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We live in a hyperconnected world. How many times have we heard that? Probably too many to count. But what does it really mean to live in a hyperconnected world?


Well to begin with, it means that we expect every action we do as customers to be part of a bigger thing. Our very own customer journey. We want to do things our way and at the same time we want companies to have a single view of us across all channels. We want our privacy respected and we desire to be in control of the relationships we maintain with companies.




The points above are still perfectly valid if we talk about B2B. There are many actions companies can do to achieve the respect customers expect. In the following paragraphs I would like to share some of the best practices companies can easily achieve with Oracle’s Eloqua:


Keep data clean. Humans make mistakes!


Having the best marketing strategy in the world will amount to nothing unless the data backing that strategy is comprehensive and up to date. Making sure we have a robust datamodel and avoiding duplicate records is a start but we also want to make sure we limit human error wherever possible.


As an example, it is a good practice to use dropdown lists for states and countries. By asking our leads to choose from a list we prevent them from stating they live in Pensylvania instead of Pennsylvania.


Keeping a clean database should not be seen as a chore as it comes with great rewards. Clean, up to date data is imperative if we want to deliver 1:1 personalization and comply with the GDPR standards.


Be relevant. I mean REALLY relevant.


The harsh truth is that customers don’t care too much about companies as a whole. They just care about some of it. Think about the intersection where their needs meet the companies’ needs. That’s where the value wedge is and that’s where the marketing strategy should focus on.


Keeping a clear and up-to-date profile of their customers (this includes asking them questions about what THEY want) and deleting from the database contacts that have been inactive for too long are some of the actions that Eloqua can help with. By doing so, some of our customers have achieved Click to open rates of up to 70%.


Drive pipeline through Progressive Profiling.


Imagine you really like someone and you want to know more about them. Most likely what you do is trying to establish a connection with them and hope to develop a relationship over time. A relationship in which you get to know them better and better through your different interactions.


In Eloqua we call this Progressive Profiling. Instead of trying to determine from day 1 whether someone is a valid match for our company, we try to develop the relationship more organically. Instead of bombarding our prospects with 20-field forms in exchange for a white paper, we might want to ask them a couple questions each time they visit our website. Yeah it might take longer but they will feel less pressed and the quality of the information they share with us will be more accurate.


In order to delve deeper into these and many other best practices, I would recommend enrolling to the official Eloqua courses from Oracle University:




By leveraging the power of Eloqua and Oracle Marketing Cloud, a multinational power management company based in Ireland managed to create a lead nurturing campaign worth $2 million in pipeline opportunities within 18 months.


These are just some examples of how Eloqua and Oracle Marketing Cloud help companies around the globe become more customer centric and relevant in today’s digital world.


Want to learn more? Check it out today!



Raúl Hernández Seda

Principal CX Sales Consultant

Oracle Digital

The Challenge

An overall company-wide challenge is to consistently increase core deposit accounts with customers, such as Checking and Savings accounts as well as Certificates of Deposit (CDs). More core accounts leads to more money coming in to a financial institution, which in turn leads to higher funds to work with for loaning money to individuals and businesses. Marketing was tasked with increasing the awareness of our company’s new Online Account Opening process that allows customers to open standard Checking and Savings Accounts and CDs all from the comfort of wherever they may be.



There were no benchmark figures for prior online account openings, because this is a brand new feature. This means no accounts had ever been opened online. It was decided to look at what how many accounts were opened in an average week, in-person. That number ranged from 150-200 per week throughout 19 different branches. Marketing’s goal was to help the company-wide challenge of increasing the overall number of core accounts by creating an email campaign that resulted in 20 online account openings per week. This number was decided upon by evenly distributing the total number of new core accounts among our 19 branches, essentially treating this online avenue of opening an account as a branch in itself and holding it to the same account opening goals as physical branches.


The Campaign

Our first task was to get the word out about this new online account opening feature. Our segment included contacts/prospects who had visited website pages that featured checking account options, savings account options, certificate of deposit options, and account rate pages. Also included in our segment were customers with a savings account and no checking account, a checking account with no savings account, any customer who has or had a CD, and mortgage customers with no other core accounts. These were the core group of individuals that seemed most fitting to introduce our new account opening feature to. We created a simple email campaign with an email describing the new process and the benefits it would have for the potential account opener. We excluded specific details and features of our core accounts but pointed email readers to our website to learn more about any account they may be interested in. A link to the account opening web page on the company website was also included in the email. This would allow for tracking of click-throughs and would help us determine interest and effectiveness of the email message.


