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Introduction: Fluoridation

To many, the use of dynamic content can be a very complicated and daunting task. “It’s tricky,” “it’s time consuming,” “it’s not worth the effort” are all reasons I’ve heard to avoid its use. Although it can be a difficult technique to master, the scalability and potential it can offer is massive. In the paragraphs below, I will outline a technique I have paired with my use of dynamic content. Since conception and deployment, it has served as a gateway to innovation and has changed the way we have delivered content to our readers.

 

Challenge: Looks Like it’s Pretty Hairy.

Scalability is the name of the game. We had a newsletter concept that required us to create a unique content block for every possible solution. The previous run had over 80 solutions, with a contact’s top 10 showing through field merges on the email. This meant that we also had to prepare for every combination of order as well. The method of creating individual content blocks for each unique opportunity was not going to work here. In order to scale, we had to come up with a better way.

 

Goals: No Horsing Around on the Airplane

The number 1 goal was scalability. We had to come up with a way that allowed us to add a large number of unique blocks in less time than before. Having our email interactions increase in any way would be the cherry on top. The main goal was finding a way to save time.

 

Benchmark: The Big Board!

The main metric that we were worried about was time spent on preparing the email assets for deployment, specifically for assets with a heavy emphasis on personalization. The building of so many unique content blocks ate up a huge amount of time.

 

Solution: This is the War Room

We came up with the concept of using field merges to dynamically display all the information we wanted. Instead of building out each individual block, we would create a template for the area, and apply the appropriate field merges to fill them. Here are the steps we took to put this into action:

  1. Plan and create your dynamic content area. This is where you should determine what it should look like, what information you want to display, and what information you need to display it.
  2. Create your field merges from the Custom Data Object
    1. Determine what fields you want to bring over to your asset. For this case, I will only be using the 5 below.

Field Merges.png

    3.  If using an image, find a place to host it. I used the “Images” area of the Component Library in my example

      1. Once this is done, get a copy of the image URL
      2. Place the base URL for the images in the HTML of the email. In my example we will be using “http://images/EloquaImages/clients/mycompany/” as the base URL. A field merge will be used to complete the link.
      3. Place the designated field merge at the end of the base link.

                    BaseLink.png

                   d. You can also use this method for hyperlinks as well. In this example, I placed the field merge to represent the whole URL

     4. Put your field merges in your dynamic content block

                    DC1.png

          *The image link is broken, but it will render correctly when contact information is applied.

     5. Test, Test, Test!

        1. Test and make sure everything is displaying as you wish it would. It’s rare that everything works out for me on the first try.

     6. Be proud of the end result!

                Final.png

Helpful Eloqua Classes: Marketing is our Profession.

  1. Fundamentals of Email
  2. Effective Marketing with Custom Objects
  3. Personalizing Campaigns

 

Impact:  Mein Director! I Can Scale!

This was a success! Though there were some initial pains in the beginning, once we figured it out, it was smooth sailing from there. Making changes in a spreadsheet to be uploaded to the Custom Data Object saved much more time than making edits to an email directly. Because of the scalability of this method, we are now able to offer this style of content delivery to other marketing initiatives as well. This method was a gateway to innovation. Since developing this method, we have continued to come up with new ideas that have increased the personalization and relevancy of our content, which in turn, has increased the interaction with our targeted contacts.

How We Started – Let’s go back to January 2015

 

I work for a mid-size software company who has experienced great success for many years. Our marketing efforts had always been on the more, let’s say traditional side, and we had no trouble bringing in leads.  But, one day our leadership realized that perhaps if we looked into modern marketing maybe we could bring in even more leads, and that lead to us to Eloqua.  Before implementing, our philosophy was straight batch and blast – if you were a contact in our system, you got the message! The bigger the audience, the better! Because of course if you reach out to a big audience, that only means more possible responses.  Right?

 

Then we enrolled in Eloqua University, and we discovered we were oh, so very wrong. 

 

Mission (Im)possible?


