Win the Real-time Marketing Game with CRM

Good ideas don't always come with a ton of lead time. For marketers, that can mean changing tactics and shifting gears quickly. Here's a quick example of how that can happen with the right tools and Dynamics CRM.

When the PowerObjects team was participating in a recent CRMUG event, the idea bubbled up to use CRM and PowerPack add-ons to showcase a marketing game to demonstrate lead nurturing and demand generation. After all, what better way to connect with a CRM audience than to use Dynamics CRM to engage and entertain?

With only a few hours to make this idea come to life, the answer was clear: connecting PowerPack add-ons—specifically PowerEmail, PowerWebTraffic, PowerSMS, PowerScore, PowerWebForm and PowerSocial—was the best way. Since each PowerPack Add-on literally takes minutes to download and install, the building blocks were in place in no time.

Marketing Game with CRMWith the technology in place, it was time to build the game itself.

In order to win fabulous prizes (sweatshirts, t-shirts, and other goodies) participants had to score. And how did they score? Well, that part was easy.

During CEO Dean Jones' keynote speech at this CRMUG event, the audience had the chance to send a text to the number presented.

This got the game started, and those that entered then could rack up points by taking some simple steps:


The scoring rules of the game were all set up with PowerScore in CRM:

PowerScore Rules_img

You get the idea, right? All these different interactions were configured, triggered and measured using CRM and PowerPack add-ons, in real time. Each interaction could trigger a score change, another piece of communication, or both using workflows:

my processes_img

It was all about providing the steps and directions to the players on their smartphones. And it didn't take weeks or months and huge investments to pull it off—this approach used the CRM technology already at hand.

Over 85,000 PowerPack subscribers are using these kinds of techniques to build out marketing strategies that are scalable and measureable, since the interactions leads and contacts are having on social media, web pages, web forms, text messages and emails are all captured as leads are converted and opportunities are won. When you come up with your next big bright marketing idea—keep the PowerPack add-ons in mind for a simple and cost-effective way to make it happen.

PowerPack and CRM for the win!

Happy CRM'ing!

Behind the Curtain at Convergence 2014

How PowerObjects Used Marketing Automation in Dynamics CRM

Whether you attended or not, you may still be feeling the buzz coming out of Microsoft Convergence 2014 in Atlanta. The team from PowerObjects had a blast connecting with customers, meeting new CRM fans, and learning about the latest features and technology from the world of Dynamics. As a partner that is 100% focused on Microsoft Dynamics CRM, we are looking forward to a bright future.

If you attended, there is a good chance you saw the PowerObjects logo on a hoodie, since we handed out 3,000 of them to booth visitors. How did it happen? It wasn't magic, it was CRM! Check out the steps below and learn how we leveraged the marketing automation capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics CRM and our suite of PowerPack add-ons. What aspects would you borrow for your next trade show or event?

Warming Up the Crowd

First, we sent email updates about early bird pricing and other details to our friends and prospects leading up to Convergence. To do this we used our CRM and PowerMailChimp to segment a great marketing list, design a template to engage and promote, and hit send – all within CRM. As these messages went out, we used the reporting in CRM to see who was opening, what they clicked on, and who wanted to learn more. When links in our emails were clicked, PowerWebTraffic also gave us the ability to see what customers and potential clients were viewing by collecting website tracking analytics and connecting them to contacts and leads within CRM. We also used PowerSocial to send updates via social media outlets like Twitter and LinkedIn – and yes, you guessed it, right from inside CRM.

Setting up Shop

When we arrived on site at Convergence, things started to get exciting. We set up our booth and it equipped it with four big screen monitors to conduct live demonstrations of CRM and our PowerPacks. After all, there is no substitute for seeing CRM in action! We also displayed a social media wall that had a feed of real-time Tweets, and Facebook and Instagram posts that had our hashtags – all of which we could continue to monitor and post via PowerSocial.

We also brought 3,000 hoodies that said "CRM" on the front and had the PowerObjects logo on the back. Dynamics CRM is our focus and our passion, so we couldn't help but share it loud and proud with everyone. Each booth team member had a Dell Venue 8 Pro tablet to use at the booth in order to further leverage our technology and CRM.

marketing automation in dynamics crm

Showtime - with a High Tech Twist

What is better than giving away 3,000 CRM hoodies? Giving away 3,000 CRM hoodies while also showcasing the capabilities of CRM and gathering leads in real time. To do this we built a custom app to capture lead information right at the booth.

