Monday, November 30, 2009

Alerting Sales via a Marketing Automation Program

We've talked a lot about getting real time information to your sales team, and the value of the insight that provides. There are a number of easy ways to do it within Eloqua, each of which fits a specific situation.

The easiest is to set up a real-time web visitor alert for when key buyers visit your website. This triggers automatically off of web behaviour and known data.

Another way is to send lead alerts based on web form submits by looking at the data in the web form and alerting the appropriate salesperson.

A third way is to set up daily or weekly lead reports to be emailed to each salesperson based on all the configuration options available.

In this post, I wanted to introduce another way - based on the configuration of a marketing automation program in program builder. This technique is useful if you want to define specific, and deeper, rules to define when a sales person is alerted - such as only alerting when a certain lead score is reached, or based on more detailed territory assignments.

To do this, set up a step in your marketing automation program to Send Process Member Report to Owner. This will send an email to the "owner" of the contact as they pass through that step. We'll get to how "owner" is defined in a second.

In the configuration options, you have a few different Report options you can choose from, each of which sends a slightly different type of Report. If you just want the details of the contact (your most likely option), just select "Contact Details". Other options send information on the contact's membership in programs and groups, their known colleagues, or other history information on them. A topic for another post (or exploration if you're interested).

To define the "ownership" of the contact, you can build an ownership rule based on any data you have available. In a decision rule prior to the alert step, edit the ownership rules for whichever path leads to the alert step. In this case, it would be the "Yes" path.

You'll then want to either build a new ownership rule or use an existing one. Ownership rules take data that you have available, such as territory, field sales owner, industry, or revenue range, and map it to individual users. The user it is mapped to will be the one receiving the alert.
With this set up, you are all ready to go. When a contact reaches that step, an alert will be sent to them with the information in the default contact view. Very useful for knowing when a lead passed a certain threshold, or a person made it to the end of a lead nurturing routine.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

High-Value Content as a Feeder for Nurturing

Today's post on Artisan is another guest post from Ben McPhee, on our Product Management team. In his last guest post on checkbox confirmations on web forms, Ben brought some of his insights from his work with sports marketing organizations to Eloqua Artisan.

This time, Ben looks at how to flag high value content - such as a season schedule - and then use the viewing of that content, at any point in time, from any source, as a feeder to a very targeted nurture program. This technique is a very useful one, and can be used in any situation were high value content (a webinar, a product demo, etc) should be used as a trigger for a nurture program.


Do you have high value content that when downloaded or accessed by a web visitor, you know means that they're more likely to purchase or at least be receptive to future offers? Do you want to offer that download opportunity through one or more emails or web links, and then capture those visitors that downloaded the content so that you can add them to an automated nurture & upsell campaign? Well, in several easy steps you can do that using:

  • Content Assets uploaded to Eloqua

  • Query Strings to track links wherever they are used

  • A Saved Report to identify who clicked on those links

  • A Marketing Automation Program with Program Feeder to grab those people

In this example, let's say you want to kick off a campaign that allows your fans to easily download your team's schedule from an email, which would trigger a number of benefits for them (perhaps being added to a "Tell Me About Special Offers" distribution list) and a number of benefits for you (knowing who is interested in timing of games and events for better segmentation for upsell).

First, go to the Content Asset area (Setup -> Content Assets -> Content -> Upload Web Content) and upload your schedule (or whatever high value content you have in mind). This uploads the content and allows you to track the links to it.

Once you have uploaded the schedule, you will be provided with 3 links to the doc - one of them is called "Email Redirect Link" - copy that link and paste it somewhere for the time being, as you will eventually be inserting that link into your email.

Next, go to the 'Web Profiling' area and create a new Query String Parameter:

You can think of this query string parameter as a bucket, for identification purposes, for all the content you will ever offer to your fans for download. So we recommend you name this in a generic manner - like, "Content Item". That way when you are deciding upon WHICH content item you would like to use / report upon for different campaigns, you will be thinking in terms of, "Content Item = Event Schedule" or "Content Item = Player Profile Sheet". Give it a name, and don't worry about the rest of the settings.

