Oracle Eloqua Campaign Configuration
5 Small Details With Big Impact When Building An Eloqua Campaign
In the Eloqua environment, the Orchestration section is where the magic happens. Here’s the lab where, with the help of a wide variety of automation ingredients, you can concoct programs and campaigns that empower you to meet your marketing goals.
While programs have a rather administrative function allowing you to transform data within Eloqua in real-time (think of CRM integration, data cleansing, or security label management) with minimal manual intervention, campaigns offer you the means to reach your audiences. Speaking of campaigns, they are highly customizable marketing tools, and this is both great and intimidating.
On the one hand, it’s great to have the freedom to add elements to your canvas, move them around, and connect them in a flow that meets your marketing needs.
But let’s be honest: who doesn’t feel a bit intimidated in front of a blank canvas? Carefully planning your campaign, however, applying a trial-and-error method to learn from past experiences, and paying close attention to the minor details during the configuration process can lead to impressive results.
Of course, these small details might be specific to your business, but our extended Eloqua practice has shown us that a few have the potential of being universally helpful, and we are sharing them below:
Any marketer dreams of sending emails at just the right time when their recipients are most likely to open them and engage with their content – when the general clutter that usually overtakes inboxes during the day can be avoided.
But is the right time the same for all audience members? Most often not. To tackle this issue, Eloqua offers Send Time Optimization. This feature allows marketers to send their emails at the optimal time for each contact based on historical data stored within the platform.
The solution, located under the Scheduling tab of an Email asset added to a campaign canvas, proposes two possible optimization alternatives: by the time of day or by the time of day AND day of the week.
If you decide to optimize only by the time of day, a contact will receive emails at the ideal time of day, regardless of what day they receive them. When choosing the second optimization type, Eloqua determines which combination of time of day and day of the week is suitable for each contact.
All the recipients with no historical data would get the email immediately after activating the campaign. Keeping this in mind, going live at an hour that still works for most audience members is desirable. Once contacts interact with the first email, future send times adjust accordingly.
If you’re considering experimenting with Send Time Optimization, batch-type campaigns are an excellent fit.
However, when it comes to time-sensitive emails, such as webinar- or event-related communications, the send time optimization feature is not the recommended option, as you risk having the send time pushed too far into the future.
When managing multiple Eloqua campaigns simultaneously, it is not easy to keep track of all their upcoming end dates. A spreadsheet gathering all campaign details is helpful, but it’s not necessarily a fail-proof method to overview all items approaching completion.
There are a few essential things you need to remember about campaigns reaching their end date. Even though Eloqua continues to track all campaign activity for 12 months after completion for reporting purposes, the campaign becomes read-only, offering you no option for re-activation or further updates, with contacts exiting the canvas. If you want to keep using the same flow, you need to clone it.
To ensure no campaign end date catches you off-guard, we think these two options come in handy: setting up notifications and delaying the campaign end date.
The Notifications feature, located under the Options tab of any campaign canvas, allows you and multiple other team members to be alerted that a campaign is nearing its deadline up to five days prior.
Until recently, any Eloqua campaign had a default end date set to a year into the future from the activation moment. In an attempt to declutter the system, this default duration was decreased from 12 to 3 months.
For short-lived, time-sensitive campaigns, this update shouldn’t represent an issue, but for nurture or other always-on initiatives, manually customizing the end date to better fit your marketing needs should become standard practice. You can easily perform this quick, impactful change by accessing the Campaign Settings tab.
When building Eloqua campaign canvases, beginning with the end in mind is wise. In other words, it’s a best practice to set reporting expectations from the very start so that you know what metrics need to be monitored during campaigns and beyond.
Let’s say your campaign includes landing pages and forms, and you want to gather performance data about them in the broader campaign context. Then, add them to the Eloqua canvas for reporting purposes.
From the Assets section of Campaign Steps, drag and drop the blank placeholders to the canvas and configure them with your assets of choice.
From a visual standpoint, if landing pages on the canvas contain forms also added there, Eloqua connects the two with a dashed line to emphasize the relationship. The same type of visual connection appears between emails and landing pages linked to, provided they’re all elements of the same canvas.
Even if you’re not the one responsible for marketing automation campaign reporting, think of this additional advantage of bringing all campaign assets to the same canvas: you are providing your teammates with an overview of how everything is intertwined, saving time and making their job a whole lot easier.
More of a reminder rather than ground-breaking information, this next item is still worth mentioning because it represents that same “begin with the end in mind” spirit.
In most campaign cases, there are internal contacts – stakeholders or other interested parties – who need to go through a similar flow as your actual audience to test if everything works as expected, suggest changes if applicable, or just to have everything that’s going live under their radar.
To ensure that the way internal contacts interact with the content doesn’t interfere with your campaign metrics, add them to a seed list – a separate segment explicitly created for testing and monitoring.
This way, you may run analyses disseminated by segments and collect more accurate campaign data at the end of the day.
Wait steps are one of the most overlooked campaign actions, especially by new Eloqua users, who are still learning the ropes of the platform. But wait steps are an essential all-in-one tool, allowing you to test things out, plan, and repurpose them.
Let’s think of a few examples.
By using wait steps, you have the chance to see in real-time if a shared filter works as needed and the contacts are routed accordingly within the flow.
In a nurture campaign, strategically sprinkled wait steps give your audience members the time to complete a specific goal – to open or click an email, visit a landing page, or submit a form before another action occurs. Ultimately, this also gives you the possibility to strike an email cadence that fits best their marketing consumption preferences.
Finally, if you want to repurpose your campaign contacts for an additional marketing initiative or if you need to prevent them from exiting the canvas before new content is published – when working with an on-the-go content strategy, you can add them to a wait step and have them ready to be used.
So there you have it: five small details that can bring a positive impact to your campaign canvas’s performance when used wisely.
Although we know that in marketing automation, as in any other field, universal recipes are hard to find and apply, we encourage you to test out these options. Adjust them to your context, monitor what kind of value they bring to your Eloqua projects, and let us know how they perform for you!
To keep expanding your knowledge on the same topic, check out this article on operational excellence in campaign configuration.
Marketing Automation aficionado during the week, happy-go-lucky photographer as soon as the weekend starts, always eager to learn more and do more.
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