Marketing to Shared Email Addresses with Oracle Eloqua

shared email addresses

It’s not at all uncommon for multiple family members to share a single email address, either for everyday usage or for registering their household for a particular event. Or a business might use [email protected] to make communication easier for them since everything goes to a single inbox.

But for marketers using Eloqua, contacts that share an email address can be a bit of a headache. Each stored contact in Eloqua is identified by their email address, and with out-of-the-box functionality, Eloqua does not allow multiple contacts to be connected to the same email. The opposite is also true: one Eloqua contact cannot have multiple connected email addresses. The problem here is obvious. How can you properly communicate with your contacts if Eloqua can’t accommodate their email arrangements?

Eloqua Custom Objects for Shared Email Addresses

Luckily, the solution is simple. Custom Objects (CO) dramatically expand Eloqua’s capabilities for data storage and usage. To use Custom Objects for multiple users sharing an email address, simply create a CO for each user and input the same email address. Eloqua will now have a many-to-one relationship for each person associated with the email address. 4Thought Marketing’s Many-to-One Cloud App is designed to work in tandem with these Custom Objects to construct and send customized emails. Each user will receive an email tailored personally to them on their shared email address.

Solving Potential Problems with Shared Email Addresses

Shared email addresses make things slightly more complicated for marketers. Even with Custom Objects and cloud apps set up perfectly, certain functions or customer behaviors can cause problems. Let’s look at a few common issues you may face and how to handle them.

Unsubscribing or Opting Out

Here’s the situation: you’ve been sending emails to a single address shared by three people—Jack, Jill, and Jane—for a while now. Jack gets tired of seeing your emails and unsubscribes. Now all three users are unsubscribed, even if Jill and Jane are still interested. You’ve lost two potential customers. How can you get around this?

The best way to do this is to use Preference Management. Allow each user connected to an email address to choose which emails they want to receive and which they don’t. In this case, that means that Jack can choose to significantly limit the emails tailored to him, while Jill and Jane can still get the messages they want. This allows Jack to manage his preferences without costing you two additional customers.

Complicated Lead Tracking

Continuing the example of Jack, Jill, and Jane, let’s look at lead tracking. Imagine that Jill expresses interest in a product one of your emails to her advertised. Jill is now a lead. But since Jane hasn’t expressed this interest, and Jack has opted out of most of your messages, only one user on their shared email address is considered a lead.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution for this. In this particular case, it’s best to track Jill the individual as a lead, rather than by treating the email address and everyone else on it as a lead. This lets you focus on nurturing a customer without marketing aggressively to users who haven’t asked for it.

Segmentation & Email Personalization

Personalizing emails that go to a shared address can be confusing. But fortunately, Eloqua can handle it. To use data from Custom Objects to personalize these types of emails, you should:

  • Identify which contacts meet your campaign segmentation criteria
  • Find the Custom Object with the data you need
  • Move the data from the Custom Object to the Contact

You can also use the Many-to-One Email Cloud App to streamline the process.

Email Marketing Like a Pro

Shared email addresses may seem complicated at first, but with the right tools, your marketing team can handle them easily. And we’re always ready to help. With several successful Many-to-One integrations under our belt, we can get your marketing team back on track in no time. Get in touch with us today to learn more or schedule your own integration.


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