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Ever wondered how to submit your great idea for a Feature Request to our Product Team?


Head on over to Eloqua’s support portal by clicking on the question mark in the upper right hand corner of your screen. Once you're there, click on the Ideas tab (with the lightbulb icon) and check out all of the other feature requests that have already been made by other users.


You can add your idea, or vote up an idea that's already been added. You can also track to see which ideas are being reviewed and which ones are scheduled for upcoming releases.


(Big thanks to melissakowalchuk for the awesome screenshots!)



Not sure if this is the right forum to post this, but thanks to Eloqua Support tech (Jagmit Bhatthal), I was able to learn how to customize MailTo email recipients, subject line, and body text in HTML codes. Here is the link to the step by step guide:How to customize MailTo for Multiple Recipients, Subject and Body in HTML codes


How to customize MailTo for Multiple Recipients, Subject and Body in HTML codes with samples

You can use MailTo in your HTML documents to support customized automatic emails from your web site.

By using the MailTo in your href links in HTML files, you can manage multiple recipients in a semicolons seperated format. You can also set a default subject field text for the email. Also it is possible to set the Copy To or the CC field values by typing the recipients for the CC field value. This capability is also valid for the Blind Copy To or the BCC field recipients.

The MailTo syntax also enables the HTML developer to set a default BODY text for the email object that is prepared using MailTo.

You can find a list of sample MailTo HTML codes to summarize the use of MailTo syntax with samples.

For more information on about the syntax of 'mailto' URLs. RFC2368 defines the format of Uniform Resource Locators (URL) for designating electronic mail addresses

First sample uses the below code:

<a href=""></a>

And seen on the HTML web page as below:

When the internet user who click on the above link will have the Outlook or the Email Client program that is set as default email program opened for a new message as shown below with only the To... field value is defined with one recipient.

mailto sample


Second sample illustrates a simple mailing but this time to multiple recipients in a semicolons seperated format in the HTML code. Some Client Email programs may also support comma delimited email address lists for declaring multiple recipients. But Microsoft Office Outlook does not recognize the comma seperated syntax for multiple emails.;

mailto sample with multiple recipients

You might have seen that some of the emails have been declared with in a new tag "To" in the hyperlink tag A. But this method is not supported with most of the email programs. And is not a good practise to place such a html code in your web pages.

If you also want to declare the Copy To or the CC field recipients, then use the below syntax for your codes. It is just like adding a new query string parameter named "CC" to a URL;

mailto sample with CC recipient

We can alter the above syntax in a similar way for Blind Copy To or the BCC field. This time our new query string parameter will be "BCC". The sample for the BCC can be build as follows:;

mailto with bcc recipient

After dealing with the recipient declarations for our new mail message in the HTML codes, we can further customize the new mail object with defining the subject of the email as follows: To Syntax with Samples


As you will guess BODY of the email can be customized in the HTML code by passing a new parameter named BODY in the query string of the email object with in the hyperlink href definition. Below is a  sample for a customized email with its body is defined in the html code. To Syntax with Samples&body=Hi, in this article you will find samples about how to use MailTo in HTML

mailto with body field

If you want to customize the body with a little bit more for instance if you want to add new line characters in your email you can add "%0D%0A" string within your body text. You can place "%0D%0A" where you want to see the line breaks or the end of line in your message string. Also if you want you can replace the blank character or " " empty space character with "%20" and form your text values with "%20" instead of space characters. This way the space characters in the message texts are URL encoded with "%20". To Syntax with Samples&body=Hi,%0AIn this article you will find samples about how to use MailTo in HTML

mailto with multiline body field

I hope the sample are helpful to summarize the use of the mailto in your html codes to design a URL for processing emails.



Ada Liaw-Martinez

As of the Fall '13 release, E10 users now have the ability to pull a visual click-through report.


Before you try to pull this report, you need to opt-in to the beta release. Call support and have them enable this feature.


After it is enabled, you can find this report right on the email asset itself. Travel to the settings and it will be the last option. See screenshot below.


Screen Shot 2013-10-29 at 2.26.19 PM.png

There is a great step-by-step post for finding the Shared List Asset ID using Program Builder. However, while teaching at EE13 todd.sprinkel opened my eyes to an easier way to locate the IDs for Shared Lists.


Asset IDs can be handy. Here are just two scenarios where you might crave the Asset ID.

