Unleashing the Power of Form Processing Steps

Unleashing the Power of Form Processing Steps

I’ll admit, that while I am not a huge super-hero fan, I have enjoyed several of the comic-book movies. If you join us around our dinner table, you might hear a question of the night like, “If you could have any superpower, what would it be?” I’ve pondered that question, and usually I choose flying.

Since you are here, I’ll ask you a question of the night, “If you could have any Oracle Eloqua superpower, what would it be?” I would choose forms. They are Eloqua’s secret weapon to efficiently and creatively solve a variety of data challenges.

Join me while I reveal some hidden gems in forms. If you want to put on your super hero cloak, I don’t mind. I never choose x-ray vision, so your secret is safe with me.

The Soul Stone

On the face of it, forms are an effective means of collecting information to grow your database. But the backend, the processing steps, is the soul of the form. These are the means by which you control and manipulate the data into your database. So commanding are the processing steps that there are numerous ways to invoke their powers. If you are not familiar with blind form submits and the Form Submitter app, visit the Temple of the Oracle after our time together and do some reading.

Manipulating Realities (or at least data)

Since you are wearing your super-hero cape, I’m going to assume you have some experience working with forms and configuring processing steps. On this journey we won’t walk through the functionality of each processing step, but focus on three methods to build efficiencies and muscle into your forms:

  • Conditions
  • Picklists
  • Forms Fields

We’re going to explore each of the above methods based on the use case that when a form is submitted the sales team needs to be notified. We’ll look at various way to configure the Send Notification Email processing step to meet different requirements.

1. The Basic Struggle

Let’s start with a simple use case of the Send Notification Email processing step.

The Intel

  • Each time a form is submitted a notification needs to go to the sales team
  • The sales team uses an email distribution list

The Weapon

  1. Add a Send Notification Email processing step to the form.
  2. Enter the shared email address of the sales team in the field for “Always send to the same email address.” under “Choose how the recipient email address is selected:”.

Send Notification - salesreps

No superpowers are needed, you can save your strength.

2. The Classic Struggle

Moving into a more complex realm. When a form is submitted a notification needs to go to the sales team, but by territory. To accomplish this, you must unveil the hidden gem: conditions.

The Intel

  • The sales team is divided into three territories: United States, Canada and rest of world.
  • Each notification for the three regions can be sent to a single email address.
  • Country is captured on the form with a picklist field, and the field is required.
    Note: All forms in this “Eloquaverse” have a required Country picklist field. This is used to build a shield that protects from email regulation violations.
  • There is a process where marketing is alerted when reps are hired or leave the organization.

The Weapon – Conditions

Conditions are used to control when a processing step fires. The rule can be based on Contact, Custom Object or Form field values. In this case the condition will use the Country field value to determine which rep gets a notification when a form is submitted.

  1. Create three Send Notification Email processing steps, one each for the United States (US), Canada (CA), and rest of world.
  2. Enter the recipient’s email address in the field for “Always send to the same email address.” under “Choose how the recipient email address is selected:”
  3. Add a condition to each processing step to execute based on the Country value submitted by the form. When the form is submitted the notifications are sent to:

Send Notification - Not US CA

Note: If you create multiple conditions within a processing step, they are combined with AND logic.

Tip: As you build out your form, enter a description for each processing step. It will make maintaining your forms more efficient if you don’t have to click through each step to identify the processing step you want to change.

Form Processing - Descriptions

3. The Epic Struggle

You’re entering a whole new galaxy for this one. When a form is submitted, a notification needs to go to the sales team, but this time there are more than three territories. To win this conflict, you must reveal the hidden gem: picklists.

The Intel

  • The sales team is divided into territories based on country.
  • Country is captured on the form with a picklist field.
  • There is a process where marketing is alerted when reps are hired or leave the organization.

The difference between this battle and the previous is we are up against sheer numbers. Configuring and maintaining a conditional processing step for every country could negatively impact your health score. There is a better way.

The Weapon – Picklists

Picklists are used to dynamically populate the values in a processing step. The configuration involves matching a form field to a picklist value to customize the execution of the processing step. In this case country values will determine the email address to use on the form notification.

