Describe the marketing challenge you were trying to solve with your campaign or strategic initiative.

Our company acquired a smaller company, and was tasked with integrating their systems with our corporate instance of Eloqua.  Alongside an overall system migration to Eloqua, we were tasked with handling this business unit’s unique way of processing leads who download a trial of one of our software products.  This BU uses a home-grown CRM/invoicing system, created before they were acquired. Leads would click a download button on the website, download and install a .exe Installer, and then select products they were interested in from there.  A form to collect user information lived in the Installer, rather than on the website, and sent data to the home-grown system.  The Installer is integral to the products and how they are downloaded and accessed, as well as provides information to the invoicing system and details about how people are using the products, so the company could not easily be switched away from this.


Having this form on a user’s machine caused several challenges, however.  First, the data was not going into Eloqua.  We could not segment off of it, we could not add contacts to the database, and we could not create leads for sales to follow-up on.  The BU ran entirely off of names collected from this in-product form, so we needed to figure out a way to integrate it with Eloqua. By integrating with Eloqua, all of these challenges could be solved.


What goals did you set at the start of your campaign to validate success?

Success was defined as:

  1. Getting trial installation information into Eloqua
  2. Getting purchase information into Eloqua
  3. Using the trial installation information to create leads in Salesforce


How did you benchmark or document your current state?

We started off by walking through and understanding the current process.  Leads navigated to the website, chose to download a trial of a product, and then downloaded and installed our Installer.  From there, leads chose the products to install on their machine, submitted a form, completed installation of the products, and then were redirected to a web page.


On the backend, the in-installer form submit was creating a record called an “Order Detail” in the home-grown CRM system.  Sales people were then using this CRM system and the Order Detail records and following up on all new names created.


Describe your campaign or initiative and the steps you followed to implement.

The first thing that we had to do was to get the Order Detail records into Eloqua.  A Custom Data Object was created with all the fields collected in the home-grown CRM system, a form was set up in Eloqua, and an API was set up to push data from the CRM into the Eloqua form.  The form then contained a processing step to add records into the CDO. The submitted records were set up with a Unique Identifier other than email for the CDO, so edits made to the trials could write back into Eloqua, and one user could have multiple trials recorded.  Records were also set up with a checkbox that indicated whether something was active or not in the CRM.  This checkbox would be updated and turned on/off depending on the current status of the trial.  We also constructed this same process for purchase information.




Next, lead creation had to be set up for these trial products.  Campaign canvases were created in Eloqua – one for each trial product (15 total).  A processing step was added to the form to send the right trial product into the trial product campaign.  This campaign was necessary because some exclusions had to be built in before a lead gets created – exclusions for multiple trials downloaded during the same time period, or for existing customers of a product who might be downloading a trial to check out new features after a release.  The campaign checks for these exclusions, and then moves the record into a Program Builder Program if it is not excluded.



In Program Builder, an update rule first writes all of the necessary information to the contact record for lead creation in Salesforce: our campaign ID, Member status, etc.  Then, the record gets scored and sent to Salesforce via our standard Integration program.


We also use the after-exclusions contacts to feed a series of Trial Nurture programs running on the Campaign Canvas in Eloqua.  These nurture programs last the duration of a leads’ 30-day trial, and provide helpful information and tips and tricks to improve conversion rates at the end of the trial.


Which marketing cloud courses have directly influenced this campaign?

B2B: Advanced Segmentation

B2B: System Integration

B2B: Advanced Editing and Form Processing

B2B: Effective Marketing with Custom Objects


How has this campaign impacted your business?

Our business is built completely on this new model.  A trial is the MQL definition for this business unit, so nearly all Marketing-sourced pipeline ($13M) passes through this set up.  This project also tied closely to a migration for the business unit sales reps to our corporate instance of Salesforce.


Is there anything you would have done differently? Or elements you would change as you go forward?

Moving forward, there is still a lot that can be done.  Since we are a high-volume business, the CDOs have grown incredibly large (almost 5 million records!).  Cleanup needs to be done on these, and a Program set up to delete records when they get old, or to delete trial records once someone has purchased.  I also would have architected the data-pass for the trials slightly differently, increasing the API sync speed to every five minutes instead of every 15 minutes.  This would get our leads to sales much faster than they are currently.


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

Topliners has always been a helpful resource when odd questions have come up through the project. Questions have been about the Bulk API, about how people are using Custom Object records in Program Builder processing, and more.  It was interesting to read about the experiences others have had, and determine if this is the best route for us to take, or if something different should be pursued.