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Marketing Challenge:  Just because a company has a fully integrated MAP like Eloqua, it doesn’t mean they are using it to its full capacity, which is the scenario I encountered when taking on the role of Marketing Automation & Eloqua Administrator for a large Fortune 500 Enterprise. I was tasked with transforming a marketing strategy that revolved around numerous vertical specific one off emails being sent to static lists via contact uploads from list buys, absolutely ZERO automation, and poor results to an automated system that pulled segments based on criteria within Eloqua.

Campaign Goals: The overall goal was to develop a test and learn nurture campaign strategy, incorporating events and promotional messaging, along with top of the funnel asset driven, pain point solution messaging to the entire prospect database of 1M Contacts in an effort to increase conversions and email metrics, driving meetings, opportunities, and pipeline contribution.

Steps: The initial project was jump started by an internal audit I conducted in which I compared results to B2B Industry benchmarks. Results showed that high value assets were under-utilized and that the best conversion rates were linked to emails that were sent to segment lists of 20K and larger.




A database health report from Insight for Reports helped us see our universe of reachable and unreachable, inactive and active engagement in comparison to our entire prospect universe.



The next step was to export our entire contact database from Eloqua and send to a third party vendor to cleanse and enrich the records in order to re-segment our database aligned to our four main business units, condensing the over 10 verticals we were communicating to before. We focused on Annual Revenue, Industry & Fleet Size as the criteria to place our prospects in one of the four business units.



In order to ensure that the data integrity of the database was maintained a Title & Address Normalization Programs were developed, as well as standardized pick lists.

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Once we were done with the data enrichment, cleansing and re-segmentation project, the strategy, design and workflow for a Welcome & four Drip Nurture Campaigns was developed.


The Welcome Nurture campaign was set up to include an overview email of the business solutions, with four different buttons representing the four business units/drips, so depending which they clicked on, it took the prospect to landing page with a progressive profile form that would then push the respondent into a that drip.

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Results: The campaign has now been running for over six months and has generated more meetings, opportunities and pipeline contribution in these six months, than the whole year last year. I expect that by maintaining the database integrity via the standardized pick lists and ensuring all net new contacts enter the database with the required data, it will increase the possibility of continued great results. Also, by continuing to optimize the existing nurture campaigns via a test and learn strategy we should see a consistent improvement in these metrics as well.

The implementation of this process, especially, the marketing automation portion, has been instrumental in the efficiency of day-to-day tasks and makes the overall Nurture Strategy possible.



Oracle Marketing Cloud Academy courses that influenced the campaign:  Fundamentals of Segmentation & Campaign Canvas, Advanced Lead Nurturing, Lead Nurturing Campaigns, Data Cleansing, Blind Form Submits, Program Builder, Progressive Profiling


Thanks to technology, the buying process has changed. According to Sirius Decisions (2015):

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Which means: In today’s quickly advancing high-tech world, the customer is continuously educating themselves on your company and its products. And, when they do opt into communications, they expect a seamless and personalized experience tailored to their specific needs.



So how do you deliver that hyper-personalized experience to your already-educated customer through your marketing? In Eloqua, this is possible by leveraging its advanced features: Custom Objects, Dynamic Content/Field Merges, and Segments.

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For our Global Customer Success organization, our challenge was to deliver that VIP experience for our existing customers during their onboarding process. To do this, we:


>>Created targeted audiences based off the customer’s engagement with (and adoption of) our products, which was being recorded via internal telemetry software




>>Delivered personalized communications tailored to that customer’s point in their post-sale journey.



Our goal was to help our customers adopt their software, by understanding and activating all their product features. In addition, we wanted to achieve true personalization with our messaging.


We planned to validate our success by first measuring the following metrics, then measuring again each quarter:

  • Increased engagement rates (time on emails/landing pages, # of assets consumed); decreased unsubscribes
  • Increased health score
  • Increased # of contacts completing our main adoption CTA (completing the self-registration/onboarding features of our product)



We first designed a comprehensive campaign workflow, outlining the entire post-purchase customer experience. This would allow us to communicate our campaigns, their assets, and their linked content to our internal teams.


After the workflow was developed, we were able to identify the missing gaps in process and content. We would use these findings to:

  • Develop a full content library mapped to the customer campaign workflow.
  • Identify where we could personalize, and what data we would need to drive that personalization.


We then worked with our segmentation manager to extract and append the additional data points we identified (including last software login date, lead type, or whether they’ve completed onboarding) to the customer lists we would be uploading into the Eloqua platform.

