8 Replies Latest reply on Jan 28, 2016 8:19 AM by sander.smolenaers

    Automated Email Group Subscription


      I’m looking for a way to fully automate Email Group subscriptions from external lists and would love to hear any approaches that might help us to get started on our own system.


      The details of our case go like this. We’re a public radio organization and receive daily spreadsheets from our payment processor that contains the email addresses of new contributors. Our policy is to subscribe all of our contributors to a couple of Email Groups — A Member benefits newsletter and special announcements about our programming and live events — but right now our subscription process is highly manual. Once or twice a month, we collect the spreadsheets, upload them into a Shared List and drop that Shared List into a Program that subscribes those contacts to the Email Groups.


      We’re familiar with using the Data Export/Import function in Eloqua and have some scheduled automation built that uploads these lists every 24 hours through our sftp server. New Contacts are created and existing contacts are updated. It’s pretty straightforward and runs seamlessly in the background, but it lacks that final step of subscribing the Contacts to the Email Groups.


      Can anyone recommend an approach that would automatically subscribe these Contacts to a couple of Email Groups? It would be wonderful if we could make this happen every 24 hours, but we’d be happy eliminating the manual work even if its on the same once or twice a month frequency we do right now.




      Jeff Harkness

      Email Channel Manager, Minnesota Public Radio

        • 1. Re: Automated Email Group Subscription

          Hi - to confirm, you have several source spreadsheets as opposed to one spreadsheet correct? When these are uploaded via sftp into Elouqua automatically, do you further segment or thats all that happens?

          • 2. Re: Automated Email Group Subscription

            We have three spreadsheets, one for each of our main business units. The payment processing system is an in-house platform and we have three daily exports from it that place the files onto our SFTP server overnight. We then have an Eloqua Data Import set up to run every 24 hours that grabs the files off our SFTP server to import into Eloqua. Each spreadsheet has a slightly different set of fields, and each is mapped accordingly in their Upload.


            That's how we have the automation set up right now. Once or twice a month we'll do the manual pulls of all new contact records from our payment system and upload those spreadsheets into Eloqua. Three altogether, one for each business unit. Someone then creates Shared Lists and runs those lists through Program Builder to get our new contributors subscribed to the appropriate Email Groups.


            As for segmentation, each of the three automated daily upload contains fields that we use for personalization and segmentation later on. These include fields like contribution amount, contribution date, geographic info (Address, State, ZIP) and so on. We personalize and segment our emails based on these fields, but no segmentation happens immediately as part of the automated uploads.


            Email Group subscription is an essential step that needs to happen before we can send any emails to these Contacts. Our segments all contain the "Subscribed to Groups" filter, it's how we manage the 30+ different newsletters we offer across all our business units and maintain CANSPAM and CASL compliance.

            • 3. Re: Automated Email Group Subscription

              Hmmm - yes the challenge is creating the feeder automatically for the program once the contacts are added to Eloqua. If you have a resource that can do this through the API, you should be able to add the Contact Group as a feeder to the Program, and use the "Subscribe to Campaign" action to add the contacts to the appropriate Subscription Group in the program (sounds like it already exists).


              There's info on creating groups through the API here: Eloqua API How To: Create a Contact Group and more API resources in the CODE IT section.

              • 4. Re: Automated Email Group Subscription

                Yep, that's it exactly. Creating that automated feeder for our Program is the challenge here. I like the thought of using the API to create the Contact Group. The document you linked me to speaks specifically about the SOAP API, which I understand is no longer supported. Do you happen to know if the functionality we're discussing is available through the REST API now? The BULK? Either?


                Thanks for the help!

                • 5. Re: Automated Email Group Subscription

                  Try this... REST API - Documentation for Core Objects. You should be able to find a solution in the contacts section. Let me know if not!

                  • 6. Re: Automated Email Group Subscription

                    Hi Jeff,


                    Tell me if I'm missing something, but doesn't the following achieve full email group subscription automation?:


                    - Use data import/export (contact level) or Auto Synch (CDO level)

                    - Build segmentation criteria that selects any (new) contacts that fall under the above;

                    - Create a program feeder (OR a campaign with segment, and a 'Move to program')

                    - Have a "Subscribe to Campaign" step on your program canvas.


                    Let me know what you think.

                    • 7. Re: Automated Email Group Subscription

                      Hi sander.smolenaers,

                      The problem there is that it might pick new people who were added to the database but are not from the data import. However, it will work if an identifying field is added in the source sftp file and in Eloqua, and the filter selects only those contacts.



                      • 8. Re: Automated Email Group Subscription

                        Hi jmugo, jharkness,


                        That's correct. Adding such field in the SFTP helps you identify those contacts, as long as you make sure the update rule is correct (otherwise you could mark existing contacts as new).

                        As I mentioned before, an Auto Synch would also work since the SFTP data will populate the CDO created specifically for this case.