign Status, you’ll also want to add the step called “Update Contacts With Form Data” and save those fields to the appropriate Contact Fields in Eloqua. You will also need to add the “Add to Program” step and choose the Update CRM program so that the person’s Campaign Status/ID can be updated in your CRM.
Inserting the Link into an Email
In your email, highlight the text that you want to make clickable and insert a hyperlink. Choose “Webpage” as the link type and paste your link code into the Webpage field as shown below. Ensure that there is now "http://" before the now.eloqua.com.... In addition, do not click “Insert as Redirect Link”.
[above image should be secure.eloqua.com/e/....]
A few things to consider:
- Email Address Considerations
It is important to note that because the email address is being passed directly in the link, the email click and form submission will be associated with that specific email address.
For example, if we use the RSVP example: If Bob Customer receives the email and clicks the link to RSVP “yes”, then he forwards it to his friend Joe who clicks the “no” link, it will look like Bob submitted two forms – one with a yes, one with a no. For simple things like RSVP tracking this is usually okay – you’re just trying to get a general idea of raw numbers. But there may be times that this might cause you a problem. In those cases you might add verbiage that says ‘This is your private link, do not forward’ or something like that.
- Re-Use the Form
You can continue to use this same form over and over by simply adding more fields as needed. It’s perfectly okay to have multiple fields within the Eloqua form but then only use two or three of them in the URL. Just use what you need at that time. And remember that conditional Processing Steps can be very helpful to you.
- Click-Thru Tracking
Download the Word file attached to this post for more information about tracking the click-thru in the email stats report in Eloqua.