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Do It

3 Posts authored by: bradh

This post is the spin-off of a question asked here on Topliners. A request for a "hands-on" solution prompted me to create this for anyone interested in a possible solution to this question. The original question is posted at


There are many factors to consider when attempting to build this type of solution. The first, as is the case in the original question, is to revisit your lead scoring model. Are you passing the right leads to sales, and if so, why are they being rejected? When a tweak to your model isn't appropriate, you may consider a solution similar to what you will see below. This solution will apply a date stamp to a new "Lead Created Date" contact field, which we will check each time the contact flows to the "Create Lead" step in your CRM update program.


  1. Create a new contact field in Eloqua named "Lead Created Date".
  2. Create a new update rule to apply a date stamp to this newly created field.
  3. Update your CRM program to include a new decision rule which will evaluate if this lead passed through the "Create Lead" step within the past X days. In this example, I've set this value to 30 days.


Here is a sample program flow. I will break out the two main steps to show the configuration used.



  1. Decision Rule - Lead created within last 30 days? - In this step we're comparing the new contact field, Lead Created Date, to today's date. We want to know if this lead was previously created, and if so, was it within the past 30 days? If it was, then it means Sales has likely rejected this lead, thus allowing the contact to enter this step in our program. At this point, if the contact was created within the last 30 days, we're going to remove that contact from our program, or send them to another path, such as to a nurture track, if appropriate. If the lead was last created more than 30 days ago, we're going to go ahead and pass that lead back to sales in hopes that it will be accepted.


  2. Apply Lead Created Date Stamp - This step will apply a date stamp, with today's date, to the Lead Created Date field after the lead has been passed to CRM. This will later be used in the Decision Rule above, should the lead be rejected and the contact re-enters this step in the program.

    And here is what the actual Update Rule settings look like:


    As I mentioned, there are many factors to consider before implementing a solution such as this. I expect that there will be a lot of discussion about this, and I will do my best to answer any questions which may come up. I hope this will help to spark some creative thinking!

I've seen and heard this asked many times, and I'm hoping that this will help to answer any future questions surrounding this question. Wait steps and Evaluation time period on Campaign Canvas serve 2 very different purposes. While you can often use a Wait step in place of an Evaluation time period, it's not always appropriate.


Evaluation Time Period

This is the period of time for which you want to evaluate a contact who has not yet met the criteria of a decision. When a contact meets the "Yes" criteria of the decision, s/he will immediately flow through the decision step and into the next step on the canvas. When a contact is evaluated as a "No", the Evaluation time period can hold them in this step to re-evaluate the criteria, and eventually pass them down the "Yes" path once that criteria is met. If the criteria is not met within the evaluation period, that contact will flow down the no path once the Evaluation time period has expired.


Here's the scenario. You send an email, and you want to evaluate whether or not a contact has clicked on that email. Passing the contact from your email step directly into a "Clicked Email?" decision without an Evaluation time period will cause all of your contacts to flow down the "No" path. This is because no one could possibly click the email in the seconds between when the email is sent, and when the contact hits the decision step. You provide an Evaluation time period, allowing time for your contacts to receive and, hopefully, click your message. You could use a wait step before the decision, but you are effectively holding up all of your "Yes" contacts, and preventing them from flowing through your campaign.







A complete hold on all contacts who enter this step. A Wait step will hold every contact who enters this step for the period of time set. Each contact who enters this step will Wait for the set time, regardless of when they enter.


The scenario. You have a Wait step set for 1 week. A contact who enters this step today, Thursday, will leave this step at the same time next Thursday. A contact who enters this same step tomorrow, will not leave this step until next Friday. The wait period is applied to the contact at the exact time they enter this step.






Still have questions? Feel free to post them here, I'd be happy to explain further or provide additional scenarios.


Custom Data Objects

Posted by bradh Jul 31, 2012

Custom Data Objects are used to store data that may be related to a Contact or Company's record. Some examples of data you might want to store in a custom object include: Product Purchase history, Registrations, Warranty Expiry.  Custom objects can be synchronized with your CRM system on a scheduled basis.

Creating Custom Data Objects

To create a custom data object:

  1. From the navigation toolbar at the top of the page, select Contacts > Custom Objects, then click the Events dropdown and choose New Custom Data Object.
  2. Enter a Display Name. This is the name of the Custom Object (also referred to as a Data Card Set)
  3. Enter a Description. This is information to help you and your colleagues determine the use of this Custom Object.
  4. If desired, select a folder to store your Custom Object in.
  5. Choose the Entity Type. This is either Contacts or Companies, and your Custom Object will be linked to whichever you select.
  6. Select the Entity Field. This is the field used to create a unique match to your selected entity.
  7. When you have set these parameters, click Next. The Custom Object is created, and you are taken to the Data Card Fields section.
  8. Select the Data Card Fields dropdown at the top right of the screen. Select Add New Field. Note: You can also add existing contact fields, or fields from existing forms. Enter your desired parameters, and click Save and Close. In most cases you will want to be sure to create a field for email address, as this will be your unique identifier, as set in step 6 above.
  9. Add additional Data Card Fields as required.

Adding Data Cards to Custom Data Objects

To add a data card:

  1. Click the Data Card Set dropdown at the top right of the screen.
  2. Select New Data Card to manually enter information, or select Upload Data Cards to upload a list of data cards as you would with contacts. When manually adding your data cards, be sure to click Save and Map to tie your data card to your contact record matching on email address. Similarily, when uploading be sure in step 4 of the wizard to select Map data cards.

Writing Form Submission Data to Custom Data Objects

To write form submission data to a data card:

  1. Navigate to your form's processing steps - Assets > Forms > Open an Existing Form > Processing
  2. Click the + icon and select Update Custom Data Object - With Form Data
  3. Edit your new processing step as you would with the standard Update Contacts - With Form Data step.

Example of Using Custom Objects

You can use Custom Objects and Data Cards to store additional information for your contacts, without cluttering up the contact record. This helps to keep your database clean and organized, and provides the opportunity to store data which will later help you to segment your contacts. The following video provides an example of how Custom Objects are useful.


Example 1: Storing Product Warranty Information for Purchased Products.
A customer purchases a product from you, and at the same time purchases a 2-year extended warranty. You would like to store this warranty information in your database, but because there could be many purchases by one client, you do not want to clutter your contact's record. Instead, you store this warranty information in a Custom Object.


Video 1 - Creating your Custom Object

Video 2 - Creating your Form and mapping to your Custom Object

Video 3 - Testing the Form, and viewing the newly created Data Card in the Custom Object


Example 2: Storing Product or Communication Preferences from CRM

You have contact records in your CRM system which hold a large number of preference related fields. You have check boxes for communication preferences, product preferences, likes, dislikes, etc. You don't want to clutter your contact records in Eloqua, so you store this information in a Custom Object. Because Custom Objects can be created automatically via Auto Sync, this makes keeping your contacts' preferences up-to-date a real breeze. Create your Custom Object, add your fields, create a new Data Source and Auto Synch, and that's all there is to it!

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