5 Little CRM Workflows with Really Big Results

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Dynamics CRM Workflow is a very powerful tool. While most of ClickDimensions' marketing automation functionality happens as web service calls, times arise when a customer or partner wants to extend the functionality of ClickDimensions for their own custom process. That’s where CRM Workflow is our best friend.

It can be a bit scary or overwhelming to jump into the workflow editor for the first time. So if you are not familiar with CRM workflow, we suggest taking a 3 step approach – define, design and draft.

In this guide we want to share with you five examples of how we have implemented CRM workflow with ClickDimensions to extend the functionality for very specific needs. Maybe you don’t have the exact same process, but hopefully this will inspire you to apply the concepts below to automate your workload.



#1: Create Campaign Response

If you are using the campaign entity (which we highly recommend you do), then chances are you are also using campaign responses, perhaps for inbound calls or manual processes like a newly generated lead or opportunity. With ClickDimensions web tracking, we provide a method for grouping visits together based upon where that visit came from. In most cases, we track our customers using source tags as added parameters in the pay-per-click (PPC) target URLs or in the URLs tweeted or posted to social sites.

While it is very easy to use CRM views, reporting, or even dashboards to view and analyze the traffic coming from a particular inbound link to your site, some marketers want to create a campaign response for visits from a PPC ad or a certain post they have shared. That way they can evaluate all the different types of responses from within the campaign record.

First, define this workflow: When someone clicks on a PPC ad or link shared as part of a CRM Campaign, create a campaign response. A source tag parameter will be added to the target URL for ads and links in posts that include the Campaign ID (from Campaign) and Ad ID/Post ID (a custom field added to the campaign Activity record).

Click here to see the design and draft of the Create Campaign Response workflow (with full screens)


#2: Create New Record using Submitted Form Data

From time to time we get asked the question, “Why doesn’t ClickDimensions allow for mapping to custom entities on form fields?” The answer is somewhat complex, but stems from the fact that we never store the data and have mappings set to contact and lead because those are the two default people entities that are going to be in every CRM regardless. We don’t know what custom entities you have, because the default role for our connecting user only has to have access to our entities and the default contact, lead, account. In lieu of becoming a complex middleware mapping platform, we set the defaults and allow you to extend using CRM workflow.

You can, however, map the data to custom entities once it’s in CRM. We saw this most recently with one of our customers, a multibillion dollar IT reseller. They have a custom entity similar to an opportunity called “DealReg,” short for “deal registration.” They wanted a new DealReg to be created every time a rep filled out the ClickDimensions form they embed in their account management portal. Not only did they want the new record to be created, but they wanted the values from the form fields to be mapped over to the fields on the DealReg.

Workflow can very easily handle this process with a few prerequisites.

  1. The posted field entity is a child entity to the posted form, which means that for every posted form, there are multiple posted fields.
  2. The ClickDimensions form field name is stored as a value in a CRM field on the post field record, as is the posted response to the field.

What all of this ultimately means is that before you go building a workflow based off the posted form being created, and realize you can’t get it through the posted field values for mapping, take a step back and look at it from outside the box.

Keep in mind the objective and define, design and draft.

ClickDimensions can map to the contact, and because the rep submitting the DealReg was a contact, we were able to suggest creating a few custom fields on contact, and arranging them on a CRM form called DealReg Request within the contact entity.

When the form posts the ClickDimensions mappings we’re set to push the data to the DealReg request fields on the contact, and then CRM workflow creates a new DealReg record using the values in each field on the contact. The DealReg was even able to be related to the Reps contact record so that they could see all the Deal Registrations that the rep had requested in an associated view!

So, in this case, we define the workflow so that when a ClickDimensions form is posted, a new DealReg record is created using the information from the posted form, and the new DealReg is associated to the contact.

Click here to see the design and draft of this workflow (with screens)


#3: Update Nurture Phase

We hear so many great things from customers and partners about the way our tool can create nurture programs and are often surprised by some of the creative ways people are using them. Whether for event invitations and reminders, lead warming, customer onboarding, or new student orientation, one thing that we see quite often with these successful nurtures is that they trigger CRM workflows. We have workflows within our own internal nurtures, too. When a customer or prospect has essentially jumped the hoops we have set in the nurture, we have workflows that get triggered and do a range of things like create scheduled phone calls and tasks, or even update the contact/lead record with certain changes.