Here’s how it worked:
We either scanned the RFID in attendees' badges or entered them in a simple form on a tablet. We could even add photo of that person to their record by taking their photo with the tablet's camera and using PowerPhoto to load it in CRM. Immediately after we had scanned or gathered the attendee’s info, three things happened:

1)      They received one of our wildly popular and stylish hoodies.

2)      Their information was entered into our lead capture app and CRM.

3)      From PowerSurvey, they were sent an email with a brief survey about what aspects of CRM and PowerObjects they were most interested in (services, support, education or add-ons).

Here is what the Lead Capture App looks like on a tablet – immediately after scanning and snapping a quick photo.

marketing automation in dynamics crm

After the attendees completed their survey, they were also entered into a drawing to win Dell Venue 8 Pro tablets – which were the same ones we used in our booth. To win the tablet, they had to complete the survey and show up to our booth for the drawing wearing our CRM hoodie. We also let people sign up for text reminders via PowerSMS.

As you can see, the booth was packed!

marketing automation in dynamics crm

In the survey, attendees could also request more information, which was delivered in an email bundle through PowerShare. This add-on lets us easily distribute PDFs and other files, as well as track what is opened.

So that's how it all came together for PowerObjects marketing at a 12,000+ attendee event, fully integrated with CRM. It was fantastic to meet so many Convergence attendees and to see our hoodies everywhere throughout the weeklong event and around the city of Atlanta.

Now comes the next fun part of the process: following up with the people we met to help them get more value out of Dynamics CRM for Marketing, Sales, and Service. Let us know if you want to learn more about how we used marketing automation in Dynamics CRM to pull off a great Convergence 2014. We will see you next year for Convergence 2015!

marketing automation in dynamics crm

Keep checking our blog for CRM tips and tricks! Interested in other upcoming PowerObjects events? Check out our events page!

Happy CRM’ing!

Even Santa Claus Uses PowerPack

We all know the world is changing. Here at PowerObjects, that has become more evident than ever with our latest client… Santa Claus! Even jolly ol' Saint Nick has started to leverage technology to keep up with the ever-changing demands of our world. Over the last several months, PowerObjects has helped Santa Claus use Microsoft Dynamics CRM and PowerPack add-ons to streamline his tasks, optimize his time, and identify who falls on the BB&G (bad boys and girls) list, all while helping him deliver billions of toys in just one night!

By leveraging Microsoft Dynamics CRM and PowerScore, Santa Claus can now quickly capture and identify the good children while filtering out the naughty children. By setting up rules in CRM to increase children's scores based on good behaviors—and decrease scores for those acting not-so-nice—Santa can easily build his BB&G list.

On top of scoring children's behaviors, PowerScore allows Santa Claus to age the children's scores. A kid's score from last year should not affect which list they make it on this year. Pretty slick process to automate and identify the BB&G list, if you ask me!

Even Santa Claus Uses PowerPack

Santa Claus didn't stop there. We also helped him set up a Microsoft Dynamics CRM workflow to notify the children that are on the BB&G list. A newsletter went out to all of the naughty children, full of tips and tricks on how to get off the naughty list. By leveraging CRM workflows and PowerMailChimp, Santa Claus is able to nurture the naughty kids into good kids. And this is all through a fully automated process!

As I am sure you can imagine, Santa Claus' website is busier than ever this time of year, and the North Pole Elves are carefully monitoring the website activity with PowerWebTraffic. Elves can tell which kids have been on the site and what they are most interested in. This also gives the Elves better insight into what toys are in high demand this holiday season. Currently the Xbox One is very popular! (I know I'm hoping for one…)

Of course, children request millions of toys every day, and a kid's mind is never made up. While Santa often responds to these requests in person during the months of November and December, the demand can become overwhelming at times. So PowerObjects helped Santa set up a PowerWebForm which allows children to log present requests online when Santa's demand is too high for a mall visit. Children simply need to jump onto the North Pole website and fill out the Santa Claus present request form, with their new or updated requests. The web form is then submitted back into the North Pole's CRM system and updates the child's key information and present requests. This has been a huge time saver for Santa Claus as well as his Elves.