Simple Campaign Screen Shot.PNG


Relevant Marketing Cloud Courses

There were many marketing courses that aided in the creation of this simple email campaign, I’ve only noted a few below. The Fundamentals bundle was key in the introduction of all things Eloqua and how best to use the system with all of its abilities. Modern Marketing (MM): Email Deliverability was helpful in understanding why some recipients may not be receiving the email sent, and what helps drive contact engagement.


The Impact + Conclusion

The above mentioned simple email campaign returned some results, but not quite to where our goal was set. We saw slow adoption of the online account opening process and continue to see that, but are hopeful core account opens will steadily increase over time. Part of this may be due to this being a new service that isn’t readily available with small financial institutions.


If doing this campaign over again, I would create a campaign that was not just a batch send so contacts could be continuously added as they fit within the segment criteria created. I would also not mix the segment with Mortgage Customers, Retail Customers, and Prospects. This would make for very difficult routing if this were not just a simple email campaign/ batch send and more assets were added to a campaign. This would also allow for more targeted and specific messaging in the email itself. For example, a Mortgage Customer without a core Checking Account would receive a message letting them know about a quarter percent rate decrease on their mortgage if they opened a Checking Account with us. Again, the email would contain a link sending the reader to the account opening page on our website.

Introduction to the Marketing Challenge:

The marketing challenge I was tasked with solving was creating a survey to send to clients to gather feedback on the training they had recently received. As part of the healthcare world, we help hospital systems understand various software solutions that they have purchased from our company. Once we get our clients trained, we love to hear back about how they could have received better training or to give kudos to internal folks that did a good job. The way we decided to do this was to use Eloqua to build a survey to send to clients that recently completed training. I designed a form and inserted this into a landing page with the questions we wanted to ask. Using the WYSIWYG, it was easy to create an email to send with a link to the survey. We actually ended up making three versions of the survey email to test which got the best response. Every two weeks the survey is executed from Eloqua to our most recent trainees.



Goals for Solving the Marketing Challenge:

We had goals of increasing the rate of our survey responses and automating some of the email send tasks. We also wanted to find ways to increase the average overall score the trainee gave their webinar or onsite event. We had been using Survey Monkey to track responses to our survey as well as the scores given. We had been averaging about 30% for the response rate. There were changes to the structure of the scale we used to get feedback, so it was difficult to translate average survey scores and set a baseline.


Project Approach:

The campaigns we executed out of Eloqua were initially very simple with a segment and an email element added to the campaign canvas. Later, as we got more sophisticated, we added a wait step of a week with another email sent prodding for feedback on their training (pictured).CampaignCanvas.jpgFor privacy reasons I can only share the campaign canvas, but this will evolve even more as we add automating pieces and lead scoring. The decision elements were easy to add and configure to help direct the logic on the campaign canvas. The next step we will take is to create some shared lists where we can automatically route those who respond and those that are un-engaged to appropriate campaigns where we can either nurture the relationship based on their feedback, or begin a re-engagement campaign for those who declined to answer. I have recently begun building A/B testing using shared filters and will add this as we develop content that we would like to see what works better. This will be added to the campaign canvas when it is complete.


Influential Courses:

The course that was most influential to me as I set up this campaign was the B2B Engagement (OnDemand) module. Talking about lead nurturing and how to identify and route contacts based on activity or contact data was really helpful in managing the flow of these campaigns. We still have work to do on setting this up fully, but the course has been a big help in the strategy and planning of this initiative. Our initial response rate took a dip to about 17% and we are brainstorming ways to bring this back to where it was previously. There are plenty of areas to focus on, and we are looking to implement a steady stream of changes that we can test to see how much better we are actually doing as an organization.

We are trying to personalize with more field merges and make our emails look friendly to open. We have decreased the usage of pictures in hopes that making the survey look as though it came from a manager’s Outlook and therefore be more likely to be clicked.


Leveraging Outside Help:

Topliners is great to see where people have similar questions and the very useful support of how to solve some of those issues within a community. A/B testing on the campaign canvas is one way that Topliners is crucial for getting functionality for testing various content. The blog post there has been helpful in building out the filters needed to support A/B testing.

Like most other companies that have been sending email marketing campaigns for over a decade, for many years the production process at my employer has involved manually creating and editing HTML files before uploading, testing, and sending through Eloqua. If after the upload to Eloqua, major edits and/or layout changes needed to be made to each email, the HTML file would have to be edited outside of Eloqua and reuploaded. This process was both inefficient and required specialized HTML coding knowledge, resulting in bloated production costs to the business. Through my Eloqua Marketing Master and Luminary training, I was introduced to many of the Eloqua tools that helped to eliminate or vastly reduce some of the time and labor costs in email production.


