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The reason for this project was to create and develop a customer journey, to step away from batch and blast and to benefit from the powerful marketing automation platform that is Eloqua.


I think it is fair to say at some point in our career we have encountered the dreaded batch and blast.  We tend to send an email to the pot and hope for the best. But as we are now Modern Marketers, times have changed.  As part of the marketing automation team in a global events and exhibitions company, it was up to us to not only educate the regional marketing teams as to why it is so important to design the customer journey through the capabilities of Eloqua, but to create, deploy and report on these campaigns.  Through the course of this project, I uncovered additional learning such as the need for process change, to ensure that we are utilising the analysis made by making relevant changes to improve the overall journey and to align teams such as sales and marketing.


Our Challenge


With over 50 brands/exhibitions worldwide, our challenge was to create a customer journey that could be utilised across all brands with slight tweaking per show.




  • Stop inundating contacts with multiple emails
  • Reduce opt out
  • Improve ROI
  • Efficient structure and time spent on relevant copy
  • Align brands around a common cause
  • Speak a universal language with content and branding
  • Identify and update inefficient touch points and processes
  • Understand our customer and their interactions with us
  • Increase egagemnent for visitors and exhibitors


The approach – How to get there


It was decided to use one show cycle as a pilot (9 months communications plan). I met with a number of teams initially to discuss the previous years results by focusing on unsubscription rates, unique click throughs, number of emails received per email address, conversions, in this case registrations to the exhibition, and feedback from surveys, after I reviewed the results against industry standards, these steps were taken.

  • Choose the persona/segment to focus on
  • Identify the timeline
  • Use previous results like behavoiur flow reports/surveys and the goal flow report
  • Map touchpoints of the persona and put yourself in their shoes, when and where
  • Visulaise and map out the flow
  • Ensure some requirements are made like:
    • Write copy weeks in advance before sent date
    • Sign off of emails weeks in advance – activate campaign and let it run
  • Test, report, refine and evaluate
  • Share and use





The Focus – Eloqua Campaign Structure


We sat with multiple teams to understand the focus of specific shows, to identify the objectives for example awareness, persuasion, commitment up sell etc., the messaging themes, the timelines and checkpoints.  From there we were able to identify the types of campaigns needed for this journey to work….using Eloqua Modern Marketing best practices.  We incorporated AB testing through subject lines, timings, messaging tones, personalisation and segmentation.


Awareness & interest, Persuade & commit, Behaviour & persona and Archetypes

The Types of campaigns we used based on engagement and trigger points


  • Introduction to the Exhibition
  • Nurture
  • Reactivation
  • Registration boost
  • Welcome
  • Enable
  • In show comms
  • Monthly newsletter
  • Remarketing on social
  • Thank you and survey



The Map



The Outcome


Once all of the touch points were agreed, the campaigns were created, tested and the contacts poured in -- I turned it on and waited with bated breath to see what happened next.


We found through testing and analysis how many of our contacts were converting and registering off the back of the marketing automation email campaigns, who were engaged and who were not engaged.  We developed trigger based campaigns to those who needed to be spoken to in a different way and how we could improve this journey for other exhibitions and shows. It highlighted specific emails that were not performing as well as others; it allowed us to tweak images and change subject lines.  Overall, this journey created a better customer experience.  How?

  • Increased unique open rate by 12%
  • Feedback from customers – “Relevant emails with relvevant copy and the right time”
  • Internal marketing teams had more time to focus on additional marketing activities as opposed to writing email copy the day of send.
  • Marketing automation process were reviewed and improved
  • Highlited gaps in the data for lead scoring such as geo location, product type etc.
  • Createda cycle of analysis and adjustment





Modern Markeing Eloqua courses which helped me to achieve the customer journey were:


  • Targetting and segmentation
  • Lead Scoring
  • Campaings and Assets
  • Conversion and Analysis
  • Email deliverability


The customer journey creation became a catalyst for change, not only for our customers but for our company and marketing structure.  It aligned teams and subsiquently built stronger relationships.

For one of our customers, we had to come up with a massive strategy. The request was to have 12 to 16 European countries within on single Eloqua environment. An important point of this request was to have each country only have access to their own contacts. Our goal was to create a blueprint that abled us to roll out to new countries without having to do double work.



Our Challenge

The challenge during this implementation was:

  • The coordination in the Netherlands, and technical support from India and the US
  • To create a uniform data model and Eloqua structure
  • An efficient and stable way of connection between countries and Eloqua environment
  • Old Marketing Automation systems are being faced out
  • All countries would need to receive correct user training
  • Having a tight deadline per country, which meant sticking to deadlines was key


How did we come so far?

