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Wow - what a tool this eloqua is - I know I am only scratching the surface with simple campaign setup and email and contacts yada yada yada - I am concerned on a number of levels that our contacts could be better managed when uploading - i.e. is only the email important to connect or is it best to associate all possible fields? Have a great day - p.s. just got a new badge for posting this my first post - thanks if you reply.....

 

 

Challenges

  • Manual process for managing tradeshow leads.
  • Sales team inability to follow up promptly.
  • Dirty data due to human error in manual lead entry.

Solutions

  • Eloqua AppCloud
  • RelationshipOne Lead Capture App
  • WorldCard Mobile App
  • Eloqua Forms Editor
  • Apple iPad

Results

  • Ability to prequalify leads prior to uploading.
  • 140% increase in qualified leads.
  • Immediate sales follow-up on leads. 
  • Improved efficiency and time savings.
  • Increased opportunity dollars from tradeshows.
  • Cleaner data with new automated capture process.


As any organization that relies heavily on tradeshow participation to help drive leads will tell you, managing these leads is a long arduous process and a source of great frustration for those charged with the task. Before implementing a creative solution employing an iPad and the Eloqua AppCloud, the marketing and sales teams at Mercury Systems struggled with this all too common challenge.  

 

When connecting with potential leads at tradeshows, the company’s sales reps typically collected business cards. Then after the show was over, they used a manual process to get the leads into their database. As Tina Bucchio, Marketing Systems Administrator for Mercury Systems says, “It was a rat race once the information got back to the office. We were getting these business cards, fielding them out to two or three people, and typing like crazy.”

 

On the rare occasions when the company used a lead retrieval system at tradeshows, it still took days for the company to receive the file. Once the data was entered into the system, the team had to then merge files and check for human error.   

 

Timing was critical for the sales team. They needed to follow up with hot leads immediately. But by the time the reps received the leads, the sense of urgency was gone and many opportunities were lost. “It averaged about four days from the time the show ended to the time we actually got the leads into the system, and then another five or six hours going through lead scoring to get to sales,” says Tina. “It was just taking far too long.”

 

It was at this point that Mercury looked to Eloqua partner, RelationshipOne for assistance. The two companies implemented a solution that integrated iPad, scanning and Eloqua form technologies with RelationshipOne’s Lead Capture App to streamline the lead capture process.

 

With this newly implemented solution, sales reps simply scan business cards with the iPad at tradeshows. The Lead Capture App then creates the Eloqua contact. The sales rep receives a link to the append form, containing custom fields such as job role, industry, market segment, and comments. Next, the form gets submitted and the processing steps on the back end do all the work. A notification immediately goes to the sales team and the prospect receives an email with links to collateral. Then the contact enters into lead scoring and gets pushed to sales for immediate follow up.

“Our follow up efforts have started even before the contact has left the expo area,” says Tina. “Sales is following up within hours, not days.” The company is also now able to prequalify leads, something that was not possible prior to the implementation. Additionally, because human error has been eliminated through automation, the company now enjoys improved data cleanliness.

 

“Sales is thrilled with the performance of our new process,” says Tina. “Follow up is happening quicker than ever and the fruits of our labor are evident in the number of opportunities generated.” Mercury has increased opportunity dollars dramatically and has driven the total number of qualified leads from tradeshows up 140% year over year.

 

The company envisions this solution evolving over time and plans to add functionality that will enable custom content for prospects. “I’m also in discussions with sales to really expand this program to target high scoring prospects with a four touch program,” says Tina. “This would include an email, a prompt to sales to follow up with a call, a postcard mailer, and a final prompt to sales - exciting times here at Mercury!”    

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Our Analysis:

Those of us who enjoy a bottle of wine or who have a few gray hairs know that things get better with time.  The key to personal or professional growth is learning from your experiences and improving each time around.  This week, we looked at the learning process marketers go through when they begin using a marketing automation tool.   To add some competitive spice, we compared how different industries learned at different rates.  

 

We looked at several measures of marketing effectiveness, including open and click rates.  We found across all industries these rates actually decreased over the first five months of marketing automation.  Examining the number of emails sent and qualified leads captured, we found successive increases as marketers learn and adjust their approach toward the end goal of delivering MQLs to sales.

 

Next, when we examined Lead Efficiency, defined by MQLs generated per 1000 emails sent, an obvious leader jumps to light:  Across all industries, Lead Efficiency increases approximately 80% over the first months of execution.  However, marketers in manufacturing increased Lead Efficiency by approximately 3 times in the same period.  Furthermore, they demonstrated steady month over month improvement and eventually the highest Lead Efficiency at scale.  It seems that the principles of continuous improvement have leaked from the factory floor to the marketing suite!

