10 Email Marketing Best Practices | Eloqua Series | Part 6

This blog post is very interesting and useful for everyone who sends bulk emails. Here I’m describing some of the best observations and practices we have seen and followed for all the email marketing campaigns that we dispatch. In addition, email plays a very substantial role in getting a user engaged, interacting with, and converting into a buyer.

Email Marketing - Best Practices
  • Mobile First – In this digital era, everybody is shifting towards handheld devices. 85% of the traffic on the website/emails is from the Mobile Phone. Always look for creating Mobile-friendly email. Also, many email marketing platforms do provide an option to show/hide content based on Desktop/Mobile. Do make use of that feature, A/B Test, and create mobile-first emails.
  • Personalize Email – The first name in the Subject Line always works very well. First of all your customer will feel valued if you start showing them their first name in the subject line. We have seen higher open rates when there is a First Name in the Subject line, so we try to add in many of the email campaigns. Also, First Name and/or Last Name and additional user information in the Email body says that an email is promising and will help your customer feel that it’s really personal and it make them give you a click and bring one step closer to the next required step that you want your customers to action. This will bring you more CTRs.
First name in the subject line
  • Optimized Images – You really need to play well with the images. It really has a high chance of giving more CTR. An image that doesn’t load quickly in a slower network will most likely divert the user. You should certainly reduce the size of your images to less than 100KB and make sure they are optimized images.
  • The subject line and preview text length – The length of the Subject line and preview text is very important. If the preview text is small, you’ll see the that email body copy or image alt text appears in the preview text for Gmail. And it does not give a good user experience. For an example, see the below image:
  • Email sizeGmail has a size limit of 102KB for each email message. The remaining content is clipped and hidden behind a link to view the entire message once that limit is reached. If this happens and your email open pixel is at the bottom of an email, in that case, an Email Open will not be triggered and even if a user opens your email, the system will not detect it. This is one of the reasons why sometimes analytics shows that this email didn’t have much open rate. In our case, more than 50% of the users are using Gmail. Two of our email campaigns last year had very significant effects on our KPIs because of this issue. So always make sure to test your Email on Gmail.
  • GIF – A GIF always brings more engagement than a Hero Image and a Hyperlink to the GIF or hero image is very important. Because it is the first thing a user sees when they open an email, that is one of the places where you can get more clicks. We’ve seen a very high click rate on hero images/gif.
  • Underlines links – An A/B test case helped us to see that when there is an underline on the text which has a hyperlink — it performs fantastic. If you want a user to click and bring more CTR – try adding links to all the headlines and underlining them. This definitely helps generate more CTRs.
  • Use killer keywords in the subject line – Like – Reward/Family/Win – in the subject line performs better. We’ve done a lot of A/B Testing with the emails and have sent more than 30 million emails annually. We observed that emails that have “Reward”, “Family”, “Win”, and “Sale” in the subject line perform very well. It is important to observe and analyze what’s working well for your email communication and use those keywords in the subject line and set the appropriate KPIs accordingly.
  • Email Dispatch Timing – Send Time Optimization – This is one of the very useful features and we’ve seen that definitely helps. If we see that you are likely to open our emails in the morning and when we send the next email to you within that range you are most likely to open that email. When we send such email campaigns that are being optimized based on Send time optimization — the email open rate is highly likely to increase by 20-25%. We’ve also observed that our email performs well between 12-4 PM and that too on a certain day we have a high engagement rate. This is the reason why the majority of our email campaigns are on a specific day at a certain time.
  • Soft Bounces – In one of our big campaigns, we saw that Soft bounces affect largely the Email Campaigns. Although many systems convert the soft bounces to a hard-bounce on the occurrence of 3 soft bounces this affects a lot of the email campaigns and can impact your IP reputation. So if your email campaign is going to more than 200,000+ users, I recommend actively focusing on Soft-bounces and hard-bounces and do exclude them if you see that your IP reputation is going down.

