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Our company, like many, publish volumes of content across multiple domains and languages. This content was performing well, and was driving considerable net new contacts. But as a B2B organisation new contacts, while critical, don’t result in revenue on their own. We needed to be able to take these contacts, none of whom were qualified in any way as sales ready, and get them to MQL status, or enter them into what SiriusDecions call Pre-MQL nurtures. Of course, the same approach could be used with any programme really.


We had already streamlined to just four forms across our (non-Eloqua) web domains, so the data was posting to Eloqua. Despite gating valuable content though, we had no simple way to monitor content downloads, or to take a clear action based on that consumption – simply because these four forms were being used for every conceivable purpose, and across a wide array of products.


We needed to know what the contact downloaded, and use this information to very simply pull them into a Pre-MQL nurture. Plus the content team wanted an easy way to determine the performance of content, not just at an item level, but performance for an asset across all language variants and locations hosted.


These two challenges translated perfectly into two key goals that we could use to measure success.


  1. Could we automatically enter contacts into Pre-MQL nurture
  2. And could we report on content performance at a global level


Setting the benchmark to measure that success against was simple - with no way to measure, or no scalable way add contacts to campaigns today, if we could do it once a solution was implemented then we had succeeded.


It was clear from the start that writing something to the contact just wouldn’t work, at least if we wanted or needed historical data. And we also needed a 'one to many' relationship, so that we could link every piece of content downloaded back to the contact.


Being well on the way to Luminary, I’d done my Integrating Custom Objects with the Campaign Canvas course. The ‘one to many’ and ‘keeping history’ requirements lead us almost immediately to realising that a CoR was the way to go.


We settled on a fairly simple four field Custom Object as I am a big believer in keeping things simple. We record the email (obviously) plus the SFDC Campaign ID – which for us, as we don’t run Closed Loop Reporting, is a key field for performance tracking, the name of the content and we date-stamp the record too for reporting.


There are lots of posts and articles on Topliners, so you don’t need me to step you through creating a Custom Object. But this is what ours looks like, and the fields it contains.





Great – we know had our CoR but how were we going to write the data to it? Obvious really when you’ve done your Eloqua 10: Advanced Editing and Form Processing course! Use form processing to write to the CDO.


We went back to one of our famous four forms and updated the form processing step on this to write back email, SFDC Campaign ID and the Content value. We already had a content field on the form, it was just never consistently used, sometimes with a form name in it, sometimes with a URL, but usually blank. It seems a forward thinking colleague had anticipated our need.


So it was time to test. And test we did. And then scratched our heads. The form submission was writing the required information to the Custom Object, but it was overwriting the value every time. So instead of multiple entries, it was overwriting the value. We were puzzled, at least for as long as it took us to search Topliners to see where we were going wrong. This post on Topliners was from someone that had exactly the same problem we did, and there in the comments, the answer, posted by Kelly Cohen, with the Eloqua support advice “on the processing step we leave the Select the Key Field blank and on the CDO itself we have the Unique Code Field as None.” Not exactly obvious. Changes made, back to testing, and hey presto, multiple records per contact -- and over 60,000 records in 3 months. That’s a lot of new contacts we can easily pull into campaigns.


So how do you get from a CoR to the Campaign? It’s all in the Segment. All we need to do is build a Segment that looks for contacts that have entries in the Custom Object that correspond to the relevant piece of content.


Let’s assume we create and name a global piece of content ABC_GL_PDF_MyGreatContent, then the local versions will follow similar formats ABC_GB_PDF_MyGreatContent for the UK and ABC_FR_PDF_MyGreatContent for France. Now I can build a simple segment that looks for any contact with a Custom Object Record that contains MyGreatContent.



I now know that no matter where, or when, the content is published, once the form has the content value populated properly, we will be able to always pull the contact into a segment and ensure they go through the best programme designed to get the contact to the magic MQL stage. No more updating segments continually, adding criteria, chasing field marketers, or worrying that something new next month won't point at my programmes.


The key to this approach working is to have a clear naming convention that is used and followed by everyone. A typo in the content name can result in contacts for that entire asset simply failing to route into the correct campaigns. We’ve been working with a wider group of colleagues to validate the naming convention and tool we built to make sure it meets all of the reporting needs, as well as aligning with the content team to support them with their reporting requirements.


As to the reporting challenge – well we now have 60,000 records on the CoR and are having great fun with the analytics. Lots of data driven decisions now being taken.


Great, we've set up Eloqua, leads are coming in and sales is calling those leads regardless of what their score is, the minute we send them over, and they are updating every lead as won or lost and telling us why. If only we lived in that perfect world! Unfortunately for most of us reality sets in.


Our challenge in marketing, like many, is working with sales to effectively follow up on the warm leads we provide, in a timely manner so we can know how well our marketing plans are working.


The biggest challenges for our sales team that prevented them from following up on these leads is lack of time.


So, naturally, we turned to Marketing Automation to see what we could do to make this process happen. After all, automation is supposed to automate things, right?!



We need a reduction in incoming phone calls to sales to free up time.


To free up that time we want more cusotmers renewing through our online store.


Additional revenue through converted leads sent over to sales through salesforce.


Current State:

Currently we were not sending leads scores to sales. Of the leads being sent over to Salesforce, Sales has not been following up.


Most sales through our Inside Sales team are renewals over the phone.


We have a benchmark goal of $0 for our leads that come from product demos because we have no idea what happens to them.


Solution: 3 part (Campaign):

First Step: Set up renewal program for brand new customers.

Goal: Free up time for sales.


We tackled a simple Nurture campaign first. This nurture campaign sends a renewal email when the customer is nearing the end of their contract.


End of New Customer Campaign.JPG


If the customer does not renew before a week of their expiring, they will receive the renewal email.

Renewal Email.JPG                  Renewal Website.JPG


The "Renew Now" button has a query string attached to the url that pull the customers keycode and place it in the websites corresponding form field.




This query string looks up the Eloqua field the keycode is stored in and then pastes it into the corresponding field on the website using the site HTML field.

This process helps the customer to renew with the correct key code, greatly improving the customer experience. Overall, it has been pretty successful.


Classes that helped here:

Eloqua 10: Advanced Editing and Form Processing

B2B: Fundamentals Series (2-day training)


The Second Piece of the campaign: Send renewal email to all customers.

Goal: Same as the first piece. Free up time for sales.


Much like the first campaign, we wanted all our customers, for our flagship product Xactimate, to receive a renewal email, not just the new customers.


To accomplish this, we needed to integrate with one of our databases that had the expiration date in it. We set up this integration by importing from an SFTP server..


The contacts are imported daily. Once the data is in Eloqua, we use a filter to feed all the renewal contacts into a campaign that sends a 1 week renewal email, and a follow up email if the customer does not renew after that.


Data IMport.JPG

This one is going to be good once we get the green light from sales.


Courses that helped:

Eloqua 10: System Integration

Eloqua 10: Advanced Editing and Form Processing


Third Piece: Integrate leads with lead scores into Salesforce

Goal:Provide easy access to Hot leads for sales.


Finally, after setting up the renewal program all we had left was to make sure our scored leads were getting into Eloqua without errors. Our Eloqua instance is connected to Salesforce, but we would always receive errors. We fixed these errors and then set up a lead score system that would pass the scores over to Salesforce, so sales could contact the hot leads.


First, we set up a lead score model. The model assigns a score daily based off a variety of criteria that we agreed on when we met with sales.


The lead scores are updated daily into Salesforce through a program we set up in program builder.


This program updates any leads that have taken an action that might make them more hot, like email opens, clickthroughs, website visits, form submittals etc.


The program is configured to trigger Internal Events that use External Calls to send the Lead Score to the appropriate field in Salesforce.

Lead Score Program Integration.JPG


The last step was to set up a view in Salesforce for the sales reps to find their leads. Working with the Inside sales manager we produced a Lead View in Salesforce that the reps can easily find, and work with as they need to update the leads they work with.


Salesforce Leads.JPG


Class that helped:

Eloqua 10: Lead Scoring



Since the New Customer Renewal Email has been set up, we have seen 72 Unique Clicks equating to a 12.12% Unique Clickthrough Rate. The number of actual renewals we have received from this step is currently a work in process.


The Renewal program for all customers is not yet active as we are working out a transition plan but the program is currently ready to send 5400 emails to customers that are ready to renew when we turn it on.


Currently Eloqua is sending on average 30 leads a day to Salesforce. Sales has not started calling yet but will be calling starting this next week.


And as long as sales and marketing continue to work together, we should see tremendous growth and ultimately more revenue.



Yes, this is not perfect and we are no where near complete in our integration with sales, but its a start. You have to start somewhere or you'll get no where at all.


We are at the beginning of something good. Something that hasn't been done before to this level in our company. Sales is excited to be making more sales and marketing is excited to start seeing the effectiveness of our demo campaigns. From here it will be a process of trial and error and continuous improvement and when we have a process figured out we'll eventually apply this to all our products. I hope this helps give some ideas to you wherever you are with your Sales and Eloqua integration. Feel free to reach out with issues or questions you run into, or if you have tips for me or others from your own integration.

Marketing Challenge: Statistically we know webinars are a great way to engage contacts, learn about products, save approximately $1,000.00 per attendee over a live event, and add tremendous value when delivered properly.


What happens behind the scenes in the campaign canvas set-up process is also a very important piece of the puzzle. In creating and configuring a campaign canvas, it is imperative to test the campaign from beginning to end.  For example, my team built a basic best practice campaign canvas for webinars. During testing the team failed to take into consideration what the campaign would look like if someone registered after the webinar took place.  What we found is that if someone registered after the webinar, that person would receive the confirmation email, two reminder emails, and the “sorry we missed you” email all at one time. Unfortunately, we found this out the hard way from an internal stakeholder who came through the canvas and registered after the date of the live webinar. This meant the canvas needed adjusting.


Goal: Our goal in building the webinar campaign canvas was to automate the process not only for the live webinar, but also for the on-demand version to ensure a good experience for webinar registrants.

A look at the campaign canvas prior (v1) - 


Benchmarking, documenting, and implementing the current stateWhen our team first recognized the issue, the campaign was working 95% of the time and the contact had a good experience.  The small group, who registered after the webinar had taken place, reported less than satisfactory experiences.  So, we immediately engineered a solution.



We added a Compare Custom Objects decision step right before every “email send” step to check if the registration date (based on CDO record field) took place after the “wait step” date. The logic is set up to ensure that contacts get the relevant emails, but not too many, and not multiple at the same time.

Here are a few examples of how the new campaign works.


  1. Person A registers after the webinar: he/she will only get an on-demand email to access the webinar.
  2. Person B registers after the first reminder goes out, but before the second reminder or actual event: he/she will get the confirmation email, skip the first reminder, and sit in the” wait” step to get the second reminder email at the scheduled time.

This is an overall snapshot of the way the campaign looks, with step added to evaluate the contact’s activity, after the date of the event.

A look at the campaign canvas after (v2) -

Campaign performance/results and business impact:
Because of our start-to-finish campaign efforts, testing, and applying best practices learned through-out the luminary courses, my stakeholders and I have experienced an average attendance rate of approximately 30-35% for live events and are seeing a rise in attendance for the on-demand. We feel the new campaign assists in increased attendance and contacts are no longer bombarded by multiple emails sent simultaneously. This has opened the door for streamlining the on-demand process, and some groups are actively promoting the on-demand versions of past webinars. Because the campaign canvas is already set up to accommodate this, the only other change we made was updating the registration page to swap date and time for a message like “Now available on-demand”.


Oracle Marketing Cloud Academy courses that directly influenced this campaign: Eloqua 10: Testing Campaigns and Assets and Eloqua 10: Basic Event Management courses directly influenced this project. 

Page tagging is an often underutilized tool in Eloqua. Assuming you have Eloqua tracking scripts on your company website, you can access web activity for powerful segmentation. Hint: tracking scripts can also be implemented manually on off-domain pages that your company owns and those pages can be leveraged in page tagging as well. If you are referencing just a few key pages in a segment, you can add them individually by URL. But if the number is around 20+ and being regularly updated, then page tagging is the best way to scale using these URLs.


Marketing Challenge:

A marketing team from a BU recently transitioned from a batch and blast ESP to using Eloqua. In Eloqua, they have built a variety of nurture campaigns based on marketing funnel stages for key technologies (nurture Level 1 ‘top of the funnel’, Level 2, and Level 3). The nurtures are successful, however better nurture placement could improve engagement since currently most contacts are being put in top of the funnel campaigns based on the event, webinar, or registration page that they opted-in through. There was not a process to look holistically at all contact engagement to find the best fit nurture campaign.


We know that a couple of undesirable things are happening:

1. Some contacts are opting-in when they are middle or bottom of the funnel and are being sent irrelevant, top of funnel content.

2. Some contacts are being pushed through different funnel stage nurtures faster than they are progressing in their journey. Enabling page tags to measure funnel position will allow contacts to be routed to the most appropriate nurture campaign ending the drip campaign process.


Benchmarking and Goals:

Our benchmark is the results we have collected on the original nurtures. Our goal is to increase email performance and, more importantly, to increase the rate of conversion to MQLs by sending contacts through the right nurture at the right pace.


The Project:

To transition to a smarter nurture that reacts to contact behavior, the project team performed a content audit of important web content related to the key technologies and assigned a funnel stage to each piece of content.  This process is something that will need to be manually updated for now, though we hope to implement auto-tagging in the future. This document on Topliners is a great starting point for organizing a content audit: Content Inventory and Mapping Worksheet. At the end of our audit, we had lists of URLs associated with all three funnel stages for each technology. We took those URL groupings and created corresponding page tags for each, then uploaded all the URLs to the newly created page tags. We plan to add new URLs monthly, while prioritizing pages that have the highest engagement as shown by Google Analytics.


Utilizing these page tags, we created segments and filters to use in the nurture campaigns. Level 1 is top of the funnel pages, so we needed to exclude anyone who was also a fit for Level 2 or Level 3 in our segments. To clarify, if there is overlap between Level 1 and Level 2, contacts will go to the Level 2 campaign. Here is an example of how the Level 1 segment is set up. It includes anyone who has viewed at least 5 pages in the page tag Technology 1 Level 1 in the last 3 months. It excludes anyone who has met the same criteria for either Technology 1 Level 2 or Technology 1 Level 3 page tags. We have the default exclude filter built in and other criteria for includes or additional excludes could easily be built in based on company needs.



In the campaigns, we use decision rules to remove contacts if they qualify for a campaign further down the funnel. Here is an example of how that looks for a Level 1 campaign.


Next Steps:

Our first implementation just includes web activity, but Phase 2 will be revised to include webinar registration and attendance criteria. We also want to create a CDO to capture current funnel stage based on these criteria and keep some records and data that can be used for reporting created outside Eloqua. We also plan to analyze how contacts are moving through the nurture and use that information to drive our decisions on where we need to expand content. An example of this could be extending the number of emails in a campaign or adjusting CTAs if we find contacts are not moving down the funnel as expected. There is also a plan to create re-engagement campaigns, which will complement the funnel stage campaigns.


