CRM 2011 Campaign Activities – How to Distribute Emails via Mail Merge

Considerations for Sending Email Blasts from CRM 2011 Campaign Activities

In Dynamics CRM, users can distribute many different activities through campaigns and campaign activities to accomplish marketing tasks. There are some advantages to distributing emails via mail merge and campaign activities. For one, users can utilize Word to format the email text, while inserting data fields (First Name, Last Name, Title, etc) from Dynamics CRM. Also, the mail merge emails can be automatically tracked back to CRM and the associated campaign.

How to Send Mail Merge Emails

NOTE: This step-by-step process assumes users understand basic to intermediate navigation of Dynamics CRM, and they have already set up their marketing lists. Also, mail merge must be done from the CRM client for Outlook.

1. Navigate to or create the campaign that you want to associate the mail merge emails to. In this example, we are using "Test Search Mail Merge Campaign." Please make sure to add your marketing lists if you have not done so yet.

2. From here, navigate to associated campaign activities and click "Add New Campaign Activity."

CRM 2011 campaign activities - create your activity

3. Important! When creating this new campaign activity, make sure to select the channel E-mail via Mail Merge.

4. Create the new campaign activity by clicking Save.

5. Once created, now we can distribute to the mail merge emails. On this campaign activity, click Distribute Campaign Activity.

6. You'll see the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Mail Merge for Microsoft Office Word window appear. This screen provides a couple different options to start the Mail Merge. Users can use a Mail Merge template (previously uploaded to CRM) to use pre-formatted text by selecting 'Organization mail merge template'. Click on the lookup to select your template and click OK.


7.For our example, we will use our first option, Blank Document, to build our mail merge email. To do so, select Blank Document and click Download.

8. Your blank Word document will load, prompting you with the Mail Merge Recipients window. Here you can review the recipient data from Dynamics CRM, and click OK to approve.

9. Now you can format the text. Type in or paste in your desired text, or even insert data fields from CRM by clicking Insert Merge Field.

10. In this example, we are inserting only the First Name data field. End result will look something like this. (You can save this Word document and upload to CRM as a Mail Merge Template for future use.)

11. Once complete, click Finish and Merge and then Send E-Mail Messages.

12. This will open a Merge to E-mail window. Insert text for the subject line. NOTE: This is the subject as it appears to the recipient. Click OK.

13. Next will be a prompt for the user to create optional Dynamics CRM activities. This allows you to track the email being sent. Choose the Create Microsoft Dynamics CRM Activities option. To exclude an unsubscribe link, make sure to uncheck the box. There are also options to include attachments. To send the emails, click OK.

14. Once started, Word will process one by one and send the email through Outlook. Your Outlook must stay open to send all of the emails. Once the mail merge has been completed, Word will prompt with a window. Click OK to finish.

That's all there is to it! Once you have familiarized yourself with mail merge process, you can distribute your emails via mail merge with CRM 2011 campaign activities while tracking those emails against your leads, contacts, or accounts.

If you are looking for other email marketing functionality, you might be interested in our blog on sending email campaigns from Dynamics CRM with MailChimp.

Happy CRM'ing!

Should We Use Campaign Responses in CRM 2011?

Due to their unique attributes, Campaign Responses in CRM 2011 are incredibly useful for tracking ROI of Marketing. Like the simple example below, this blog will help you determine if and how Campaign Responses may fit into your CRM architecture as it is designed to support your sales and marketing strategy.

campaign responses in CRM 2011

The traditional use of Campaign Responses, as their name implies, is to track the responses to outgoing marketing Campaigns. For example, your organization may send an email offer to your customer or prospects in CRM, and when they express interest (via phone, email, or otherwise), you would create a Campaign Response. You can automate the Campaign Response creation from an outbound Campaign, and this is discussed in this tutorial on 4 Ways to Put Campaign Response to Work.

But Campaign Responses can be used for much more than tracking responses to campaigns! Campaign Responses are unique because:

Top 10 Uses for Campaign Responses

In addition to tracking responses to an outbound Campaign, here are the top 10 further uses for Campaign Responses.

Common Customizations Involving Campaign Responses

If you plan to use Campaign Responses, you ought to customize the Campaign Response to match your organization's processes just like you would any other entity in CRM. Here are some common ways the Campaign Responses are customized.

Many organizations will consider creating a custom entity for what Campaign Responses were designed to do out-of-the-box. In doing this, they are missing out on some of the built-in functionality that makes Campaign Responses great. Before you travel down this path, consider what Campaign Responses can do for you!

PowerObjects provides marketing solutions that help organizations achieve their marketing goals and strategies including Email Marketing, Event Management, Surveys, Web Forms, and Web Analytics. For organizations with advanced Marketing needs, PowerObjects has created custom screens that allow users to complete unique processes such as converting multiple campaign responses at once to different types of records. Contact us if you are looking for a unique marketing solution today!

Tips for Making Telemarketing in CRM 2011 Easier

For organizations using Microsoft Dynamics CRM to track telemarketing activities, PowerObjects has a few tips for telemarketing in CRM 2011--particularly how to increase efficiency in collecting your telemarketing data.

Telemarketing can present pain points within an organization.  Often times, the caller gets a voicemail or a quick response.  For a 30 second phone call, a user does not want to spend 2 minutes entering information into CRM.  However, management often wants this data tracked for reporting.  Here are some ways Dynamics CRM 2011 can be configured and used to ease the pains of telemarketing:

  1. Use a Dialog.

By creating a dialog on the Contact and sharing it with the users, you can make the process of entering a Phone Call much quicker.

  1. Use Quick Campaigns.

By training your users on how to use Quick Campaigns, they can schedule and create multiple Phone Call records at one time instead of individually.