The advantage of doing it this way - with Query Strings - is that you can use the content, with the Query String in the link in any email or any link on your website, and the rest of the process will automatically pick it up. Regardless of how you promote your team schedule or other high value content, if the link contains the Query String, the visitors who click on the link will be added to the nurturing program.

Now we'll move on to your email - design the email containing the free download offer and insert the hyperlink - when you paste in the link to your schedule (the link we told you to hold on to a few steps back), you will be editing the end of the URL to add the query string parameter you just created AND the name of the content, in this case "Event Schedule", to record the fact that anyone who has clicked on this link has done so to request your Event Schedule (you might need to click on this image to see it clearly):

The content element of your campaign is done! Now when people click on this link, they'll download your team's schedule! The next part is setting up the reporting and the automation to capture those people and add them to a marketing automation program.

Go to the Report Console and search for a report called "Visitors by Query String Value". Then select the query string parameter you created earlier and enter in the ID/name you gave your content (in this case "EventSchedule") - run the report:

You can see that this return a list of people on your website who viewed your schedule (ie, clicked on a link containing the Query String you specified). Save this report and give it a more specific name - like "Schedule Downloaders" - and make sure you are using a relative time range for the report so that it is continuously filtering in your newest downloaders:

Now, create a marketing automation program that is going to manage the people that have downloaded your schedule - we won't get into the details of the actual program, but let's just start by creating it with the first step to get you going. For the program details, don't allow members to enter the program more than once, and set the default member type to contacts so that we can market to them.

Add a first step to your program to act as the entry point for your schedule downloaders. As an action for this step, we recommend having them added to a Contact Group so that you have more flexibility in how you manage and report on the fans that have downloaded the content (e.g., when put in a contact group it becomes easier to add them to a future email campaign distribution list):

Then, once that first step is saved, go to the "Members" menu and add a Feeder to the program - this is the item that actually defines how fans will be added to this automated progam - so to tie everything together, you'll be telling to system to add to the program all the fans that show up in that report you saved a few steps back - worded differently, anyone who downloaded your schedule will be added to this program:

Save this feeder and YOU'RE DONE!!

Now everyone that downloads your schedule from the email you send out will be automatically added to a program through which you can:

- Send them follow-up emails with further promotional offers
- Add them to other lead nurturing campaigns
- Notify your sales team to contact the fans
- Update their profiles to indicate their activity or change their lead score

Monday, November 23, 2009

Analyzing the Overall Success of a Lead Nurturing Program

With lead nurturing programs, we'll often use many pieces of content over a many month period in order to capture the attention of prospective buyers. Each of the emails used can be analyzed individually in order to understand its effectiveness, but we often want to look at the overall lead nurturing program to understand whether any of the content caught the attention of prospects within the program.

There's a very easy way to do this, a tip provided by Heather Foeh (@heatherfoeh) in our customer succes team. At the end of your marketing automation program, use a decision rule to split the contacts into two streams - those who did click through emails in the program, and those who did not.

This is much easier to do, of course, if the emails are kept organized, either through an email group, or through being part of a campaign. Then, the activity filter can quickly be built to identify which emails you are referring to.

This decision rule splits the flow of your program into two almost identical steps - they both remove the contacts from the program. The only difference between the two steps is how they are named.

The reason to do this is to make the reporting and analysis easier. When you analyze your program using either a Program Funnel Exit History report or a Program Funnel Motion report, the two different steps will clearly show the number of contacts who did or did not click on emails in the overall program.

This overall analysis is excellent for allowing you to understand and manage the results of your lead nurturing program in aggregate as you work to keep your prospect community engaged.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Easy Integration with Existing Web Forms

Chances are, if you are implementing marketing automation software like Eloqua, you already have a number of existing web forms, landing pages, and registration forms that are working well the way they are. Whereas you can certainly build forms within Eloqua to capture data, it is just as easy to use the existing web form, and therefore save yourself effort in rebuilding the form.

For web forms that are part of an existing process, this is even more valuable, as you can leverage the ability to do multiple actions with one web form. The capture of fields from an existing web form is incredibly easy, and just requires the URL of the form in question.

Start by creating a form in Eloqua, but set the option that "This is a [your company] hosted form that submits data to Eloqua" to Yes. This means that the form resides somewhere on your website, or even in a Flash file, and you would just like to capture the data.

