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Less is More (Especially When it Comes to Newsletters)
Oracle University suggested that I write this blog post on a campaign that I helped implement in an effort to complete the final step in obtaining the Luminary Title.
As a Marketing Automation Strategist, my job is to know the basic ins and outs of Eloqua so that I can help my company run successful marketing campaigns that adhere to the privacy and policy standards of the industry. The company I work for uses a third-party vendor to build all of our campaigns and programs. Although I do not currently have access to build anything in Eloqua, I am managing most of the campaigns and programs we run using the automation tool while working closely with the vendor that builds the campaigns.
The Challenge: A rogue sales newsletter
Thanks to the help of a field marketing manager, it was brought to our attention that some sales staff went rouge and started creating their own newsletters that didn’t adhere to company privacy and policy standards. This is a huge issue in the automation world.
Not following privacy and policy standards can result in some major problems. Realizing how important this issue was, we established a team to help solve the challenge of sales wanting to control their own newsletter without bypassing important privacy and policy standards. When addressing this challenge, some things that had to be taken into consideration included:
- Following privacy and policy standards
- Establishing important must-haves for the newsletter
- Including enough details for customers and prospects without going overboard
- Making the newsletter customizable for sales and marketers to gear toward their regions and respective sales plays
- Consolidating the multiple newsletters that were going out to create a better customer experience
The Solution: A single source of truth
We assembled a team and got to work, holding numerous meetings with sales and other marketing leads to discuss the best way to address the challenge we were facing. We established a newsletter email template that allowed us to include all of the important must-haves in one simple email, a single source of truth, was the answer.
We were able to build this template in Eloqua which enabled us to adhere to the policy and privacy policies that were established for the rest of our emails and implement them into the new newsletter. We determined that while we wanted to provide as much information as possible to the customers subscribing to the newsletter, having an email as long as the typical CVS receipt wasn’t going to cut it. Instead we decided to build tiles for each topic of interest (webinars, conferences, new content, etc.) where each tile has a short description and a hyperlink that sends subscribers to a designated page on the company website with more information.
An additional challenge that revealed itself when implementing this newsletter was that sales and marketing wanted the ability to gear the newsletter to their respective regions or sales plays. This is where Eloqua Engage came in to play as part of our solution. Using Eloqua Engage we were able to build out the segmented newsletters sales and marketing were asking for and allow a nice clean canvas for anyone to come in and tweak to their liking.
Finally, we took the less is more approach when determining the cadence for this newsletter. Since we decided it was in the best interest of our audience to have only one newsletter for everything, instead of sending multiple newsletters throughout the month, we combined all of the segments allowing for us to establish a twice per month newsletter send cadence. Now we’re sending fewer emails less often but with more value.
As I stated in the beginning of this post, we have a third-party vendor that builds out all of our campaigns. We brought our list of challenges and solutions to that team and they were able to help us build exactly what we were looking for. Thanks to the “Eloqua Fundamentals” courses I am better able to understand the complete building process as we talk through these challenges with our third-party team.
Using Eloqua Engage, allowed us to have the newsletter we wanted built in Eloqua and have it sync with our CRM tool Salesforce. After a walk through on how easy the Engage process is the sales and marketing folks fell in love with the ability to take this newsletter and make it their own. They were also excited about the time this newsletter would save them because they are working on something that’s already established instead of starting from scratch. Eloqua Engage was something that continued to pop in my mind ever since I saw it in the “Sales Tools” course for the Luminary Training, it was the perfect solution for what we were trying to do.
One of the best parts of the Engage tool is that the newsletter was built in Eloqua, so it already followed the policy standards that needed to be met. At the same time, when you are sending the email out of Engage, it blocks anyone who has marked themselves as unsubscribed or do not contact and keeps sales from violating any privacy policies, which is concern we faced from the very beginning but were able to solve with Eloqua.
Combining multiple newsletters into one wasn’t easy. However, with a little teamwork and the capabilities of Eloqua we were able to face this challenge head-on and create something everyone was happy with in the end.
Obviously, this newsletter will never be “complete.” It will always be a work in progress but having gone through the process of building something the team loves, and we can use effectively and properly, is something that our team is really proud of. This newsletter has been running for three months now and while the numbers are something, we are working on, we couldn’t be happier with the way things are going. The best way to show that all of our hard work was worth it is through the metrics we can provide, which is where the course “Insights for Reporters” was a major help with understanding how we can track the results effectively and show the team this is the right direction to go.
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