The first challenge was to get buy in from our stakeholders.  If our current method was not broken, then why fix it? Not to mention that our culture was one that was not quick to adapt change, because we never really had to. That is when we decided to start small.

 

As we started implementing Eloqua and taking some classes, we thought hmmmm, what if we targeted a specific audience? What if we tested subject lines to see which one grabbed our contact’s attention?  We decided to give it a try.

 

First we started with our audience.  We used segmentation to filter on certain titles – we were interested specifically in the leaders of the field.  Also, because of the content we were planning for this campaign, we only wanted to target certain product lines.  Because we mapped these identifying fields from our CRM system, creating filter criteria to get the perfect segment was a piece of cake!

 

After we built our segment and gained some confidence from how intuitive it was, we thought, hey, let’s try some subject testing!  We took our segment and removed 10% of them.  We then divided up each 5% and tested the subject line and utilized program builder to build our lists by using percentage based routing.  We split the contacts and then added to shared lists. Here is the workflow of the program that was built to accomplish this in an automated way:

 

 

Once we had our lists, then we were ready to test our subject lines using the Campaign Canvas:

 

 

The winning subject line then went to the remaining 90% of the audience, in order to get a better open and click through rate.  The first email was a whitepaper we had written with one of our clients.  If the contact downloaded that then they were sent a second email which contained something even better - a recorded webcast.  If they did not download the webcast, they were sent a third email, with a new subject line, with the same webcast.  The idea was that the new subject line might grab them in a way the original one did not.

 

This was all gated content that required the contact to complete a form.  Once they completed the form, they were sent through our CRM program to create a lead in Salesforce that would forward a task to Inside Sales so they could reach out to the prospect.

 

So at the end of this campaign we asked ourselves, was it worth it? Yes, we received a great number of new leads that we otherwise wouldn’t have had.  We used Insight to report on the number of leads that were generated and how many of them turned into Sales Opportunities. But the real win? One of the contacts we targeted, who happened to work for a well known company and was one of our biggest clients, downloaded the whitepaper and thought so highly of the content that they reached out asking if they could write a whitepaper with us! 

 

So What Next?

 

So this Nurture Campaign is now completed, and it was considered a huge success. Are we stopping here? No!  We are taking it to the next level and are in the process of creating a new Welcome campaign canvas which targets a very specific customer base and will be utilizing blind form submits to try to generate a higher response rate.  We are also going to use Closed Loop Reporting to report on this specific product line.

 

Looking where we were at this time last year and where we are now just showcases how modern marketing can work for anyone, even the most traditional of companies.  Some organizations may be skeptical or might not embrace change easily, which is where the starting small approach works. Start small, something doable that does not overwhelm stakeholders. Any movement in the right direction is a positive thing. Once you see a small success, that gives the confidence to the business that they can take it to the next level.

 

Reference:

 

Eloqua 10: Fundamentals of Segmentation

Eloqua 10: Fundamentals of Emails

Eloqua 10: Fundamentals of the Campaign Canvas

Eloqua 10:  System Integration

Eloqua 10: Advanced Segmentation

Eloqua 10:  Testing Campaigns and Assets

Eloqua 10: Program Builder Overview

Eloqua 10:  Closed Loop Reporting

Don't know where to turn to find the latest release updates for Oracle Eloqua, Oracle Responsys, Oracle Data Management, and Oracle Content Marketing? Then this article's for you! Follow the links below for your products.

 

Oracle Eloqua Release Updates

Oracle Responsys Release Updates

Oracle Data Management Platform Updates - see below

Oracle Content Marketing Updates

 

Due to the frequency of updates, Oracle Data Management posts release information to the Dashboard Message Board section.

 

dmp_dashboard.png

Happy marketing and automating.

I would like to share my experience of developing an Eloqua nurture campaign. It was one of the first more complex projects I was involved in at my current position and I will describe a few challenges that occurred on the road.


Brief

I work for CRM Technologies, the marketing operations agency, and we were requested to help with developing global Eloqua nurture campaigns for one of our customers. Each campaign is focused on a separate product, and consists of several emails. The main content asset was translated into 17 languages. Before downloading the content a contact needs to fill in a progressive profiling form. When all specific contact fields are completed the lead is passed to sales.


