Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Win a Free Ticket to Eloqua Experience!

(guest post from Adrian Chang)

Are you Eloqua's biggest fan? Share why on our Facebook Fan page and you can win a free ticket to this year's Eloqua Experience in San Francisco from October 18-20.

We are looking for you to share 10 Reasons why you are Eloqua's biggest fan. Be creative

- write a poem, create a YouTube video, or use photos to craft your submission. You will post your entry on our Eloqua's Facebook Page - www.facebook.com/eloqua.

· One entry per Eloqua Fan - make it count!
· You must be a fan of Eloqua on Facebook (Go to www.facebook.com/eloqua and "Like" our page)
· This contest is for Eloqua customers only
· You may use Twitter to promote your entry and link to our fan page - please use #1EloquaFan for the contest.

Also, if you want to make mention of this year's Eloqua Experience, please use #EE10SF.


The winner will be selected by a committee of Eloqua employees. The committee will review entries based on creativity and response from the Eloqua community (Likes, Comments).


Starts September 1st through the 15th (ending at 11:59pm PT). Winner will be announced on September 17th.

One (1) free ticket to Eloqua Experience. Current registrants may still apply - you will be reimbursed in the event that you are selected as the winner. Also, the winning entry will be featured during the conference.

Eloqua Employees, Customers and Partners – How can you participate?

1. If you are a Facebook User, please ensure that you are a Fan of Eloqua. Go to www.facebook.com/eloqua and
"Like" our page

2. Highlight the entries that you like by commenting or click on the "Like" button for any entries

3. For general guidelines as to how you can participate in Social Media - http://blog.eloqua.com/eloqua-socialplaybook

Any questions? Please contact me Adrian Chang at 416.642.7586 or at adrian.chang@eloqua.com

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Content is King, but sometimes we need to replace the King

(guest post from Ben McPhee)
We all know how important content is. It didn’t just rise to the throne à la nepotism like the rest of the kings with which we are familiar. No – content is legit. Content can make or break a campaign, a quarter or even a job.

Now while content in and of itself is critical to pushing out information and pulling in prospects, what is just as important is the ability to manage content in such a way that it is always where it needs to be when it needs to be there. Pretty straight forward, but examples never hurt.

Everyone knows that overwhelming sensation of dunce after sending out a work email to 5 executives reading, “Please see the attached deck . . .” and then shortly thereafter realizing that you either didn’t attach anything but your recently crippled pride or that you actually attached the first draft of the presentation you whipped up 3 months prior on 4 minutes of sleep.

That kind of sucks – but now imagine you actually sent a link to the wrong presentation or an outdated rate sheet or a promotional flyer sporting a decimal place two digits too far to the right . . . to 50,000 of your prospects . . . yikes . . . would be nice if there was an easy way to stuff that one under the rug.

But it’s not just about putting out fires – it’s also about having a scalable, manageable method of pushing out regular content updates to your prospect and client base. You may have the same email going out every week with only minor updates within the content to which the central link in the email directs your audience - do you really want to have to edit that email every single time you send it out? Or have to make changes to HTML or jump through any hoops whatsoever? If the execution and process management suffers from confinement and complexity, ripples can extend from poor content, to lost content to late content and beyond.

Because we recognize the important of a clean and quick content delivery and update process, a while back, we implemented a Replace Content tool that makes it super-easy to swap content to which you are linking in your emails and landing pages - WITHOUT having to actually go into those emails and landing pages! Now, we want to make sure you remembered that it’s there!

1. Uploading your content is easy – just go to the Content Asset area and upload:

2. Then, to insert a replaceable link to the content, copy and paste either the Email Redirect Link (for emails, so that you can track clickthroughs AND ensure that your branding is properly injected into the URL, assuming you have either the Silver or Gold Branding & Deliverability package) or the Trackable URL (for landing pages):

3. Once you have inserted your replaceable content link into your email or landing page, it’s a breeze. Whenever you want to update the content to which the link points, simply go to your content asset, click the dropdown next to its name and select, Replace Content:

4. Then select the file with which you want to replace the content and hit Replace:

You’ll get a warning to verify that you in fact want out with the old and in with the new:

Once you hit ok, the system will begin the replace process and then when it’s done, you’ll see the green bar of success and you’re done!

