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Marketing Challenge:

As a B2B company within the insurance space, we tend to have a very long sales cycle. It has been a vital part of our marketing team's strategy to educate our prospects and build a relationship with them. In order to accomplish this, we host about 20 webinars and seminars each year. The problem we’ve had is getting our prospects to attend. At the end of the day, our sales folks are the ones who have the personal relationships with these people and most of them only attend if sales personally invites them. The major problem: sales does not always promote our events to their prospects, or as they put it, they “don't have time.”

 

My Goal: Utilize Eloqua and create a strategy to automate our webinar and seminar invites so they come from our salesmen and women. We looked at our data on attendance over the past 3 years and set some benchmarks for each individual event with an overall goal of increasing the number of prospects who attend our webinars and seminars.

 

My Strategy: Use signature rules and a signatures layout to have all seminar/webinar invites come from the salesperson who owns each prospect inside our CRM. Additionally, I'll be using a custom field merge to include a discount code in each email. These discount codes are very important as each salesperson has a unique code to give to prospects that allows them to attend our events for free. In short, marketing will send invitations to our prospects on-behalf of our salespeople.

 

How I Accomplished This:

First, I needed to have Eloqua pull the salesperson who owned each contact from our CRM. This involved adding the CRM contact record owner field to our retrieve contacts external call, then mapping the CRM "owner" field to the Eloqua Salesperson field via the Get Contact Auto-Sync. This requires advanced knowledge of your CRM/Eloqua Integration. You can find about this in the Oracle Eloqua CRM Integrations course.

Get Contacts example.png

 

After Eloqua was pulling all the information I needed from CRM, I had to set up email signature rules. I did this by setting the CRM field value for each salesperson and matched the email sender to the corresponding Eloqua user. Make sure to set a default sender in the event a contact is not assigned a salesperson. I used our director of sales.

Please note: The "Email Sender" is a list of your Eloqua users. Our salespeople have access to Eloqua Sales Tools so they already had Eloqua users set up.

Signature Rule.png

Next, I created a signature layout that is identical to the one our salespeople use in their email signatures. This was done by adding user fields to my signature layout. You can find out more information regarding email signature rules and layouts in the Personalizing Campaigns course.

Signature Layout.png

 

The next step involved creating a new Eloqua contact field that would allow me to add the Salesperson's Discount Code to each contact record. Once the new field was created, I created a program that allows Eloqua to update the discount code field on newly created contact records that come over from our CRM. This was the most challenging part for me, and it probably deserves its own blog post. I heavily recommend checking out the Program Canvas course and checking in with the Topliners community for additional information on program builder and improving the quality of your data.

 

Once the discount codes were inside each contact record I created a field merge so these could be added to my invitation emails.

Field Merge.png

 

Next, I created my webinar invitation emails inside the email editor. I personalized the language in the body of the email, applied field merges for the contacts first name and salesperson discount code. Finally, I added the signature to the bottom of the email.

Sample Email.png

 

Once all my assets were created I built my campaign canvas and configured each element. Most importantly, I made sure to configure my invitation emails with the dynamic signature rules I built earlier. Once everything was finished, I tested, then scheduled the campaign to go out.

Canvas Sample.png

 

Results

We have only begun utilizing this strategy, once I have more data to share I will update this section.

 

What I can say is this type of campaign was just a dream for our marketing team before taking the courses offered through Oracle University. The education team really provides you with the foundation to build whatever you want inside Eloqua.

During my Luminary training, a project for my team came up that required using a blind form submit. We wanted a link in a campaign thank you email that automatically subscribed someone to an email group and directed them to a landing page that displayed the subscription's success. After learning about this project I went into the video courses for the Luminary training & the next video in my queue to watch was one about blind form submits! So in this blog post, I am going to talk about how I was able to use what I learned from that video to create a blind form submit for our campaign.

 

First of all, I will introduce the project that needed a blind form submit:

 

Here is a photo of the section of our email where the blind form submit was needed. We had a sign up link for people who donated to our campaign to be able to sign up for a monthly newsletter to keep in touch with what is going on in the school they donated to.

