A filter is a dynamic query or search that you can use to look up contacts in your Eloqua database that match your criteria. For example, you might want to find all contacts who reside in a particular country or who fit certain industry parameters (contact field-based filters), or contacts who have performed certain actions (activity-based filters), or contacts who have not performed certain actions (inactivity-based filters).


Depending on how you've configured your filters, they may return either a large number of contacts or a very specific grouping. As you make a filter more specific, and you add more rules, you may need to combine (or "group") rules so that Eloqua evaluates them as a group instead of individually. For example, this features lets you apply "AND" logic to one grouping and "OR" logic to another grouping. To do this, press Shift while you click the rules you want to group, and then click the Group button at the bottom of the filter screen. Eloqua will indent these rules and wrap them in parentheses.

 

Our support team sometimes gets questions about the grouping functionality, so this post will give you some use cases to help you understand your options. As an overall tip, always remember:

  • "AND" will narrow your results (because the contact needs to match all of the criteria).
  • "OR" will broaden your results (because the contact needs to match only some of the criteria).


This is especially important to remember when you're using negative criteria. For example, you might want to create a rule to not include contacts with either of two email domains. It might be tempting to think, "Exclude contacts with an @oracle.com email domain OR an @eloqua.com domain", but this will broaden your results instead of narrow them. "AND" will exclude them both.

 

Use Case #1: Combining "OR" and "AND" operators through grouping

Suppose you want to get contacts who are from Oracle and either from Canada or the United States. In this use case, you need to apply the "OR" operator only to the geographic considerations, so you need to group these last two. Otherwise, your results will be incorrect. The incorrect logic without grouping would be as follows:

Contacts who have email address domain @oracle.com

AND

Contacts who have Country field equal Canada

OR

Contacts who have Country field equal USA


We sometimes refer to this as a "dangling OR". The "OR" here will grab anyone who has USA as a country, regardless of whether they have an email domain @oracle.com.

The correct logic with grouping would be as follows:

Contacts who have email address domain @oracle.com

AND

(

Contacts who have Country field equal Canada

OR

Contacts who have Country field equal USA

)

 

Use Case #2: Nesting Rules

Suppose you want to get contacts who meet the following criteria:

  • All contacts over the age of 20
  • All contacts under the age of 20 if from Canada
  • All male Oracle employees
  • All female Eloqua employees

 

You can accomplish this through nesting. First, press Shift and click the larger group of items, and then click the Group button. Then, press Shift and click the sub-criteria items that you want to nest, and then click the Group button again. This will result in a second level of indentation.

(

Contacts who have age field greater than 20

OR

(

Contacts who have age field smaller than 20

AND

Contacts who have Country field as Canada

)

)

AND

(

(

Contacts who have gender field as Male

AND

Contacts who have Company field as Oracle

)

OR

(

Contacts who have Gender field as Female

AND

Company field as Eloqua

)

)

 

For more information about filters in general, see this overview from Eloqua Documentation on Shared Filters and a helpful Logic Guide that summarizes the logic operator options.
For Eloqua University courses on creating filters, see Eloqua 10: Fundamentals of Segmentation and RPM: Targeting & Segmentation.