During the early start of the project, a pilot phase was set up for the first country rollout. During this phase, we created a blueprint for easy rollout to new countries. In this blog post I will explain the three main points we worked on:

  • An initial data model
  • Worked out a middleware setup
  • Created a draft label workflow.


Because of the limited number of available fields, the shared data model was our top priority. We worked out a strategy of standard fields, as well as local fields for each country. By copying all default fields into an Excel sheet, we were able to create the base model. Each country would receive this version and a combining presentation. This explained the different field options as well as the limitations for our data model. Having this data model enabled us to explain its potential during the next phase.


The next step during the pilot phase was around creating a stable middleware layer. This layer gives us the possibility to connect to (almost) unlimited back-end systems. But we had to make sure data was being fed from the local county into Eloqua without any error. This meant develop field by field, and test each field. One of the issues we ran into, was contacts without email address that were being loaded. After several discussions with the business, it was clear we had to come up with a solution for this. The solution for this was to change our contact identifier from email to a new unique field. We decided to switch to a combination of contact id, ISO country code, and a source system identifier. This meant we had to alter the shared data model to be able to handle this change. This was one of many we made on the data model throughout the first few months of the project.


One of the requests from the client was to have strict boundaries on contact security level. For this, we worked out a workflow that would tag contacts when loaded into Eloqua. Each contact would have two labels, one country tag and one 'all' tag. With the 'all' tag, we were able to give admins more rights to search for contacts. Each contact enters the workflow at the moment of creation. All possible current labels or email groups are removed. The next step is to link the contact to a county. A required field is present within the data model that shows the originating country. A small screenshot of our label management workflow with several countries present already is shown below.


A screenshot of the final label

By only building this label assignment workflow, we were not there yet. We also created several security groups that covered contact security on user level. So, for each tag, a security group was set up with only business unit settings. All other settings removed to keep security groups clean and organised. Each country would get his own local security group that manages their contacts.


After the security of contacts, we also worked on a structure to secure assets between users. We wanted to make sure, users from one country could not edit or remove assets by accident. To reach this stage, we removed asset security from the standard user roles. This means that the standard roles only give access to the systems and screens but not to assets. For each, country separate asset security roles had been set up. This makes it possible to give users access to edit assets only from their own country. Below a simple overview of the different user groups we set up.


1. Access Management

          a. Admin

          b. Local admin

          c. Marketing User

          d. Sales user

2. Asset Management

          a. Country 1

               i. Basic

               ii. Advanced

               iii. Reader

          b. Country 2

               i. Basic

               ii. Advanced

               iii. Reader

3. Contact management

          a. Country 1

          b. Country 2


With the blueprint that we fixed during this pilot phase, we made it possible to roll out Eloqua at a faster pace. Where the first country went live after four months, the next few countries needed three. We documented everything during the pilot, new countries received documentation to prepare the country kick-off. This makes it possible for us to have several one-hour workshops instead of two-day sessions on specific topics. Countries were able to do different activities without long and extensive sessions. And I strongly believe that we made it possible to roll-out to a next country in only two months.


The list below consists of points that were important to us during this implementation.

  1. Integration between different back-end systems and Eloqua
  2. Security settings to manage assets and access apart from each other
  3. Contact labeling workflow to do contact security
  4. Calculate enough time between different countries.
  5. Make use of sandboxes to test integration work
  6. Uniformity and standardizing work as much as possible


Lessons Learned

One of the major issues we faced was that we kept tweaking the data model over and over. Although it gave the first countries the option to improve the data model, this also meant rework and simultaneous sometimes re-uploading thousands of contacts. It also created a lot of work for our middleware team, as well as the test team. Instead of changing the model, we should have focused on improving the roll-out. This could make it possible to do several country roll-outs at the same time.


Another issue we came across was the unawareness of several countries. To have focused discussions, we cut the project in small groups with kick-off sessions at the start of each group. During the roll-outs, we still noticed a lot of unfamiliarity with the product and its options. They were not aware of what they could do with Eloqua as well as what they could expect during the country roll-out. Countries also felt that Eloqua was being pushed to them without consultation.



During this project, we worked together with two other implementation partners. One of them focused on the business side, while the other worked on the implementation. As a team, together with the business, we were able to create a stable blueprint that is able to roll-out to different new countries in a short period.