This infrastructure is just about to go live, so we do not have any results yet. As a marketer would do with a new lead scoring module, we will be carefully monitoring counts and adjusting criteria as needed to drive the best results.


Relevant Eloqua Courses:

RPM: Effective Nurturing, Eloqua 10: Advanced Segmentation, Eloqua 10: Web Profiling

When I joined the Marketing Automation Team on the company, and after weeks of meetings and discussions, I realized that the goal was clear to achieve: it is possible to improve our performance based on what has been done before.


Current Marketing Challenge


With this statement, I decided to search on our recent campaigns to analyze, and identify what I think are considered as key points to be focused on. Here is what I found:


Issues with the metrics when the reports are pulled from insights tool


After looking at the reports, a question came to my mind: What would you do if you realize that the segment of contacts and a segment of a seed list have similar numbers in their records? Here is what I think it can happen:


• The numbers could be similar on the results (see image below)

• The real numbers would be low (in case that both segments are included on the same mail)

• It could be used as a final list instead of a test list


Report Results Image.


Low level of filtering criteria for the segments creation


On past campaigns, I saw that setting only some of the compare filters (within industries or email accounts for example) wasn’t enough to find out what we were looking at all (see image below).


Filter Criteria Image.


Large number of campaign steps on the canvas


To have accurate information around your contacts behavior (opened an email, clicked on a link, or even submit a form) you must be as specific as you need when you configure the assets, actions, or decisions of your campaign to make it work accordingly. Because of this, I figured at the end that there were too many items on the canvas and it could easily make a mistake on any update.


Campaign start date missing information


There was a requirement from one of the marketers… and it was to check the start date of our campaigns during this year. When I searched them in Eloqua, I realized that there wasn’t available at all, due to the following reasons:


• The campaign date was different than the date of the first mail

• The send immediately option was selected on the campaign

• The campaign was deactivated and activated several times


At the end, we had to rely on the Hard Bouncebacks from insights to figure this out, since the Operational Reports and the Campaign Audit only allow you to see the records of a maximum time of 3-month period, and not greater.


Forms with same fields for each campaign


When I was checking the flow for each campaign to understand how they were built, I realized that there were different forms but with the same list of questions. Is not this redundant? Couldn´t this turn complicated when the reports are pulled from insights to see which contact has reached which form? And what if the list of questions must be updated at some point? It must be applied to ALL of them?


Initiative Description


With the explained scenario, some tips can be used and applied to improve the key points. However, they not solve entirely, but it is a good point of start from my perspective.


Tip 1: Always keep your seed lists short


No matter how many members from your team ask you to be included on the seed list. If it is necessary, split as many as you consider, but always keep them short because it will be easy to identify them on the reports (see image below).


Report Results Image.


Tip 2: Create balanced criteria filters


You can create and apply as filters as you might consider, but you need to be careful on this. After creating criteria filters you must have a balance. Bouncebacks and Unsubscribes filters helps you too to gather accurate information. Not as much to make it highly restricted (having no records at all on your result), but not too generic because you probably will have the same contacts like no action has been performed. (see images below).



Filter Criteria Samples.


Tip 3: Split your campaigns for easy management


As a good practice, you can split, combine, and connect your campaign canvas as you need. The image below describes an example where the main campaign has been connected to another related to a PDF asset that has been included on the emails:


Figure 1 - Main Campaign Image.


Performing this action, it will be easy to edit, duplicate, remove, among other actions on your campaigns in an organized and simplified way. As you can see, we can crate shared filters separately to track and follow if anyone has just clicked on the PDF Asset:


Figure 2 - PDF Asset Campaign Image.


Tip 4: Use a wait step between the segment and the email


Although it is just an action that has no relation at all with the fact that you can setup your campaigns to active or deactivate them at the date and time that you need, we discovered that placing a wait step before the email is a useful resource. As I said before, it saves a lot of time and helps you figuring out when a campaign has started even if it happened from more than 3 months (see image below).


Wait Step before Email 1 Image.


Tip 5:  Use query strings on landing page links


Since we are using the same form on different emails, adding query strings is the best option, avoiding you to create them every time from scratch. Here is an example of what you can add on your link:


When the campaigns are complete, the report from insights tells you which user has submitted the form from which email, using the same form and even the same landing page (see image below)


Report Results Image.


Expected Business Results


Since we recently build our awareness campaigns, the total results to share are not available yet. However, I discovered that the Bounceback Rate in one of our campaigns is lower between emails (see image below).


Report Results Image.


We will need to wait in a couple of months how it goes and take new reports, but I can say that we are going on the right way on this improvement.


Oracle Marketing Cloud Academy Influence


Complete and detailed resources are available in Eloqua to solve your concerns to decide which is best option. I must say on this case, that the following helped me the most:


• Eloqua 10: Advanced Segmentation

• Eloqua 10: Data Cleansing

• Eloqua 10: Testing Campaigns and Assets

• Eloqua 10: Uploading HTML Email

• Eloqua 10: Advanced Editing and Form Processing

When you’re trying to get new people to buy from an online store it’s kind of like feeling them out for a first date; when you finally convert a new customer you’ve got the date, now it’s time to make it a good one!

Our company has been selling products online for years, but we’ve never had an attractive onboarding system.  When people browse our site they get a great impression – the site is attractive, has tons of free content available, and lots of information about the products, processes, and industries we serve.  Unfortunately once people made an online purchase they got a very different impression, mostly that we were stuck about 15 years in the past.


Our onboarding process for online shoppers was pretty ugly, and consisted of one, text-only confirmation email with the order details, and no useful links or other information.  It was the kind of email that said, “thank you for purchasing, goodbye.”  As a result of not trying to help customers keep buying from us, and instead moving on as though everything about their experience had been perfect, we had horrible repeat-buyer levels – only 10% of people that bought on the web for their first purchase came back.



After taking the RPM courses through Eloqua we realized as a group that we were missing out on a huge opportunity to nurture customers who had already established a relationship with us by purchasing once.  We set out to make the onboarding process better by making the emails more attractive and useful, and by trying to stay engaged with customers post-purchase.


To really count our efforts as a success we wanted to see an increase in 2nd time buyers and an increase in web traffic on the site from returning customers.  Our 2nd time buyers rate was low to start – only about 10% - we wanted to bring that to 20% within the first year; web traffic wasn’t that bad, we wanted to increase from roughly 21% return customers being engaged to 30% of return customers being engaged with us online.


We did 3 main things to accomplish our goals, the first thing was to turn the 1 plain email into 3 attractive, branded emails with images.  Instead of our order processing team sending a plain text email with the order details, we had them fill out a new Eloqua form with the purchase info which triggered all the emails.  The emails hit 3 main points:

  1. The first email delivers order information with links to customer service, finding their sales rep, and viewing their online account details
  2. The second email welcomes them as a customer and provides links to technical articles, advanced search   pages, promotions, and a link to our subscription center
  3. The third email comes 2 weeks later and checks in that their order arrived, and links to customer service in case anything was wrong, as well as linking to the products they ordered and products that customers who purchased those items also purchased


The second main thing we did in addition to improving the onboarding emails was to add people to new customer programs.  We entered them in nurturing/promo campaigns where they would get discounts for 3 months to a year after their first purchase.  We wanted to make their first purchase better, and give them an active incentive to keep making purchases.


Our final onboarding improvement was to add all new customers to a delayed subscription center campaign if they didn’t update their profile after the initial purchase emails. Essentially we checked in with them after 6 months to say, “Hey we want to keep working with you!  If you tell us what you’re interested in we can provide some good content!”


We changed the onboarding process from 1 email into 3, and better utilized programs we already had in place, re-directed at new customers, and ended up improving the customer experience dramatically.  Instead of taking them on one date and dropping them off at the curb, we gave them our numbers and contact info, told them we’d call again, and then we called trying to set up another date!


The results have been pretty fantastic – in the last year our 2nd time purchasers have gone from 10.4% customers return to 22.1% of customers return.  That has had a big impact on our numbers this year, but the best part is looking forward to keeping that business in the future, while also building it by continuing to onboard new customers with our new system.  Not only has our customer retention gotten better, but our customer engagement has jumped to nearly 40% from 21% - well above our starting goal.  So we haven’t gotten every customer to buy again, but we’ve gotten a lot more to buy again, and even more than that ened with us online, where we have the opportunity to keep nurturing them and convert them in the future.


We plan to keep improving our processes by tailoring content more to the industries of the customers, and to recommend more content and products based on their purchases, but so far we’re happy with our progress.

So remember, if you want customers that keep coming back for more, make that first experience with them enjoyable and helpful, and you’re likely to get a second look or two!


Courses that were helpful with this project:

RPM series

Best Practices: Responsive Design

Best Practices: Advanced Lead Nurturing

Custom Subscription Management

Personalizing Campaigns

Advanced Editing & Form Processing

Insight for Reporters


We launched a new service in the UK for a B2B segment. The service had been run successfully in other markets but we were not known in the UK for this area of expertise.


The goal was to build up recognition of our expertise in this area and to provide a pipeline of leads for the sales team.


We created a long shelf life thought leadership campaign. Producing a series of guides on areas that fitted with key benefits of our service. The guides are educational and practical, and do not look to explicitly sell our service. The guides are promoted by inbound tactics such as online banner adverts as well as in outbound emails to our existing contacts database.


Various lead sources direct people to an Eloqua landing page that promotes the key learnings of the guide. The visitor completes a short form to get access to the guide. A link to the guide is emailed to them, which acts as a confirmation that the email address they have provided is valid.


People that have downloaded the guide receive a follow-up email that is more product/capability related. This email refers to the guide and explains that our service provides the benefits outlined in the thought leadership guide. The email is personalised with contact information that we collected in the original form and is automatically sent from the relevant sales person dependent on the territory allocation, also derived from the form information provided.


People that do not react to the follow-up call-to-action are automatically added to a shared list which feeds into the next campaign canvas related to the series of thought leadership guides.


This campaign has been influenced by many of the Oracle Marketing Cloud Academy courses including Lead Scoring, Personalizing Campaigns, and Advanced Editing and Form Processing.


The campaign has been successful in building up awareness of our expertise in the new service area and in lead generation. We have now built up an automated flow of x4 guides that produce an initial spike of leads, when a new guide is released, and an ongoing steady flow of leads. We are now in discussions with Sales to increase the lead score threshold to reduce the quantity of leads and further increase the quality of the leads automatically passed across.


We have optimised the campaign over time.  Changes include - reducing the follow-up emails from x2 to a single combined email, reducing the wait time before sending the follow-up, reducing the number of form fields, implementing lead source tracking with querystring parameters, and automatically creating follow-up activities in the Sales CRM system.


This marketing automation has a long shelf life and provides ongoing lead generation. We are building a stronger pipeline overtime rather than having to continually produce new short term campaigns to generate bursts of leads.


This has been a very positive initial experience in lead nurturing campaigns. We will make this more sophisticated overtime and we'll expand the approach to other products and services.

Earlier this year I joined a company that was using Eloqua for their marketing efforts. Coming from a Marketo background, I had a good understanding of how Eloqua could operate. After taking the courses required up to this point, I've gotten a better understand of the internals and processes within Eloqua. One project that the company has been working on for awhile now is a full API integration between our custom CRM and Eloqua (we are currently using a FTP import). Of course, there's many factors to consider in such an involved project, but the first step I saw necessary was to create a Data Dictionary to document what is going on in our Eloqua instance so that we can make a solid plan for integration.


I've seen one other luminary post on here which briefly mentions the use of a data dictionary. As someone from a database background, a brief mention does not render justice to the utility that a data dictionary provides, especially considering how important it is to the integration and management of everyday Eloqua use.


You as a reader, I'm assuming probably works with Eloqua or some other OMC product as part of your job. But that's where the assumption ends! When we start working with these products, we come from various backgrounds, and encounter a unique instance of Eloqua per se, you can have a considerably different experience than the next user. There's a lot of variables, including your marketing initiatives, choice of CRM (if you have one at all), self knowledge of the platform, team size, maturity of your campaigns (some of us pick up where the last person left off, and others start fresh!), utilization of all the features available, etc.


But almost regardless of those factors, a data dictionary can be of great use for you, your team, IT, consulting, and any other stakeholders.


Ok Devon, but what does it do?


It serves as a reference document that lists out each data field within your Eloqua instance, along with other relevant information about each field, such as a description or the data types that can be stored within.


Why do we need one? Can't we just reference the Fields & Views under Settings?


Sure you could...but do you wish to rely on Eloqua to look at those fields? Click on each one to see their properties? Commit to memory a description, quirks, and notes about each one? What if you wanted to print it? Share it with someone else without creating Eloqua credentials or requiring them to sign in? Wouldn't it be best to list everything in one document that can be printed, shared, and easy referenced? That's why you need a DD.


How do I get started?


Glad you asked! In general it will be a spreadsheet, and one sheet will have a set row of column headers. Any additional features are completely up to you. For some of us, changes happen often to the schema and we must continually update and log these in our dictionary. For others, the changes are so few or trivial that you might not even bother to record them. If you think it will help you or someone else's job in the future, then do it.


In my DD, I have the following columns:



These are the headers that I find helpful, you might need to include more or less. Before I explain some of them, let's show you a quick example:


  • The display name is the friendly name that you see and use throughout Eloqua when you're building filters. You should at least have this column.
  • Database name is what Eloqua names it internally, you can find this name in the settings.
  • Object is the table of which the field belongs to. We don't really use anything but the Contact, so this wasn't necessary, but for you it might be.
  • Field type is the data type, which restricts what value can be stored. If it's a picklist, I usually include the possible values in the description within brackets.
  • Elq Default indicates if it's a field that just comes with Eloqua, meaning you cannot delete it.
  • And Desc is where you can put any notes about the field that you or someone else should know. Do we need better data? Why might it be blank? Maybe it was used before, but do you have a new field that will replace it? Are there multiple possible values that could mean the same thing? What does it mean in your CRM system? These notes can be helpful for when you're building out filters and you need to make sure that you're not forgetting about some data oddity that occurs within your CRM that poses an inconvenience for you.


In addition, because I came into a system already pre-configured, I deemed that some fields just weren't necessary or used at all. Because I'm not ready to delete them quite yet, or they're Eloqua defaults, I mark them in pink here as a note to ignore them. When I am ready to delete the field, I cut the row and paste it into another sheet labeled Retired Fields.


For those of you who are integrating with multiple systems that come into Eloqua, you might wish to add a column where you map the original field names from the other system with the corresponding fields in Eloqua. This way, when you're talking to stakeholders who use the other system, you know exactly what data each you're talking about.


