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7 Things To Do at Marketo’s Marketing Nation Summit 2015

With Marketo’s Marketing Nation Summit right around the corner, I’m starting to get questions about what attendees should do while they’re there. Since I’ve been to ALL the Marketo Summits, even that early one where there were about 200 of us in attendance, I thought I’d provide my list:

1)    Consider University Day: Marketo’s University Day on Monday, April 13, promises to provide even more courses that look at different aspects of the technical use of Marketo. If you’re a hands-on Marketo user, try to sign up. This even invariably sells out, so plan early. Did I mention that 3 of my team members from The Pedowitz Group will be teaching? Go introduce yourself to Jeff, Elizabeth and Caitlin!

2)    Become a Marketo Certified Expert: Why become a certified expert? It acknowledges your level of experience with Marketo, looks great on your resume, and can further your career – there are lots of companies out there looking for qualified Marketo users! Or show your current employer just how great you are!

3)    Attend the sessions: Look at the scheduled sessions in advance and make a plan for what you HAVE to attend, what would be nice to attend, and what you will try to make if you have time. This is your opportunity to see what others are doing with Marketo, get inspired, and learn how to implement new ideas in your organization. Don’t forget to check out The Pedowitz Group’s own Caitlin Culbert at “Using Technology to Maximize Social Media Performance” and Jeff Canada at “5 Use Cases of Predictive Marketing”.

4)    Spend some time with the vendors: Of course The Pedowitz Group will be there again with our coaching corner (sign up for a slot and find out what it’s like to work with one of our consultants!), but there will be other partners there as well. They just might have a solution to a challenge you’ve been facing. Take the opportunity to find out!

5)    Attend the keynotes: Last year it was Hillary Clinton for one of the keynotes. This year it’s Ariana Huffington and Salman Khan. These should be great talks, so don’t miss them!

6)    Duh, Go to the Parties! Once again, The Pedowitz Group will be hosting the “after party” with a number of partners. We heard great feedback about this party last year, so attend if you can. Then there’s Marketo’s gala. This is always fun, so even if your feet are tired and your throat is sore, make sure you get there. Last year it was at the Exploratorium, this year it’s at San Francisco’s historic City Hall! Too much fun! (You can sleep later).

7)    NETWORK! It’s an amazing experience to be in a room, whether it’s a classroom, a party, a session or just talking between sessions, with other like-minded, knowledgeable, powerful marketers and Marketo users. This is especially stunning if you’re the only Marketo user at your company or a member of a small team. People will understand what you mean when you say “flow step” or “constraint”. Make new friends, soak up knowledge, connect, and take advantage of the amazing brain power provided by the attendees and presenters at Summit. There’s nothing like it!

I guess I have an 8th: come find me and introduce yourself! I’m looking forward to seeing you there!

Blog Written By: Emily Salus

Emily Salus is the Marketo Practice Director at The Pedowitz Group. She has over 20 years of experience in Marketing, PR and Sales. Emily is a certified Marketo technical consultant, providing Revenue Marketing services and strategy to enterprise clients and best practices and training to the SMB market.

It’s All About The Core

I bought new running shoes last weekend. While talking to the physical therapist who owns the specialty running shop I go to and telling him I was working my way back to running with a trainer, he said “it’s all about the core.”

Naturally, I thought of using marketing automation. Here too, it’s all about the core. Your core for MA is best practices and metrics. If you don’t have that, all the running you do won’t get you the results you want!

In order to work on your MA core, focus on the following areas:

1)    Best practice usage – it’s not just about using your MA platform. It’s about using the right features in the right places to get the ease of use and value from your investment. Make sure you’re not just using the platform in any old way, because they are strong and flexible tools, but that you are using all the best practices that are provided by the vendor, consultants, and partners. This way you’ll get the biggest bang from your buck!

2)    Train your team right – In order to use the best practices, you need to provide your team with the skills and knowledge to put them in context and use them effectively. Invest in educating your team on the platform and in processes and strategies that will make the difference to your business and help you get ROI from your MA platform AND from your employees.