Further down the main settings page, you will see the "Field Definition" section. If you select "Yes" under "Capture form fields...", and type in the URL of the form you are interested in capturing, you will begin the process of capturing the fields in that form.

With the URL entered, click the "Capture Form Fields" button, and the page that the form is on will be loaded and examined. Note that you can refresh the fields in the form at any time after this initial capture by following the same sequence of steps.

If multiple forms exist on the page you have selected, you will be prompted to choose which form is the one that you are interested in. Usually, the names of the forms should make this obvious.

From here, you will be presented with a list of the fields that were discovered in that form, along with which type of form field they are.

You can either capture all fields in the form, or select which fields you are interested in. This will then create those form fields for you automatically, and allow you to begin configuring what you want to have happen when the form is submitted.

Quick capture and setup of existing web forms, without requiring any scripts or changes to the forms, lets you get up and running quickly and started with your lead generation efforts.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Evolution of Marketing Measurement

One of the panels at Eloqua Experience that was very much worth watching was the panel discussion between Paul Teshima, Eloqua's SVP of Customer Success, and three of the industry's top CMO's and marketing leaders - Chris Boorman of Informatica, Drew Clarke from Cognos/IBM, and Tom Miller from ADP.

Some great insights came out of this panel as they each showed how they are measured, how they measure their teams, how they build their marketing dashboards, and what they are doing about measuring new media and the effects of social media.

The conversation is divided into parts so you can skip to the section of most interest to you. I hope you enjoy the insights from these leaders as much as I did:

The Evolution of Marketing Measurement Part 1: Paul Teshima introduces the panelists and the topic of the marketing metrics that matter and building the CMO dashboard.

The Evolution of Marketing Measurement Part 2: The four key elements of marketing analysis are introduced - Campaign ROI, Funnel Health, Strategic Segment Analysis, and Benchmarking - and a discussion on "How are you measured today?" starts.

The Evolution of Marketing Measurement Part 3: The question of "How do you measure your marketing effectiveness?" is discussed by the panel, and the three marketing leaders show their own dashboards (Chris Boorman and Drew Clarke)

The Evolution of Marketing Measurement Part 4: (continuation) The question of "How do you measure your marketing effectiveness?" is discussed by the panel, and the three marketing leaders show their own dashboards (Drew Clarke)

The Evolution of Marketing Measurement Part 5: (continuation) The question of "How do you measure your marketing effectiveness?" is discussed by the panel, and the three marketing leaders show their own dashboards (Tom Miller)

The Evolution of Marketing Measurement Part 6: Open questions regarding percentage of pipeline that marketing is expected to contribute, and how data is maintained across the entire lifecycle of a lead in the marketing process.

The Evolution of Marketing Measurement Part 7: Open questions on measuring buzz from social media and its effect on search and SEO, as well as measuring brand equity vs revenue.

The Evolution of Marketing Measurement Part 8: Open questions on measuring influences of marketing in deals rather than just sourcing.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Building a Tweetboard - Social Media at a Live Event

(Another guest post from Mike MacFarlane, who may be better known as @eloquamike)

In the Eloqua community, we just celebrated our 2nd annual Eloqua Experience conference in San Francisco. It was an absolutely amazing event and one of the highlights was the conversation happening on Twitter.

In Steve’s previous post about creating social media buzz at an event, he mentioned something about our “Tweetboard” – a large screen showing a live stream of conversations happening on Twitter in relation to Eloqua Experience. We set this up primarily so that those who were at the conference could see that they was another conversation happening online.

Setting up a Tweetboard is really easy and can be by using a small snipit of code provided by a website called Hootsuite and Eloqua Hypersites (and maybe a little design instinct).

First, you need to create an account at Once you have gone ahead and done that, you will be presented with a screen (that looks a lot like the popular tool TweetDeck). In the top right hand corner, there is a search button that you can use to enter in what key words or hashtags you want to search against:

(note that if you are querying multiple terms, you will need to use an “OR” statement)

Once you have setup your search query, you will want to create a “Saved Column”:

Once your column has been saved, you can generate some source code in which you can add to your blogs, website, etc. Simple select the “Embedd” button (which looks like <>):

You will then be presented with a screen that will give you options to help customize the look and feel of the feed:

Once you have all your setting in place, simply select “Grab Code” and copy and paste the generated source code and place onto your blog, website, etc.

