Manipulating Data in Oracle Eloqua Custom Objects

oracle eloqua custom objects

Marketers know that Oracle Eloqua Custom Objects (COs) can do quite a bit when used correctly. As an Oracle Partner company, we get a lot of questions about what you can do with the data stored in COs. And we have good news! Eloqua’s Program Canvas, introduced in 2016, gives you plenty more options than previous out-of-the-box functionality.

In the Eloqua Program Canvas, you can add Custom Object records to a program and choose from a list of decisions or actions to impose on the data. For instance, you can compare the value in a single field to create a decision tree. You could perform a few basic updates. You can even completely delete a record when it’s no longer needed. But why stop there?

Using Oracle Eloqua Custom Objects in the Program Canvas

Eloqua users are very creative. In our own observations of clients that take advantage of Eloqua systems, we’ve seen marketers:

  • Perform calculations on fields within or across records
  • Compare the value of two different fields within or across records
  • Update fields on linked Contact records from data in a CO record
  • Update fields in a CO record from linked Contact records
  • Look up data in a Custom Object and match it to Contact record data to determine which sales rep is best for a particular job
  • Append values from different fields within or across records
  • Perform a wide variety of data filters and manipulations, including but not limited to:
    • Find all records with a renewal before a certain date
    • Find all records created in the past (insert number here) weeks
    • Add a specific amount of time to a date field

And that’s not even a complete list! Our clients have managed to pull off some amazing feats with Oracle Eloqua Custom Objects.

Expand Oracle Eloqua’s Capabilities with Cloud Apps

As impressive as that list is, there’s likely plenty of other functions that you want that you didn’t see. That’s where Cloud Actions, Cloud Decisions, Cloud Apps, and Cloud Connectors enter the picture. Using Oracle Eloqua’s development platforms and API capabilities, sharp developers can create apps to expand the Program Canvas’s functionality even further and allow for even more creative choices.

Here at 4Thought Marketing, we have several favorite Oracle Eloqua cloud apps. And we’re proud to say we’ve made quite a few ourselves! (Check out our list of in-house created cloud apps here.) If you feel that you have tried everything Oracle Eloqua has to offer in its current state, but still can’t meet your business goals, get in touch with us. We haven’t yet found a CO problem that we can’t solve.

Contact us today to see which of our cloud apps is best suited to help you take full advantage of Oracle Eloqua Custom Objects.


Take Control of Your Data Uploads with the Eloqua Upload Wizard

eloqua upload wizard

Uploading data into marketing automation systems like Oracle Eloqua can quickly become complicated. As marketers know, there’s far more to the process than just clicking a button. Some data might be in the wrong format and need to be converted. Other data might overwrite important information when uploaded and requires creating additional columns for processing. Any and all uploaded data must meet your pre-established standards.

Manually reviewing the data can catch most of these errors. Unfortunately, this is not always a practical solution. Manual review is a time-consuming and error-prone process and requires the attention of a pre-trained professional. Only they can correctly manage pre-validations and pre-processing requirements. If you’re required to import several different files, from different vendors, in different formats and the problem grows exponentially.

You need a solution that automates all of the manual pre-processing and allows people minimal training to successfully upload the data. Fortunately, we have a solution: the Eloqua Upload Wizard.

The Upload Wizard from 4Thought Marketing is my new best friend. It reduced the time required to process new leads from days to minutes and to get them into the hands of sales much faster.

Brinette Holdren, Sr. Marketing Specialist – Operations & Campaign Management, Catalent

What is the Eloqua Upload Wizard? 

The Eloqua Upload Wizard is a custom application that allows any trained user to upload files to Eloqua.  Based on your unique requirements, it can be configured to enforce policies and validations before the data goes to the marketing automation system. We have also seen our customers successfully use the Eloqua Upload Wizard in several different ways, including:  

  • Reposting validated records to an internal system for tracking before uploading
  • Creating templates for future uploads 
  • Enforcing custom upload notifications and error reporting 
  • Automating uploads through the validation rules and processing via SFTP  
  • Allowing internal users to upload data to the marketing automation system without the need for a license for each resource
  • Allowing subcontractors or partners to upload data to the marketing automation system without providing access to the system and the data

Eloqua Upload Wizard Dashboard: Tracking your Uploads for Quantity & Quality 

You’ll want to ensure that all the data you upload to your marketing automation system meets your internal quality standards. The Upload Wizard dashboard allows managers to track this and more, including:

  • The number of records processed in a given time period
  • How many uploads each user has performed
  • The number of records rejected, bounced, or updated
  • The number of newly added records
eloqua upload wizard
eloqua upload wizard

Enforcing Privacy Laws in Uploads 

Privacy-conscious companies can also configure the Eloqua Upload Wizard to enforce requirements based on the country and region of the records to be uploaded. For example, for records from the EU, the Upload Wizard can trigger additional validation to ensure the corresponding consent and permission information is included in the upload. Any records that don’t meet these basic GDPR standards would be rejected. This helps to protect your company from accidentally violating a relevant privacy law and potentially incurring a fine.