3)    Focus on reporting from the start – if you have nothing to measure against and no measurable goals, you’ll never know if your investment is making a difference. If you’ve never done reporting, or haven’t really used it, start by taking some baseline measurements selecting a few simple metrics. Use those to compare future results against and make your reporting more and more sophisticated over time. You don’t have to have a ton of metrics to start making incremental changes so you can make good, metrics-driven marketing decisions for your budget and resources.

Before you get fancy, focus on your core. Once you’re running smoothly, you can train for more complex and sophisticated goals!

Blog Written By: Emily Salus

Emily Salus is the Marketo Practice Director at The Pedowitz Group. She has over 20 years of experience in Marketing, PR and Sales. Emily is a certified Marketo technical consultant, providing Revenue Marketing services and strategy to enterprise clients and best practices and training to the SMB market.

These are a Few of My Favorite Things (in Marketo)

I love helping my clients find creative ways to solve business problems and achieve their revenue marketing goals through the use of Marketo. However, the road to revenue marketing success can sometimes be bumpy, complicated, and downright scary. When I can’t think of a solution to a complex business process, it feels like a dog bite or a bee sting. But, then I simply remember my favorite things and I don’t feel so bad. With this month marking the 50th anniversary of one of the best movies ever made, The Sound of Music (which was almost called ‘Love Song’), I asked my brilliant colleagues at The Pedowitz Group about some of their favorite things that help them through the storm (specifically with Marketo, I mean, it’s no schnitzel with noodles, but it’s still good stuff).

Caitlin Culbert – Revenue Engineer

One of my Favorite Features in Marketo is the Mass Approval of Emails and Landing Pages. This feature is not commonly known, or is widely missed by many of my clients, but it’s a big time saver and can help make updates in a quick way. So, as users, we all know that when you update a Marketo Template all the emails and landing pages using that template now show a draft version of the changes you created, but the changes are not live until you approve them. I know when I update a small item, such as the footer, I want to make the update in the template, so I don’t have to make changes to my 16 email nurture stream one-by-one. But one you make the update you still need to approve the emails – and you can do this in a mass way. Go to Design Studio – Click on Emails and you should see ALL your emails populate on the right – highlight the emails that you were trying to update by holding the CTRL or SHIFT key to select multiple – right click and select approve. TIP: Make sure you only approve the emails you are meaning to approve!

Emily Salus – Marketo Practice Director

Many people would like to be able to see the details about who did something using one of the Marketo “Leads by” reports. For example, not just seeing leads by month, but seeing the actual people who were added in January—and then having that report be sent in a subscription. The super sneaky way of doing this is to go to one of the “Leads by” reports that you want, select the line that’s interested (say leads by month and January) and then use “drill down” by email address. Save the report. Now you have a “Leads for January with email address” report. While smart lists are the way to go for most reports where you want to see WHO, not just the number of people who did something, using the drill down by email address gives you another tool for getting what you want. And unlike smart lists, you can subscribe to them.

Whitni Freeman – Revenue Engineer

So I have two- the first are all the “negative” filters/triggers available in the palette for smart lists. Now I’m no “negative Nancy,” but you can build some great nurturing efforts relying on these. Additionally, they are a great way to target the portion of your database that isn’t interested in you.

The second one is the program/template library. The amazing thing about this tool is that you can import full programs (and templates) already built out, saving you time and ensuring that you pay attention to details that you might forget. It’s also a great way to see how Marketo thinks about building things (because they built them!). While there are certainly great ones for lead scoring and lead lifecycle, there are also great templates for how other types of more “marketing” efforts should happen – think webinars and email sends. While the templates need work to make them specific to your organization’s needs, look, and processes, they can definitely save you time and help you remember all the details. I recommend importing the ones you like, customizing them for your needs, and then using the “customized template” as the template for your org for all related efforts. Consider creating these templates for any marketing efforts you do regularly – again, it can save so much time having something that all you have to do is clone and populate a few spots.

Melody Holcomb – Associate Revenue Engineer

Use the Campaign Inspector

One of my favorite features in Marketo is the nifty Campaign Inspector. This allows you to view ALL your Smart Campaigns in one place. You can filter Campaigns by Status and Type, find Campaigns by Trigger/Filter or Flow Actions, search and/or sort Campaigns. It has come in handy when I’ve had to find several campaigns. It made finding these campaigns easier and faster. This is also a good way to catch any campaigns that have errors.

