Challenge: I work with one of the leading B2B clients that holds multiple physical, virtual and partner events every year. Although my client is using Eloqua for over a year now, the platform is not used to it's maximum capabilities and the campaigns are not fully automated. Particularly for event campaigns, we were using simple campaigns to send out emails one at a time and using third party platforms to capture registrations and attendees which were never uploaded to Eloqua. This resulted in increase in man hours, campaign cost, delay in campaign deployments, data gaps, managing multiple platforms & vendors and of course reporting. Although this may look like a very basic problem, we have noticed that B2B companies using Marketing Automation face these challenges more frequently than we thought.
Goal: Since we had a lot of work to do to automate this entire process and bring every activity into Eloqua, we prioritized the tasks.
1. Create registration page and form in Eloqua to capture the registrations
2. Use blind form in the email to capture declines to the event (Not Interested)
3. Setup a multi step campaign canvas to manage all the email deployments (invitations, reminder, post event)
4. Send automatic notifications to sales to followup with their customers who have not registered to the event
5. Send reminder SMS to the registrations
6. Capture attendees and send post event emails
1. First, the current process of managing event campaigns was documented: sending invitation emails using several simple canvases, capturing registrations, sending reminder emails & capturing attendees using third party vendors. We also took an average of the cost involved in the last few events separated by physical vs. virtual
2. As a second step, we identified the gaps and what is missing in the current process: lack of automation, end to end event journey, data gaps, reporting
3. As a final step, we documented what is required to be done as a part of new process
Registration Form in Eloqua: Since we already use Eloqua to send out invitation emails, we first created the registration form and page in Eloqua. This means, we are able to capture all registrations that come from email, web and social into Eloqua. The form is also setup to trigger confirmation email automatically after the form submission. The confirmation email includes a link to ICS to save the date in their calendar. We also used Custom Data Objects in the form to save Custom information like Dietary requirements, Key Business challenges (description), Additional Comments, etc.
Blind Form: One of the major concerns from the stakeholders was, How do we manage declines? Our invitation emails should include an option where the contacts can click to decline to the event so that they wouldn't receive any further emails related to this event. Since it is a decline CTA, we used a blind form that captures all declines with a single click and the customers do not have to physically fill a form.
Multi step Campaign Canvas: We then mapped out the entire journey of the contacts from sending invitations to thank you/sorry emails. This journey was replicated in Eloqua with the help of a multi step campaign canvas.
Automatic Notification to Sales using Form Submit Cloud App: The segment not only includes contacts that are filtered based on certain criteria, but also the customers nominated by sales team. The sales team wanted to see the list of their customers who received the invitation email but never registered. We were previously sharing these details manually using excel by exporting the send data, registrations data and sorting the registrations vs customers. But with the help of Form submit cloud connector, we are now sending notifications to the sales team notifying them about their customers who have not registered, so that they can be followed up. If any of these customers show interest to register, the sales team registers these customers manually and with the help of the form processing step, "Add to campaign', these contacts re-enter the campaign to receive the reminder and post event emails. For the contacts to re-enter the campaign, we made sure the campaign settings are updated to "allow contacts to enter the campaign more than once."
SMS: The next step post-registration is to send SMS reminder one day before the event. We were initially sending the reminder emails from the third party vendor, but we decided to use SMS instead of email. This way these contacts could still continue to receive the emails from other campaigns without being excluded for receiving x number of emails within the last x days (contact exclusion rules and number of touches threshold).
Attendees: This campaign is particularly setup for physical events. At the event, we capture the attendees email addresses using an Eloqua page which then sends the attendees list to a CDO. The reason why we use CDO is because we may get some additional information at the event if there was a conversation between our team and the customer. We also made sure the page has non-mandatory fields so that new contact details can still be entered and passed to Eloqua. The attendees are flagged as Attended in the CDO status field. We then use this field comparison in the campaign canvas to send thank you and sorry emails.
Impact on business:
- This is a big leap for a company that was using traditional methods to manage event campaigns vs full automated event campaigns in Eloqua
- We were able to reduce the total cost by almost 46%
- It certainly helped us to plan and finalize the event ahead, estimate the cost of the campaign, efficient project management, planned & approved timelines
- Because we are using one campaign for the entire event, we started to associate the hot leads generated from this campaign to the campaign in CRM (Using Associate Lead to Campaign)
- The business was able to report back to the executive team on how the event performed, budgeted vs actual cost, tag the opportunities generated from this event to the campaign for closed loop reporting
- We were able to analyze the campaign performance using Insight reporting: Email Analysis Overview, Email Click Through Link Breakdown, Campaign Analysis Overview, Form submission data report and also setup automated reports to the stakeholders for the Form submission data to monitor the registrations
Helpful courses: Different courses helped us to achieve this milestone but the key courses that should be called out are:
B2B: Blind Form Submits
Eloqua 10: CRM Integrations (WBT)
B2B: Engage and Enrich
B2B: Engagement (onDemand)
B2B: Best Practices courses