In my case, I took the code and placed it into our Eloqua Hypersite. We wanted to add a little branding and messaging to it, so I create a header image to sit above the feed that had the Eloqua Experience logo, as well as instructions on how to joing the conversation. The end product looked like this (you can also still see it live here):

Monday, November 9, 2009

Cultural Translation and Data Management

There is always something interesting to learn when looking at marketing data. In looking at the raw data for the “Title” field within a client’s marketing database, we saw an interesting trend. The usual data was there; “VP of Marketing”, “Vice President of Sales”, “Dir. Finance”, etc, and it certainly made the need for inline data management obvious. However, there was another interesting trend that was more confusing. A reasonable portion of the fields contained values of “Mr”, “Mrs.”, “Herr”, or “Frau”.

Digging in to the data to see who it was that submitted this data, it became obvious that these were mainly from Europe. A quick chat with our European best practices team confirmed what we were beginning to suspect; the field on the landing page was asking for “Title”, and whereas in North America this is interpreted as “Job Title”, in Europe, it can just as easily be interpreted as “Salutation”.

Paying attention to data, by using reports like the Contact Group analysis dashboards can give you insights into problems, opportunities, and cultural differences before they are allowed to continue and become problematic. Data, in general, is often an overlooked, but critical area of any marketing dashboard strategy. Likewise, thinking about how questions might be misinterpreted in geographies, social groups, and industries outside of your own can allow you to find ways of phrasing questions, or approaches to marketing problems, that are more effective.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Many Ways to Win at Eloqua Experience

It’s exciting to be at Eloqua Experience 2009, and I can already feel the buzz in the air and am enjoying watching the conversations on Twitter under the #EE09 hashtag. Monday is the official start of pre-conference training which was filled to capacity. I’ve seen some of the new material, including some great sessions on marketing automation and social media, that are brand new and look well worth attending.

On Tuesday, the official conference starts, and not only is there a great agenda of content from today’s best marketers, but there is also a vibrant partner campground with each partner showcasing some of the incredible work they have done over the last few years. If that wasn’t reason enough to visit, many of these partners are also offering fun contests and competitions to give you a chance to win some fun prizes. A selection of the contests I have heard about include:

DemandGen Bingo

DemandGen is running a game of Bingo, where “callers” announce, via SMS, Eloqua or partner staff to find and identify. Each person to sign up gets a unique Bingo card, and the first person to create a line or a diagonal wins a prize.
Not only is it a fun contest, but it is all run on the Eloqua platform, so you’ll have to ask the DemandGen team how it was built.
Learn more here:

Astadia RockStar Contest

You don’t have to be in the RockStar track to participate, just drop by the Astadia booth and try your hand at RockBand for a chance to win.
While you’re there, be sure to chat with the Astadia team, as they have an incredible breadth of experience in creating unique marketing campaigns and tackling some complex marketing operations challenges.
Learn more here:

Built on their SWEET platform, the Pedowitz group is holding a SWEETstakes. Enter to win, and at the same time learn about what the SWEET platform can do for you in terms of integrating social media such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn into your Eloqua Marketing Automation.

Details on the contest are a bit scarce at this point, so you'll have to ask the Pedowitz team what you can expect. While you're doing so, be sure to ask them about the campaigns they have run using social media.
Text 37619 EE in order to play
Learn more here:

and of course...

Capture the Experience

As mentioned last week, Eloqua is hosting a Capture the Experience contest where you can win a Kindle just by capturing your perspectives on the conference. Upload your thoughts, pictures, or videos to the Eloqua Facebook page and you could win a Kindle.
The more the community "Likes" your pictures, the better a chance you have, so get them up early so they can be shared and found.
The winner will be announced on the last day of the conference.

I'm not going to close out by saying that "we all Win by learning" or anything like that, as that is just a touch cheezy, but I am definitely looking forward to seeing everyone at Eloqua Experience over the next three days. Have a great time, and don't hesitate to ask anyone at Eloqua if there is anything we can do to make your experience better.
If I've missed any contests, promotions, or interesting activities that are happening in the campground, please accept my apologies, and please add them to the comments below so everyone knows where to find them.