During my Luminary experience, I was exposed to a number of new and different ways to look at direct marketing within my industry. Advanced Segmentation taught me that our various forms of interaction with our existing clients can be leveraged more effectively. Revenue Performance Management allowed me to see that our sales to revenue pipeline could be better managed by revamping our lead management system to be more in line with Eloqua’s RPM Journey. System Integration, however, showed me that that we could do a much better job of integrating our CRM and Eloqua instances to manage an opt-in program for our competitor’s clients, and eventually convert them.


In Salesforce, we enabled a checkbox within a prospect’s record that allowed our sales team to hand-pick contacts that were using a competitor's software for their HCM solution. The decision to opt-in contacts allowed sales to determine which of their respective contacts might benefit the most from receiving the emails. After the sales team opted-in their contacts, we created a segment within Eloqua to capture and further filter those contacts.


Once sales had determined that they wanted to add their contact to the nurture track, they would pull up their contact profile in Salesforce and check the box to Opt them into the program.




Building the segment within Eloqua only required pulling contact field data from Salesforce using the notion that if a contact was selected as opted-in, they would then have a value equal to 1 for that contact field. We also added filters to ensure that none of our current customers were going to receive the emails in the track.






We had run a similar campaign previously, but targeted only a single competitor’s contacts. We did not place any restrictions on using another vendor’s contacts within the campaign, but our sales team was focused on this specific competitor at the time, and the net result was an opt-in size of approximately 400 contacts. We sent a series of 3 plain text emails with short questions for subject lines that highlighted the pain points of the competing vendor with no accompanying graphics or multimedia of any kind. The program had an average open rate of 14.5%, a click rate of 3.8%, and no form submissions.


With the new campaign, we vowed to learn our lesson and both broaden the segment to include all of our competitor contacts, as well as to include multimedia at each touch point that highlighted our unique advantages versus their current HCM suite. The number of contacts entering the track was raised from 400 in the prior campaign to 2,500 for our second attempt. Our broader, but more targeted, approach quickly began paying dividends: the new campaign ended with an open rate of 23.5%, a click rate of 9.9%, and 13 form submissions. We very nearly tripled our click rate in only a single iteration, and our conversion from open to click (42%) for this campaign was a 61% improvement over our initial (26%)!


My time in the Luminary program has really helped me with putting this campaign together, and to making it a success. I have learned more than I could have imagined about Eloqua, and how it transforms our CRM into an efficient, effective marketing tool. The classes really shaped my understanding of what we were doing wrong and how to fix it. We had a 61% improvement with this campaign, and I already have ideas on how to make the next one even more effective.