  1. Talking to support about a particular asset. It isn't always easy on a phone call to relay a long asset name (since you are all using superb naming conventions I do know asset names can be extended).
  2. Also Asset IDs are needed in E10 if you want to use the processing step configuration to trigger based on picklist. For example, you want to add form submitters to the correct Shared List based on their lead source. You can capture lead source on the form and then use a picklist to match their lead source to the Shared List you wish to add them to. However, you need the Asset ID to do this.

Locating Shared List Asset ID:

  1. Navigate to a Shared List (Contacts > Shared Library > Shared Lists)
  2. Open the Shared List
  3. Go to the Action Gear drop down in the upper left
  4. Click on Run Deduplication  or Run Update Rule
  5. shared list menu.png
  6. Look at that pop-up window url (You will see something like:
  7. The ID is the number that comes after ContactInfoID… so In the example above … 57
  8. You can close the pop-up as soon as you have looked at the url.


Side note: Campaigns, landing pages and emails all have the campaign ID in the URL at the top of the editor screen. Super easy. You just navigate to that asset inside of Eloqua and check out the url in the address bar when you arrive.

Locating other Asset IDs (such as Campaign)

  1. You navigate to a campaign canvas
  2. The url appears in the address bar as
  3. Therefore, this Campaign Canvas ID is 239

I *just* got this email in my personal gmail inbox, and thought it was such a good idea that I wanted to share with my fellow Topliners (Toplinerers?). As you may or may not have already noticed, Gmail is switching to a tabbed inbox approach - where your emails might automatically get sent to a Promotions Tab and thus not appear in a user's main (Primary) inbox. It's important to note that not all Gmail accounts have been switched to this tab view, so I might recommend getting ahead of the switch and sending out an email notifying customers how to ensure that your emails aren't missed. I absolutely LOVE what Food and Wine did with their newsletter here. And honestly, I would take this design and layout as a strong recommendation for any email, but wanted to highlight this one as it relates to the Gmail tabs.


The call to action is very simple, there is some urgency "Never miss [our] email!", and they even give the user clear and simple steps to make sure that F&W emails are sent to the Primary Tab.


Screen Shot 2013-10-16 at 12.55.41 PM.png


Want to run your own campaign using this same idea? Follow the steps below:


     1. Create an awesome email like the one above, or at least include the steps listed above. That's all you need on the email. Keep the message simple. Also, if you want, create a second, similar email to be sent as a reminder.

     2. Create a segment with a Filter Criteria, using the Compare Contact Fields criteria, and selecting Email Address Domain. For the criteria details, select "contains" from the drop down, and type in (see below).

Screen Shot 2013-10-16 at 1.21.54 PM.png

     3. Create a Campaign in Campaign Canvas. In the example below you'll see I have my Segment that I just created, my initial email, a checkpoint, and a reminder. I set the decision point "Opened Email?" to evaluate for 7 days - meaning that the reminder email would go out 7 days after the initial email (see below).

Screen Shot 2013-10-16 at 1.26.00 PM.png

Voila! To note: it will be hard to report on the effectiveness of this campaign, since in many cases you are trying to avoid a change that hasn't happened yet. But given that the change could have a potential negative impact on your email marketing effectiveness, I would recommend an approach like this sooner rather than later.

Have you tried anything else? I would love to hear other ideas!

I'm sure you all know that you should never copy and paste from a word doc directly into the email or landing page editor in Eloqua. This means you get to open up the trusty notepad as the intermediary. Personally, I am not a fan of needing to follow this series of 5 steps just to copy and paste...

  1. Ctrl+C
  2. Open Notepad
  3. Ctrl+V in Notepad
  4. Ctrl + C again
  5. Ctrl + V into the Eloqua Editor


PureText enters stage right to save the day (or at least the moment). PureText is a simple (and free) program that allows you to strip out formatting by simply using Windows Key+ V instead of Ctrl + V. This cuts out steps 2-4.

  1. Ctrl + C
  2. Windows Key + V


I've just saved you seconds. Your welcome!

I have been enjoying this discussion thread about whether to moderate a corporate blog... I believe moderation is essential for creating a unified, corporate blog voice (I like to think it sounds like Morgan Freeman). However, I am intrigued by the idea of crowd sourcing content. I was just reading about BlogSync which is actually specifically for education and teachers. Here is how it works:


  1. Every month a topic is decided by BlogSync
  2. Bloggers “sign up” to write on this topic by the deadline
  3. Everyone blogging as part of that month’s #blogsync advertises the links to each others entries
  4. The BlogSync site acts as a co-ordinating hub, advertising the topics and the blogs written under each month’s heading.