The customer has now a stable and leading Marketing Automation up and running. Several different countries are doing better lead management, and send more SQL's back to the countries. Compared to previous Marketing Automation programs (like Unica and Hubspot) that they had running, users spend less time on administration work and more on time on improving the customer experience.


With the support of our Customer Success Manager, we have discussed plans for the future. One of them being around moving CDO's to a different database outside of Eloqua. Using the Feeder Service within the AppCloud Developer Framework, we would be able to make use of more decision data (order history of yearly returning products and other kinds of orders). Because different countries are uploading large quantities of CDO data, we are pushing the limits of CDO usage. Although this is currently put back on the backlog, it is still something we are keeping a close eye on.


With the created blueprint, we have made a strategy for the customer to roll-out new Eloqua environments throughout the rest of the World. All the steps are created in such a way that it is standard and uniform, not related to a single country. And with the uniform method of using Eloqua throughout the business worldwide, it makes it easier for Global Marketing to organize and structure marketing activities. And for Global IT, it is easier to keep track of all their activities around Marketing Automation, as it is a uniform process.


Setting up one Eloqua instance for several countries creates a lot of difficulties. And this takes a considerably longer time to put in place than other (simpler) implementations. With a solid discovery phase at the beginning of a project, and establishing a blueprint (and sticking to it!), it is fairly doable to set up and run one Eloqua environment for many countries.


Based on my experiences, I had also written a post about how to work with REST-API’s and Postman. The post explains how to start using Postman and the Eloqua 1.0 and 2.0 REST-API'S.


University courses used during this implementation

B2B: Data Cleansing

B2B: System Integration

Eloqua 10: User Management

Eloqua 10: Database Security

B2B: Database Configuration

Marketing Challenge


Our marketing team was faced with a challenge; team members were spending valuable time combing through post-webinar data in order to complete follow-up with 1,000+ webinar attendees. Not only did this take a lot of time but the process was prone to human error, which left attendees without the information they had requested or with incorrect information.




The goal of this project was to automate webinar follow-up by utilizing information passed via Custom Data Objects from On24 to Eloqua. We wanted to take human hands out of the process to increase accuracy and speed of communication, while still capturing valuable attendee preferences for campaign segmentation. We also wanted to create a process that was scalable and easily repeated going forward.




We benchmarked our current state by recording webinar follow-up time, which was recorded as two full days for a webinar of 1,200 attendees.


Campaign Implementation


Our first step was to work with On24 in order to map Custom Data Objects fields between On24 and Eloqua. We pulled in the data that was important to us for follow-up, including:

  • Webinar live attended minutes
  • Survey Responses
  • Questions asked during the webinar


After we created the CDO's in Eloqua, the team at On24 helped us map them to On24 data.


Once integration was complete, we created a webinar campaign in Eloqua and added the post-webinar processing steps, which we configured to interrogate the Custom Objects, and filter attendees based on the data.


For example, we included a step to evaluate whether attendees were eligible for recertification credit through a major certification provider in our industry. The provider requires webinar attendees to watch at least 75% of the webinar to receive 1.0 hour of recertification credit.


We automated this process by adding an evaluation step after the webinar:


This step evaluated all webinar attendees and whether they had attended the webinar for 30 minutes or more. If they had attended for 30+ minutes, they automatically received a "Thank You" email including the code needed to redeem for credit. If they didn't attend for 30 minutes, they received a "Thank You" email without credit info.


We used a similar process to automate responses for product information and Q&A alerts. If an attendee asked a question during the webinar, they were sorted into a campaign that sent them an automatic email to thank them for their question. Our product specialist team then also received an email alert letting them know that a question had been submitted, which helped them increase follow-up speed.


Marketing Cloud Course


There were several course that were essential in helping to create this program: B2B: App Cloud, B2B: Integrating Custom Objects with Campaign Canvas, and B2B: Effective Marketing with Custom Objects. These courses provided the foundation to realize what was possible and implement the plan.


Impact of Campaign


This campaign reduced our webinar follow-up time from two days to 45 minutes, which is the time it took for the data to be collected and automatically send responses. Not only did this free up staff time and increase efficiency, it also helped us demonstrate the power of automation to internal stakeholders.


Going forward we plan to use CDO data acquired during webinars to further customize the attendee journey into custom campaigns. For example, after every webinar we ask attendees if they would like more information about specific products. Using CDO's acquired from On24, we can now automate the process of moving attendees into specific nurture campaigns based on their response. Since the attendee is self-identifying their interests, we are able to automate the process of delivering the right message at the right time.


