Skip navigation

Engage Today is a shining star.  The program aligns content marketing, social media, SEO, and Email and e-newsletter promotion with the tactical activities of enterprise sales reps to deliver a measurable ROI.


During the past two years Strategic Communications Group (Strategic) has had the good fortune to partner with the Pitney Bowes Software marketing team to design, implement and refine Engage Today.  This year holds tremendous promise for the program as we continue to push innovation on multiple fronts, especially in the area of sales enablement.


It’s with this last piece in mind that Barbara Bernard – the client’s North American field marketing leader – invited me to speak at the company’s annual sales conference in Orlando, Florida.  My goals were to further educate the company’s sales professionals about Engage Today, and inspire their participation and collaboration in the program.


I was just part of an action packed agenda that included an exceptional set of speakers and presenters.  One of the other sessions I had the pleasure of sitting in on was a panel discussion of three top-flight chief marketing officers, including:


-Louis Cohen, Citibank

-Bryan Throckmorton, Acxiom

-Benjamin Karsch, Cigna


Here is a recap of a few of the highlights from the CMOs talk:


Suggestions on “Strategic Selling” to Marketing Leaders.

-Never make a cold outreach by phone or Email.  Rather, leverage a mutual relationship to get an introduction.  LinkedIn is an effective tool to make a connection, as is a referral from another part of the business, such as IT or corporate communications.

-Create an interaction based on mutual value.  For instance, one prospective consultant engaged with one of the CMO panelists with an offer to interview for a column he was writing for Forbes Magazine.  That led to a discussion of the consultant’s capabilities which has now turned in to a six month project.


What Challenge is Occupying their Time (and Budget)?

-It’s how their company can improve the customer experience to increase profitable growth.  This is more than brand positioning and presentation.  The experience is about understanding what is important to the customer in service or product delivery, support and reputation, and then consistently delivering on a promise.

-Other topics and needs of high value to the CMO include collecting and managing big data, analytics and business intelligence, and measuring effectiveness and competitiveness.


Does the CMO Really have a Technology Budget Larger than the CTO?

-Kind of.  If you consider infrastructure (i.e. systems, servers and other hardware) and maintenance projects then the answer is “no.”  However, if the criteria is solely on technology investments that touch the customer or designed to fuel revenue growth than the answer is “yes.”

-The overall corporate strategy and priorities of the business are defined based on growth.  That’s a marketing function and each of the CMOs are in a position where they no longer require approval from the IT department to initiate a new program or area of spend.



To read more from Marc, please visit the "Strategic Guy" blog at

In a world transitioning to an opt-in email model, having a valid email address – and permission to use it – is more important than ever. While Sales and Marketing is out there gathering new leads, let’s discuss how your operations team can better shepherd the existing email flock and reengage the contacts that wandered off.


In the reporting world, these lost souls fill out ranks of your email bounce and unsubscribe metrics, but they might not be lost forever.  So grab your staff and wooly poncho and let’s head off into the hills and track down our lost list members before someone else captures them.


Let’s start by identifying the different types of missing persons:



Bounces are when you have a failure in technology or data, and unsubscribes are a failure in your relationships. The outcome of each is the same: your message didn’t make it to the recipient. The reasons for delivery failure, however, could be very different. How can you react to this missed connection? Let’s take a look by type, starting with bounces.


Soft Bounce

A soft bounce happens when your email is current, but the message is undeliverable nonetheless. Some reasons could include:

•    It’s a general or shared inbox that has high volume and has reached its limit.

•    The recipient is on vacation, hasn’t checked their email in quite some time and their inbox has reached its limit.

•    The person is no longer employed at the company you’re targeting and the email hasn’t been deactivated yet (worst-case scenario).


What to Do When It Happens

Assume the best. Assume the person is on vacation and hasn’t checked his or her email yet. Retry your failed message after a week to allow the recipient time to clear the backlog. If it bounces again, or if your message is of an urgent nature, try reaching out to the individual with a phone call or through social channels (if you have his or her Twitter/Facebook information) to verify the individual’s information so that communications can resume.


Hard Bounce

This bounce is more serious because the info you have is flat out incorrect. If this is a new contact it could be a data entry error, but if this is a long-time prospect or contact, it could be something else. Some reasons could include:

•    Your contact changed organizations.

•    The company changed the format of their email addresses.