  1. Create a picklist (Navigate to Settings > Database Setup > Manage Picklists).
    • Set the Option Name to match the value that will be submitted with the form. In this case it will be the value submitted by the form for Country.
    • Set the Option Value to the value the processing step will execute on. In this case it is the email address of the recipient for the corresponding Country.

Send Notification - Configure Picklist

  1. Return to your form and add the Send Notification Email processing step and configure it:
    • Select “Use a picklist to select the email address.” from the drop-down under “Choose how the recipient email address is selected:”.
    • Select the form field that will be used for the lookup to match the Option Name on the picklist. In this case Country.
    • Select the picklist. In the case we created the picklist Salesrep Email Address by Country.

Send Notification - picklist

You now have only one processing step and one picklist to maintain for customizing all rep notification by country. One more point for the good guys.

4. The Ultimate Struggle

So we know the storyline: same battle, different planet, new weapon. This time there is no process where marketing is notified when reps are hired or leave the organization. There is not a good way to maintain a picklist to use in a processing step. To conquer, you will now reveal the third gem: form fields.

The Intel

  • Marketing is not alerted when reps are hired or leave. And no one on the marketing team has access to the Mind Stone. So, using a picklist is not a strong weapon for this struggle.
  • The salesrep’s email address is a field (Salesrep Email Address) on the Eloqua Contact record
  • The Salesrep Email Address field is updated in a timely fashion, for example, from a CRM integration or SFTP import.

The Weapon – Form Fields

  1. Create a hidden field called “Salesrep Email Address” on your form.
    • Pre-populate the hidden field from the Eloqua Contact field Salesrep Email Address.
  1. Add the Send Notification Email processing step to your form.
    • Select the “Use the value of a form field to select the email address” from the drop-down under “Choose how the recipient email address is selected.”
    • Select the hidden field “Salesrep Email Address” for the email address field.

Send Notification - Form Field

Won and done. When the form is submitted, the email address of the rep will be populated into the form data and used to customize the email address for the form notification.

Jump Scare. This is the moment when you think the battle has been won, but the villain grabs your leg and engages you for one more final, final fight.

The above configuration won’t work if the form field is blank. What if the Eloqua Contact is new and the Salesrep Email Address field has no value on form submit? Bring in the ultimate weapon: combine Conditions with Picklists or Form Fields

  1. Set the current Send Notification Email processing step you configured above, to conditionally fire if Salesrep Email Address field is not blank.
  2. Configure a new Send Notification Email processing step. Select the recipients email address(es) based on a static value or picklist. Set the processing step to conditionally fire if the Salesrep Email Address field is blank.

And now the conflict is completely over.

The Final Battle

Had enough yet? There is more, much more. This whole time we have looked at one form processing step for a single use case. I have not mentioned that you can use form values and picklists to customize the Subject Line on the Send Notification Email processing step. But even beyond that, you can use picklists and form field data to customize the execution of other processing steps including Send Submitter an Email, Redirect to Web Page, Add to Campaign, Add to Program and Add to Shared Contact List.

Think of the power at your fingertips. You could configure a handful of form processing steps using picklists to customize the Contact’s whole experience from the auto-responder and confirmation page, to adding them to a nurture campaign specifically based on data they self-selected such as industry, country or product.

It’s like having the ability to move and rearrange a Contact anywhere in space and time, or at least manipulate the data to customize a Contact’s experience and journey.

Enjoy the power and use it well.

By | 2019-09-17T18:59:12+00:00 September 25th, 2019|Build, Data, Eloqua|0 Comments

About the Author:

Heidi Huffman joined Relationship One in 2010 and has not had a dull day at the office since. As a Senior Marketing Cloud Consultant she thrives on creating solutions with her clients, and enjoys the never-ending learning opportunities. Heidi has always loved language and has a B.S. in Journalism from the University of Colorado. Although, we sometimes wonder what the B.S. really stands for.


Thank you for subscribing!
Subscribe to our Thought Leadership Today