We were participating in rolling out several product nurtures. Over time our involvement and responsibilities changed. At the beginning we were building the whole campaign from start to the end. Further into the project, the client was able to allocate a specialist who took over more responsibilities.


Eloqua Assets

The product oriented campaign was launched across 5 regions, and consisted of 5-6 emails. Translated dynamic content was used on emails to reduce the number of assets.

Landing pages were minimalist, displaying only a small amount of content and simply showing a tinted sneak preview of the desired white paper and a pop-up window prompting for the lead’s details.


Challenges

  • Too many landing pages - at the beginning we were using a unique page for each asset, for each language. This meant we ended up with around 50 landing pages per campaign. Over time we evolved to a unified background with a simple company logo. In the end we had decided to give up on the sneak peak preview background as it was ineffective.
  • A bug in the progressive profiling cloud component forced us to find a workaround. We weren’t able to successfully map contact to the email address field, instead, we basically had to recreate another field on the form for the email address.
  • At the beginning of the project our customer made too many changes within the running of their campaigns. This made it impossible to have stable, comparable results to evaluate and make campaign improvements.
  • Cloud component unfortunately did not offer an option to populate localised dynamic labels based on a contact’s preferences/country, we were forced to create a brand new cloud component for each language.
  • Eloqua progressive profiling cloud component doesn’t allow you to use advanced logic (for example ‘state or province’ field should be rendered only to US/Canadian customers). We ended up with two streams - one for US market and one for global market.


Little things you should remember

  • Document everything - even though it’s not requested or required by customer.
    • My lesson: We still maintained several documents for keeping track of Eloqua names, links, uploaded assets and QA process. Always do that as it helps to share work within a team.
  • When you do content extensive work make sure you have robust templates that will actually help when adding content itself. Think smart which section will be dynamic, if image size could break the design.
    • My lesson: We had several dynamic sections within an email - multiplying the amount of work.
  • Evaluate often for improvements.
    • My lesson: At the beginning reporting suffered from too many changes in live campaigns. We weren’t able to provide reliable and comparable reporting data for the last few months (actually not even the last few weeks).
  • Test. Test. Test.
    • My lesson: We found so many minor things I would never believe could break when I built them originally in Eloqua. Test on as many devices, browsers and platforms as possible.


I am aware our nurture build approach and process isn’t perfect or definitive. But it was a great experience to see small things click together and slowly improving. Campaigns provide a great wireframe for further amendments. It’s easily scalable (languages, email steps). Insight reporting is unified in one place and any content can be very quickly updated. We can still update templates, apply responsive design, merge dynamic contents together in emails, re-work dynamic background on landing pages, do more A/B testing. The next step should be building a roadmap to give visible and clear responsibilities, what needs to be monitored and what has to be amended according to feedback.


Results

Four campaigns generated approximately over 12,000 new leads in the 3 monitored months, with unique response rates varying from 5% to almost 30%. Over the same period of time emails had open rates of around 55% (10% unique open rate). Campaigns also maintain a very low unsubscribe rate. Progressive profiling forms had several thousand form submissions that helped enrich the database.


I hope you’ve found our experience helpful and if you have any further questions I will be more than happy to answer them in discussion below or you can contact me over email david.huml@crmtechnologies.com.

Why_Templates_Crown.pngWhether you've never used Eloqua templates before, or you're a template guru, there is something for everyone in this post, from template basics to technical template tips.