So far, I've found this to be one of the greatest resources when it comes to dealing with the integration and day to day segmentations and filters, as I'm still trying to learn the system. With currently over 135 fields, we have plans to grow that even more once the full integration comes. Your marketing is only as good as your data! Do yourself a favor and put one of these together today. The time spent now will save you in the future.



Courses that inspired this post:

  • System Integration
  • Database Configuration

Every marketer knows that gated content is a critical part of a successful marketing strategy and every sales rep knows to drop these leads straight to the bottom of their priority list. In our organization, they’re known as the dreaded “whitepaper leads” or more commonly--"junk”. Content may be king, but it is useless to us as marketers if it is being consumed without creating conversions.  Years ago, we were able to generate leads through our content syndication campaigns with reasonable success. Recently, lead conversion rates have been dropping at an alarming rate. Less than 1% of the leads we were getting were turning into Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs). Even worse, the bulk of our leads were getting recycled due to no engagement. Phone calls were not getting returned and emails were left unopened--it was a disaster. When we finally got one person on the phone, the sales rep was quick to bring it to my attention: the lead was just looking for “something to read”. Shortly after, we shut down our content syndication campaign.


This post will explore how we re-engaged a leads from dying channel by using a simple nurture campaign integrated with a content automation solution, LookBookHQ.




Our challenge was to see if we could find a way to engage these recycled leads (after all, we already paid for them). We in marketing didn't think they were all bad: the leads all scored highly as a demographic match, so we wanted to test if we could find the secret sauce to bring up their behavioral score to match their demographic score. Sales however, had been ignored by these leads over and over again, and believed that they just weren't interested in anything we had to offer and were not a good fit for our business. We wanted to build a campaign that would help us get a better of the audience we were trying to convert.




Know your audience

We knew that this target audience liked content. We also knew they were not yet ready to talk to sales. Based on the content downloaded, we assumed that the leads were aware that they had a business goal they wanted to achieve, but not yet aware that there were products like ours on the market that could help them achieve their goals faster.


Measure of success

Since we were strictly trying to see if we could get this audience engaged and keep them engaged for three emails, we set a modest goal for a 15% open rate across all three emails, and to get 3% of our leads engaged enough to be sent back to the sales team.



We decided to do a 3-touch campaign that started with an educational email from marketing, followed by two sales touches.


Email 1: Email from Marketing - Thank you for your recent download.

Email 2: Email from Sales Development Rep - Follow Up w/ Call to Action 1

Email 3: Email from Sales Development Rep - Follow Up w/ Call to Action 2


Email 1: All of the links in the email pointed to the LookBook Landing Page. We knew we only had one chance with this audience, so we wanted to maximize the engagement we could get from the people who clicked. LookBook allows you to curate content in a single platform, so we mixed assets from across the funnel so we had something for everyone. Leads could sift through the offerings and on the back end, we could track view time and conversions.



Emails 2 and 3 were more in line with our typical sales follow ups. They reinforced the calls to actions we wanted the leads to take.






When we started the campaign, we wanted to test whether our content leads were 1) too high in the funnel to be contacted by our sales development team or 2) were not a fit for the business issue our product solved.


This campaign confirmed our initial hypothesis, that leads were too high in the funnel to be contacted by our sales development team. However, we were blown away by the continued engagement from this group. Using the engagement data from Eloqua and LookBook, we were able to prove that these leads were in fact interested in the business issues that were important to us. Even with this high level of engagement, 92% of the contacts still did not reach our threshold to be turned over to sales development team. At the same time, we also worked with our sales development team to carefully monitor the remainder 8% that we sent to them for follow up. The feedback we got from the sales development team was that they were able to connect with most of the leads we sent. While they learned that most of the leads were not still ready to have a sales conversation, they were still interested in what we had to offer. Both teams were glad to finally have verbal feedback from the leads rather than dead silence.


Based on our learnings, we determined that we needed to build a longer nurture campaign for our content leads before sending leads over to our sales development team. Pulling the content leads back into the marketing funnel was a huge success. Not only were we better equipped to keep high funnel leads engaged through automated nurture campaigns, the sales development team had more time to focus on lower funnel leads that were closer to conversion. We were also were able to win back the sales development team's confidence in content leads by showing them the engagement data (see below). Most importantly, this campaign allowed us to re-engage leads that would have otherwise been lost.






Industry Average



Email 1

Open Rate





Click-Through Rate




Email 2

Open Rate





Click-Through Rate




Email 3

Open Rate





Click-Through Rate





This report, generated by LookBookHQ, shows how leads are engaging with the various pieces of content that we curated for them. We curated a mix educational content with product offering content to help leads make the connection between their goals and our product.



This report, also generated by LookBookHQ, shows specific lead behavior. We can share this valuable information with our sales reps for a more personalized follow-up call.





Lead Scoring

Personalizing Campaigns

Fundamentals of the Campaign Canvas

Fundamental of Emails


Our team is small- in fact, before I was here it was a one man show. Maintaining Eloqua isn’t an easy feat and can be challenging for a small team to move beyond simple set-up and basic use. However, it was time for us to take on the challenge. In an effort to enhance our use of the tool we have made numerous changes. In this post I’ll focus around one aspect: Our goal of properly capturing activities outside of Eloqua.


Previous State

Previously, we were using the contact upload wizard to upload any lists (tradeshow, webinar, hosted events etc.) and then using the shared lists we created for segmentation. We weren’t properly capturing campaign responses, instead relying on spreadsheets to track the details of leads generated for the campaigns. It was time consuming and also had room for errors, and so our team decided it was time for a change.



Determine the Activities that You Need

  • Spend some time brainstorming the type of activities that happen outside of Eloqua. Think of all the different types of lists that you upload. We looked at what we have done in the past to get ideas.
    • You will be categorizing this list by the asset type and then the specific activity that could be done. For example your External Asset Type might be Webinar and your External Activities could be “Attended” and “Registered”

Go to the External Assets and Activities Page

  • Login to Eloqua
  • Click on the settings gear icon on the right
  • In the Database Setup section you will see the External Activities option for you to click

External Activities.PNG

Create the External Asset Types & External Activities


Update your Campaign Response Rules

  • Now that you have your external activities set-up, you need to add them to your campaign response rules
  • Back at the setting page in the Database Setup section you will see the option for Response Rules- click this option.
  • On the Default Campaign Response Rules page you will want to click the plus sign to add the response activity
    • Some Important things to keep in mind:
      • Make sure you prioritize the responses correctly. As it tells you on the page “a response higher in priority will overwrite a previous response”. For example for our set-up we have Webinar Registered lower than Webinar Attended so that attending the webinar will overwrite the value for registering for the webinar. For prioritization you will want to think of all of the activities that can happen within a campaign to make sure that the correct activities are at a higher priority.
      • Don’t forget to set-up the parts for your Salesforce (or your CRM) so that the campaign status value in Salesforce is the correct value.
      • The image below is how we have ours currently set-up but this could change as we continue to improve our use of Eloqua:


Now that you have the pieces set-up, it is time to start uploading your external activities.

  • You will want to create a template to easily upload the external activities. This will also help ensure that they are uploaded correctly. You can find more information about this in the Advanced Segmentation guide. Here is a screenshot of part of our template. I added comments to serve as reminders for us when we do the upload. We have chosen to include the year in the asset name.
  • 5.PNG
  • On our template we have a tab where I listed out the asset types we have set-up along with the options that we have set-up for each type. This has been really helpful to make sure they are uploaded correctly.
  • 6.PNG
  • See the Advanced Segmentation guide for detailed steps on uploading external activities.


Helpful Tips

  • After you upload external activities check your email for the upload notification email. The email comes from Eloqua Activity Upload Notification System ( with the subject line “API Data Import Asset/Activity/Contact completed”
  • We have found it helpful to forward the notification email along with the uploaded file attached to our team for every upload. That way if there are any issues we can easily see what was done and what needs to be fixed.
  • Check the notification email to see if there are any issues with the upload.
    • Good:
    • 9.PNG
    • Not Good:
    • 8.PNG
  • No Typos! The screenshot above is from one of our first external activity uploads where we had a typo with the External Asset Activity. The spreadsheet had “Visted Booth” when it should have been “Visited Booth”
  • Apply the “Get a Cup of Coffee” rule. Wait at least 15 minutes from creating the campaign before you upload the external activities. We always create the campaign and save, “Get a Cup of Coffee” and then go back and open up the campaign to make sure it has a CRM ID before we upload any external activities.
  • It is a good idea after you get the notification email to pull up the campaign in Eloqua and open up the Campaign Analysis report. At the top of the report you will see “Total External Activities” and if this was your first external activity upload for this campaign the number should match the number that you have in your notification email for “Created New Activities”. If you have done multiple external activity uploads for the campaign it would be the combined total.
  • Your campaign must be Active in order for the External Activities to be tied to the campaign. If the campaign is not active it will still create the external activities but you won’t see it associated to the campaign. The Campaign Analysis Report mentioned above is how you can check to make sure the activities were associated with the campaign.
    • Note: If the upload was not properly associated with the campaign any new leads that you just uploaded will not be attributed to coming from that campaign.
  • You can also select a contact from the list you uploaded and pull them up in Eloqua to make sure it was correctly uploaded.  See the Help Page: Viewing External Activity on Contact Records for more information.



With the implementation of External Activities we have been able to properly associate these activities to the campaign enhancing our campaign reporting and allowing us to use the activities in other areas within Eloqua (like segmentation and lead scoring). Also we can now use reports that previously we would have no data returned, for example the External Activity Analysis report.


Helpful Academy Courses & Links

Eloqua has been an instrumental tool for the MSTS marketing team since we’ve started utilizing it for automation activities in the spring of 2015. We’ve run campaigns in all of our business lines, but one of our greatest achievement in 2016 was with our European Multi Service Tolls product, which used Eloqua to help capture more than €600,000 in revenue based on a €35,000 campaign spend.



The country of Belgium was enacting a toll on its roadways for heavy good vehicles. The new Belgian toll forced European fleets that operate in Belgium and surrounding countries to find a Belgian toll solution that accounted for the new toll. Multi Service Tolls offered an interoperable on-board-unit (OBU) that could be used for toll payments in France, Spain, Portugal and Belgium (four countries, one box). Our key competitors could offer a solution that only covered Belgium, so we had a superior product and needed to market this differentiator.  Another challenge of this campaign was that it was all built in Dutch as our satellite office for the effort is based in the Netherlands. There was a corresponding English, but the Dutch push was the main focus considering the customer base.


The goals to our campaign were the following:

  1.     Retain & grown current Dutch market share.
  2.     Enter and grow Belgian market share.



We had a budget of €35,000 that was used for fleet data, Pay-Per-Click channels, display advertising, direct mail pieces, and a freelance inside telemarketing team that was charged with contacting customers with our offer.


  1. We sent an Eloqua email to all customers making them aware of offer.
  2. We sent a postcard to fleets we didn’t have email data for making them aware of the offer. The direct mail piece featured a URL that redirected to an Eloqua landing page requesting a proposal form fill out. 
  3. This coincided with PPC and display advertising campaigns in Dutch/Belgian transportation mediums/newsletters as well as public relations blitz.
  4. Inside telemarketing followed up Eloqua emails and direct mailer with phone calls and offers.


As the calls went out and leads came in, we utilized Eloqua to help automate and segment the sales process. We created three segments, based on fleet size, with a campaign journey that corresponded to each. Fleets between 1-5 trucks were almost all automated with email and landing page messaging to keep this as hands off as possible for the sales team (low revenue accounts). As fleet size went up, the response time for follow up calls and booking meetings increased and email and page messaging changed accordingly. Fleets with 50+ trucks only received a response email and were called within 24 hours to be treated with a very hands on approach.



Eloqua was extremely helpful in helping us achieve our goals. Some metrics:


  • Engaged with 437 leads
  • 64% unique open rate
  • 1,840 total opens
  • 34 forwards
  • 35% unique click rate
  • 307 total clicks
  • 424 landing page views
  • 198 unique visitors
  • 50 hours, 23 minutes of total viewing time (7 minutes per page on average)
  • 96 form conversions
  • Most importantly created 130 new customers.


We more than recouped our €35,000 investment in the first month, and generated a GP run rate of €600,000 that continues to grow today. We currently have more than €27,000,000 in our sales pipeline that is currently being worked as a part of our Belgian Tolls 2.0 campaign.



I used a variety of principles in building out this campaign, including B2B - RPM: Targeting and Segmentation, Effective Nurturing, E10 Lead Scoring, and E10 Personalizing Campaigns. Moving forward, we plan on adding Profiler to the mix to better track contact engagement for the sales team to follow up with leads who didn’t submit a form but showed positive response to campaign messaging.

The main challenge

We had to constantly deactivate the campaigns to reconfigure it, in order to meet campaign expectations, this because of incomplete information, and also, we didn't  have a standard process for our campaigns. That is why we started to use templates, which replicates successful campaigns, and testing them until we found balance.

What to keep always in mind:

There are few things you should always take in mind when creating a Nurture campaign for the first time. After you run a successful nurture campaign, you can replicate it in upcoming campaigns with just having to do minor edits to the selected template.

Note: Not all campaigns works the same way but within the organization they may be similar.

There are two main points you need to have clear


First, you need to think if you want to be constantly editing the campaign, or it should be a complete automated campaign. What is better? if you have the tools, just go with a complete automated campaign.

Note: You may need to have all the campaign information and assets before having a complete automated campaign. If you are not the responsible of planning the campaign, the responsible should give you all required information before activating the campaign.


Second, You have to understand what is the purpose of the campaign and what are the expected results.


Campaign templates based on my experience


(We use this campaign templates in 2 of the 4 Eloqua installs our organization manage.)


Assuming you already have all required assets, we may go into the campaign templates.

There are two ways of doing this, saving the campaign as a template, or recreate the campaign which will take some time and increases the possibilities of making mistakes.

In this case the campaign will be divided in two, one will be a data campaign which will send the information to Salesforce, and the main campaign in which you send the emails and take decisions with some filters.

Main campaign


Image 1

In the Image 1, we show an example of the main campaign with less steps, this is depending on the campaign, as not all the campaign requires the same amount of steps.

