So what is a Custom Data Object record? Custom Data Object (CDO) records or CDOs store data elements in the Eloqua system that are not part of your account or customer contact record. Custom Data Object records can also go by the name data cards.


Custom Data Objects allow you to define data elements that share one-to-many relationships with a contact or an account record.  This data is stored, linked to the contact or account record and made available for many other uses (see below). Custom Data Object records are created in Custom Data Objects (also known as Custom Objects or Data card Sets).


Custom Data Object Examples:

  • Point of Sale Information
  • Product Purchase History (Mary Jane has product X, Y and Z)
  • Licensing/entitlement information
  • Subscription/membership data
  • Event/webinar attendance data
  • Social media data associated to a contact
  • Opportunity data, Warranty, Service Contracts, Competitive Intel, BU Segmentation Data (ie RUM/RAD)


Custom Data Object Example = Subscription Renewal Information
Custom Data Object fields in the Subscription Renewal object could be:
Renewal Product Name
Renewal Date
Renewal Fee


Uses for Custom Data Object Records:
By storing and accessing this data, workflows can be better defined and aligned to what the prospect or customer is interested in.


  • Segment and filter contacts for inclusion into an email campaign.  For example, point of sale information stored in a data card shows that Mary Jane bought tickets to Bon Jovi, so now we can offer similar tickets.
  • Build out more sophisticated lead scoring (if they own product ZZ, score higher)
  • Build rules for lead routing (if product X and product Y, send lead/contact to PowerQualifierGroup)
  • Segment into specific nurture or drip campaigns (if contact has product X, drop into Campaign CrossSell)
  • Remove from a specific nurture campaign if a contact has an opportunity stage of ‘sales qualified lead’.
  • Send emails to contacts that have tweeted about a certain topic
  • Send follow up communication to webinar attendees based on the time they spent at a webinar (used as part of a Cloud Connector process).
  • Send subscription renewal emails with all the relevant information including the renewal date, product and renewal fees.



  • How many Custom Data Objects can you have? There is no defined system limit on the number of Custom Data Objects allowed
  • How many records are recommended?  The smaller the better for optimum performance.  Here are some good rules to go by:
  • 1M to 3M per object is good and reasonable
  • 3M – 6M is acceptable
  • 6M- 10M is fine, but if you can keep it below this threshold, that’s better.
  • It is not recommended to go over 10M.
  • How many records can I have in total?  It is not recommended to exceed 20 million
  • You should design a process to clear out old data cards to keep them below the numbers mentioned above.


Posts to reference:


Recommended Eloqua Education Courses*:

  • *Course: Program Builder – not specific to custom data objects, but most people will use CDOs when building out programs in Program Builder.

* Requires an Eloqua All Education pass