The idea being... there is a lot of teacher brilliance out there, why not coordinate it so that ideas can build off of each other rather than growing and percolating in silos. I don't think this method would work as the content source for the main corporate blog. However, a really cool concept for coordinating customer, partner or thought leaders so that they are all talking about the same idea at the same time. Thus, creating an exchange of ideas, that, while not spontaneous to begin with, can morph into the realm of the spontaneously awesome (a business term).


What are your thoughts or experiences with crowd sourcing and coordinating multiple voices?

Had an absolutely amazing time at #OOW13 and got the opportunity to hang with some of my favorite people at the Modern Marketing Mixer. Steve Woods heatherfoeh and pteshima agreed to pose for a quick photo and I thought I'd share it with you all.  


This event gave yet another chance for me to see what incredible people these guys are. It's absolutely no wonder Eloqua was such a Success with leaders like these guys. The super encouraging thing is that behind these leaders, there are a host of amazing Feloquans in Toronto, Austin, San Fran and all over the world who are pushing the envelope everyday for Oracle Cloud.


See y'all at #EE13!


It's a scary Halloween month for Old School Marketers.  Here are some of the Dead Marketers we found haunting around..Don't make the mistakes they did :-) deadmarketer revenuehorror


Dead Marketer.jpg


photo (3).jpg


photo (1).jpg


Dead Marketer B-J.jpg

Thought fellow Salesforce users might find this blog post by my coworker Smi Ellong (a solution architect) interesting.

Read it on the bluewolf site !

Hidden Gems From The Salesforce Winter 14 Release


POSTED BYsami ellong

Salesforce’s Winter 14 release will deliver many highly anticipated features, as many popular ideas were implemented. In this post, I wanted to bring some attention to what I call “hidden gems” of this release. These are pieces of functionality that might not get much coverage but will definitely prove to be useful for organization andadmins alike. Note: Some of these are pilot features, so you might have to contact Salesforce to get them enabled in your org.

Enhanced lookup search now searches all fields
Lookup fields are the glue that holds all Salesforce records together and enable a lot of the great functionality provided by the platform. That being said, the lookup search functionality is occasionally frustrating as it can be challenging to find what you are looking for. In Winter ‘14, Enhanced Lookup Search will now search more than Name fields and will allow users to search through all searchable fields. For example, when searching for a Contact, you will now be able to locate them by their email address or a custom ID such as a customer number. Make sure you have the Enhanced Lookups enabled in your org in order to take advantage of this.

Note: Enhanced Lookup Search is only available for accounts, contacts, users, and custom objects.

Increased Chatter post and comment size
Many organizations are using Chatter to collaborate internally, and it’s replacing email as the preferred method of communication. The maximum length of posts and comments has been increased from 1000 to 5000 characters. This will allow users to share more information with each other and cut down on the number of posts as each one can contain more information. This simple change can help increase Chatter adoption.

Using email to post to Chatter groups (pilot)
Chatter group members can now post to the group via email. This can also increase Chatter group adoption as it’ll be faster and easier to post via email. I imagine someone waiting to board a plane would prefer this option over opening up the Chatter mobile app and locating the group to post.

Send and add email in Salesforce for Outlook
Adding sidebar functionality to Salesforce for Outlook in Winter 13 basically brought Salesforce into your inbox by providing search functionality and one-click email association to records. The one issue was that the sidebar did not include the classic “Send and Add Email” functionality that users were familiar with. Users had to choose between the two, which was a tough choice as both are very useful. Now the two-step process of sending and associating (if you have the sidebar) is gone. You can associate the records as you send them, all while leveraging the powerful search functionality provided by the sidebar.

Social network fields available on list views
For organizations with a B2C business model, leveraging social media can be crucial. The Social Accounts and Contacts feature provides a way to tie your Salesforce records to social media accounts. With these fields available in list views, you now have the ability to see what social media accounts an Account or Contact is associated to without having to drill into the record’s detail page.

Using with state and country picklists
State and country picklists are now standard Salesforce functionality, which will result in cleaner data and less user frustration. When in Beta, the main issue with this feature was that it was not supported by This is no longer a problem. Users are now able to enter clean data using picklists and receive clean data from

Description field for sharing rules
Sharing rules are a great tool to control access to records and depending on your security requirements, you can end up with a lot of them. Having a description field on these will provide greater insight into what a sharing rule is used for, especially in orgs with complex sharing models.