We also plan to use CDO's to leverage attendee preferences in another way, where attendees are less explicitly selecting their preferences.


Our webinar presentation includes a Resource Library as part of the webinar console, and we are able to capture data on which resources the attendees have viewed during the webinar. We plan to use the information about which resources an attendee accessed in order to determine product preference. This will be a way to truly maximize the data collected during webinars. Although the attendee isn't specifically requesting information, we can take their implied interest into account for future campaigns.




This project demonstrated the power and flexibility of CDO's. As Modern Marketers we are always seeking new ways to deliver the Right Message, to the Right Person, at the Right Time. The more information we can capture about preferences, the easier it is to deliver targeted messages to our audience. Webinars are a classic lead generation tool, and by capturing preference information within webinars, we can further segment attendees and automate the follow-up process.


I'm an account manager from a design and marketing agency, working on behalf of my client (a global B2B technology company) and completing the B2B luminary course in order to understand how the features available in Eloqua can help my client promote their products and services.


The challenge

In order for a contact to be passed to my client's sales team as a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL), specific information is required. Therefore, a (sales-led) form is used on their corporate site's 'contact us' page in order to capture this information.


When analysing my client's corporate website traffic, we identified an issue whereby 88% of their visitors were leaving the site without completing the contact form. This led us to question, why?


We put this down to two reasons:

  1. The visitor is not ready to buy
  2. The form is asking the visitor for too much information


Although there is a specific requirement for the contact to submit all the data needed to become a MQL, apart from requiring an email address, there are no specific requirements to turn them into a prospect. So, this is where we decided to focus our attention.


The objective

  • Promote relevant content to nurture prospects to the next stage


The goals

  • Introduce a softer conversion point, to capture contact's basic information
  • Use gated content to:

       a. Encourage form submissions

b. Identify unknown website visitors

c. Nurture existing contacts towards contacting sales (becoming a MQL)


The campaign

To ensure we were providing website visitors with relevant, personalised messages and to continue to nurture them to their next conversion point, we decided to use Eloqua's dynamic content, but to take this and put it onto our client's corporate website. We were able to do this by creating a customised dynamic 'banner', within Eloqua, and embedding it onto the bottom of the corporate website, with the help of our in-house developers.


Initial investigation

We looked into how we could personalise the website experience for visitors returning to the website. We initially wanted to use the industry contact field to present sector-specific messaging to known visitors, however on inspecting our client's database, a lot of the data was inconsistent and incomplete. Because of this, we decided we needed a new contact field for this specific campaign and we would need to add hidden fields in forms to populate the new field.


Because we couldn't rely on existing data, and to prove to the client that a softer conversion point would work, we had to keep the campaign as simple as possible.


Below is a list of the assets required:

  1. One dynamic 'banner', with one default message and one rule
  2. One landing page
  3. One confirmation page
  4. One form
  5. Emails
  6. Content to promote (in this instance, the company's corporate brochure)




Step 1. Choose the content to promote - your visitor should value it highly enough to provide their contact details for this content


Step 2. Create your confirmation page, with a download to the promoted content


Step 3. Create the form

Because our messaging is generic and may appeal to both unknown and known visitors, we wanted a form that was short and only included necessary fields, so as not to put people off. We also wanted to build on the information we already knew about known contacts, so used progressive profiling. The first three fields to always show included: first name, last name and email. The progressive profiling fields included: job type, company country and mobile phone. A maximum of two empty progressive profiling fields would be displayed, meaning the form would never show more than five fields:


1 progressive profiling.jpg



You'll see we've also added a hidden field with a value of 'Corporate-brochure-EN' to populate a new contact field we'd created specifically for this campaign:


2 form process steps.png


In order for this to work, it's crucial that the value of this field matches the value/rule applied in your dynamic content.


Step 4. Create your landing page and add the form


Step 5. Create your dynamic content

You must always have one default message. In this instance, it was to download the promoted content, via a form submission.


You can then assign a list of rules, with each rule referring to a different piece of information in the contact record. We only allocated one rule. This rule looked at the new contact field we'd created, and for a value that was exactly equal to 'Corporate-brochure-EN'. This meant, if someone had already downloaded the content we were promoting, instead of showing the same message, we presented a new message: Contact us.