•    The entire domain isn’t active.

Regardless of the reason, this is a serious data quality issue for you. If the contact is a champion for your organization, or a legal contact who’s no longer employed, you need to find a new focus for your relationships at that organization. If email formats or domains have changed, it will affect all the email addresses you have for the entire organization.


What to Do When It Happens

Notify sales or customer service and get the contact on the phone, just get someone pounding the pavement verifying data to find out why the technology isn’t working so you can fix the problem. It’s most likely not a huge issue, but if it happens during late sales cycles negotiations, it could be disastrous if not remedied quickly.


Now for unsubscribes, when the relationship fails.

While the previous two reasons undeliverable messages were technology-based, we’re entering into no-man’s-land. These last two reasons are more about relationship building and less about delivering your messaging because these contacts took action to ask you to leave them alone. This class of list loss is important because while some people simply become unengaged, they can be a canary in the mineshaft warning you about how the rest of your list feels about your communications. Tread lightly, because these individuals were upset enough to take action and you need their help to figure out why so you can win them back, or at least not lose more list members.



The lesser of the two evils, the list-unsubscribe means that your contact hasn’t selected to disengage completely, but is sick and tired of a certain type of conversation. They have used your subscription management tool to tell you that a certain message is no longer of interest. No one likes to be told to get lost, but this is a chance for your service organization to inject a little awesome into your contact’s life.


What to Do When It Happens

The first and easiest thing to start is to include a feedback option for your contacts within the unsubscribe process. Use of a survey or form to collect data about your reasons for loss will give you measureable and actionable data to analyze regarding why your contacts are abandoning you.  Engagement will likely be low, but you will capture some of the most passionate responses this way, giving you much to think about when planning future communications.


You should also consider having a sales or customer service contact the individual. Nothing makes people feel special like receiving a personalized touch to make sure they haven’t been offended. You can also collect feedback on your campaigns to identify perception trends about communication frequency, tone and relevance to help you better target future messages to your remaining list members. Best case scenario, you might get them re-subscribed.



We now reach the worst case scenario for list attrition, the global-unsubscribe.  Your contact not only doesn’t want to get your event invites, they don’t want to hear from you at all, ever, seriously this guy hates you. Something happened between you and this contact that was so severe they asked to never be emailed again. This is where most organizations leave it, but like the list-unsubscribe, there is valuable customer service info to be gleaned here.


What to Do When It Happens

A feedback loop is good to include again, but I recommend you have sales or customer service contact the individual, and make sure to be extra humble! You already know you have upset him or her, and you want to know how to make it right or make sure you never do it again to anyone else. This is the B2B equivalent of asking an ex-significant other why you got dumped. It will probably be awkward for both of you, so be prepared for the possibility of them saying they just aren’t that into you. With any luck they will be open to the conversation because this is their chance to help you become a better marketer. At least it shows you cared enough to ask.


Armed with some humble pie and the desire to make things right, you can win back some lost lists and at the same time collect valuable feedback to improve your future activities. Recover some of your lost flock and you’ll become an email hero to your contacts and coworkers.


What strategies have you implemented for maintaining the health of your database?

Time for another round-up of what's hot on the Eloqua AppCloud

Few interesting highlights:

  • Over 900 Eloqua clients are integrating apps from the Eloqua AppCloud directly into their marketing programs in Eloqua
  • Eloqua users are making their landing pages more social!  We're seeing a big spike in the addition of embedded YouTube Videos, LinkedIn/GooglePlus Share buttons and the use of Social SignOn such as LinkedIn  
  • The average number of apps used per instance has increased from 4.4 to 8.  Not only are marketers using the apps to increase their efficiency and enhance their understand of their buyers (such as data augmentation or full webcast integration/automation), they are layering in engaging elements to their landing pages.


What's your favourite app?   Any "must use" recommendations for your fellow Topliners community members? 



New to the Eloqua AppCloud?   Don't be afraid, come for a visit!


How to get started:  A lot of Eloqua clients "dip their toe in" by adding a YouTube video to your landing page*.  Within seconds, you've made your landing page more engaging and you didn't need to fiddle with the HTML to do it!     Another quick win is to bring in external "digital body language" such as who attended your webinar directly from your webinar platform - without the hassel/delay of manually exporting and importing the data.  Those follow-up emails to attendees can happen effortlessly!