 

Why use templates? There are so many reasons to use templates, and I as I walk through the template capabilities, I'm sure you'll be thinking up all sorts of great reasons. Here are my favorite five reasons to use templates:

  1. Be Inspired
  2. Inspire Others
  3. Share Best Practices
  4. Standardize
  5. Enforce Compliance

 

Here is what can be saved as a template in Eloqua:

  • Assets
    • Emails
    • Landing Pages
    • Forms
  • Campaign Canvases
  • Segments

 

How do you create templates? When you have your Asset, Campaign Canvas, or Segment created to the point you are ready to save as a template, click the gear on the top right of the screen and select "Save As Template..." The placement of the gear and the menu items differ slightly depending on the Asset or if it is a Campaign Canvas or Segment, but the gear menu always starts with the same options:

    Save_As_Template.png

When saving a template, you have the following details to set: Name, Description, Text to Display for Link, URL for Link, and Location. These are fairly standard, the only part I am going to highlight is the URL for Link and Text to Display for Link.

    Save_As_Template_Details.png

This allows you to link to documentation related to the template. This is where you could share best practices and configuration instructions for the template.


What does saving as a template do? It saves the Asset, Campaign Canvas, or Segment you have open as a template that will appear for all Users with the appropriate access in the corresponding Template Chooser. If a URL for Link and Text to Display for Link are set, this along with the other template details mentioned above, will appear in the Template Chooser when single clicking the template.  As an example, if I just saved an Email template named "Best Practice Newsletter" with a URL for Link going to Topliners and Text to Display for Link "Find More Best Practice Templates on Topliners", a User in Eloqua could find this template by selecting Assets then Emails from the top navigation. Next they would need to select "Create an Email" from the Emails Launchpad. This brings up the Template Chooser, which will show the template under "Blank and Recent" if it was just created; otherwise, you'd navigate to "All Files" or use the Search bar on the top right. Once selecting the template, the pop up appears including the URL.

    Template_Chooser.png

How do templates help with standardizing and enforcing compliance? For Emails and Landing Pages there is Template Management functionality that allows for easy editing of templates, and template details, and provides tools for standardizing and enforcing compliance. The Template Management functionality allows the ability to assign very granular settings to areas of your Emails or Landing Pages, you can lock all elements in place, then define which specific elements, if any, can be modified when creating new Emails or Landing Pages. This allows you to standardize and enforce compliance by maintaining control and consistency when sending out similar types of Emails or publishing similar types of Landing Pages. It also ensures that important elements are not accidentally deleted. To learn more about the Template Management functionality, start with the Oracle Marketing Cloud Academy Course Eloqua 10: Template and Asset Management and bookmark these Help Center pages: Email template manager and Landing page template manager.

 

How do you edit templates that do not have the Template Management functionality such as Campaign Canvases, Forms, or Segments? You are able to edit these templates but not the template details. If edits needs to be made to the template details, the template will need to be re-created. Here are the instructions to edit these templates:

A Campaign Canvas is used as an example, but the process is the same for Forms and Segments.

  1. Reload Eloqua
  2. From Top Navigation, click Campaigns
  3. Click "Create a Multi-Step Campaign"
  4. Select the template you want to edit
  5. Note the URL has a negative ID (Example: https://secure.eloqua.com/Main.aspx#campaigns&id=-23)
  6. Copy the URL to the clipboard
  7. Close the Campaign without saving
  8. Open a new browser tab
  9. Paste the URL from the clipboard into the new browser tab, and before clicking enter, change the negative ID to a positive one (Example: https://secure.eloqua.com/Main.aspx#campaigns&id=23)
  10. You will now be editing the template

 

Want to be inspired to create your own templates? All Eloqua customers have access to a set of best practice templates for all Assets and Campaign Canvases, along with configuration guides.

    BP_Templates.png

And if you have an Eloqua Industry Solution, you have a specific set of best practice templates for your industry, which include:

    Industry_Solutions_Template_Galleries.png


The best part about templates and corresponding configuration guides is you can incorporate best practices learned from the Oracle Marketing Cloud Academy and Topliners. Here are my favorite courses I've used as part of Eloqua Industry Solution Template Galleries:

 

Explore these templates and be inspired, not just to create your own Assets and Campaign Canvases, but to create your own internal templates and configuration guides to share best practices and inspire others!

