The Project

My post is focusing on the Program Builder feature of Eloqua. This combined with advanced form settings, query strings and a campaign canvas. The goal is to set up an industry specific welcome program used by a global technology leader that creates enterprise software, hardware and services.


This IT company – it’s software solution especially – has two main focus industries: healthcare and finance. We have a generic welcome program already that will feed to this industry specific program. To deliver more relevant content, an industry-specific welcome campaign was needed.


Our company attends several trade-shows per year. The current process is that a new contact receives a "Thank you for visiting our booth" email.  This is the perfect opportunity to engage potential customers and tailor a program to the specific interests. For example: we could offer 3 solutions in this customized welcome program to find out which solution would most interested them. An other nice side effect will be that the activity in this campaign will also feed into our quarterly industry specific newsletters.



Assets created in Eloqua


  • Program in program builder
  • Campaign canvas
    • 4 emails
    • Form with a hidden custom field
    • encoded URLs with query strings
  • 3 shared lists



Campaign logic


The welcome program consists of 4 emails for our 3 solutions. In Email 1 there are 3 links. Based on which link is clicked, Email 2, Email 3 or Email 4 will be sent. If none of the links are clicked, all emails will be sent in a one week cadence. If more than one link is clicked, more than one email will be sent.


Email 1

  • Solution 1 clicked > Send Email 2
  • Solution 2 clicked > Send Email 3
  • Solution 3 clicked > Send Email 4
  • no click: send Email 2 -> send Email 3 -> send Email 4


I’ve used a blind form to differentiate which link was clicked, and send them to the appropriate asset.



The Form Condition


As I always do at multi-step email campaigns, I used a custom field in the blind form to set a condition and send the submitters to a web page, which is the hosted PDF asset in this case.

Each link is appended with these custom query strings to facilitate the conditional processing on the form.






The Challenge


I ran into the problem that in the Program builder, it is not possible to ask the Decision Rule to check the values populated in custom fields. I can only check if the form was submitted.


To solve this issue, I added three extra processing steps to the form, based on the hidden custom field used for the asset. I set the Form to add them to Shared lists depending on the same condition that I use for the asset differentiation.


This way, in the Program builder I could use the ‘Contact is in a Contact Group’ decision rule, to decide which solution they clicked in Email 1 to drive which other email they will receive.






The program has not yet launched, but based on initial testing, I am confident that program is going to add value and help new contacts moving forward in the sales cycle.



Classes I found useful and inspiring for this post:


  • Eloqua 10: Blind Form Submits

  • Eloqua 10: Advanced Editing and Form Processing

  • Eloqua 10: Program Builder Overview (WBT)

  • Best Practices: Lead Nurturing Campaigns (WBT)

  • Best Practices: Advanced Lead Nurturing (WBT)