The Challenge: Our Marketing Automation team did not have the headcount to manually build all the HTML emails required to support the business. The previous solution was to have Marketers outsource the email production, which was costly and involved a high turnaround time, even for small changes.


The Goal: The main goal of the initiative was to drastically reduce (-50%-75%) the need for outsourcing email production, as well as to reduce the turnaround time for email production and testing, and to give Marketers without coding knowledge more control over their emails.


Current State Documentation: Through analyzing turnaround time for production tickets, we were able to determine that the average production time before the strategic initiative was 3-5 days.


Under a new strategic initiative, my team decided to migrate from manually built HTML emails to “modular” emails using Eloqua’s Email Template tools. Combining the functionality of modular templates with dynamic content, we are able to create more personalized and targeted emails more efficiently and effectively.


Initiative Steps:


  1. Meet with stakeholders and agree on our main goals, processes, and timelines
  2. Using Email best practices, build and test HTML Template with Eloqua Tags (example: <div elq-delete="true" elq-edit="true">)
  3. Roll-out of new templates and on-boarding Marketers to migrate from manual HTML emails to templated emails
  4. Analyze template performance and user experience (Eloqua Analytics Insights and stakeholder surveys)
  5. Iteration and improvement of email templates.

Using email templates, Marketers now have the capacity to easily create their own customized branded emails, eliminating the need for external email production assistance, and greatly reducing the lead time necessary for the Marketing Automation (MA) team to build, edit, and QA emails.




The key advantages of using email templates are:



No html/css code knowledge is necessary to use the email template

Teams with no email technical support can create and edit their own emails



Handoff is made extremely easy by sharing a unique Eloqua link.
Multiple people can view and/or work on the same email without the back and forth of emailing HTML files, reducing email volume and ensuring multiple versions are not being created or edited, decreasing inefficiencies caused by duplicate efforts.



Marketers are now able to create, edit, and test emails, allowing for multiple revisions and iterations without the added production time of sending work requests to internal or external teams. By testing emails themselves, marketers can spot errors and tweaks before handing off the final versions. This dramatically reduces production time by eliminating the repetitive testing and approval process for emails that require only minor changes.




75-90% Elimination of Email Production Outsourcing

Time Saved: 50-75% Production Time*Turnaround Time: < 1 day (vs 3-5 days)
*Production Time Includes: QA, testing, campaign set-up, and elapsed time (avg. 1 day each) between testing(s), edits, and approvals (vs previous 7 days).



Rather than wasting time translating changes for an outside reader with lengthy word docs, screenshots, arrows, etc., Marketers can make the exact changes needed directly in the email, increasing efficiency and accuracy and reducing lead time and frustration.


Relevance (Right Time, Right Message)

Marketers can now easily add or edit messages themselves, helping to ensure they are providing their audiences with the most relevant, timely, and engaging content.


Although migrating to Eloqua templates involved quite a bit of work initially, including creating the templates, drafting process documents, and training marketing stakeholders, the end result of vastly easier, more efficient and timely email creation and editing was well worth the effort. I look forward to exploring more email design features as Eloqua rolls them out.

Eloqua Courses:

Marketing Challenge

A key priority for the marketing team was to improve our demand generation results by redefining our strategy to personalize and target our prospects and customers with our company offerings and solutions.

Current state documentation
At the beginning, we documented our current state, which was isolated efforts, with no big impact; we didn't understand where the leads were coming from, basically not very efficient. So, we started by defining our objective -- build a strategy that can help our team: generate awareness about our solutions, deliver high qualified leads to sales and move prospects through the sales funnel in a scaleable way.


Project Approach

We agreed that webinars was the option. It’s a great way to boost engagement with our audience, as well as creating new revenue streams and by doing a series of webinars in different languages for all the region, we could have a huge impact. The key was to have all the webinars following the same project plan, path, structure, and templates to improve delivery times.


As a team, we carry out a research of webinar’s best practices, so we can have a baseline for our metrics, by using the industry standards we were able to measure how good or bad our initiative was going.Here some of our baseline metrics:

  • Invited to Registered ~22%
  • Registered to Attended ~35%
  • Engagement (Social, Chat, Survey, Q&A) ~30%
  • On-Demand (Recorded/gated) ~ 33%
  • Webinar Lead to Opportunity ~15%


*Source 2017:

*Source 2018:

However, in order to deliver a good plan we worked together in several elements to ensure the quality of the deliverables:

  • Project template that includes tasks, responsible and a checklist of all the steps that have to be done in order to launch successfully a webinar
  • Calendar: a full repository of all upcoming webinars and On-Demand
  • Webinar integration: we decided to use Gotowebinar cloud app
  • Eloqua templates: Campaign canvas, Email, Landing Pages, Forms that include Social Sign-on



