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Spring-Tune-UpPunxsutawney Phil’s six weeks are up, and our clocks have officially “sprung” forward. With spring now upon us, it’s time to break out your figurative Oracle Eloqua spray bottles and sponges and get ready to spruce up your instance.

Below, I’ve captured some fairly quick quality checks along with some recommendations on how to best go about cleaning (aka next steps).

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Get the Most out of Eloqua ReportingWe all understand the importance of analysis and data-driven decisions, but let’s be honest – sometimes it’s hard to know where to start. You might not feel like you have the time to become a data genius. Or, you could be wondering if you even have the right tools in place. Excel is great, but it’s not always the easiest thing to use for advanced data projects.

Fear not! The road to data mastery is not as daunting as it first appears. Below are five of my favorite ways to get better insight into your Oracle Eloqua instance without giving you a headache.

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Chicago User GroupAt this quarter’s Chicago User Group, we peeled back the onion known as Oracle Eloqua to see first-hand what new features, enhancements and fixed issues became available during the recent 469 Release.

Jonathan Macchi from Oracle Eloqua stopped by to share his knowledge on how BlueKai serves up customer and audience data in the cloud to help implement personalized marketing campaigns across channels, delivering better results and higher ROI.

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Twin Cities Oracle Marketing Cloud User GroupOracle Eloqua is a pretty flexible tool. For the majority of the time, the functionality that comes out-of-the-box is fine for what you need. But, what do you do when you want a little something extra? You need a little more pizazz. You want something that pops. What do you do?

Fortunately, Oracle Eloqua is ready to meet your needs. You can do custom HTML, CSS and JavaScript to get your assets to look and behave just the way want them to.

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How-to-Evangelize-Oracle-Eloqua-Inside-Your-OrganizationI’m a marketing geek at my very core. I love talking about technology, metrics and moving buyers along a journey. I read articles about marketing in my spare time. I study people in the industry who are doing new things. I LinkedIn-stalk leaders in the space. I love everything about marketing.

My wife, an elementary school teacher, will graciously listen to me ramble on for about 30 minutes before she reaches her limit of geek talk for the day. She’s not as in love with marketing as I am. Few people are.

Nearly five years ago, I brought Oracle Eloqua into the fast-growing tech startup I was working at. I had been using lesser tools at previous jobs to do demand generation and marketing automation. Now, I had my hands on the industry leader. I was so pumped! But, I quickly found out that others in my company were not as jazzed as I was. (I’m not sure why I didn’t anticipate this happening given my own wife’s reaction to marketing geek talk). Didn’t they see the potential? Couldn’t they wrap their minds around how much better life was going to be now that we had Oracle Eloqua?

They thought it was just a tool for the marketing department to do whatever it is that marketing departments do. They didn’t really know what the marketing team did; let alone why a new software platform was so exciting for me. They were indifferent because they didn’t think Oracle Eloqua would affect their life in any way.

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Theres No Place Like Program BuilderAre you the kind of Eloquan who configures complex email campaigns using Campaign Canvas before you’ve downed your first cup of coffee, yet it would take a stiff shot of whiskey to get you to brave your way into Program Builder? You’re not alone. For some, Program Builder lives in the shadows of Oracle Eloqua, and it’s best to not disturb the beast unless you absolutely must.

From a distance, Program Builder may lack luster. Where’s the drag? Where’s the drop? But once you get to know it, it has its own shine. It’s a little like visiting Oz: once you’re there, the gray fades to a whole world of color.

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Making-Data-Work-For-You“Would you like to add your email address to our distribution list?” This question came right as I was swiping my credit card to pay for my five-year-old’s new Frozen sneakers. I shop here occasionally so I figured, why not? Maybe they’ll send me coupons. “Sure,” I said. The cashier then instructed me to enter my email address on the keypad. I quickly entered my secondary email address (the one I use for email marketing) and privately smiled knowing that my main email address continued to be “safe.”

As I walked away with bag in hand, I realized just how difficult it is to gain the attention of our customers. After all, I myself had once again given out a secondary email address — the one I use to keep my main inbox clutter-free. Only a select few email marketers know my main email address. These marketers have earned the “privilege” by proving that they know me as a customer. They send me relevant communications that I want, not generic emails that have no bearing on my interests.

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Email-Canvas-BlogSay it with me now, “It’s okay to not know everything.” This little piece of advice has helped me tremendously in my endless pursuit to master all things Oracle Eloqua. Whether you’re an Eloqua savant or just getting your sea legs, there’s always an opportunity to learn something new. That being said, my intent here is not to drown you with the painfully obvious and mundane email editor “how-to’s,” but to highlight key areas of interest that you either may not know about, under-utilize or haven’t had the pleasure of re-introducing yourself, post release updates.

As the title states, this will be 101-type coverage, however, I’ve found that many of these tips are commonly asked questions on Topliners and/or brought up by my clients. Hopefully, everyone will be able to use a few of these tips as you expand your Oracle Eloqua knowledge.

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Guest Blogger: Ready-TalkPart Three: Our Automation Solution and Implementation

In my first blog post, I talked about the short comings of most nurture tracks. In my second, I discussed our solution to these perceived problems. In this blog post, I am going to detail how we implemented this solution within Oracle Eloqua; in other words, the fun part. I also want to share with you some of the metrics we are seeing from our nurture track.

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To Delete or Not Delete?Here’s a random question for you: How many contacts are in your Oracle Eloqua database? Do you know? If you don’t, please stop reading this article and go check right away. If you’re getting close to your contracted limit, or over the threshold, you’re in danger of having an unsuspected bill show up. Getting hit with an expense you weren’t planning on is no way to start your day.

Welcome back. Now that you have an idea of how many contacts are in your database, here’s the next set of questions to ask yourself: How many of those contacts are hard-bounced? Of those with current email addresses, how many are active vs. inactive? You can run a couple of reports in Insight or create segments to figure out how many fall into each bucket.

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