Save Yourself Some Time

With the Eloqua Upload Wizard, you and your team can enjoy a streamlined upload process and spend far less time performing manual quality control. Interested in hearing more? Contact us today for more information on our suite of custom-built cloud apps.



Simplify Eloqua Nurture Campaign Management

eloqua nurture campaign

Every marketer knows the value of reaching the right people with the right message – at the right time. As a modern marketer, you also know the downside of sending too much information – or the wrong message at the wrong time, especially when your target audience has moved on to the next stage of their buying cycle.

Eloqua nurture campaigns gently nudge buyers by responding to interests and telling a compelling story about a product or service.  These campaigns are staples of marketing automation platforms,  offering robust solutions for building and managing nurture campaigns.  However, creating robust nurtures comes with complexity, especially when the buyer indicates they’re ready for the next step and they become a marketing qualified lead (MQL). When they reach this stage, you should remove them from the current nurture.  No one wants to continue receiving emails from marketing when they’re already chatting with sales.

Think about your current nurture campaigns: You’ve probably spent a lot of time and energy to make sure you have the right audience for each campaign. You might have a campaign for new contacts – people who are just finding out about your company. You may have several different campaigns, each targeting potential buyers based on the interest they have expressed in one product over another. Being savvy, you also provide a different message for people who are farther down the buying process, maybe they reached out to you via form submits or downloaded specific whitepapers.

Each of these nurture campaigns usually consists of 3 or 4, or maybe 5 different emails – all designed to keep the potential buyer engaged and help guide them on their buying process. There’s a lot at stake to do this well, so how do you make sure your nurture campaign members are kept up to date?

Option 1: Going Old School

Decision Steps for Each Stage in Your Campaign

At each stage of a campaign, you’ll need to check to see if the person still meets the criteria for that campaign. Have they expressed interest in a different product? Have they reached MQL qualification, and are ready for a more direct message? Maybe they made a purchase, so now need customer information instead of prospect messages?

When building your campaigns in Oracle Eloqua, you could insert decision steps before each email to make sure that the right message is getting to the right person at the right time. This means that every single one of these decision boxes needs to be updated whenever you have new exclusion criteria.

eloqua nurture campaign

If you have 1 or 2 simple nurture campaigns, each consisting of just a few emails, then this approach may be your ideal route.  However, if you have a growing number of nurtures, each with many steps, this method isn’t sustainable.  There is a better solution that uses a cloud app.

Option 2: Remove Contacts Automatically

Use the the Campaign Contact Remover Cloud App

If your nurture program involves multiple campaigns, each consisting of several emails, then maintaining a multitude of decision steps is time-consuming and rife with a chance for error or omissions.

There’s a simpler way to manage and maintain all of the various criteria for one or more campaigns: our easy-to-use Campaign Contact Remover.

eloqua nurture campaign

With the Campaign Contact Remover app, you can manage all decisions in one program simply by creating a filter with the exclusion criteria. The app then determines which contacts should be removed from one or more of your campaigns.

It’s even easier to do it than to explain it– Get a 10-Day Free Trial and check it out for yourself.

So, there you have it! If your business is just getting into lead nurturing or if you don’t have various campaigns to maintain, then doing manual iterations to update your send lists may work great for you. On the other hand, if you’re moving toward nurturing program scalability and resource efficiency, then this is the right time to save yourself some time with the Campaign Contact Remover App.

Interested in seeing the Campaign Contact Remover app in action? Contact us for a demo.


The 7 Must-Have Partner Apps for Oracle Eloqua

eloqua apps

Oracle Eloqua users should be quite familiar with the wide variety of built-in functions this marketing software offers. But it’s possible to expand both the value and functionality of Eloqua to improve your marketing strategy even further. What’s the best way to do this? For many Eloqua users, the answer is to use specialized Eloqua Add-Ons called Cloud Apps.

Here at 4Thought Marketing, we have several favorite Eloqua apps that we use, including several we made ourselves. Let’s take a look at what they are and how they make our workday easier.

Motiva AI

Artificial intelligence and machine learning now play an increasingly significant role in marketing optimization. The Motiva AI app uses the same AI that Google uses for paid searches to improve your email engagement and analyzes customer data for future campaign improvements.