Another neat trick is to use tokens for Meta tags in your landing pages. This makes it easier to remember that you should have Meta tags for your landing pages. Add tokens for your landing page title, description, and even keywords all at the same time when updating the rest of your tokens and simply pop them in or if you are cloning an existing tokenized program you can make the edits at the top-level and all of the changes are updated instantly. Think scalability!

Finally, get creative with your token defaults (=edit me}}). One of the coolest ways we’ve seen a default for a token used was for webinars that automatically synced with Marketo. When using unique links for leads to join a webinar, you can put in contact information should the link not work. E.g. “=edit me}}” was “Error, if you do not see your unique URL to this webinar please contact abc@defg.com or call 1-999-999-9999.” So if a person had trouble joining a webinar, the information to contact support was right there in front of them.

Blog Written By: Jeff Canada

Jeff Canada is a Revenue Engineer and Marketo Consultant with The Pedowitz Group. He has almost 10 years of experience in Marketing. Jeff is a certified Marketo Expert and trainer, 2 time Marketo champion, and all around Marketo nerd. When he isn’t helping clients optimize their marketing programs you might find him wandering the streets of San Francisco.

Are You Assessing Your Social Media Environment?

Everyone should conduct a social media assessment for their business. The importance of a social media assessment is that before you build a social media strategy that aligns to your business, you need to evaluate:

  •  Where you are. What is your current social environment like?
  •  What to do next. Understand what you want the plan to be based on data. Don’t guess.
  •  Define your KPIs. How will you measure your plan? How do you know if social initiatives are working?

According to the 2014 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, 84% of marketers saw increased traffic with just six hours a week invested in social media and 85% of B2B buyers believe companies should present information via social networks. (Iconsive). Marketers will spend $8.3 billion on social media advertising in 2015 (NewsCred) and 78% of companies now say they have dedicated social media teams, up from 67% in 2012. (i-SCOOP).

Ask yourself:

  •  Do you know what platforms are working for you?
  •  Do you know what presence you have in the social sphere?
  •  How does your social activity align with the rest of your marketing plan? Best  practices?

Typically, companies think they don’t need to pay attention to Social Media, and responses to the most common objections:

Argument: “Our audience is on not on social media”

Response: Don’t be fooled, according to the 2013 Forrester Report,”The Social Behaviors of Your B2B Customer”, everyone is on social media.

Argument:  “Social Media is only used for help, not sales”

Response: Social media lead conversion rates are 13% higher than the average lead conversion rate (Source: HubSpot) and approximately 46% of online users count on social media when making a purchase decision

Argument: Social does not seem to show my ROI (HubSpot)

Response: In 2013, 52% of all marketers had found a customer via Facebook, 43% of all marketers had found a customer via LinkedIn, and 36% of all marketers had found a customer via Twitter.

The bottom line is that there really is no argument. Make a plan, assess your social media and. engage your prospects where they are.

Blog Written By: Caitlin Culbert

Caitlin is the Marketo Team Lead for the East at the Pedowitz Group working on the services team. She is a Marketo Certified Expert, Marketo Certified Instructor, Certified Salesforce Admin and HubSpot Full Funnel Certified, working with Best Practices and strategies in Marketing Automation, Technology Optimization, Social Media, Inbound and Outbound campaigns.

Visible Results

I’m now almost 9 months into working with my personal trainer, following physical therapy. While I’m going to spend the rest of my life attaining goals, I can now see visible results.

Last week, I asked my trainer how long, on average, his clients stay with him. The answer is more complicated than an average, though. He said that either people are short term “6 weeks and I’m good to go, right?” or stay with him forever (or as close to it as they can).

Once again, not-work life imitates work life.

I have talked to many marketers who think a couple weeks (or days!) of learning about marketing automation and Revenue Marketing and they’ll be “good to go”. Others realize that new processes, team building, skill building, alignment, and change management all take time.

At The Pedowitz Group, we have many long-term clients who work with us year after year. They continue to move ahead, pursue excellence, and see more and more visible, and financial, results from their efforts. Unfortunately, I also see clients get a running start and…believe they can do the rest all on their own.