Now anyone who clicks on the link you inserted in your email or landing page will be automatically redirected to the new content – and you barely had to do ANYTHING!

Go ahead and test it – send an email out with a replaceable link in it, click it, see the first round content, replace the content, go back to the email, click the link again, check out the new content - takes a few minutes and you can see just how powerful this feature really is.

So remember the next time this saves your organization either time or embarrassment – Eloqua’s got your back!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Adding and Tracking Facebook ‘Like’ buttons in Eloqua emails

(Guest post from Vince Lockyer, Demand Gen Specialist, Avid)
vince (d0t) lockyer (at) avid (dot) com

There have been a lot of blog posts recently about Facebook ‘Like’ buttons and how to use them in marketing emails.

While it’s easy to add a link to a Facebook group or page from an email, it’s not been so easy to integrate a fully working ‘Like’ button into an email in a similar way it works with a webpage – and also accurately track who’s clicking it and what they are ‘liking’.
So far only one or two vendors have come up with an embedded solution to this – which of course only works with their platform. Now using the method described here you can get the same functionality for your Eloqua emails. This solution requires a bit of HTML tweaking in the final step.

How it works
From your Eloqua email, a blind form-submit sends the email address of the recipient, the URL, and the name of the webpage being ‘liked’ to an Eloqua form. After logging and tracking these details the form confirmation page then displays the webpage overlaid with the Facebook Like Button Social Plug-in.

Try it out!
Try out this example form with your own data to see how it looks.

How to build it

Create two new contact fields:
• Facebook – Last Like URL
This will contain the URL of the last thing that the contact liked. It’s required also because the form confirmation page will need the URL to display the webpage in the final step.

• Facebook – Last Like Name
(Optional but highly recommended.) Contains the name of the last thing that the contact liked. Required to make the reports more readable and also to be displayed in the form confirmation page.

Create a new form with the following fields. Keep the form name and the HTML names of the fields short as they will be used in the blind form submit URL. Try something like ‘fb’ or ‘like’ for the form name.

• ‘e’ – Email Address
• ‘l’ – URL
• ‘n’ – Name

Add a ‘Update Contact Data’ processing step to update the two Facebook fields from the form submissions.

Add a confirmation page processing step. Here you will need to build the HTML for displaying the webpage overlaid with the Facebook Social Plug-in.

Confirmation Page HTML
The confirmation page displays the webpage being ‘liked’ in an iframe embedded in the Eloqua confirmation page. A semi-transparent layer is overlaid on top with the Facebook Social Plug-in contained in another layer (see image).

A close button is included in the top-left that hides the overlaid layers and reveals the webpage beneath.

Download the HTML for the confirmation page, you can use it as-is or customise it to your requirements. Note: you will need to edit it to update the field merges and locations of the graphics files in your Eloqua instance.

To add-in your own field merges for the ‘Facebook – Last Like URL’ and ‘Facebook – Last Like Name’ use the Insert Contact Field option in the Eloqua Confirmation Page editor. To upload the images use the Upload Images tool under Hypersites or Email Marketing > Tools & Content Components. You’ll need to copy the URL of the hosted image once uploaded and paste that into the HTML.

Adding the Like button to an email

Once the form fields, form and confirmation page is setup you can add the ‘Like’ button to your email. The button will trigger a blind-form submission in this format:

Make sure “?elqFormName=” equals the HTML name of the form you created and “&elqSiteID” equals your unique Eloqua site ID. “&l=” is the URL of the webpage being liked and “&n=” is the name.


To get a report of who is liking what, view the Form Data report:

Liking or Recommending

The code described here will allow you to add a ‘Like’ button. You can also add-in a ‘Recommend’ button using the same code – you’ll just need to change the ‘action’ parameter in the Facebook Social Plug-in to ‘recommend’:

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Drake Has a New Contest For You

(Guest post from Eloqua's Drake)

This is Drake, Eloqua's Success Tour Ambassador and I'm kicking off another round of Customer Success Tours beginning today in Austin, TX. Our theme for the events this quarter is "sales enablement", but actually the goal is to make you, the marketer, a hero to your sales team. Envision them giving you accolades at the next company-wide meeting...