Manager groups
Manager groups provide an additional tool to share records. Manager groups can be used to share records with your management chain, instead of all managers in the same role based on the role hierarchy.

Every user now has two manager groups they can share records to:
1. Managers Group: Your direct and indirect managers
2. Manager Subordinates Group: You and your direct and indirect reports

A simple use case would be a custom object for performance reviews. The object can be set as Private and then shared to your Manager group. This will ensure that only those you report to can see the records as opposed to anyone in your Manager’s role.

What Now?
Read the full release notes and official Winter 14 overview here.

These are the sessions at Eloqua Experience 2013 that I MUST ATTEND.  I've have followed or known several of these people for quite some time and I am really excited to see what they will share at EE13.

Most of what I focus on and my interests lie in strategy, process, analytics, content, and data health.  So here it goes! 


Engagement: Spin A Story That Stands Above The Noise
Ardath Albee, CEO, Marketing Interactions, Inc.
11:00-12:00 Thursday October 24
I have followed Ardath for several years and I greatly respect and admire her ideas.  She's in an elite class in understanding how to develop and deliver content to engage with a B2B markets.

Analytics: Don't Just Score Leads – Predict Your Next Customer
Brian Kardon, CMO, Lattice Engines, Jascha Kaykas-Wolf, CMO, Mindjet, Abner Germanow, Director of Worldwide Marketing, Juniper Networks
1:30 - 2:30 PM Thursday October 24
I have followed Brian Kardon since he was the CMO of Eloqua and I respect his strategic vision and how he looks at Revenue Marketing.  I know Mindjet is a leading user of Eloqua and I'm very interested to hear their story, along with Juniper Networks, on how they use analytics to predict the next customer.

Marketing Technology: Eloqua In The Fast Lane: Tools To Enhance Your Automation Efficiency
Ryan Schwartz, Director, Marketing Systems & Operations, DocuSign
3:30 - 4:30 PM Thursday October 24
In my book, Ryan Schwartz is the World's Top Eloquan. Period. He knows the system better than anyone I know and he has driven a phenomenal revenue marketing operation at DocuSign. Not only that, Ryan is just a darned nice guy and he loves to listen and share ideas on using Eloqua.  I'm especially excited for Ryan's session because he's presenting new tools he and his team have developed that the entire Eloqua Community will be able to use.

Targeting: The Power of a Data Washing Machine in Lead Creation
Amandah Magnarelli, Director, Database Marketing, Forrester Research, Inc.
9:45 - 10:45 AM Friday October 25
Forrester has been a long-time Eloqua user and Amandah's presentation on the Data Washing Machine fits perfectly with my focus on data hygiene.

Analytics: Optimizing The Demand Waterfall With Predictive Scoring, Analytics, And Eloqua Magic
Wade Tibke, Director, Demand Gen & Operations, Tableau Software
11:00-12:00 Friday October 25
Wade is another amazing Eloquan and he runs the marketing ops for Tableau.  Tableau is a fantastic company with very strong marketing efforts.  I'm very interested to see Wade's presentation on how Tableau grew and tracked SQL's year over year.

Engagement: Customer Marketing: B2B's Best-Kept Growth Secret
Megan Heuer, SiriusDecisions
2:30-3:30 Friday October 25
Megan is another person I have followed for a long time and have yet to see speak in person.  B2B marketers are notorious at forgetting about the customer once the sale is closed.  Customer engagement is a huge opportunity for B2B marketers to grow loyalty and revenue.  I'm sure will have some interesting ideas.

I'm also looking forward to Wednesday before the event to get some updated Eloqua information and training. Here are the Wednesday sessions I'm interested in:

Advanced Salesforce.Com Integration Demonstrations
Nathan Lichte, Oracle | Eloqua
Wednesday 8:30-10:00

Improved Custom Subscription Management
Tracy Traeger, Oracle | Eloqua
Wednesday 10:15 - 11:45

Best Practices: Introducing Eloqua To Your Sales Team
Alison Thomas, Oracle | Eloqua
Wednesday 1:00 - 2:30

What sessions are you most excited about attending at Eloqua Experience 2013?