What It Does: Motiva uses real-time data from your Eloqua instance to automatically optimize your campaigns and increase engagement.

Key Benefits:

  • Increased engagement through hyperspeed content testing, per-contact send-time optimization, and subject line advice
  • Monitors contact data quality to help you clean out unreachable contacts, find bots, fix deliverability issues, and lower your licensing costs
  • Automated segment discovery and rich reporting
  • Frequency management and touchpoint optimization
  • 5-minute integration, GDPR/CCPA and HIPAA compliant

Vidyard

CTAs are an invaluable part of your marketing strategy, and can be used everywhere from emails to blogs and even videos! The Vidyard app allows you to generate leads from within your video content.

What It Does: This app allows you to embed CTAs and data collection forms before, after, or even during a video.

Key Benefits:

  • Choose the perfect time to add CTAs in the video’s runtime
  • Create gated video content to gather data at the beginning of the process
  • End videos with a CTA to encourage customers to continue
  • Gather and follow up on leads faster
  • Track watch time and determine quality of leads based on their apparent interest

Campaign Contact Remover

If you have more than a hundred contacts in Eloqua, the Campaign Contact Remover app can make your average workday much easier.

What It Does: This app does the heavy lifting of ensuring your marketing contacts receive the correct campaigns.

Key Benefits:

  • Set campaign filters once so you never lose track of what you are working on
  • Avoid sending the same offer to contacts multiple times

What to Remember: This isn’t the only cloud app developed by 4Thought Marketing. Browse a complete list here.

Contact Washing Machine

Once dirty data gets into your contact record, it’s hard to get rid of. Manual review certainly isn’t an option for the vast majority of businesses. That’s where the Contact Washing Machine comes in.

What It Does: This app reviews your collected contact data to remove dirty data quickly and efficiently.

Key Benefits:

  • Trim left and trim right to clean data, similar to the trim function in Microsoft Excel
  • Improved automation: use regular expressions to change data in a contact

Facebook Lead Ads

It’s possible to generate a lead from Facebook without the user ever leaving the Facebook site. But how do you move those leads from Facebook into your system? One reliable method is using the Facebook Lead Ads app.

What It Does: This app automatically transfers leads from Facebook to Oracle Eloqua.

Key Benefits:

  • Increased productivity for businesses that already rely on Facebook Lead Ads
  • Improved lead quality resulting from current information shared with Facebook, leading to higher customer response

LinkedIn Campaign Manager

Connecting to leads is a critical step in the sales process. With the LinkedIn Campaign Manager app, you can now engage more directly with your contacts on LinkedIn and even follow their profile to tailor promotions to their latest preferences.

What It Does: This app integrates Eloqua with LinkedIn for a more meaningful customer connection and lead follow-up.

Key Benefits:

  • Capture and nurture leads from LinkedIn
  • Target individual LinkedIn users with specialized ads

SMS Gateway

In a study of more than 1,000 campaigns, Cellit found that SMS has 8 times the response rate of email. The SMS Gateway app allows you to take advantage of the very lucrative potential of text message-based campaigns.

What It Does: This app optimizes your SMS campaigns for better delivery and increased customer response.

Key Benefits:

  • Two-way support: no more “do not reply” email addresses necessary
  • SMS-Friendly Copy: counts characters in your message to ensure optimal delivery
  • International support: generate numbers unique to each country you contact

What to Remember: Without consent, your SMS campaigns could be labeled as spam by the FTC. Don’t get in your own way!

“There’s an Eloqua App for That”

When used correctly, Eloqua apps can provide a much-needed boost to both your workday productivity and your profits. But it’s important to remember not to get so focused on finding the next great app that you lose sight of your competitors stealing your customers right from under your nose—or of privacy laws challenging your practices and putting you at risk of fines for noncompliance.

Once you have your favorite Eloqua apps all in a row, what’s next for your marketing strategy? Focus on issues with potentially long-lasting consequences, such as your compliance (or lack thereof) with relevant privacy laws. Talk to us about achieving GDPR compliance without endangering your newly revamped marketing strategy—or the profits it’s bringing in.


Process Leads Faster with the Contact Feeder Cloud App for Oracle Eloqua

contact feeder

The Contact Feeder Cloud App helps you get leads into the hands of sales or your campaigns faster.  Unlike Eloqua listeners, which run once every 24 hours, you can configure the app to check for matching contacts as often as every minute. If you get a new lead, you can process it quickly, reducing the risk of leads going cold or not getting them to sales as soon as possible.

