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To help answer this question, we (Astadia) recently had a chance to reconfirm initial tests we performed several years ago, but with some interesting new results.


We wanted to know:


  • How many webinar invitations do people ignore before finally signing up?
  • How many webinar invitations will people tolerate receiving before unsubscribing?
  • How long or how soon before the webinar do invitation(s) work best in generating registration signups?


Here are the results:


  • 2 weeks out = 21 submissions – Subject Line: Register Today
  • 1 week out = 55 submissions - Subject Line: There’s Still Time to Register
  • 3 days out = 34 submissions-- Subject Line: Last Chance to Register
  • 1 day out = 37 submissions -- Subject Line: You Have 24 Hours Left to Register
  • Day of Webinar = 46 submissions -- Subject Line: You Have 30 Minutes Left to Register


Key Takeaways:

  • 19% of registrants waited until the day before the webinar to register
  • 24% of registrants waited until the day of the webinar to register
  • 43% in total waited to within 24 hours of the webinar to register
  • Adding urgency to the Subject Line increases conversion
  • There was no spike in unsubscribes whatsoever throughout the entire invitation process


While these results only reflect what worked best for this particular client, I'd love to hear what metrics you have captured and what timing is working best for you.


The client was apprehensive about sending out so many invitation emails, but in this case it really paid off.


Steve Kellogg

Eloqua Certified Marketing Best Practices Consultant



NOTE: We were unable to test invitations sent further than 2 weeks out as the webinar content didn't get finalized until then.

I’ve had the pleasure of working with the marketing team at McAfee for the past 18 months. Abby Bell has been the “Eloqueen” at McAfee for 6 months now, and has been working with Eloqua for almost 3 years. Her focus at McAfee is global user enablement, training and automation, and one of the successes that Abby shared with me goes like this:


McAfee’s North American marketing team was looking for ways to help contribute to the company’s year-end sales push. They needed an end of year boost of MQL’s that they could send to Sales, so they started looking to their database for ways to generate some. They had over 14,000 leads from 2010 that didn’t score high enough to be sent to sales, and decided that a short nurturing program was the best way to re-engage these leads.


They had been looking at increasing their nurturing efforts for 2011, so this quick win program would also serve as a great way for them to get base numbers for longer term nurture programs in 2011 that would include multiple tracks, A/B testing, etc.


Having categorized product types into 5 business units there was lots of content to pull from, and the team was experienced with program builder, so they knew what they had to do was map out the program flow. Nurture tracks were mapped according to business unit, and for the leads that didn’t have a product type listed, they decided to focus on a current area of focus for the company, a Social Media offer. Leads were scored on the following criteria:


  • Email click through +5
  • Downloaded asset + 20
  • Title given, up to +50
  • Total Employees number given, up to +15


In total, the campaign had:


  • 6 product tracks
  • 7 whitepapers
  • 2 case studies
  • 8 forms
  • 3 high value web pages


The program had pretty good results when compared to the Eloqua Benchmark report ( They saw a 17% open rate (compared to 19.5% benchmark) and a 3.5% click through rate (compared to 3.0%). More importantly, the campaign saw 439 leads score as MQL, which is approximately 2 weeks worth of lead production.


What McAfee learned through their quick nurture program is already helping them in 2011. The team is more confident that they can generate a more predictable amount of leads, and with they’ll know more about when they need to increase volumes and when they can decrease them (Revenue Performance Management here we come!). Now that they have the groundwork laid, they’re going to do more around subject line testing, and personalization to increase their conversion. And they’re starting to bring more dynamic streams of nurturing into initial demand gen campaigns, so after a contact has been a part of new campaign, they’re dropped right into a nurture track if they don’t score up, which gives them a great opportunity to test different campaigns performance (i.e. contact doesn’t respond to initial wave, the nurture will send emails again with different subject lines).


This year, 2011 McAfee is implementing scoring for global geos, with lead nurturing to follow across the regions. They launched the first part of their North American campaigns today, with 4 different tracks and three offers per track (12 emails and landing pages already!)

Diane Walker, McAfee’s Director of Demand Generation said: “This effort was a major milestone for us, which was the catalyst for our new Eloqua automated nurture program. Our charter is driving a predictable supply of quality leads and pipeline contribution. These nurture programs help us achieve those goals”.


Now it’s your turn! Share with us what you’ve done to re-engage cold leads. Did you test? Did anything give you amazing results, or prove that what assets perform best?