  1. Main Segment List, and Seed List
  2. Send Email 1 Step
  3. A shared  filter with an evaluation period, this filter will look if the contact did open the CTA (Filter is comparing if contact visited a webpage).
  4. A wait step with just few minutes period after the "No" path, this wait step is added as a best practice in case there is an issue configuring the shared filter, preventing the contacts to flow to the next step immediately.
    • Contacts who didn't opened the CTA
      1. Send email 2 Step
      2. Shared Filter with evaluation period
      3. Wait step
      4. Add members to a no responder shared list. (this shared list will be used to include people to future campaigns, or add them to an specific campaign to re-target, they may be interested in the product or services of the organization but not in the offered in the actual campaign)
      5. Wait step to easily track members for a period of time
        • Note: Steps 1, 2, and 3, may be repeated depending on how many emails you have for the campaign.
    • Contacts who did opened the CTA
      1. Add to campaign step
      2. 2 days wait step. This step is to guarantee that the contact is not going to receive a second email within the same day, or the next day.
      3. Send Email 1v (more valuable content), this email is schedule to be delivered only on Tuesday or Thursday
      4. Wait step
      5. Sen Email 2v inviting them to contact or ask for a demo
      6. Shared list filter with evaluation period
        • "No" path
          1. Add members to a Responder but not engaged shared list
          2. Wait step
        • "Yes" path
          1. Add to campaign step
          2. Wait step


Data campaign


Image 2

Note: You may have this setup within the main campaign, but will be more difficult to configure

In image 2, we show the basic data campaign that will send the action to Salesforce (Responder, Registered, Viewed the PDF, ...)

  1. Wait step
  2. Contacts may enter the campaign through an "add to campaign" step, directly from a form (view Image 3), or through a segment which will bring contacts from specific shared list, in this last case, members will be included periodically and may not enter the campaign more than once. This last option is not recommended, as you may have more than one Salesforce actions within the same campaign and you may want to track all members actions.



          Image 3


   3. Shared filter which evaluates if the contact has a lead or Contact Salesforce Id

    • Lead or Contact Id
      1. Salesforce Campaign association Step, which will be configured depending on the action and settings of the Salesforce campaign.
      2. Wait Step
    • No Lead and Contacts Id
      1. Add to program step, which will see if the contact has the minimum profile information to go to Salesforce (this is defined by the organization) if it does, then a Lead id will be generated.
      2. Shared filter, with evaluation period (So you give time to ELQ to process in case there are server issues), which reevaluates if the contact has a lead or Contact Salesforce Id
        • Lead or Contact Id
          1. Salesforce Campaign association Step
          2. Wait Step
        • No Lead and Contacts Id
          1. Add to shared list to track people who interacted with the campaign, but because they don't have the complete information, they were not sent to Salesforce
          2. Wait Step

Note: Even if there is a main integration with ELQ and Salesforce, and there are some calls within the ELQ integration and program builder, some of the actions are easily processed through the campaign steps.

What we gained having these campaign templates:

Thanks to these simple templates, and following some best practices, we started to have standard process for building the campaigns, which led us to have almost all campaigns automated. Now we spend less time creating and also reconfiguring the running campaigns, letting us focus on analyzing and comparing results, which give us a good idea on how to plan upcoming campaigns. We need to revisit the campaign templates periodically and depending on results, minor tweaks are done.


Some best practices to have in mind:


  1. Understand the purpose of the campaign
  2. Have a clear idea of what are the expected results
  3. Make sure you have all the required information (you may have a check list)
    • What are the assets needed?
    • Do you have all images and content for the Landing Page?
    • What are the minimum required fields for the form?
    • How many emails are you sending? Do you have all the Images and content?
    • What are the actions you need to take depending on interaction?
    • Where is the database you are sending the emails to? are you creating the segment depending on certain criteria? what’s that criteria?
    • Do you really need to gate all the content?
    • Is this campaign integrated with Salesforce?
  4. Do some A/B testing to make sure your email templates works as you expected
  5. opt-out option should be always be present in all emails
  6. When creating the segment, make sure you have the filter to remove Hard Bounces and Un-Subscribes, you may also remove contacts who have no interactions with our campaigns in the last x time. (View Image 4)
  7. If you are the responsible of the planning, share with your team and listen to what they have to say about the campaign
  8. If you are not the responsible of the planning, ask the team to involve you on the process so you can share our ideas and suggestions


Image 4

It’s also important to make sure all content is accurate and relevant, you may have a really good configuration, but if you don’t have the right content to send to the right audience, you won’t get the expected results. Remember that not all interactions means that the contact is engaged with you.


Please feel free to ask any question you may have, and all feedbacks are welcome. There is no a unique way of doing things to get good results, and there is always room for improvement. Is a good idea to re-evaluate campaigns periodically as world changes, our campaigns may also need to change.


Marketing Cloud Academy courses that directly influenced this campaign:


Eloqua 10: Testing Campaigns and Assets

Best Practices: Lead Nurturing Campaigns (WBT)

Best Practices: Email Deliverability

The Eloqua-Salesforce Integration is a 2 way synchronization of contact, lead and account data. The de-duplication of contacts and leads occurs is based on a unique value assigned to an Email Address. Eloqua supports integration with the following CRM systems: Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Oracle CRM On-Demand, and Salesforce etc.


Integration Requirement

  1. Working on the Eloqua-Salesforce Integration can commence once the following items have been completed by the client. An Eloqua Salesforce User with adequate permissions (to view all segmented data, create reports, create custom links, modify page layouts) will be provided to Eloqua/Partner. The preferred user ID will be The password associated with this user should not expire. The username and password for this license should be provided to Eloqua PRIOR to integration.
  2. The Eloqua CRM Worksheet has been completed by the Partner/Client and submitted to Eloqua Partner Services.
  3. A data model/customization meeting has been completed with the client to determine how the client’s business needs or process will be built into Eloqua.
  4. Cloning of Salesforce Fields in Eloqua


you will likely need to clone some Salesforce Custom fields in your Eloqua installs, specific to a client’s business needs in order to complete the integration. The client may also currently be using a web-to-lead tool to allow leads to be created in Salesforce from a capture point such as a web form. These fields should also be considered as part of the Eloqua-Salesforce integration, should their associated values be necessary for marketing in Eloqua.


It is important to first evaluate the data types and field types currently being used in Salesforce. Many of the automation and data management tools in Eloqua require that fields be configured correctly to ensure that advanced processes and operators can be run properly.



String: A combination of numbers and letters.
Numeric: Numerical values, including those with decimals. These values can be evaluated against other numeric fields with mathematical operators.

Date: Multiple date formats can be used in Eloqua. These fields can be stamped by the system. These values can be evaluated against other date fields with time span/time range operators.



Text: Allows for the storage of up to 100 alphanumerical characters

Single Select: Allows for the selection and association of one values from a list which is defined in the system (e.g. State/Province, Country).
Checkbox: Allows for the selection of a True (checked) or False (unchecked) value. Often a checked value is represented by a ‘1’ and an unchecked is represented by a ‘null’ value

Multiselect: Allows for the selection and association of multiple values from a list which is defined in the system (e.g. Product Interests).


Please note:

Individual records in Eloqua are stored in the Contact data table. This table is de-duplicated on unique Email Address. Both Salesforce “Leads” and “Contacts” will be migrated into this Eloqua table.


Following steps will help you to Clone Salesforce Fields in Eloqua:

  1. From the Setup menu, select Management.
  2. Click the Integration tab.
  3. From sub menu External Systems select External Systems Manager
  4. Salesforce should appear as the External System. Select List Fields


Why we need Integration?

Eloqua will capture all new and modified records from Salesforce. Additionally, any new records created in Eloqua through form submissions or list uploads will get written into Salesforce. Eloqua makes the assumption that Salesforce is the system of record and treats the data in Salesforce as the gold standard.

In a typical integrated Sales and Marketing approach, the Marketing team uses Eloqua and the Sales team uses the Salesforce to manage their workflows.

  1. The Marketing team generates Marketing Qualified Leads.
  2. Eloqua pushes these Marketing Qualified Leads to the Salesforce.
  3. The Sales team converts Marketing Qualified Leads to Sales Qualified Opportunities.

However, what happens to our Marketing Qualified Leads that do not get converted? These leads are marked as Unqualified Leads in Salesforce. Salesforce then pushes all the Unqualified Leads to Eloqua, where they are captured as a Shared List. Our Marketing team uses this Shared List to run a Nurture Campaign.


In this blog, you will learn how to implement integration between Eloqua and Salesforce quickly to synchronize your data.


What is Data Synchronization between Eloqua and Salesforce?

The Eloqua Integration makes it easier than ever to synchronize marketing and lead data with contact and pipeline information—giving your sales team accurate, up-to-the-minute information on how marketing campaigns are influencing deals. The Eloqua Integration provides a packaged out-of-the-box connection to, while still giving you the flexibility to keep pace with your evolving business requirements. Eloqua Integration is:

  • Flexible: Pick and choose which fields you wish to synchronize
  • Intelligent: Minimize the need for expensive data storage or API calls
  • Resilient: Easily restart synchronizations in the event of an error
  • Reliable: Get quick access to error logs to quickly identify problems
  • Extensible: Integrate across the platform, not just the sales cloud


Integrating to gives your marketing automation a power boost

If you are not sharing your marketing data with sales, they are missing out on all of the digital clues that your prospects are leaving behind. When a sales organization has easy access to marketing data they can sell more confidently and focus on high quality leads based on the marketing activity they have at hand.


Solution: Eloqua Integration

The Eloqua Integration provides proven reliable integration capabilities paired with the ease-of-use and flexibility required to evolve along with your business. Eloqua Integration makes it easier than ever to connect your new Eloqua marketing automation platform to


Keep your data reliably synchronized

Data can be pulled from any object and its related objects. Eloqua supports integration with Professional, Enterprise and Unlimited editions of


Eloqua pulls all recently modified and newly created leads and contacts into, and updates the related records within Eloqua. This also includes changes such as a deleted a lead and/or a lead converted to a contact.


When visitors submit web forms, they are checked against the Eloqua database to stop duplicate lead records from being created in As leads update their information through these forms – the new information is pushed into and the related record is updated.


Synchronize the data that matters

Eloqua typically synchronizes the key data elements needed to maximize the combined value of the marketing platform and These include:

  • Leads
  • Contacts
  • Accounts
  • Campaigns
  • Campaign members
  • Opportunities
  • Custom objects


Eloqua can also track and send actions back to to allow sales users to know if a lead has been browsing the web site or opening emails you have sent. Activities include:

  • Website visit
  • Form submission
  • Email opt out/unsubscribe
  • Email bounceback
  • Email click-through


The Eloqua Difference

The Eloqua Integration provides the ultimate in flexibility when integrating to Several unique features ensure that minimal error is required to manage the platform and that data duplication and API calls to are kept to a minimum.

Don’t lose any data: In the event of an interruption to data synchronization, Eloqua simply pauses and restarts when the problem is resolved.

Don’t miss a beat: If there is a more serious issue, Eloqua emails an alert to help you fix the problem and get back to the business of driving revenue as quickly as possible.

Don’t duplicate efforts: Eloqua allows you to pick and choose which fields to synchronize with rather than duplicating data unnecessarily.

Plan ahead: Eloqua doesn’t just stop at integrating to CRM, but also provides tools to connect to’s and Radian6, and soon - Chatter.

Save money: Eloqua stores custom objects only in the marketing platform, avoiding the risk of exceeding storage limits in that could result in unexpected fees.


Eloqua <=> Salesforce Integration Process

Following Steps will help you how to create and configure integration between Eloqua and Salesforce CRM:


Eloqua <-> Salesforce Integration Diagram

CRM Integration Functions

  1. From Eloqua, Navigate to Setup -> Integration.
  2. You will see the below tabs for each functions.

Status - Allows you to monitor the status of your CRM Integration from failed calls to completed calls.

Inbound - Allows you to manage the Data Synch from your CRM into your Eloqua Instance. This includes managing the fields that are flowing back into Eloqua, disabling certain synchs and viewing the synch history.

Outbound - Allows you to manage the outgoing data from Eloqua to your CRM. You can see all the External calls and modify the fields in those. You also have the ability to disable/enable the Marketing Events that are written to your CRM.

Configuration - Lets you get back to the initial one-click Wizard so that you can make any necessary edits to your Integration. You also have the ability to make changes to the Password associated with the CRM user if the password expires. Finally, you have the ability to set up notifications to alert you when CRM errors occur.

Program Builder - Used to set up automated Programs used with CRM integration functions to route Contacts and Leads to the correct create/update actions.


Salesforce Integration Configuration

  • User must have a Salesforce account.
  • Login to your Eloqua instance -> Settings ->Setup -> Database.
  • Integration -> Configuration -> Manage CRM System Users.
  • Click on Add CRM User.
  • Enter your Salesforce account ID and Password and Save.
  • Password must be along with Salesforce security token. Please refer to below screenshot.


Outbound or External Call Configuration

The Outbound tab allows you modify outbound data that gets written into your CRM system. More specifically, you can Enable/Disable the Marketing Activity Events from writing into the CRM system. Additionally, you have the ability to modify which fields are being written to your CRM via the External calls.

When you first navigate into the Outbound tab, you will see that it's further broken down into two tabs:


Internal Events

  • Internal Events determines which series of external calls to trigger and in which order. These are further broken down by Activity, Campaign, and Custom Events which include the Lead/Contact actions.


External Calls

  • External Calls are the external CRM systems calls that Eloqua uses to perform an action such as Create Lead, Update Contact, and so on. These are further broken down into calls that retrieve data from the CRM and calls that send data to the CRM.


External Call wizard setups:

Following steps to be followed to Create External Calls

Navigate to Setup->Integration->Outbound->Internal & External Calls


Step 1. External Call Details and click Next

Step 2. Select Target Details and click Next

Step 3. Select the required Field Mappings and click Next

Step 4. Event Mappings setup and Click Finish

Step 5. Test your External Calls by selecting a contact/CDO record as shown in below screen shot.

Step 6. External Call View


External call can be viewed by navigating to Setup->Integration->Outbound->Internal & External Calls->Click on External Calls Tab as shown in below screen shot

Inbound or Auto Synch Configuration

Auto Synchs are scheduled imports into your Eloqua system. Eloqua synchronizes data with your CRM system so that Eloqua maintains the most up-to-date information. There are situations where new lead or contact records are created in your CRM system. This data needs to flow back into Eloqua so that these records can be marketed to in the future.


Following steps to be followed to create Auto Synchs:


Navigate to Setup>Integration>Inbound>Create Data Sources>Create data source with external call

Step 1. Enter Auto Synch details and click Next

Step 2. Select Source Details and click Next

Step 3. Select the Salesforce Fields and click Next

Step 4. Fill the Filter Details and click Next

Step 5. Select Field Mappings and click Next

Step 6. Select Upload Actions and click Next

Step 7. Fill the Summary and Finish


Auto Synchs View

Auto Synchs can be viewed as shown in below screen shots


Navigate to Setup->Integration->Inbound->Management->Auto Synchs

Types of Auto Synchs:


1.    Get Deleted Account Auto Synch

When an Account is deleted in the CRM system, the Account ID reference will be cleared out in the Eloqua Companies Table. Eloqua does not actually delete the record because this would delete all the History for this record. Instead, Eloqua removes the reference to the entity in the CRM system.


2.    Get Accounts Auto Synch

This Auto Synch is used to import all new Accounts created in your CRM into Eloqua. The Accounts from your CRM are added to Eloqua's Companies table.


