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Here is the thing -- a marketer usually spends a vast amount of time editing perfect engaging emails, designing suitable templates and drafting appealing email subject lines in order to obtain open and click-through rates skyrocketing and generate leads.


But wait a minute! Before you even think about sending those emails, first you have to consider and ask yourself, "Would my customers even get the chance to open and read my email?"


You have to account for the imprecise and inappropriate marketing, or even spamming customers, factors which can diminish marketing campaign return on investment. These types of emails can weaken customer relationships and result in the loss of valued customer relationships. Here is where the Touch Governance framework can help us to prevent customers from over touch or inappropriate marketing touch.


Basically, here in the company, the Touch Governance policies were designed to cover all direct marketing communications across all media types through our internal systems of records used in marketing campaigns or customer list pulls. The framework and policies were developed in conjunction with both worldwide and regional stakeholders. But let’s define a few points:


  • A marketing touch is a direct marketing interaction with a customer and/or contact through direct marketing campaigns, this could be by email, telemarketing and/or direct mail.

  • A marketing systems of record for campaign list pulls and also applies to all marketing communications media types for all campaigns, like workshops, seminars, events, data quality and customer acquisition campaigns.

  • These touches have to follow with frequency some guidelines, eg: it's established across all segments and all media types using either rolling 30 day logic (phone, Direct mail) or weekly rolling logic (email) to protect customer contacts from “over-touch”, meaning that a touch should not exceed the maximum frequency guidelines per media & the total number of customers touches as shown.

  • Opt-in subscriptions are not counted except where local practices require a more conservative approach.

In brief, a marketing touch is defined as direct marketing interaction with a customer.


At this point maybe you’re asking yourself, "What’s all the fuzz with the Touch Governance and the touches definitions?" Well, all this is the background so it can be clearer for you. Now I'll start getting to the point.


A few months ago we had a problem. Previously when a contact entered in a nurture campaign, these contacts automatically obtained touch increments and these contact increments were updated in Target builder and as a result, these actions turned the contact unavailable for other campaigns where Touch Governance were applied. Currently, this step was retired from ELQ based on next GEN framework, enabling Contact to be pulled into multiple campaigns.


Touch governance is applied in Eloqua to prevent contacts entering multiple nurture campaigns at the same time.

Eloqua touch Counter approach


  • Adds +1 to contact when they enter into nurture campaign

  • Deletes +1 values when contact is removed from nurture campaigns


Master Exclusion List: List of contacts/Email domains setup to exclude from all Eloqua campaigns executed in following situations.


  • Contacts though they are unsubscribed through Eloqua could be changed to opt in by any changes made in SFDC.

  • Also Contacts belong to certain domains like oracle etc. need to be suppressed from nurture campaigns

  • Target builder receives all privacy updates from CID and are available for suppression in campaign list pull. However Eloqua uses Master exclusion template in addition to be sure.


Does Target Builder have any rules on how many times a contact could be targeted by email campaigns even if contact has not responded (Rule similar to Eloqua’s 10-0-6 rule)?


  • TB has no such rules

  • Touch Governance and Privacy rules apply on contacts.


The solution wasn’t a big deal. We just had to identify the contacts from touch counter and prevent them to entering into multiple nurture programs and respond one single question: How to add touch governance for contacts in the following situations? We identified the following cases:


  • Contact in active nurture campaigns

  • Contacts for any future nurture campaigns

  • Responders for historical nurture campaigns

  • New contacts coming through active campaigns


The following steps were needed to solve the problem in the canvas:


  1. Open original canvas and deactivate
  2. Add Touch Governance steps
  3. Connect the more than 2 week feeder segments and lists to “804 - Any TG Excludes: All BUs”
  4. Open less than 2 week feeder segments and update response date to “within the last 2 weeks”
  5. Connect the less than 2 week feeder segments to “804 - Universal: Master Email Opt-Ins + Non-Bounces”
  6. Add  Increment/Decrement program steps to all entry and exit points, including email excludes and form submit app errors
  7. Save changes on original canvas
  8. Perform internal quality assurance for the canvas
  9. Reactivate canvas



After reviewing several campaigns and correcting a lot of canvases, we were glad this standard was working as expected.

We are currently applying this to every new canvas but, as we know, the only constant is change. Maybe in the future, we'll find an even better way to keep our contacts in the proper track.


Eloqua Academy Course Reference:


     Effective Marketing with Custom Objects

     Advanced Segmentation

     Integrating Custom Objects with Campaign Canvas

     Best Practices Email Deliverability

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