How it works:  It's easy to add an app directly into your campaign flow or landing pages* within Eloqua.  In fact, you can add in tons based on what you're campaign objectives are.  From data appending, to sending off dynamic, direct mail pieces, to registering attendees - the sky is the limit with Eloqua's AppCloud.


Where to learn more:  Head to the cloud...

*Eloqua10 landing pages only




Looking for detailed user guides for the apps found on the Eloqua AppCloud? Along with them being included on the app pages throughout the AppCloud site,  you may want to bookmark the Topliners AppCloud User Guide Site where we've grouped them all together for easy access!


I love the revised activity log for contacts in E10. I just have one little suggestion. For emails, can we see the name of the email rather than the subject line? There are so many instances when I A/B test an email and the subject lines are identical. When looking up a contact's activity, I need to know which email they were specifically sent and the activity log is the quickest way to find this information. This is the way emails used to be displayed in the activity log and it was much more useful.



The NetProspex Data Enrichment Cloud Connector for Eloqua is a fantastic app that brings data enrichment and append power to your Eloqua normalization efforts. 


At Heinz Marketing I am constantly on the lookout for new (practical) technology tools that our clients can consider with Eloqua and Salesforce.  I recently tested the NetProspex Data Enrichment Cloud Connector for Eloqua 10 with impressive results and I can confidently recommend this as a standard tool for Eloqua normalization efforts.


B2B Databases Need Clean Data – NetProspex Can Help Append Data

Data health is one of the biggest obstacles to a high-performing B2B marketing automation implementation.  NetProspex developed the Data Enrichment Cloud Connector (DECC) Appendto help Eloqua administrators with this challenge.  The DECC is ideal for organizations with a large percentage of incomplete records or those who have never performed any kind of normalization.  NetProspex approaches data enrichment in four steps, starting with normalizing data such as checking for misspelled names or the use of ALL CAPS and inconsistent use of job titles.  Finally the data enrichment process populates data on job functions and contact details, and finally industry segmentation and sizing.  (Their model is diagrammed below)

NetProspex and Heinz Marketing 4 steps.png


NetProspex offers the DECC as a subscription service based on credits.  Credits determine the number of contact records that can be appended.  (I recommended to NetProspex that they consider making credit purchase capability available from the Connector. That would be very cool.)


Once the DECC is configured, administrators can run the Connector against designated segments in Eloqua.  Administrators can configure how to append the records with updated NetProspex data and whether to work against older or new contact records in Eloqua.  The easy configuration, wickedly fast performance and accuracy are all incredibly valuable for Eloqua 10 users.  Depending on the size of the database, running the DECC against unique Eloqua segments may be a good strategy as opposed to the entire database at once.  When incorporated into an overall normalization strategy, Eloqua administrators should test email deliverability against a segment that was appended against one that was not.


Getting Started

To get started users will need to signup for the NetProspex Data Enrichment Cloud Connector.  Once the account is established, users can buy credits for the amount of contacts to run the DECC service. The User Guide is excellent and provides detailed and easy to follow steps for configuring the DECC. I was able to walk through the set up and operation of the DECC with only a few minor details that seemed missing. Many users, including me, rarely read user guides in detail.  However in this case I did follow the details and I was very pleased with the details and progression.


The DECC provides an intuitive interface to configure the input fields from NetProspex and the corresponding Eloqua values.  (See diagram below)  Once the input values are created, the data overwrite rules can be set based on the record.  This is important because some field values in Eloqua may already be normalized against a standard and I find this flexibility important.

NetProspex and Heinz Marketing Screenshot-mapping.png


Eloqua administrators can run the DECC against the entire database, or any portion using segments. In Eloqua’s Program Builder, segments can simply be sent to a Cloud Connector. (See diagram below) After the data is appended, a test email (or other action or treatment) can be sequenced to determine performance.  The DECC is configured from the Setup menu and Cloud Connectors and follows the same process we are familiar with.  All of these steps are very well documented in the NetProspex DECC User Guide.  (Note: The NetProspex Data Enrichment Connector does not need an email to score a match in order to complete an append.  However, email is a required field for Eloqua. )

NetProspex and Heinz Marketing Screenshot Eloqua.png


After configuration in Eloqua and the NetProspex admin portal, the DECC starts working when the campaign is activated from both the NetProspex portal and then Eloqua’s Program Builder.  I was very impressed with the incredibly fast performance of the DECC against our database.  We did not experience any lag or latency and the results were reported almost instantly.  The reporting function showed details on all the appended records.  When we ran the operation in Eloqua, we used Bulk Mode and not Priority Mode when running the program in Eloqua. (See below)  This is one item that wasn’t included in the User Guide at the time of our test. The DECC will run as long as there are enough credits to support a data append.