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Path to Achieving True Personalization (Personalizing Campaigns Course, Oracle Marketing Cloud Academy 2016)







Create a custom object to store your customer’s engagement with your product. This allows you to capture multiple data points without creating new fields on the contact record.


In our scenario, we included all the fields we would need for both segmentation (creating audiences) and for personalized content.


Import your customer list into your Custom Object, checking that each field from your list matches the field on the custom object, mapping them to your contacts in your database. Now you have the data to fuel your targeted segments and dynamic emails.




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In your email designer, create new ‘dynamic content’ and add your content rules based off the fields and values in your new custom object. In our scenario, we created rules around the customer’s “Lead Type” (“Business” or “Tech”).

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Now, when the email is sent, the customer will see the content tailored for them. Here, when the “Lead Type = Business” the customer would receive our business-focused E-Book.





Another way to personalize your email is to use field merges.

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To do this: In your email designer, create new field merge tied to your new custom object, choosing the appropriate field mapped to the value you want to populate in your email.

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Now, when the email is sent, your customer will see the content tailored for them. In our example, the customer will be reminded of their last inventory upload date (one of our product features we are prompting them to use).




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Next, you can also create segments relying on the data in your new custom object. By defining audiences based off their specific behaviors, you can increase the success metrics in your campaign, including tactical KPIs like email opens, clickthroughs, landing page visits, etc… This occurs because the more refined your target audience, the more relevant (and enticing) your content will be for them.


To do this, create a new segment in Eloqua, and include a filter pulling contacts from your new custom object. Include any criteria needed to drill-down on your customer and their point in the adoption journey (e.g. "has opened email" or "replied to sales"). In our scenario, we created a segment for our customers who have logged into our portal (“Portal Login?”), AND have also had a kickoff meeting with our customer success managers in the last month (“Kickoff Meeting Date”).


With this segment, we can now send a personalized email thanking them for logging in, and providing the name and contact information for their new customer success manager.





Now that you have your personalized content and targeted audience, you can now include them in your campaign canvas and begin deployment.


After activating your campaign, remember to establish checkpoints to analyze, measure, and compare the effectiveness of your new emails before and after personalization. Use those findings to optimize as necessary.



After launching our hyper-personalized content journeys, in 6 months our company saw:

  • A 40% increase in engagement rates (which includes time on emails/landing pages, # of assets consumed) and decreased unsubscribes which eventually averaged at 1 or 0 unsubscribes per send.
  • An overall increase in average customer health score.
  • An increase in number of contacts completing self-registration and self-service onboarding.


Ultimately, the success of this campaign should lead to the increase of our renewal rates, since user adoption equates to higher renewal revenues.



What is Inbound Source Capturing?

The process that allows you to capture where your inbound visitors are coming from, regardless of source (e.g. from a 3rd party site to your company page).


What is Cookie Tagging?

The process that allows you to add Eloqua tracking code to an unknown visitor's internet browser, subsequently letting you track and record their behavior on your pages. When the visitor converts and reveals themselves, Eloqua will attach all previously tracked behaviors to that newly created contact.


When would you want to use inbound source capture and cookie tagging?

  • When you want to track the reach of your content and success of the marketing efforts driving to your content--that is, non-owned, non-paid sources (e.g. from social media, partners, or 3rd party sites)
  • When the lead is being routed through non-Eloqua assets (which means you can't get Eloqua tracking on their browser).


How is this achieved?

In Eloqua you can create a redirect page that:

  1. Sends the lead to an Eloqua landing page
  2. Submits a blind form
  3. Sends them to their expected destination


This all occurs within a second or two and does not disrupt your visitor's experience with your content.


Step-by-Step Instructions



Create a blind form that gets submitted whenever a visitor (with the appropriate URL) hits the page. Include all the fields and values you want to track. You should work closely with your data & analytics manager to define these fields.

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One field you must include: a "Destination" field that contains the URL the visitor needs to be redirected to.


In the processing steps, you then must add a "Redirect to Webpage" step that is dependent on your newly created destination field.

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Create a naming convention document that aligns with the fields that are on your form. If possible, standardize the values being used so as to limit variations in the data.

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Create a file (can be done in Excel) that concatenates all the values, including the destination URL where the visitor should be ultimately directed.

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The concatenation should include the required characters to separate the field values. The URL formula:


Replace what is in the brackets. You will need your site ID, the name of your newly created Eloqua blind form, the hidden fields, and the static values you want submitted.


