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The main challenge

We had to constantly deactivate the campaigns to reconfigure it, in order to meet campaign expectations, this because of incomplete information, and also, we didn't  have a standard process for our campaigns. That is why we started to use templates, which replicates successful campaigns, and testing them until we found balance.

What to keep always in mind:

There are few things you should always take in mind when creating a Nurture campaign for the first time. After you run a successful nurture campaign, you can replicate it in upcoming campaigns with just having to do minor edits to the selected template.

Note: Not all campaigns works the same way but within the organization they may be similar.

There are two main points you need to have clear


First, you need to think if you want to be constantly editing the campaign, or it should be a complete automated campaign. What is better? if you have the tools, just go with a complete automated campaign.

Note: You may need to have all the campaign information and assets before having a complete automated campaign. If you are not the responsible of planning the campaign, the responsible should give you all required information before activating the campaign.


Second, You have to understand what is the purpose of the campaign and what are the expected results.


Campaign templates based on my experience


(We use this campaign templates in 2 of the 4 Eloqua installs our organization manage.)


Assuming you already have all required assets, we may go into the campaign templates.

There are two ways of doing this, saving the campaign as a template, or recreate the campaign which will take some time and increases the possibilities of making mistakes.

In this case the campaign will be divided in two, one will be a data campaign which will send the information to Salesforce, and the main campaign in which you send the emails and take decisions with some filters.

Main campaign


Image 1

In the Image 1, we show an example of the main campaign with less steps, this is depending on the campaign, as not all the campaign requires the same amount of steps.

  1. Main Segment List, and Seed List
  2. Send Email 1 Step
  3. A shared  filter with an evaluation period, this filter will look if the contact did open the CTA (Filter is comparing if contact visited a webpage).
  4. A wait step with just few minutes period after the "No" path, this wait step is added as a best practice in case there is an issue configuring the shared filter, preventing the contacts to flow to the next step immediately.
    • Contacts who didn't opened the CTA
      1. Send email 2 Step
      2. Shared Filter with evaluation period
      3. Wait step
      4. Add members to a no responder shared list. (this shared list will be used to include people to future campaigns, or add them to an specific campaign to re-target, they may be interested in the product or services of the organization but not in the offered in the actual campaign)
      5. Wait step to easily track members for a period of time
        • Note: Steps 1, 2, and 3, may be repeated depending on how many emails you have for the campaign.
    • Contacts who did opened the CTA
      1. Add to campaign step
      2. 2 days wait step. This step is to guarantee that the contact is not going to receive a second email within the same day, or the next day.
      3. Send Email 1v (more valuable content), this email is schedule to be delivered only on Tuesday or Thursday
      4. Wait step
      5. Sen Email 2v inviting them to contact or ask for a demo
      6. Shared list filter with evaluation period
        • "No" path
          1. Add members to a Responder but not engaged shared list
          2. Wait step
        • "Yes" path
          1. Add to campaign step
          2. Wait step


Data campaign


Image 2

Note: You may have this setup within the main campaign, but will be more difficult to configure

In image 2, we show the basic data campaign that will send the action to Salesforce (Responder, Registered, Viewed the PDF, ...)

  1. Wait step
  2. Contacts may enter the campaign through an "add to campaign" step, directly from a form (view Image 3), or through a segment which will bring contacts from specific shared list, in this last case, members will be included periodically and may not enter the campaign more than once. This last option is not recommended, as you may have more than one Salesforce actions within the same campaign and you may want to track all members actions.



          Image 3


   3. Shared filter which evaluates if the contact has a lead or Contact Salesforce Id

    • Lead or Contact Id
      1. Salesforce Campaign association Step, which will be configured depending on the action and settings of the Salesforce campaign.
      2. Wait Step
    • No Lead and Contacts Id
      1. Add to program step, which will see if the contact has the minimum profile information to go to Salesforce (this is defined by the organization) if it does, then a Lead id will be generated.
      2. Shared filter, with evaluation period (So you give time to ELQ to process in case there are server issues), which reevaluates if the contact has a lead or Contact Salesforce Id
        • Lead or Contact Id
          1. Salesforce Campaign association Step
          2. Wait Step
        • No Lead and Contacts Id
          1. Add to shared list to track people who interacted with the campaign, but because they don't have the complete information, they were not sent to Salesforce
          2. Wait Step

Note: Even if there is a main integration with ELQ and Salesforce, and there are some calls within the ELQ integration and program builder, some of the actions are easily processed through the campaign steps.

What we gained having these campaign templates:

Thanks to these simple templates, and following some best practices, we started to have standard process for building the campaigns, which led us to have almost all campaigns automated. Now we spend less time creating and also reconfiguring the running campaigns, letting us focus on analyzing and comparing results, which give us a good idea on how to plan upcoming campaigns. We need to revisit the campaign templates periodically and depending on results, minor tweaks are done.


Some best practices to have in mind:


  1. Understand the purpose of the campaign
  2. Have a clear idea of what are the expected results
  3. Make sure you have all the required information (you may have a check list)
    • What are the assets needed?
    • Do you have all images and content for the Landing Page?
    • What are the minimum required fields for the form?
    • How many emails are you sending? Do you have all the Images and content?
    • What are the actions you need to take depending on interaction?
    • Where is the database you are sending the emails to? are you creating the segment depending on certain criteria? what’s that criteria?
    • Do you really need to gate all the content?
    • Is this campaign integrated with Salesforce?
  4. Do some A/B testing to make sure your email templates works as you expected
  5. opt-out option should be always be present in all emails
  6. When creating the segment, make sure you have the filter to remove Hard Bounces and Un-Subscribes, you may also remove contacts who have no interactions with our campaigns in the last x time. (View Image 4)
  7. If you are the responsible of the planning, share with your team and listen to what they have to say about the campaign
  8. If you are not the responsible of the planning, ask the team to involve you on the process so you can share our ideas and suggestions


Image 4

It’s also important to make sure all content is accurate and relevant, you may have a really good configuration, but if you don’t have the right content to send to the right audience, you won’t get the expected results. Remember that not all interactions means that the contact is engaged with you.


Please feel free to ask any question you may have, and all feedbacks are welcome. There is no a unique way of doing things to get good results, and there is always room for improvement. Is a good idea to re-evaluate campaigns periodically as world changes, our campaigns may also need to change.


Marketing Cloud Academy courses that directly influenced this campaign:


Eloqua 10: Testing Campaigns and Assets

Best Practices: Lead Nurturing Campaigns (WBT)

Best Practices: Email Deliverability

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