Watch the video below for a quick overview of using the Contact Feeder Cloud App in Eloqua.

The Contact Feeder Cloud App makes it easy to add contacts from a segment or shared filter into your Eloqua program canvas at any time. To sign up for a free 10-day trial or request a demo, contact us today.


Mass CO Deleter Eloqua Cloud App: The Basics

If you need to clean up your Eloqua Custom Data Objects and remove data for specific contacts, the Mass CO Deleter Cloud App from 4Thought Marketing is the perfect solution.

Watch the 1-minute video below and learn how the Mass CO Deleter Cloud App helps you keep your Eloqua system clean.

Learn more about the Mass CO Deleter Cloud App and request a 10-Day Free Trial here.


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 accounting@company.com 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.


4Thought’s Update All Contact CO Cloud App for Eloqua

Need to keep your Eloqua Custom Object records up to date when a field or fields change on the mapped contact record or want to add or update static values to all mapped contact records?  You can with the new Update All COs Eloqua Cloud App from 4Thought Marketing.

Watch the video below for instructions on installing and configuring the app. If you’re interested in a demo or free trial, contact 4Thought Marketing today.


A Quick Look at the Contact CO Deleter Cloud App

It’s not possible to delete Custom Objects associated with a contact record in Oracle Eloqua using only out-of-the-box features. This is where the Contact CO Deleter Cloud App comes into play. The Contact CO Deleter Cloud App makes removing custom objects mapped to contact easily on either the program or campaign canvas.

The cloud app works in a contact program or campaign canvas. To use the app, drag and drop the cloud action into the campaign canvas and connect it to the appropriate elements. Next, double-click on the Contact CO Deleter cloud action to configure the app. Specify the custom object from which to remove records and the contact email address field. And with that, you’re done. Watch the video below for a quick walkthrough of this process.

Contact us to purchase a license or sign up for a free trial for the Contact CO Deleter Cloud App.


First Tech Credit Union’s Personalized Email Campaigns

first tech credit union

Credit unions earn money in several different ways, but customer loans tend to be their biggest source of revenue. First Tech Federal Credit Union is no exception. And while they continue to see strong growth, they also saw abandoned applications as an opportunity to increase conversions. Here is their story.

The Problem: Incomplete or Abandoned Applications

The problem the team at First Tech faced was not an uncommon one. Consumers regularly start online processes which they later abandon and never complete, and credit unions see this happen especially frequently. As the First Tech team explained, “loan applications require information that applicants may not have readily available, such as two years’ worth of bank statements.” At that moment, the applicant may decide it’s not worth the trouble to hunt for the documents and just abandon the application. Another customer may go looking for the documents they need, but run into delays or just never get around to finishing the process. Neither party stops the application because they changed their minds. Rather, they were simply unprepared.

For the First Tech team, each abandoned loan application was a lost source of income. They needed to allow customers to have enough time to find the information they needed and easily pick back up in the application process.

The Solution: Personalized Reminder Emails & New Evergreen Strategies

Using Oracle Eloqua, the First Tech team developed a series of reminder emails for users with abandoned applications. The first email arrives two days later after the user closes the application, with a gentle reminder and a resume application link generated by a custom Eloqua Cloud App developed by 4Thought Marketing to pick up where they’d left off. A similar email arrives five days later. These emails are designed to ensure the loan is not forgotten forever.

But the team also knew that emails that “look automated” are not likely to be opened. To improve their open rates, First Tech team used Eloqua custom objects to personalize each email. Consumers would no longer receive an email that looked like a robot wrote it. Instead, they would receive a personalized, branded email tailored specifically for the type of loan they had applied for and addressing them directly. Better yet, the emails are signed by “Kyle”, an actual human employee of the credit union working in consumer lending. First Tech’s care and attention to detail makes their reminder emails feel more like notes from a colleague than automated messages from a computer.

The Results: Significant Improvements in Open Rates and Revenue

The results were evident very quickly. Email open rates increased by 8-10% after the campaign launched. More customers returned to finish their incomplete applications. And most importantly, the credit union’s revenue increased along with completed loan applications. A few small changes made all the difference.

First Tech Credit Union’s Success Story

Personalized reminder emails demonstrably improved First Tech’s customer retention and revenue. By taking the time to personalize their customer engagement communications, the credit union made their customers feel more comfortable continuing the loan application process. The result was a win-win situation. The First Tech team could continue to rely on an automated email system to boost customer retention, and the customers could enjoy personalized reminders to pick up where they’d left off in their application.

Eloqua’s remarkable email capabilities are just one of its many features designed to increase customer interest. Want to see what it can do for your company? Get in touch with us today and find out.