Our organization implemented Eloqua in January of 2017, with no previous marketing automation in place. Working in a competitive industry, we struggle to determine when someone is interested and when "the right time" is for sales to reach out to potential customers. I wanted to find a way to excite staff and provide digital prospects to pass along as leads to our sales staff. With Oracle's Eloqua, I've found a process that works for my organization and may be helpful for yours as well.
Being in a competitive industry, we know that most research (about 70%) is done online before purchasing decisions are made. We needed a way to listen to "digital body language" in order to gauge interest into our company, as well as provide information about products and services and to answer questions. Additionally, our sales staff is constantly looking for new prospects and leads. Marketing didn't have a streamlined way to listen to that digital body language to properly nurture those that are researching, until we implemented Eloqua.
Our goal was simple. Identify and contact website visitors with an email while in the research or "Interest" and "Awareness" funnel stage and develop a nurture campaign that converts specific (and more profitable) website visitors to our company.
Since we had not historically tracked website conversions, we didn't have benchmarks to go off. Our first step was to benchmark how many website form requests we had from the previous year. The numbers were relatively low compared to website visits received. From that point, we were able to say we wanted to be able to increase the number of prospects given to sales by 10% when we first implemented Eloqua. Since we didn't have lead scoring implemented, this goal would help us determine what types of leads are most desirable to our sales staff. Additionally, since I wasn't sure, I set the same goals for both our business and retail staff.
- B2B (Business 2 Business or Business Customers) Goals - increase prospects by 10%
- B2C (Business 2 Consumer or Individual Customers) Goals - increase prospects by 10%
Making sure our website was properly tagged and tracking visitors was crucial for this campaign. The code was simple to retrieve through Eloqua. Our SmartStart implementation team was able to provide that script to us and our 3rd party website vendor was able to install it quickly. We had our tracking script on for almost 2 full months before attempting to generate new prospects via our website visits because we needed time for our contacts to build.
Once the tracking script had time to run, we were able to filter criteria within segments for key pages on our website. This was done by creating filter criteria within a segment called "Visited Websites" at least 1 time within the last week. Website pages were chosen by the website pages of most desirable products and services by our sales staff. Examples of both segments can be seen below. Our sales staff found this very interesting and became very engaged within the campaign once they could see tangible evidence of website visitors looking at various pages.
Our consumer (B2C) campaign consisted of the segment above which identified targeted website visitors. I chose to add members regularly until the campaign is deactivated with a re-evaluation frequency of 1 hour. I put a wait step for 1 business day so emails didn't come immediately after the contact visited the website, then triggered an email to those visitors with a special offer for opening a new account. An evaluation period was set, and after 5 business days, non-responders (contacts that didn't open the email) received a second email reminder about the special offer. People that responded to our special offer were added into a shared list. We wanted to keep these people easily identified in a list so we can create future nurturing campaigns. Non-responders simply dropped out of the campaign.
Our B2B campaign consisted of the segment above which identified a website visitor with a 3 day wait step. Again, the segment was created to add members regularly until the campaign is deactivated with a re-evaluation frequency of 1 hour. After 3 days of visiting any of our selected business product pages, an email was triggered to invite the contact to attend an upcoming continuing education event that were links within an Eloqua landing page. The landing page included a form that consisted of email, first name, last name, and business name. The form included conditions within the processing steps, so if the Eloqua form was completed, a thank you for registering email was sent. I considered a form submission from a non-customer a prospect. If the email recipient didn't sign up, another reminder email was sent that directed them to our "Meet our staff" page which includes a short video explaining continuing education events offered.
This is an ongoing nurturing campaign that we actually still have running. But in the 4th quarter of 2017, we found that we exceeded our initial goals to increase prospects.
In one quarter (4th Quarter 2017)
- B2B (Business Customers) - increased prospects passed to sales by 11%
- B2C (Individual Customers) - increased prospects passed to sales by 15%
Increased leads to sales help us not only fill our continuing education events, but helps us identify website visitors while they are in the research funnel phase. At the time of this blog post, it was unknown how many converted to actual customers, but continual tracking and benchmarking will allow us to see how many of those converted and how long our customer sales cycle really is.
Eloqua is helping us achieve these goals, which would have been impossible without the ability of website tracking scripts.
Additional goals from this campaign are to now build upon this campaign to nurture even further. We are working toward creating a landing page with video resources about our events as well as products and services. This campaign will also help us create customer personas since working with sales allowed us to determine what an "ideal customer" looks like. I hope to implement Profiler in the near future so we can share even more marketing data with sales staff!
B2B: Targeting; B2B: Engagement; MM: Revenue Performance Management