 

Screen Shot 2019-08-08 at 10.23.12 AM.png

 

We wanted the user to be able to simply click on the sign up button & be automatically subscribed to the Reach newsletter and then routed to a landing page that looked like this:

 

Screen Shot 2019-08-08 at 10.25.59 AM.png

As I am sure you know by this point, we used a blind form submit to make this happen.

 

Here is how I created the blind form submit (and how you can too!) and implemented it into the email:

 

  1. Create a new form. This form is pretty simple because only need it to do a few things:
    • Collect the contact's email address (the same one that this link was sent to)
    • Add that email address to a program that will subscribe them to the Reach newsletter
    • Redirect them to the confirmation landing page.

    2. Add a hidden field that has a field merge to collect the user's email address. Here is a screenshot of what mine looked like:

Screen Shot 2019-08-08 at 10.30.28 AM.png

 

     3. Update the processing steps

    •      Here I just added a step that adds the contact to the correct program and a step that redirects them to the correct landing page.

     4. After the form was created (and saved) I began to work on the blind form submit link.

    •      Here is the sample link that you can start with to create your own blind form submit link: http://s[siteID].t.eloqua.com/e/f2.aspx?elqFormName=[FormName]&elqSiteID=[siteID]&emailAddress=~~eloqua..type--emailfield..syntax--EmailAddress..innerText--EmailAddress..encodeFor--url~~

     5. In your form, click on Actions —> View Form HTML —> Integration Details. From there find the Site ID (in the 2nd box on this page) and paste it in the link where it says "[siteID]" (be sure to delete the brackets).

     6. Then go back to your form's general settings to find the HTML Name.    

    • NOTE: The HTML name can be changed, however you will need to save your form for this to take effect and for your link to work with the new name.

     7. Go back to your email where you want the blind form submit to happen & paste your link on your button.

     8. Send a test email to yourself, and test the button! From here it should work.

    • NOTE: If you test the link on it's own, you will get this error:

Screen Shot 2019-08-08 at 10.38.55 AM.png

 

This is because the link ONLY works if it is linked to an email that is being communicated to Eloqau through the field merge (Eloqua can't unsubscribe someone if they do not have their email address).

     9. You're Done!

 

It was perfect timing that I got to the course on Blind Form Submits when I did. The course helped to simplify a daunting process and created an opportunity for my team to implement a new idea that makes things easier on our users.

There are many reasons to build a custom subscription preference center. If you would like to record unsubscribe reasons, record a null/undecided subscription value, create a responsive and customized web page or record custom information about the source campaign--these are all valid reasons to build a custom page. The following are instructions on the build-out of the skeleton of a custom subscription center, but you can use CSS to customize the landing page look and feel.

 

For our specific use case, we implemented a 3rd option of a null/undecided subscription value to be in compliance with GDPR and more stringent email compliance laws. We set to create a custom preference system that was on a responsive landing page as well as could handle the different opt-in response values.

 

We leveraged this Topliners deck on the basic steps: https://community.oracle.com/docs/DOC-1021821. Here are some tips and tricks we’ve learned along the way.

 

Components:

  • Form
  • Landing page for subscription center form
  • Confirmation landing page


Note: You will want to name the form something descriptive as this will show up as a form fill in the activity section of the Profile iframe.


Form: Create a form to host your email group subscriptions as well as an option to unsubscribe from all email groups.


Fields:

  • Email Address (pre-pop)
  • Email Group 1
  • Email Group 2
  • Email Group 3
  • Unsubscribe from all


Form processing steps:

  • Update Contacts - With Form Data
    • Always, Map Email Address
  • Email Group - Subscribe Unsub (For your subscribed)
    • Conditionally, if checkbox has value of exactly “on”
  • Email Group - Subscribe Unsub (For your unsubscribed)
    • Conditionally, if checkbox has value is blank
  • Unsubscribe Contacts Globally
    • Conditionally, if checkbox with unsubscribe from all has value of exactly “on”
  • Redirect to Web Page

Note: For conditionally processing steps, click conditionally and select form fields and add your conditions (either checkbox field is exactly “on”/subscribed or blank/unsubscribed)

 

Landing Pages:

Build a landing page to host your form and a confirmation page to insert as the form processing step for redirect to a web page.

 

The confirmation page should show the email address and confirmation of their subscription preferences.

 

Note: Form fills for this subscription management center will show up in Insights reports as conversions as they are set up as forms. Oracle Eloqua will address this in a future update.