This Christmas Eve will be the first year Santa Claus will be able to leverage geo-coded addresses. This is done by using PowerMap add-on, which finds the addresses of each child's record and plots them on a map. Santa Claus will be able to see all of the kids' geospatial locations on a Bing Map, while plotting out his many different CRM lists with different colored pins. Looking at the BB&G list on a heat map is very telling!

Also, in case of a winter storm, PowerMap will equip Santa with directions from location to location.

PowerObjects, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, and the PowerPack add-ons have allowed Santa Claus to be more efficient this year. One thing is for sure as we get closer to December 25th: Santa Claus is segmenting his list and checking it only once!

Merry CRM'ing!

Lead Tracking in CRM 2011: Get Notified When a Contact/Lead Visits Your Website

Wouldn't it be cool to know the instant your contact or lead is on your web page, so that you can contact them while they're still thinking about you? Lead tracking in CRM 2011 is easy with the power of PowerWebTraffic!

The first thing you need to do is send an email to your customers with a link back to your website (which is, of course, being tracked with PowerWebTraffic). This can be accomplished either by sending a bulk email, such as a newsletter from your CRM (using another great add-on called PowerMailChimp) or by simply sending an individual email to your customer from CRM. As soon as they click on that link, we will know what web traffic (past and future) belongs to them, and that web traffic will be pulled into the contact or lead record in CRM.

Now that we have connected our contact or lead to their web traffic, it's time to set up an automatic notification, so that we know when our contacts have visited our webpage, how long they spent on each page, and what page they were looking at.

To receive automatic notifications, we are going to set up a simple workflow, following the steps below:

  1. Navigate to the Settings area of CRM, and click on Processes. Then click on New to create a new workflow based off of the web traffic entity.

    Lead tracking in CRM 2011 - Set up automatic notification

  2. Make sure the workflow is running when the web traffic record fields, "contact" field is changed.

  3. If you would like to be notified when a contact visits a SPECIFIC page, instead of just any page, add a check condition to the workflow, to check the web traffic record for a specific page. If you would like to be notified anytime a contact visits any page on your website, skip this step.

    To make sure you are checking for the correct page or page title, make sure to verify either the page title or the page URL in a web traffic record.

  4. Now we're going to add the step that sends an automatic notification to the owner of the record when their contact or lead has been on the particular web page specified above.

    Create the email using the dynamic values form assistant on the right-hand side. Include any web traffic details you'd like to receive in the body of the email. Below is an example of an email for a notification for the owner of a contact if their contact has been on the specified web page.

    If you would also like to create an automatic notification for a lead, you will need to create another workflow for that.

  5. When you're finished with the steps above, you should have created a workflow that looks something like this.

Now, when one of your contacts has been on that specific webpage, the owner of that contact record will be notified.

The email notification recipient can also click on the dynamic link at the bottom of the email (which you inserted when you were creating your workflow notification email), and get a graph showing them past web traffic of that particular contact.

Want to give PowerWebTraffic a try? Visit the PowerWebTraffic web page to start your free 30 day trial.

Happy CRM'ing!

Track Your Customer’s Web Traffic in Dynamics CRM

PowerWebTraffic is a powerful tool that lets users analyze web traffic in Dynamics CRM--without having to leave the application. Besides general web analytics, PowerWebTraffic gives CRM users the power to track web traffic to individual leads and contacts, so users know what their customers are looking at.

Graph of your web traffic in Dynamics CRM

But the power of PowerWebTraffic has been enhanced! Along with being able to track web traffic to contacts and leads within Dynamics CRM, web traffic is now also automatically tracked to CRM accounts, so you can see what your customers are looking at on your website.

If PowerWebTraffic finds a match between the company name of anonymous or known web traffic, and an account name in CRM, it will automatically pull that web traffic into that account record. Now you can set up automatic notifications, so you know the second your customer is visiting your website, and what they've been looking at.

Look company-specific web traffic in Dynamics CRM

See a company's web traffic in Dynamics CRM

If you're interested in giving PowerWebTraffic a try yourself, visit the PowerWebTraffic web page and download your free 30 day trial.

Happy CRM'ing!