An example of a final URL:


Though this is an active link that can be immediately used, you will want to shorten it for aesthetic purposes and to improve user experience. You can use any URL shortener to do this.



Once that's done, you can provide to your marketing teams to provide to partners, 3rd party sites, or social media to link back to your content.



When the link (added to our Tweet) is clicked, the visitor is immediately directed to their desired destination page:

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What the visitor does not see is the form that gets submitted on the backend in Eloqua, capturing all the values we defined in the URL.



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If you have email notifications set up, you should be able to see all the values that get submitted each time a visitor is redirected through your tracking page. NOTE: You will need to set up web data lookup on the page if you want known contact data populated in the contact fields (email address, first name, last name). If the visitor has not converted yet, you will not see any value in the contact fields.


In this scenario, we will see that a visitor to our Self-Help log in page (Content) came from our SNTC Convergence Twitter campaign.

Marketing Challenge: Webinars are cost effective substitutes for in-person events and offer a great opportunity for prospect engagement. When conducted properly, webinars can add great value to marketing efforts in many ways, including generating leads for the sales staff, as well as cross or up-sell new products to existing customers. Our client understood this logic and as a result, really wanted to ramp up their webinar marketing efforts. They wanted to save on budget while deploying campaigns that were effective and consistent on a global level. This was very challenging to overcome with having a dis organized system in place. We had to scale our efforts quickly and focus on documenting and standardizing the webinar process, as other parties were going to be involved and new to the process. We needed to figure out how to work with multiple systems for a client that wasn't fully integrated on a global scale.


Campaign goals: On a macro level, our goal was to standardize the webinar process by applying event management best practice wherever possible to provide the most successful and effective campaign results for our stakeholders. On a micro level, our goals were to make the content and layout of invitation and reminder emails more effective by advising on subject lines and inserting registration URLs and ICS files in multiple areas of each email asset, leading to higher open and click through rates, more form submissions and greater live event attendance. We applied the same best practice approach to post event emails as an effort to maximize our on-demand viewing conversion rates. Finally, we observed email analysis and email clickthrough breakdown reports from Insight to gauge the effectiveness of our email efforts, as well as form submission data to learn which efforts were generating the most registrations. 


Documenting/benchmarking current state: We needed to standardize the entire event management process and apply best practice in order to meet or exceed event attendance expectations based on our marketing efforts. The expectation or benchmark attendance rate is equal to or greater than 25% of registrants.       


Description of campaign and the steps followed to implement: We set up a webinar campaign template that included several recommendations from the Basic Event Management course. We wanted to ensure a seamless process and timely email communications for segment members. We built the event emails, landing pages and forms, and then associated the assets by embedding links in emails, configuring the form processing steps and customizing the HTML and JavaScript code of the landing pages. We added tracking source to our landing pages for tracking the results of external campaign promotions. Below is an example of the form processing steps we configured for our event campaigns:




See below a screen shot of a sample form submission data where registration tracking source is being captured by the Eloqua hosted landing page. Social promotions are being executed by applying strings at the end of the URL (i.e. ?registration_source=Facebook), and a value of Eloqua is being applied to those who registered via the invitation emails:




Here is the registration source code applied for tracking external promotions:

<input type="text" style="display:none" name="xxxRegistrationSource1" id="xxxRegistrationSource1">

<script type="text/javascript">

function getQueryVariable(variable) {

var query =;

var vars = query.split("&");

for (var i=0;i<vars.length;i++) {

var pair = vars[i].split("=");

if (pair[0] == variable) {

return pair[1];



return "";


var registration_source = getQueryVariable("registration_source");

  1. document.getElementById("xxxRegistrationSource1").value = registration_source;




We configured the canvas and applied the evaluation time periods on decision steps, as well as the wait steps based on the recommendations from the Basic Event Management course. See our campaign template flow demonstrated below:




Campaign performance/results: Our client does not apply closed loop reporting to our event campaigns. Thus, the revenue impact on the agency side is unknown. However, we can measure results or impact in terms of our email reporting from Insight and form submission data within Eloqua. The 3rd party webinar platform provider also grants us access to the reporting dashboard. The reporting dashboard provides webcast reporting and analytics for each campaign. As a result of our end-to-end campaign efforts and applying Eloqua best practices highlighted and demonstrated in the AAEP courses, our stakeholders have experienced an average attendance rate (live + on-demand) of approximately 30%.


Oracle Marketing Cloud Academy courses that influenced the campaign: Basic Event Management, Advanced Editing and Form Processing, Web Profiling, Insight for Reporters

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