Eloqua for Dummies

A guide for new or recent users of Eloqua

Let’s start at the beginning

Since 1999 Eloqua has provided users the opportunity to deliver unique customer experiences with cutting edge technology.

In December 2012 Eloqua customers received a massive boost with the acquisition of Eloqua by Oracle Corporation.

In late 2012 Oracle outlined the following as part of the reason they acquired Eloqua:

“The combination of Oracle and Eloqua is expected to create a comprehensive Customer Experience Cloud offering to help companies transform the way they market, sell, support and serve their customers.

The combined offering is expected to enable organisations to provide a highly personalised and unified experience across channels, create brand loyalty through social and online interactions, grow revenue by driving more qualified leads to sales teams, and provide superior service at every touchpoint.”*

*SOURCE: Oracle Press Release

About Eloqua for Dummies

How to use this guide

Given the changing nature of Eloqua as a SaaS product and combined with quarterly releases from Oracle, there will be many links from this guide to Oracle online resources. 

For example the Oracle Eloqua Help Centre, Topliners and others. This will help ensure you have access to the most current and up to date information about Eloqua.

In addition I will add my own insight and tips to help you understand Eloqua better and how to get up to speed faster.

Why this guide

Following a webinar I hosted in 2019 and the following question from a customer, I decided there was a need. The customer asked:

“Do you have a resource where beginners like myself can access tutorials for the basic functions and capabilities of Eloqua? Like an “Eloqua for Dummies” guide, perhaps?” 

They do exist, however thinking further I believe there is room for a guide like this one.

Good to know

This guide will grow over the coming months and years and I will be editing all sections from time to time.

My primary focus will be on the areas of Eloqua I find customers have the most questions about.

We’ll begin with the Campaign Canvas and develop further from there.

I’ll also develop a resource page that will take you to many of the Oracle Eloqua online resources that you can access today.

Dummies start here.

If you don’t have time to read, start with these resources.

Marketing Cube YouTube Channel

DISCLAIMER: I work at Marketing Cube and much of the content on this YouTube Channel has been produced by me or members of my team.

You’ll find replays of the popular Eloqua User Group, some tips for Eloqua users and more.

The Eloqua User Group replays can be watched at your desk while working on other tasks.

Oracle LaunchPad – Free Oracle Cloud Training

LaunchPad provides FREE eLearning, video and text based modules for Oracle Cloud customers. As an Eloqua user, select the “Business User” profile and then Marketing and then Eloqua. 

Try these initial modules as a beginner:

    • Getting Started With Oracle Eloqua
    • Building Campaigns
    • Campaign Reporting
    • Managing Segments
    • Working With Emails

Oracle Marketing Cloud Help Centre YouTube Channel

DISCLAIMER: I work at Marketing Cube and much of the content on this YouTube Channel has been produced by me or members of my team.

You’ll find replays of the popular Eloqua User Group, some tips for Eloqua users and more.

The Eloqua User Group replays can be watched at your desk while working on other tasks.

Chapter One: The Campaign Canvas

What is the Campaign Canvas?

The campaign canvas includes a wide variety of elements that you can use to create rich, multi-step campaigns that meet your marketing goals.

Each element has its own configuration needs: some elements, like Wait, are very straightforward, while others require a more complex configuration. When you fully configure an element, it changes colour. You must fully configure all elements before you can activate a campaign.

You can also extend the functionality of the campaign canvas by using Oracle Eloqua AppCloud apps. These apps enable you to integrate your campaign with other systems like WebEx or GoToWebinar.

The following topics provide more details on the different types of campaign elements:

Long before you login to Eloqua, you really need to have your strategy worked out.

If you’ve just started using Eloqua, the biggest mistake you make is to keep using Eloqua just like you did with your previous email marketing or marketing automation platform. You had a reason for buying Eloqua, let’s make sure you capitalise on that reason and get some magic happening sooner, rather than later.

Where to start?

To answer that question, I’m going to have to make some assumptions. The main assumption is that you’re new to Eloqua – the fact that you’ve ready this far would be a good indicator that you’re new.