While you can easily view the individual progress of a nurture for a particular person via the nurture timeline, we wanted aggregate CRM dashboards and views to display who is on what nurture, and in some cases what phase in the nurture they were on. To do this, we came up with a plan to use CRM workflow triggered within the nurture program. At the beginning of the nurture, a workflow is triggered to update the contact/lead record. We created some custom fields that we based our views off of that are specific to the nurture we built. When the nurture starts, the box gets checked, and as they progress through each phase, a checkbox for each phase gets checked and a dropdown for the current phase gets updated. This allows us to calculate who is in the nurture, what phase are they on, what phases they have completed and how long they were in each phase.

Let's define this workflow to update the contact or lead during each nurture phase.

Click here to see the design and draft of the Update Nurture Phase workflow (with screen captures)


#4: Select and Send Email from a Single Dropdown Field

Do you have templates that you repeatedly send to different recipients, but you don’t want to manually create an email send every time? Or perhaps you have staff that you want to have the ability to send certain ClickDimensions emails, but you don’t want to open up Pandora’s Box and give them access to edit the template? Did you know you can leverage CRM workflow to create and send the prebuilt templates to your recipient right from a single dropdown field on the contact or lead record?

We’ve talked about sending ClickDimensions emails with workflow before. In fact, we’ve created entire videos and articles on how to do this on our help and training site. We see a lot of our customers creating on-demand workflows to send emails, which the user then clicks to run workflow, and selects the workflow for the email they want to auto-send. So, we thought why not make it easier for them? One helpful hint is that instead of creating separate on-demand workflows for each template you want to send, create an “auto-email” dropdown on the contact/lead/account record, and have a workflow that sends the email selected in the dropdown. This requires the workflow to have separate checks and create separate emails that get sent depending on which option was selected in the drop down, which ultimately reduces the need to have separate on-demand workflows, and eliminates the need to manually trigger the workflow. After the email is sent, there is a step in the workflow to clear the auto-email dropdown so it is ready for another send.

We define this workflow to select auto-email name from dropdown, and ClickDimensions email is set without manually creating email send or requiring access to template.

Click here to see the design and draft of this workflow (with screens)


#5: Limit Number of Emails Sent to a Person within a Certain Timeframe

Many times ClickDimensions users want to ensure that their recipients do not receive too many communications. Because we use native CRM contacts, leads, and accounts as recipients, it is possible to use CRM workflow help facilitate a limit to the number of emails sent in a particular time frame.

Depending on how your requirements are laid out, you may need to create some custom fields. In this example, we are under the impression that any email sent via ClickDimensions is to be considered a marketing communication, and the customer wants to limit the number of marketing communications to one per day for each recipient.

Originally, we thought to create a simple workflow that updates the “do not allow bulk email” field on the contact after an email was sent. However, we quickly realized that method wasn’t going to be the best plan. The form and survey auto-responder emails are dependent upon the recipient having the field set to allow, and since many of the calls to action with the emails were tied back to content and forms, we opted not to restrict auto-responders from going out. That could have ruined the entire experience, as there is nothing worse than being told your download confirmation email is on its way and it never arrives!  We decided to use a custom field “allow marketing comm,” and a timestamp for when it was set, to be updated when a sent email was created with a related email send with a custom field of email type set to “marketing.”  Then we used that field as a query in the dynamic marketing lists used for email sends. We set the “email type” field to be a required two-option field and displayed it as a checkbox. That way, if a user created an email send, they would have to check the box to save, but if it was created via a web-service as an auto-responder, the box would remain unchecked. The second part of the workflow was a “wait until” clause that did what it says it does – waits until the next day and changes the “allow marketing comm” to yes.

We define this workflow to limit the number of not-requested marketing communications to one day.

Click here to see the full design and draft of this workflow (with example screens)


Happy Marketing!

by Click Dimensions


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