Step 6. Add the dynamic banner onto the client's website

If you don't have the permissions to 'enable public dynamic content', you'll need your admin user to give you this permission. Once this has been granted, you can use the dynamic javascript to add the dynamic content to any third party website. You'll notice each dynamic content has a unique id, so you can have multiple pieces of content on your site at one time:


Note: We required our developers to implement the dynamic banner on the client's corporate website, but this blog won't go into detail about how this was achieved.



Before the banner went live in July 2017, we created a segment with four filters. This meant we could analyse how the banner performed and report back to our client.


The banner has been live for three months and our four filters show the below results:

  1. Visited the landing page, but didn't complete the form = 23 contacts
    If the number was high, we would consider whether there was something on the landing page (or form) that put people off.
  2. Downloaded the brochure = 94 contacts
  3. New contacts = 74 When an Eloqua form is submitted for the first time, the 'date created' field is populated. This segment filter looked at contact fields with a 'date created' field after the date this banner went live AND had submitted this specific form.
  4. Downloaded the brochure and completed a sales form submission = 10 contacts


These results prove that providing relevant content, personalised messaging and a softer conversion points all help toward pushing a contact to contact sales. Our next step would be to look at the quality of the 10 sales form submissions - did they turn into SQLs? And if so, what lead score were they given?


Our client is aware that their database needs serious TLC and once their data is at a standard where it can be relied on to be consistent, complete and correct, we can then be more clever with our personalisation and make the website visitor's experience even better!


Courses that have helped

Fundamentals of segmentation

B2B Engagement - personalisation

B2B Targeting - web profiling

B2B Conversion - advanced editing and form processing

B2B Conversion - progressive profiling

We spend a considerable amount of effort segmenting the data we have in our database to ultimately serve the relevant content to the right person at the right time. Eloqua is instrumental in this endeavour as the platform allows us, among its myriad functionalities, to build segments, filters and campaigns.




Many of our automated programmes rely on implicit data to trigger messaging relevant to the buyer or customer’s actions. With Eloqua scripts on our webpages we are able to develop customer usage programmes and dynamic nurture programmes. These behavioural triggers are vital to our efforts to deliver appropriate messaging. For instance, our low usage programme created to prompt more engagement, or our customer upsell programme, which we have designed to be an automated campaign that is triggered by product pages viewed, whitepapers downloaded, or webinars attended. The desired results would be higher engagement with our website and to explore upsell/cross sell opportunities.


We want to continue to evolve our digital tactics to include more intelligent ways to track content engagement to perform a wide range of actions on data received. The ability to nurture in a timely manner based on information we know beyond the click is a key initiative.




A third party platform we use for selected campaigns to our known contacts in Eloqua consists of a content engagement platform that allows us to design a content experience for a particular audience. This functionally allows us to upload assets (pdfs, videos, infographics, webpages) into one platform and serve the visitor this content in a sequential manner. The platform helps to gather more insight by drilling down into visitor behaviour to see exactly what happens after the click - what assets prospects viewed and for how long they engaged with each one of the assets.


The challenge we were having is how we could use all this data to optimal effect in Eloqua to further refine engagement to ensure the right mix of MQLs, ensure nurture works harder (volume and velocity) and deliver increased reengaged MQLs YoY.




A recent improvement to the integration of our third party platform and Eloqua is the introduction of “webhooks” to transfer the engagement data.  Data is now sent through webhooks to Eloqua after each session, or only when a specific event occurs. A back end form in Eloqua captures all this data as it would for a blind form submission. The Eloqua form has a field for each of the event field data points. These data points are a Form Capture Webhook, a Visitor Session Webhook, and/or a Visitor Activity Webhook.


image 1.png


The fields we would like to receive data for are then mapped to the contact record. The HTML name of each of the form fields matches the value you have provided in the external platform’s field mapping area while setting up the webhook.


image 2.png


This data-push model into Eloqua allows us to benefit from the processing steps on the back of the form. In turn, this makes it easy to perform a wide range of actions on the data, such as adding leads to campaigns and programmes, creating custom objects, updating lead data, lead scoring, and sales notification emails.


The instructor-led training courses I studied for my Luminary certificate were useful for understanding how to configure and integrate the webhooks and subsequently create the form processing steps.


The conversion module was instrumental for understanding how blind forms work and how to create the blind form submit link.


This module was also a great learning platform to understand custom objects, which allows us to populate fields that we would not capture in a contact record for lead scoring purposes and segment building. This is also ideal for recording information for multiple sessions for one visitor without overwriting the data.