How to Track Web Traffic of Leads that Fill out a Web Form with Microsoft Dynamics CRM

PowerWebForm is an easy way to track data from a form on your website back to CRM. PowerWebTraffic is a great way to see what your customers are interested in from your website. Individually they are both very helpful, but working together they can be an even better tool. With the steps below, you can create a simple workflow to send an email from CRM when a form is submitted and in that email is a link back to your tracked page. Within minutes of a potential customer filling out a form, you will be able to see all the places they visited on your site.

To begin tracking web traffic, first, create a new process.

Create a new process to create web traffic in CRM

Give the process a name that will be easily identified when looking through the list later.  The entity will be a Web Form Activity and the Category will be a Workflow.

Create a process as a worfklow to track web traffic

The scope of this workflow will depend on the organization, but in this particular case we will change it to Organization.  This workflow needs to start each time a Web Form Activity is created so we will leave this as the default.

Select organization as the scope

The first step of the workflow is to wait 3 minutes to ensure PowerWebForm has fully created the Web Form Activity.  This is more than enough time but better safe than sorry!  To create this step, click on Add Step > Wait Condition.

Add a wait condition

Give the wait condition an easily understood name and then click on the condition.

Select a timeframe for the condition

On the screen that appears, have the Process timeout for duration of 3 minutes.  Click Save and Close.

web forms crm

Back on the workflow screen, click directly on the “Select this row and click Add Step”.  This allows us to do a check of the Web Form Activity after the process has timed out for 3 minutes.  This check will look at the subject of the Web Form Activity and ensure the submission is for the appropriate web form on your website.

web traffic forms crm

Click Add Step and choose Check Condition.

web forms crm traffic

Give the check condition an easily understood name and then click on the condition.

web form check condition

On the screen that appears, choose Web Form Activity – Subject – Equals – [Subject of your Web Form Activity].  Web Form Activities from the same Web Form have the same subject so by looking for this, we can ensure the Web Form Activity that was created was for the Web Form we want to respond to.  This also allows you to have a workflow similar to this for multiple Web Forms.  Click Save and Close.

web traffic form crm

Now that we have our wait condition and check condition complete, we can create our email.  Click on “Select this row and click Add Step”.

track web traffic crm

Add the step to Send E-mail.  If you want to personalize each email that goes out, you could create an email without sending it.

crm web traffic

Give the Send Email step an easily understood name and click Set Properties.

crm web forms

Fill in the email with the appropriate information.  The To field will be what the Web Form Activity is regarding so set this as a dynamic value.  Add the hyperlink of the appropriate website in the body of the email.  Don’t worry about adding the tracking token from PowerWebTraffic as CRM will do this automatically. The email will look similar to this when you are done!  Click Save and Close when you are comfortable and Activate your workflow.

web forms crm

Now you can sit back and watch as potential customers tie their CRM record to the clicks on your site!

Happy CRM’ing!

PowerPack in Action – Marketing for Microsoft Dynamics CRM

While our marketing department is sending out newsletters promoting an upcoming training webinar, I'm more interested in how they are doing this. (The message is cool, but how they are using tools that enhance marketing for Microsoft Dynamics CRM is even cooler.)

You may have recently received our PowerObjects Newsletter. We send this out every 3 to 4 weeks to keep customers, leads and prospects update on what we are doing at PowerObjects and help the community get more value from their CRM.

This might seem like a simple task of sending out a newsletter, but let's take a closer look at what actually has to happen.

Sending the Message

We need to know who we are targeting. This can be done using CRM out of the box to create a dynamic marketing list. Once you know who you are targeting you want to send them a nice branded e-mail message. See image below.

While you can create a HTML message inside of Microsoft Dynamics CRM it's not a great environment for created a HTML e-mail. Also sending a large number of e-mails from Microsoft Dynamics CRM can get your domain and IP black listed causing a high bounce rate and low delivery rate. The marketing team wants more than just high delivery. They want to know opens, and click through rates.

To do this our e-mail messages are sent out using powerMailChimp. This gives the team robust HTML e-mail, allows us to use our Microsoft Dynamics CRM marketing list and track opens, and click through.

