Supercharge your leads!

How to automate a more engaging Lead Nurture campaign

April Eloqua User Group webinar

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash


The term “nurture” is often used in marketing circles. This month, our focus was the Lead Nurture campaign, specifically those who have yet to purchase & are on their way through the buyer’s journey.

What are you doing to stand out?

Will you be the brand they recall when a business need arises? 

Why this topic?

Eloqua is a communication tool, and we see our clients using it in various ways. 

The Lead Nurture campaign is probably one of the most used examples of Eloqua as a marketing automation tool.

The challenge is that the term “nurture” is used quite broadly, which can cause confusion.

Our objective this month was to focus on the traditional lead nurture, that group of prospects who are yet to make purchase and you want to be the brand they think of when it’s time to make a buying decision.

What is Lead Nurturing?

Lead nurturing is a strategic, marketing practice that uses data and targeted content to develop relationships and guide potential customers (leads) through their buying journey, ultimately aiming to convert them into paying customers.

The lead nurture campaign is always on.

This targeted approach anticipates the specific requirements of each prospect, leveraging insights into their background (title, industry, role) and stage within the buyer’s journey.

Lead nurturing fosters ongoing engagement with your brand by delivering highly relevant content – such as white papers or industry webinars.

& what it’s not… for the purposes of this blog post

  • A few emails sent in succession after an event
  • Non-personalised content
  • An auto-responder following a form submission
  • A campaign that hits contacts with X number of emails one after the other with no consideration of the person’s engagement or lack of engagement or changes in the profile data throughout the campaign (aka spam).

Designing the lead nurture experience

In this webinar section, we focussed on the Eloqua functionality to help drive increased engagement. Fundamentally, that involves Eloqua’s multi-step campaign canvas.

CX Considerations

Gathering 1st-party data over time

If you’re not using Eloqua’s Progressive Profiles in your forms, you’re leaving a huge competitive advantage locked in the cupboard.

Progressive Profiles is the obvious tool to help you gather the quality 1st-party data you need to generate MQLs.

Have you mapped your Buyer’s Journey?

Mapping your customer’s journey through the buying process is incredibly valuable.


There are multiple reasons, but in the context of the lead nurture campaign, you’ll have the insight you need to support content choices, copy development, and how best to use Eloqua’s personalisation tools, such as Dynamic Content, Fields Merges, and more.

74% of ANZ decision-making technology buyers agree with the statement, “I’m willing to share my contact information to access content that’s valuable to me“.

34% of those people strongly agree with that statement.

SOURCE: Forrester Research | Forrester’s 2023 Content Preferences Survey

Your content is key

There are many elements you can use to drive engagement, but in the absence of a solid Content Marketing Strategy, you will be pushing uphill to get the results you’re looking for.

Other key considerations as you design your lead nurture experience are:

  • 1st-party data, the age of the cookie is closing. You need 1st-party data to segment your audiences, personalise your communications and drive increased engagement. This means you need to build your forms in line with your data strategy carefully
  • Quality Content is the hook.
  • As you increase the quality and quantity of your 1st-party data and create excellent content, your use of Personas becomes a reality.

The start will be driven by your strategy, campaign objectives & your target audience

If you’ve just purchased Eloqua and your database is empty, the answer to this question is pretty simple.

However, for most of us, the creation of a Lead Nurture campaign will be:

  1. The first time you’ve created a Lead Nurture Campaign
  2. You’re refreshing a current Lead Nurture Campaign
  3. You’re retiring a Current Lead Nurture Campaign, and you’re designing a new campaign

This means the answer to the question will vary. The critical variable in this mix of scenarios is your data and who will be entering the new campaign.

Start simply

Focus on a specific segment of your database with a simple call to action, see how you perform against your goals, and then make adjustments.

Once you’ve done this, you can slowly add paths based on buyer persona or sales stage and personalise content as you learn what works and what does not.

Careful & considered segmentation

The segmentation of contacts in Eloqua is incredibly powerful, and you can be highly targeted.

The underlying need will be to have the right data in place, we like to call this “The Data That Matters“.

What is the data that matters?

Marketers are shifting their focus from third-party to first-party data, but there’s plenty of work to do before you can collect valuable insights. We explored how gateways and other capture methods can help marketers get the most out of content, regardless of its source!

February 2022 Eloqua User Group

Our focus is stages 1-3 & perhaps a little of stage 4

Lead nurturing is a strategic marketing practice that uses data and targeted content to develop relationships and guide potential customers (leads) through their buying journey, ultimately aiming to convert them into paying customers.

The lead nurture campaign is always on.

This targeted approach anticipates the specific requirements of each prospect, leveraging insights into their background (title, industry, role) and stage within the buyer’s journey.

The Customer Lifecycle | Oracle Infinity Loop.

You need some way of knowing where they are in their buyer’s journey; we call this Customer Journey Mapping

Our Customer Journey Mapping process provides insight into your buyer’s needs and wants and helps underpin your content marketing strategy.

The key element, often missed, is to ensure you have data to drive a person through your lead nurture campaign.

If you missed the link above, visit our blog to read further about the data that matters.

What do our clients say?

The team at Marketing Cube supported Corporate Traveller Canada and USA to develop a detailed and full-scope strategic approach to our automation practices.

Once we’d created detailed personas and mapped each customer journey, Marketing Cube then supported our automation strategy to best utilize these outputs strategically.

Carré Le Page
VP Marketing | Corporate Division

Once you have a brief that outlines the flow of your Lead Nurture campaign, it’s time to translate it and build your Eloqua Campaign Canvas

What does the experience look like for your campaign members? Your campaign canvas design can deliver almost anything you can imagine.