Hi Folks - Heinz Marketing in Seattle/Redmond, WA is growing and our Marketing Automation Practice is doing incredibly well.  We need two Demand Gen pros to join the team to help our mid-market and enterprise customers drive revenue and engage customers.  Eloqua experience and certs are a HUGE plus. 

Here's a repost of our blog and what it's like to work at Heinz.  If you're interested or know someone who is, shoot me a note! 


The short story
We’re hiring, and we’re really picky.

The medium story
We’re looking to fill at least two demand generation positions immediately as we continue to grow, but we’re looking for far more than experience and capabilities. Just as important are cultural fit, a match with ourvalues, “fire in the eyes” and strong communication/writing skills.

The long story
We think a lot about values and service at Heinz Marketing. As a services business, our people are the product, so it’s really important that we hire, support, train and retain amazing people who can delight our customers and exceed their expectations.

We’ve been blessed with a strong year so far in 2013, so are looking to hire at least two new people into our team focused on demand generation and lead management services. Yes, we have job descriptions for these roles that specify desired years of experience, B2B and demand generation expertise, familiarity with certain sales & marketing systems, etc.

But I’ve met a lot of people who can adequately “do the work” that I would never hire. Just as important as competency is someone who matches the values we talk about and prioritize regularly. We need people who are results-oriented, client-focused, creative, curious, honest and responsible.

Interviews (let alone resumes) can be a tough way to gauge this, so referrals & references are really important. That said, it can become very clear in an interview (with the right questions) whether someone has fire in their eyes, passion for the work they’re doing, and can make the decisions necessary on their own to fit with our high standards of service and results for clients.

Finally, I can’t imagine anyone succeeding in a service business these days without excellent communication skills. Maybe it’s the old print journalist in me, but I think this starts with writing in its various forms – emails, status reports, blog posts, proposals, etc. But those communication skills also include verbal and in-person abilities, as well as how to work through the occasional difficult conversations with clients, vendors, technology partners, etc.

If you’re like to hear more, or are interested in joining our team, please check out the job description and email us with a link to your LinkedIn profile (and ideally a line or two about why the above criteria resonated with you).

Just about to postal here Why is pdf document tracking so infernally hard or am I just missing something?


Documents are at the center of any effective nurturing campaign and their handling and tracking should be as simple as tracking, filtering and scoring forms or emails. I know I have ranted about this before, but nothing seems to happen to this handicap the size of Mount Everest.


If I want to create campaign filter step that checks if contact has downloaded a document I have to:

1. Upload the document

2. Create a link on a landing page or email

3. Select 'File in File storage'

4. Find the document and select it

5. Select 'Webpage'

6. Select redirect and save

7. Go and click the links on the landing page or email.

8. Go to Setup -> Tracking ->Update sitemap

9. Go to Setup -> Page tagging -> New tag -> Scrolll around a huge sitemap info to find a document somewhere in and save the tag

10. Go to Segmenting and create a contact filter with Visited Page Tag -rule

11. Find the tag and save the segment.

12. Make the filter public.

13. Go to the campaign, drag a Shared Filter Member and choose the tag.

14. Repeat for all the documents.

And there you go. All this just for you to track document downloads. If there is an easier way, I haven't found one.

Please somebody tell us that something is being done about this


Written by my collegue & friend Carmelo Andronaco, a salesforce solution architect in our Australia office.


Highlights From The Salesforce Winter 14 Release

Winter is coming! Time to get inside and snuggle up. No need for a fire, just get a copy of the Salesforce Winter 14 release notes, there are plenty of fireworks to keep you warm. Here is a quick guide outlining some of the key features that could help your organisation make the most of the updates. These functional updates can help improve efficiency and keep your organisation ahead of the pack.


Performance Edition (to replace Unlimited)
Performance Edition includes all Unlimited functionality that combines CRM and the platform with,, Identity, Live Agent, Salesforce Knowledge, and additional sandbox functionality.

Unlimited Edition will no longer be available for purchase. Customers using Unlimited Edition can continue to maintain and renew their edition, or upgrade to Performance Edition.

Additional Search “All fields” on Enhanced Lookups
Salesforce lookups have always used the “Name” of the record to search for a match in a lookup field. Now you can use an “all fields” option to search across the record. This makes it easier to find the correct records. Now you have the ability to find a Contact by email address, or locate an Account by Account Number—very helpful.