NetProspex and Heinz Marketing E10 Priority Mode.jpg


Performance and Accuracy

I sampled our Eloqua segment with incomplete contact records before and after running the Data Enrichment Connector and 100% of the records in our segment were appended.  Because NetProspex is a trusted partner and our clients regularly use their data, I am confident in the accuracy of the data they provide for the append service.  I found the Data Enrichment Cloud Connector a powerful tool to dramatically reduce incomplete fields with appended data in Eloqua.  (Our own instance of Eloqua has nearly 20,000 contact records and we aggressively practice normalization. I love this tool and plan to use it on a regular basis in our own operations.)



Reporting shows how often programs were run and whether they were successful or had errors.  Detailed reports are also available that show every record that was appended and they data that was appended.  


Thumbs Up 

NetProspex has some fantastic opportunities to support the Eloqua community with the Data Enrichment Cloud Connector.  Eloqua adminstrators should engage in rigorous data cleansing and normalization efforts in 2013 and beyond - No more excuses!  The NetProspex Data Enrichment Cloud Connector is one of the best tools and services to add to the arsenal. I found NetProspex very supportive when I had questions and the User Guide was excellent. If you are looking at new services and tools to enrich your database, I highly recommend the Data Enrichment Cloud Connector.


I'm interested to hear your feedback using this connector.  Send me your comments or feedback.  You can also ping me on Twitter at @RemarkMarketing



Brian Hansford

Heinz Marketing

i created campaign, where we send out an invitation email with registration form. We want people, who submit the form, go to shared list - registrant list. But when i check this shared list it shows me less number of registrants than it's shown in report (submission form overview). Why is it happening? did i miss something when created form (or maybe campaign)?

We are doing our Smart Start right now, and I think a great add-in for future versions would be to add a red exclamation point on the part of the campaign causing an error instead of having to check in the draft errors.  For instance, if you look under the draft errors, it will tell you that an email is missing a group assignment, but you don't know which email it is referring to. If the actual email box had an exclamation point, you would know where to look.  Thanks!

What can you, modern marketers, learn from a data player like NetProspex? I mean, come on, you have already turned your lead generation into a battlefield-ready machine. You have tuned your forms perfectly for frictionless conversion.  You have convinced the rest of the exec team to invest in a kick-ass Marketing Automation software. The marketing factory is humming, leads are scored and routed, nurturing programs are in place.


The factory is humming.


Think of your demand generation as a factory for a moment.  The most basic element is a “lead” (or a contact). You attract, create, manage, cultivate, and refine them. You have them moved from conveyer belt to conveyer belt until the worthy ones are wrapped and shipped to sales for follow-up.  But often, what you know about each contact is limited – mainly by the need to keep forms short and by the necessity to keep the lead-gen entry barrier low. You certainly have the basics like name, email and company. Sometimes you have title and company size, but not always. Not having complete details seems to be one of those “facts of life” limitations for marketers.


There’s a better way.


I never understood why it had to be this way. At NetProspex, we believe in a world where you as a marketer have actionable data at your fingertips – firmographics, like industry, company revenue and headcount, as well as detailed contact information – available to enrich each record. This opens new vistas and possibilities for you in lead-scoring, routing, campaign targeting, and for various other higher-consciousness programs you have not thought of yet.


Think of this data augmentation as enrichment for your contact data. It’s available from premier B2B data services companies like ours, but here are a few aspects to consider, to help you know that you are getting the real thing.


1. Data quality: Data cleanliness is of paramount importance today.  Lists are a dime a dozen, and a ton of new-fangled data players exist with more of the same, low quality information. Look for a partner who has a documented, sophisticated, and believable process for record cleaning.


2. Level of automation: The data augmentation you choose needs to natively work and integrate with your Marketing Automation System. It also needs to work in real-time. The good news is that marketing automation companies are taking a page from other SaaS players and have introduced marketplaces like the Eloqua AppCloud and Marketo Launchpoint to deliver greater value through integrated partner applications. More resources are available than ever, and more tools are added every week.


