Earlier this year, our B2B marketing department embarked on a journey to switch from one marketing automation platform to Eloqua. The previous platform was in a bit of neglect due to multiple teams managing it over the years and lack-luster documentation. In order to control data quality and provide reporting as requested from that system, many processes that should have been fully automated had manual steps. This included double- and triple-checking field merge data and creating individual emails per segment as opposed to using a dynamic content process.


Challenge and goal


Our challenge was to run a campaign with three different sets of 6 qualifiers resulting in 18 possible versions. Our hope was to reduce our manual creation of emails to one with the use of dynamic content. We also made it a requirement to be vigilant with our setup, implementation, and documentation of Eloqua to guarantee our future ability to be nimble with our campaigns and trustful of our data and reporting.


Benchmarking current-state


Our journey began with the first wave of a three-wave campaign to award one of three achievements to potential clients. Wave one was sent off our old platform. The system was integrated with our CRM, Contacts were loaded as Members into a Campaign with specific Statuses that were determined by sorting the data manually into the segments requested. The multiple emails were then built in the platform, rigorously tested, and the sends were triggered to each segment. We then gathered the results to compare against wave 2.


What we did


To accurately and effectively implement the different versions, much of the process took place in meeting rooms. Communication between stakeholders was key, as was agreed-upon use of naming conventions, delivery mechanisms, and timelines. Meeting with our internal client allowed us to discuss the requirements and question any details that may not be clear in to avoid issues.


The final determination of segments was as follows:

  • Job function: C-suite, Marketing, Quality-related
  • Award: Achievement 1, Achievement 2, Achievement 3
  • Final qualifier: Have they received this distinction in the past, or is this the first time?


For this campaign, we loaded our award data in to a custom object field which would allow us to filter based on the type of award, and if it had been won in the past.


We created copy and design assets and had them pre-approved, ready and waiting in a shared folder for our Eloqua platform manager, so it was easy to create the dynamic content. One change we made was to create three emails, each specific to one award, as opposed to one that would serve all three as initially planned. This made more sense in review of the content, and more easily allowed us to report on the results of each award.


In this screen grab, you can see an example of the variations as well as our naming conventions:





Some of our learnings from this send included a need to further data-cleanse certain fields in our CRM system, including the “Job Function” field. We were not able to fully utilize the system because this field was not standardized and instead, we created a custom data object for the CRM campaign member and decided on an unique status name for each segment. For the future wave 3, we will be able to segment using the "Job Function" field versus use the Campaign Status.





In comparing results, our open rate did go up, leading us to believe our customization of subject lines made an impact. Finally, this use of dynamic content was the first step towards a best-practices-based use of Eloqua, and one that we will only continue to build upon.


Recommended marketing cloud courses


Modern Marketing (MM): Email Deliverability

Engagement:  B2B: Personalizing Campaigns

Topliners posts related to dynamic content tips and tricks were also instrumental!