Salesforce Console for Sales
Although the majority of the sales data can already be seen in the console, the official support will likely bring all of the standard Tabs into the Console view (i.e Home Tab, Activities, etc). The Salesforce Service Cloud™ Console has a very powerful “integration toolkit” to allow for improved agent flow in Service. The integration toolkit will likely unlock more diverse functionality from the Sales process flow. This feature is free in the Performance Edition, but it requires a Permission Set License in Enterprise and Unlimited editions.

Forecast Improvements
Forecasts now support the ability to show Opportunity Splits, a previous feature that allows you to share sales credit across multiple opportunity team members. Forecasts are just getting better and better, as they also now support the ability to forecast Product Groups. This powerful feature can make a difference to your budgets and forecasting— e.g., if your organization groups products and services into families (like “hardware” and “software”), forecasts now allow you to better predict revenue and a sales representative's quota attainment.


Case Feed
Case Feed will now be the default view for all Cases by new organisations. If you are an existing user of Cases and are not using the Case Feed, you should consider adding it to your roadmap. is investing in this layout and it has features that will not work in standard layout (e.g., Quick Text, Attach an article PDF to an email from knowledge sidebar, etc).

Knowledge is free, if you want to read it
Knowledgebase Articles are now available to “read” for the majority of users* without an additional feature license. Only the users who create, edit, delete, and publish knowledge articles require an additional feature license. Chatter will also be included for draft articles, to help collaborate on content prior to publishing. Time to share and spread the knowledge!
*Chatter Plus / license users will still need the feature license.

Recurring Milestones in Entitlement Processes

The Entitlement and Milestones in Salesforce were hard to fit into most use Cases for a lot of businesses. The linear timeline was sometimes unreliable, as there is frequently a need to alternate between internal groups, or the customer to help solve a Case. With recurring Milestones, we can now track the SLA for each step as it recurs over the Case lifecycle. There are also a few new Case Feed items to help with visibility and tracking.


Mention Groups
Chatter now makes it easier to reach out to internal specialist groups. This improves connectivity and collaboration when you need it most. Need help with a certain product for a sales pitch, or service support? Simply @mention a group of experts and have it appear in all of their feeds, as well as in the group feed. Find the information you need and get a collaborative response faster.

Mobile Updates
If you are using Salesforce Chatter and are not using the latest mobile edition, you are missing out! Chatter has become a powerful mobile application for your Salesforce data. Recent updates allow for chat on records, as well as editing and updating of the record data. When installed on an iOS device, any Salesforce email will also open in the Chatter Mobile App. Administrators are experiencing better controls to help manage Chatter apps connecting to their Salesforce instance.

Chatter is becoming the way companies communicate internally and do business. You won’t regret jumping on board with the latest mobile edition.


Historical Trends
Historical trending comes with a new custom report type designed to highlight changes between any five snapshot dates. It adds the ability to analyse day-to-day, week-to-week, and month-to-month changes in the Opportunities object and up to three custom objects.
There are some overall limitations to watch out for, but this is a step in the right direction by to improve the overall analytics of the platform.

Embedded Analytics
Constantly jumping into Salesforce Reports to obtain basic analytics about an Account or Case can be arduous. Now, up to two report charts can be embedded into the standard page layout. Add a quick graph to show the different opportunity or Case stages for an Account...everyone loves pictures!

Other features worth mentioning:

  • Workflow for the User Object
  • Salesforce Files — Pilot (Possibly a new name for Chatterbox?)
  • Chatter Posts now support 5000 characters
  • Ability to Freeze User Accounts
  • Analytics API - Access Salesforce Report results via an API

What Now?
Read the full release notes and official Winter 14 overview here.

Already using Salesforce and just never get a chance to take full use of enhancements in every release? Sign up for Bluewolf’s free Salesforce Health Check.

Data management and data hygiene are probably the most overlooked components to a successful marketing automation initiative, right after content.


I recently learned of a large enterprise with marketing automation that was blacklisted by ISPs.  The blacklist status effectively shuts down all outbound marketing efforts right as they are heading into Q4.  This happened because of poor data management and data hygiene.  It can happen to any organization with marketing automation.  When it happens, heads roll because it impacts customer engagement and revenue.  The audit process for getting off ISP blacklists isn’t easy. Can you imagine being responsible and for this with your organization?


Building a plan with a budget can prevent these nightmare situations.