  1. Use On-Demand Workflows.

Creating and sharing some on-demand workflows with the users can allow them to complete Phone Calls in bulk, denoting that a voicemail was left.

In this post, we are going to look at how to use a Dialog to ease telemarketing pain.  Below you will find instructions for creating a Phone Call Dialog.

  1. Go to Settings > Customizations > Customize the Entity.
  2. Go to Processes and click New.
  3. Set the Process name.  Set the Entity to Contact and Category to Dialog. Click OK.

telemarketing in CRM 2011--create a dialog

  1. For this dialog, you don’t need any Input Arguments or Variables.
  2. Click under Steps.

Dynamics CRM 2011 for telemarketing

  1. Click the Add Step button and select Page.

telemarketing crm2011

  1. Name the Page, then click the line below.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 for telemarketing

  1. Click on the Add Step button and select Prompt and Response.

telemarketing in crm 2011--prompt and response

  1. Click Set Properties.

telemarketing crm2011

  1. There are many options for prompts- to keep the Dialog short and simple, stick with 2-5 prompts.  The Statement Label will not be seen by the users.  The Prompt Text will tell the users what data to enter in the field.  It is important to only prompt the users for Require Fields. The less data they are required to enter, the more likely they will provide accurate data. Here are some examples of prompts you may want to use:
    1. Due Date of Phone Call: Note that the Default is set to the Execution time. This will allow the user to skip over the field if they run the dialog during or immediately after the phone call.

telemarketing crm2011

  1. Whether or not the Phone Call was Completed:

telemarketing crm2011

  1. Subject: If the Subject line is important to contain good data, prompt the user to enter it.  Otherwise, have this auto-populate with the Contact’s Name and Due Date.
  2. Left Voicemail:

telemarketing crm2011

  1. Once you have all of the prompts required, you are ready to create the Phone Call.
  2. Highlight the entire Page by clicking just to the left of the word Page.

telemarketing crm2011

  1.  Click the Add Step button and select Create Record.

telemarketing in crm 2011

  1. Select Phone Call then click Set Properties.

telemarketing crm2011

  1. Fill in the fields on the Phone Call.

telemarketing in crm 2011

  1. Click Save and Close.
  2. If you opted for a “Left Voicemail” prompt, click on the Add Step and select Check Condition.

telemarketing crm2011

  1. Set the IF statement to “If Left Voicemail Response Label Equals Yes.”

telemarketing crm2011

  1. Select the row below and click Add Step button.

telemarketing crm2011

  1. Select Update Record.

telemarketing in crm 2011--update the record

  1. Click the dropdown to Create Phone Call and click Set Properties.

telemarketing crm2011

  1. Enter “Left Voicemail” in the text box.

telemarketing crm2011

  1. Click Save and Close.
  2. Add other Conditional Statements as needed.
  3. Once completed, Activate the Dialog and share with users.

If you like this method, you should consider a similar process for all activity types, not just phone calls.  Keeping consistent processes in the system will ease training and user adoption.

Happy CRM'ing!

Send an Email Campaign with MailChimp in CRM 2011

Did you know you can use Mailchimp in CRM 2011? Sending a bulk email campaign from CRM using existing marketing lists and the PowerMailChimp add-on is easy and quick.

  1. Build a marketing list or open an existing CRM marketing list and associate it to a MailChimp list.
  2. Create a new PowerMailChimp blast inside CRM:
    1. Enter a Name, Subject, From Name, Reply to e-mail and associate it to a CRM Campaign if you wish.
    2. Select a marketing list to send the email to.
    3. Set your advanced tracking options.
    4. Choose a MailChimp template to use in the blast
  3. Now, choose to send a test of the email blast, send the test now or schedule the delivery.

Yes, it's that easy!

Don't have PowerMailChimp? Interested in a free 30 day trial? Visit the PowerMailChimp website for more information.

Happy CRM'ing!

Are You Tracking the ROI of Marketing in Microsoft Dynamics CRM?

If you are already tracking the ROI of marketing in Microsoft Dynamics CRM then you already know what an invaluable tool it can be if used properly. If you aren't, then here is a handy guide on what you need to do to get rolling. Why not set a goal for the New Year and just get it done?

Let's jump in and get started:

In order to make best use of the Marketing area in Microsoft Dynamics CRM, we recommend doing an exercise of mapping out your marketing processes and designing the CRM forms, screens, workflows, and dashboards to support your marketing strategy. However, the out-of-the-box Marketing Campaigns can be used to track the ROI rather easily without any configuration and that makes it very easy to adopt.

ROI of Marketing in Microsoft Dynamics CRM?

Marketing ROI

You can also track ROI by creating Campaign Responses related to your Campaigns. ROI is tracked when Campaign Responses from new contacts are converted to a Lead and subsequently to an Opportunity. In the example below inquiries from the web site are brought in as Campaign Responses through a custom integration.

CRM Marketing

The benefit of using Campaign Responses versus Leads in this scenario is that Campaign Responses can also be associated with an existing Lead, Contact, or Account. ROI is tracked when they are converted to an Opportunity for an existing Contact or Account.

Because they can be associated to an existing record, this makes them ideal for showing repeated inquiries from the same person or repeated attendance at events.

In addition, you can run the Campaign Performance Report on the Campaign or from the Reports area.

The bottom of the report shows the revenue at various stages in the sales process.

And, there you have it. Tracking ROI on your marketing efforts can only help make you and your organization smarter and more efficient in the present as well as in the future. Comment and let us know what strategies you are using to track your marketing efforts.

You can also contact our CRM Experts if you ever need help with any of your Microsoft Dyanmics CRM projects.

Happy CRM'ing!