Chapter 2: More Common Components
Using Components to create engaging & personalised content
Field Merge Personalisation
The Field Merge helps you take data connected to the Eloqua Contact or a Custom Object (or Custom Data Object) and insert it into your email or landing page.
At the most basic it’s how you address people by name in your email e.g. “Dear Derek,” e.g. “Dear FirstName,”
Field merges help you personalise your emails, landing pages and forms. I’ve the three of these below to help you set up the basics.
Any piece of data you have stored on the Eloqua Contact or a linked Custom Object can be merged and used in your emails or landing pages. In most cases you will create one field merge for a single Contact or Custom Object field.
The most common is First Name from the Contact. When you create your field merge you are given the chance to provide a default value, should the field itself be empty.
Let’s take First Name as an example. My contact in Eloqua has my first name as Derek. However should the First Name field on my Contact be blank, you may want to create a default value of e.g. Valued Customer. That means you want to create a field merge with the default value of “Valued Customer” meaning my email will be addressed as follows:
“Dear Valued Customer,”
TIP: It’s likely you will create multiple field merges from the same field with the various default values e.g. “Valued Partner”, “Friend”, “Team Member” etc.
When you create these Field Merge don’t just call them “First Name”. I suggest you follow a naming convention which identifies the name of the field and the default value.
Something like this “First Name Valued Partner” or “First Name Friend”. This will avoid confusion when you access the list of First Name field merges from the single select picklist in the editors.
Everything listed above for use in emails is the same for Landing Pages.
Consideration needs to be given to where the field merge will be placed in a sentence. Let’s use Company Name as an example. My company name may be “ACME Imports”.
However, if the Company Name field is blank on my Contact or my contact is not linked to an account record, then we need to consider how this will look in the email or landing page.
If my field is blank, you need to think of a word or sentence that could be used as a default. Personally, I use the words “Your organisation”. Given the variety of people I talk to, “business” or “company” is not always appropriate.
Then I need to consider where in the sentence I’ll use the field merge, so I create two field merges for the contact field Company. I title the field merge as follows:
- LC Company Name
- PC Company Name
- LC = lower-case e.g.: “your organisation”
- PC = proper-case e.g.: “Your organisation” (Notice the capital “Y”)
This means, should the company field be blank, the field merge would look like this:
“We have economical methods to deliver services to your organisation that surpass our competitors.”
“Your organisation can benefit from the savings our team can deliver across the country, compared to our competitors.”
TIP: If your organisation is lucky enough to have copywriters, they need to be aware of this functionality as they develop copy for your campaigns.
The other thing they need to be aware of is the placement of the field merge in the copy to factor in missing data from the contact specifically as it relates to headings. You may create a heading for a landing page like this:
“Derek, it’s great to have you back on our website”
This works well, if you have the first name field populated. But what if you only have a default? Then it would look like this”
“Valued Customer, it’s great to have you back on our website”
Or, if you don’t have a default value, it would look like this:
“, it’s great to have you back on our website”
I think you’ll agree, that’s a pretty poor CX. My tip is to adjust your sentence to something like this:
“It’s great to have you back on our website Derek”
However, I would use a field merge titled “First Name Blank” to deliver the following experience:
“It’s great to have you back on our website”
Notice I’ve avoided using a comma or a full-stop or a period. That way, should the first name field be blank, it’s not so obvious.
Forms – how to use personalisation in your forms
The general purpose for using a Field Merge on selected form fields is to reduce the form abandonment rate and deliver a better CX. Known Eloqua contacts reach the form, typically from an Eloqua email and the form pre-populates with as much information as you currently know about a person.
TIP: All Eloqua instances are pre-configured with some out-of-the-box Field Merges. The two you will use the most are called:
- First Name used for Forms
- First Name used for Emails Only
Despite the absolute clarity of the names of those field merges, I still see some Eloqua uses apply them in the wrong assets. Why would you use a Field Merge called “First Name used for Emails Only” on a form!
Dynamic Content allows you to change the content you present to your audience members based on the data stored on their Eloqua Contact or linked Custom Object.
Dynamic content and field merges both use Oracle Eloqua data to determine the output of content. Field merges display Oracle Eloqua data directly, whereas dynamic content uses the data to determine which version of the content to display. It is also worth noting that field merges can be included in dynamic content.
One of the more popular Eloqua functions, dynamic content is used widely by many Eloqua users. However, I find new users are sometimes apprehensive because they believe their data has to be 100% to take advantage of this function.
That’s not true. Dynamic content works much like a field merge in that you must have a default value for a contact who doesn’t meet the rules to set up for the dynamic content.
That’s the difference between a field merge and dynamic content, you create rules to determine which piece of the dynamic content you present to a unique contact. With a field merge, it’s a one-to-one relationship with the contact e.g. First Name.
TRY THIS EXAMPLE
If you have a newsletter you send to subscribers on a regular basis, Dynamic Content can be used to tailor the appearance of images as well as copy, or both combined into a single piece of dynamic content.
I’ve created dynamic content for the email banner and the images in the banner show iconic scenes from the eight capital cities across Australia and two from New Zealand, Auckland and Wellington.
Creating the rules.
The dynamic content interface works in much the same way as the Segment interface where you drag in certain field names and then assign a set value.
