So, you’ve successfully integrated your Microsoft Dynamics 365/CRM and marketing automation platform and both are working together seamlessly. Your marketing campaigns are faithfully sending more high-quality leads to your sales team and successful conversions are on the rise. Take a bow. You deserve it! Then, once you’re finished celebrating, it’s time to get back to work.
Sending leads from your marketing automation to your Dynamics CRM or 365 environment isn’t a one-time event. Those leads still need nurturing—both to keep current customers happy and to change the minds of those who may have just slipped away. The best way to this? Ensure your Microsoft Dynamics CRM is feeding your marketing automation platform with the data it needs to generate the most effective follow-up campaigns. By setting up the right kind of campaign “triggers,” you’ll get a lot more out of your Dynamics CRM and marketing automation platform integration. Let’s take a close look at exactly what Dynamics CRM triggers are and how best to implement them.
Focus on the Right Dynamics CRM Triggers
When a Lead or existing Contact has an associated Activity that is tracked in Dynamics, triggers should be set to initiate an automated response from your marketing automation platform. Typically, the Activity—like a completed Appointment or a Phone Call or a Status change—triggers a Workflow that adds the Lead or the Contact to a Marketing List.
In order to make the best Marketing List for the campaign you want to launch in your marketing automation platform, you need to focus on what data you’ll need to port between the two systems. You’ll need to gather relevant data in Dynamics 365/CRM to generate the most effective campaigns, so think through what Fields you need to connect—this is especially important if you have custom fields in Dynamics that need to feed into your marketing automation platform. Remember that not all marketing automation platforms will allow for custom fields, so choose carefully!
The following is a list of important triggers that you would be wise to leverage as workflow/Marketing List triggers:
- Product purchases (won Opportunities)
- Process incompletion (like a stalled Opportunity)
- Engagement with a customer service representative
- Important dates (Opportunity lost dates, contract end dates, or last contact dates)
- Activity completions (appointments, phone calls, etc.)
Email campaigns in your marketing automation platform can be triggered when a Lead takes one of these individual actions, or they can be set to trigger only when a series of actions are taken—all of which can be managed by a combination of Marketing Lists and Workflows.
Campaigns can be even more effective after a sale, particularly if you rely on word-of-mouth or referral marketing. Make sure you are following up with your satisfied customers to build loyalty and generate additional sales. Beyond a generic “Thank you for your business” email, you can set triggers based on past buying patterns and other activities you already track in Dynamics. You can generate automated campaigns suggesting additional products and services you know your existing clients need or want. Or, you can trigger a reminder that a contract needs to be renewed. When you have enough of the right Dynamics CRM data feeding into your marketing automation platform, you’ll be free to generate creative campaigns that can really connect.
Avoiding the Pitfalls
Having and utilizing this type of integration between your Dynamics and marketing automation system is great, but it can also be too much of a good thing. You will want to take care to control your workflows or you’ll risk creating too much automation happening all at the same time. You can do this by:
- Using exclusion groups to make sure contacts or leads haven’t wandered into the wrong data query
- Get your sales team on board—help them understand what sorts of campaigns are powered by what data fields so that they can help you gather data
- Use preview tools to check your personalizations
- Monitor email performance and cadence—if you’re running a multi-email campaign, for example, monitor when or if people tend to opt out and consider shortening your cadence or lengthening your wait steps.
Once you’ve achieved the right balance, you’ll quickly be reaping the rewards that come with maximizing your CRM/marketing automation platform integration.
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