Understanding Dialogs

An Online Marketing dialog consists of one or more actions or promotions, such as an email offer. An online dialog can consist of a single event or a series of events, such as sending broadcast emails, displaying a web page, sending follow-up emails, and so on.

Online Marketing can handle just about any type of online dialog. Different types of online dialogs serve various purposes. Some of the categories of online dialogs that Online Marketing can handle are shown in the following table:

Customer Acquisition

Customer Development and Retention

Channel Development

Sweepstakes and contests

Cross-selling and up-selling

Lead distribution

Seminars and events

Upgrade programs

Lead follow-up

Trade show lead management

Loyalty and relationship programs

“Did you buy” audits

Ad banners

Maintenance and subscription renewals

Sales force education and training

The following three examples demonstrate some common types of online dialogs:

Dialog Type



A newsletter dialog consists of sending a broadcast email containing either a newsletter or listing the article titles along with web links to the newsletter. The newsletter can be a series of web pages that respondents can view, or it can be interactive by providing respondents the opportunity to make choices or enter information that affects the type of newsletter they see. Newsletters can be sent daily, weekly, monthly, and so forth, and can be targeted to specific audiences based on information they provide.

Seminar or Special Event

A seminar or special event dialog consists of sending a broadcast email that promotes a seminar or special event. Respondents can register online, and periodic reminders can be sent with specific information based on what the respondents have signed up for, or what information you have about them in the Online Marketing database. You can also create a profile attribute to track the number of registrants.


A promotion dialog consists of using direct mail and banner ads to advertise an offer and provide a web address for recipients to respond to. Respondents can register online to receive an offer, and based on the information they provide, you can send follow-up emails about other products or services, each with their own web page.

Designing an online dialog in Online Marketing involves the following tasks:

  • Create the dialog framework, which allows you to define the initial attributes of the dialog (its name, description, purpose, and who will have access to it).

  • Define the dialog flow, which graphically displays the elements defining the actions that Online Marketing will perform automatically once the dialog is deployed.

  • Define and select audiences you want to target in your dialog.

  • Create the email and web documents to be used in your dialog.

If you have purchased PeopleSoft Marketing in addition to PeopleSoft Online Marketing, you can also define the following elements for your dialogs:

  • Program detail

  • Tasks

  • Costs

See Understanding Web Documents.

See Understanding Email Documents.

See Understanding Flows.

An audience is a group of people you want to reach with your online dialog. The audience can be a list of names that already exist in your system (an internal audience), or names from an external source, such as a rented mailing list or respondents to a banner ad. You select the audiences you want to target from a list of audiences that have already been defined in the system.

Including several audiences in your dialog allows Online Marketing to track each group separately, and provide statistics for the individual audiences. Online Marketing’s ability to track audiences independently allows you to send different offers to audiences and compare their effectiveness. You can also compare the effectiveness of different external sources, such as different banner ads, or different mailing lists.

You can use the following audience-creation methods within Dialogs:

  • Saved search.

  • Import audience.

  • External audience.

If you have also licensed PeopleSoft Marketing, you will have a greater variety of audience-creation options available to you.

When using multiple internal audiences, it is possible that the same person is listed in more than one audience. To avoid confusing recipients with multiple emails, Online Marketing automatically detects any duplicates among audiences, and only sends out one email to a person, regardless of the number of audiences to which that person belongs.

Online Marketing sends broadcast emails to everyone in the first audience listed on the element. For each subsequent audience, whenever Online Marketing encounters an individual that has already been sent the email, that individual is skipped. This behavior is optional and can be turned off on a dialog-by-dialog basis.

Online Marketing defines seven statuses for a dialog: In Design, In Test, Live, Broadcast Hold, Paused, Complete, and Archived.

A dialog’s status determines the tasks that can be performed on the dialog. This includes email broadcasting and web page access from the outside world. Online Marketing users must have appropriate permissions to change the status of a dialog.

When a dialog is initially created, its status is In Design. It remains in this status throughout the entire design process. When you are ready to test that the dialog works as intended, you can change its status to In Test. Then, when you are ready to launch the dialog, change its status to Live.

Note: A dialog’s status is independent of the status of the program to which the dialog is associated. Changing the program status does not affect the dialog status.