Here are eye-opening stats on B2B data quality:


According to Sirius Decisions

  • 25% of the average B2B database is inaccurate
  • 60% of companies surveyed had an overall data health scale of “unreliable”
  • 80% of companies have “risky” phone contact records


NetProspex reports in their 2013 State of Marketing Data

  • 64% of companies surveyed have “unreliable” data and 34% have “questionable” data
  • 61% of companies surveyed said 35% of their records were “incomplete”


How do CMO’s and Demand Generation Directors avoid getting their companies blacklisted? How do Modern Marketers ensure over 90% email deliverability month after month? How do companies maintain CAN-SPAM Act compliance? What sources of data are used to build, maintain, and append the database?  How do marketing automation teams keep out the spam traps and keep the good contact records up to date?  These are mission-critical questions that need a plan.  Operating without a plan puts marketing operations, reputation, and revenue at risk!



Here are steps I recommend as the starting point for effective management.


Establish a data management strategy

Do you have a data strategy?  Chances are you don’t.  Build the strategy and business case that a budget will support.  A marketing automation platform needs regular health checks and ongoing maintenance.  Define the standards for complete records and manage how the database grows and where records come from.  Define the minimum standards for deliverability rates.  Establish requirements for data providers.


Marketing Automation and CRM platforms need regular updates, health checks, de-dupes, and data appends. A database will have a natural decay of contact data because people change jobs, companies go out of business, and mergers happen.  All of these events directly impact the effectiveness of a database.  Keeping the database healthy is strategic to maintaining a strong revenue pipeline.



Check your database for a baseline of health.

Get a database health scan before implementing the strategy or randomly buying tools or hiring consultants.  A good health check should identify spam traps and determine record completeness at a minimum.  Don’t forget to check phone records as well.  Find a reputable organization like Unlock The InboxReachforce or NetProspex to conduct a health scan for a baseline assessment.



Budget for data hygiene in 2014

Imagine the situation where in July 2014 your email deliverability tanks to 80% and pipeline opportunities decline. Not fun, right?  Data hygiene is an investment that builds marketing automation effectiveness and drives revenue!  Investments are typically needed to for tools and services regularly clean out spam traps, update and append data records, and perform detailed de-duplication.


CRM and marketing automation platforms have some basic tools for de-duplication and there are often free utilities or connectors that can serve as temporary solutions.  Finding service providers and platforms that can enhance the free tools are a prudent step, especially when starting a clean-up process.



Maintain Regular Maintenance and Updates

A database is like a car. Regular maintenance keeps the machine running smoothly and efficiently with the best performance.  Here are just some of the items to monitor and manage:

  • Deliverability – anything below 90% is a red flag.  Why are messages not delivered?
  • Opportunity pipeline growth – Are conversions and opportunities decreasing?  Many factors go into this but even the best content and campaigns will fall flat without a healthy database.
  • Reputable Data Sources and Partners – We all get the spam emails from the offshore list brokers that offer segmented B2B contacts for pennies on the dollar.  Don’t. Do. It.  Chances are cheap lists are loaded with questionable contacts scraped from websites by offshore sweatshops.
  • Monitor the soft email bounces – are they increasing over time? Why are soft bounces happening?
  • Monitor sender scores using services like ReturnPath. This is especially critical for marketing organizations using dedicated IP addresses for outbound marketing.  The higher a sender score, the better the reputation which helps ISP’s monitor and allow emails from trusted sources.
  • Prevent Duplicate Records – Use de-duplication platforms like RingLead whenever importing new data, or when performing regular updates.  This keeps records clean and can merge duplicate records in the CRM or marketing automation platform.
  • Append and Update Records – Keep records up to date with a data provider to ensure the proper taxonomy, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, and syntax are correct.
  • Segment Old Records – Don’t delete old or outdated records completely.  I recommend placing old records in a quarantine or sandbox that is kept away from marketing and sales operations.  Even after de-duplication and data append, old records may be needed for an audit or opportunity research.
  • Contact cadence and governance – Who can send outbound communications, when, how often, and who receives the messages?  Set a clear policy that the entire organization understands.
  • CAN SPAM – Does your marketing operations team understand CAN SPAM requirements for the US?  What about Canadian and EU requirements? Ignorance is not the same as innocence when trouble arises.  The US Federal Trade Commission offers these guidelines for compliance.


Plan Wisely!!

Data management and hygiene is strategic and helps keep marketing automation and demand generation running strong.  Putting off the health checks and maintenance will directly impact revenue opportunities, customer engagements, reputations, and even whether or not someone keeps a job.



What is YOUR plan for 2014?

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