 


Recommended reading (for non-manufacturing) Marketers:  New Manufacturing Challenge: Techniques for Continuous Improvement,  Kiyoshi Suzaki


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This is the happily ever after story about the introduction of lead scoring at Blackboard, an enterprise technology company focused in the education space. Like many happily ever after stories, it begins with some doom and gloom: the sales team was frustrated with the marketing team for sending over too many unqualified leads and, in their opinion, wasting their time. They wanted to be closing deals, not qualifying raw leads.

 

The marketing team heard the alarm trumpets and rode in to the rescue! Okay, so it wasn’t all blazing saddles and overnight success – it took eight months of work before the celebration feast could begin. What happened during those 8 months, you ask?

 

First, the sales and marketing stakeholders at Blackboard gathered together in a room to agree on the best scoring criteria. This wasn’t simple because they really needed to think about each of their 8 vertical audiences separately. (Happily, the marketing team knew that having different scoring models inside of the Eloqua application wouldn’t be a problem!)

 

Next, the marketing team built the well-loved Contact Washing Machine* into their Eloqua processes. They took the jumble of titles in their “Title” field and created standardized values in the new “Job Title” and “Primary Role” fields. This data was important to make sure that the explicit (demographic) piece of the lead score would be as accurate as possible.

 

In order to build the implicit (behavioral) piece of the lead score, the marketing team performed an audit of all the content on the website to ensure that they were offering the right information to their audience and were also scoring on the correct pieces of content. They received buy-in from the sales team by vertical as to which items indicated true buyer engagement in that particular vertical.

 

Lastly, the team looked at how all new leads should be routed based on lead score, and put rules in place to determine whether leads should go directly to sales reps or to a queue for further qualification and nurturing. Each model was tested before launching, and after launching the results were reviewed by everyone to determine effectiveness.

 

The result? Blackboard now has 8 well-oiled lead scoring models -- they rolled out one each month for each of the 8 months -- which they review and evaluate every quarter with the verticals teams. During the discussions, they evaluate every aspect of the models and determine if anything needs to be adjusted in order to optimize leads. Sales now trusts the leads that marketing provides, knowing that they will be of high value. In addition, the sales team is more efficient because they’re not wasting time with unqualified leads that just aren’t ready to buy.

 

The results?

  • Increased Quality: With lead scoring in place, the marketing team has been able to convert 34% of their inquiries into Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) and nurture the remaining 66%. This is significantly higher than their previous conversion numbers.
  • Better Targeting: Blackboard is now able to see which profiles are making purchase decisions, with reporting broken down by score to ensure that the correct profiles are being targeted in ongoing and future campaigns.

 

And let’s not forget the happily ever after result of a more productive, less frustrated sales team who is able to close deals faster.

 

Are you ready for your own fairy tale ending? Is it time for your organization to implement (or make changes to) a lead scoring program? You’ll find that it’s incredibly easy to do in Eloqua10. Take a look at the Resource Center here in Topliners for screen shots, instructions and other helpful links.

 

If you have questions about updating to Eloqua10 or adding extra Lead Scoring models, your Account Director/Account Executive can help! Fill out this form to request more information!

 

ALSO - We have a recorded webinar demo of the Lead Scoring Module - check it out: Spotlight on Success - Lead Scoring

 

 

(*Looking for information on a Contact Washing Machine? Check out these posts:

Nine Tips for Building a Contact Washing Machine

Normalizing Country/State Values

Normalizing Job Titles

Gain Your Hours Back: The Data Washing Machine)

To help answer this question, we (TCMPi) tested the responses of our contacts to two very similar electronic marketing communications.

 

We wanted to know:

If Election Day was really not an appropriate date to send marketing communications. The common assumption is that people are distracted and will not open their emails and, most importantly, will not take any actions after reading them.

 

What we did:

  • We sent two emails with the same tone/structure and similar message/length.
  • The first email was sent at on Tuesday Oct 24th while the second email was sent on Tuesday Nov 6th(Election Day).
  • Both emails were sent at the same time of the day on a Tuesday.
  • We sent these emails to exactly the same segment of people. The segment included 6072 contacts, a fraction of our database.
  • Both emails had a unique external link to a specific page in our website.

 

Results:

On Election Day:

  1. The number of Total Opens increased by 24.26%.
  2. Open Rate was 7.7% higher.
  3. Click Through Rate was 0.93% higher.
  4. There was an increase of 20.17% in Unique Opens.
  5. The Unique Open Rate improved by 3.47%.
  6. Total Click Throughs improved by 12.36%.
  7. Unique Click Throughs improved by 10.29%.
  8. Our number of website visitors increased by 3.02%.

 

However:

  • - Click to Open Rate was 3.41% lower on Election Day.
  • - Percentage of Global Unsubscribes was virtually the same in both days.

 

Conclusion:

Per our testing, TCMPi will not stop sending marketing communications on election days. Even though the popular believe is that people are distracted during these days, most of our email metrics actually improved and we were able to reach more people via email than in a regular day.

 

Do you have any experiences sending emails on election days (federal, state or local)? We would really like to hear your insight and comments.

 

It seems that Election Day wasn’t a bad day to send emails after all!

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