Thursday, February 25, 2010

Engage Search Visitors viaTriggered Campaigns

Guest post from Chad Horenfeldt from Anything Goes Marketing


At the recent MarketingSherpa’s 2010 Email Marketing Summit, Carolyn Nye, Marketing Manager at S&S Worldwide discussed a number of must-have triggered email programs for all businesses. One of these programs included tracking visitors whose last page on the site was the search results page. She explained that in this situation, the visitor didn’t find what they were looking for and left your site. This post explains how to create a simple automated marketing program that will send a helpful email to these visitors assuming they have opted in to receive communication from you.

1. Create the email. Build a simple email that includes helpful advice such as “Couldn’t find what you’re looking for? Please contact us at 1-800…”. You may also want to include links to your blogs or other social media sites like LinkedIn or Twitter so the visitor can find other sources of information that they may not have been aware of.

2. Create a Condition that reports on visitors whose last page was the search page. Go to Automate > Web Profiling > Segmentation. Create a new Condition called “Last page = Search Results”, choose the Last Page in Visit as the Profile field and enter the name of your search results page. You can use wild cards as you only need a small part of the search results page URL so Eloqua knows what you’re talking about. I’ve used ** so Eloqua looks for any last pages that has that as part of the URL. Each site is a bit different so just go to your search results page and grab what you think you need.

3. Create a Condition Visitors Report. Create a report that returns all the web visitors that have visited this page in the last day and save it.

4. Create the marketing automation program. Create a simple program in Eloqua that has a Start step, a Send Email Step and an Exit step. It should look like this:

5. Create the program feeder. In the first step of the marketing automation program, select “Add members to this step” and then choose “New” in the Program Feeder area.

Create the feeder and choose “Visitor Saved Reports”. Use the Saved Report you created earlier and set the feeder to evaluate every 4 hours. Turn the program on and you’re all set.

For more information on feeders see this post on connecting with new contacts in your marketing database.

One last note – you don’t need to worry about Eloqua's sending repeat emails as you can set the email step to only send the email once.

This is a good example of how you can build very simple triggered automated marketing campaigns to engage your prospects and customers. Let us know if you have created other types of campaigns like this.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Using Flash to submit an Eloqua Form

Today's guest post is from Cheliyan Pancras, an Eloqua Product Specialist who joined us recently from the University of Windsor's computer science program. In this post, Cheliyan uses some of that background in showing how to integrate an Eloqua web form within an Adobe Flash element.


Flash is a great way to engage with website visitors, but far too often it is treated as separate from demand generation marketing efforts. Often, marketers even think it may not be possible to engage with web visitors using a form within a Flash element. Not true. Why not embed a short form at the end of the Flash video and submit it to Eloqua? For example you could ask your web site visitors to subscribe to upcoming updates on a new product/service at the end of a teaser video… The easiest way to build this is in Flash to use the method GET to send the web form data. You will be using the function called getURL (link to definition on Adobe). This is ideal for a short form.

First you will need to create a new form or use an existing web form. Within the form you will need to setup the processing steps to handle the incoming data. I would also create a new confirmation page tailored to your Flash video for a smoother transition after the data has been submitted. You can find great users guides on how to create forms and set up confirmation pages on our customer portal (Eloqua’s Customer Central).

There are two mandatory hidden fields, elqFormName and elqSiteID, which are used to identify the form and the instance of Eloqua you are submitting to. Once you create a Form in Eloqua you can retrieve this information by going into the ‘Form Details’ area and clicking on the ‘Integration Details’ button. The ‘Website Integration Details’ will give you the address to post the data to and the form identification values - using a similar technique to how we found form details for setting up hidden form submits or for integrating web forms into PDFs.

In our example below we are using Adobe Flash CS4 © (ActionScript 2.0). The screenshot shows you a simple form with 3 text inputs and a submit button. The input fields include First Name (c_firstname), Last Name (c_lastname) and Email Address (c_emailaddress).

Now that you have a layout created and the fields labeled, you must get into the actual code to setup the URL. To do this you need to go into the Flash Action and start by creating an event handler for when the button is released. Right click the submit button and select ‘Actions’ to bring up your ActionScript window.

Start by using the event handler ‘on(release)’. This will execute the getURL function when the button is pressed and released. The screenshot shows you the code within Flash for the short form. The description of each line item can be found below the screenshot.

• Line 4: Declare variable for hidden form field elqFormName
• Line 5: Declare variable for hidden form field elqSiteID
• Line 6: Declare input text field c_emailaddress. The Eloqua form is expecting this text input as c_email.
• Line 7: Declare input text field c_firstname. The Eloqua form is expecting this text input as c_fname.
• Line 8: Declare input text field c_lastname. The Eloqua form is expecting this text input as c_lname.
• Line 10: getURL function which has the URL to post the data to, the window parameter (to specify the HTML frame to load the URL) and which method to use to send the data (GET).

Note: In our example above we used the ‘_blank’ parameter to load the URL in a new window. Your other options are ‘_self’, ‘_parent’ or ‘_top’. You can find what each of these parameters do in the definition link at the beginning of this post.

That’s it! Now you can use this Flash video to submit data to your Eloqua form. You can test the sample I discussed below. The form will open a new window and confirm your submission. Then redirect you back to the blog.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Special Contact Fields - “Email Address Domain” & “First and Last Name”

Guest post from Andrew Hogg, who is a Senior Product Specialist on Premier Accounts. Andrew works, on a daily basis, with some of Eloqua’s largest clients, bringing to the table an in-depth understanding of the product’s capabilities and how such clients use the platform, while also providing guidance on how best practice theory can be applied within their ever evolving marketing processes.


Recently, Eloqua introduced two new contact fields into the marketing databases of our customers to address common (and sometimes complex) segmentation / data population scenarios:

• Email Address Domain – Generated by parsing the Email Address value (everything after @).
• First and Last Name – Full Name value, generated as First Name, space, then Last Name.

Though the latter field is quite useful when trying to avoid using Update Rules to combine field data, or multiple Field Merges, in Eloqua (or the Concatenate function in Excel), the Email Address Domain field is the true time saver for Eloqua customers looking to segment email sending, identify important customer responses, and much, much more.

Previously, Email Domain exclusion was controlled solely via the Domain category (Distribution Lists & Master Exclude) when sending email batches & Quicksends, while complex Contact Filters or cross table Deduplication using Prospect Groups were required to replicate similar segmentation in Program Builder.

Such filters / dedupe rules were used for any number of purposes, including Competitor, Partner, and Target Account lists. Needless to say, for those that have experienced any of these use cases, and the time involved with setup and ongoing maintenance, this field was designed for you.

To implement this in your application, I find that the true power of this field is not realized unless it is referenced in a Contact Filter, using “In” criteria:

Here, up to 300 unique, comma-delimited values can be entered, either manually, or via Upload (referencing an existing Select List):

Now, with such a Filter in hand, numerous tedious or repetitive tasks suddenly become much easier, including:

Setup – Values can be uploaded into a “Quick List” in the Filter, as opposed to manual entry across multiple elements (Dist List, Master Exclude, Filters, etc).

Centralization – Instead of maintaining a Domain list in the Master Exclude, and separate Filter(s) / Prospect Groups, use a single Contact Filter in all areas, where edits to your one Quick List instantly update all exclusion elements (also great for Distribution List Defaults).

• Reducing Data Load – Easily exclude Test / Internal Contacts from important programs, by adding a single line to Feeder Filters:

• Advanced Marketing Automation – Easily identify target or named accounts for nurturing, routing, reporting, etc. Of course, as this is a Contact Filter, this could be used to feed recently modified Contacts into a Program, or route existing members down various paths.

So, though the Email Address Domain & First and Last Name fields do not, in themselves, introduce revolutionary functionality (I mean, they are just fields), they do greatly increase the efficiency, and ease of use, of the Eloqua marketing automation platform.

Should Eloqua users come across other, simple changes to our UI that would have a similar impact, please reach out to our Product Management team by logging an Idea in Eloqua Customer Central (we’re listening).

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Five in 5: Web Visitor Profiling

The second of our Five in 5 series covers tips that you can use to get better insights out of your website visitors. From social media tracking, to real-time alerts and visualizing activity data, this set of tips will give you a good sense of what you can do to capture and provide more insights into online activity.

Each of the tips leads back to a more detailed overview of how to go about doing what is described.

Either click on the links in the Brainshark presentation, or download the Five in 5 Website Profiling PowerPoint to view the more detailed descriptions of the tips that are highlighted.

I hope you get a few good ideas out of this one:

(if this does not load, the original Five in 5 Website Profiling presentation is here)

Also, feel free to look at other presentations in the Five in 5 series:
Reporting Fundamentals: Accessing Data for Insight

The topics covered on Eloqua Artisan are both for you, as users, and from you. Please keep the ideas coming.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Distribution List Defaults

(Guest post from Leigh Oxley)

Working in Product Support, we often identify common requests from clients on certain topics; ideas that they’ve heard about at user groups, in our online Customer Central community, or know they should be able to do, but just aren’t quite sure how to implement. Many organizations want easy ways to ensure their teams are reaching the right audiences, and one way to do this in Eloqua is to use some quick (and easy to set up!) customization by configuring default distribution lists for your users. Today, we’ll walk through the concept of distribution list defaults in Eloqua, and quickly review how to set these up for your team. Keep in mind this is something that is only available for Customer Administrator-level users, so if you don’t have access, speak with your Eloqua administrator about implementing this idea for your team!

Default distribution lists were introduced in late 2008 to allow Customer Administrators to set restrictions on users sending batch emails. For example, if you want to be sure that your marketing team in Texas is only able to send batches to contacts in Texas, you can use distribution list defaults to configure this. These defaults can be configured by individual user, security group, or users within a certain folder. To access the interface where you’ll set these up, navigate to Setup > Management > User Management and use the “User Defaults and Settings” drop-down at the top to access “Default list for Users”. Here, you’ll be presented with a screen to choose which users you want to setup the defaults for, and the same distribution list configuration screen you’re used to seeing.

This looks somewhat familiar, but not entirely…

You will notice that the Included/Excluded criteria settings in this interface may be larger than what you will be used to when working with standard email distribution lists. This is because these default lists can be configured for all entities using lists – Eloqua PrintMail, Call onDemand, and Fax. This allows you to really customize your database to your requirements, and define who on your team can reach out to which prospect/client markets, across all possible outbound communications from Eloqua!

One part of this functionality that we often get questions about is the two options at the bottom of the page where you’d normally see a save button: “Add Defaults” or “Replace Existing Defaults”. If you’re unsure about what settings this user may currently have, we recommend building the settings you’d like, then using the “Replace Existing Defaults” button. You can, however, use the “View Existing List” link beside each user listing above to see what defaults are currently configured, and then simply add new settings to the current setup.

What will my users see, and how do I know if this functionality is right for our team?

When creating a new distribution list, your users will be presented with the defaults you’re now configuring for them. They can add to these settings, but cannot remove the defaults you set. For example, let’s set up the Elq.Tester user up to include the “State = NY or New York” contact filter as a default. That user can still add other components to their lists, like contact groups or other filters, but they cannot remove that “State = NY or New York” filter when creating new distribution lists. This is important to keep in mind, as any list this user now creates moving forward will be affected by this. When Elq.Tester creates a new distribution list, they will always have the above filter included in all emails.

Of course, the one thing we all want to know, if this is something that will be useful for our own team. Here are some scenarios to consider:

• If you have a team of people who should always be copied on every batch that is sent from Eloqua, you should be using default lists! Simply set them in the “Include” section for each user’s default lists.

• If you have your teams broken up into prospect and customer marketing teams, you should be using default lists! Simply create contact filters and user folders, and set the customer marketers up to always exclude prospects, and vice versa.

• If you want certain members of your team to only be able to send emails internally, you should be using default lists! Simply set your own internal domain in the eligibility criteria area!

• If you maintain a list of contacts who should only be contacted by your main power user, you should be using default lists! Simply drop those contacts into a contact group and set them in the Exclude section for all other users.

Don’t forget to check out Eloqua’s Customer Central user community for more information on default distribution lists and how this functionality can work for your team!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Report Highlight: Contact Field Value by Contact Group

(Guest post from Amber Stevens)


Marketers are curious creatures. Luckily, Eloqua provides ways to find answers to your burning questions like who is responding to my marketing outreach? What size are the companies? What did they respond to? Etc. One way is to create a Contact Group and use Data Manipulation --> Field Summary. This is a fast and easy way to view high-level point in time summary data on key fields like "job title”, "last lead source" or “revenue” for example. But, what if you want to drill down on values to see the specific contacts that meet your criteria, export to manipulate further, or email and share with the team? For flexibility like this, you should leverage an Eloqua report template called “Contact Field Values by Contact Group”.

To use this report, you will need to have created a Contact Group with members whom you’d like to valuate. For this example, I’ve created a report of all contacts that went through our own Lead Scoring program over a certain time period. I’m curious to see the break out of lead scores – how successful were our marketing efforts in driving high quality responses?

Here’s how to do it.

Navigate to Evaluate -> Reporting -> Report Console. In the “Find a Report” search field, query “Contact Field Values by Contact Group” and select the report template.

Next, select the report parameters – or specifically, the contact field and contact group you wish to analyze and then click “View Report” in the lower left hand corner.

Your report will populate in window and look something like this.

I’m curious to learn a bit more about the A1 group, our highest scored contacts. To drill down, I click on the A1 value.

From here, I can see the specific program lead source that they came from, what sales rep received the lead and other more granular and insightful bits of information. If I wish to manipulate the data further or save as a point in time reference, I can export the data to excel (or another format) and save. I can also put the A1 leads in a new contact group by selecting “Actions -> Add Contacts to Contact Group” and work on developing a targeted campaign focused on driving conversions in this key group. Finally, I can email the report to my boss, and save it to “My Eloqua Today” so that I can access it regularly.

Although we looked at lead score as the summary in this example, you can use this report to analyze contacts on any field value that you are curious about. Another interesting view would be to look at lead source to see which contacts responded to which offers. The “Contact Field Value by Contact Group” report gives you additional flexibility over a more simplistic contact group manipulation. Both are a great way to get a sense for your data and key performance indicators, but it is important to know the use case for each of these features so that you can gain access to the information that you need, in the format that you need it in.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Eloqua Customer Success Tour - Q1 2010

Great news, the schedule for Eloqua customer success tour (formerly known as user groups) is now out!

The best way to improve your own marketing automation skills is to mingle with others who are at the top of their field. Eloqua customer success tour events give you the best possible forum for this, allowing you to exchange ideas, share tips, learn from case studies, and network with peers.

There is a full schedule of user groups this quarter, each offering a small group environment (usually 30-50 people) that is perfect for interaction and networking. Most of the attendees will work within the same city, making the connections even more valuable, as you can continue to exchange ideas with your peers long after the user group finishes.

Here's the schedule for the Eloqua customer success tour over the next few months:

Date LocationPictures
February 9th SeattlePics from last time
February 9th AustinPics from last time

February 18th San FranciscoPics from last time
Feb 25th BostonPics from last time
March 4th Washington, DC
March 9th New York
March 10th Denver
March 23rd AtlantaPics from last time
April 27th DallasPics from last time
April 29th Minneapolis

Please go to the Eloqua Customer Success Tour site to register.