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Eloqua SmartStart best practice

Best practices for a successful SmartStart

January 18, 2015 - Insights

Once your company has purchased a licence for Oracle Eloqua, a SmartStart is the best way to quickly and smoothly set up your instance and enable your team. The SmartStart is a well defined, Oracle approved, implementation process, and it ensures we take a best practice approach to implementing Oracle Marketing Cloud for our clients. Engagement Factory, as a certified Oracle Partner has a vast amount of experience in supporting businesses that are new to Oracle Eloqua and a SmartStart is the best way to get you up and running.


The purpose of SmartStart is to accelerate the adoption of the application, understand how technology decisions impact the business results and to enable continuous use of initial best practices on campaign management.

The structure of SmartStart consists of four phases:

1) Kick-off
2) Prerequisites
3) Implementation
4) Onsite workshop

Phase 1. Kick-off

It all starts with a one-hour kick-off call, presenting the requirements of the prerequisites. The presentation explains the setup of three workbooks, which need to be completed before starting with the configuration of your Oracle Eloqua instance.

The kick-off phase enables you to get a better understanding of what is needed and what the expectations are, it also provides the opportunity to ask any questions.

To prepare for the prerequisites phase we recommend the gathering of the following information:

  • Gather assets such as company logo, email footer, legal and privacy wording and email templates
  • List competitor domains that should be suppressed from your email marketing
  • Collect forms that need to be integrated
  • Identify resources
  • Identify the first email marketing (nurture) campaign you want to run in Oracle Eloqua

Phase 2. Prerequisites

After the kick-off call your company will receive three workbooks:

1) Prerequisites
2) Branding and deliverability configuration
3) Security settings.

The prerequisites workbook requires you to provide a list of users, including their security level, and email marketing settings such as data sets, email configuration, web tracking script and form integration.

The branding and deliverability configuration workbook is created to setup and guarantee smooth deliverability. It helps to maintain email corporate identity and an excellent email reputation. Also included in the workbook are subdomain selection, setup of a ‘from’ and ‘reply-to’ email address, bounce-back email subdomain configuration, microsites, DKIM and SPF.

The time and input required to complete the workbooks are often underestimated; usually it takes up to 3 weeks. Best practice to speed up the process and to gain a better understanding on project scale, is to directly involve the right people in the process. Besides the marketing team, it is strongly recommended that you involve your IT department from the very beginning. This is essential to complete the branding and deliverability configuration workbook, but also for the back-end setup.

Phase 3. Implementation

Now the workbooks are completed, the configuration can commence. Oracle Eloqua, or a Certified Partner such as Engagement Factory, will implement the results of the prerequisites and security settings workbooks. The branding and deliverability configuration workbook will be reviewed and implemented by Oracle Eloqua.

The entire configuration takes approximately three days to complete. However, the process could take much longer if CRM integration is required, depending on your data model and the complexity of the integration.

Phase 4. On-site workshop

Once the configuration is finalised, a three day onsite workshop will take place with the client.
The workshop covers these three areas:

  1. Introduction - What is marketing automation?
    Provides insight into the latest product developments, market and client results, and benefits of starting with guaranteed ROI in the first quarter. This part is highly valued by business management and the marketing department
  2. Navigation, e-mails, landing pages, forms, lead nurturing campaigns and frameworks
    The configuration of these assets is presented as the first best practice on how to get started. This part is vital for marketing specialists responsible for creating assets
  3. Data management and administration details
    This part is important for Oracle Eloqua system administrators and IT departments as it deep dives into how the Oracle Eloqua instance is setup and how to manage it.

At Engagement Factory we always recommend that you begin your marketing automation journey with a SmartStart and make sure that all relevant teams are involved in the process. There are many great benefits to a SmartStart but the biggest value comes from the improved alignment between teams and the fast, effective set up of your new marketing automation platform.

Patrick Peeters

Professional Services Consultant at Engagement Factory

Thank you for reaching out to us, we will be in touch.

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