In our industry our prospects first need to test samples of our products. This may not be a one-off, so through Eloqua we needed a way to manage this lead follow-up process especially in respect to those recurring prospects (contacts that would need to pass through the campaign more than once). The sample testing process could take months, so we needed a campaign(s) that could handle having a contact entering multiple sample requests over time but still stay in the campaign



Our goal was to systematically gather the feedback from all of our sample requests in order to check that all were being followed up on externally and internally and of course to track the ROI. For us, the initial state was a black hole. So phase one benchmarks were simply to track - Rate (Samples Shipped / Closed Opportunities) and Value ($ Generated per # Samples Shipped)



One of the major challenges we found was that our initial campaigns were very resource intensive. We used a multi-step campaign to gather feedback from our prospects:


  • Did you receive the Sample?
  • How is your testing going – Do you need support?
  • Was your testing successful or unsuccessful? – Do you need support?


As we are in the B2B industry, a lot of our prospects come through partner channels, so many ‘prospects’ in our campaigns are actually our partners. Therefore, we had the same unique email address requesting multiple samples a month. So with our full campaign flow sometimes taking up to 6 months, we needed multiple campaigns (multiple CDOs/Emails/Fields merges etc.) to handle the frequent sample requesters.


Finally, we were able to come up with an approach that required the minimum of assets in Eloqua and could accommodate frequent requests.


Here is how we did it:


Campaign 1.0 – Multi campaign approach

  1. Start with a pilot business segment
  2. Analyze the data
  3. Build the campaign to suit
  4. Prospects enter the campaign via a program
    • Allows the same prospect to enter the campaign more than once (standard campaign/segment options do not allow a recurring segment and contact to enter the campaign more than once to be used in conjunction)
    • Send sample
    • Wait
    • Did the sample arrive/how long will you be testing for?
    • Wait
    • How was your testing – did the product meet your need?
  5. Weekly monitoring to review
  6. Build identical campaigns for repeat prospects
    • How many campaigns should you build for repeat prospects?
  7. Quarterly review
    • How are the results looking?
    • Is the campaign design optimal?
      • For us this was the big challenge.  We found the same unique email address could be ordering multiple samples a month. Because they would need to stay in the campaign for months at a time so we needed to build replicate campaigns to handle the additional sample requests
      • Time consuming and difficult to manage so many large campaigns
      • Is this optimal for the prospect to receive specific emails on each sample, or would it be better to receive an overview every month?


Campaign 2.0 – Single Campaign approach

  • After review we decided to build a ‘frequent requester’ campaign. The design in itself would be very simple. Just one email with all samples included and the prospect could reply specifically on the feedback of one particular sample. To make this happen we needed the following:
    • CDO 1: Reporting
      • Upload data with all sample requests. (creating our own unique identifier)
    • CDO 2: Running
      • When we want to send a new email, extract data from CDO 1 and transpose it in excel so each prospect has all of their data for all products on one line (allowing field merges to work). Upload into CDO 2
    • Email : Feedback on your samples
      • Field Merges from CDO 2. It is an overview of which samples a prospect has requested
      • Blind form link on the product name
        • This is the key aspect. Each link on the email is a blind form submit (including the unique identifier of the particular sample in the link)


      • Form 1: Blind form
        • A click on the email submits this form (populated fields of email address and unique sample identifier). In the processing step the form is linked to CDO 1. When the redirect to webpage happens the fields merges populate from CDO 1 (even though the email address is
          not unique on CDO 1). This allows us to populate the LP each time with the unique sample info from CDO 1


      • LP 1: Sample Feedback page for the prospect
        • Contains field merges that pull from CDO 1. This gives the prospect the current status. They can fill in form 2 to update the new status
      • Form 2: Feedback form
        • Prospect submits the form and it updates CDO 1
        • Notification is sent to the Account Manager




You can make your campaign as beautiful and detailed as you like, but if the result is not scalable or sustainable (new regions/languages, people move in and out of the team), then the campaign will eventually die. For us, the single campaign approach, even though it contains more manual steps than we would like, will be something we can easily roll out in other markets and regions and be kept running smoothly as roles change.



We have an over 40% response rate (form submissions)


How did you leverage the Topliners community when creating this campaign?

Over time I have used Topliners a lot to learn more skills about setting up blind forms, query strings, JS to prepopulate picklists


Which Oracle Marketing Cloud Academy courses have directly influenced this campaign?

B2B: Fundamentals of Forms & Landing Pages

B2B: Advanced Editing and Form Processing