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This blog post is discussing how one of my organization's educational events was elevated with personalization and with the use of a blind form submission.


Every year my organization conducts 15-20 educational events, where we traditionally send out two invitations (first invitation and a second invitation) in order to support and increase attendance to these educational events. Our standard goal is to have 50 people attend per event. This year, this particular educational event was a little different from our traditional educational events because we were offering additional options along with the basic attendance of the presentation. For this event, we offered people the opportunity to attend just the presentation portion or attend the presentation and choose from 2 additional activities. In years past, those RSVP'ing had to fill out a lengthy form and check a box for which attendance option they wanted. Once they submitted the form, a generic e-mail was sent confirming their attendance. After attending the Blind Form Submit Eloqua class, I wanted to try my learnings and use them to help my organization, and this seemed like the perfect campaign. Given my organization is a more traditional company, when I suggested using new methods it took some convincing and this was considered a test campaign to see if we would implement these techniques for the other educational events for the year.


Our Goals for this campaign were 1) to achieve our attendance goal of 50 people, 2) to create a user friendly and personalized experience for our invitees. 




In order to create a more user friendly and simplified registration process I created this code for the blind form submission:


form code_eloqua blog.JPG

With the copy provided to me by our creative department, I included the four options (presentation & activity 1, presentation & activity 2, presentation only, not attending) and hyperlinked the above code for the respective options.

Invitation_luminary blog.JPG


Step 2:


The next step to elevating this campaign was to add personalization to the assets. In order to give those attending a more personalized feel I used a field merge on the confirmation e-mails, which put their first name at the top of the e-card. The next level of personalization implemented for this campaign was having a dynamic content rule set up. This rule customized the photo on the confirmation e-mail depending on which activity the individual selected.

confirmation email_ luminary blog.JPG confirmation email 2_ luminary blog.JPGconfirmation email 3_ luminary blog.JPG




This educational event campaign was a huge success. we received 54 RSVP's with the first invitation and had to remove the second invitation from the campaign since we exceeded our attendance cap right away. I believe the success of this campaign was because of the blind form on the invitation, which allowed people to easily click to select the attendance option they wanted instead of filling our a lengthy form. Secondly, the success was also due to the personalization that accompanied the blind form by including the field merge and setting up the dynamic content rule. The success of this campaign removed my organization's earlier hesitation about how effective these new methods would be, and we will continue to utilize these approaches for our upcoming educational events and other communications.


The success of this campaign wouldn't have been possible without all of the Eloqua University Courses, but specifically: 1) Basic Event Management 2) Personalizing Campaigns 3) Blind Form submits, and 4) Fundamentals of Forms and Landing Pages.


The purpose of this blog post is to illustrate how our organization was able to market two unique webinars (that are 1 week apart) to the same audience using a single form and a single campaign canvas.


One of our business units had a unique situation where they had 2 webinars (different topics), occurring quarterly, where there was about 75% overlap in audience. In the past, these 2 webinars had been months apart and so we were able to run them as 2 separate campaigns (invites, reminders, landing pages, forms, etc.). However, recently, the dates of these webinars changed and the webinars are now required to run 1 week apart from each other. The challenge our marketing team faced was how to effectively consolidate the marketing of these webinars into one campaign so that we were not over-communicating to our audience (and thus diluting registrants for the second webinar).


Our goal for this campaign initiative was two-part: 1) Migrate the marketing efforts of both webinars into one consolidated campaign, 2) Increase registrations for webinar 2 while maintaining registrations for webinar 1. Before getting started, we benchmarked our current state by looking at registration numbers for each quarter in 2014 for each webinar.




First, our marketing team provided copy for the invitation emails that effectively marketed both webinars as separate events in one consolidated email. This presented information for both webinars equally and up-front, and also enabled us to send one invitation for both webinars.






Second, our Marketing Automation team developed a landing page with a single form with which contacts had the option to register for either one or both webinars (In the HTML, we coded a requirement so that at least one checkbox was required to be selected. We implemented this functionality in order to eliminate people registering without any webinar selected).






On the backend of this form, in Eloqua, a few processing steps were needed to make this function as we wanted it to:


  1. Each webinar checkbox needed to have a unique value assigned to it so that the appropriate webinar emails (login instructions, reminders, thank you, sorry, etc.) could be sent.

  2. We also needed to add a "Add to Shared Contact List" processing step and condition within that step. In the Conditions Editor, we selected the form field that we used for the webinar checkboxes (in our case it was "Topic of Interest") and then applied the condition "exactly matches" and the value we gave it in the HTML (in our case, "Finance Trends"). Next, we selected the option to "Always add the contact to the same contact list", then selected the Contact List (aka, Shared List) that was specific to this webinar. Once complete, we saved the form and repeated this entire step for the 2nd webinar (selecting a different shared list and a different value in the Conditions Editor).

  3. Next, we needed to add a "Send Submitter an Email" processing step and a condition within that step. In the Conditions Editor, we selected the form field that we used for the webinar checkboxes (in our case it was "Topic of Interest") and then applied the condition "exactly matches" and the value we gave it in the HTML (in our case, "Finance Trends"). Next, we selected the option to "Always send the same email", then selected the email that is specific to this webinar. Under "Allow Resending", select "Yes". Once complete, saved the form and repeated this entire step for the 2nd webinar (selecting a different email asset and a different value in the Conditions Editor).




Even though we were able to consolidate the content of the invitation emails, once a contact registered for one (or both) webinars, they needed to be placed on the appropriate path in order to receive the appropriate subsequent emails (such as the reminder, login, thank you, sorry, etc.). Since both webinar paths are connected to the same segment, and Eloqua does not allow the same contact to exist in 2 locations on the same canvas, this required some creative thinking from our Marketing Automation team:


  1. After each invitation email, we added 2 "Shared List Member?" Decision steps: One for webinar 1, the other for webinar 2. We set the evaluation period of our first webinar to run until just a few hours before your next invite send, that way, we were able to view the canvas and see registrants in real-time (and also confirm everything is working correctly). On the Decision step for webinar 1, we pointed the "No" path to the Decision step for webinar 2, and pointed the "Yes" path to a wait step for the reminder email of webinar 1. On the Decision step for webinar 2, we pointed the "No" path to a wait step for invitation 2, and pointed the "Yes" path to a wait step for the reminder email of webinar 2.

  2. The "Yes" path of the first Decision step is moving anyone who registered for webinar 1 into the wait step for the webinar 1 path. It is important to notice that this includes contacts who registered ONLY for webinar 1 and also contacts who registered for BOTH webinar 1 and webinar 2. Because of this, it was necessary to do a final check at the end of the webinar 1 path for anyone who has registered for webinar 2 so that we could move them from the last step of the webinar 1 path into the wait step at the start of the webinar 2 path.





The combination of the checkbox requirement on the form, the 2 form processing steps and the decision steps on the campaign canvas, we were able to combine 2 webinars into one campaign while still sending targeted, timely webinar emails to our audience. While we were only able to measure our results from Q1 2014 to Q1 2015, we did see that in that time webinar 2 registrations increased by about 5% and so we are happy with the results (though we will continue to optimize and measure our performance). Additionally, because this is an ongoing quarterly campaign and we are no longer creating a separate campaign for each webinar, the Marketing Automation team has been able to decrease turn-around times for all elements of this campaign.


To implement this initiative, we leveraged training from 2 of the Eloqua University courses: 1) Eloqua 10: Basic Event Management, and 2) Eloqua 10: Advanced Editing & Forms Processing.

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