Managing Inbound Marketing with Eloqua

By Michelle Waddell, 14 June 2018

Eloqua is one of the world’s leading Marketing Automation (MA) platforms, with over 1,400 clients and more than 100,000 users worldwide.

Over the past six years of working with the Eloqua platform we’ve picked up some key tips for maximising performance. Read on to find out the things we think are important for Eloqua success.

Plan Well to Plan Right

In order to get it right, you need to plan, and plan forensically – something which requires both operational diligence and knowledge of the platform. Target users may see a gorgeous email on their iPhone or a nicely tailored landing page when they click on a link but behind the scenes there is a busy team meticulously planning all the campaign permutations, from the logistics and data segments to the content and timings, before launching campaigns into the wild.

Eloqua’s exacting requirements on campaign creation is a good thing, as it enforces a discipline and a clear view from product owners and marketing teams about their goals and desired user behaviour. This allows a marketing team to deploy digital communications at scale, with many customized elements.

Well-designed inbound marketing campaigns yield commercial success when good plans meet operational excellence, and Eloqua can help you get there.

High Effort Yields High Returns

Email is often thought of as an inexpensive communication channel. However, whilst the dispatch cost per email may be low, the cost to orchestrate complex campaigns can be high. The power of Eloqua comes from data work to ensure these complex campaigns have content and assets which are tailored to individual needs, and which target different prospects that are relevant to them.

Essentially, marketing teams use MA and analytics to figure out the many different journey paths users may take, and how inbound marketing campaigns can optimize these for commercial gain.

Returns are less about the cost per contact and more about the value per prospect, and how those prospects are developed through various contacts. It’s important to analyse prospect engagement data to learn how to create smart user journeys that yield high quality outcomes, whether that’s newsletter registrations, video views, webinar sign-ups or social shares.

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Test, Measure, Learn

If you’re conducting A/B tests, then you need to provide content for each test variant. Some A/B testing can be done quickly and easily – it’s simple to change a subject line or introduce personalization, for example – but it can be time-consuming and laborious if you are introducing and testing different messaging or messaging hierarchies.

We use the Test Measure Learn process to systematically iterate through multiple variants to arrive at optimum campaigns. By adopting this, we guide the evolution of campaigns, landing pages and prospect journeys to lift overall performance.

Email creative and landing pages are great candidates for testing, but there’s also significant value in testing forms, segments, dynamic content and even Custom Objects.

With good data volumes, granular control equals great prospect experiences (and great analytics).

Production Testing

When we talk about production testing, we mean device testing, link testing and landing page testing. This is distinct from campaign testing (such as segments, timing, creative, weight of offer, redemption route). This is testing to avoid the operational SNAFUs that can blight complex campaigns where missing landing pages, incorrect regional content or duplication of messages can reduce or remove customer engagement.

We can run testing in tools like Email On Acid, Litmus or BrowserStack, to assess questions like:

  • Does the email render well on all the desktop clients?
  • Does the responsive template(s) collapse correctly across all in-scope mobile devices?
  • Does the landing page work on all operating systems and browsers?
  • Do all the links go to the right place?

Designing a sign-off workflow can take time but the effort is worthwhile as new edits move through the process without delay, getting fresh communications into the hands of buyers faster – which means quicker data outputs to analyse and faster learning.

Housekeeping – Boring but Crucial

Set up your folder structure and asset naming conventions, ideally before launch of your first email campaign. Agree the structure of campaigns for easier finding and re-use between everyone who will be implementing campaigns. This is even more important if you’re using a 3rd party vendor to support your MA programs.

A naming convention will be carried over into external platforms and therefore needs to be something easily understandable to your analytics team as well as marketing and developers. Consistency really helps with analysis.

We’ve created a simple wizard that should help with your naming convention structure for any type of asset in your campaigns. Simply fill out the short form and you can download the wizard today.

Get in touch today to find out how we can help get the most out of your Eloqua campaigns.

Download our Naming Convention Tool

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