In honor of this theme I've cajoled the folks at Eloqua into letting me host another contest on Facebook. Here's the scoop: post a picture on my Facebook wall (facebook.com/eloquadrake) that depicts marketing and sales being aligned. Think "lock-step" and "BFFs" (or whatever kids these days are saying). And most importantly, think creatively, because that's what will win the prize. You can post up to three times, so make 'em count. The deadline is September 6 (Labor Day) so you have a little time to strategize.

What's the prize? Your personal reward is a $100 iTunes or Amazon gift card (your choice) and your company reward is 10 licenses of the Eloqua Sales Toolkit which contains Eloqua for Microsoft Outlook, Eloqua Prospect Profiler and Eloqua Discover. What's Eloqua Discover? Come to a Success Tour to see a live demo of this great new tool. So it's a win-win for both you and your company.

Get started by friending me on Facebook so you can see all the postings and scope out the competition. I'm looking forward to seeing what you come up with.

(Oh – my Eloqua friends asked me to remind you that this Friday, August 13th is the early bird deadline for Eloqua Experience. You can attend for $999 if you sign up by this Friday, so what are you waiting for? After that the price goes up to $1350 – is there really anything to think about?)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

How Event Automation Saved My Marriage

(guest post from Joe Gelata, of Sybase)

We’re all in the same boat - we need to run successful campaigns but we’re tight on time. It comes down to two choices; work around the clock building and managing campaigns or don’t run them at all. The former will put stress on your personal life and marriage while the latter will have you looking for a new job. Luckily, Eloqua offers us a third option: Automation!

I was recently tasked with building a registration system for a seminar series that had some ambitious requirements:

• Manage registration for 45 different seminar sessions in 12 cities across North America and Europe over the span of several weeks

• Support for communication in 3 languages

• Target email content to each contact (e.g. send 350+ unique emails)

• Schedule communications differently for each geographical region

• Prep leads for Sales so they have accurate data on each lead

To make it interesting we only had 1 ½ people and 2 ½ weeks to design, build, test, and launch the system. This was a challenge in itself but the real kicker was that we had next to no resources to manage the system once it was running. The only way to meet these challenges was to dig deep into our Eloqua toolbox and automate everything. Here’s how we did it and what we used...

Program Builder
Program Builder was our saving grace when it came to scheduling emails and preparing leads for sales. The former was done by segmenting our lists by geography. We used decision rules to determine if each contact was in a contact filter for each region. Once segmented they were sent to one of several programs that automated the sending of invitation emails based on the schedule for that particular region. Since each of the regional invitation programs was identical (with the exception of the email dates) we were able to build one and copy it for the rest making this a quick and easy process.

Preparing leads for sales was slightly more complex. Aside from a campaign, we wanted to tag the contacts with the city they registered for, the session they registered for, and their attendance status. This adds up to 96 different combinations of information. To automate this we used Program Builder, Contact Groups, and Update Rules. In a nutshell, the program:

• Accepted all contacts from the ESM (more on ESM later)

• Segmented the contacts based on their session using a Contact Filter

• Added a campaign association

• Added product information

• Grouped all contacts together again

• Segmented the contacts based on their attendance status using their membership in an ‘Attended Contacts’ group

• Added an “Attended” or “Did Not Attend” status

• Sent contacts to the CRM integration program

The only manual piece of the process was uploading our attendee lists. The rest was pure automation.

Activity Driven Content
Activity Driven Content (ADC) is perhaps the most underrated component in Eloqua. Not only is it extremely easy to use, but it can drastically cut the development time of your emails while helping you increase click-throughs, lower opt-out rates, and take your targeting to a level you never thought possible. This is the kind of automation that may actually put your marriage in jeopardy. You know what I’m talking about: “Honey, I did the coolest things with Eloqua today…” Unless you’re married to a marketer this conversation always end with someone falling asleep. It’s only cool to us!

