CASL Prep: How to Set Up Double Opt-In with Dynamics CRM and ClickDimensions

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Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) will come into effect on July 1st, 2014. Among other things, it requires that businesses have the express consent of the people that they send Commercial Electronic Messages (i.e. emails and other digital communications) to.

It also means that, moving forward, you must have a mechanism in place to ensure that the subscribers you do acquire in the future have given you their permission. One of the best ways to develop a permission-based marketing practice is through implementing a double opt-in mechanism (rather than single opt-in or opt-out).

Follow the steps below to set up this mechanism using Dynamics CRM and the marketing automation tool, ClickDimensions in order to be on your way to CASL compliance!



Let's walk through the front-end and back-end processes that would take place when setting this up. To begin, an individual submits their email in a form to be subscribed to your marketing list. This email will then be used to determine if this contact already exists in your CRM environment. If it doesn't, a new lead record will be created. Following filling out the form, an auto-response email will be triggered and sent to the hopeful subscriber's email address. This email contains a link that asks them to confirm their subscription. Once they do, they will be brought to a landing page. The action of clicking this link will be registered as an email event in CRM through ClickDimensions. A workflow is then triggered on that contact or lead record that sets a flag called "double opt-in" to "yes." Once this flag is checked, the lead or contact is added to the appropriate marketing lists.


Now, let's walk through the steps you'd follow to set this up in Dynamics CRM. Note: You will likely need to be in touch with your webmaster if you intend to integrate the form with your website!

  • Step 1: Determine your integration point (i.e. where you will be securing subscribers from? Your website? A landing page?)
  • Step 2: Create the double opt-in flag
    Create a flag in CRM called “Double Opt-In” (This will be a box that will appear on each new contact/lead record that will identify when someone has opted in twice. The content of your lists will be built around this query.
  • Step 3: Create your dynamic lists (one for contacts, one for leads).

Make sure these lists are built around your double opt-in flag being set to “yes.”

  • Step 4: Create your confirmation landing page

This will be the link in the email that prompts users to confirm their subscription (CRM > Settings > Web Content > New > Type: Landing Page).

Confirmation Landing Page

  • To get the URL, select “Embed” and “Embed as Link.”

Dynamics CRM - Embed a Landing Page

  • Step 5: Create the subscription form

Determine the info you will capture from a new subscriber (i.e. just email? name and email?) and create a form in ClickDimensions (CRM > Settings > Web Content > Add New > Type “Form”) that maps over to the fields you have identified in your CRM database. See below.

Dynamics CRM - New Web Form

  • Step 6: Create your email template:
    • Create a new template in CRM and populate it with the information that you wish to communicate to new subscribers in order to get them to confirm their subscription (including your newly created landing page URL).
    • You can design it as you wish but the final output should contain elements similar to below. Here’s where you add the URL for the landing page you created earlier.


    Dynamics CRM - Subscription Confirmation Email

  • Step 7:The auto-responder

Within your new web form, you will want to add an auto-responder that will trigger an email to be sent when someone enters their information in the form. To do this, you will need to add an action called “Auto Responder” and import the email template you just created.

  • Step 8: Create a workflow:

When someone clicks this link in the email, you will want to trigger a workflow on that click that will set the the double opt-in flag to ‘yes’ on the associated contact or lead record. As soon as that flag is set to yes, that lead/contact is added to their respective marketing list.

  • Step 9: Integrate the form with your website

We took the source html code and handed it to our web developer to apply CSS to it and embed it on our website (or landing page, etc).

  • Step 10: Test!

Ensure that your new form is working and that all fields are mapping over correctly.

Sure, it takes a bit of work but using the double opt-in method, you can rest assured that your email marketing lists are compliant once CASL comes into effect.


by Catapult

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