Sometimes they can. Sometimes they are truly motivated, will continue to look for best practices on their own, will have enough buy-in throughout the organization to keep going and will end up extremely successful. More often, though, their speed of progress begins to slow, and they wonder why they just are not as far ahead as they thought they’d be—and they need that personal trainer again.

As in fitness, so with Revenue Marketing: you make more progress, faster, and become stronger and more effective for it if you keep up the pace of change. The path to success is faster if you make consistent progress than if you go on and off your trend towards a more efficient and effective marketing and sales organization.

Every time I talk to a client, or someone who has really embraced the power of marketing technology, change management, and Revenue Marketing, I’m amazed at how much they have accomplished with their diligent, consistent progress. And the revenue results speak for themselves.

So rather than starting your gym membership for the new year and 6 or 8 weeks later stop, disappointed that you haven’t lost 25 lbs. and sculpted your whole body, consider a life-long, or even just a year-long, plan. And do the same for your marketing efforts—because they’ll be fit and trim and pay dividends too, as long as you keep at it.

While you’re at it, don’t forget to benchmark and measure your successes (and failures!) so that a year later, you can really see how far you have come. Now those are visible results.

Blog Written By: Emily Salus

Emily Salus is the Marketo Practice Director at The Pedowitz Group. She has over 20 years of experience in Marketing, PR and Sales. Emily is a certified Marketo technical consultant, providing Revenue Marketing services and strategy to enterprise clients and best practices and training to the SMB market.

Adventures of the New Marketing World: A Sales Explorer’s Story

Marketers, how many times have you heard sales assume that we give them nothing and our communications are not customer centric?

Sigh……. I was once one of those reps, tied up in the day to day doldrums of prospecting, working deals and closing. I gave little to no thought on the efforts of marketing. Sure, it was great when the occasional marketing event would happen in my patch of dirt, but apart from that, we were as distant as could be.

Sadly, this is the state of affairs in many organizations. The lack of a two way dialogue between sales and marketing has many side effects, the most impactful of all is missed revenue. How can a communication gap cause us to miss revenue targets? Let me be clear- the realm of revenue contribution from marketing comes in various forms. Let’s explore just one aspect today- the dreaded cold call.

Would you be surprised to know that for revenue teams that actually collaborate and follow best practice (i.e. Sales + Marketing = Revenue Team), average marketing contribution for closed revenue is roughly 30%?  Say whaaaaaat?

In case you blatantly ignored the bold letters, this is the average. Teams that have been perfecting revenue marketing for longer see even higher rates.

Allow me to paint two pictures here. Which one sounds better?.

The Cold Call

It’s 8:00 AM- cold calling time. You hope you can reach the executives on your list before they really begin their day. You have a list on the screen, either one you bought or downloaded. The only information about the contacts is their name, title, phone, email and hopefully an org chart. You spent two hours the day before researching 10 companies, building a value statement you hope is somewhere close to combining their situation with a pain point or solution fit. The call hours begin; it’s a good day. You reach three people. One was the wrong contact. One hung up after 45 seconds. The last listened for a minute, then asked you to send them some information about the company that they will read.

The Warm Call

It’s 8:00 AM- prospecting time. You hope you can reach the executives on your list before they really begin their day. You have a list on the screen that came from marketing. This list contains relevant profile information as well as digital body language.

Example: You notice that the head of the department you sell to under the executive team has visited your website product page and downloaded a few specific white papers. This person has also been consuming thought leadership your company has disseminated around the same topics. It’s focused around ROI. You also see that a manager at this firm has been looking at similar information. The manager has shared the content socially and asked how it relates to helping daily efficiency. You are able to see all of this within 3 minutes. The result is that you reach 10 people that day because you focus on calling people on the list who show online behavior at the same hour. Eight talk with you for a few minutes. Of the eight, three ask for information and a follow up call in a week. Five contacts schedule a second call to go into more detail.

The second scenario sounds a whole lot better. Right?

This is only one aspect of how marketing can assist the sales teams. Stay tuned for more “Adventures of the New Marketing World.”