We’ve been largely a batch and blast company since I started at TransUnion nearly three years ago, so launching our first fully integrated Eloqua campaign was slightly intimidating. Not only was there the challenge of thinking through a campaign in its entirety vs. simple one off emails, there was also learning an entirely new interface. That intimidation shrunk vastly as I continued through the Eloqua courses, gaining both suggestions on how to effectively execute the campaign and technical knowledge on how to execute those suggestions.

 

Because absolutely everyone loves a good list; below is a quick hitting list of campaign considerations and prioritized learning to get the most out of your first email campaign:

 

  1. Determine campaign challenges early: During initial strategy meetings, you’ll want to discuss any potential campaign challenges early; this will help you avoid road blocks later in the campaign process. For us, it was figuring out what content was valuable enough to have behind a gated form and then making the determination on form fields relative to the value of the piece. It was largely a re-engagement campaign so we had to figure out a way to make all creative assets compelling enough to get people to click and interact.
  2. Determine Goals and Benchmark: Before the campaign starts make sure to have clear cut goals and ways to benchmark against those goals. Since it was our first campaign, we had to really look at industry standards and use prior batch and blast email conversions for these. We had a universe of around 20,000 people and wanted to get 100 leads for sales (a lead defined by either a form submission or two email clicks). We then wanted half of those converted. The campaign ran over 2 months, so we set up weekly meetings to determine where we were in the process, we examined customer interactions with the assets and made tweaks as necessary to increase engagement. (We hit on the amount of leads however did not hit on closed opportunities.)
  3. Utilize Classes and Topliners: If you can’t figure something out first check Topliners. For instance, I had no idea how to execute query strings to track where users were coming from in our different affiliate links and there was an article that listed out EXACTLY how to do it! For classes make sure to take all of the beginner courses, but some other incredibly helpful classes are; Advanced Form Processing, Progressive Profiling and Clout Content. Don’t be overwhelmed by the amount of features, you don’t have to use them all in your first campaign! 
  4. Create a Compelling Campaign Flow: Our campaign initiative was ultimately thought leadership driven. It had loose product associations, but we really wanted to provide some though leadership pieces to our customers while also getting people to fill out a form for an insight guide, thus our campaign flow drove heavily towards that. The first email clicked to the gated insight guide, the next two provided ungated thought leadership content, and the fourth was a summary email in which the person could examine all of the assets. The feedback we got from sales was that customers found the guide compelling!


Overall the campaign was a success, though it was primarily thought leadership our sales team indicated that it opened the door with a lot of clients they may not have normally spoken with. It’s incredible to see the open rates skyrocket with engaged users as well, by the fourth email we were experiencing on the upwards of 70% open rates, it really is a testament to segmentation and targeting users with the right content.

 

Again there is SO much to be learned here, I would recommend keeping the first campaign relatively simple, don’t try and tackle every piece of complex functionality on your first go around. Go to Topliners early and often, and make sure not to multi-task during classes…they are SUPER helpful!


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As you may know, we had a new learning portal launch in mid-August. Since then, there have been a few hiccups along the way but by and large students are happily taking classes and earning titles such as the B2B Master and Luminary.

 

If you have a valid pass but haven't taken classes in a while, or if you just want a reference tool, then this is for you.

 

Why did the Academy change it's name to Oracle Marketing Cloud Academy from Eloqua University?

We now provide training options for all Oracle Marketing Cloud products: Oracle Eloqua, Oracle Responsys, Oracle Data Management, and Oracle Content Marketing. The old name of Eloqua University is not an inclusive or accurate reflection of current training offerings.

 

Why did you change the learning portal link?

The changes in Academy name and training options offered an opportunity to update the technology of an old learning portal system. In doing so, the URL for the learning portal changed to https://oracle.learn.taleo.net/mcacademy.

 

Will you offer new passes soon?

The Academy will offer different pass options as well as renewal options in the not-too-distant future. In addition, new accreditations will also be available. You can review current training offerings on the Academy Data Sheet attached to this article.

 

Who can I call for questions about taking classes?

You can always contact the Academy Help Desk with questions. In addition, the Frequently Asked Questions section of this group on Topliners can help you find many answers at your fingertips.

 

 

We hope to see you in class again soon!

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