The Eloqua lead scoring models will automatically recognise when the webhooks fire and update the prospect’s profile as close to real time as you can get.




By using webhooks we now have a greater understanding of the behaviour of our known contacts which has helped to create more personalised user journeys and experiences.


By receiving this data, we are able to determine last content viewed, and based on that, we can route prospects down different streams with increased velocity, and they do not see repeated content. For example, if a prospect engages with the first 4 assets in the third party platform, and these four assets are aligned with the email messaging in an Eloqua campaign, then the prospect would skip to email five in the campaign canvas while also being directed to the fifth asset in the journey.


image 3.png


Another benefit of this data-push model to Eloqua’s forms is we can easily map the data to a contact record or custom object, which allows us to create filters looking at engagement levels to determine appetite. Prospects with high interest would be eligible to receive a follow up campaign and/or a sales call.


All of Eloqua’s capabilities as an automated email platform, along with the integration of the third party engagement data has allowed us to follow the seven rules of engagement I learned in the Engagement instructor-led training course.


The following five rules of the seven below were all touched upon in my blog above:


  • Pick up where the last interaction left off
  • Don’t ask a customer for the same information more than once
  • Make the interaction personal and personalised
  • Deliver information that reflects what you’ve learned about them
  • Learn about customers in bits, not all at once


Helpful Marketing Cloud courses


  • B2B Targeting
  • B2B Engagement
  • B2B Conversion
  • B2B Revenue Performance Management
    • RPM: Effective Nurturing
    • RPM: Lead Quality
    • RPM: Targeting & Segmentation

One of the most important requirements of a nurture campaign is that it’s created to help your buyer persona. The campaign is a translation of the buyer's journey; the journey which takes a lead from the first vague idea of a solution for a particular problem, up to the moment he is ready to make a purchase. This trip may take 3-6 months (depending on the complexity of your product), within which we have to educate the lead and help him make the right decision. At the start, we will send him general information like blogs, and later on we send more and more sales-oriented content.


The problem we are facing with our customers is that we do not exactly know what the knowledge level of our lead is. A buyer's journey of 6 months, starting with very basic information, is much too long for a lead already know with the products we sell. When our nurture campaign ends, he already bought the product from a competitor. On the other hand, starting directly to sell our product to a lead not familiar with our products, will also not end in a success. To achieve the best possible conversion rate, we have to figure out the knowledge level of our lead.


Listen to your customers


Within most marketing automation systems, a campaign has a fairly solid drip structure, and the lead is getting all the scheduled content sent. That's a pity, because it's not helpful to bore a lead that already has the basic knowledge (lead 1, see above), by sending him this information again. This slows the journey unnecessarily and increases the likelihood that a lead will be cut off early.


Do not send information already read


To prevent this, I have built a check for sending a blog announcement that checks if the blog is read in the last 6 months. I think within the timeframe the information is still in mind. If so, the following blog will be sent. Unfortunately, within Eloqua, it's impossible to check if a particular page (blog) has been visited. We've solved this through tagging the blogs like blog1, blog2, blog3, etc ... Within the workflow, before sending a blog, the tag is checked. If the tag is set for the lead, the campaign proceeds to the next step. Now we do not send information already read by the lead and speed up the workflow.


Jump Program


In addition, I have also built a "jump" program. This program will speed up the campaign by skipping a few steps if certain conditions are met. Has a lead read 3 of our 5 blogs? Then we skip the last two and continue to the content within the next phase. All phases have their own jump program.



(image: the program starts with a segment checking leads are in correct part of workflow and have correct amount of blog-tags. After a wait, lead is moved to another part of the workflow)


Within the program, I also use tagging, whereby all blogs are additional tagged as 'blog' (without a number) to check how many blogs are read. A program checks (based on a shared filter) if the lead is in the correct campaign and if within a few weeks the desired number of blogs (3 in this case) have been read. If this is the case, the program moves the lead to another part of the campaign.


In addition, I’ve written another program for leads that have filled in within a form they need our services within 1 month. The program accelerates the campaign, so sales can contact them in time. The lead fills in a number of months in which he needs our services. The washing machine translates this to a date. And the segment checks this date.


(image: setting up the segment to check is the lead has read 3 blog in the last year)




The campaign now runs for only a few weeks. In the last 2 months, we saw that 23% of the leads are accelerated by the jump program. On average, the campaign has shortened by 4 weeks (and has an average duration of 7 weeks), while the message of the campaign is still very clear. At this time there is no conversion data yet.