 

Finally, you will need to edit your footers to include the new subscription center link.

Working in a large international company where many different people have access to Eloqua and are creating Email Assets for campaigns, it is hard to ensure everything always complies with the company's Look & Feel.

To ensure all Emails that are being created align with company branding we created several Email Templates that are now the starting point for every email creation done within Eloqua. Having several different templates setup makes creating Email Assets easier and faster, also for those individuals who do not work with Eloqua on a daily base.

 

With the implementation of the new Eloqua Responsive Email Editor, our previous email templates needed to be updated. To become familiar with the new Responsive editor I reviewed the “UPDATED Fundamentals of Emails” videos from the “Eloqua Master - 2019 UPDATED 19B” learning path and created the following guide on Creating Email Templates using the new Eloqua Responsive editor to help converting our old templates.

 

With the new Email Templates in place, everybody in the organization with the proper Eloqua permissions can now easily and quickly create Email assets for their campaigns that are fully aligned with company branding, no matter their experience level in Eloqua.

 

Creating an Email Template using the new Eloqua Responsive Email editor

 

Step 1: Setup Email Layout Framework

 

Starting from a blank responsive email, your first objective is to define the layout of your email template.

Start by adding several Layout blocks to the canvas keeping in mind the intended Content that they will host. Eloqua provides the possibility to select between 1 to 4 column layout blocks. In this example I’ve inserted 3 one-column and 1 two-column layout blocks.

Eloqua Layout Blocks.png

Layout blocks can be recognized by the orange outline when selected and can be adjusted after placement.

 

Layout block editing options:

Move Layout.png Move the layout block to a different area in the email design

Add Column.png

Add an additional column to the layout block

Change Width.png Change colums width (keep decreasing the width to remove a column)

Duplicate Layout Block.png Duplicate layout block

Remove Layout Block.png Remove layout block

 

 

Step 2: Place your Content blocks


With content blocks you define the content type you want to use within the layout blocks. The content block option you can choose from are:

  • Text
  • Image
  • Button
  • Divider
  • Spacer
  • Shared Content
  • Signature
  • Dynamic Content
  • Custom Code


Start placing the content blocks inside your layout blocks. You can add multiple content blocks within a single layout block (one on top of the other, never side-by-side).

In this example I’ve inserted 6 Text, 2 Image, 1 button and 1 Spacer (under the button).

Eloqua Content Blocks.png

Content blocks can be recognized by the blue outline when selected and have just a few editing options after placement.

 

Content field editing options:

Move Content.png Move the content block around to either the order or to move the content block to a different layout block column
Duplicate Content.png Duplicate content block

Remove Content.png Remove content block

 

 

 

Step 3: Configuring Content Blocks

 

Use your corporate logo, colors, font and style guidelines to give your Email a Look & Feel that aligns with your brand.


Start by adding your pre-defined Header and Footer components.

Then add your corporate logo the Email design.

Configure background colors for specific Content Blocks and set your text styles: font, size, color.

Add pre-defined dynamic content information if available. If you always use the same contact information using a text content block will also do just fine (as done in the below example).

And finally, insert Firstname Fieldmerge with the email salutation (if desired) to ensure consistent email salutation for all your email comunications.

 

Email Template.png

 

Step 3a: Adding CSS

 

For an even higher degree of consistent formatting in your emails you can add CSS coding to your template. With CSS you can “hard-code” your Email text styles for example by defining standard font-family, font-size & color for the different text styles used in your emails (Body, Header 1, Header 2, Header 3 etc.) and hyperlink colors. On the internet you can find many standard CSS codes that you can modify according to your needs.


In Eloqua, to add CSS code to your Email design click on the Paint Brush icon and go to the Advanced Styles section. When you click the "Add" button a new window opens where you can paste your customized CSS code.

CSS Editor.png

 

NOTE: Not all email clients play nice with CSS

 

 

Step 4: Save As Template and Manage Templates

 

Once you have your baseline design ready you can “Save As Template” and the Email design will now appear as a template when people hit “create an email” in the Assets section of Eloqua. Using Manage Templates you can “lock” certain elements in your email template for editing to prevent users to accidently modifying elements that should not be tempered with (eg. Dynamic content, Email Headers and Footers).

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