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

Buying Process Stats 5.png

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.

Eloqua Combo Slide 4.png

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.

True Personalization 4.png

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.




Onboarding Email - Dynamic USE.png

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”).

Dynamic Content Screenshot 2.PNG

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.

Field Merge.PNG

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.

Report Finder - USE.png

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).




Segment Builder Screenshot.PNG

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.