The following information can be useful:


We were in the phase of implementing Eloqua as our company wanted to focus on Digital Marketing. Initially, all we knew about Eloqua was that it can be extremely useful for Email Marketing. Before Eloqua, we did not have very good numbers for Email Analysis reports, as the number of contacts who opened the email or who went to thank pages were very low. Contact to Lead conversion rates were low and sales always complained about the quality of Leads they received.



We ideally did not know how to start with Eloqua and what to expect. Hence for me, it came like the more we did on Eloqua the more we learned and more capable we became of exploring new functionalities of Eloqua.



We started using Eloqua for Email marketing.  We created customized emails for different categories of Customers using dynamic Content functionality.

Creating segments helped us in excluding contacts which had globally unsubscribed or hard bounce contacts. This helped us to target the right customers and also helped in getting the exact count of contacts to whom emails can be sent and how much conversion can we expect from a Campaign.


So the steps followed were:

  • Creating Emails: Personalizing them by the means of dynamic Content
  • Getting the target Audience for that email through Segments
  • Designing a Campaign through which Email can be deployed


Creating Emails:


Creating Segments:





Creating Campaigns:

We started creating Emails with two reminders so that when a contact does not submit a form when 1st email is sent to him, he gets a reminder email and if he submits a form the second time, he is in wait step and if again he does not submit a form, he gets a third reminder. If he submit a form this time, he is pushed to a wait step; otherwise, he is excluded from the Campaign.





Creating Landing Pages:

We created landing pages to capture responses of Contacts. Here they would submit their details and register for the Campaign and select their time preference.


Creating Forms:

We created a form to collect basic information of Contacts and in processing steps, we added all the rules we wanted to include.



Processing Steps of Forms:

With Processing steps, we were able to send one email to people who registered for the event for 3:00 PM and another email to people who have registered for the 8:00 AM slot. All the Contacts were then added to a shared list from where they were routed to a step in program builder for Lead creation.

new 8.jpg


Response details are captured in the Eloqua form – including Tagging information



As initially we did not know the scope of Eloqua, we started with Email Marketing. Post attending training sessions we were in the position to add scoring models to score our contacts.


Scoring a Contact: Responses in the Eloqua form are scored in Eloqua on Profile and Engagement.



Marketing Qualified Leads were identified using Segments which filter on contacts with appropriate lead score in the scoring model.


Once identified, MQL’s are passed to the CRM system using Eloqua campaigns.




If your country does not use CRM System, MQL’s can be exported from Eloqua for follow up through Shared lists.pic13.jpg


Results and Conclusion:

The implementation of Oracle Eloqua has increased Email and Campaign performance by 3-4%. Better quality of Leads passed to Sales hence conversion increased by 1-2%. We were able to focus on genuine Contacts by the means of scoring models. Management is happy with the performance as it is only two years since we have implemented Eloqua and we are seeing immense effect. We started with a team of four people, focusing only on EMEA Region. However, seeing the kind of improvement in the process we are soon to start with other Regions and also increase in team size to explore a lot more on Eloqua.


Useful Courses:

  • Fundamentals of Emails
  • Fundamentals of Forms and Landing_Pages
  • Fundamentals of the Campaign Canvas
  • Advanced Editing and Form Processing
  • Advanced Segmentation
  • Personalizing Campaigns
  • Web Profiling
  • Custom Subscription Management
  • Lead Scoring

Background Information


The customer journey and customer-centric strategic approach are no longer "nice-to-have" but a “must- have” in any company. Previous challenges, such as not being able to connect the dots between anonymous and known interaction, are no longer a valid excuse to not know your customers. The evolution in marketing is moving towards adaptive marketing.


Marketing Challenge


In our multinational company, the current situation is that 90% of all marketing activities are focused on generating new business (MQIs and MQLs).  Our customer marketing strategy is limited to just a drip campaign to support the onboarding process. The lack of a customer-centric strategy leads high levels of churn and unsubscribes, unhappy customers and limited cross-sell and up-sell possibilities.  Our own customers are struggling to get on board with our products and make the best out of them and we are continuously ignoring the signs.



Therefore,  I have initiated the creation of a data-driven customer journey that helps us to identify which parts of the customer lifecycle have lower engagement. Furthermore, I am aiming to increase engagement through marketing automation, delivering relevant messaging at the right time through the right channel or as part of a multi-channel approach.