If your objective is to make the campaign “more engaging”, the topic of this month’s Eloqua user Group, there are a few tips we shared. 

Access the replay to learn more, meanwhile we’ve listed some below.

Expand your use of Decision elements on the Campaign Canvas

Decision Steps from the Eloqua Campaign Canvas.

Once you’ve sent an email, Decision Elements provide you with a way to observe specific behaviour i.e. Digital Body Language and then create an Action as a result.

The most basic Decision is to ask if the person Opened Email?

The answer is Yes or No (hence it’s a Decision element); from there, you can choose to resend an email to those who have not opened the first email or progress people on their journey if they opened the email.

To make your campaign more engaging, you need to begin to ask more pointed questions.

PRO TIP: There’s no point asking a question if you’re not going to do anything differently based on the answer to the question.

More about Decision Elements

I’ve added some additional details about a few of the Decision Elements that you may or may not be aware of. These elements are particularly helpful as you work to make your campaign more engaging and personalised:

Compare Contact Fields: As you gather more profile data via form submissions or CRM updates from the sales team, you can use this element to direct campaign members in more targeted directions.

Compare Custom Object Fields: This is the same as Contact Fields but allows you to reference data stored on a Custom Data Object.

Clicked Email? The important thing to know about this element is that it refers to the campaign member clicking any link in the email, including the “unsubscribe” link. Keep that in mind. Generally speaking, less than 0.05% of our clients campaign members opt-out or globally unsubscribe. Industry standards suggest that if your opt-out is less than 1%, you’ve got nothing to worry about.

Submitted Form? This is helpful to gauge the recency* of a form submission, specifically in the context of when you sent an email with a call to action to submit a form. e.g. you send an email on Monday with a CTA to download X whitepaper. On Thursday you ask did they submit the form in the last 4 days. You could also add an evaluation period to extend the period of your decision step.

*NOTE: What you want to avoid is getting a positive response to the form submission because the campaign member submitted the same form 12 months ago.

Visited Website? This element is most helpful at the beginning stages of your lead nurture campaign, where the campaign member’s greatest interest is in looking at the website. At this early stage, you’re less interested in what they’re looking at and more interested in the fact that they’re actually looking and are engaging. Not a champagne moment, but it’s great they’re engaged.

Once you want to get specific data and you want to know which specific link/s a person has clicked on in an email or which specific website pages/URL’s they’ve visited, you will want to use a Shared Filter.

Shared Filter Member? A Shared Filter behaves much like a Segment. The difference is that when you create a Segment, Eloqua returns a group of Contacts who meet the filter criteria. 

When you make a Shared Filter, you have access to most of the same filter criteria. 

However, you then use that Shared Filter on a Campaign Canvas* to generate two audiences: those who meet the criteria and those who don’t.

For example, in this screen grab you can see the filter is Compare Contact Fields and the field in question is the Region field. From there, we’re asking are they in the Asia or Asia Pacific region.

This enables us to route a campaign member in a specific direction, perhaps move them to a geographically specific campaign or to a campaign where the content is more targeted to them.

The Shared Filter interface will look familiar if you’re familiar with Eloqua Segments. Note you can Compare Lead Score, this is really helpful if you want to automate the sending of MQL’s from the campaign direclty to the CRM.

*NOTE: You can also create a Shared Filter for use in a Segment. This is helpful when you have a repetitive range of Filter Criteria you find you’re having to build again and again in Segments.

Optimisation is important & Eloqua provides you with a range of Insight reports & Dashboards to help you measure & gauge campaign performance

If you access the replay, you’ll discover time got away from us, and this topic has been pushed to next month.

The key point I wanted to convey in this webinar section was the importance of optimising your lead nurture campaign.

If your campaign consists of 15 emails, five landing pages and five forms, you have a range of assets you want to watch and evaluate to see which are performing well.

PRO TIP: The first couple of emails generally perform well for most campaigns. Focus on the following emails and identify those that are underperforming. At the same time, you want to understand why some assets are performing well.

Three ways to look at your Insight analytics

1. Reports

The Insight catalogue has over 200 standard reports, so where do you start?

In the context of your Lead Nurture campaign, the general “go to” reports that I would suggest are:

  • Email Analysis Overview report. This shows you a breakdown of each email in your campaign as a separate line item. The report produces averages and totals for all metrics. This is helpful so you can quickly identify which email assets are under-performing.
  • Campaign Analysis Overview report. This report is a roll-up of all analytics for all assets in your campaign. It includes emails, forms and landing pages. If external activities are being used, the will also be displayed in this report.

2. Insight Dashboards

  • An Insight Dashboard can be built around your Lead Nurture campaign. We all know that some people find a visual representation of campaign data more helpful.
  • Viewing live data from your campaign also puts you in a much easier position to review and optimise various assets.

3. Eloqua Reporting Dashboards

  • The Eloqua Reporting Dashboards present pre-built dashboards based on your insight data, but you can’t tailor them to the extent you can the Insight Dashboards.
  • These dashboards are quick to access and most likely will satisfy 80-90% of the needs you would have for analytical data in the context of your campaign and asset performance.

Marketing Automation Agency Services

Since 2007, Marketing Cube has been a trusted partner for marketing automation clients, specialising in Eloqua. In 2018, we expanded our expertise to include services for Salesforce Marketing Cloud clients. Our team excels at implementing your chosen platform and providing comprehensive agency services.

With a track record of assisting nearly 150 customers across diverse industries and geographies, we offer traditional application support and efficient help desk services.

If you’re seeking agency services, such as strategic guidance, end-user coaching, training, campaign support, and more for Oracle CX Marketing or Salesforce Marketing Cloud, reach out to us today to discuss how we can best assist you.

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