Example of the Campaign Canvas with all the webinar elements



  • Backup plan: What to do if something does not work as planned?
  • Webinar structure
  • Lead scoring: profile and engagement definition for each action related to webinars
  • Promotion plan: the time for the date/time sends were defined for each region/language according to best practices


Automating webinars has helped my region influence our business and scale our marketing efforts. Here are some of the results:

  • Growing 16X the numbers or registration for webinars VS last year in less than six Months
  • Including Lead scoring has helped us growth 5X the numbers of MALs and 4X the numbers of Marketing Qualified Leads
  • By now we have an attendance rate of 39%, above the industry standard, and we continue tracking our metrics to keep improving


By doing this initiative, I had the chance to remove the grunt work and allow me and my team to be more productive. As with any other marketing technique, automated webinars come with a learning curve, over the time and following the best practices, you will not notice when you master it.


Eloqua Courses
In addition to the industry best practices, I did use the content posted on Topliners related to webinars and also
the content of the following Oracle University courses. I could not have done it without these courses:



Tips for Small Teams

Posted by Sarah_Fischer Jun 8, 2018

Like the companies they support, Marketing teams come in all shapes, sizes and budget constraints.  If your team is huge with a massive budget, that's awesome! Live long and prosper! But if you find yourself on a small team or (like me) are the sole Eloqua master of your company, your role can feel daunting and difficult at times. I understand and I'm with you.  Come in to my world for some tricks for maximizing the value of a small team and digital tools that help me succeed in my role and feel less overwhelmed.


First of all, let me introduce you to my team.  Together we make up the Marketing Department for a $600 million company with three brands in the US and Canada.


Marketing Director

Marketing Specialist

Web Developer and Designer

Copywriter and Editor

Marketing Automation Specialist (that's me!)




Project Management

Project management meme.jpg

The primary benefit of a small marketing team is the ability to turn projects around quickly and adapt to change, but keeping track of projects remains a pain point. Has a campaign ever fallen behind schedule because an asset was eaten by your already bloated inbox? I've been there!  However, since employing a project management software, we now direct all our workflows and approval stages outside of email, ensuring that nothing gets lost in the shuffle and deadlines are clear for all parties involved.  We've also improved our Sales project request process by using an Eloqua landing page and form with clear requirements and turnaround expectations. The form submission notifications go to leadership in both Marketing and Sales to ensure that both parties can approve the project before we put it on our calendar.  Every Monday morning, the team gathers for 15 minutes to run through projects they're working on, guaranteeing that everyone has what they need from other members.@@



Email Development

Spam hogwarts_meme.jpg

While I know enough HTML to be dangerous, I am not the coding wizard I wish I was.  However, using an email builder platform that integrates directly with Eloqua has turned me into the Harry Potter of coding! This tool has enabled me to quickly crank out professional looking emails without access to a full-time developer. For more technical HTML questions, I often turn to W3 Schools for free tutorials in a sandbox environment.


While it's common sense that you should create templates for frequently used emails like survey requests and invitations, I'll reiterate that the practice is truly a time saver and your team will be so impressed by your speedy asset building.



Other Resources


I subscribe to a handful of thought leadership blogs on Email Marketing and I believe that Relationship One deserves special praise for their diverse topics.  When first learning how to use custom objects, for example, this post was a lifesaver.  Of course, I would be remiss to not shout out the Topliners Community for generating great content and questions alike.


I've also taken full advantage of the free resources Oracle provides including performing regular Database Health Checkups, escalating technical issues via my lovely, patient CSM, and a full campaign audit by one of their Client Services Specialists.  If you're lucky enough to have an Eloqua user group in your area, I highly recommend that you attend.  No matter if you're a clueless newbie like I was or a sure-footed master like I am now (just kidding - far from it), you will connect with other marketers to troubleshoot problems and brainstorm campaign ideas.



Dream team_meme.jpg

While we can't all have an unlimited budget, we can still provide a great marketing program by being adaptive to changing priorities and using digital aids wisely. For me, that may mean focusing less on platform-wide enhancements in exchange for getting an important Sales communication out or putting my data cleansing project on hold to help create a survey for a new product launch.


When it comes to maximizing the value of your Marketing team, be sure to leverage the skills that each individual brings to the table.  Look for opportunities to connect with other businesses in your area that are launching similar campaigns or campaigns you want to be launching in the future. Don't forget that being a small team often means you can be nimble and part of that includes having the courage to drop projects that aren't yielding results.

Now it's your turn: are you a single Eloqua user for your company?  What helps you drive the results you want to see?  What are your biggest challenges and how can the Topliners Community best support you?

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