Blog Written By: Alyse Qaqish

Alyse is the Southeast Regional Sales Manager at The Pedowitz Group. Her passion for helping clients identify and solve their most difficult problems lead her to the exploration of Revenue Marketing. Her background in highly complex sales cycles allows her to bring clarity and roadmaps to success for her clients. 

Contact: alyse.qaqish@pedowitzgroup.com or https://www.linkedin.com/in/alyseqaqish

For When You Want to Get Down and Dirty in the Code! – Oracle Eloqua Release 469

Marketers and geeks rejoice! In the upcoming Eloqua release (dates below), you’re now able to create landing pages and emails from scratch using the HTML Source Editor.

Read the full release here.

Highlights and release dates by POD are below.

Contacts

  • You can now select the Eloqua Contact ID as a unique match field for list uploads, and use it instead of email address.

Landing Pages/Emails

  • You are now able to create landing pages and emails from scratch using the HTML Source Editor.

Release 469 (Oracle Eloqua)

Release Dates

  • February 17, 2015 (POD2)
  • February 22, 2015 (POD3)
  • March 1, 2015 (POD1)

Blog Written By: Sudha Bahumanyam

Sudha Bahumanyam is a Revenue Engineer for The Pedowitz Group. She is an Eloqua 10 Master, and has a wide range of experience with various digital & traditional marketing strategies.

Deliverability: A Primer Part 2

There are some more key components that contribute to good deliverability (and similarly, a good sender score):

5. Email configuration

The technical configuration of your IP addresses and various domain and sender records are crucial to establishing your sender reputation. The infrastructure component of your sender reputation is measured by two key items: reverse DNS and host type. These items in conjunction with confirmed identity via SPF (Sender Policy Framework), SID (Sender ID), and DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) ensure your email is properly configured to show your identity as a sender.  

Customers with the Eloqua Branding and Deliverability package receive assistance in setting up the optimum configuration for deliverability.   For those without such assistance here is a baseline of the items to pay attention to when configuring your IP addresses for deliverability:

  • IP addresses should be static to build up your domain and IP address reputations consistently.
  • Senders who send more than 50,000 emails a week should maintain dedicated IP addresses (i.e. not utilize shared IP addresses pooled between multiple senders using a given Marketing Automation Platform or Email Automation Platform).
  • It is best practice to set up separate domains and subdomains for your marketing, transactional and corporate emails. Along these lines, it is highly recommended that the From address and domain actually match. Some ISPs are very picky about mis-matches in domain and from address.
  • Authenticate your IP/Domain with SPF, DKIM, DomainKeys and SenderID. Without these in place you are likely to end up in the junk folder (or not delivered at all).

In addition to the technical setup, consistency in your identity, from address, reply-to address and records (listed above) are critical to identifying yourself as a legitimate email sender and not a spammer.

6. Transmission rate, volume and frequency

The rate at which you send emails out is important to ISPs, spammers often send email without regard to volume, speed of send or list cleanliness. ISPs sometimes perform a “volume block” (blocking transmission of massive amounts from one sender to many of their account holders) if they feel the volume of emails coming to them in the timeframe is excessive or potentially spammy. The volume of invalid and undeliverable emails combined with the number emails coming into a given domain may also result in a block by the ISP. Transmission rate is handled on the Eloqua side typically however, it is recommended that larger batches of emails be released in groups instead of a single hit, a good rule of thumb is to not force more than 40k emails per hour in any given send.

Volume of email is another important factor to your sender reputation.   Inside Elouqa and Return Path, volume is the number of emails reported by ISPs that contribute data to the Reputation Data Network maintained by Return Path. While mailing volume is not inherently good or bad, high volumes are likely to trigger tighter scrutiny by ISPs and inconsistent sending patters or large volume spikes will trigger similar inspection. It is best to establish a cadence of sending and maintain it over time to keep a consistent volume and avoid such examination by ISPs.

Frequency of sends is important in that you should keep a consistent frequency. If you have dips and spikes in your sending that are without pattern it is likely that you will appear to be a spammer to more stringent filters.