We have used many platforms, including MailChimp, Mailjet, and Oracle Eloqua, over the past few years, and these practices allow us to stay on our toes and provide users with valuable information. Please share below in the comment section if you know of any successful email marketing techniques.

Good Reads:
https://knowledgebase.constantcontact.com/articles/KnowledgeBase/6657-get-your-email-into-gmails-primary-tab?lang=en_US
https://www.saleshandy.com/blog/avoid-gmail-promotions-tab/#thirteen
https://truelist.co/blog/mobile-email-statistics/

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Eloqua Insight | Oracle Business Intelligence (BI) | Eloqua Series | Part 5

Oracle Business Intelligence (BI) is very useful for Reporting. It is one of the powerful tools by Oracle which provides very good reporting and insights into all the activity happening with your account on Eloqua.

With Oracle BI, we get an option to obtain reports for all the Email Campaigns, Individual Emails, Forms, Custom Data Objects, Contacts, and a lot more. The very good part with Insights is that you can schedule these reports to your Email Inbox Daily/Weekly or on a specific day as per your needs. We have configured almost 100+ reports that are sent to stakeholders in accordance with the business needs. And all of this is automated! We try to avoid manual work as much as possible and insight helps us to achieve easily.

Oracle Business Intelligence

By default, when you first load the Oracle BI – You need to navigate to the Shared Folder and you’ll see the list of all the default reporting options that are available. Oracle has done a great job of defining the default useful reports for all the business domains.

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Oracle Eloqua – Marketing Automation Review | Part 1

As a result of this blog post, you will gain a better understanding of how Oracle Eloqua works as well as what some of its advantages and disadvantages are.

Oracle Eloqua

Having worked on Eloqua for over 4 years now, I hope my experience with the tool will help you better understand it. Moreover, I am an Oracle Eloqua CX Marketing 2020 Certified Implementation Specialist. 

I would like to clarify that Oracle Eloqua is a Marketing Automation tool and not a CRM. Often, people claim Oracle Eloqua is a CRM tool, but it is not.

Around 25+ of my colleagues are responsible for creating and writing emails directly on Eloqua, which I think is a very good point. Our team is responsible for segmenting, grouping, and sending B2B/B2C emails to the right people. Email communication is handled entirely through Eloqua, including transactional and marketing emails. Day-to-day, we do a lot of stuff using Eloqua, including a lot of automation and reporting. In the upcoming blog post, I will describe it in more detail. Some features on Eloqua are extra cost features, so we do not use them.

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Email Campaigns | Oracle Eloqua Series | Part 2

The main reason you go with Eloqua is Email Campaigns which is obvious. A campaign allows you to give your contacts an engaging, personalized, and unique experience. In this post, we’ll see different types of Email Campaigns and what kinds of scenarios you can play around with on Eloqua.

You need to keep the following things in place before sending an email:

  • Email:
    • Header
    • Email Body
    • Footer
  • Email is associated with the following:
    • Email Preference Center: To allow the user to provide more preferences to get their interest, country, and so on.
    • Newsletter Unsubscribe: This is a mandate by default for all newsletters.
    • Email Group: To define to which group the user will be unsubscribed. With email groups, you can classify emails for different audiences and allow subscribers and unsubscribers within those specific newsletters, or you can use it for different brands. This has to be used very carefully. If I unsubscribe from one brand I should still receive an email from other brands from the same Eloqua instance. We have a proper strategy in place defining when and in what case we need to define an email group. If you are going to start working on Eloqua then you need to define the ground rules of creating an Email Group in the beginning. Email groups can also be helpful to create reports.
    • Segment – To define to which audience this email should reach. Segmentation is a very important topic and needs a detailed understanding of how you can make use of your data to properly define the segments. Our email campaign requirements dictate the types of segments we create for different audiences. In order to send an email campaign, it is necessary to determine what the requirements are ahead of time. For example, we create a specific segment to send a monthly newsletter to a certain audience, the different segments for sending an email based on user interest, and so on. Recommend you to go through the Eloqua guide for segmentation and if you have any queries you can reach out to me.
      If you are already familiar with segmentation on Mailchimp then you can easily understand this on Eloqua but one thing to keep in mind here is that Mailchimp allows you to store the same email address in multiple audiences while on Eloqua it doesn’t work that way. In Eloqua, an Email Address is a unique identifier for each contact. And you create segments based on your user data and to which brand (Email Group) they are subscribed.
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Custom Data Objects [CDO] | Eloqua Series | Part 4

On Oracle Eloqua, Custom Data Objects [CDO] play an important role because they allow you to store 25 million entries. 