3.    Get Deleted Lead Auto Synch

When a Lead is deleted in the CRM system, the CRM Lead ID reference will be cleared from the corresponding Contact record in Eloqua. Since Eloqua uses a Contact record to aggregate data that corresponds to both Lead and Contact entities in the CRM, the actual record in Eloqua is not deleted when the corresponding Lead record is deleted in the CRM.


4.    Get Deleted Contacts Auto Synch

When a Contact is deleted in the CRM system, the CRM Contact ID reference will be cleared from the corresponding Contact record in Eloqua. Since Eloqua uses a Contact record to aggregate data that corresponds to both Lead and Contact entities in the CRM, the actual record in Eloqua is not deleted when the corresponding Contact record is deleted in the CRM.


5.    Get Converted Leads Auto Synch

When a Lead is converted to a Contact in your CRM system, Eloqua will remove the reference of the Lead from the corresponding Contact record in Eloqua by clearing out the CRM Lead ID field.


6.    Get Leads Auto Synch

This Auto Synch is used when a new Lead is created in the CRM system. Eloqua will verify if the email address of the Lead already exists in Eloqua. If it does, the CRM Lead ID reference will be applied to the corresponding Contact record in Eloqua. Otherwise, a new Contact record is created with the same CRM Lead ID reference.


7.    Get Contacts Auto Synch

This Auto Synch is used when a new Contact is created in the CRM system. Eloqua will verify if the email address of the Contact already exists in Eloqua. If it does, the CRM Contact ID reference will be applied to the corresponding Contact record in Eloqua. Otherwise, a new Contact record is created with the same CRM Contact ID reference.


Key Benefits and The Results


My Organization created huge leads and contacts in Salesforce for sales need and reduced the elimination of data loss like Lead, Contact and Account data that was provided by the Sales. Synched correct data after Email Address change in Salesforce. Increased Marketing Qualified Leads count and able to find out the root cause and its solutions of the Unqualified Leads.


As per my Organization business requirement, once the contact, lead and account data stored in our Eloqua database through our various sources like List Uploads, Web form submissions, etc. The data will be Enriched and validated through some third party systems by applying certain BANT criteria (Budget, Authority, Need and Time Frame), Normalized through Normalization engine etc. to calculate the Marketing Qualified Leads(MQL) and these MQL will be sent to Salesforce for further processing through the help of External Calls(Outbound). These External Calls will be executed in the Program Builder “Run Integration Events” steps. Once the Internal Events get executed, data will be send to Salesforce for further processing.


Similarly the Inbound calls (Auto Synchs) are scheduled imports into our Eloqua system. Eloqua synchronizes data with our Salesforce CRM database so that Eloqua maintains the most up-to-date information. There are situations where new lead or contact records are created in our Salesforce CRM database. This data needs to flow back into Eloqua so that these records can be used as per our business requirement in the future.


Helpful Content and Courses:

Below are the list of Oracle Marketing Cloud Academy Courses which helped me to achieve Eloqua-Salesforce Integration requirement fulfillment in my project.

Database Configuration, System Integration, Advanced Segmentation, Program Builder Overview, Effective Marketing with Custom Objects, Integrating Custom Objects with the Campaign Canvas, Lead Scoring, Advanced Editing and Form Processing, Templates and Assets Management, Email Deliverability, Blind Form Submits, Custom Subscription Management, Data Cleansing, Testing Campaigns and Assets etc.

The Oracle Marketing Cloud provides a complete set of solutions to help marketers and advertisers touch virtually every aspect of the customer lifecycle. If your organization is beginning to invest in cross-channel orchestration, take a look at this Oracle Marketing Cloud dream team that considers each of the marketing cloud platforms:


  • DMP: Oracle Data Management Platform
  • MAP: Marketing Automation Platform (Oracle Eloqua or Oracle Responsys)
  • OTO: Oracle Maxymiser
  • OCM: Oracle Content Marketing


These top three positions support efforts in each of the platforms:


These next three positions are more specific to particular platforms:


It’s not easy watching your engagement scores fall continually. We knew there had to be a way out of this vicious cycle, and get our customers to hear our message.

Our marketing campaigns were optimized to push the right message to the right contact at the right time in the customer lifecycle. But, our emails were getting lost in the abyss that is called the inbox. Our engagement rates were pretty low, with open and click-through rates of 10% and 1.5% respectively.

As good email marketers we strived to improve our levels of engagement. We pushed the boundaries with product specific nurture programs, persona-based marketing and onboarding campaigns. What we didn’t realize was that we were unwittingly missing the one fundamental imperative, which led to most of our low engagement levels.

We were unknowingly committing Email Suicide – emailing the ‘emotionally unsubscribed’ contacts. Contacts who were in our database who
never read our emails and never bothered to unsubscribe either.
Inactivity timescales vary across the industry and are dependent on the typical sales cycle. We decided to work with these two broad categories of dormant contacts.

  • Warm Inactive - opened but hasn’t clicked an email in over 6 months
  • Inactive/Emotionally Unsubscribe -hasn’t opened or clicked an email in over 6 months

Dis-engagement Stage
Warm Inactive - these are contacts who showed an initial interest by opening the email but did not click or visit any of our tracked websites in the previous
six months. So clearly they had some level of interest, but didn’t feel compelled to take action and click through to our site.


We created a segment to group such contacts using the following filter criteria.

A triggered reactivation campaign was created to get these lapsed targets back onside. The guiding principles we adhered to while setting up this campaign-
- personalized the emails with enticing subject lines, designed to provoke a response

- offered an incentive to win them back - discount/freebie/high value content.
- product specific re-engagement content was sent for some key products
- opportunity to enter a sweepstakes campaign after filling out a survey
- manage email preferences and frequency link was clearly denoted

We sent out two emails over a period of two weeks – both emails had the same content but different subject lines. The contacts who opened first email were not sent the second email. The contacts who did not engage were given a breathing time of 2 weeks – and then moved over to the Inactive/ Emotionally Unsubscribed contacts campaign. They would join the campaign in the 2nd email step (as we did not want to tap them another three times).

Un-engagement Stage
Inactive/ Emotionally Unsubscribed –
These contacts fit our target profile but aren't interested in our content.  They have NOT opened or a clicked on any email or visited any of our tracked websites in the last six months. These subscribers don't really contribute to our bottom line, and they made our email performance worse than it is.

We created a segment to group such contacts using the following filter criterion.

In order to re-engage these contacts we needed a different campaign. After all, we are reaching out to the people that normally ignore us!
The guiding principles we adhered to while setting up this campaign-
- give them an opportunity to update their preferences to indicate which products and services are most relevant to them.
- provide an option to unsubscribe (in a tactful, helpful tone of course)
- provide an option to manage the frequency of emails that they receive from us
- strong, to the point subject title

We set up another triggered reactivation campaign. The campaign included three emails – with the same content but different subject lines. The emails were sent out over a period of three weeks. Once a contact opened an email – they would not be sent any email from this campaign. In the fourth week, the contacts who did not engage with the three emails were moved over to an existing program in the program builder module to be deleted from the system.

We decided, that if a contact did not respond to our engagement attempts then it might be time to remove them from the system.  Keeping them in the system and including them in subsequent email sends could have led to serious deliverability issues and would have also impacted on our email performance statistics.

Our engagement numbers improved significantly after we removed the dead weight from the system. The Open Rates and the Click Through rates improved – and were pretty closely indicating the correct engagement scores.

This is how you save the Marriage
One way to avoid disengaging your subscriber base in the first place - be relevant. While designing/executing a campaigns we often neglect the key rules for a successful campaign:

  • The audience - always follow strict engagement-based segmentation rules
  • The experience - the User Experience has become the key factor in attract and retaining customers.
  • The incentive - If we don’t offer an incentive, it’s not realistic to expect a successful campaign.
  • Monitor the number of hard bouncebacks and unsubscribes and purge them regularly
  • Monitor Spam Complaints
  • Database Health – Always keep an eye on the overall health of your database. Refer to the insight report Database Health Dashboard
  • Direct and simple CTA – reduce the number of clicks involved
  • A user attention span for a subject line is less than 3 seconds- ensure that the subject line is strong and crisp.
  • Adapt the smart forms using Progressive Profiling
  • Test and tweak -monitor the campaign performance and rebalance it to match the performance
  • Monitor the email touches regularly - Insight report “Email Frequency
  • Contact Field Completeness Report

Although I was surrounded with a number of content marketers with significant experience in email marketing it was clear that many of them needed my help to ‘think differently’. With the help of courses like Advanced Segmentation, Email Deliverability, email/campaign personalization, Program Builder, Insight for Reporters and Leadership Metrics, as well as input from the Topliners Community I was able to create presentations and back them up with empirical data, which proved invaluable in gaining their buy-in during both conceptualization and build phase.

Cleanliness of your database is extremely important for the long term success of your email marketing, but keeping your email subscribers engaged is even more crucial. According to a Return Path research study, marketers give up on inactive subscribers too soon.


Like many other organizations, our company has a significant amount of inactive contacts in our database. These inactive contacts have subscribed once to get our email messages, however it has been a long time since they have engaged with any campaign. Their email addresses are still valid, they have not marked our emails as spam, and they have not unsubscribed. Does it sound familiar to you? I bet it does.


To awaken our sleepy, emotionally unsubscribed contacts and determine who doesn’t want to hear from us anymore, we established a re-engagement campaign which was designed with 3 email touches and just to make tracking trickier for ourselves, we have also included 2 or more calls to action into our win-back emails. Furthermore, one of our primary aims was to make this campaign on-going in order to minimize the number of inactive contacts in the future, reengage and create some opportunity.

Let’s see the 5 most important questions we considered and how we addressed them:

   1. Who should count as an inactive contact? Who should be targeted and how to feed your segment automatically?

Identifying your inactive contacts should be based on their activity, such as haven’t opened or clicked on any emails, submitted a form, or visited your website for an extended period of time. To define that certain amount of time, you need to examine your industry, the size of your database, frequency of emailing and how long does it usually takes to turn a lead into MQL and Opportunity. Our company classifies and tags inactive contacts with a Lead Stage: 0-Suspect, which means they have not interacted with any campaigns in a measurable way in the past 6 months. In our demand funnel stage hierarchy, the Suspect stage is followed by the Inquiry stage, where the leads have interacted at least once with our company within the last 6 months, but have not reached the MQL stage yet.

We have created a Downgrade Rule which downgrades the lead’s stage from Inquiry to Suspect after 6 months of non-activity. With the help of this rule, we were able to set up a dynamic segment by giving one criteria which contain contacts whose have a Lead Stage: 0-Suspect AND another criteria which contain the Lead Stage Downgrade Date equals Today. This way we can automatically feed our segment without have to build complex filters to define the inactive criteria (haven’t opened, clicked, visited etc.) and target leads whose stage is just downgraded into suspect and not totally cold yet.

filter criteria of reengagement segment.png

     2. What counts as a response in the email campaign and how to handle them?

To implement an ongoing campaign, it is advisable to score the leads by their activity. If you insert more calls to action in your email eg. “Yes, send me emails”, “No, I need a break” or “Check out our recent blog posts”, how would you distinguish positive and negative responses? Based on our lead scoring model, each click-through or form submission is captured as a response. In the case you ask your subscribers to confirm their subscription and they say “No, leave me alone” or “No, I need a break”, you shouldn’t score these negative responses.

Example email
email2_blog post version.png

Our solution for this problem was very simple. We use blind forms behind each hyperlink – which also give us the possibility to build a more efficient flow on the canvas – but we only place those blind forms on the canvas for links which capture positive responses. We have also decided to count an engagement as a positive response if somebody click on our additional links eg. “Check out our blog post”. This is not an explicit statement that they still want to get our emails, but this interaction definitely shows interest, which marketers should go after.

For detailed instructions how to build a blind form submit link, check out this document created by Oracle Marketing Cloud Academy. In case you are already an experienced user and you only need a guideline how to create the link, refer to this short version: What Does a Blind Form Submit Link Look Like?

     3. How to avoid overlaps between campaigns?

We are running several dynamic campaigns into which our freshly reengaged subscribers can be automatically included. However we don’t want to necessary include all reengaged contacts into campaigns where their profile fits the given criteria. The reason behind this is that we don’t know their exact interest – unless you were born under lucky stars and your company has a preference center - and we don’t want to bombard them with several emails.
One option to avoid overlaps between campaigns is collecting reengaged contacts on a Shared List which can be used to exclude potentially those contacts from the segment of other campaigns.

     4. What to do with reengaged leads?

It is worth considering including your reengaged contacts in your nurture campaigns. But you have to be careful, because including them in nurture campaigns where they can get one email every week or every second week can be overwhelming for them. Therefore, it is advisable to continuously monitor their reaction to the campaign and adjust if it is necessary. You can also consider setting up a separate nurture campaign built for them.  If you are tempted to choose the specially built campaign, you have to make sure that you have enough valuable content or resources to create content for your targeted audience.

     5. What to do with non-reengaged leads?

After your inactive contacts went through your re-engagement campaign without showing any interest, do not give up on them just yet. Before you decide to isolate or remove your subscribers from your list, make sure you tested different types of content and calls to action, and gave them enough time to respond because responses from inactive contacts can take months. In the end, if you tried your best but you couldn’t win them back, you have to say goodbye. Otherwise what’s the point of your campaign?

Last, why should you do this? Isn’t acquiring new customers much more expensive than sustaining the engagement of the already existing ones? You shouldn’t throw out your money and time what you invested into your subscriber list. Running a properly planned re-engagement campaign gives you the opportunity to:

  • identify your valuable contacts
  • maintain a clean, healthy database
  • improve your sender score and email deliverability in long term
  • increase your open and click-through rates in long term

From a strategic point of view, the above mentioned 5 questions should be answered before you take any action. After the activation of the campaign, remember to continuously pay attention to your sender score, bounceback rate, spam compliance and your unsubscribe rate. Most importantly, there is no one best solution how to execute a re-engagement campaign, you should find your own strategy based on what works for you.

Helpful Academy Courses:

  • Fundamentals of Segmentation
  • Advanced Segmentation
  • Fundamentals of Forms and Landing Pages
  • Blind Form Submits
  • Lead Quality

When you are set to start a new project it can be helpful to get the advice of someone who knows the drill. So, if you're on the cusp of implementing the Oracle Content Marketing platform with the aid of the Oracle Content Marketing Smart Start, take a minute to hear what veteran implementer Thomas Mould, of Thomson Reuters has to say!


Nora O'Leary-Roseberry: Did the Oracle Content Marketing Smart Start help you achieve the two stated goals, of a successful implementation and the deployment of a pilot project in the first two months?


Tom Mould: Yes, absolutely. It definitely supported me in that, I think it did a good job of breaking the system down. Quite often with other system roll outs it’s easier to look a that the bigger picture, but this was different for the team and what we were trying to do. The Smart Start helped break it down so we could understand what we were trying to do and what we can achieve.