Tracking the Traffic

You just received a message form PowerObjects… what was interesting to you? Our marketing team wants to know what pages you visited, did you visit more than one page and how much time did you spend on each page. This helps the team fine tune our message; create quality content and great value for our customers. To know what web pages are most popular and how much time is spent on each web page the team is using powerWebTraffic. This will take information from the e-mail, contact and page that were visited and allow the marketing team to analyze what is working and what is not. This data is available to the team in detail, rolled up daily or detail of the lead/contact.

Call to Action

The team sent you a message, tracked what was opened and clicked, related all the web traffic back to the contact or lead and now wants a call to action. They would like you to attend a webinar on how to get value from your Microsoft Dynamics CRM. This is done with a landing page. This is landing pages 101. See image below. It has a simple bullet points and benefits along with the call to action, i.e., submit the web form. The landing page is created right in our web site. We don't have to jump out to another site to build our landing page, or try and get our format into another site. The team simple used powerWebForm (along with powerWebTraffic) to build the landing page.

Now if the customer submits the form and response to the call to action the marketing team gets this data right in CRM. A Microsoft Dynamics CRM Workflow kicks off sending an e-mail and allows additional follow up. The form is mapped to a specific entity and all the data is captured. It's very easy to build workflows that are triggered by the various data captured in the form.

Marketing is Happy

The marketing team is now happy they have successfully managed the leads and contacts in Microsoft Dynamics CRM to send a monthly newsletter; they tracked the quality of the content and are able to identify what is of interest to our customers and prospects. They have important information on web traffic and they successfully managed a landing page with a call to action all from Microsoft Dynamics CRM. As I said in the beginning, the marketing team is happy they sent a successful newsletter, I'm excited about how they did it using: powerMailChimp, powerWebTraffic and powerWebForm. Three simple add-ons that allowed the team to get more value out of Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

If you're not getting value out of your Microsoft Dynamics CRM, take a look at some of the powerPack add-ons, it will make your marketing team a "happy team".

Happy CRM'ing

Track Web Traffic of CRM Contacts & Leads When They Click on a Link in a Bulk Email

Did you know there is a simple way to connect two of our powerful PowerPack add-ons: PowerMailChimp and PowerWebTraffic? Now, when you send a bulk email (for example, a newsletter) out from CRM using the PowerMailChimp tool, you can track the web traffic of CRM contacts & leads who click on links in that bulk email!

To connect these add-ons is really quite simple. When you associate a CRM marketing list to a MailChimp list, an oid and otype are automatically synced over.

Send Newsletters from Dynamics CRM

We are going to use this information to link specific CRM contacts and leads to their web traffic. Navigate to a MailChimp template, click in a section of your template and go to the Source. Find a link and add ?ti=*|OTYPE|*|*|OID|*

to the end of the link that goes to a page on your website (one of the pages PowerWebTraffic is tracking). So, for example, the link would say:*|OTYPE|*|*|OID|*

Send Surveys from Dynamics CRM

Add those merge tags to the end of every link in your MailChimp template (don't forget the links in the images!), and save the template. Now, when you send out your PowerMailChimp blast, you will be tracking the web traffic of every lead or contact that clicks on a link.

That's the combined power of PowerMailChimp and PowerWebTraffic!

We love feedback. So, give it a try and let us know what you think.

Happy CRM'ing!

Web Traffic in Microsoft CRM is worth…..

The saying goes that a picture is worth a thousand words – so a bunch of pictures must be worth a lot more!

I think my new favorite PowerPack item is PowerWebTraffic, as a CRM geek one of the things I obsess over is driving marketing value back into and out of CRM for our company and our customers. So I have two new favorite dashboards that I check out throughout the day – one shows me the all up traffic and what pages people are visiting from what companies, and the next takes it a level deeper and shows me who those people are and what pages they are going to…..take a look

Now let's take it all the way down to the contact or lead record…start to see where we can go with this!

Pretty powerful stuff and so easy to setup and start tracking – takes about 3 minutes to import the solution and another 5 minutes to drop the tracking script on your website and wham….the data start flowing.

Think about the power of this from a sales standpoint – now think about the power of workflows in CRM and you can really take your marketing to the next level. I know you are thinking this is worth $1000's a year……probably is, but we only charge $1/crm user/month to use… many users do you have – is this worth that per month?

Happy CRM'ing