Custom Data Objects

If you already have Eloqua you might be aware that it only allows a certain number of records in the Contacts database/table and that depends on the package that you go with. Let’s suppose it’s 1 million. The size of your contacts database will also grow as you enhance your application, and Eloqua Contacts won’t be able to handle all the information.

With the help of CDO, you can store a large set of data in an organized manner. You can have one-to-one or one-to-many relationships. you need to set any unique field as a Key so with the form submission you need some Unique ID. For a one-to-one, If you set an Email Address as a Unique ID – then the system will always update that same email address record with the new set of updates. For a one-to-many, If you set the Submission ID as a Unique ID – the system will always add the new record. You’ll have an option to set the Unique Code Field which will define that an entry is of a specific Email Address. In the above diagram, I’ve shown a one-to-many relationship.

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Eloqua Forms | Oracle Eloqua Series | Part 3

In a previous blog post, we discussed Email Campaigns. We’ll take a closer look at Eloqua forms and the different post-processing options available that can help you organize contacts properly.   

Eloqua’s forms are one of the key entry points for Leads. Eloqua Consultants recommend using Eloqua Forms API to push data from websites to Eloqua. We can apply post-processing steps in Eloqua Forms where we provide all the necessary rules for each submission. This practice will give you more control over user contact, allowing you to create different strategies for organizing and planning user journeys. 

Oracle Eloqua Form
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Sitecore Submit Action – Send Notification Email using Sitecore Dispatch Manager

I’m going to walk you through how to use Sitecore Dispatch Manager to implement Send Notification Email for Submit Action in Sitecore Form Submissions.

Let’s go ahead and create Form Submit Action.

Sitecore Item Path: /sitecore/system/Settings/Forms/Submit Actions/Send Notification Email

Add “Send Notification Email” action on the Submit button.

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TypeScript with Sitecore JSS in less than 30 minutes

Hello friends,

Since you’re here, I assume you’d like to enable TypeScript with the Sitecore JSS application. It’s easy and simple.

We can say that ‘TypeScript is like JavaScript, but with types.’ It helps make our code easier to read and avoid errors that could become debugging nightmares.

Here are a few of the advantages of TypeScript:

  • Great tooling support with IntelliSense
  • The ability to compile down to a version of JavaScript that runs on all browsers
  • Typescript is purely object-oriented programming which means it is a programming paradigm based on the concepts of objects.
  • One of the biggest advantages of Typescript is its code completion and intelligence.

In order to enable TypeScript with Sitecore JSS application, see the video tutorials below:

TypeScript with Sitecore JSS – Part – 1:

TypeScript with Sitecore JSS – Part – 2:

To stay updated, like and subscribe to my YouTube channel for more Sitecore tutorials.

[Source references]:

While creating my videos, I referenced two good blog posts from the Sitecore community:

Happy Coding!

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5 Sitecore Interview Tips by Nilesh Thakkar

Are you looking for a change and preparing for an Interview OR Do you need any tips for Sitecore Interview?

If so, then you must watch this video before appearing for an Interview. I got a chance to have a quick chat with Nilesh about the interview tips and see what he says in the video.

Here are the Top 5 Tips shared by Nilesh Thakkar:

  1. Know More About Your Interviewer
  2. Show Your Problem Solving Skills
  3. Know How Sitecore Works Behind The Scenes
  4. Show Your Right Attitude
  5. How Do You Handle Conflicting Situation?

Happy Job Hunting!

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