Nora O'Leary-Roseberry: What did you like best about the courses?


Tom Mould: They clearly communicated the content. You can understand what the objectives were in each course. I quite enjoyed the informal aspect, the web-based as well as ILTs were very easier to understand. I also quite liked how with the ILTs it’s hands-on, even though you’re learning, you're also seeing how it works for you.


Nora O'Leary-Roseberry: Before you started the training, you ranked your level of comfort with the platform as a 1, on a scale from 1 to 10. Where would you rank your comfort with the platform today?


Tom Mould: A good 7 at the moment, assuming more will come with practice!


Nora O'Leary-Roseberry: What would you say to someone at the beginning of the implementation process?


Tom Mould: Really have a clear understanding of the system, what you're trying to do with the marketing, what you're trying to achieve. Let that be your main starting point as you roll-out the tool so you can achieve it. Also, keep a regular cadence on the training and the time you spend in the system, make sure you're doing it regularly.


Want more proof? Here are two more advocacy interviews!

Our company never used digital marketing until last year.

Our company was extremely desired to challenge ourselves on digital marketing.

Where should we start with Digital Marketing?

As a first step, I will present our challenge on the seminar.


The Challenge


In the past seminars, there were the following challenges.


  • First, the participants of the seminar are not full.
  • Next, I could not identify prospective customers.
  • Third, I could not pass prospects to sales.




In implementing a digital marketing strategy, we set these goals for future seminars:


  • Seminars will be full
  • Nurture prospects and pass to sales.




We examined the situation of the implementation procedure of the seminar held in the past.

It was not a fixed way of doing.

We have prepared the procedure by applying past experiences and applying it to the typical implementation method in Eloqua.


1. Campaign Canvas


We thought that we needed to send invitation mails three to four times in order to make the seminar full.

We sent the first invitation mail one month before the seminar and decided to send an invitation mail every other week after that.

We will be able to send it 4 times.


As a process, I followed the typical example of Eloqua.

Segment Mail transmission

Seminar registration Mail transmission 2nd, 3rd Reminder email



It will be six processes called Thank you.


In the example of Eloqua's campaign canvas, ~ are registered in one campaign canvas and implementation is carried out.

However, since we did not have know-how through to ,

to another campaign canvas I registered and decided to proceed one by one while proceeding.


2. Customer object


The seminar is planned to be held once a month.

A case where one customer participates in multiple seminars is also assumed.

In order to set up scoring at each seminar, we decided to build and operate customer objects for each seminar.


3. Segment


For the first transmission, create a segment excluding those that were unregistered globally.

For the second transmission, the segment transmission excluding the customer who applied for it so far.

For the third transmission, it is sent to the segment excluding the customer who applied it so far.




We will create LANDING PAGE for input screen, LANDING PAGE for Thanks screen.

And create a FORM.


Input screen


Thanks screen





5. Scoring settings


In the profile, Title was divided into 5 stages.

Engagement was set with reference to best practices.

Since none of these measurements could be measured so far, it is useful as useful information.

I think that I can do it.





The Results


1st invitation I sent an e-mail.

Looking at the situation in a week, Mail opening, click through as shown in the table

Because the number of seminar registrations is about 25% of the target number full, the second invitation I decided to send mail.


The second time, in order to investigate the response status of the subject of e-mail,


A: Limited

B: Special invitation


Sent in the wording.


Because there were more B than A, we adopted B and continued to deliver mail.



The effect of sending mail was long, it was a week. Since then, there are no registrants at all, so we had to deliver the mail again.

After that, I repeated mail distribution four times a week, and it became full on the day before the seminar.

On the day before the seminar, we send a reminder mail to the seminar participants.

After the seminar, attendance data was added to the customer object by uploading data.

Segmented attendees and sent an email thank you for attending.


Custom Objects


About scoring, we are observing the situation.




I think that our company that never used digital marketing, was able to make a good evaluation as a result of using it for the first time.

We made the seminar full.

We were able to nurture prospects and pass leads to sales.

We have successfully held seminars, and we are also nurturing our customers.


Helpful Academy Courses:











Although it is only a part of the contents learned by these, I utilized it.

In addition, all the lectures attended were very good classes.

I would like to apply and apply the best practice method to our company in order from what seems to be highly effective.

Furthermore, I would like to explore various methods using Topliners.

Although I just started with basic usage, there are really so many things I want to do.

From now on, I will use Eloqua more and more and I would like to make an effect on business.

Do you at times realize that you are creating the exact campaign flow or building the same email layout which you built a while back?


At least that’s what I have been doing until a while back. Our team supports a lot of field marketing and demand marketing campaigns that happen throughout the year. To support ‘Closed Loop Reporting’ we need to create a separate campaign for each of the demand and field initiatives that come our way. We always knew about Eloqua templates but never realized the benefits we could get out of it. After a lot of internal discussions within the team, we introduced templates in our campaign/asset creation process keeping following objectives in mind:


  1. Reducing campaign/asset creation time
  2. Reducing chances of manual errors
  3. Enforce compliance and standardization
  4. Minimize the campaign delivery time


You’ll ask, why not just copy the existing campaign instead of this whole template conundrum created in this post? Well, I would say you are not completely incorrect but here are some of the benefits in using templates over copying an existing one:


  1. Organization and Ease of Identification: Given that we all have to create a variety of campaign flows and asset layouts it gets really difficult to recognize and remember the asset layout and flow just by looking at the campaign/asset name. Template lets us define the name and description so as to make it easily recognizable. Moreover, all the templates can be found at the same place as well.
  2. Standardization and Compliance: It’s a really good way to enforce asset branding guidelines or campaign process strategy across the organization. All the team members using the same template to create assets/campaigns brings consistency. Copying the assets/campaigns may eventually lead to modification of the original guidelines/strategy set by the company over time, as on more than few cases we have to modify elements to meet request requirements.
  3. Campaign Sync:  While copying campaigns we tend to forget that as soon as we hit ‘copy’ or ‘save as’ we need to allow campaign 10-15 minutes to sync over to the CRM. We usually try and save/modify the campaign at the very next moment without allowing campaign time to sync after the first save. This might result in multiple campaigns getting created in Eloqua through inbound sync. Template lets you avoid that as when we choose a certain campaign template it’s not counted as a ‘save’ hit until we manually do so.


Creating Templates

Here are some steps that we can follow to create templates:

Step 1: Identify and categorize the types of asset layouts/campaign flows/Segment filters being used

Step 2: Open a blank canvas/email/landing page/segment

Step 3: Configure campaign steps/asset standard fields/Segment filters


Step 4: Saving as template - For Campaign click on 'File' and for all other assets click on gear icon then click 'Save As Template'


Step 5: Defining template details


Step 6: Accessing the templates - Click on 'All Files' to view all the templates



Tips and tricks that might help

  • Steps in campaign template can be set up with test assets so that we don’t have to configure the standard settings at the time of campaign creation and will just have to replace the assets.

  • Segment templates can be configured to have standard ‘Exclude - Shared Filter’ (filtering out non-marketable contacts) to get the accurate target count.
  • Sometimes after creating a campaign using a template, campaign canvas might turn up blank the next time we open it. In those cases, refreshing the web page fixes the problem almost all the time.
  • To see all the templates created in the instance don’t forget to click on “All Files”.
  • Campaign ‘Custom Fields’ can also be configured while creating templates.
  • As a safeguard, configure the email step intentionally with a test asset ‘containing errors’ (e.g. including the wrong field merge). In case we forget to change the email to the actual asset while creating the campaign using the template, an email will not go out.

  • To edit a template, a) choose the template from the ‘template chooser’ b) copy the URL from the web address bar c) Paste it in a new tab/window and remove the minus (“-”) sign d) Hit enter, make changes and save.


Time saved is time earned


Before implementing templates

Time taken to build campaigns = 4 Resources X Avg. 150 Campaigns/month X Avg. 30 minutes/Campaign = 18000 minutes/month

After implementing templates

Time taken to build campaigns = 4 Resources X Avg. 150 Campaigns/month X Avg. 10 minutes/Campaign = 6000 minutes/month


Time Saved/month for our team ~ 12000 minutes


Courses that helped

Even after having used Eloqua for some time now, Oracle marketing cloud academy courses helped me link various pieces of Eloqua together to provide a broader perspective. Following course specifically helped in implementing Eloqua templates:

B2B: Templates & Assets Management

B2B: Testing Campaigns and Assets

B2B: Advanced Segmentation

Last year, my company launched our first ever nurture campaign that would pass leads to sales and was simply an initial attempt at using Eloqua the way it was intended (instead of just a platform that can send emails). We put together a cross-functional team of marketing ops, business unit ("segment") marketing, sales, database management, corporate technology, and project management. The result of 4 months of work to get the "pipes" built (properly connecting Eloqua to SFDC for lead hand-off) was a "drip" campaign - one where everyone in the campaign got everything we had to offer; a message that encouraged the download of a white paper, then a message that talked about our products, and then another white paper, and then a contact sales message.  There was no real order or structure to the messages, and we had 11 emails in total. Additionally, we set-up our segment to meet a volume-based goal (20,000+) instead of a quality-based goal.


The campaign metrics weren't great: 4.29% unique open rate, 0.96% unique click-through rate. When checking into the click-through links by email, we were seeing greater unsubscribes than we were engagement with our content. And, the farther down the drip campaign we went, the worse the engagements were by email. When checking with Sales, we found that many leads they were receiving were actually not that interested. Some converted, but many were not interested and were passed back to marketing.


This year, we decided we needed to do something about the campaign. Based on my RPM courses and my "Advanced Segmentation" course in OMC Academy, I had a good idea where to start our renovations:

  1. Segmentation - instead of pulling every contact in the database that matched the demographic of the business unit, we adjusted the filter criteria to say that the person had to have either: completed a form, opened an email, clicked on an email, or visited a web page within the last 12 months. Anyone who did not meet these criteria were not allowed to enter the campaign. This brought the campaign volume down significantly (about 3,000), but these were the people we were truly looking to engage with.
  2. Campaign Canvas - instead of sending everyone everything (drip campaign structure), I decided that we should structure content along a matrixed format:

nurture sequence.PNG

    • Nurture topic 1 has messages/content pieces A, B, and C. Then, nurture topic 2 has content pieces A, B, and C. In all, we had 3 topics included in this campaign, which reduced the number of total emails from 11 to 9. We still used the same content, but organized them differently.
    • The idea with this structure is that we can base movement from topic to topic and the depth within that topic based on the lead's engagement (nurture campaign structure).
    • So, if you enter the campaign and get nurture topic 1, email A...and you click on email A, then you progress to email B within the same topic. Email B is more product capabilities oriented, whereas Email A was a piece of content that talked about a key pain-point of the buyer type. Email C then contained a "contact sales" message, and was only delivered when the lead clicked on Email B's call-to-action.
    • If you got nurture topic 1, Email A and did not click on the call-to-action, then we hoped that Topic 2, Email A would resonate better with the lead. If it did and the lead clicked on nurture topic 2, Email A, then they'd get topic 2, Email B, and so forth.


When we launched our newly-formatted and more tightly-segmented campaign this year, we saw a dramatic increase in campaign engagement: 15.93% unique open rates, and 5.3% unique click-through rates! That's about a 3x improvement on the open rate and about a 5x improvement on the click-through rate. Unsubscribes to the emails from this campaign became nearly non-existent, and rejected leads from sales dropped significantly.


We wanted to see whether these impacts were driven solely by the improved targeting, or if the campaign canvas structure (we call it the "campaign flow") was helpful in achieving these numbers. It was an opportunity to put what I learned in the OMC Academy course called "Testing Campaigns and Assets" to the test! So, we built and launched 2 additional campaigns to another audience. One campaign was driven as a drip campaign (everyone gets everything, at intervals) that we can call the "Traditional" campaign, and the other was a nurture/engagement-based campaign that we can call the "Challenger" campaign. I created a segment split campaign that would A/B split 50:50 between the 2 campaigns. I'll let the metrics speak for themselves:


Campaign Metrics.PNG

Traditional = 10.39% unique open rate, 5.23% unique click-through rate

Challenger = 16.48% unique open rate, 4.97% unique click-through rate


Based on the volume of contacts entering each campaign, the open rate was statistically different, whereas the click-through rate didn't vary enough to note a statistical winner.  So, this hinted that the Challenger campaign would be the winner. However - the real test of which campaign was better would be our Success Metric: Which campaign would send more non-rejected leads to sales? (aka, which campaign would send better-quality leads?). In that arena, the results were clear: the Traditional campaign sent 1 lead to sales that was not rejected, whereas the Challenger campaign sent 5 leads to sales that were not rejected.



Drip campaigns are certainly warranted and work well in specific scenarios, but we've seen that drip campaigns are not the best structure for campaigns that are warming leads before sales hand-off. Instead, we create engagement-based nurture campaigns since these are better at sending qualified leads to sales.

In today's field of Sales and Marketing, integration of CRM and Marketing automation system is commonplace. One of the biggest challenges faced by our industry - besides alignment of processes between Sales and Marketing - is the quality of data and the enrichment of the same. Prevention of duplication between systems is one of the key challenges faced from a technical standpoint as multiple systems are integrated with each other. With a special focus on the integration of Sales and Marketing systems, this post aims to highlight some of the key issues to consider when integrating the systems when dealing with Leads specifically. Everything below applies to Contacts in CRM as well.


Unique Identifier:

In our Marketing system, any contact is uniquely identified by an email address. Eloqua generates an alphanumeric unique identifier at the back end when creating a contact - ELOQUA CONTACT ID.

In our CRM System - Salesforce - email address is unique as well, and an email address can only be associated with either a Lead or a Contact in our CRM and never both.



Any change in the email address on a Lead on the CRM side was creating a new Contact on Eloqua, this is because the sync job pushes in the new email address into Eloqua, and Eloqua sees that this new email address does not exist in the database and ends up creating a new contact albeit with the same SFDC Lead Id. Owing to this there existing 2 Contacts on the Eloqua side with the same SFDC Lead ID. So any time either of the contacts were updated on the Eloqua side, via various marketing instruments, the updates of both those contacts will be propagated to the CRM - in our case via process builder processes making external calls - resulting in the same lead being updated with outdated information.



Create external ID field on Leads titled Eloqua Contact Identifier on the CRM system

  1. Login to your salesforce instance
  2. Click Setup --> Customize -- > Leads -- > Fields
  3. Click New
  4. Select Text box. Click Next
  5. Specify the Name of the Textbox as 'Eloqua Contact ID'. Set the length to 20.
  6. Check the checkbox titled External ID - 'Set this field as the unique record identifier from an external system'
  7. Click next. Ensure the Profile that the Eloqua integration user runs on has read/write access to this field.
  8. Click Save.
  9. Repeat the same steps for Contact object




Updating external calls mappings to include the new field. Same for Contacts

  1. Login to Eloqua. Click Settings.
  2. Click on Integrations under the ‘Platform Extensions’.
  3. Click on the Outbound Tab.
  4. Click on the External Calls sub-tab. In the left-hand side pane, navigate to the ‘Create Lead’ external call.
  5. On the right-hand side, under options click ‘View Field Mapping’.
  6. Click Save.
  7. Repeat the above steps for Update Lead and Update Contact external calls.

