Eloqua 23C Release Overview

Eloqua 23C Release Overview

August 2023 | Marketing Automation

This month's packed Eloqua release may not contain many exciting new features, but it does fix several major frustrations with the platform.

Oracle would have you believe that the headline feature of this month's Eloqua release was UI changes to the settings area of this platform. Yet the Eloqua 23C release is a packed one, with lots of minor updates even if it does lack that headline grabbing new functionality. Even then, the addition of webhook support to the Eloqua platform is actually fairly significant from a technology perspective, even if it probably won't excite marketers. Long-time Eloqua users will have to make do with a truck-load of minor tweaks that fix some of the biggest annoyances and inconsistencies that afflict such a mature platform.

The most high profile update is probably the addition of auto-expiry for landing pages. Eloqua has long had the ability to redirect landing pages as well as to expire forms. However, the capability to expire landing pages has been curiously absent, perhaps due to the redirect feature. Now auto-expiry fixes this oversight, allowing landing pages to be automatically redirected on a specified date and time. This means that users don't have to go into Eloqua manually in order to configure redirects when event registration closes, which was never a great user experience for either marketer or visitor.

Oracle have also finally fixed one of the biggest inconsistencies that afflicted Eloqua landing pages. Unlike competing marketing automation platforms, Eloqua does not automatically redirect email links for tracking purposes. Instead, users are expected to manually apply tracking to untracked external pages by checking a checkbox under the link settings. This thoroughly confuses marketers, who are never sure whether the checkbox in question needs to be checked or not. As a result, most Eloqua users are trained to always check the 'add redirect tracking' checkbox when adding website links to an email, which is fine except for one small problem that specifically affects Eloqua landing pages.

Eloqua does have a different UI for adding Eloqua landing pages to emails compared to external webpage links. The link type setting controls which UI is used. However, virtually nobody actually uses the Landing Page link type - it's far easier to just add the link as an external webpage and then tick the 'add redirect tracking' checkbox. Consequently, that's what everyone does. Unfortunately, this behaviour has the unintended side effect of breaking personalisation of the page and blocking form pre-population. That can be a serious problem if you're linking to a custom preference centre. As a result, Oracle have made a very small UI tweak to the link settings panel, which will have a major impact on the ability to track landing pages properly. If a user links to an Eloqua landing page from an email, then the 'add redirect tracking' checkbox will be disabled. Following this minor update, customer admins can safely update their user training to state that the 'add redirect tracking' checkbox should always be checked when adding email links regardless of destination.

Page Tags

On the subject of tracking, there has been a slight tweak to the page tag settings that should substantially increase the usefulness of auto-tagging rules. The problem with Eloqua page tagging is that it was designed for the early days of the web when corporate websites were much smaller and simpler than they are today. The default site map refresh settings are very aggressive, archiving pages if they haven't been visited in the last seven days. That limits the usefulness of page tagging, which until now had no way of adding newly detected website paths to an existing page tag. Auto-tagging rules can only tag existing website paths. However, auto-tagging rules can't add new pages or sub-folders to a tag, only new HTML documents. Consequently, it is common to see pages removed from a webpage due to low activity but which are not re-added when traffic picks up again.

The introduction of the new 'Auto Select New Folders' checkbox to auto-tagging rules fixes all these problems. It will allow Eloqua users to tag specific website paths, while ensuring that the site map won't accidentally remove existing pages from the tag or miss new pages that should be added. This should make page tagging vastly more reliable, allowing it to become the set-and-forget configuration everyone thinks it should be. The new checkbox has also been added to auto meta tagging rules as well, which will be helpful for sites with more complex URL structures.

Unmapped CDOs

Any Eloqua customer that extensively uses custom objects will be aware of the issues caused by unmapped custom object records. It's very easy to accidentally create them, and almost impossible to delete them in bulk. At some point, any Eloqua user that manually uploads custom object records regularly will have forgotten to check the box which maps those records to the contact. There are ways to automatically map CDO records to the contact record, but these need to be configured separately for every CDO.

Worse still, unmapped CDO records can't be used for very much beyond reporting. They certainly can't be used in segments or shared filters, the most common reason to create CDOs. Most of the time, unmapped CDO records just sit in your database until someone manually deletes them one by one. They can be deleted by a program, but again this needs to be configured before any CDO records are uploaded to your Eloqua instance. Now there is another way to delete unmapped CDO records. They can be deleted in just three clicks using a new 'delete unmapped CDO records' option under the custom object settings. I know of a few Eloqua customers who will be very happy with the addition of this menu item.


There's a new feature in the Salesforce integration app, which I would recommend to anyone who integrates Eloqua with Salesforce. When using integration actions to create or update records in Salesforce, there is an option to write back the ID of the updated Salesforce record to Eloqua. This has long been a mandatory part of the integration configuration. It's now possible to update additional Eloqua fields using the same write-back settings. You can't use this option to sync additional fields to Eloqua, but you can add a static text or date value to any contact field. The primary use case for this new option is the Last Modified by CRM System field, typically set using an update rule in your CRM Update program. That update rule is no longer necessary and can be replaced with this new option.

Although, the most interesting integration enhancement in this release is the one I touched on at the beginning of the article: webhooks. Oracle have developed a new webhook app, which they have made available on a controlled availability basis in this release. This significantly simplifies outbound integrations from Eloqua to third party platforms. Webhooks are a lightweight integration technology that allow you to push contacts to external applications from campaign or programs without needing to develop an entire custom integration. There are plenty of third party data providers who support webhooks for data enrichment workflows, or for a more secure method of re-posting form submissions to external sites. I've even used them in competing marketing automation platforms to enhance CRM integrations. Interested Eloqua users will be able to apply to join the webhook app controlled availability program in a few weeks.

The Oracle Eloqua 23C Update was scheduled over the weekends of August 5th, 2023 and August 19th, 2023. Contents of the release are subject to change. Full details, including smaller changes not mentioned in this article such as changes to APIs, can be found in the official release notes.

Banner Photo by Cassi Josh / Unsplash

Written by
Marketing Operations Consultant and Solutions Architect at CRMT Digital specialising in marketing technology architecture. Advisor on marketing effectiveness and martech optimisation.