7. Content

Everything from the HTML coding and design of your email to the actual copy of the offer contribute to the content and are evaluated by filtering mechanisms (previously discussed under Blacklists and Filters and in Appendix: Spam Filters).   Everything from broken or miscoded HTML to lack of a text-only version of your email, lack of alt-text for images or code embedded scripts in your HTML can cause a filter to block your messages.   For a comprehensive list of best practices in email design see Appendix: Email Design and Coding for Deliverability.

Typically when discussing content, marketers associate using words like “FREE” or “ADVERTISING” to instantly doom their message to the spam filter. Unfortunately it’s not quite that simple, filters are much more nuanced than that and use a variety of methodologies to determine if a message is spam or a legitimate email. The best possible results for avoiding content-based filtering is to test using a tool such as the deliverability tools in Eloqua or third-party tools such as:

  • Litmus
  • Campaign Monitor
  • MailTester
  • EmailOnAcid

        8. Gain Recipient Permission and Respect Recipient Preference

Your audience falls into three buckets: new recipients, active recipients and inactive recipients, for each of these buckets you should have slightly different approaches.

New Recipients:

  • Only send to those who have explicitly requested email from you.
  • Target “neutral” contacts (i.e., those who have neither opted in nor opted out) with the goal of gaining permission.

For this you will want to look at the specific legislation for the Regions/Countries you mail in, this is not always legal (ex: Canada).

Active Recipients

  •  Strengthen the relationship with active opt-in contacts by soliciting feedback on the quality and frequency of your communications, and their communication preferences. Confirm preferences with the recipient and then comply.
  • Send only what the subscriber signed up to receive.

Inactive Recipients

  • Re-engage inactive contacts by confirming subscription status one or two times per year.
  • Nurture inactive contacts and cut inactive contacts after they fail to re-engage after a set timeframe

Blog Written By: Lauren Kincke

Lauren is an Eloqua Team Leader for The Pedowitz Group. She is an Eloqua Partner Certified Consultant, Certified Salesforce.com Administrator, and has a wide range of experience with various marketing and email automation platforms.

Deliverability: A Primer

There are key components that contribute to good deliverability (and similarly, a good sender score):

1. List quality, regular maintenance and hygiene

Keeping your list clear of bounces and regularly removing inactive subscribers reduces the appearance of being a spammer. A clean list is comprised of regularly emailed, active subscribers who have not bounced, unsubscribed and are routinely engaging in your marketing emails. ISPs look suspiciously on email senders who have a high volume of unknown recipients, inactive recipients and regularly send to bounced email addresses. Eloqua Certified Partner

Bounces fall into two categories, soft bounces and hard bounces. Hard bounces are email addresses that are invalid, closed or non-existent, these are permanently invalid. Once Eloqua finds a hard bounce it automatically excludes it from future sends. Soft bounces are email addresses that are active but the email is turned away prior to delivery, this is temporary problem. Eloqua will try to resend the soft bounces in a campaign for a period of times before giving up, soft bounced emails are not (by default) marked as anything but soft bounce in Eloqua and can be emailed at a later time/date. Soft bounces are more nuanced than hard bounces, the data returned to the sender contains reason codes, which should be mined for information and processed accordingly. A full list of server reason codes can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_HTTP_status_codes, although not all codes listed are applicable to email directly but email bounce codes can be found in the list starting with 5xx. It is highly recommended that senders build a programmatic approach to handling soft bounces. This should include logic that parses the bounce codes differently based on what the status code is relaying.

List quality also helps avoid the pitfalls of spam traps and blacklists. While no list is immune to these it is a significantly smaller risk when you maintain a fully permissioned opt-in list that is regularly purged of inactive and invalid data.

2. Spam Traps

A spam trap is an email address that was typically not ever intended for communication but purely intended to lure spam. In order to prevent legitimate email form being invited the email address is typically only published in a location hidden from view but visible to email address harvesters (which are illegal under CAN-SPAM). Since no email is solicited by the owner of this address any messages are considered to be unsolicited and therefore spam.

3. Black Lists and Filters

There are five major types of blacklists and filters.