External Call.png

Create a Contact Filter with two conditions

SFDC Contacts

SFDC Leads


Create Integration Rule Collection

  1. Click Settings -> Integration (under platform extensions) -> Click Configuration Tab.
  2. Click Configuration drop-down list and select ‘Manage Integration Rules’.
  3. Click Add Rule Collection button on the bottom right.
    1. Provide the name – ‘Update CRM with Eloqua Contact ID’.
    2. Select Contacts from the entity list.
    3. Click Save.
  4. In the Integration rules section add Update contact integration event.
    1. Click Add Rule.
    2. Provide the Rule Name – ‘Is a Contact in CRM’.
    3. Filter to check select the contact filter ‘SFDC Contacts’ that was created earlier.
    4. In the integration event, select Update Contact.
    5. Click Save and Close.
  5. In the Integration rules section add Update Lead integration event.
    1. Click Add Rule.
    2. Provide the Rule Name – ‘Is a Lead in CRM’.
    3. Filter to check select the contact filter ‘SFDC Leads’ that was created earlier.
    4. In the integration event, select Update Lead.
    5. Click Save and Close.
  6. Click Save and Close.



Creating 2 sync jobs, one to retrieve Leads without Eloqua Contact Identifier and one to retrieve Leads with the Eloqua Contact Identifier

More often than not, there exists a single sync job to retrieve leads from the CRM. They use the Email address as the unique identifier when mapping to Eloqua contacts. This kind of setup does now handle changes to email address in CRM very well


Set up sync job of getting Leads without Eloqua Contact Identifier

  1. Click Settings --> Integration under ‘Platform Extensions’.
  2. Click Inbound Tab.
  3. Click Create Data Sources drop-down and select ‘Create Data Sources with External Call’.
  4. In the External Call Wizard.
    1. Select Data Type as Contact.
    2. Purpose ‘Add these contacts to the database’.
    3. Priority as ‘Get CRM Leads’.
    4. Select ‘Can be scheduled for Automatic Execution’.
    5. Click next.
  5. In the Source Details.
    1. Click Retrieve.
    2. Entity as ‘Leads’.
    3. Click next.
  6. Select fields required and Click next, ensure Eloqua Contact ID is selected*.
  7. In the filter, details step
    1. For first filter criteria
      1. Select Eloqua Contact ID from the Salesforce Lead Fields drop-down field.
      2. Under operator select the ‘Equals’ options.
      3. Leave the expression field blank.
    2. For second filter criteria
      1. Select Last Modified from the Salesforce Lead Fields dropdown.
      2. Operator greater than.
      3. Click Add date from the expression drop down and select the 4th option - 'Use the date of the last successful upload'.
    3. Click next.
  8. In the Field Mapping step
    1. In the Uniquely match on field select Email Address from the drop down
    2. Map all source to target fields respectively.
    3. Click next.
  9. In the Upload Action step provide details Contact group and Program step details if necessary.
    1. From the Integration rule collection select the ‘Update CRM with Eloqua Contact ID’ option.
  10. Set a customized schedule for the job to run if necessary. Click Finish


Set up sync job of getting Leads WITH Eloqua Contact Identifier

  1. Click Settings --> Integration under ‘Platform Extensions’.
  2. Click Inbound Tab.
  3. Click Create Data Sources drop-down and select ‘Create Data Sources with External Call’.
  4. In the External Call Wizard
    1. Select Data Type as Contact.
    2. Purpose ‘Add these contacts to the database’.
    3. Priority as ‘Get CRM Leads’.
    4. Select ‘Can be scheduled for Automatic Execution’.
    5. Click next.
  5. In the Source Details
    1. Click Retrieve.
    2. Entity as ‘Leads’.
    3. Click next.
  6. Select fields required and Click next, ensure Eloqua Contact ID is selected*
  7. In the filter details step,
    1. For first filter criteria
      1. Select Eloqua Contact ID from the Salesforce Lead Fields drop-down field.
      2. Operator set to ‘NOT EQUAL TO’.
      3. Leave the expression field as blank.
    2. For second filter criteria
      1. Select Last Modified from the Salesforce Lead Fields dropdown.
      2. Operator greater than.
      3. Click Add date from the expression drop down and select the 4th option - 'Use the date of the last successful upload'.
    3. Click next.
  8. In the Field Mapping step.
    1. In the Uniquely match on field select 'Map Only: Eloqua Contact ID' from the drop down.
    2. Map all source to target fields respectively.
    3. Click next.
  9. Set a customized schedule for the job to run if necessary. Click Finish.


Create 2 similar Auto Sync jobs Contacts.


The Results:

Results include the elimination of the single most problematic issue in our organization, that is, the loss of Lead and Contact data that was provided by the Sales. Better management of email address changes in the CRM. A lot of out Leads change companies while still remaining as Leads in our system, so all that changes is their email address. With this solution, the changes in email address in CRM was handled correctly on the Marketing system.



Helpful Content and Courses:

  • B2B - System Integration
  • B2B - Database Configuration
  • B2B - Program Builder Overview



Marketing is about engaging your target audience to achieve your goals. Audiences today are complex individuals who are faced with many options in the marketplace and short attention spans and who continually challenge and change the digital marketplace. The buyer’s journey has evolved, and we as marketers need to evolve too as expectations are high. There are countless technologies to support marketing but many of us try to improvise the evolution by adapting legacy structures, process and skills.  This is evident by the results from a recent study that stated:  85% of B2B marketers using marketing automation platforms feel that they’re not using them to their full potential. [1] Our global marketing team strives to be part of the 15% that better utilizes the marketing technology stack to reach our business goals in the global marketplace. We’re not there today but we are working towards the goal with continuous improvement and education.


For marketing it is all about the customer and the content that will guide the buyer along their journey. In the global marketplace meeting local needs without risking efficiency or risking the value of the brand is a challenge. Our strategy is to enable our global marketers so they can improve customer journeys to gain trust, build relationships, and ultimately improve engagement and conversions.


Our marketing team consists of 40 Eloqua users that are a mixture of central, regional, partner, and outside agency marketers focused on both inbound and outbound marketing and communication efforts.  The team successfully launched more than 4.3M emails in 2016 by executing 350+ campaigns. Campaigns are multi-touch, multi-tactic in multiple languages and range from customer and partner events, webinars, executive visits, customer care, cross sell/up sell and prospecting. 


How do we find the balance?


So how do we do meet the numerous competing demands knowing localization and trans-creation efforts are necessary for a global company operating in 100+ countries around the world?   We’ve taken some basic steps and continually look to increase the use of technology to further improve our process.  Here’s what we do today:


  1. Provide the framework:  Multiple business units live in Eloqua together so we’ve enforced the use a single platform for the Central, Regional, and Partner teams using a standard data model across all business units.
  2. Structure the approach:  Work sharing (assets available for all) and a campaign calendar to coordinate what is in flight.  Standardized campaign naming structure.
  3. Collaborate with the Regions:  Central place to share best practices and masters to be localized.  Provide some freedom for localization.
  4. Translation process:  Central campaigns translated into our main languages while Regions localize/trans-create messaging and asset relevance for launch within local markets.
  5. Continuously improve:  Review what has been executed, continue to share Central programs with Regions, Region programs with other Regions and further pursue education.


Underlining this we’ve established a governance model that provides a clear accountability for digital communications, policy and standards and all elements that make up our digital ecosystem.


This all sounds good and works well but our challenges for localizations and trans-creation are not unlike what others are facing in this area.  So how do we balance the need for speed of execution with the need for localization? 


Steps We've Taken


We start with internationalization.  Our messaging is not just translated but adapted using the correct date formats, footers, colors, icons, graphics and relevant messaging.  We manage and store multiple languages either on the same campaign canvas or multiple canvas by substituting components.  Country and language are two key data fields that drive our approach and the use of templates.  We think localization from the start.


  1. Standardization:  How do we maintain our brand image with consistent messaging that works well for Central campaigns as well as Regional campaigns and increase our speed of execution?
    • On boarding of new marketing employees and agencies with brand, messaging and Eloqua fundamentals training
    • Standard data model for all markets with little customization to drive our targeting and segmentation; use of advanced targeting techniques
    • Platform organization utilizing folder structure and standardized naming convention
    • Standard process for campaign creation, use of campaign calendar to avoid multiple messages to contacts within the same window, and validation checklists prior to execution
    • Subscription centers in multiple languages to drive opt-ins/opt-outs available in our footers and ready to use
    • Progressive profiling to further build out prospect and customer information to better define our targeting and segmentation
    • Differentiation nurture campaigns such as Welcome and Re-Engagement
    • Personalization of campaign content
    • Advanced form processing to ensure consistency of data gathered and to drive action
    • Use of social sign-on where ever possible
  2. Cost efficiency:  How do we manage costs and speed of execution?
    • Master “templates” in responsive design HTML
    • Use of custom objects and asset management
    • Validation checklists prior to campaign activation
    • Central and Regions sharing of global and local initiatives
    • Continual cleansing of the Eloqua database to reduce unwanted contacts (hard bounces, archive, opt-outs) to improve our targeting and deliverability
  3. Enablement & flexibility:  How do we enable the Regions with localizations?
    • Translation process for multiple languages and localizations; think localization and trans-creation from the start
      • Keep in full and translate or
      • Localize by adding or subtracting content or
      • Change content to be shorter or replace with different content or
      • Leave the content (translated) but the links will be in English or no links will be used

4.  Performance:  How do we determine we’ve been successful?

    • Update to our lead scoring model to accommodate multiple business units and industries to identify our more qualified prospects
    • Benchmark performance against the industry
    • Measure impact against objectives with advanced reporting
    • Learn from others
    • Follow success




There’s the common need to find a balance between standardization and localization.  Standardization is a cost driven strategy (economies of scale and cost savings) to deliver a consistent brand experience that leverages templates and lends itself to a central team.  While localization is complex due product availability, local regulations and language.  Localization requires translation tools which is an iterative and increasingly complex processes, involving the careful use of colors, icons, graphics and content which does not lend itself well  to speed of execution.


We’ve accomplished much but still have further to go and more to learn on our journey.  We continue to push our team to expand their education, continue to look for new and improved tools and technology and lastly strive to make better use of the technology we currently own.   As Peter Abrahams stated “To get where you want to go you can’t only do what you like”.



Helpful Academy Courses:


1.  Advanced Lead Nurturing

2.  Data Cleansing

3.  Web Profiling

4.  Custom Subscription Management

5.  Template and Asset Management

6.  Uploading HTML Email

7.  Lead Scoring

8.  Progressive Profiling

9.  Effective Marketing with Custom Objects



[1] Article by SiriusDecisions (2014) “Increasing Adoption of Marketing Automation Platforms”

There's nothing like the advice of a local when you're navigating new territory, so take a moment to see what Firuze Ciftci of Dow Chemical has to say when it comes to the Oracle Content Marketing Smart Start, something she now knows well from her own experience.



Nora O'Leary-Roseberry: How did the Oracle Content Marketing Smart Start help you get started?


Firuze Ciftci: They (the courses) made me clearly understand how it (the tool) can support us. It was helpful to have an idea about the tool and what it can do and how it can do it.


Nora O'Leary-Roseberry: What did you like best about the courses?


Firuze Ciftci: They were really engaging and exploratory. The graphics and the way they put everything in a story made me understand it more clearly and kept me engaged in the sessions. Michael Kirsner-Oracle (the trainer) also really enjoys the trainings so it's hard to get bored, you really learn about the tool and enjoy the training.


Nora O'Leary-Roseberry: What would you say to someone at the beginning of the implementation process?


Firuze Ciftci: Start with the Smart Start trainings and build your knowledge upon the exercises in the tool. Explore as much as you can, create fictional scenarios to work on. Keep informed about enhancements because there are a lot of enhancements being done by the team, it's good to follow and keep yourself updated about the releases and new features in the tool because it's evolving so fast. Exploration within the tool is really beneficial for building knowledge from the Smart Start trainings.


Want more proof? Here are two more advocacy interviews!

The Problem:

"Can you please create a new Engage email template for an event, in this length, in these brand colors, with this partner co-sponsoring and can you do it as quickly as possible?"  We've all become familiar with similar requests, trying to meet the growing demands of various enterprise sales organizations, on a moment's notice.  When I joined my current organization, a Fortune 150 global provider of technology, it became very clear our ability to create email templates for our Engage user base with speed and efficiency was paramount to the success of our sales teams.


Our adoption of Engage was not the issue -- users love the platform, it allows them to adhere to the branding guidelines, professionally message their customers and have visibility into reporting.  What they didn't love was the slow interaction with marketing to have new custom templates designed, delaying their execution.  Fortunately, Eloqua's E10 WYSIWYG editor and modular template design provides the flexibility, simplicity and agility to alleviate these challenges.



The obvious needs to be stated: not all organizations are structured the same and many of these ideas are entirely situationally dependent.  For this discussion, it should be noted that our marketing team has three Eloqua super users, providing email content that address the needs of over 600 inside and outside sales representatives.  Additionally, branding differs, as some companies have a simple design, others (such as my organization) have the parent company, four divisions, hundreds of sub-divisions, selling thousands of different products, across 85 different countries, all with their own unique identity.  As you can imagine, the needs vary greatly and the volume of requests are high.


The Solution:

Modular template design, I know, it sounds like some grade A marketing fluff, but it's real and can make your life with Eloqua much easier.  At its core, it's the idea that all your templates share the same skeleton or design, and all the branding and image components are interchangeable.  Imagine a car, where you can update the interior or exterior color, change the make, model, and some basic features in about 30-45 seconds, versus the alternative of building something entirely new for each request.  WYSIWYG E10 editor is the preferred choice here, as not all team members may be comfortable or proficient with writing/reading HTML code and understanding all the various nuances involved.  This is where the WYSIWYG editor really shines, with just a few clicks of the mouse, super users can quickly create new templates on the fly.


Move from this:



To this:



To something like this, in mere seconds:



Preparation and Execution:

Be ready.  Having a wide selection of pre-created brand assets is extremely important.  These assets should mirror each other, they should be matching in dimensions, size and file type.  Most importantly, the assets should be named properly. As with everything in Eloqua, utilizing proper naming conventions will allow all users to access the needed materials reliably.


First, let's open one of our approved templates in Eloqua Engage.  Engage has a feature called "Table Border Visibility." This is a great tool for separating all the various components of the email, showing you exactly where everything exists independently and is perfect for identifying all the areas your sales teams can input their own text messaging and the modular areas for asset swapping.  This is also an excellent tool to use when training others on the Engage platform, the areas identified with the dotted lines showcase all the assets and text boxes.