With three languages and information on 45 different sessions, we had a lot of content to deliver to registrants. Our goal was to keep emails as short and to-the-point as possible. After all, no one wants to ready a 7’ email with information on 44 sessions they didn’t register for. Lucky for us, Eloqua offers Activity Driven Content which dynamically serves up content based on data in a contact record or data card. To do this you build ADC pieces which are essentially fragments of HTML for each version of content you will be sending. You then setup ADC Rules to determine which piece should be sent to each contact. For example, you can create the introductory paragraph of your email in multiple ADC fragments each in a different language. Next you can create an ADC Rule that looks up a contacts country and pulls the ADC in the appropriate language. The final step is to insert the ADC into your email. The email itself basically serves as a shell for the ADC:

When you send the email to a specific contact, the ADC is populated:

ADC is an extremely powerful tool. It did a great job customizing language and location info for this seminar series but the possibilities are endless. You can target content based on any standardized contact or data card field you have in your database. Industry, title, interest, buying stage, company size…the list goes on and on. Just think what it can do for your newsletters. And don’t forget to add in a personalized signature from your sales reps while you’re at it.

Event & Survey Manager
Event & Survey Manager (ESM) is a wonderful tool for managing multi-session events. It has three basic parts:

Registrant Info

This is the Data Card Set and its associated fields. It works with the individual Data Cards which store all of the registrant information collected on the form (form data can also be saved to contact records at the same time). Each Data Card is associated to a contact. The Data Card Set is a table separate from the contact table and can be used for events and surveys.

Event Details
These fields are specific to your event and can include date, time, location, session name, presenter, etc. Each session has its own record. Each Data Card will be associated to one of these sessions.

Event Actions
Think of this as program builder for events. You can do all the regular stuff such as send emails and add contacts to a program step. The big difference is Event Actions are triggered based on dates relative to the session date each contact has registered for. For example, where Program Builder can be setup to send an email to everyone on January 1st, Event Actions can send an email two days before the session a specific contact is registered for. It makes setup a dream and allows a customer centric email schedule.

For our seminar we created a Data Card Set with fields that matched those on our form, loaded info for all 45 sessions into the Event Details, and scheduled our emails in Event Actions. For example, a ‘Registration Confirmation’ email was sent each time a new contact was added to ESM, a ‘Seminar Reminder’ email was sent 5 days before their session, and they were added to our follow-up program one day after their event. Building this in Program Builder would have been a mammoth task. However, building it in ESM took 15 minutes of training and a few hours to setup. And of course, it required no management whatsoever.


The major accomplishment with this project was simply that it was completed successfully. Given the scarce resources available to build and run registration, it was a huge challenge. However, automation allowed us to come out victorious. Throughout the process we were able to offer registrants completely customer centric communications – from the content to the delivery date. Even with very little management, this massive seminar series ran smoothly.

Beyond the event itself, building this system forced us to dive into new areas of Eloqua that we have never explored before. This learning experience has sparked new creative ideas on how to use these tools and address other problem areas we had previously written off.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

SmartXchange - Installing a Template

(Guest post from Miles Thibault, Product Manager for Eloqua's SmartXchange)

Eloqua's SmartXchange template library became available today. SmartXchange templates are marketing assets, such as emails, forms, and even programs; that have been refined and tested by Eloqua and other marketers. They give you better performance in less time.

The rest of this post will walk you through installing one of the Eloqua Best Practice email templates.

1. To access SmartXchange, go to: Setup | SmartXchange

2. This example uses an email template called "BP - Product Offer with CTA, 1 column." Once you've found it, click Use Template

3. Since an email is made of several smaller components, you should give each of them a descriptive name. Once that's done, click Finish. The template is now installed.

4. As an optional step, some templates have tasks that you can complete on the tasks page. Complete as many tasks as you need and click Done.

That's is! In only a few minutes you're ready to use on of Eloqua's best-practice emails.