I’m also going to assume that you’ve secured an certified and qualified Oracle Partner to implement Eloqua. That means you should be in a position to build a Segment, build your Emails, Landing Pages, Forms and add them to the Campaign Canvas.

Try thinking about the Eloqua Campaign Canvas/Multi-Step Campaigns like this.

When you build your Campaign Canvas and drop various Elements on the canvas, you need to think about the flow of your campaign members through the campaign.

The canvas is extremely logical in the way that works, it will do exactly as you tell it to do. Eloqua doesn’t randomly adjust the flow of a person through a campaign for random reasons. There will always be a reason.

Some fundamentals to remember

The following are considered the basics, if you can get your head around these aspects of Eloqua, you’ll be in a great place.

  1. Eloqua will never send the same email to the same person twice.
  2. A single unique Contact/Email Address can only enter a Campaign once. e.g. if you have the same Contact sitting in two different Segments on the one Canvas, they will only progress through the campaign from ONE of the Segments. Eloqua will choose which one.
  3. A Campaign cannot be activated unless all Elements are configured.
  4. A Campaign can be deactivated once it has been activated. You can then reactivate the campaign.

EXAMPLE: A basic Campaign Canvas Design.

What is happing on this campaign canvas?

Segment Element Campaign Canvas

The canvas shown above is probably one of the more basic campaign canvas designs. It begins with two Segments, both directed to the Contact Washing Machine. It’s worth noting at this point that you can have multiple Segments on a single Canvas.

This can be helpful from a reporting point of view, it delivers a more granular breakdown of Segments/Audiences and their engagement with your emails.

Segment Members Audience Element

Segments are groups of contacts generated based on filter criteria and contact lists. Segments can filter contacts based on criteria like whether or not they receive a newspaper, whether or not they registered for a conference, or whether or not they visited a landing page.

Segments are used to feed email distribution in campaigns. They allow you to specify which contacts are included, and then to customise the subsequent actions for those contacts.

SOURCE

Contact Washing MachineElement Campaign Canvas

The Contact Washing Machine App is a free app you can add to Eloqua. I use it primarily to ensure key data is in Propercase. e.g. a person’s first name should be presented as “Derek”, not “DEREK” or “derek”.

The app has a wide range of actions it can perform, CLICK HERE to read in more detail.

Contact Washing Machine App Action Element

The Contact Washing Machine enables cleansing of contact fields. You are able to define one or more contact fields as inputs, then run actions such as trim, concatenate, adjust case (propercase or lowercase), and perform lookups to populate fields.

The data can then be mapped back to that same field or a separate field. Keeping data clean improves the accuracy of scoring, segmentation, and personalisation.

SOURCE

Email Element Campaign Canvas

This is the fun part – this is where your strategy mixes with your design and all comes together in the Email Design (drag & drop, not HTML) or Source (for lovers of HTML) Editor.

Email Send Asset Element

The Contact Washing Machine enables cleansing of contact fields. You are able to define one or more contact fields as inputs, then run actions such as trim, concatenate, adjust case (propercase or lowercase), and perform lookups to populate fields.

The data can then be mapped back to that same field or a separate field. Keeping data clean improves the accuracy of scoring, segmentation, and personalisation.

SOURCE

Wait Element Campaign Canvas

The Wait Element is probably the once step missed by new Eloqua users. It’s a critical step in your canvas design and provides two options.

You can wait for a period of time, hours, days or weeks or you can wait until a specific date and time. 

You will typically use one type of Wait based on your campaign.

The Wait Action Element

This element allows you to specify how much time will elapse between steps of your campaign. You can also set up a wait step notification for when contacts enter the step.

Example: If you want to send an email alerting contacts and prospects to register for an upcoming seminar, after the initial email step, you can add a wait step. You can specify an amount of time to wait (hours, days or weeks) before continuing on to the next step, perhaps sending a reminder to those who have not yet responded.

SOURCE

Opened Email Element Campaign Canvas

The Opened Email? decision element allows you to evaluate a persons engagement or lack of engagement with your email. In the canvas above we’re going to send a second email to campaign members if they did not open the first email.

The Opened Email? Decision Element

Evaluate and route segment members differently depending on whether they opened a specific email at least once or a selected number of times.

SOURCE