The rules I create for Sydney and a banner showing the Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Harbour are as follows. Click on the image below to see the detail a little better.
The logic above takes into consideration various values that should exist on a person based in the capital city of Sydney in the state of New South Wales (NSW), Australia.
You can see above a few common data points have been used from the Eloqua Contact to narrow down contacts based in New South Wales. The first is the state designation of “NSW”. I’ve then added two of the more populated cities* “Sydney” OR “Newcastle” AND “Australia”. (There is also the city of “Newcastle” in the U.K., hence the need for “AND Australia”
The final data points relate to zip or postcode bands. It’s important to use the OR operator in place of the AND operator.
I’ve taken a range of values that I know relate to not just the city of Sydney, but across the state of NSW.
*NOTE: This is where your local knowledge comes in. Your knowledge of your own Eloqua database also helps. If you have a major client in a more obscure city, you can add that to your rules. Just be careful. For example, in Australia, the city of Burwood exists in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. You need to think these things through as you create your rules.
Shared content is reusable content snippets that you can create once, then reuse in emails and landing pages. It allows you to “build once, re-use everywhere” for your most valuable common pieces of content.
One of the most basic examples is your company logo. As you build emails and landing pages you will add your logo, then you will add a hyperlink to your home page behind the logo. Shared Content enables you to create a single asset with the logo and hyperlink already connected and use it over and over.
Shared content is different to dynamic content in that you do not create rules to present different images and/or copy. Shared content is a fixed asset or snippet, all members of your audience will see the same content regardless of the values on their Contact or linked Custom Object.
Some examples of where I’ve seen Eloqua customers use shared content.
- Your Company Logo
- Banners for Landing Pages
- Footers for Landing Pages
- Various calls to action e.g. “Visit our blog”, “Subscribe to our newsletter today”
Other uses could be for seasonal or campaign level calls to action. You may have specific sales you want to remind your audience about or perhaps registration for an annual conference.
These pieces of shared content can be used across various assets, emails or landing pages, in the lead up to the sale or the annual conference.
TIP: Once you’ve used a piece of shared content and then choose to make changes to it, all current and future assets where it’s used, will be changed. In addition, any historical emails you look at will show the new edited shared content, not what was sent to your audience.
When you view an email in Eloqua that has been sent as part of a campaign, you’re viewing a mash up of what is in Eloqua today. Eloqua does not make a copy of the email at the time it was sent and store that for archival or audit purposes. This is specifically important to understand for industries like e.g. financial services where shared content could display interest rates or content that has an expiry date.
So, a best practice approach would be to save-as your first version of the shared content and create version 2 should you need to make changes to it for future campaigns. Once an email has been sent and is sitting in a person’s email inbox, you can’t make changes to that email and its content.
Image & File Storage
The component library lets you view and organise images and files that have been uploaded to Eloqua. You can use these images and files in emails, forms, and landing pages.
Signatures layouts are templates for automatically inserting Eloqua sender information into emails. You can create a standard signature layout that defines how signatures should look and what information they should contain.
This allows you to maintain consistency in corporate branding, and it makes it easier to generate signatures for a large number of employees. A single signature layout can be created which then dynamically pulls in the details of the sender.
Your Signature Layout can be built without HTML, but as of release 19D (November 2019) I’d suggest your Signature Layout will look better with a little HTML magic.
In the example below we’ve set the photo of the team member on the left and the office address details on the right, requiring two columns. It’s the need for two columns that requires some HTML.
The part of this process that generally stumps new users is knowing where the personal data comes from to populate the field merges shown in the Signature Layout above? Technical speaking they are not Field Merges, they are “User Fields“. You’ll notice that if you hover your mouse over the centre icon between the image and hyperlink icons on the right of Signature Layout window.
The data is sourced from Eloqua User Profiles. It does NOT come from an Eloqua Contact that you may have in Eloqua for your company employees.
TIP: Signature Layouts are tied to Signature Rules, Eloqua Users and then actioned via the Campaign Canvas. Once you select the Signature Rule from the Email element on the Campaign Canvas, the rule over-rides the default sender details you see in the email editor.
Step by Step Guide to Eloqua Signatures
If you broke it down into steps, the creation of your signatures for use in emails would go like this:
- Add your users to Eloqua. You can upload multiple users at once via a .csv file. Be sure to set them as “No. User is Disabled”, this means they’re not consuming an Eloqua License. Your Eloqua Administrator may need to complete this step for you. Ask your administrator for the user upload excel template, it’s accessed from the User area of Eloqua. If you complete the template correctly, the upload process is a five minute task for your Eloqua Administrator.
- Create your Signature Layout. You can have multiple signature layouts. For example, if you use Eloqua to market under multiple brands, you may require multiple signature layouts. Or, if you run joint marketing campaigns with business partners, you may need a layout that includes their logo and/or your logo, this would be an additional layout. As a general rule, you will likely use one signature layout for 90% of your communications.
- Create your Signature Rule. You can also have multiple Signature Rules. If you’re using Eloqua to market one brand, you will probably have a single rule. If you need to send an email from one person, you can access the list of users from the Email element on the Campaign Canvas, you don’t need to create a rule for one person/user.
Once you have your Signature Layouts and Rules in place, you’re pretty much set. You don’t need to create new layouts or rules for each Campaign.