There are two great tips that I wanted to share from my discussions with clients and attending Eloqua Success Tours:


  1. Send an invite reminder on the day of the event to those people who opened your event invites but never registered. One client did this and had a 65% open rate from this email and a 25% click-through rate. This is using the digital body language of your database to maximize email response and the impact of your webinar.
  2. Add in additional channels for event invites. One client sent a recorded voice message using Eloqua's Call on Demand in combination with an email and saw a 24% increase in open rate and a 144% increase in click-through rate for those email receipients who also received a recorded message.


Hope these help!



At the beginning of February we decided to run a test on our Customer newsletter (“The Conversation”). Like many of our customers, our goal was to see if we could increase our click-thru rates and thereby increase our engagement with our audience. We have several future tests planned as well, but for this first one we started with the design. Traditionally “The Conversation” has used a graphical, HTML design, so we decided to pit that against a ‘plain’ text-based designed. Which one might lure people to read and click? This was one of those times when I had no idea what the outcome would be, so I was really looking forward to the results.


Here’s what The Conversation traditionally looks like:


This is the modified, ‘plain’ text-based version we tested:


Using the “Percentage Based Routing” option in Eloqua’s program builder module, we split our distribution list in half (50% received the HTML version, 50% received the plain version). We send a North American version of the email which goes out in the afternoon Eastern Time, then a slightly modified International version of the newsletter which goes out at 7 AM GMT.


What did I learn? I discovered that our North American audience prefers the graphical design, but not by a landslide. However for our international audience, the results were clearer – the text-based format won by a fair bit. Now I need to find a way to put that into practice more regularly for our international customers and give them what they want. Have any of the rest of you experienced this as well?


In the interest of full disclosure, and because my goal in 2011 is to increase these metrics, I’m going to share with you our nitty gritty numbers:


North America
Open RateClick-Thru RateOpen RateClick-Thru Rate
HTML Design25.57%5.12%25.47%3.73%
Text Design22.02%4.35%25.97%8.02%



What am I going to test for the April version of The Conversation? I’m leaning toward shorter (less articles) versus longer (current number of articles, which is usually around 6). However, I’m open to ideas! What do you think?

I just got back from the Eloqua Customer Success Tour dates in San Francisco and Seattle. It was a whirlwind of marketing talk, success stories and learning. There were presentations by big and small businesses, rookies as well as veterans.


On the surface, marketing automation can appear a little wonky. But the enthusiasm and involvement of customers was not centered just around a nerdy obsession for lead scoring tools, but using technology to design, develop and deliver creative campaigns – to let their imagination run rampant. With that in mind, here are my three key takeaways from my visits to the Customer Success Tour stops in San Francisco and Seattle.


Customers employing the full functionality of Eloqua get more out of it. If you spend $400 on a tool set and only use the hammer, you’re probably not getting the most out of your purchase. It’s the same for marketing automation. For those new to Eloqua, there’s a lot to learn, and at times I think folks can find it overwhelming. But on this tour customers from Taleo and Avid showed how using Eloqua for lead management, and targeting and segmentation generates real results. Luckily for us, Eloqua experts are eager to share their experiences with newer users, both on the tour and here on Topliners.


There’s a lot of excitement around Cloud Connectors. Eloqua Chief Technology Officer, Steven Woods, was like a rock star in San Francisco. Steven was chatting with customers about the Cloud Connectors initiative, which is an effort to seamlessly synch Eloqua with other third-party vendors such as WebEx and Jigsaw. It’s a “game changer” one attendee in Seattle said. People are really excited about this ability and are eagerly awaiting updates. More are forthcoming so stay tuned.


Customers want to know how Eloquans uses Eloqua. The old Hair Club for Men adage: “I’m not only the president. I’m also a client.”

Customers of Eloqua are intensely interested in how the company employs its own product. Chris Petko, Director of Marketing Operations at Eloqua, gave a presentation on how the company uses its solutions to normalize data and drive revenue performance by making decisions based on advanced analytics. Customers had a lot of questions for Chris – from the particular data the company collects to how customers can implement some of the same techniques. It just goes to show that there’s no better proof of genuine trust in your product than demonstrating that you actually use the product.



Customer Success Tour might be stopping at a city near you. Check here for dates. Have you attended a Tour event? What did you get out of it? What questions did you ask?

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