As you can see below, there are seven items in total relating to the TIMCO apple brand.  Those include the header graphic, the green horizontal line, the "green apple" brand graphic, the picture of the real life apples, the call to action button and lastly the first part of the footer (with the #applesforevs).




Next, let's identify all the different modular components and text boxes within our template.  The text areas pointed out in yellow indicate fields that Engage users will be able to edit.  The items identified in red illustrate all the swappable items core to your branding guidelines and the overall purpose of the email template.  Keep in mind, not every item in red needs to be swapped with another asset, just those specific to a brand/product and purpose of the email.




Time to get modular!  Switch back over to Eloqua proper and start swapping all the modular components and begin constructing new emails entirely on the fly.


In the example below, I'll swap our TIMCO apples email over to TIMCO bananas:


The Results:

My organization now works smarter and more efficiently.  We've decreased our response times dramatically for these requests and Engage continues to be an important part to our communications strategy.


Helpful Content and Courses:

  • B2B - Template and Assets Management
  • B2B - Personalizing Campaigns
  • Fundamentals of Emails
  • Fundamentals of Forms & Landing Pages

What are personas, and how do we use them?

Personas are becoming an increasingly important tool for our marketers and campaign strategists. They allow us to identify subsets of our audiences with shared career paths and stages, backgrounds, goals and motivations, which can then be used to improve campaign targeting, create truly relevant communications and materials, and provide support to our audiences at each stage of their professional and educational path.

Our initial persona validation campaign targeted contacts within our Journal Authors audience. Our company is a major journal publisher, and the campaign aimed primarily to encourage both experienced and emerging authors and academics to submit articles to one of our journals. One of the secondary goals, however, was to encourage our audience members to self-identify as one of 5 personas, so that we could gain insight into their interests and challenges and follow-up with relevant support tools.


How do we define each persona?

Working with a third-party analytics consulting company, we identified 5 primary personas within our Journals Authors audience. Each of the personas represents an author at a different stage of their career (first-time or experienced, academic or corporate setting, etc.) and motivated by different goals (academic interest, building recognition, earning qualification, etc.).

Personas are scored based on audience members’ answer to four precise questions about what motivates them to publish. Each answer is provided in the form of a numeric score ranging from 0 to 100 (where 0 does not constitute a motivating factor, and 100 is a completely motivating factor). The answers are then fed into a scoring algorithm used to calculate a final persona score. The persona scores are identified by a single name (for instance, a new author might be a “Joe,” while an experienced author might be a “Mary”).


How is persona information collected?

In our campaign, the four persona questions were presented via a form. We created an Eloqua form and customized the HTML to include a “slider” field for each question. Contacts used the slider to select a value between 0-100, which was then captured in a corresponding text field on the form. It was important to the scoring process that the answers be provided via a slider rather than just be typed into the text field.

The next part was a bit of a manual process. After the campaign ended, we downloaded the form submissions and performed the calculations outside of Eloqua. Once the persona names were calculated, we then re-uploaded the results into Eloqua, with persona scores mapping to a custom contact field we created for this purpose.


Automating Persona Validation

The next step for our team was to find ways to automate the process as much as possible, and solve a number of issues we identified during the course of the campaign.


Our Issues

  • With an increased volume of campaigns, the manual process of downloading form submissions, performing the calculations, and re-uploading the contacts to Eloqua wasn’t really scalable. Who would own the process? How often would that person be able to perform the calculations?
  • The manual process introduced more possibilities for user error (while performing the calculations or uploading the contacts).
  • With more groups coming onboard, we needed the process to be straightforward so that other strategists and technologists who were not involved with the initial campaign would be able to easily replicate it.
  • There could be a significant delay between the time of form submission and the time the calculations would actually be uploaded to Eloqua.


How automation solved them:

  • Working with a consultant, we developed JavaScript to perform the scoring calculations directly upon form submission. The calculations are placed on an Eloqua HTML landing page, and the results are written to a hidden field on an Eloqua form. The hidden field maps to a contact field created specifically to house persona scores. We no longer have a need to designate a member of our team as responsible for turning around the calculations.
  • Since the calculations are now automated, there is little possibility of error, and there is no need to download and re-upload any contacts.
  • To make the campaign easy to reproduce, we decided to have all persona campaigns use a single Eloqua form. This will ensure consistency in processing, keep all persona submissions in one place, and make it easier to apply changes to all campaigns should we need to. We then created a landing page template in Eloqua that already includes the JavaScript as well as the persona form. While copy and styles can be changed to fit different campaigns, there is no need to make any changes to the JavaScript or form.
  • All calculations are now performed in real time using JavaScript.



Our initial campaign segment included two main segments:

  • confirmed journal authors from our database (9,033 contacts)
  • subscribers who have expressed an interest in specific subject categories (219,765)

Of the authors segment, 176 contacts filled out the form and received a persona score (2%).
Of the subscribers segment, 228 contacts filled out the form and received a persona score (0.1%)

The campaign also involved a multi-channel aspect. The persona form was shared on social media within the journal author community, and made available on our resources site. We gathered an additional 704 submissions from these sources. Total form submissions at the end of the campaign were 1,108.

While the percentage of known authors who filled out the form was relatively low, the real win came in the form of having identified 932 new contacts (from the subscriber segment and online sources) who expressed an interest in authoring. Effectively, we ended up growing our initial author segment by 10% from one campaign.

Since then, several other campaigns were rolled out to score additional author personas. Currently, we have persona scores for more than 10,000 contacts, with plans to ramp up our persona scoring campaigns in 2017. Two additional business groups within our company have approached our team to set up similar persona campaigns for their communities.

The challenge and the goal

As marketers, one of the statements we heard over and over again from our customers is: “I didn’t know about that.” Whether it be free online trainings, regional user group events, or our customer reference program, we weren’t doing a good job of fully informing our customers of all the resources available to them. It seemed that after the sale was final, the stream of communication came to an abrupt halt.


With that in mind, we set out to create a first-touch onboarding program for new customers to introduce them to the resources available. The program would feature relevant assets and the freedom for customers to consume those assets at their own pace.


The benchmark


When planning for the Customer Onboarding Program, we started by evaluating the breadth and type of communication that our customers already received from us. Win/Loss survey upon sale, monthly newsletters, and semi-annual satisfaction survey were the hallmarks of our communication strategy. What stood out to me the most about the results of our content audit was all of these communications were about us, not about the customer and furthering their success with our product.


Partnering with our sales organization, we identified the most useful and important resources they felt that customers should, but didn’t, know about and developed an eight part program to help spread the word.


The program


Now this could have been a simple email campaign sent week-by-week, but we wanted it to be something memorable and impressive. So we set to work creating an experience, rather than a program.


The audience

An autosync identifies and feeds customers with closed won opportunities into the campaign canvas, where they are held for 2 weeks before deploying the first email. Contacts can also enter the program via a colleague referral program. Upon being referred, the contact receives an email stating the purpose of the program and the person that referred them with opt out instruction, if they so choose.




Each email offers an opportunity to opt out at a program level. The emails, of course, include the standard global unsubscribe options, but to decrease the number of customers that are globally unsubscribed in our database, we wanted to offer a first, less drastic option for this customer nurturing program that would still allow them to receive important communications like product updates, conference registration information, newsletters, etc. Additionally, contacts can opt themselves back into the program at any point without the intervention of the customer marketing or the marketing automation teams.



The assets

The first email offers an infographic overview of the entire program. If they click through the email, they are taken to their personalized landing page.




In addition to featuring the customer’s first name, populated from a custom object field merge, the landing page is also coded to track the customer’s progress through the program with checkmarks indicating which assets have been consumed. The checkboxes are populated via web data lookups to reference the custom data object storing the program details. The blue download button on each page is a blind form that updates the custom object via the Update Custom Object Record processing step, and when the page is refreshed or viewed again the assets that were downloaded will show checkmarks instead of an empty box. Time stamps were also added to the blind forms to assess the consumption behavior of each individual, which has proven invaluable in evaluating the effectiveness of the program.






The benefit to this approach is to account for all engagement levels. Those new customers that feel like they want as much information as possible, can go through all eight resources at one time. Those customers that are under tight deadlines and don’t have time to dedicate to the program can click the featured asset from the email and know they’ll receive another asset in 2 weeks when they might have more time to browse.


The canvas

All these interconnected pieces create a quite elaborate system of assets, but we also had to create a canvas that would take into account all the variables of the program, such as consuming assets out of order, opting out of the program, and receiving other marketing and system emails during the course of the program.


Before each email is deployed, a check is performed to evaluate whether the contact is opted into the program. Similar to the checkmarks, this is stored on the custom object and evaluated via decision rule on the canvas. If the contact is opted out, they enter a 2 week loop that allows us to evaluate whether they ever decide to re-enter the campaign exactly where they left off. It also gives us a very strong indication of where contacts are dropping out of the program, whether it’s at the beginning or at a certain point consistently.


After checking for opt out, we check for email frequency. It was decided that the onboarding program emails should only be deployed if the customer has not received another email in the last 7 days. Because we don’t want the program to go stale, we’ll give the customer a 7 day window and then send the email regardless of frequency. With a well-managed campaign calendar, this should not be an issue, but if you are sending a lot of emails and frequency is a concern, each organization can customize these rules as they deem appropriate.


Lastly, a check is performed to see if they have already consumed the asset for the email that is being delivered. If they have already downloaded that asset, we don’t want to waste time sending them an email about it, and we’ll skip them ahead in the program to the next asset that has not been downloaded. After this third and final check, the email is deployed using the scheduling tab, to ensure emails only go out between the appropriate business hours for the region.





The results


So far, the results of the program have been a pleasant surprise. Of the active engagements with the emails, 50% opted out immediately without consuming a single asset. The remaining 50% have engaged with at least one asset. Of the active customers that have consumed more than one asset, I was surprised to find that there is an even distribution between those that consume assets in one sitting, those that consume multiple assets over several sittings, and those that consume the assets one at a time. The distribution is almost 33% to each of those unique scenarios. It is worth mentioning that no customers that have interacted with the program have opted out after interacting with the emails. This information serves to validate our desire to cater to all engagement levels and we can see that the customers appreciate the flexibility.


Two-thirds of the customers that have engaged, have only consumed a single asset. There is a definite correlation between the first and second email and those interactions, so be sure to put your most valuable assets early the program to keep interest and get relevant information in the hands of your customers.


Another benefit that we’ve seen, is a clear interest in three of the eight resources. This information can help us tailor and modify the program for future iterations and determine what information is truly valuable to our customers. On the reverse, we can also see which resources are not as important to our customers.


The Oracle Academy courses

Effective Nurturing

Effective Marketing with Custom Objects

Integrating Custom Objects with the Campaign Canvas

Web Profiling

Personalizing Campaigns

Blind forms

Advanced Editing and Form Processing

The challenge when integrating Eloqua was to create a subscription process to comply with anti-SPAM laws, specifically adding a double opt-in for users from Canada or Europe.


The business requirements of this project were to give the user an option to explicitly opt-in to emails upon form submissions, manage their subscriptions from a subscription center and to comply with anti-SPAM laws.


Prior to Eloqua, the platform set up was a single opt-in for all users to all three email groups upon a form submission with an option to manage their subscriptions from a subscription center. Since Eloqua was being integrated for the first time, there wasn’t anything previously set up in the platform.


The Plan

The first step in the planning stage included meeting with the stakeholders to define which countries were considered single opt-in, double opt-in and embargoed nations as well as understanding what each of those scenarios meant. The initial planning stages also included confirming the three previous email groups will be used moving forward and provided examples of the type of emails that would be used for each email group. It was also decided to have a subscription center similar to the previous one.


The next phase in planning was to understand the user’s status in every possible scenario. I then mapped out each user scenario for brand new contacts and the different variations of returning contacts for a single opt-in user, a double opt-in user and an embargoed user submitting a form. I also mapped out the user scenarios for a form submission from the subscription center.


The Design

From the planning stages, the next step was to design the data architecture which was based upon the user scenarios. What came from this was to create additional Eloqua Fields for the subscription items as a double check point to ensure that Eloqua was reading the data as intended. This also gave us the opportunity to capture additional data on the user such as date stamping when a user chooses to globally unsubscribe and/or double opt-ins.



The Build

Subscription Center.png

To begin building out the elements, I started with the Form. The first piece to tackle was the country pick list and defining the opt-in process accordingly. The solution that I went with was to use JavaScript to populate a hidden field on the form with ‘single’, ‘double’ or ‘embargo’ depending upon the country selection. The conditional items on the Processing Steps were based upon that hidden field. By doing this, I went from 200+ countries to incorporate into the Processing Steps to just three.


The next items on the form to create were two checkboxes for the opt-ins; one for single opt-in countries and one for double opt-in countries. I also used JavaScript here to display the correct checkbox for the user based upon the country selection. To configure the Processing Steps and the conditionals for these fields I found the Advanced Editing and Form Processing class, Topliners research and a lot of trail-and-error helpful in understanding how Eloqua works.


For the single opt-in data architecture, I also created a Program for a user that is already opted-in to check to see if they had changed any of their subscription preferences instead of just opting the user in for every email group again. To effectively create this program, I referenced the Program Builder class and Topliners.


When a user checks the checkbox to double opt-in, there are fewer Processing Steps since the user receives an email with a blind form submit link to confirm that they want to be opted-in. The Processing Steps on the blind form submit do most of the heavy lifting. I went back and referenced my notes from the Blind Form Submits class when creating this email.


And finally for the embargoed nations, these Processing Steps were much easier to configure since not much was happening. I only set up a Send Notification Email to someone within the organization and a Redirect to Web Page Processing Step to send the user to a landing page to let them know the organization is unable to conduct business with them.


The final piece to tackle was the subscription center as displayed. Since I created additional Eloqua Fields for the subscription items and wanted to make sure those were marked accordingly, a custom subscription center was needed. It was initially set up as taught in the Custom Subscription Management class but I found that process was not browser compatible with IE8 and the business was not ready to phase out the dated browser. I ended up using hidden fields, merge tags and JavaScript to complete this. After the form was tested and working, I then updated the Email Footer to take the user to the new subscription center.


The Completion

Overall the completion of this project helped to improve the user experience by setting expectations with the customer and honoring their email communication interests while lowering the risk for the company.


Since the completion of this project, I plan to transfer the Eloqua Fields for the subscription items to Custom Objects after learning about them in the Effective Marketing with Custom Objects class to clean up the Contact Records and create a one-to-many relationship.


The Academy Courses

  • B2B: Advanced Editing and Form Processing
  • B2B: Program Builder
  • B2B: Blind Form Submits
  • B2B: Custom Subscription Management
  • B2B: Effective Marketing with Custom Objects

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