3. Control: This is critical! When designing workflows to add data to your campaigns, you should have full control over how the data is augmented, what is added or overwritten, and when. Ultimately, you want the ability to configure this process to fit your organization’s unique approach to marketing data.


4. Simplicity: If people start talking to you about “paradigm shifts”, and the need to “buy into the new vision” – run the other way.  Data enrichment needs to be simple.  It is a utility that knows its place, and should work in tandem with your lead scoring, followup, and other automated systems.  Data enrichment should not require you to reengineer your world.


5. Price: Everything in life comes at a price. Do make sure that you receive volume discounts, and the pricing package is tuned to your needs. Getting technical for a moment, we priced our Data Enrichment App by records matched – not by how many attempts are made to find a match. We believe marketers should not have to pay an arm and a leg for better, more actionable data.


I enjoy the chance to speak with modern marketers whenever possible. I want to hear about what lead data issues you face, your wish-list of B2B data services and tools, and how we can continue to empower marketers to get better results from their marketing data. I can be reached at or @dgrenader on Twitter.


Shameless plug: we worked really hard on the new Data Enrichment App for Eloqua! The app appends and normalizes data from completed forms on your website, or currently within your programs and campaigns. Check it out!

As many of you already know, Eloqua for Microsoft Outlook (ELMO) will be replaced by Eloqua Engage. As part of the transition process you will be contacted by your Account Manager and support team before your ELMO licenses expire to help you with your transition to Eloqua Engage. In the meantime, go to the Eloqua Engage Resource Center to get the latest updates on Eloqua Engage.

Transition FAQ:


Do I have to transition from ELMO to Eloqua Engage?

Yes, all customers must transition by the end of their ELMO contract end date.


Can I renew my ELMO contract?

No. Contracts will not be renewed after the end of the contract.


Does using Eloqua Engage cost more?

No.  When your ELMO contract has expired you can move to a new Eloqua Engage contract for the same price


Do I need to sign new paperwork when I move to Eloqua Engage?

No. You will not have to sign any new paperwork. Your Account Manager will contact you to discuss your ELMO to Engage transition; open a Support case on your behalf to start the transition.


Why should I transition from ELMO to Eloqua Engage?

As we sunset ELMO, the product will not be supported and future product development will be focused on Eloqua Engage.


Why does Eloqua Engage not integrate into Outlook?

As a result of a legal settlement between Eloqua and another software vendor, Eloqua agreed to remove the Outlook integration due to claims that it was infringing on the other vendor’s patent.

Additionally as more organizations move to web based email and CRM systems, mobile phones and tablets we wanted to create a modern experience for salespeople; allowing them to quickly engage with their leads using marketing generated content.


How can I train my Sales Team on Engage?

As part of the transition process, Eloqua Support will a list of resources including the following:


Finally, make sure you join the Eloqua Engage group on Topliners at to find the latest updates and join in on the product discussions.


Have other customers successfully made the transition?

Yes.  We have been transitioning clients to Eloqua Engage since January, 2012. 


What’s the difference between ELMO and Eloqua Engage?

ELMO/Engage Product Differentiation Matrix


What are the advantages of Eloqua Engage over ELMO?

Eloqua Engage can be integrated within your CRM (e.g. to send an email template directly to the Salesforce Lead/Contact with the email address pre-populated versus ELMO was embedded into Microsoft Outlook. Furthermore, sales reps do not need to install a plug-in as the Salesforce Admin can install, configure and integrate Eloqua Engage for groups of sales reps based on their Salesforce Profile. Finally, Eloqua Engage has the flexibility of running into a CRM, standalone web app or iPad.


How does Eloqua Engage benefit Marketing?

Eloqua Engage allows Marketing to better control which marketing templates are made available to a sales user or group via Eloqua asset/email group permissions. Marketing will be able to lock email content sections that they do not want Sales to modify as well as have the option to restrict functionality (e.g. restrict email recipients, maximum number of recipients, adding/saving a new Contact, attachments, save as, new email; monitor emails sent) in the future product roadmap. On the other hand, Sales will be able to better access the right content (e.g. Marketing templates) when they need them (e.g. CRM, iPad).

Filter Blog

By date: By tag: