Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Gated Forms - Asking for just the right information

One of the most common questions every marketing team wrestles with is the question of how much information to ask for from prospects as they request your marketing information. Luckily, the answer doesn't have to be static, you can ask for different information based on what you already know and what the individual has already provided.

The technique for doing this is called "gated forms", and is one of the most powerful techniques in the modern marketer's toolbox. You can set up gated forms yourself to work with your Eloqua marketing database.

Essentially, the technique works as follows:
- if you recognize the visitor based on their cookie, either provide them with the asset directly, or ask them just a little more information

- if you don't recognize them based on their cookie, check to see if they are in your database based on their email address

- if you do not have any information on the visitor at all, ask for a longer amount of information

The following diagram shows how this works:

By extending this simple technique further, you can ask for more information at each interaction, while never asking for an overly large amount of information, and never asking the same information twice.

Gated forms are very flexible as a technique, and can be used in a variety of situations - some as simple as just removing a form in front of a web asset, some as robust as asking for unique information of each visitor at each interaction.

To help you get started, here is a guide showing exactly how gated forms can be created and implemented, from the most simple scenarios to the most robust.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for this very instructive article Steve.
My company use Red dot as CMS. This CMS does not allow any change to the link of the document after it is loadde.
Do you have any idea on how the Gated form could be implemented with Red dot?
Nadine Nana

Steven Woods said...

interesting question... not sure and I'm not 100% familiar with Red Dot at that level of detail.

Have you asked in the Eloqua User Group on LinkedIn? Might be a good answer there.


Aaron Riley said...

The location of the document doesn’t change, just the link/HTML on all the referring content.

With CMS, there are two scenarios:
1) You use the CMS login functionality
2) You don't

If you leverage the sign on functionality within CMS then the gated form logic is usually written locally by your web team to look at our cookie and look to see if they are logged in.

If you don’t use the login functionality of CMS then our gated form can be used to direct to the end location (based on cookie).

This involves changing the referring content to the PDF. The content would point to our verify page, and not the end document.

Hope that helps!

Aaron Riley
Senior Product Consultant
Professional Services, Eloqua

Ida75 said...

Aaron, looks like you can also answer a similar request I have around CMS and Eloqua: I have a hot prospect for Eloqua acquisition that has a concern around the new Partner dedicated web portal they are putting in place using Wordpress CMS and login functionality in theory. They just wonder if Eloqua could substitute that functionality, or in case they can't have Eloqua implemented before their web portal (that is likely to occur), how Eloqua would work technically with Wordpress CMS (without having Partners to log in twice? Thanks

AR said...


To prevent login across sites/domains, the IT team would have to implement cross site SSO. This is similar to my comments for using CMS login functionality.

Gating assets and the logic to determine if you've already asked for their information is done on the clients servers. You have access using javascript or API lookups to get information stored in Eloqua to make that decision.

Cheers, Aaron.

Anonymous said...

Can you implement progressive profiling based on specific fields, in a similar way? There isn't much information on setting up progressive profiling on specific fields and I know it works using Data Lookups. Am I right in assuming you can implement it using this way as well?