The first steps I took, were to put a team together, draw the customer journey and connect all the dots. To build the customer journey, it was necessary to integrate all systems, still an incredible challenge for many companies. True personalization will not be achieved if the behavior is analyzed only retrospectively. As our resources are limited, I decided to focus on the following:


  • Draw the customer journey life cycle, map it to our different channels and determine which possibilities combine data in an automation platform. This will help us to cover the entire customer journey and different communication channels.
  • Increase customer engagement by providing relevant content, at the right moment through the right channel (with re-designing onboarding campaigns, reactivation campaigns, Happy Birthday campaigns and campaigns to help decrease the levels of unsubscribing).
  • Incorporate Up-sell & Cross-Sell campaigns.
  • Generate insights on a customer journey based on data-driven personas and their engagement points.


Action Plan and Recommendations


  1.   Draw the customer journey life cycle and map it to our different channels then determine which possibilities combine data in an automation platform that covers the entire customer journey and different communication channels.


I  started by building a high-level overview, how the customer journey life cycle is mapped to our different channels. This is how it looks like for us:



2. Increase customer engagement by providing relevant content, at the right moment through the right channel


2.1 Redesigning onboarding campaigns: I  started with analyzing the performance levels of our current onboarding campaigns. The current onboarding flow is simply a drip campaign with no triggers nor personalization.  I incorporated new emails that will include triggers based on interest and engagement. For instance, if a customer clicked on a link featuring a specific functionality of our product, our next email is continuing the conversation by referring to that same functionality, by proactively asking the customer if they were able to find all the information they needed. Each e-mail finishes with a feedback button, asking to rate how helpful the e-mail was.


Here is an example of the feedback button, we are using, behind each feedback button a blind-form submit is built.

feedback button.png


Furthermore, depending on language preference in the product, customers are set to receive emails in their preferred working language. For example, those that live in the Netherlands, but their working language within our product is English, we will communicate in English instead of Dutch. We are already seeing an increase of “E-mails Open Rates” by 8% on our first email


2.2 Reactivation Campaign for Inactive Customers: I created an A/B testing with 2 e-mails sent to inactive customers for the past 4 months, testing on a different copy. We wanted to re-engage with the customers who have shown no activity and have not open any of our e-mail communication. With this simple e-mail campaign, we generated 26.91% Unique Open Rate, even though our Click-Through rates remained below 1%. We will continue with this reactivation campaign and expect to increase CTR by 5% in the next e-mail wave.


2.3 Attrition Prevention Campaigns: Those campaigns will be crucial in order to identify “customers-at-risk”. We are planning to create a trigger-based email on an indicator of potential churn to proactively engage them. In order to achieve such goal, a sophisticated personalization is required. Example engagement indicators will be:


Scenario 1:  Customer Support Ticket. A customer representative that had contact with a customer that indicates that is reconsidering their subscription.

Scenario 2: Engagement within our actual product based on action and frequency. Once the frequency of usage– customers will receive an email to encourage usage or proactively offering them help via the customer support chat.


3. Happy Birthday Campaign – This campaign is purely designed to improve customer experience and to give it a personal touch.

Here is how I set up these campaigns:   Go to Settings -> Setup - > Fields and Views




Create a New Contact field - > With the criteria shown below




Setting up an e-mail to congratulate customers on their special day by setting up a segment, with a contact field  “Birth date” (depending on our naming convention for the birthday contact field)



3.     Upsell & Cross Sell Campaigns start with designing an e-mail with a summary of your recent activities  - This is a final activity that I am planning to activate in the beginning of next year. This e-mail will be sent once a month containing different personalized customer data, based on their usage. Furthermore, will create loyalty/proficiency level engagement with the customers by providing them with levels. Based on analyzing this customer data in each of these summary e-mails, we will attach an up-sell or cross-sell proposal.




With this integrated data-driven campaigns, combining personalization and re-activation I am aiming for a holistic overview of our customer journey and identifying all possible bottlenecks. The expected results of our effort are:


  • Decrease support tickets/calls with 15% in the first quarter after launch based on personalized, newly redesigned onboarding flows.
  • Influence churn levels based on re-activation campaigns
  • Generate 10% more up-sell and cross-sell leads in the first quarter after launch of the newly designed “e-mail summary based on customer activity”


Courses that have inspired this strategy and this post:


  • RPM: Targeting & Segmentation
  • RPM: Effective Nurturing
  • Best Practices: Writing a Great Blog Post (WBT)
  • B2B: Advanced Segmentation
  • B2B: Personalizing Campaigns
  • B2B: Insight for Reporters

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