  • Third Party/Public Blacklists: Companies that publish publicly available databases of bad senders. No special credentials are required to start a blacklist but some are more popular than others and are actually used as references for ISPs and some corporate IT departments.
  • Sever-side filters: These are filters such as SpamAssassin or Brightmail, they use their own sets of filtering rules to catch messages suspected of being spam. Some of these technologies use heuristics, Bayesian analysts and collaborative filtering. Many ISPs rely on customized server-side filters to filter messages.       These filters may also take message volume into account and block a sender who exceeds a set transmission rate.
  • Client-side filters: Recipients know that spam can make it through the various processes in place to block it and therefore can utilize tools such as Norton AntiSpam, McAfee SpamKiller or even rules built into their Outlook client to filter messages.
  • Corporate blacklists: Software filters and hardware tools are available to email administrators that provide them the ability to create an internal blacklist and therefor block email originating from any organization for any reason for any length of time.
  • Private/ISP blacklists: Large ISPs like Yahoo, Gmail and Hotmail are likely to maintain their own proprietary list of known spammers and problem senders. Some provide feedback loops that give senders warning they are in violation of spam rules at the ISP and some (like Gmail) provide no feedback at all.

Deliverability testing through tools provided by Eloqua or third-party services such as Litmus offer the opportunity to test emails for filtering prior to sending, thus giving a sender the opportunity to make changes before their message gets sent to the junk folder or not delivered at all.   For additional details on specific filters see Appendix: Spam Filters.

4. Complaint rate

Even with a fully opted-in list and a very clean database complaints happen, recipients may hit the spam button when fatigued with your message (instead of unsubscribing) or might accidentally hit it.   Regardless of the way it happens the ISP will still count this as a complaint.   It is generally accepted that anything greater than 1-3 complaints per thousand (0.1%-0.3%) emails sent is enough to revoke white-listing status on an IP address. Complaint rates beyond these are likely to result in negative hits to your sender reputation and deliverability. As a rule of thumb your complaints should never exceed your unsubscribes for a campaign, if it does it should provoke research into the campaign and what might have caused the problem.   Typically high complaints rates can be attributed to changes in your email programs, things like changes in send times/dates, frequency of messages, content that a subscriber feels is not relevant or using your list to promote third-party services/products or content your subscribers feel is questionable.

Blog Written By: Lauren Kincke

Lauren is an Eloqua Team Leader for The Pedowitz Group. She is an Eloqua Partner Certified Consultant, Certified Salesforce.com Administrator, and has a wide range of experience with various marketing and email automation platforms.

Eloqua – January Release

Previously Eloquans looked forward to four major releases a year, now Oracle Eloqua brings you releases twice a quarter to offer up new product capabilities sooner. They also will be breaking out their releases into two categories now:

  • Oracle Eloqua Releases (e.g. 466, 467, and so on – instead of Fall/Winter/Spring/Summer)
  • Oracle Eloqua Apps and Sales Tools Releases (e.g. 2.3, 2.4, and so on)

So this will change up our usual “favorite features” posts a little I’m sure, this time around there’s one simple feature to call attention to in release 468 which is scheduled to start dropping very quickly:

If you’re unsure of which POD you are on (and therefore when the release will hit you) check out “Find you POD” on Topliners.

In Release 468 salesforce.com/Eloqua customers will find a nifty little gem of a feature, the ability to link activity you send to CRM to the campaign it is associated with! Prior to 468 you would have the ability to dynamically merge the activity information (in the example below Form Name, Form Submit ID) and date (in the example below Submit Date), after this release you will able to link your activity to a campaign with the Campaign ID and External Campaign ID fields.

Why is this so cool? Well think about how a sales person sees this activity if you’re feeding it to your CRM:

So, what does it mean to use those IDs? It means now you will be able to attribute relevant activities to a campaign and help a person who is reviewing the activity in SFDC better understand the context for all of the activity they see.

A few quick notes about this new feature:

  • You do not have to use these IDs, your calls will work just fine without them.
  • If you do not write activity across to SFDC this will have no impact on you.

Will you be using this feature in your activity calls? We certainly find it interesting for those who send activity across.

Blog Written By: Lauren Kincke

Lauren is an Eloqua Team Leader for The Pedowitz Group. She is an Eloqua Partner Certified Consultant, Certified Salesforce.com Administrator, and has a wide range of experience with various marketing and email automation platforms.

Results

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Phone: 855-REV-MKTG

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