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Initiative Overview:

Our product/service subscription renewal notification emails were poor and were in serious need of updating. Originally they were being sent out of the ERP system, which only supported plain-text, and worked on a per-license basis. That means, if a single customer had 10 licenses for one product and 20 licenses for a second product, they would receive 30 individual emails! This was an extremely bad experience all around:

  • When customers wanted to verify and reconcile their subscriptions, they needed to find and review each individual email
  • The email content was difficult to change in the ERP, so the emails only contained the most basic information that was practically guaranteed to never require changes in the future
  • The emails were dull and boring, and didn’t reflect an industry-leading cybersecurity company in the 21st century
  • No performance metrics were available, so we didn’t know if customers were even opening the emails



The goals for this initiative were mostly feature-based. The new solution should:

  • Send a single email for each contract, even if the contract contains multiple products
    • All products and serial numbers should be displayed in that single email
  • Send the same email to up to three email addresses (end user, distributor, reseller)
  • Have an easy-to-use email editor allowing
  • Support rich-text and graphical emails
  • Report on email performance
  • Stop ending emails if a customer renews their subscription


New Platform:

The company decided to utilize Eloqua for all external email communications, and with Eloqua’s rich email editor, extensive reporting abilities, and native integration with SFDC, we determined Eloqua was going to be the platform that the new solution was built upon. Using native Eloqua tools and functionality, we created auto syncs to pull data from SFDC and populate a Custom Object with customer subscription data on a scheduled basis, we created beautiful emails with images and an easy-to-read layout, and Insight reports to measure our emails’ performance.


One Slight Problem:

We ran into a slight problem: we received one record from SFDC for each license, but we wanted to send a single email for each contract, to each of three email addresses.

We received data like this:

RecordIDContractIDEmailAddr-EndUserEmailAddr-ResellerEmailAddr-DistributorProductNameSerialNumberExpiryDate CloudSEP10000012017-12-15 ProtectionWFP2311112017-12-15 EncryptionEPE001111382017-12-15 CloudSEP10064782018-03-04 EncryptionEPE001857362018-03-04


However, Eloqua can only field merge data from a single Custom Object record, and that Custom Object record needs to be linked to the contact who is being sent the email, so we needed to get the data into a format like this:

1ABC0001chris_seepe@example.com2017-12-15<tr><td>SEP Cloud</td><td>SEP1000001</td></tr><tr><td>WorkFlow Protection</td><td>WFP231111</td></tr><tr><td>Endpoint Encryption</td><td>EPE00111138</td></tr>
2ABC0001alpha.bravo@example.com2017-12-15<tr><td>SEP Cloud</td><td>SEP1000001</td></tr><tr><td>WorkFlow Protection</td><td>WFP231111</td></tr><tr><td>Endpoint Encryption</td><td>EPE00111138</td></tr><tr><td>SEP Cloud</td><td>SEP1000001</td></tr><tr><td>WorkFlow Protection</td><td>WFP231111</td></tr><tr><td>Endpoint Encryption</td><td>EPE00111138</td></tr>
4ABC0022echo.foxtrot@example.com2018-03-04<tr><td>SEP Cloud</td><td>SEP1006478</td></tr><tr><td>Endpoint Encryption</td><td>EPE00185736</td></tr>
5ABC0022golf.hotel@example.com2018-03-04<tr><td>SEP Cloud</td><td>SEP1006478</td></tr><tr><td>Endpoint Encryption</td><td>EPE00185736</td></tr><tr><td>SEP Cloud</td><td>SEP1006478</td></tr><tr><td>Endpoint Encryption</td><td>EPE00185736</td></tr>


Our Solution

We decided to leverage the powerful automation of Form Processing Steps, along with a CloudApp to generate the virtual form submissions based on Custom Object records.

The CloudApp takes the data from each CDO record, and creates the equivalent of a Blind Form Submit.


There are different CloudApp steps for each different email, so we can send different emails from the same canvas.


The Form Processing Steps build a single, new record with all of the required data by appending data from each source record along with the required <tr> and <td> HTML tags.


The result is a single email that contains all information related to that single contract:


As this initiative was just implemented a couple of months ago, we don’t have concrete results yet, but preliminary results suggest a unique open rate above 75%. There have also been 20% fewer complaints from customers about subscriptions expiring without them knowing, reducing the workload on customer support and preventing a bad customer experience. Additionally, we have actually received feedback from customers, distributors, and resellers on how much they like the new email format.


Influential Courses:

  • B2B: Advanced Editing and Form Processing
  • B2B: Blind Form Submits
  • B2B: Effective Marketing with Custom Objects
  • B2B: Insight for Reporters
  • Eloqua 10: CRM Integrations (WBT)
  • B2B: Program Canvas (WBT)

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